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Personal finance is a tricky but critical skill in today’s world. Unfortunately, it’s something that is not taught very well or even at all, by many parents and schools. If you want to learn some good advice on the subject, keep reading this article to discover a few pointers that you may not be currently aware of.

Know your financial goals and limits and keep them in mind. You need to be aware of what it is that you can and cannot do in the market. If you lack this awareness, you may make a detrimental mistake in your finances, which can in turn, directly affect your financial goals.

Times are tough, try having your savings in different places! Spread that money to different accounts such as checking, savings, stocks, gold and other high-interest bearing accounts. These are all ideas on how you can safeguard your investments and money.

Make sure you are aware of when you should file income taxes. This will allow you to get the refund that you earned as soon as possible. If you owe the IRS money, file as close to April 15 (the due date) as you possibly can.

Start building up an emergency fund today. In an ideal world you should have at least three months, preferable six months, living expenses stored away. Put it in an easy access, high interest savings account. If you don’t have any money saved, remember that it is never too late to start saving.

Replace old incandescent light bulbs with CFL light bulbs. Replacing your old bulbs with CFL bulbs is better for the environment, and will result in a lower electric bill. CFLs also last longer than traditional light bulbs. You will have fewer bulbs to buy, which will save you money.

There are a lot of electronic expenses that you will have to pay for during the month. One tip that you can follow is to merge your internet, phone, and cable into one payment plan. There are many providers that offer discounts if you join their company for all three services.

Take a snapshot of your spending habits. Keep a journal of absolutely everything that you purchase for at least a month. Every dime must be accounted for in the journal in order to be able to truly see where your money is going. After the month is over, review and see where changes can be made.

Set a goal of paying yourself first, ideally at least 10% of your take home pay. Saving for the future is smart for many reasons. It provides you with both an emergency and retirement fund. It also gives you money to invest so that you can increase your net worth. Always make it a priority.

Learn about and use flexible spending accounts wisely. If you have medical bills or daycare bills a flexible account can help save you money. Flex spending accounts permit you to place pretax dollars into an account to pay for these types of expenses. As some conditions are usually attached to these accounts, be sure to consult a tax professional.

Remember that every penny you earn or spend should be included in your monthly budget. Use your change to buy lottery tickets or small items you need. You can also take your coins to a change machine once you have a jar full of pennies.

Gather all the due dates for fixed budget items for each month and mark them on a convenient calendar that you can hang where you can easily see it. That way, you can see when the bills are due and you can pay everything when you should, even if you never see a paper bill. Planning your bill payments in advance like that helps you budget, as well as helps you avoid late fees.

Use caution when considering a student loan. At least know what career you’ll pursue and how much you’ll make before accepting one. Defaulting would be very expensive. Think about how you will repay it. Unlike a car or home loan, you can’t sell off an asset when you realize that you have borrowed too much.

What is there in your daily habits that you could eliminate from spending? A latte, pack of cigarettes or bottle of wine? These expenses are small ways of taxing yourself out of saving. If you cut out this expense on a daily basis, and put the money in a savings account instead, you could be amazed at the total by years end.

To save money, plan your shopping trip carefully so that you can take advantage of the best prices without wasting gas. Before you leave home, make a list for each store you need to visit. Then map your trip out so that your route doesn’t zigzag or double back. Generally speaking, taking a circular route that naturally ends up closest to home is the best gas and money saving plan.

Tackle your debt by paying down the highest-interest debts first. Typically, the highest interest rates are on credit card debt. Prioritizing the repayment of high-interest debt can save you thousands of dollars in interest charges, depending on your balances. As a bonus, putting money toward your debt is a risk-free way to “make” money, since you won’t incur future interest charges on debt that you no longer owe!

Using coupons are a great way to help save a lot of money. Start by going to a local dollar store that sells the Sunday paper, and purchases one or two for the coupon inserts. Then before you go shopping, look at your grocery store sales, and try to buy only what is on sale, and you have a coupon for. Doing this can save you hundreds each year.

The general lack of knowledge of personal financial management was mentioned earlier, but now that you have read this far, you have hopefully learned a few key tricks and tips that will make money management easier for you. Apply what you have read and you are sure to see results in the coming weeks and months.