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We all have finances, and yet so many of us never get any real training or education on how to go about them wisely. As this article will show you, you don’t have to be a math genius or a financial guru in order to make wise investments and get your money matters in order.

When using an ATM while traveling, make sure the bank itself is open. ATMs have an annoying tendency to eat cards. If your card is eaten at a bank that is hundreds of miles from home, this can be a major inconvenience. If the bank is open, you will more likely be able to retrieve your card.

Banks offer two different types of loans: fixed and variable interest rate loans. Try to avoid variable interest rate loans at any cost as they can turn into a disaster. Fixed rate loans will have the same interest rate throughout the loan’s life. The interest rate of the variable rate loans and their monthly payments change either by following the fluctuations of the market or the contract between the bank and the borrower. The monthly payment can easily reach a level the borrower can’t afford.

Another great way to help your financial situation is to purchase generic alternatives to branded products. For example, buy the store brand corn rather than popular brands. Most generic products are surprisingly comparable with respect to quality. This tip could save you hundreds on groceries each and every year.

In order to keep track of your personal finances, use a smart phone based app or a calendar warning, on your computer or phone, to tell you when bills are due. You should set goals for how much you want to have spent by a particular date in the month. This works because it’s an easy reminder and you don’t even need to think about it, once you’ve set it up.

To keep your personal finances in order, it’s essential to protect yourself from identity theft, and there are some simple ways to do this. Ensure that you thoroughly shred any documents containing any information from financial institutions, such as bank statements, before throwing them out in the trash. This is because fraudsters target the waste disposal system precisely for documents containing information like this.

To keep from draining your bank accounts, define a budget and stick to it. Estimate how much you spend every month on bills, groceries, travel expenses and entertainment. Allow very little leeway and put the rest of your paycheck in your savings account in case of emergencies that were not accounted for in your budget.

Raking leaves can be a good way for one to build ties with their neighbors while also creating a source of income for ones personal finances as long as the individual lives in a seasonal area. Raking leaves will provide a steady job for those who are willing to offer their services.

If you can make a automatic payment from your bank account to your credit card. This will ensure that your credit card bills get paid even if you forget.

Be willing to substitute goods. For example, the canned tuna that is the store brand at my local grocery store has just about the same amount of meat, drained weight, as the Chicken of the Sea brand name cans of tuna. But it only costs half the price. That makes tuna surprise a lot cheaper.

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.

Discuss financial goals with your partner. This is especially important if you are thinking about getting married. Do you need to have a prenuptial agreement? This may be the case if one of you enters the marriage with a lot of prior assets. What are your mutual financial goals? Should you keep separate bank accounts or pool your funds? What are your retirement goals? These questions should be addressed prior to marriage, so you don’t find out at a later date that the two of you have completely different ideas about finances.

When you buy a new car, make the biggest possible down payment. The car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot, so without the big down payment, you’ll soon owe more than the car is worth (you’ll be upside down on your note). Any change in your finances and you could be in default.

A great personal finance tip that can help you save money is to always hold on to your spare change. Some people just toss their spare change as if it doesn’t matter and that’s a huge mistake. Spare change can add up, which can save you money in the long run.

There is currently a debate waging over whether you should save all your money or invest it instead. If in doubt, split up your efforts. Saving 70% and investing 30% is a smart move. You can make it an even smarter move by thoroughly vetting the place in which you will be investing your capital.

Look for a high-yield savings account to make your money work for you. While many of these accounts do not yield the interest they did a few years ago, most of them do not require a minimum deposit and will give you a bit of return on your money. Additionally, they are more liquid than investments, making them a good place to stash your emergency fund.

Only you can make your own financial decisions. Even if that decision is seeking out the advice of a professional, you must do that on your own. This article is meant to be an educational tool to guide you in the right direction. Put some of these ideas into practice and you will see changes in how you handle and think about money.