The global recession continues to hit the average family hard and a lot more people are showing more interest in how they run their personal finance.
Did you know that almost 1 in 2 American adults spend more than they earn? And did you know that recent studies show that personal bankruptcies have doubled in the past 10 years? This article helps to ensure that you don’t add to these statistics and helps you to review your personal finance.
Reduce Your Debts
In times of recession, it’s essential to reduce your debt; particularly expensive unsecured debt like hire purchase, credit cards and personal finance loans. Typically it makes sense to pay off those debts that attract higher interest rates before other cheaper forms of finance. Review your savings and the rate of interest you earn from them. If necessary, use these or any spare cash you may have to pay off debts as soon as possible as it’s unlikely that the interest on your debt will be much more than what you’re getting on your savings. You might want to maintain a small ‘emergency fund’ but your focus should be on paying off outstanding debts on your cards and loans.
You should plan your personal finance very thoroughly and down to military precision. If you are not doing it already, you should record all the cash you spend – on food, utility bills, insurance, ‘phone, fuel. etc . You should then determine how much you spend each month and compare that figure to how much money you earn. On which expenses can you make some quick cutbacks? Keep in mind that you have to start creating a surplus to begin to pay back debts.
Slash discretionary bills and expenses where you can
Thoroughly investigate and try and cut back or reduce some things. Have a good look at everything you purchase to establish what things you can get for less – switch off lights, buy food in bulk and everything you can think of! Ask yourself if you eliminate some spending entirely such as morning coffees, magazines or lunchtime snacks how will this affect your personal finance.
Think sensibly before signing up to long term expenses
Think very carefully about locking yourself into to long hire purchase agreements. Ask yourself whether you really need to have a new 60 inch television? Of course, it would look nice with the brand new surround system you recently bought on hire purchase on an expensive 4 year deal. But you may end up having both of them repossessed if you cannot keep up with the payments.
In difficult times, it’s important that you can take some responsibility to review your personal finance.