Understanding money and credit is an important part of today's world, especially as you become an adult and need to know how to manage them on your own. Unless someone teaches you the basics about keeping your finances and managing your money, you are on your own to try and figure things out. Here are some financial tips to help you be more successful in life with your finances.
Manage Your Money
One of the first things you should understand about your managing your finances is how to reconcile your bank account. This gives you a chance to calculate your true account balance so you know how much cash you really have in your account and available to spend.
As you use your checking account to pay for bills and other expenses, the charges don't always come out of your account immediately; some take a few days to clear. During this period the funds that are going to cover the expense are still sitting in your account. If you don't reconcile your account, you may inadvertently spend the money and not have the funds available in your account when the charge comes out of your account.
If you don't have the funds in your account when the charge or purchase comes through and your bank account provides you with overdraft protection, they will pay for the charge and put your account into the negative, but will usually charge you a fee on top of the charge. This fee can be anywhere from $27 to $35, and if you have this occur to several purchases, the fees quickly add up. If you don't have overdraft protection, your bank will deny the purchase and you will be charged a fee from your bank and another fee of up to $40 from the business that did not get paid.
Keep track of what you spend, either with your receipts or a smartphone app or other online program. Be sure to add each purchase into your account's register so you can account for each until they officially withdraw from your account.
Save for Your Future
It is important to put money aside for the future and for other unexpected expenses in life that will eventually come up. And saving for your retirement is a necessity in today's world, as we will likely not be able to depend upon social security to cover our living expenses as our parents and grandparents were able to.
One of the first and easiest ways to begin saving iw by putting funds away into your savings account each month. You can set up an automatic transfer to occur from your paycheck each month, which you can arrange with your employer. Or you can establish an automatic transfer directly from your checking and into your savings account.
An additional way to invest and save and to gain a bit more interest than a traditional savings account will earn you is with a CD or certificate of deposit. This type of investment vehicle is available with most banks and credit unions.
Depending on the amount of the deposit, you deposit the money into the CD account and allow it to mature over a period of time. For example, you can open a $500 certificate of deposit with a maturity date of six months. While the money remains in the CD account it earns a certain rate of return, specific to your bank and the current market rate. You cannot withdraw the money for six months unless you pay a fee, but this helps you to not touch the money for that period of time and save it for the future. After the CD matures, you can redeposit it into a new CD and continue the savings.
If you'd like to learn more about certificate of deposits, contact services that can provide you CD rates.