5 Tips To Shape Up Your Finances
Your finances are one of the most important things to analyze and with so many people struggling, it is important to make sure that you are saving and spending wisely. Whether you are trying to improve your credit or want to save more money, you can use these helpful tips to shape up your finances.
If you receive more than $1,000 from the IRS when you file your taxes, then you should consider increasing your exemptions. While some people enjoy getting thousands of dollars from Uncle Sam, it just means you are giving the government an interest-free loan. To shape up your finances, use the extra money going into your paycheck and pay off debt. If you do not have any debt, then stick it in a savings account.
To shape up your finances, you will have to know your credit score and making sure your credit is accurate. You can get one free credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com each year from all three of the credit reporting bureaus. If there are any inaccuracies, then dispute them because this can affect your interest rate on credit cards, makes it more difficult to get a loan and some employers are even checking applicants credit when they make a decision whether to hire someone or not.
You should also analyze the interest rates of your credit cards. Move your balances to 0% cards if possible. If you are unable to do so, then pay off the cards with the highest interest rate first, then snowball that payment into the next one and so forth.
Refinance Your Home
Right now interest rates are at an all-time low. This would be a great time to refinance your home. Instead of automatically going with traditional banks, you should consider smaller banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers and online lenders. They may be able to get you a better rate, shave points off the interest rates and save you money on closing costs. Make sure you shop around so you get the best deal. Check out my post: What IF We Can Pay Our Mortgage Off in TEN YEARS!!!
This is one of the most important things to have, but many people do not have any savings at all. You should always have at least $1,000 in an emergency fund. What would you do if you lost your job, had a bad accident or if your car broke down? You need to have some sort of savings just in case these things happen. If you do not have an emergency fund and think you do not have enough money to start one, you are wrong. Even if you just save $1 a day, it is at least a start. Check out my 52 Week Money Challenge!
Pay With Cash
My mother always told me that if you have to put something on a credit card, then you probably can’t afford it anyways. So many people have become accustomed to charging everything, even a cup of coffee. While credit cards are useful, especially in times of an emergency, there are many who don’t think about how much they are charging. They often end up owing money that they cannot pay off all at once. So, the unpaid balance accrues interest and costs them even more. By paying with cash, you physically see how much money you have and how much you end up with after paying for coffee, eating out and those less-thought about purchases.