It’s time for #MoneyMattersMonday! The first part in our series explores some basic personal finance tips that can help you save money easily.
Develop a personal budget – and stick to it.
People who say they’re going to set a personal budget for themselves often treat such a spending plan like a diet. They’ll do it for a few months, and then they’ll revert back to their old habits. So, once and for all, create a budget for yourself that is reasonable enough for you to stick to it. Outline your regular expenses, potential unexpected expenditures, and other important financial figures. If you develop a specific plan that you keep on your desk, computer, or smartphone, it can motivate you more to stay under the limit you put on your budget.
Design a personal financial calendar for yourself.
We’re all busy with so many obligations to tend to, including the constant texts and mobile app notifications that can make your head spin. But don’t fret if you just can’t remember everything. In terms of your personal finances, create a calendar with all of the important finance and tax deadlines on it to help you stay on top of everything. This calendar may include:
- – Dates of each payday from your employer
- When your payments for bills are due
- Quarterly estimated tax deadlines
- Upcoming expenses
- Reminders to regularly check your credit score
- Reminders to regularly review your bank and retirement accounts
Research big-ticket items before buying them.
Perhaps you’re in the market for a new LCD TV, a 3D printer, or even a new Mustang to fill that empty spot in your 3-car garage. Before you start plunking thousands of dollars down on big-ticket items like these, do your research. Use price comparison tools online. Check out a few different stores in your area. Look into used items if the situation may not warrant something new. You might be surprised at how much you can save by doing some basic research.
Invest your money wisely.
It’s tempting to buy shares of stocks that are soaring for a particular company. While these stocks might be the hot item out there, it’s so important to look at the long-term potential of any stocks, mutual funds, and other investments you make throughout your life. Putting too much money into something that has a minimal chance of being sustainable can turn your personal finances upside-down. This is why working with an accountant or financial advisor is highly recommended.
Beef up your negotiation skills.
Doing in-depth reading and research is a cornerstone of being a successful negotiator. It’s imperative to read up on the issue at-hand that you’re negotiating on. Before you dial your smartphone or stroll into a meeting room to negotiate any type of big deal, it’s important to have your specific goals down on paper. How would a deal with someone benefit you personally or professionally? These goals will play a key role in how you proceed with your negotiation strategy. Know the possible outcomes of your conversation, and recognize when your preferred deal is just not in the cards. Negotiations are necessary when buying a new car, asking for a raise, asking for a certain salary for a new job, and in so many other life circumstances. Remember to never be afraid to ask for a lower price on something or a higher-paying position since the worst-case scenario is that you’ll be turned down.
Pay off small debts before the big ones.
If you have debts that have piled up over time, research has indicated that by paying off your smaller debts, you’ll be more confident when paying off your bigger debts. This is similar to being comfortable paying off your balance on a card from a department store before diving in and paying off cards that have larger balances on them. Consider using the resources provided byˆCredit Card Insider for more tips on how to effectively do this.
Always explore financing options.
In terms of big-ticket items or expensive services you may need to obtain, always look into financing options through which you can pay for something over the course of months or years. This may be a great route to take when buying a car, boat, or professional services if financing is available so you don’t plunk down a huge sum of money for something at one time and then are left penniless.
Be leery of certain warranties and insurance policies.
You might be asked if you want to buy a warranty on an item. You might be approached about getting insurance for something in your life – or even for your life itself. In any case, be very cautious about signing up for these plans if they are not absolutely necessary. Insure your health, home, and vehicle, but you may not need a warranty on those $30 headphones you just bought at Wal-Mart. Many types of insurances and warranties are simply not worth the price.
Find more ways to save money and manage your finances by working with the accountants, CPAs, and enrolled agents at 1-800Accountant. Call 1-800-222-6868, or go to www.1-800Accountant.