Wednesday, September 19, 2012

10 Financial Practices to Improve Your Financial Health

photo remix: Yoga woman on exercise ball - flickr_enthusiast_rocks_Nilmarie_Yoga-001

Having a healthy financial life is not difficult, it just takes discipline and a little planning. Schools rarely teach personal finances classes, so sometimes adults need to learn the basics of personal finance. Luckily, once the ideas and plans are in place, it will become easy to have great financial health. Here, are 10 financial practices to improve your financial health.

Two Incomes
Many people get a great paying job but use all their money at the end of the month. A way to get over the hump is to have a second job. This can be an easy job 1 day a week waiting tables. Any little extra income is going to a long way in improving your bank account balance.

Debt
Debt is not evil by any means; there are some terrific uses, such as home and car loans. One should be careful to minimize debts, especially credit cards. Credit card debt can carry extremely high interest rates, making them difficult to pay off. Getting ahead is extremely hard when one is trying to make payments to credit card companies.

Credit Cards
With that being said, a credit card can be an enormous asset. Not only can one get cash back with credit cards, but they offer superb protection. It is essential to have a credit card or two.

Vices
Many people enjoy drinking, smoking and gambling. These vices can be extremely expensive and offer remarkably little return. It would be best to minimize vices, as the return on investment is nonexistent.

Credit Score
Getting and maintaining a phenomenal credit score is tremendously beneficial. Anyone looking to get a car, home or student loan, will want excellent credit. Having excellent credit can save a person hundreds a year in interest rates.

Insurance
Make sure to not go cheap on insurance. Many people look to save money by lowering insurance coverage. This is okay if it is done by shopping around. Not having health insurance, or having minimal car insurance can leave one vulnerable in critical times.

Healthy
A great way to save money is to live a healthy lifestyle. Cooking at home and riding a bike instead of walking will save money and improve health. This will also improve ones bottom line with lower health care costs.

Purge
A lot of people have an abundance of junk that they do not need. Anyone looking to get ahead should get rid of excess possessions. Not only do they get in the way, they can also cost money to store. Plus, if you sell your possessions not needed, you will get an influx of money.

Recurring
Watch out for recurring bills; it is easy to forget them. A gym membership here, Netflix there, it adds up. Sit down and go over all of your monthly fixed costs, cutting some of them will be beneficial.

Taxes
Take advantage of tax benefits, such as retirement accounts or write-offs. Billions of dollars are lost a year in tax write-offs. Simply because some people do not include them when filing taxes.

It is extraordinarily easy to improve ones financial health. It just takes a little bit of discipline and organization. The exciting thing is it is easy to stick to better financial decisions once put in practice.

Roger Hammerson writes about finance, self help & more at http://homeownersinsurance.org.

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