If you are watching your salary go up in smoke hours after you get the paycheck there is something dreadfully wrong with your finances, and chances are that you may be heading for a financial meltdown unless you take corrective measures to get yourself financially organized. Here are some gems of common sense and wisdom culled from veteran financial wizards:
- Tracking every penny that vanishes
If housing, taxes, insurance, healthcare, food, clothing and entertainment are the major heads of expenditure, record each and every expense. Review such expenses on a monthly basis and weed out the undesirables.
- Learn to budget your expenses and provide for savings
Plan how your income should be utilized. Learn to provide for essentials first, follow up with debt payments, keep some cash aside as savings and gradually build up an emergency fund.
- Route extra cash to your personal emergency fund
Your immediate goal will be to set aside 10% of your monthly paycheck for a bank savings account that you should never access for any routine expenditure. Gradually build these savings till you can pay at least three months legitimate expenses if you suddenly experience a cash shortage.
- Timely payments are the lifeline for any household
Take a good look at all the bills that come your way and record the payment dates separately in a diary. If possible arrange with your bank to get bills paid through online banking by automatically transferring payments from your checking account.
- Have you seen your latest credit report?
If the answer is no you could land in serious trouble. Go to annualcreditreport.com and obtain a copy each from all the main credit reporting firms. Get professional help if necessary to analyze the report and correct errors or false reporting, as failure to do this may impact your rating adversely.
- Boost your credit score
Your score should be in the range between 700 to 850. The better your score the higher will be your credit worthiness and the better loans you will get in future. Keep loan repayments up to date, do not miss payments and do not max out your credit cards.
- Keep tabs on credit card spending and stay within limits
Housing loan and car loan repayments can be crucial for determining your rating because these are big ticket loans, but keeping credit card spending within 30% of your drawing limits will be equally important if you are aiming for a credit score of 750.
- Don’t waste a windfall
You could receive extra cash from many sources like income tax refunds, cash gifts, employer benefits and bonus or a sudden windfall through the inheritance route. Treat all such cash as miscellaneous income and route them to an emergency fund instead of upping expenditure.
- Are you correctly insured?
It is criminal to leave yourself underinsured or over insured because either way you stand to lose money. Review all your personal and health insurance policies to make sure you, your assets and your health are correctly covered.
- Are your savings FDIC insured?
Never keep your savings in a bank that does not enjoy FDIC deposit insurance protection, as you could lose all your savings if that institution collapses.
The secret of success in personal finance is to augment income, cut costs, budget expenses and build savings. If despite your best efforts you still land in a financial emergency, don’t dip into your emergency fund, keep that exclusively for the future, just avail a loan for vehicle title. The fast car title loan will ensure that you get cash equivalent to at least 60% of your car’s resale value. The installment loan in California will extend financial assistance purely on the collateral of the car title. Such a car equity loan will only charge 25% APR for the lending so that you can avoid usurious loans like payday loans and cash advances on credit cards that are costlier. The auto collateral loan will not mire you in debt but instead it will set you on the path of easy repayments that can be matched to your known sources of income.