Most adults soon realize they weren't fully prepared to manage their finances as a kid. Sure, you could learn to budget your allowance so you could buy that new bike you wanted, but that's hardly preparation for expenses like bills, food, gas, insurance, and loans. Properly managing money is rarely easy, but it can be made easier with these basic personal finance tips.
1. Don't Spend More Than You Earn.
This might sound like a common sense rule, but it's often easier said than done. It seems to go that the more money you make, the more money you spend. In reality, you could often find better ways to manage your finances so that you're spending significantly less than you earn.
One of the keys to succeeding with this particular idea is managing temptations. As you make more money you will always be tempted to buy newer, more expensive things. It can even seem pretty logical at the time that you reward yourself with the newest television, laptop, or even start financing a new car.
However, you should remember that it's always harder to earn more than it is to spend less. If you want your money to go farther in life, then you need to learn to manage temptation and spend less than you already are. This can be achieved by outlining your current spending habits and finding those problem areas where you need to cut back.
2. Start Saving For Retirement Immediately.
Now that you're not spending all of the money you make, you're probably wondering what to do with it. There's nothing better you could do with your money than to put it aside in a savings account. Sooner or later you're going to be in your senior years and you'll want to retire. The problem is going to be whether you managed to save enough throughout the years.
It's never too soon to start saving for retirement. As a matter of fact, you should start putting money into a pension plan starting with your first job. No matter what happens from there on out you should continue saving. Each time you get paid, put a portion into the savings and manage the rest.
3. Find Out If You Are Entitled To Claim Back PPI.
One thing that always helps make life easier financially is free money. Now although claiming Payment Protection Insurance is really just getting back what you've already paid out, it still is sort of free money as if it wasn't for the banks being forced to pay mis-sold PPI policy payments back no one would be any the wiser.
To find out if you had PPI or CPP you must first check your loan, credit card and mortgage statements for any mention of it. If you can't find anything on your statements then try calling your finance company and asking them. They are used to getting PPI related calls so don't be scared to ask. Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert has some great information about this subject that will help you claim it back for free. Another good resource is PPI Guru as they have a PPI calculator to help work out what you are owed.
4. Don't Make Emotional Purchases.
Companies rely on customers who make emotional purchases. These are those impulses buys you make without putting much thought into it. Maybe you see something you really like in a store window or on the shelf. Your instinct is to buy it since you technically have enough money in your wallet, but what does that mean in the long run?
As with all personal finance management, the key is to always be thinking about the future. Every pound spent could have been worth even more several years down the road. So if you don't need to spend it, then don't.
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