Learning that you have a lot of unpaid debt can be a frightening situation for anyone, especially if it seems like you have no way to pay it back. Read this article for some tips on how to manage your personal finances so you can avoid these problems in the future.
Unless you have no other choice, do not accept grace periods from your credit card company. It seems like a great idea, but the problem is you get used to not paying your card. Paying your bills on time has to become a habit, and it’s not a habit you want to get away from.
Start building up an emergency fund today. In an ideal world you should have at least three months, preferable six months, living expenses stored away. Put it in an easy access, high interest savings account. If you don’t have any money saved, remember that it is never too late to start saving.
If you are currently paying for your checking account, it’s time to find a new one. Banks compete for your business, and so many offer free checking with amenities and services similar to those you used to have to pay for. Shop around and find one that won’t charge you on a monthly basis.
If your bank is suddenly adding fees for things that were previously free, like charging a monthly fee to have an ATM card, it might be time to investigate other options. Shop around to find a bank that wants you as a customer. Regional banks might offer better options than large national banks and if you are eligible to join a credit union, add them to your comparison shopping, too.
Try to pay more than the minimum payments on your credit cards. When you only pay the minimum amount off your credit card each month it can end up taking years or even decades to clear the balance. Items that you bought using the credit card can also end up costing you over twice the purchase price.
Pay off your high interest debts before saving. If you are saving in an account that pays 5%, but owe money on a card that charges 10%, you are losing money by not paying off that debt. Make it a priority to pay your high interest cards off and then stop using them. Saving will become easier and more beneficial as well.
Never turn to a credit card to help pay for your bills, if you cannot pay them in the first place. Always pay rent, electricity and other essentials before paying back personal debt. Remember the tips in this article, so you can make the most of your personal finances.