4th UNWTO Euro-Asian Mountain Tourism Conference in Berchtesgaden
Source: Flickr

Finding time to pay your bills is hard enough these days. Finding time to go over your spending and saving habits, in order to find ways to save is even harder. It is a task that needs to be done though, and the rewards can be huge, if you find ways to drastically change your bottom line.

If a person is not using their old textbooks that they may have from previous semesters or years of school these books can often be returned for a nice bonus to ones personal finances. This boon of money that came from an unused source can be a nice chunk of money to save away.

If you have not begun contributing to your retirement, you need to start. If you have already started, look for ways to step it up a notch. Maximize your contributions, and if there is any way possible, completely max out your contributions. This will help you immensely when preparing for retirement.

Avoid window shopping. If your personal finances are tight, or if you are trying to follow a strict budget, avoid window shopping, as it is likely to lead to impulse purchases. Think about whether you really need to make the purchase, and if possible, follow the 24-hour rule. Go home, and think about the item overnight. If you still believe it’s necessary, you won’t feel as guilty when you purchase it, as it’s no longer an ‘impulse’ buy.

To make sure your checking account isn’t a drain on your finances, take the time to find a truly free checking account. Some checking accounts claim to be free, but have high minimum funds requirements or will charge a fee if you don’t have direct deposit. This can put you in a bad place if you become unemployed. A totally free checking account will allow you to make the best use of your finances no matter what your situation is.

Look for ways to cut expenses in your budget. One of big culprits these days is buying coffee from one of the many available shops. Instead, prepare your own coffee at home using one of the flavorful blends or creamers available. This small change can make a big difference in your personal finances.

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.

Keep a journal of your expenses. Keep your receipts and your bills, as well as, your pay stubs. Taking track of your expenses is a good way to eliminate certain unnecessary expenses. You should think about hiring an accountant if you need help with keeping track of your records.

Using the ideas here, you can make a big difference in the amount of stress that you carry around each month. Money matters are a huge burden to most people, so taking charge and finding ways to reduce your expenses and having more money set aside for unexpected surprises, will have you sleeping better at night.