When we are careful in the way we spend our money, it enhances the likelihood that over time our personal wealth will grow rather than stagnate or even shrink. This is what personal finance is all about. By taking even the smallest steps to ensure we are spending our money wisely, we are taking steps to secure our future.
If you’re very good at paying your credit card bills on time, get a card that is affiliated with your favorite airline or hotel. The miles or points you accumulate can save you a bundle in transportation and accommodation costs. Most credit cards offer bonuses for certain purchases as well, so always ask to gain the most points.
If you are out of school, go ahead and get your various student loans consolidated into one account. You will be able to combine multiple loans into one fixed interest rate and you will avoid having to remember to pay multiple lenders and accounts each month. Shop around for the best interest rate before choosing a lender.
If your employer offers a match to your 401K, make sure you’re contributing at least the amount they match. When an employer offers to match your funds, they are essentially giving you free money. The money you contribute will help you reach retirement goals and is tax free. It’s a win-win situation, all around.
Even if your home has decreased in value since you bought it, this doesn’t mean you’re doomed to lose money. You don’t actually lose any money until you sell your house, so if you don’t have to sell at the moment, don’t. Wait until the market improves and your property value begins to rise again.
Personal finance is determined as much by the small decisions we make in life as by the larger ones. Many small purchases over time, after all, add up to the cost of one larger purchase. Whether the two totals equate to value is something that should be considered well before that first dollar is ever laid down in payment.