It’s never a bad time to start improving your finances, save more, spend less and put yourself on a budget. Now, it’s all good and well to say that you’re going to do that but, what we found is that people need some specific help, including specific tips and advice, in order to do that. So, being the great folks that we are, we’ve put together a list of the 50 most excellent tips that will help you improve your finances now and into the future. Enjoy.
- Keep in mind that there are excellent deals with most retailers all year long, not just during holiday seasons. Sure, it used to be that black Friday, Labor Day and the Fourth of July were some of the best times of the year to get spectacular deals. Recently however that’s been changing because retailers are offering excellent deals all year long, sometimes at the most unexpected times. In 2012 most retailers started their Christmas deals in October for example and continued them throughout the entire season.
- No matter what you’re buying, if it’s more than just a few dollars and you’ve seen it somewhere cheaper, ask the specific retailer to at least match your price. Simply put, with the economy recovering many retailers are doing their best to lure shoppers back into their stores. If you are a little bit assertive and ask for what you want, in many cases you’ll most likely get.
- If you’re part of a couple, you need to coordinate your budget with your spouse or partner. Fact is, if you’re on a budget but your spouse or partner is not, there are bound to be financial difficulties and problems that, in many cases, may result in divorce. (Statistically speaking, financial reasons are cited the most for why a couple divorces.)
- If you’ve built up a sizable amount of debt it’s going to be almost impossible to pay it off quickly (as well as frustrating). Instead, realized that it’s going to take some time and set up a plan to pay things off that makes sense for what you’re earning.
- Normally, taxes increase every year. Knowing that fact, it’s an excellent idea to put more money away every year to take care of taxes so that, at tax time, you don’t get a huge surprise that throws your budget off kilter.
- Calculating the amount of money that you need in retirement is not difficult (there are many online calculators available) but, for some reason, only one in 10 Americans have actually figured out that number for themselves.
- When it comes to retirement accounts, many people make the mistake of failing to check or update their investments on a regular basis. Many also choose investment options that are either overly conservative or overly risky. Many people have their company’s human resource department available to provide free service but don’t take it, paradise; take it.
- It used to be that financial experts would recommend that you put aside 10% of your income for retirement. Today however there are experts saying that this number is grossly inadequate and should be more along the lines of 25%, fully one quarter of your income, so that will be sure to have enough money to last you through your entire retirement.
- One of the best ways to save an emergency fund, save for your child’s tuition or fund your retirement portfolio is to make the payments into these accounts automatic. There are, in fact, many things that will make this extremely easy to customers and, in some cases, even have rewards for doing so. For example, Wells Fargo bank leaves their monthly service fees a number of their accounts when their customers set up automatic recurring transfers.
- Always remember to take advantage of the rewards that you earned from your credit cards and cash them in. In many cases the best value our retailer specific gift cards because, since they’ve been renegotiated by the card companies, they don’t cost as much and are a great value.
Those are the first 10 of our excellent tips for improving your finances over the coming 12 months. We hope that you enjoyed them and that they gave you some information that you can start using right away to increase savings that you have, increasing your retirement funding and any other financial goals that you have. Make sure to come back and see us again soon reports two through five. See you then.