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With the economy struggling to get back on its feet, many people are struggling to keep their heads above water financially. If you’re one of those people, you’ve come to the right place. This article compiles a bunch of different tips to give you a starting point to managing your personal finances.

Find your own financing when buying a car. You will have more negotiating power than if you are relying on the dealer and their banks to get you financed. They will try to talk to you into monthly payments rather than the actual cost of the car. If you already have your loan in place, you can concentrate on the cost of the car itself, because you already know what your payment would be.

When writing checks or using your debit card, always write down your purchase in your check ledger. You don’t have to do your subtracting at the very moment you make the purchase, but do make note of it. Calculate your expenses at least once a day. In this way, you will never be overdrawn.

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and have no hope of becoming current, see if you qualify for a short sale before letting your home go into foreclosure. While a short sale will still negatively affect your credit rating and remain on your credit report for seven years, a foreclosure has a more drastic effect on your credit score and may even cause an employer to reject your job application.

Look up coupons online: you will be surprised how many businesses use online coupons to promote their products. Maintaining good personal finances means using tricks like this to save money.

Offering ones services as a piano teacher can often be a good way for one to gain some money for ones personal finances. Clients can be made of people all ages and one can often work out of home provided they have a piano. Apart from being a good gain to finances it will help one practice their own talent for piano at the same time.

To be more organized with your finances, keep a monthly bill calendar on hand. Each month, write down the bills you owe on the dates that they are due. Determine which paycheck each bill needs to be paid out of and make note of that as well. Mark off each bill as you pay it, and you’ll always know where you stand with your monthly finances.

Save a little money every day. Getting a burger at fast food place with your coworkers is a pretty cheap lunch, right? A hamburger is only $3.29. Well, that’s over $850 a year, not counting drinks and fries. Brown bag your lunch and get something much more delicious and healthy for less than a dollar.

Save a little money where you can. Look for substitute goods. For example, this week at my grocery store, I could have bought a pound of beef for stew, precut into neat little cubes from the scrap trimmed off of beef round, for 3.50. On the other hand, I could have chopped it myself from the beef round roast for $2.50.

To really be in control of your personal finances, you must know what your daily and monthly expenses are. Write down a list of all of your bills, including any car payments, rent or mortgage, and even your projected grocery budget. This will tell you how much money you have to spend every month, and give you a good place to start when making a household budget.

Investing in the stock market can be a great way to watch your money grow. The higher the risk you take when investing, the higher the payoff usually is. It can be very emotional to watch the ebb and flow of your invested money, so make sure to do plenty of research on the risk, as well as, the reward that comes with investing in stocks.

Sitting down with a financial planner can be a great tool for personal finance. Sometimes budgeting can be overwhelming. They can help you lay out your goals, figure out your expenses and start a savings plan. Make sure you are up front about your finances so that you can get the most from the experience.

Do not buy something new when you can get something just as good used. This goes for books, movies, and games. You can save yourself a lot of money by just shopping around online for used items. Sometimes you can save as much as 75% off retail for these types of purchases.

Open an emergency savings account and make regular deposits from your paychecks. It is even better to ask your employer to deposit a certain amount of money directly to your savings account. You won’t miss the money you don’t see on your regular checking account and the regular deposits ensure a substantial savings in the foreseeable future.

Never spend any money you haven’t earned if you are currently having financial troubles. That means you need to take all those cards and trash them. This is something that’s harder to do than it is to say. You might think that having a little bit of credit left goes a long way. But stop the bleeding by getting rid of the credit.

For students dealing with big levels of debt, it is important that you start paying this off now instead of allowing the interest to accumulate. At the very least, you’re going to have a black cloud looming over your head. At the most, you’ll become a credit leper that no one wants to deal with.

Now that you’ve read all of our tips, you should be ready to begin managing your personal finances properly. If you’re new to the world of personal finance, you may consider bookmarking this article so that you can come back to it when you need to. If you need more information, there are plenty of other pieces of advice floating around just waiting to help you.