10 Savings Tips and Personal Financial Tips for 2012
we head into the second month of 2012 now is a good time to review your finances and stick to those New Year resolutions you made a month ago. These 10 tips can help you with your personal finances in 2012 and beyond.
- The Time to Save and Invest is Now! Don’t underestimate your ability to start a savings plan today. Although savings rates are near record lows, with compound interest, even the lowest rates on savings can grow over time. You can find a list of the best savings rates by searching our savings rate list here: monitorbankrates.com/online-savings-accounts.
- Increase Your Emergency Savings Account: Put more of your earnings into your rainy-day emergency account. The standard recommendation in an emergency savings account is six months of living expenses.
- Payoff Debt: Savings rates are low these days but credit card rates, mortgage rates and auto loan rates are higher. Don't take your entire savings to pay down debt, just take a portion of it and payoff those higher loan rates.
- Refinance Your Mortgage: Current refinance rates are at record lows so if you haven't done so already refinance your mortgage loan. Hopefully you're in a position to do so. If you don't have the required 80% LTV (20% equity) than find a financial institution that offers FHA mortgages which let's you refinance a loan at up to 97.5% LTV (2.5% equity).
- Keep Track of Your Spending: If you don’t keep track of your spending you have no idea where your money goes and how much you're spending.
- Set a Budget and Pay Yourself First: Create a budget for yourself and include putting a percentage of your check into a savings account (see tip 1). Most people decide on paying all there bills first and then save what is left over, well as you probably know nothing is left over. So pay yourself first and have automatic deductions from your paycheck or bank account into a savings or your emergency savings account.
- Invest: Savings accounts or certificates of deposit account earn very low interest rates these days. That being said you should diversify your investments and include other investments that you're comfortable with, like a mutual fund, index fund or investing in stocks.
- Review Your Retirement Account(s): Rebalance your portfolio to make sure your investments still fit your needs. As we age experts recommend taking less and less risk with your investments since you're closer to retirement and need to start relying on your retirement accounts for your living expenses.
- Diversity Your Investments: As the old saying goes, "don’t put all your eggs in one basket". Make sure to diversity your investments to reduce risk.
- Stay on top of Your Finances: Don't bury your head in the sand and ignore your finances. Most people ignore their finances until there is a crisis like a job loss. If you stay on top of your personal finances you will be better equipped to ride out any crisis.