If you feel like your finances need a little help to get in a good position for the holidays or to pay off your mortgage in Chicago more quickly, the Equifax Finance blog offers some simple money management tricks to help you get your personal finances back on track in the recent article, “
Personal Finance Advice: Five Tricks and Treats for Your Finances”.
- Trick #1: Open a “me” account with a small amount of money so you can enjoy your hard-earned money. Just like extreme dieting doesn’t often work, extreme saving can be hard to maintain. A better approach is to take a small amount of money each month and dedicate it to pay for the things that you enjoy. If you leave no room for yourself to enjoy yourself, you may find it harder to succeed.
- Trick #2: Donate to charitable organizations. Help your neighbors and take advantage of tax deductions. If you give to charity, you will have to live on less, and will have to learn how to get better at managing what’s left. At the end of the year though, you’ll be able to enjoy a tax deduction for your donation.
- Trick #3: Track your spending for one month and you may find extra money that you never knew you had. Each night, write down everything you spent. If you are tracking every penny, you will likely spend less on non-essentials and end up with more money at the end of the month. You’ll also be able to quickly see exactly where your money is going and eventually will figure out how to get by without purchasing all those non-essentials.
- Trick #4: Reduce the number of personal exemptions that you claim on your W-4. This is a type of forced savings that will pull more out of your paycheck (for Uncle Sam) each pay period. If you are bad at saving, this might help. At the end of tax season, you will have a larger refund that you can put toward savings or paying down debt.
- Trick #5: Start or increase your contributions to your company’s retirement plan. Employer matches to your retirement plan is like free money that you’ll be able to enjoy in your retirement. Contribute as much as your company will match; any less is leaving money on the table.
You may think your finances are going to earn you a lump of coal, but you can start whipping them into shape in no time by following these tips. You can get more money management tips on the Equifax Finance blog, including advice on retirement, savings, taxes, credit,
identity theft protection and more.