With the economy being in as much turmoil as it is, it is important to have a good hand on your personal finances. It is important to be organized and to closely watch your expenditures or else you’ll find yourself in debt before you know it. This article can help prevent that.
Make sure that you are collecting all of the tax credits to which you are entitled. Look out for the following tax credits: Child Care Credit, Child Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Earned Income Credit and Hope Scholarship Credit. Visit the IRS’s website for a complete list of tax credits that you may be eligible for.
Help manage your personal finances with a good insurance policy. Unfortunately, everyone falls ill at one time or another. So, it’s very important to have the best possible health insurance for your family situation. You may find hospital bills in the amount of $20,000, or even more. With the right insurance, you’ll be covered instead of facing years of debt.
Search for professional advice if you are going to invest in stocks for personal financial gains. Hiring a professional advisor is a sure way to ensure that you will get returns back. They have the knowledge and experience in the field to help you succeed. If you go at it alone, you would have to spend days researching, and that can consume much of your time.
Whenever you get a windfall such as a bonus or a tax return, designate at least half to paying down debts. You save the amount of interest you would have paid on that amount, which is charged at a much higher rate than any savings account pays. Some of the money will still be left for a small splurge, but the rest will make your financial life better for the future.
To save on college costs, strongly consider enrollment at a local community college for the first two years and then transfer to a four-year institution for your last two years. With annual tuition cost savings of 50% or more over traditional four-year universities, going to a community college for your first two years can make a whole lot of sense. Many community colleges have direct transfer programs to four-year institutions that ensure the relevance of the credits you have earned towards your degree. You will get the exact same diploma and credentials at the end of the four years, as your classmates who attended the four-year university straight-through, but your costs (and possible debt) will be so much less.
After you’ve developed a clear cut budget, then develop a savings plan. Say you spend 75% of your income on bills, leaving 25%. With that 25%, determine what percentage you will save and what percentage will be your fun money. In this way, over time, you will develop a savings.
An income tax refund is not the most efficient way to save. If you get a large refund every year, you should probably lower the amount of withholding and invest the difference where it will earn some interest. If you lack the discipline to save regularly, start an automatic deduction from your paycheck or an automatic transfer to your savings account.
You can often find great deals if you go shopping on the infamous Black Friday. If you are truly dedicated, you can wake up at the crack of dawn to get into stores as they open up and be the first person to get the best deals, which will greatly improve your personal finances.
These hard financial times don’t have to envelop you like they have nearly everyone else. If you are prudent, wise, and organized, you can prevent the tragedy of debt from befalling you. This article has armed you with the advice necessary to prevent and prepare yourself from falling into the hands of debt.