How to Manage Your Personal Finances with Ease


At some point in our lives, whether we like it or not, we have to manage our personal finances. As members of society gain income, we must decide how we will allocate our funds to best suit our present and future needs. Personal finance management is important to survive in today's world and the advice in this article will show you how to do so.



Good financial management helps us to stay in control of our money
Good financial management helps us to stay in control of our money

Home Energy Assistance Program


If you are experiencing problem making ends meet during winter, you can apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to get help with heating costs. Depending on where you live, the HEAP program will pay a portion or even all of the heating costs to those people who are eligible for winter heating season. In general, this may last for the period of six months depending where you live. All energy companies are required to participate, so find out more by going to your energy company's website.



Rental Application


Put your paperwork together before you fill out your rental application. It will help in the process if you can get your employment history compiled for at least the last five years. Just be ready if they ask you to explain any gaps within that 5 year period. You might want to do some homework like making a list of your previous addresses within the last five years with the names and telephone numbers of your previous landlords. All of this information can help getting you to sign a new lease with a new landlord.


Saving



Saving even your spare change will add up. Any change you have can help add up your savings account without you realizing it or not. Rather than keeping it at home, you get more benefit keeping it in the bank. The interest may not be huge but over time you will be able to see it starting to accumulate. If you have kids, put it into a savings account for them and by the time they are 18, they will have a nice amount of money for college.



Buy Used Car


The best deal when shopping for a car is to get a gently used model rather than buying a new one. A new car reduces in value the moment you leave the car dealer's place. It is definitely much more expensive than a used one. Research show that the average price of a new car purchased in 2008 was $25,536 while the average used car purchased in the same period was $8,244. In short, purchasing a model that has seen even a little use can save you a lot on a car loan.



Find a Fee-Free Bank


If you need any type of checking account or an account with debit card access, look for free options. You might have to spend a little time looking for this type of bank but they are definitely available. The good news is, not all banks are going to ask you to pay a fee for debit services. It may be worth it to spend a little time looking to make sure you get a bank that offers free services. Unlike Bank of America, PNC bank is quite generous in the sense that it has no monthly service charge as well as no minimum balance requirement.



Avoid Co-Sign a Loan


Although you may feel obligated, never co-sign a friend’s loan. You should never feel bad if you are not able to help your friend in such situation. Co-signing a loan involves three parties; the creditor, the borrower (your friend) and you. Very often, this type of deal can have a bad ending. As a result, this will affect your own credit and also your relationship with your friend. Never commit to it unless you are willing to pay the loan if your friend defaults. If you co-sign a loan, you are equally responsible as your friend and because of this you will be hounded to make payment should your friend defaults.



Get Tips From the Library


One method of saving money is to go to the local library whenever you feel like spending your time on reading. Learn to make use of the free services your library has to offer. Borrowing a book from the library does not cost you a single dime. The library offers a wide range of reference material such as periodicals, books, magazines and encyclopedias. Not only that, the library also provides comfortable reading area for its patrons. So, if you happen to visit a bookstore, remind yourself that you can loan the same book for free at your local library.



Pay Credit Card Debt


Credit card debt is typically the highest-interest debt of all. Giving priority to repay high-interest debt can save you a lot in interest charges depending on how much you have in your credit card balance. As far as possible, try to limit your credit card debt. If you have the urge to purchase something you like, you should do so only when you have extra money in your account. Credit card debt can be a nightmare to some people especially if they owe more than they can pay back.



Create a Budget


When creating a budget, spread your expenses over each paycheck for the month. In order to be successful, you need detailed information of where your money is coming from, where it is going and how much is there. One way to start is by adding up all your bills and deduct the total from your monthly pay. Throughout the year you will sometimes get an extra pay for bonuses and work over. You can use the extra funds to pay for recurring expenses that come once or twice a year, for instance the homeowner association fee.


In conclusion, everyone must learn to manage their personal finances. People should be able to make a good decision how to use their income to sustain them in the long run. Therefore, personal finance management is important to all of us. The advice found in the article above will hopefully help you manage your personal finances for the future.




Disclaimer: The advice contains in this article does not intend to be a substitute for a personal consultation with a qualified financial advisor. Any materials and recommendations posted here serve as general information purposes only.



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