Basic Tips on Personal Finance

Personal Finance

Basic Tips on Personal Finance

Personal FinanceDo you ever wonder where your money goes every month? Does it sometimes seem as though you cannot afford to do things because your financial obligations are holding you back? If you find that you are asking yourself these sorts of questions, perhaps you should take a look at your financial situation and assess whether you are practicing good personal finance management or not. Good personal finance management spends within their income, plan for the future and solve financial problems as they arise. Poor personal finance management pay more, do without and fall behind. If you find yourself in the second category, you can do something about it. You can learn to take charge of your finances by planning your personal finances.

Planning your personal finances doesn’t always come naturally, and even if you’re just beginning to take your financial matters seriously, then you likely need a few personal finance tips.

Evaluate your current financial situation. One of the most important goals for most people is financial independence. Collect accurate information about your personal financial situation. Calculate your net worth which includes the real estate, saving and retirement accounts, and all other assets. This will help you decide how much money you can set aside for meeting future needs and goals.

A basic personal finance tip is to make a budget. A personal finance budget is information made up of your income and expenses and the more accurate this information is, the more likely you are be able to meet your goals and realize your dreams. A personal finance budget should be made for at most one year at a time and include a list of your monthly expenses.

All expenses must be included. To be sure of that go through all your paid bills, check register and credit card receipts to find expenditures that recur every month and expenditures that happen less frequently. Personal finance budgeting requires some small sacrifices. To be able to make good personal financial decisions and set priorities, you must know where your money is actually going. Start your budget and accomplish your goals.

Get an electronic bill pay. This is a very convenient way to pay your bills. You pay them electronically, by direct withdrawal from your bank account. The transaction is processed immediately. You can even link your bill pay service to your personal finance budget, so that your expenditures are automatically entered in the appropriate category. Personal financial management can be really easy.

Make an investment and finance plan. Now that the fundamental state of your personal financial security has been established, the time has come for the more prosperous part of your personal financial life. You need to make a personal finance plan of what you really want in life that money can buy. Your personal financial plan can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. Find out how to finally start to implement this plan and get the money to finance it. This is the long term part of your financial. This journey is the most interesting and exciting part of personal financing you can have toward financial freedom.

You can prepare for a secure personal financial future by following these simple tips. When you take control with your money, you don’t have to worry about debt taking control of you.

Top 5 Money Mistakes of Young Couples


gr8redlogo-90When you’re newly married, you’ll probably face some new challenges and might not feel that you’re ready for these new responsibilities. A lot of young couples don’t anticipate how different managing their finances can be once they get married.


It’s important to understand how merging your finances will impact the way you spend and manage money. There are common mistakes most couples make, and you can avoid some difficulties by being aware of these errors.


These are the five most common money mistakes young couples make:


  1. Not communicating about money. It’s crucial to talk about money and agree on how you wish to spend and save money as a couple. You’ll find yourselves fighting over money issues if you avoid this for too long or if one spouse isn’t upfront about money.


  1. Failing to build your savings. You might feel that you’re not earning enough to save money, but most couples can find at least a little to save by cutting back on the more flexible expenses. Cover your bases and prepare for a brighter future by saving for these events:


  • Starting a family. Going through a pregnancy and raising a baby is expensive!
  • When you’re ready to settle down, you’ll need a down payment to buy a home.
  • Children’s education. College is expensive and it is never too early to start saving.
  • Health expenses. Open a health savings account if you don’t have a comprehensive health insurance policy.
  • Being young means you can take more risks when you invest and saving up early will help you retire more comfortably. It also gives your savings time to grow from the interest you’ll earn over many years.


  1. Failing to effectively manage debts and credit cards. Some couples encounter challenges because one person wasn’t upfront about how deeply they’re in debt or because they use their credit card too often. Even though both spouses still have separate credit scores, both should be responsible for managing debt and credit:


  • Set some goals and strategies to raise both your credit scores.
  • Decide what your credit cards should be used for and how much you can charge on them.
  • Make paying off your loans or outstanding credit card balances a priority.


  1. Buying a house before you’re ready. You’ll see benefits in waiting until you’re financially stabile before purchasing a house. There are still some costly mistakes to avoid once you are ready to buy a home:


  • Buying a house that is too expensive to fix or maintain.
  • Applying for a mortgage you can’t afford.
  • Not making a down payment that is large enough to lower your mortgage.
  • Failing to take advantage of the help available to first-time buyers.
  • Buying a house before taking the time to raise your credit score.


  1. Not looking for ways to strengthen your financial standing. You can set some financial goals and do your best to save money, but most young couples eventually need to find a way to earn a higher income to meet their goals.


  • You could, for instance, make some plans for your career, move to a city where you can get better jobs, or decide to go back to school.


If you think you’re making any of these mistakes, it’s a great time to schedule a money discussion. Make plans to bypass these mistakes and get started on the right track for a bright financial future together.

Top Job Related Expenses You Can Cut Today

Top Job Related Expenses You Can Cut Today



gr8redlogo-90Are job-related expenses draining your paycheck? You can find the sources of the money leaks plug those holes with a few changes to your spending routines.


Try these techniques to save money on your work expenses:


  1. Analyze your commuting costs. How much do you spend each day to get to work? It’s important to consider every step of the way and every penny:
  • If you drive, keep track of the cost of gas and car maintenance. In addition, you may have to pay for tolls along the roads you use. You may also have other fees related to the car such as insurance.
  • If you use public transportation, add up the cost of the tickets.
  • If you walk or ride a bike, think about the cost of shoes and bike maintenance.
  • Examine your commute and search for ways to cut costs. Can you pick roads without tolls? Can you share rides with coworkers and split the cost of gas? Can you find a cheaper public transportation route or buy tickets ahead of time to save money?


  1. Consider your childcare expenses. Do you pay for childcare while you work? How much of your paycheck goes to childcare expenses? Do you pay for a babysitter, school, or daycare center?
  • Shop around for less expensive childcare deals.
  • Consider using a co-op to save money. A co-op allows parents to take care of other people’s children on a set schedule.
  • You may also be able to rearrange your schedule with your spouse, so one of you can take care of the kids after school.


  1. Evaluate your work clothes budget. How much do you spend on your work clothes?
  • You may have to follow strict clothing rules at work, but you can still save money. Shop at discount stores or thrift stores. Search for deals at online clothing stores.
  • You may be able to swap clothes with another professional and you’ll both save money.


  1. Save on lunch expenses. Do you go out to eat every day for lunch? Bringing your own lunch is an easy way to save money, but it’s not always an option.
  • Track your lunch spending and look for ways to cut the costs. Try to select filling meals that cost less than your usual fare.
  • Can you bring your own water bottle to work to save on drinks?


  1. Remember office supply expenses. Does your company make you supply your own phone or other office items? Do you have to provide your own pens or paper?
  • By buying in bulk, you can save money on office supplies. Shop online or at club stores for bigger savings.
  • Search for deals on school supplies prior to the beginning of the new school year. You can also find clearance items at retailers after the big school rush in the fall.
  • You don’t need the fanciest stapler or most elaborate folders. Simpler supplies cost less.
  • Also, you may want to discuss the office supply situation with your employer. Many companies cover these expenses for their office employees or provide the items themselves.


Job-related expenses may be unavoidable, but you can reduce them. By paying attention to your habits at work, you can make changes that result in big savings.

Protect Your Finances from Inflation Before It’s Too Late

Protect Your Finances from Inflation Before It's Too Late


inflation can impact your savings

Inflation can eat up your savings and plans for the future. However, you can take steps to protect yourself from inflation.


Consider these tips to protect your finances:  


  1. Understand purchasing power. Purchasing power refers to your ability to buy items such as necessities and luxuries. One of the main issues with inflation is that your purchasing power goes down as inflation goes up.


  • For example, your $1 could buy an item yesterday, but today you’ll need $5 to buy the same item.
  • Unfortunately, interest rates and incomes can’t always keep up with inflation.


  1. Consider investing in the stock market. Do you have investments in the stock market? Instead of taking them out after every drop, plan a long-term strategy.


  • Long-term investments in stocks may protect you from inflation.
  • Commodities tend to increase in value during inflation. For example, coffee or grains may survive inflation well on the stock market because they’re commodities.


  1. Consider real estate investments. Real estate can be a powerful investment tool.


  • Real estate can fluctuate in value. If you’re considering an investment, then you may want to be careful.
  • Although real estate prices can go up during inflation, you have to consider your ability to handle all of the loans and mortgages. Even if you rent out the properties, how will you handle periods without renters?
  • Commercial real estate can be even more complicated than buying a home. If you want to invest in commercial real estate, then you also have to deal with zoning laws and extra fees.
  • Land is another possible investment option.


  1. Consider investing in your future. You have the power to survive inflation, and you can take steps to deal with it.


  • Have you considered investing in your future by going back to school? Additional degrees may help you earn more money and provide a bigger cushion during times of inflation.
  • However, going back to school isn’t the only choice. You can also take free classes online or from other organizations. You can build your skill set and discover new hobbies that can increase your income.


  1. Try to make your income sources grow. If you can make your sources of income increase, then inflation will have a lower impact on you.


  1. Get rid of debt. As inflation rises, the interest rates on your debts can also rise. If you pay off your debts, then you don’t have to worry about it. However, if you can’t pay off all of your debts, be prepared to make higher payments during times of inflation.


  1. Consider your Social Security benefits. During periods of inflation, benefits such as Social Security usually can’t keep up with the growing prices. Be prepared for this event. Have some savings that will cover you when prices go up.


Inflation isn’t always easy to predict or avoid. However, you can take action to make it have a smaller impact on your finances. Follow these strategies and protect yourself, your family, and your finances from inflation.

Important Financial Considerations Before the Birth of Your First Child

Important Financial Considerations Before the Birth of Your First Child



financial baby burdenExpecting your first child is a very exciting event and the financial aspect of raising a child is probably not the only thing you have on your mind. However, having a child means you’ll soon have some new responsibilities, including preparing for your new arrival from a financial point of view.


A lot of new parents underestimate the cost of having a baby. These are some of the main expenses you’ll have to cover in the next few months:


  • Doctors’ appointments during the pregnancy and for the baby
  • Birthing classes
  • Maternity leave can impact your budget if your employer doesn’t offer paid leave.
  • Purchasing a stroller, crib, car seat, and some baby clothes
  • Saving up to cover any other expenses you didn’t plan for


The good news is that you have nine months to prepare and save some money. This will be easier if you assess how much money you expect to spend on baby-related expenses during the pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life.


Put aside a certain amount on a weekly or monthly basis to reach your goal.


Consider these items as well:


  1. Go over your current health care plan to figure out how much coverage you have. At least a dozen of checkups will be needed throughout the pregnancy if there are no complications. You should also go over your policy to see if you would be covered for a C section since this is a more expensive procedure.


  1. Open a health savings account and make regular contributions. These contributions are tax deductible and this is a good way to cover a part of the costs of the pregnancy and delivery.


  1. What about your career? As an expectant mother, you’ll probably have to put your career on hold for a while. If you work for a company with less than thirty employees, your employer is not required to offer a paid maternity leave. Talk to your employer to find out if you can count on getting your job back after the maternity leave.


  1. Increasing your income. Raising a child costs $165,000 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You should expect to spend between $8,000 and $10,000 during the first year of the baby’s life. Saving money is necessary, but you might want to look into ways to earn more money in the long-term.


  1. These items would also be beneficial:
  • Disability insurance that covers any complications linked to pregnancy
  • Term life insurance
  • Look into upgrading your health insurance. If you plan on scheduling all your appointments with the same professionals, a preferred provider option can be more affordable and provide you with more coverage.
  • A 529 Saving Plan to start saving up for your child’s college education


Avoid making the mistake of overspending on items you don’t really need, like a lot of young parents do. Focus on upgrading your health care if needed, putting as much money aside as possible, and shopping for good deals for baby essentials.


It will be easier to avoid overspending if you have a good idea of the expenses you still need to take care of. Help yourself to meet your money goals for the baby expenses by creating and following a budget.


Having a baby is a major life event. Saving money should be a priority, but don’t hesitate to ask friends and relatives to help with some baby items. They’ll likely be glad to help out with baby clothes and other essentials.

How Helicopter Parents Affect a Child’s Finances

helicopter kid


gr8redlogo-90Did you know that being a helicopter parent can negatively affect your child’s financial future? Helicopter parenting is becoming more common, but it can have serious, unintended consequences.


If you’re a helicopter parent, consider the financial impact on your child:  


  1. Understanding helicopter parenting. Helicopter parenting requires you to be extremely involved in every aspect of your child’s life.


  • Helicopter parents often make the decisions for their children and rescue them from any issues they may encounter. These types of parents want to prevent the world from hurting their children, but they also affect the ability of the children to grow and learn.


  1. Inability to make decisions on their own. Studies show that the children of helicopter parents often lack self-confidence and struggle with decisions. They rely on their parents for help with every decision. This affects being able to handle their finances and their ability to invest.


  1. They don’t learn how to handle basic personal finance tasks. Does your child understand how to manage a checkbook or write a check? Can your child keep track of spending on a budget?


  • The children of helicopter parents often struggle with simple personal finance and have to ask their parents for help or pay others to help them.
  • Ensure that your children are able to write a check, make a deposit, make a withdrawal, and keep track of their finances.


  1. They lack financial responsibility. Helicopter parents often have children who are financially irresponsible.


  • They struggle with responsibility and turn to their parents to save them. Do you rescue your children from every financial mistake they make?


  • Parents who act as financial saviors are actually hurting their children’s ability to learn from their mistakes and make more beneficial decisions in the future.


  • Children can become too dependent on their parents and refuse to grow up.


  1. They may ask you to finance their luxury lifestyle. Helicopter parenting can make children grow accustomed to luxury lifestyles and having all of their needs met. They often continue to ask their parents to finance these lifestyles as an adult.


  • Can you afford to finance your child’s luxury desires and wants? Helicopter parents may want to examine how much money they’re giving their children.


  1. They remain financially dependent on their parents. Studies show that the children of helicopter parents are also more likely to go home after college without a job or any future plans. They continue to depend on their parents for money and every aspect of their lifestyle.


  • The knowledge that you’ll rescue them from any trouble makes them less likely to want independence.


  • Encourage your children to establish their own households and careers. Unfortunately, the impact of years of helicopter parenting means that they’re less likely to live on their own.


  • You may have to push your children to become financially independent. They may resist this because helicopter parenting has made them feel secure. But think of the future. You don’t want to take care of a 40-year-old child who is capable of working and living on his or her own!


Helicopter parenting can have dramatic outcomes for children and their finances. It’s important to be aware of these consequences and encourage your child’s financial learning and independence. Otherwise, you may be stuck taking care of their finances for years after they become adults.

Don’t Let Your Hobby Destroy Your Financial Future

Don't Let Your Hobby Destroy Your Financial Future


Empty Bank AccountDo you have a favorite hobby that takes up a great deal of your time and money? Hobbies can be fun activities, but they can also have a negative impact on your finances.


If your hobby is starting to hurt your finances, then it’s time to reevaluate it:  


  1. Consider the time you spend on the hobby. How much time do you dedicate to your favorite hobby every week? Do you spend at least several hours on the hobby every day?


  • Hobbies can be fun distractions and can help you explore new ideas. However, hobbies that take up too much of your time can be dangerous. They can affect your job, family, friends, and finances.


  • If spending so much time on your hobby has negative effects, perhaps just cutting down the amount of time you spend on it can resolve those issues.


  1. Is your hobby interfering with your job? A hobby shouldn’t affect your work life or paycheck. Don’t risk losing your job because the hobby has taken over your life. Find a way to balance them before it’s too late.


  1. Examine how much money you spend on the hobby. How much does your hobby cost you and your family each month? Is your hobby eating away at your retirement savings and rainy day accounts?


  • Most hobbies do have some expenses, and that’s okay, as long as your budget can handle the costs without robbing from your necessary expenses.


  • If your hobby is starting to hurt your ability to feed your family or pay the light bill, remembering your priorities will help you contain the costs.


  1. Evaluate the reputation impact. Is your hobby strange or unusual, and does it affect your reputation? Your reputation may affect your ability to get and keep a job. How will future employers react to learning about your unusual hobby?


  • Even if you feel secure in your current employment, circumstances can change fast. You may be laid off or the company may cut down hours without a great deal of notice. This can leave you scrambling to find new work, and your reputation is important during the process.


  • Potential employers can find information about your hobbies on social media and other websites that you post on. They can use this data to make hiring decisions and may not be pleased with your hobby choices. It’s important to consider that companies can be concerned with their public image and how employees represent them.


  • An unusual hobby can also hurt your chances of getting a promotion. Employers often check into your private life as they make decisions on who gets promoted within the company.


  1. Consider storage expenses. Does your hobby require a lot of materials that need extra storage you’re paying for each month? Try making a dedicated space in your home where you can store the materials for free.


Hobbies shouldn’t affect your ability to pay normal bills or buy food. If your hobby is out of control, think about other ways to spend your free time. A less expensive hobby will bring you many benefits.

Avoid These Credit Card Pitfalls


Use Credit WiselyCredit card companies used to market aggressively to college students. Laws now prohibit this type of activity, but getting a credit card is important for college students. Sooner or later, you’ll want to purchase an automobile or home, and you’ll either have to use credit or save for a very long time.


However, using a credit card irresponsibly can create a huge financial challenge.


For best results, avoid these credit card mistakes:


  1. Not getting a credit card at all. Now is the perfect time to establish credit and build a good credit score. You might think you’re being responsible by not getting a credit card, but you’ll face a significant challenge when you want to buy a house or automobile.


  • Get a card or two and use them responsibly. That means the occasional, small purchase that you can afford. Buying gas or paying your cell phone bill are two examples.
  1. Getting too many credit cards. Two cards are plenty for anyone. Imagine the damage you can do with five or more credit cards. Give yourself a chance to become familiar with the responsible use of credit.
  2. Carrying a balance. Pay the entire balance each month. Once a small balance becomes comfortable, a moderate balance isn’t far behind. Use self-control and avoid ever carrying a balance to the following month.
  3. Getting a credit card before you’re ready. Some teenagers are more mature than others. If you don’t have a bank account, have never held a job, or don’t know how to save, it might be better to wait. Better yet, give the card to a responsible parent and let them hold onto it.


  • Another option is to get a card with a very low credit limit.
  1. Failing to track purchases. It’s easy to jump from store to store and spend a lot of money quickly. Keep track of your receipts and keep a running total. Post it where you can see it. Everyone with a credit card has been surprised at least once by the size of the monthly bill. Avoid any unpleasant surprises.
  2. Not paying the bill on time. Being late with your payments will kill your credit score. Know when the bill should arrive and keep your eyes open. College dorms are notorious for losing mail.


  • Remember that you can see your bill online and pay it there whether you get your bill or not.
  1. Making purchases you can’t afford until you get that big job. Many college students have used credit cards irresponsibly by telling themselves they’ll pay it all off in a few years when they’re raking in the big bucks. It can be tough to find a job after graduation. You’ll also have the expenses of moving, buying furniture, possibly paying back student loans, and more.


  • Make a small purchase each month and pay the bill in full. If you can’t pay the entire bill at the end of the month, you’re outspending your income.


It would be a shame to waste the great opportunity college students have to begin building their credit scores. But using a credit card irresponsibly can haunt your finances for years. Give credit the respect it deserves. It’s a powerful tool that can either help or hurt you. Use it wisely.

Following These 9 Practices And Become a Self-Made Millionaire

Become A Self-Made Millionare


Become a Self-Made MillionaireIf you aren’t lucky enough to inherit a million dollars, you’ll have to create wealth on your own. Relatively few millionaires inherit their wealth, so you’re in good company. Most millionaires didn’t become wealthy by doing anything spectacular. They simply have a useful set of habits that they stick to religiously.
Start on the path to becoming a self-made millionaire:


  1. Deal with uncertainty. Most millionaires don’t have a “regular job” and are forced to deal with more uncertainty than average income earners. Be comfortable with uncertainty.
  2. Pay yourself before you pay your bills. Save at least 10% of your paycheck before you sit down and pay your bills. If you pay yourself first, you’ll adjust your spending to accommodate your bills. If you pay your bills first, you’ll spend the remainder and save nothing. Save your money before you have a chance to spend it.
  • The average millionaire saves over 20% of his income each month.
  • When you get a raise at work, attempt to save 100% of that new income.


  1. Live beneath your means. Most millionaires aren’t big spenders. They buy used cars and avoid luxury brands. They live in more modest homes than they can afford.


  • Becoming wealthy is most often the result of a moderate lifestyle, aggressive saving, discipline, and time. These are all things that anyone can do. Consider the results when someone does the opposite of these things.
  1. Fire your boss. Roughly 70% of millionaires are self-employed. Working for a big company can be comforting, but it’s also expensive. You’re selling your time at wholesale prices. When you work for yourself, you have more opportunities to make a big salary. Start a small business on the side and make that your hobby.
  2. Spend time with other millionaires. Spend time with wealthy people if you want to become wealthy. You’ll be provided with more opportunities and learn how millionaires think. Their approach to money and the world is very different than those of the average person.
  3. Avoid debt that doesn’t increase your income or net worth. Millionaires avoid debt like the plague, unless it provides financial opportunities. A millionaire might get a loan to purchase an apartment building or build a business, but she wouldn’t borrow money for a vacation.
  • Avoid borrowing money unless it will strengthen your financial situation down the road.


  1. Have financial goals. Most impressive things are accomplished by those with goals. Saving a million dollars is too big to happen by accident. Wealthy people that created their wealth have goals. What are yours?
  2. Get a mentor. The vast majority of millionaires state that a mentor was a major factor in accumulating their wealth. Everything is easier when you have a guide that has already accomplished your goal. Find a mentor and follow their advice. Networking is the key to finding an appropriate mentor. Put yourself out there.
  3. Avoid wasting time. Every minute you waste could’ve been spent on earning more money or learning something relevant. It’s important to have hobbies and interests outside of building your wealth. But time spent on television and surfing the internet is neither beneficial nor satisfying. Use your time wisely.

You can adopt the most important behaviors of self-made millionaires. Is there anything in the list above that you can’t do? With patience and the right habits, you can become a millionaire, too. With persistence, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.

9 Steps to Do Prior to Buying Your First Home

9 Steps To Take Before Buying A New Home

9 Steps To Take Before Buying Your First House

Are you planning the purchase of your first home? Buying a house is a major decision because the house will soon become one of your main financial assets. Plus, you’ll be making mortgage payments for at least ten years.


Take these steps before you buy:


  1. Ask yourself if you’re financially stable. Have you had your job for at least five years? Do you have a reliable income?


  1. Are you ready to make monthly mortgage payments for at least ten years? Are there any other major expenses in the near future that would make keeping up with your mortgage payments difficult?


  1. Do you plan to stay in this house for at least five years? The first five years of mortgage payments usually only cover fees and interest. Are you ready to settle down in one spot?


  1. Raise your credit score. You can qualify for a mortgage with a credit score of 580, but you’ll have to spend more on fees, interest, and your down payment. You’ll get a much better deal if you wait until you have a credit score of 700 or above.


  1. Look at your debt to income ratio. This is a good way to tell if you’re earning enough to afford a home. Ideally, the expenses linked to buying a home shouldn’t exceed a third of your income. Add up your mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes, and expected repairs.


  1. Save money for your down payment. You can buy a home with a down payment of anywhere between 3% and 20% of the value of the home. The more you can afford to pay, the lower your mortgage payment will be. Look into getting an FHA loan to help with the down payment.


  1. Plan for expenses for maintaining your home. You should count on spending at least 3% of the value of the home on maintenance each year. Create a saving fund to cover these costs.


  1. Document your income and assets. Start gathering all the documents you’re going to need while you compare mortgage options.


  1. Look for the right house for you. It’s best to wait until you can afford something better if you don’t find anything you like. Take the neighborhood and its development into consideration when buying a house, since these aspects will influence the future value of the house.


Buying a house is a very important decision. Becoming a homeowner means that you’re taking a big step on the path of financial stability, and you’ll want to be prepared for this step. Your home will likely become your main asset as it appreciates in value and you build up further equity in it by paying down your mortgage.


Buying a home requires careful planning. Ask yourself how much you can afford to borrow, what kind of mortgage would be best, and what kind of home would be adapted to the unique needs of your family. Take the time to go over your income, boost your credit score, and make a list of what to look for in your ideal home before you start your search.