Making Bank – 5 Personal Finance Tips to Manage Money Smarter

Managing your money can become a bit of a juggling act, especially as costs can rise at a far more rapid pace than your salary or wages. However, even if money is tight and you’re finding yourself continually on the financial backfoot, there are many things you can do to better your situation. Consider these five financial tips to manage your money smarter:

Cut Out Credit

Credit cards can give you a false sense of financial freedom, only to leave you in vast amounts of debt when you realize you can’t meet the repayment terms and high interest rates. Instead of using credit cards for unexpected bills and repairs, consider fast cash loans with reasonable lending terms. You’ll be surprised at how much more affordable they are with their flexible repayments and low interest rates.

Set a Budget

If you don’t know how much you spend, you can’t expect ever to get a handle on your money. Setting a budget is crucial, especially if you want to save money, work toward a goal, or become financially comfortable. Did you know that only one in three American households has a budget? That leaves a significant number of people guessing how much they spend, earn, and what they will have left at the end of the month. Set yourself a grocery limit, average out the cost of your utilities, and even allocate money for leisure, vehicle maintenance, and emergencies.

Save For Big Purchases

It can seem so much more convenient to walk into a store, pay a monthly fee on a store-brand card, and walk out with a flat-screen TV. Unfortunately, that convenience comes at a cost. While you get to benefit from your flash new TV immediately, you’re also paying through the nose for the privilege.

The average in-store credit card interest rate is 24.99 percent, which means that on a $2,000 television, you may pay as much as $500 in interest. Instead of incurring these costs, work out what you would pay per week for that same TV, and set the money aside. If you don’t need something urgently, learn to save the money and avoid costly in-store “deals.”

Don’t Forget the Future

We can be so busy in the here and now that we often don’t think to set money aside for the future. Don’t be one of the 55 million Americans with no emergency savings or nest eggs of which to speak. Begin putting money aside today, letting it accrue interest while you wait for a rainy day. Even if you don’t need to use it for many years, it’s a comforting thought to know that you will survive in a financial emergency.

Call in the Professionals

We’re not able to be financial whizzes and manage our money perfectly. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with taxes. Most ordinary people are completely unaware of many perfectly legal and ethical deductions and exemptions that they can claim on their taxes, and miss out on potentially thousands that they could see in a refund. If you’re self-employed, the stakes are even higher. Structuring your business’ finances in an optimal manner can make a significant difference to your bottom line. It’s not uncommon for people to baulk at hiring a tax accountant or financial planner due to the perceived cost. However, in most cases you will almost certainly find that the amount of money that they can save you is many times greater than the outlay for their services.

Shop Smarter

Shopping smarter is an integral part of managing your money. Take advantage of coupons and “two for one” deals, purchase non-brand products, and opt to stock up on something when you know it won’t be as cheap as it is again for some time. Shopping smarter is also about only buying things you need as opposed to those things you want. If you put more thought into thrifty shopping, you can benefit from a healthier grocery bill.

Learning how to be smart with your money is not a natural process. It takes time and understanding of the many financial traps and pitfalls in society. Learn how to say no to credit, shop smarter, play the long game, and don’t forget about the future. Being mindful with money can provide you with the financial security you and your family requires to be happy, healthy, and comfortable in the long term.

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