Category: Personal Finance

Does Personal Finance Ever Get Easier

If you’re just getting into the world of personal finance, there’s probably one emotion that you’re feeling more than ever; confusion! I know the feeling, because I was there myself. If you find that you’re getting mixed up with all of the different information out there, you are in good company. A lot of people hear about what’s going on in the world of finance, and then they just figure that they might as well deal with cash only.

That’s really an extreme view of things, isn’t it? You see, credit is really neither good or bad. It’s what you make of it. Some people use credit in order to buy a home. There are a lot of benefits to getting a home, but if you force yourself to try a buy a home only in cash, you could end up being very frustrated in the long run.

You have to step back and come up with a plan for the rest of your life. I like to call it a financial blueprint so you get a clear mental picture of what you need to do.

Does a financial blueprint need to be difficult? Not at all. A good plan includes what you want to do now, what you want to do later, and what you want to do in the future.

You need to get into the mindset of handling your life from a financially perspective. Some people struggle with this because it means that they have to face issues that are difficult — like making more money when other people around them aren’t making as much. They might feel pressured to pick up tabs for the rest of the group, something that they might not want to do all of the time.

Life is what you want it to be, though. If you want something, you’re going to have to save for it.

On the subject of personal finance getting easier, I think it does IF you are willing to read as much as possible on the subject. Yes, at first it’s going to sound strange, foreign, and even confusing. But it doesn’t stay that way. It gets better over time. You don’t have to really deal with confusion forever if you really don’t want to, and most people that are dealing with it will eventually grow out of it.

What you need to realize is that your finances are under your control. No one is forcing you to push into more debt. No one is forcing you to get more credit cards. You have to sign on the dotted line and give consent to those things. Identity theft is real, but that’s a separate issue. I am talking only about the credit that we take out of our own accord.

Maybe this is something that you don’t want to hear today — I certainly didn’t. But if a little tough love can keep you from making the mistakes I made, I will gladly be tough on you!

There’s a lot more to life than money, but we can’t ignore the power of money in our society. The more that you can protect your financial future, the more options that you truly have! Good luck!

Avoiding Classic Mistakes In Your Own Personal Finance Plan!

I am living proof that humans can make infinite mistakes with finances. When I was in college, credit was something that started marking the line between being just another kid, and being a kid that actually was becoming an adult. I felt powerful with my first credit card, but no one really told me anything about finances.

You see, my parents were pretty much honest hard working people, but we didn’t have much. They constantly told me that college was the key to actually having things, having amazing things. I also realized that my mum always looked longingly at the window displays on the high street. I wanted to give her nice things.

So what do you think I did when I got my first card with a 300 GBP limit? I went out and got her things I knew she would like. Chocolates, a new scarf, a hat I thought was cute. I always figured that I could just buy something else, anything else, to make people happy around me.

I found that while I was pleasing others, I really wasn’t investing in myself. I was going through the motions of credit, but not really getting anything that I would be proud of five years from now.

There are some classic mistakes I made, and these mistakes are ones that I want you to avoid making.

1. Spending More Than What You Earn!

Spending more than what you earn will do you in every time. Honestly, I used to hear my dad tell me about the value of saving, but I never listened to him. When I got my credit card and started getting increases, I just figured it I would be better off getting what I ultimately wanted instead of constantly putting aside my desires. I figured it would be wise to make things work in my favor instead of sitting on the money for a rainy day. It was sunshine in my world, and I always thought it would be like that.

I ended up being made redundant at one of the summer jobs I had, which suddenly made those payments hard to handle!

2. Paying Only the Minimum Amount Due

When it comes to credit cards, you really don’t want to pay the minimum amount due. You honestly need to think about paying as much as you can. When you only pay the minimum due, you’re really just paying the interest. Interest is profit to the credit card company — it’s not really going to affect the principal. That’s why people can pay the minimum on their credit cards and really never get ahead. It would be best to focus on a balance between paying more and handling the rest of your budget.

3. Getting More Credit Than What You Can Handle

Once I had one credit card, I was shocked to find that other credit cards didn’t mind having me. They pounced on me practically every other month! I applied for them because I figured since I had a job, I would be okay.

Boy, was I wrong! I was bombarded by credit, I ended up running up high bills (again, I wanted to impress friends and family and look more grown up), and it just ended up making me miserable.

4. Paying Late on Your Bills

I started paying late on my bills, which ends up just making the problems of credit worse. You have to make sure that you pay on time, because extra penalties are right around the corner. So as I was late, I ended up having to spend even more money and deal with even more problems. This was definitely not something I wanted to deal with!

Just paying on time for three months began to undo the damage I had done previous, and by the time a year passed, I found myself that I was back on track!

5. Ignoring the Process of Making Payment Arrangements

When I started getting into trouble, I tried to just ignore it. I had seen my friends ignoring collection calls, so I figured it would be okay — right? After all, no one really wants to be called over and over about the same bills happening at the same time. I wanted to go back to enjoying my life during college and later after graduation as I got into a good job.

However, when you ignore calls like this, it turns into some pretty scary letters. It turns into a moment where you have to really make sure that you figure out what you’re going to actually achieve in the world of personal finance. If you ignore things, it will come back to haunt you. You can easily get into legal trouble because you have technically signed a contract.

I managed to wake up and make payment arrangements before things got too bad, but some of my friends weren’t so lucky.

Overall, I’m really not trying to scare you with all of these warnings. I just want to make sure that you are focusing on the big picture. I really want to make sure that you’re not running into problems getting things together. I’m making sure that you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

The smarter you become about credit and finance, the more options open up to you. Now that I have a great credit rating, I can move closer to my dreams — like owning a home!

Talking to Your Girlfriend About Saving Money

Wanna see if you have a good relationship or not? You need to talk about money. Yes, that’s right — you need to talk about money. Of course, we’re not talking about a causal relationship where everything is separate. If you’re in a long term relationship hat’s very serious, then talking about money before you talk about marriage is a good thing. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’re ultimately looking forward to discussing money at all.

Your girlfriend may be sweet, but nobody likes being called out about something that they feel passionate about. Money is something that people feel very private as well as very passionate about. If you have enough, you don’t really want people to know that. On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of money, you really don’t want people poking around to find out why.

Is it always your fault? No. Is it always your responsibility, however? Absolutely. Only you can take responsibility for your money. Playing the blame game and being a victim isn’t going to really give you the type of satisfaction that you’re looking for. However, it’s tempting to think that it will, so a lot of people spend their whole lives being angry instead of solving the problem. Where are you honestly going to go from here? There’s only one way to really find out.

You need to make sure that you’re having a conversation and not an argument. Don’t wait till she’s coming home from work and you know she’s stressed out. Wait until everything is calm and even before you have this conversation. It’s only going to make things a little awkward for all parties involved.

The best thing that you can do is be neutral. When people feel attacked, they strike back. You don’t have to play that game.

Do you already know what you want out of life, financially? Do you want to buy a house? If so, when do you think you will want to buy it? The more specific that you can make your goals, the easier life will ultimately be for you. It will also be easier to convince your girlfriend to get on the same track with you.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to cut out all spending in order to reach your goals. Let’s be honest — that’s just not fun at all. It would make a lot more sense if you could think about balancing work and play. This will also keep you on track when it comes to your goals.

Be sure to hear your girlfriend out if she has other ideas. She may not be dismissing what you’re saying, merely adding to it. Give her space to talk things out with you.

By having a civil conversation about finances early on, you will be doing a lot to build a solid foundation before marriage. It can be hard to think about these things when you’re young, but it really is that important. You don’t want something like money to tear you and your girlfriend apart. Good luck out there with everything that you do!