When it comes to personal finances, the key to success resides in spending reasonably, saving, and knowing your options. Personal finance advice exists, but do those advisors truly understand what it’s like working at an unlivable wage with the cost of rent and basic living expenses. Does $15.00 an hour cover rent, utilities, food, and transportation?
In the major metropolitan areas of the United States the cost of living forces individuals into poor and desperate financial situations.
So for the well-off individuals earning a decent wage or salary and those scraping by, take these basic tips into consideration when looking to manage your personal finances better.
1. Create a Monthly Budget and Stick To It!
Sadly enough, most individuals or families earn money and spend recklessly. Something as simple as a monthly budget could drastically decrease monthly spending. Even a basic outline with detailed estimates of spending could do wonders in becoming more financially aware of weekly, monthly, and annual spending. See how you spend on groceries, eating out at restaurants, transportation costs, toiletries, haircuts, utilities, rent, and other reoccurring expenses.
Examine where room exists to cut down costs and make changes slowly. Every penny saved goes a long way handling personal finances more responsibly.
2. Spend Less Than You Earn
Any practical person would say to spend less than you earn, but people go crazy with credit cards and large limits. Don’t force yourself into high credit card bills where interest accumulates, and strangles you into a financial crisis. Simply estimate the amount earned on a monthly basis and don’t spend more than 50% of your monthly income. Between bills, rent, and food, you need to watch spending.
3. Know and Invest in Borrowing Options
To attain a little financial flexibility or assistance in case of a financial crisis, always know your short term borrowing options. Utilize personal loans from friends, credit cards, or other short term loans such as signature loans. You can learn more about short term borrowing options by examining a company such as instaloan.com. Credit cards and other borrowing options provide the right assistance for monthly spending or other expenses. Whether you have the time to wait or a credit card application to process or need cash immediately, there are always options available.
4. Conserve Utilities
Conserve electricity, gas, and water at your apartment or home. Unplugging laptop power adapters, phone chargers, and even turning off lights saves money on the electric bill. Depending on if your heat uses gas or oil, watch that thermostat and maybe wear a sweater during the winter. Instead of taking a 45 minute shower, create a 5-10 minute shower rule. Limit water while washing dishes. There are lots of ways to conserve energy and save money on utility bills.
5. Accumulate Savings
Whatever your income, it’s a good idea to save a percentage of that amount on a monthly basis. Even five dollars saved adds up.
6. Create an Emergency Fund
In addition to a savings account or fund, create an emergency fund. You never know when you’ll need quick cash for a car problem, medical bill, or unforeseen expense. A small monthly amount saved could contribute to this fund.
7. Reevaluate Living Arrangements
If you have a two bedroom apartment or home, perhaps there is room available for a tenant. To save money on utilities, the mortgage payment, or other living expenses, it’s a fantastic idea to bring in a tenant.
8. Forget About Cable/Internet
With the reliance on smartphones, there’s no need for home internet or cable. If you really could benefit from the subtraction of the cable and internet bill, then make that sacrifice. This move saves money and might force you to spend more time outdoors or finishing home projects.
9. Eliminate Processed Foods and Eat Healthy
Medical bills often drive up monthly or yearly costs or individuals or families. Make healthy living a key focus of your life. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Eliminate or reduce processed foods. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. A healthier person saves money by spending less time at the doctor’s office and hospital.
10. Maintain a Healthy Credit Score
Pay your minimum monthly bills, credit card payments, and loans on time. This reduces the amount of interest accruing and keeps your credit score healthy. Even without much money, a healthy credit score helps individuals qualify for additional lending options and apartments.