Insight And Inspiration For Handling Your Personal Finances

You don't need to be Dave Ramsey to manage your money well. With a little planning and discipline, you can live on what you make while putting some aside to grow your net worth.

Getting a college education is one of the best investments you can make. An education will pay for itself and give you lifelong skills you can use to earn a living. Reports show that those with a bachelors degree, earn almost double of those that only have a high school diploma.

Get a rewards credit card. No-fee reward cards are the best if you need a credit card. Reward cards give you rewards on various things that you typically use such as hotel rooms, airline tickets and store rewards. Be sure you pay the card off every month and pay on time to avoid interest and late fees.

If you have a good credit score, be careful about co-signing for someone, especially if they have a bad score or are not likely to pay off their debt. Co-signing does not improve your own score in any way and puts a lot of pressure on you. Do it if you are sure that the person you are co-signing for can do the same for you.

If you have a credit card without a rewards program, consider applying for one that earns you miles. Combine a credit card that earns miles with a frequent flier rewards program from your favorite airline and you'll fly for free every now and again. Make sure to use your miles before they expire though.

To maximize the money in your wallet, try not to shop on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, you are more prone to an impulse purchase, given your higher levels of stress and anxiety. Additionally, you will usually spend money on fast food, which will add up over time.

Take taxi fees into consideration, when financially preparing for your trip. Most people are too preoccupied thinking about hotel, food and leisure expenses, to remember that they need money for taxis. When making a taxi or car reservation, ask how much the ride will be on the phone, so that you know how much to set aside.

Many people think that unreasonable fees and minimum balances are a normal part of banking, but that is not the case. Most banks actually offer free checking accounts, and some offer accounts that become free if you use a debit card regularly or sign up for direct deposits. Avoiding those pesky fees will help you save money.

Contribute to an IRA. Not the Irish Republican Army but an Individual Retirement Account. If you or your spouse work, you qualify to put money into an IRA. The account can be with a mutual fund, bank, credit union, insurance company or other trustee. Deposits for a traditional IRA are tax deductible and returns are not taxed until withdrawn. A Roth IRA deposit is done with after-tax dollars but withdrawals are not taxed.

It's true, anyone can improve their financial lot. By simply using your head and following these helpful personal finance tips, you can develop a budget, reduce your debt, save money and ultimately, be in control of your finances.