We are living in a society of consumerism. Prices skyrocket, demands multiply; the only thing that remains static is your income. How to survive in a consumer society keeping a control of the expenses? Personal finance is all about planning your finance. You need to keep a budget in every step of your life. Start from the household budget and categorize the household expenses as follows. - Fixed expenses – These are monthly bills to be paid such as rent, telephone, cable, electricity, etc.
- Variable expenses – These include the cost of all essentials including your food, medicine, entertainment expenses, etc., and may vary slightly depending on the items purchased. The extra cash that you have after deducting the expenses for the above determines your true financial status. If your extra cash is zero, or if it is negative, you have to seriously think about reworking your personal finance plans or consult a financial adviser. What if you have loans and debts to be paid off? Most of the people have mortgage payments, auto loans, credit card payments and other types of loans recurring every month.
The best possible way to balance these is to maintain a decent debt-to-income ratio. Always make sure that your debt-to-income ratio is never higher than 50%. If you are overloaded with too many loans, consolidation of the heavier loans will be a better option than keeping a bad record of the debts. Refinancing your mortgage is chosen as the best option by many debtors to consolidate their debts. The only thing you need to be careful while refinancing is to get a better deal, in terms of the market value of your property and also the best interest rates. Higher the market value of the property, higher is the loan amount. With lower interest rates and longer mortgage period, your monthly payments will be reduced considerably, relieving you from your debt worries. Possessing a credit card is another way to keep your finance move without worries. You can handle the day-to-day expenses without looking into your pocket always. But make a habit to pay off the balance at the end of the month.
You can opt for credit cards that offer lower interest rates so that you can bear a certain debit in times of crisis. Insurance is another important rider in personal finance. Possessing a personal insurance, home insurance, and auto insurance are the smart ways of dealing with the hurdles that may jump on your way. It is also a good investment option and a beneficial tool to secure your life and property from the unexpected disasters. Once you take care of your loans and emergencies, the next step is to think about the investment options. There are many investment plans that ensure huge returns irrespective of the market fluctuations. There are long-term and short-term deposits offered by different banks and credit unions. One of the safest ways of saving money is to invest in money market accounts (MMA). MMAs offer a greater interest rates and also insurance for your deposit. To overcome the rainy days of your life, you need to keep a good control on your finance, whatever may your present status be.
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