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Personal finances today aren’t so much what you spend your money on, but how MUCH you spend of your money on certain things. Everyone can benefit from cutting back. Take a look at the ideas to follow and see if there are ways that you, too, can put a little more in your pocket each month.

Being able to successfully manage your money is key to your success. Profits should be protected and capital invested. Letting profits build up in anticipation of later, larger expenditures is alright, but you must keep in mind that liquid assets cost you in terms of investment opportunities passed up. Set aside a specific percentage of profits earned, and invest the rest in capital that can make you even more profit.

Check your financial assets for a down payment source. You may be able to cash out certain investment accounts and use the money without penalty, if it is for a primary residence. You may also be able to borrow against certain assets, giving you the money you need. Check with your investment professional for options.

Set up a plan that automatically saves your money with your bank to ensure that a portion of your cash is sent into a savings account every single month via your checking account. This method forces you to set aside some every few weeks. It can also help for big purchases later, like a vacation.

If you live close to work, consider biking or walking to reduce gas expenditure, which will improve your personal finances a little. With fuel prices on the continuous rise, anytime that you can avoid using the car you will save. While some trips are necessary in the car, the shorter routes you can walk are often the ones you have the most stop and go. Cut the car out of the equation on these and watch your balance rise.

Having a savings plan is important, so always plan for a rainy day. You should strive to have enough money in the bank to cover your essential bills for six months. Should you lose your job, or run into an emergency situation, the extra money will get you through.

Keep your credit card receipts and compare them to your credit card bill each month. This allows you to spot any errors or fraudulent purchases before too much time has elapsed. The sooner you deal with problems, the sooner they are corrected and the less likely that they will have a negative impact on your credit score.

If you are having trouble with money, apply for a credit card at your local bank. Credit cards are very valuable as they allow you additional time to pay back the money that you owe and can go a long way in establishing a firm credit score for benefits in the future.

Some banks offer great rewards if you are able to refer a customer to their location and they open up an account at a branch. Try to take advantage of this opportunity, as you can add anywhere between 25-100 dollars just for recommending a friend or family member to the bank.

To cut your monthly water usage in half, install affordable and easy-to-use low-flow shower heads and taps in your home. By performing this quick and simple update on your bathroom and kitchen sinks, faucets, and spouts, you will be taking a big step in increasing the efficiency of your home. All you need is a wrench and a pair of pliers.

Spend less than you make. Living even right at your means can cause you to never have savings for an emergency or retirement. It means never having a down payment for your next home or paying cash for your car. Get used to living beneath your means and living without debt will become easy.

Adjusting the temperature that you have your hot water tank set at will help you reduce your monthly utility bills. It only takes a minute but it will save you a great deal of money over the year. It will also help to prevent burns on children that could potentially happen.

Use an online tool to help you pay off your bills. The last few years have caused so many families to endure financial hardship, and the lesson is to avoid debt and pay of whatever debt you still have. Many new free online debt-paydown sites, such as Payoff.com, have popped up with easy-to-use interfaces for the myriads of people that do not want to spend hours entering their financial details into a complex program.

Try buying store brands over national ones. The higher prices of name brands goes to paying for their expensive marketing costs. A more affordable option is to try products from a generic label. There is rarely a difference in how the product tastes or its quality.

If you want to get your personal finances under control, try freezing your credit cards. Credit cards are good for emergencies, but are often used to buy things we can’t afford. Avoid this spur of the moment spending by literally freezing your card. Put it in a container of water and freeze it. You can still use your card in an emergency, but having to thaw out the credit card will give you time to rethink those impulse buys that lead to more debt.

If you are using a checking account that has fees save yourself the hassle and open a free checking account. You can save a lot of money every month by just switching to a bank that does not charge fees for transactions, etc. Shop around and find the best bank for you!

Cutting back on expenses doesn’t have to mean that you aren’t living a good lifestyle anymore. Simple changes that won’t have much effect on your daily life can really add up and put more money in your bank account or savings account, where it belongs. As you can see from this article, it’s really not that hard.