Personal finance is a topic that is important to put thought into on a regular basis. Having savings and a good credit score will make it possible to get credit, loans and similar things when you need them. Learning more about some of the very basic personal finance tips is a great place to get started. These apply to people of all ages and you can start putting them into practice today. You should also check out Don Gayhardt’s CrunchBase for further information.
Set Financial Goals
You want to make some plans about paying off debt and saving extra money. Your goals should be reasonable and in line with the amount of money you make. When you are setting goals, make sure that you are specific concerning the dates and the amounts. This makes it easier to track them and make sure that you are making the right progress.
Create a Budget
This is one of the first things that you want to do because you have to know what you can safely spend. When you look at expert personal finance resources, such as Don Gayhardt’s CrunchBase, they will suggest that you start the budget process by determining your monthly net income. This is the amount of money that you are bringing home from your job. The next step is figuring out your expenses. Just subtract these from your net income to see what is left.
If you have little to nothing left, it is time to start making cuts to your expenses. You might also opt to find ways to earn a little more money. This will give you a larger financial cushion each month and it makes it possible to start saving.
Manage Your Debt
If you do not have an effective debt management plan in place, it is too easy to just keep accumulating debt. As it grows, it will become much harder to get out from under it. Common debts are your credit cards, your mortgage, your car payment and student loans. If your finances are tight, start with one of these and start paying it down faster.
For example, student loans are often costly and it is nice to get rid of them for good. Even if you just add an extra $100 a month to your payments, this is an extra $1,200 per year you are putting on them. This goes a long way in getting the total cost of the loan paid off in advance.
Pay Attention to Your Spending
Once a week, take a few minutes to review where your money went. This will give you a good idea about where extra spending is going. For example, you might find that you are spending too much on lunch or coffee. You can easily cut down such expenses by preparing them at home.
Simplify Your Financial Situation
Your finances do not have to be complicated. When you simplify them, it will be a lot easier to handle them. Pay off your debts, keep credit accounts to a minimum and try to pay cash whenever you can. Warren Buffet is a good example of living simply since he still lives in the $31,500 home he purchased in 1957. Imagine how much he has saved over the years by refusing to buy new homes that are considerably more expensive. This also plays into making sure that you live within your means.
Between the basics and a few expert tips, you can be on your way to better personal finances. What is important is that you do not wait and that you are honest with yourself. This will help to ensure that your finance situation is able to improve as soon as possible.
James Hendrickson is an internet entrepreneur, blogging junky, hunter and personal finance geek. When he’s not lurking in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find him in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. James has a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelors degree on Sociology from Earlham College. He loves individual stocks, bonds and precious metals.