Monthly Archives: March 2010

Learn ways to manage your money

With the growing number of bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures and rising prices, it’s very important to know useful ways of managing personal finance. Recent statistics show that many people can manage their finance very nicely if they keep their expenses within their income. But unfortunately, many people are not aware of the ways to do it and don’t know how to recover once they have overextended themselves.

Personal money management is not a one step process. It’s not just enough to have your budget in place or keep a check on your checking account. You need to follow set guidelines that cover several aspects of money management. The basic of the process are discussed below.

  • Set Your Goal

Most people think that their objectives are accomplished if they have planned their retirement and college for their kids. These are very important goals but they are just the beginning. You have to think about what you and your family need in future and make financial decisions on that basis. This may include keeping money aside for an annual vacation, repairing your car or purchasing a home in the future.

  • Find Out Where You Stand Now

You have to have a complete understanding of your total income and expenses. Prepare your monthly budget on a piece of paper and stick to it. Give a detailed description of your bills and expenses in one column and your total income in the other column. Add up everything and see if your expenses are lower than your income. You will know at a glance if you are going through any money problems or it might come unexpectedly in the near future.

  • Develop a Budget You Can Live With

Budget sample forms are available very easily and most of them turn out to be very effective. Many people maintain 50 different categories of expense items but it’s important that you know how to manage it. It’s better to have less number of categories of expenses and have all your attention on it when you have your paycheck.

  • Cut Expense in Every Budget Category You Can

There are hundred different ways to cut your expenses without changing your lifestyle. For example, if you are using several mobile phones, you can stop them from using and stick to one phone only. This way you can reduce a certain percentage of your expenses and use it for other important purposes. There are many tips available on the internet for those who don’t know how to get started.

  • Set Up a Debt Repayment Plan

A large number of people are losing their hard earned money just in interest charges and late and over limit fees. Your main priority should be to eliminate all the debts from the past and do it at the earliest. By following the process of snowballing, you can pay off your debts much earlier and save a lot of money that could have gone just in interests and fees.

Snowballing is the process where you add up all the amounts having the minimum payments and choose one bill to add extra money to the payment until it is paid in full. Then you can take that extra portion of money and the payment you were making on bill 1 and add it to the next bill and so on. You don’t have to stress by putting a higher amount. Just adding $25 will pay down your bill much faster because the amount in the bill is not going to be the same until paid off.

  • Know Your Credit

You need to have your credit in good standing before applying for a loan. If your scores aren’t good, you will have to pay higher interest rates and it’s the opposite if your scores are better. Get a copy of your credit report and know how your credit looks like before you shop with any lender.

  • Look For More Sources of Income

If you are not able to cover all your expenses from your paycheck, look for different ways to earn money and make your life comfortable. Everyone has specific talents. Use your skills and you will realize that people are ready to pay for the product or services that you can offer.

Once you know the art of managing money, you will have perfect control over any financial problems that may arise in the future. You might even be surprised that the solutions were never far away from you.