With the economy going south these past few years, more and more people are having money problems. With a shaky economy it’s very important to have good personal finance habits. The tips in this article will help give you ways to better manage your personal finances and help you stay afloat in these turbulent times.

Use online tools to help you manage your finances. You may lose little slips of paper that you write financial information on, but chances are that you always know where your computer is. Keeping your financial information on your computer makes it easier to find, keep track of, and manage.

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.

The best way to manage your personal finances in the short-term is to maintain a monthly budget. Yes, budgeting can be annoying and difficult, but nothing else will let you see where your money goes. Tracking your spending and keeping a budget will help you build a savings account and limit unnecessary spending.

If you are under 21 and want a credit card, be aware that the rules have changed in recent years. In the past, cards were given to college age students freely. Now, you must have provable income or have a cosigner. Research the requirements for a specific card before applying.

Never use a credit card for a cash advance. Cash advances carry with them extremely high interest rates and stiff penalties if the money is not paid back on time. Strive to build a savings account and use that instead of a cash advance if a true emergency should arise.

Energy management is the best way to save your family money during the year. By making some simple changes you will find a good bit of savings on your utility bill each month. The quickest, easiest and most affordable way to start saving is by replacing your light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.

Do not charge more each month than you can pay when the bill comes in. The interest adds up if you only pay the minimum balance, and you can end up paying much more for your purchase in the end than if you had simply used your own money to buy it outright. Bonuses such as airline miles or even rebates seldom make up for the additional expense.

In an economy where every penny counts, it’s important to know how to effectively manage your finances. The advice given in this article should give you some good starting points to managing your money and keeping your head above water financially. Some of these tips may not work for you, but hopefully at least a few of them gave you the information you needed to get you on the right track.