You are considering a program of personal finance. What are your long-term and short-term goals? Are you planning for retirement or just for a nice vacation next summer? Once your goal is clear, you have to get very practical. How much money is coming in? What are the risks and rewards of a given plan?
Make sure that you set goals so that you can have a benchmark to reach every week, month and year. This will allow you to form the discipline that is needed for quality investing and successful financial management. If you hit your goals, set them higher in the next timeframe that you choose.
Make note of free financial services whenever they are mentioned. Banks often tell their customers about free services they offer at the most inopportune times. The wise customer does not let these opportunities slip away. If a teller offers the customer free financial planning services when he or she is in a rush, for example, the customer can make note of the offer and come back to take advantage of it at a better time.
Do not borrow from your 401K. Consider this the same as robbing yourself, because you are taking valuable money from your retirement account. While you are using the funds for something else, they cannot be in the market gaining interest. In addition, you are likely to pay high fees and taxes.
Utility bills are an expense that you must stay on top of to improve your credit rating. Paying your bills late can have negative effects on your credit history and scores. You will also probably get hit with late charges, adding to your bill. It is not worth having a headache because you had to pay late; always pay on time
As tempting as it may be to invest in a credit repair program, spend some time online to find one that is free. They are all over the web and many times cover the same steps for credit repair as the ones that you pay for do. Save yourself some money by looking for the ones that are not going to cost you.
Get a free checking account. If you have a checking account you have to pay monthly fees on, you could be wasting money. Instead, look for a checking account that doesn't have monthly fees or per transaction fees. You may have to set up direct deposit with some banks to get a free checking account.
Create a large calendar for your wall that has all of your total monthly costs, their due dates and your billing cycles. This way you will know when you have a payment that is coming up by looking on your calendar instead of you relying on having the bill in front of you! Doing so allows you to create a more detailed budget and avoid paying exorbitant fees and penalties.
After reading these tips you have probably already sketched out a plan in your mind for achieving your goal. If that goal is a trip to the French Alps next summer, you will have checked out airfares and hotels. Whatever the goal, practical planning now will enable you to achieve it.