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If you live alone, your money management techniques usually don’t affect others. However, if you have a family, it is important to remember that you are responsible for their financial well-being as well. Keep reading and gain some great ideas about handling your personal finances wisely.

Have a plan for dealing with collection agencies and follow it. Do not engage in a war of words with a collection agent. Simply ask them to send you written information regarding your bill and you will research it and get back to them. Research the statue of limitations in your state for collections. You may be getting pushed to pay something you are no longer liable for.

Bring a small envelope whenever you leave your home. This envelope can be used to keep track of receipts and small documents. Keeping your receipts is a good idea, since they provide records of your transactions. Keeping your receipts helps you have proof of your purchases in the event that your credit card is incorrectly charged.

Minimize your credit card accounts to just one account. Having more than one card can lead to difficulties in managing your monthly payments. Typically most people spend on cards that are available and with multiples you run the risk of outstripping your ability to cover all the payments necessary to maintain your due dates.

If you are currently paying for your checking account, it’s time to find a new one. Banks compete for your business, and so many offer free checking with amenities and services similar to those you used to have to pay for. Shop around and find one that won’t charge you on a monthly basis.

If you don’t already have one, open an IRA. You can contribute catch-up funds anytime throughout the year to get your maximum interest. This is also tax deductible. So, if you need to find a few more ways to raise those deduction amounts, it’s better to pay yourself, than uncle Sam.

Write down numbers for contacting service providers such as your credit cards and bank in the event of loss or theft. With these toll-free numbers at hand, reporting and canceling will be much easier. They will also help if you need to find locations to get cash quickly. Store these numbers in your phone as well, but keep a written copy in case of phone issues.

Make a plan to pay off any debt that is accruing as quickly as possible. For about half the time that your student loans or mortgage in is repayment, you are payment only or mostly the interest. The sooner you pay it off, the less you will pay in the long run, and better your long-term finances will be.

Bonds are a very stable and solid investment that you can make if you want to plan for the future. These forms of investments are purchased at a fraction of what they will be worth in the future. Invest in bonds if you want to earn a solid payback in the future upon maturity.

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.

Eating at home and boycotting restaurants is one of the best ways to save money. If you buy your groceries in bulk you can almost always cook at home cheaper than the equivalent meal would cost you in a restaurant. It might be nice to eat out ever once in awhile but think of all the money that is just going down the drain when you do.

A great personal finance tip that can help you save money is to be mindful of how much water you’re using in your household. Water can add up, especially if you’re using it carelessly. Make sure you fix any leaky faucets so that you aren’t wasting any water.

To keep your credit from worsening, pay back your credit card debt first. Credit card debt is one of the worst kinds of debt you can have. Any time you have extra money to pay off expenses with, focus on getting your credit card debt squared away. This will keep your cards from hurting your credit score.

If a flexible spending account is available where you work, then you need to sign up for it. This allows you to pay for medical and transportation expenses with pre-tax dollars instead of using the money after it has been taxed. This service is of a great advantage to your wallet.

Avoid impulse buying and extra trips to the store for single items. Keep a running shopping list on your refrigerator door or in some other convenient location. Add items to your list as you run out or as you think of them. Before you go shopping, review your list and add any other items you can think of. Follow your list closely in the store and check out and leave when you have gotten each item you need. This method will save you money, time and gas.

To keep yourself committed to saving, earmark the money for an important purpose and set a specific goal. It is far easier to feel good about choosing to save your money over choosing to spend it if you can tell yourself that it is going toward something significant like your child’s college education.

As said in the beginning of the article, personal finances are a bigger concern for those who have to take care of their dependents. You can make your income go further and take better care of the people who rely on you by making use of good personal finance advice whenever you come across it.