5 Personal Finance Tips You Don't Always Hear About
We have all read about the usual personal finance tips being offered by the writers of the personal finance blogs around the internet and from the experts on television. They usually end up meshing somewhere along the line with information that includes the importance of setting a budget, tracking your spending, and establishing an emergency fund. While that advice is all valuable and true, there are some other things you should be doing that will keep you financially strong.
Here are some of those tips that may be just as important to your financial health as the basics. Even if you've heard them before, there is nothing wrong with a refresher course:
1. Save For Your Child's Education Now
The cost of a college education certainly is not going down any time soon so in order to prevent future stress on family finances or subject your children to a potentially harder road during the college years, invest money into a tax-free 529 college savings account. The earlier you start, the more chances you have to save.
2. Get Your Own Education
Sure, it is likely we will struggle with paying for an education but it is essential to earning extra money when compared to those with only a high school diploma. If you can find a way to go back to college for the degree you never got or to obtain a degree you have wanted, it is never too late. Furthering your education doesn't necessarily mean going back to college. There are a lot of alternative options for furthering your knowledge and learning new skills. Many communities offer classes to improve your computer skills, your crafting skills, and can even introduce you to new talents you didn't know you had. Take a course in photography or creative writing. You can always use these skills to supplement your existing income and explore what financial freedom your natural talents and hobbies can bring to you.
3. Skip the Extended Warranties
Any merchandise you buy will already come with a warranty. Some will be 90 days and some can range up to a year or more. If something is going to break, it will likely break during that time. The only one that profits from your purchase of an extended warranty is the company that sells them. Be choosy in what you are spending your money on and research items before you buy them. Armed with this information before you hit the store should make you less susceptible to spending cash on useless warranties.
4. Question Your Loyalty
Chances are good that over the last few years, you have selected and stayed loyal with many technological services from day one. You are barraged day in and out with promotional offers for the latest plans for cell phones, cable services, internet providers and the like. While it may be annoying to have to sift through the deals that are out there, your wallet may appreciate your efforts. Most companies will not be the first to tell you that you can get a better deal if you just pay attention to what is going on. They are happy to keep letting you pay more for less services than other customers are getting. Stay on top of what you are paying for and you'll find savings.
5. Prioritize Your Health
Face it, if your health goes in the toilet and you don't have the appropriate health insurance coverage available, you can very quickly lose everything you have saved when medical bills start taking over your life. If you an your spouse have employer-sponsored health plans, make the most of whichever plan covers your needs. If you are self-employed and have to find insurance on your own, work hard to find the plan that fits your financial needs and your health concerns. You should not always go for the cheapest policy but the one that will cover your basic medical care costs as well as the costs of the unexpected expenses that can arise with health issues.