You are considering a program of personal finance. What are your long-term and short-term goals? Are you planning for retirement or just for a nice vacation next summer? Once your goal is clear, you have to get very practical. How much money is coming in? What are the risks and rewards of a given plan?
Sometimes it’s a good idea to take the “personal” out of “personal finance” by sharing your financial goals with others, such as close friends and family. They can offer encouragement and a boost to your determination in reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself, such as building a savings account, paying off credit card debts, or creating a vacation fund.
Going out to eat is one of the costliest budget busting blunders many people make. At a cost of roughly eight to ten dollars per meal it is nearly four times more expensive than preparing a meal for yourself at home. As such one of the easiest ways to save money is to stop eating out.
If one has a hobby such as painting or woodcarving they can often turn that into an extra stream of revenue. By selling the products of ones hobby in markets or over the internet one can produce money to use however they best see fit. It will also provide a productive outlet for the hobby of choice.
A great way to gain more control over your personal finances is to convert from card to cash for small items, like when buying coffee or snacks, and set a weekly limit. This’ll mean you pay much closer attention to how much you’re spending on what might seem like small items, but in fact are expenses which add up really fast.
Buying used can save you a lot of cash. Cars for example, lose up to 20% of their purchase price, just by signing on the dotted line and driving off the lot in it. Let someone else pay for that depreciation by purchasing a car that is a couple of years old. You will still have a low mileage warrantied car, but without the hit to your equity.
If you want to save money, then look hard at your current spending patterns. It is easy to theoretically “wish” you could save money, but actually doing it requires some self-discipline and a little detective work. For one month, write down all of your expenses in a notebook. Commit to writing down everything, such as, morning coffee, taxi fare or pizza delivery for the kids. The more accurate and specific you are, then the better understanding you will get for where your money is really going. Knowledge is power! Scrutinize your log at the end of the month to find the areas you can cut back on and bank the savings. Small changes add up to big dollars over time, but you have to make the effort.
After reading these tips you have probably already sketched out a plan in your mind for achieving your goal. If that goal is a trip to the French Alps next summer, you will have checked out airfares and hotels. Whatever the goal, practical planning now will enable you to achieve it.