Personal finance is all about the money that a person or family unit spends, setting aside, investing, protecting, and spending money over the course of time, considering various financial risks, and projecting the impact of those risks on future financial well-being. It involves the effort to understand and plan for changes in income, expenses, debts, and other financial priorities. A strong understanding of personal finance has many benefits: it helps you make better financial decisions, it helps you manage your finances more efficiently, and it helps you prepare for difficult times by helping you plan for short-term goals. Personal finance is therefore important for everyone, regardless of their age, credit history, occupation, or other factors.
In recent years, it has become popular for young adults to get an education, so they can enter the workforce and contribute to the economic system. This is great for the economy and for individuals, since it increases job opportunities and wages for most workers. However, in order for this economy to grow, the population needs to have a long-term plan for saving for the future. And, in order for young adults to get the experience and perspective they need in order to create personal finance strategies that will serve them well into adulthood, it’s necessary for them to learn about personal financial management now, while they are still young, in their formative years.
There are many aspects of personal finance that most people do not pay attention to until retirement. The first is budgeting tools. Most people don’t realize how much money is going out in their accounts every month, either out of pocket from paying bills or through cash withdrawals from checking. Those are the two major sources of unneeded spending, but there are also expenses that go unnoticed every month, such as the cost of using electronic or online banking, a home utility bill, and other expenses related to everyday living. In order to have a complete picture of what’s going out in your bank account and why, you need a detailed budget.
Another aspect of personal finance that goes unmentioned quite often is debt management. You’ve probably seen the commercials on television for credit cards with the ‘debt-free’ label. These advertisements are telling the truth to an extent, as far as keeping your debt to income ratio within acceptable limits is concerned. But, those advertisements don’t give the whole story. Debt can creep up on you without you even noticing it, especially if you’re in a high interest rate loan.
One of the best ways to manage debt in your later years is to use a financial planning app. There are many available and some of them have really great features that can make sense of your budgeting and investing plans and actually give you advice on how to live within those limits. Some apps provide calculators for retirement planning, mortgage calculators, even for tax purposes. Because they’re based on your own financial information, not only do they make sense of your money, but they can also teach you how to better manage it going forward.
Overall, if you want to take better control of your personal finances, consider the above tools. They’re not required to help you achieve your financial goals, but they can make the process a little bit easier. As you become more knowledgeable about your finances, you’ll be able to take better charge of your borrowing and spending decisions, no matter what they are. And that’s always a good thing.