5 Ways To Manage Your Money Better

5 Ways to Manage Your Money Better & Take Charge of Your Finances

Learn how to manage your moneyDo you put off making changes to better manage your money? If you have financial fears, does the prospect of financial planning seem next to impossible? If so, you’re not alone. Almost one half of Americans find this scary, and it doesn’t have to be.

There’s no need to postpone a much-needed review of your financial situation any longer. Getting your finances back on track and knowing where your hard-earned money is going, is not that difficult. Over 80% of Americans say that they would like to be in better control of their finances.

For that reason, we offer a simple checklist of five options that you can review to fit your specific personal circumstances. By following them, you will be well on your way to being in control of your money.

  • First and foremost, get rid of credit card debt. Many individuals are carrying several credit cards with high balances with high fees and very high interest rates. Many are only able to pay the minimum payments required, and in doing so, will be paying on those cards into old age.

Our first recommendation is to create a workable budget and stick to it. Debt retirement should be budgeted, and any extra money needs to be applied to your debt. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then obtain a debt consolidation loan to repay every credit card in full. Going forward, stop using your cards and don’t create any more debt.

  • Review all of your service providers. Look at all of your monthly expenses and see if its possible to lower them by switching to a competitor. This applies to auto insurance and your cable and Internet provider.

You’ll be surprised to see just how high a cable and Internet provider can get their bill up by those impossible to refuse offers you get from them. There are ways to cut that bill practically in half without much difficulty. As you try to manage your money better, this is one area to pay particular attention.

If you’re into apps, there are some that personal finance apps that allow you to track all expenses and even to save. We also suggest that you get a good budgeting software program to setup a budget and get your finances back on track.

  • Be prepared for tax season. There have been some major changes to the tax law and you need to review your various benefits to see if you still qualify for them. In the past, you were able to use your home equity line of credit interest as a deduction, no matter what the purpose of the loan was.

That no longer is true, and a deduction for this interest can be done only if the loan was used to improve the property or to acquire a residence. In addition, there no longer is a personal exemption deduction. File your return early, and if you get a refund, use it to retire debt.

  • Take advantage of retirement contributions. If your employer offers a 401(k), try to maximize your contribution. Often times, the employer will make a matching contribution, and this will help your retirement fund to grow even more.

It’s to your advantage to begin retirement contributions as early in life as possible in order that they will have a long time to grow. Continue to explore options that will have your retirement account well-funded.

  • Keep your APY high. There are many types of savings options that are better than a local bank savings account. The APY, or your annual percentage yield, can be much higher with some online savings institutions. Check them out carefully and see where you can benefit the most.

Don’t postpone this very important financial review. If you want to manage your money better, see where you need to make changes. By taking advantage of the five options in this article, you can be on your way in becoming debt free and taking control of your money.

Read More... Please comment

House Hunting Checklist

House hunting? Use this handy checklist before you make the offer

Use our house hunting checklist to save money(BPT) – House hunting can feel like an adventurous new chapter in your life. If you’re lucky enough to find the property that checks off all the “must have” boxes – appearance, size, price, location – it’s easy to fall in love.

Not so fast. Before making an offer on any property, it’s smart to take a deeper look at the overall structure and its systems, just to make sure warning signs of major and costly problems are not hiding in plain sight. If the house holds more issues than your budget (and drive to renovate) can handle, it might be best to walk away.

Of course, once the offer is accepted, it’s always a smart idea to hire a third-party home inspector to take an in-depth look at the property. In the meantime, one last pass-through with this checklist in hand can give you peace of mind about taking the next step.

Exterior: Walk around all four sides of the house, scanning it from ground to rooftop. Note the View full post…

Read More... 8 Comments

5 Managing Money Tips for Newlyweds

5 Managing Money Tips for Newlyweds

Tips for managing your moneyGetting married is still at the top of the list for being one of the most important decisions that we make. It’s amazing how those two words “I do” or “I will” can change our lives in very significant ways, especially in managing money.

In some states, marriage can change our financial picture whether we intended it to or not. There are a number of issues that newlyweds will need to discuss, but we’ll touch on the five that should be dealt with first. It’s very important that both spouses get on the same page as quickly as possible to avoid potential conflict.

File a Joint Account or Married Separate

The first important issue to discuss is the area of taxes. Usually this will focus on whether to file separate tax returns or to file jointly. Generally, filing jointly will result in lower overall taxes, however, this is not always the case. There are some situations where filing separate returns result in less taxes.

Some other caveats to consider. When filing jointly, both spouses are liable on the return. If, as an example, one of the spouses makes an error in reporting or not reporting income, both are View full post…

Read More... 10 Comments

4 Money Management Tips for Newlyweds

4 Money Management Tips for Newlyweds

Important money management tipsIf you think getting married is a tremendous emotional step, you would be correct. But, it’s also a major financial one too. Each one has their own individual goals and ways to handle money. We offer these money management tips in an attempt to get both spouses on the same page and frame of mind.

It’s best to discuss money management before marriage and decide on the method of handling the finances. Both long term and short term goals should be discussed. A lot of stress can be avoided later in marriage if these financial issues are taken care of early by View full post…

Read More... 6 Comments

How to Manage Money | Tips for College Grads

5 Tips for New College Grads on How to Manage Money

How to manage moneyThe big day has finally arrived and now you are about to see what the real world has in store. One thing for sure, you’re about to assume a lot of responsibility. Some of you who haven’t yet found a job will probably move back in with your parents. Others who have already entered the workforce may have moved into your first apartment. Either way, you’re about to get your first taste of learning how to manage money.

These five important tips weren’t View full post…

Read More... 8 Comments