Getting your family’s financial picture under control can have life changing effects. It can help to alleviate stress, make daily living more fun, and provide long term security, too. Taking the steps to get your finances under control can be a confusing process. In this article, we will discuss some tried and true tips that can get you on the right track.
Shop around before committing to a specific lender for financing. Talk to several loan officers, and always get terms on paper. You can also let the loan officer know of other rates you have been quoted, giving them a chance to compete for your business. Be sure to not only compare interest rates, but additional fees and charges as well.
If you have lost a prior home to foreclosure, this does not mean that you are out of home owning altogether. You should be able to get a government-backed mortgage through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA, in as little as three years after your previous home has foreclosed.
If you can afford it, try making an extra payment on your mortgage every month. The extra payment will apply directly to the principal of your loan. Every extra payment you make will shorten the life of your loan a little. That means you can pay off your loan faster, saving potentially thousands of dollars in interest payments.
Set yourself a monthly budget and don’t go over it. Since most people live paycheck to paycheck, it can be easy to overspend each month and put yourself in the hole. Determine what you can afford to spend, including putting money into savings and keep close track of how much you have spent for each budget line.
To make the most of your personal finances, if you have investments, make sure to diversify them. Having investments in a variety of different companies with different strengths and weaknesses, will protect you against sudden turns in the market. This means that one investment can fail without causing you financial ruin.
Having a steady paycheck, regardless of the type of job, can be the key to building your personal finances. A constant stream of reliable income will mean that there is always money coming into your account for whatever is deemed best or most needed at the time. Regular income can build your personal finances.
File important financial documents where you can find them quickly when needed. This includes loan and mortgage documents, tax returns, insurance policies, and bank statements. It is stressful enough to suddenly need one of these documents without the added anxiety of not knowing where to find it. To be extra safe, keep copies of essential papers in another location, such as a safe deposit box.
If you are a member of any groups such as the police, military or a car assistance club, ask if a store provides discounts. Many shops offer discounts of 10% or even more, but not all advertise that fact. Prepare to show your card as proof of membership or give your number if you are shopping online.
To make sure that bills don’t slip through the cracks and go unpaid, have a filing system set up that lets you keep track of all your bills and when they are due. If you pay most of your bills online, be sure that you use a service that will send you reminders when a due date is approaching.
Your family should have a strong financial picture if you want to be in control of your life. Getting your finances under control has a trickle down effect on every area of your life. As we have discussed in this article, getting started can feel confusing, but it doesn’t have to. If you follow the simple steps discussed here, your financial forecast will improve and your life will, too.