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Navigating Your Personal Finances The Easy Way

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Not knowing how to handle your personal finances is a dreadful situation to be in. Take heart! Personal finance skills are easy to cultivate. You do not need exhaustive courses or intensive tutelage to learn how to handle your money better. This article will give you some easy tips on improving your personal finance know-how.

To avoid debt, you should keep your credit balance as low as possible. You might be tempted to accept the offer you qualify for, but you should borrow only as much money as you actually need. Spend some time to determine this exact amount before you accept a loan offer.

Extended warranties can bring down your personal finance. Just about every product made, comes with a warranty that lasts for 90 days or even up to a year. This is when the components are most likely to break. By purchasing an extended warranty, you could potentially just be throwing money away. This is especially true with electronics because they improve so rapidly, that you will end up buying a new one, before the warranty is up.

Always look for ways to save. Audit yourself and your bills about once every six months. Take a look at competing businesses for services you use, to see if you can get something for less. Compare the cost of food at different stores, and make sure you are getting the best interest rates on your credit cards and savings accounts.

Don’t throw out all of your old tissue boxes – turn them into something useful again. For example, you can keep your old tissue boxes and keep your grocery bags inside. The box makes a useful dispenser, while keeping your grocery bag clutter at bay. Place your grocery bag filled tissue box under the kitchen sink for ease of use.

Always pay your credit card bill in full! Many consumers do not realize that paying only the monthly charges allows the credit card company to add interest to your payments. You may end up paying much more than you were originally quoted. To avoid these interest charges, pay as much as you can up front, preferably, the whole amount due.

Find out what your credit score is. It will cost you money to get your credit score from the big three agencies but the knowledge is invaluable. Knowing your credit score will save you money in buying a car, refinancing your home, even buying life insurance. Make sure to get a new one on a yearly basis to stay up to date.

Check and see if you are getting the best cell phone plan for your needs. If you’ve been on the same plan for the past few years, you probably could be saving some money. Most companies will do a free review of your plan and let you know if something else would work better for you, based on your usage patterns.

One of the things that you need to take into consideration with the rising rates of gasoline is miles per gallon. When you are shopping for a car, look into the car’s MPG, which can make a huge difference over the life of your purchase in how much you spend on gas.

If your employer offers a match to your 401K, make sure you’re contributing at least the amount they match. When an employer offers to match your funds, they are essentially giving you free money. The money you contribute will help you reach retirement goals and is tax free. It’s a win-win situation, all around.

Write all of your expenses down by category. For example, putting all utility bills in one category and credit card bills in another. This will help you get organized and prioritize your bills. This will also be helpful in finding what spending you should cut back on to save money.

Contribute to an IRA. Not the Irish Republican Army but an Individual Retirement Account. If you or your spouse work, you qualify to put money into an IRA. The account can be with a mutual fund, bank, credit union, insurance company or other trustee. Deposits for a traditional IRA are tax deductible and returns are not taxed until withdrawn. A Roth IRA deposit is done with after-tax dollars but withdrawals are not taxed.

Have an emergency savings cushion. Without one to fall back on, unexpected expenses unavoidably land on your credit card. Put away six to twelve months’ worth of living expenses into your emergency savings account so that if you have a huge medical expense or the car breaks down, you’ll be covered.

There are many levels of personal finance acumen between total cluelessness and flawless money management. Ascending the scale of personal finance knowledge is simply a matter of learning and using individual tips and techniques, like the ones in this article. Keep learning and practicing, and you will master your finances in no time!

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