Individuals across the nation are facing a financial crisis today, with skyrocketing debt, unaffordable homes, and job losses occurring in many major industries. Many of the problems that are facing individuals today could have been avoided by following a few simple financial rules that they should have learned before they were required to manage their own finances. Becoming financially savvy is the only way that these individuals will be able to get themselves out of debt and stay out of debt permanently.
Rule 1: Don’t Spend More Than You Make
This rule may seem like common sense, but you would be amazed at the number of individuals that are living beyond their means. In most cases, it is not because the person does not have a good job or cannot afford to pay for more than the basics in life, but it is usually because the person has no financial discipline and chooses to purchase luxury items before they have the money to pay for them. A person will never get out of debt if they are constantly borrowing money from creditors.
Rule 2: Keep Accurate Financial Records
Keeping track of how much money you spend and what you spend your money on is the best way to discover where unnecessary expenditures are occurring. Individuals that do not keep track of their daily spending often find themselves spending more money than they intend too and at the end of the month, are wondering where all of their money has gone. These records may also be needed to prove your case if a bill payment is lost or misplaced by the company or a negative item is mistakenly placed on your credit report.
Rule 3: Create A Savings Account
In the days of easy credit, many individuals put off creating a savings account because they felt that they could always use their credit cards to pay for any emergency purchases that arose. Today, many individuals are finding that their interest rates on their credit cards are skyrocketing and charging emergency expenses to a credit card can be quite expensive. Creating a savings account gives you some financial flexibility for any unexpected expenses that may occur and will save you a great deal of money on future interest payments.
Rule 4: Pay All Of Your Bills On Time
Paying your bills late or missing payments can devastate your credit score and repairing your credit score can take years. Keeping track when your bills are due and paying all of your bills on time can save you a great deal of money in interest payments and increase your ability to get a loan in the future.
Rule 5: Avoid Unnecessary Debt
In a consumer driven economy, everyone is encouraged to spend, spend, spend, but if you do not have the cash available to pay for the new items, you should think twice about putting those purchases on your credit card. The interest rates on the credit card will cause the item to cost much more than you realize and over time, the balance on the card will rise to an unmanageable amount if not paid off in a timely manner. Consumer debt is at an all time high because of the number of people carrying high balances on their credit cards.