Personal Finances: A Lifelong Task | Personal Finance

The majority of children look to their parents for financial guidance. Sadly, the majority of American parents admittedly have a poor handle on their own personal finances, let alone anyone else’s. Imagine a young girl who is just entering college and being offered, for the first time in her life, a large sum of money under the title “student loan.” Never has this girl had to work for an allowance or get a job to support her needs. Her parents always paid for gifts and put her name on it for holidays and anytime she needed gas, clothes, or food, her father’s pocketbook would open up, and he never asked for the money back. How can anyone expect her to understand the immense responsibility of borrowing money? The young girl does not think twice before signing her name to the loan contract, thus beginning her financial decline.

Unfortunately, this all too common phenomenon is affecting us all economically. Due to the mass number of individuals who are borrowing without paying back and living beyond their means, all of our personal finances are suffering.However, it is never too late to learn how to best control your personal finances. Many colleges, churches, and conference halls periodically offer classes that instruct individuals on how to create a budget, consolidate their debt, and become free of debt. Although these classes often cost a fee, they end up paying for themselves with the amount of knowledge the person will leave with.If classes are not an option for you, don’t worry! There are many simple ways for you to understand your personal finances. Begin with writing down every regular bill you owe. Keep it basic to not distress yourself. Even just acknowledging your monthly bills compared to your monthly income can be an eye-opening experience. Then begin to look at the larger amounts of money you owe annually, and finally, the complete sum of debt you owe. Do not become overwhelmed. Remember that most Americans are in a similar boat as you, and that they can, and have, gotten out of it.

Think back to the time when you would ask, “Can you take me to the store?” and move away from childish tendencies towards accountability. Don’t wait any longer; be in charge of your personal finances today!Our personal finances live with us for our entire lives. Take the time now to accept responsibility for your finances and as time goes by it will become second nature to all that you do. As any other chore once you have control of it the task will get much easier.To learn how to be more accountable to your Personal Finances look in the resource below and sign up for our blog!

Get a Grip on Your Personal Finances | Personal Finance

Managing personal finances for some is a necessary evil, while for others it can be an enjoyable pastime. Whoever you are and however you handle your money, there are common mistakes we all tend make. Here are 5 ways most Americans fall short while handling their personal finances.1. Although most money experts suggest keeping six months income or more saved away, 50% of Americans have less than one month saved, and the savings rate continues to decline.2. 23% of Americans have nothing saved for the long-hall, like a retirement fund.3. People can spend up to 18% more when they swipe a credit or debit card than when they use cash or check as a means of payment.4. 64% of young adults have no idea what their annual interest rate is for their credit card.

5. 57% of Americans do not live on a budget even though it is impossible to keep proper track of personal finances without one.To get a better grip on your personal finances, begin saving 10%-20% of your monthly income. As soon as the check goes into the bank, transfer the money into savings to help curb the temptation to spend it. Start to cut out small expenses from your day to day life, like the morning cup of coffee you purchase when you could easily make it at home, or the name brand items at the grocery store that have generally as tasty or efficient store brand options, and only lack the name you are so use to seeing.Make eating out a rarity rather than a common experience. Decide before hand how much you plan on spending and bring the exact amount in cash. Doing so will force you to say no to an extra appetizer or a dessert at the end of the meal. Hey, you may even save on calories! Follow the same strategy with any shopping experience. If you only bring 100 dollars to the clothing store, you will only spend 100 dollars, or less, on clothes.Get in contact with your credit card companies, realtor, and student loan lender. A short conversation with any of these companies can lead to a lower interest rate, or at least give you more knowledge regarding your personal finances.

To truly understand your personal finances, you must know how much money is coming in and out of your house. Sit down and immediately write down the obvious bills like your rent or mortgage, utilities, phone, and car payment, so that the process of creating a budget will seem less overwhelming. Then begin to estimate miscellaneous expenses such as monthly gas for your car, hygiene and homecare products, and luxury expenses like eating out. It is helpful to look over your bank statement to ensure your estimations are as accurate as possible.For more great tips on your personal finances check out the resource box below and sign up for our blog!