Personal finance is the effective management of money that an individual or a household performs in a way to allocate, save, and budget financial resources over a period of time, considering various financial risks as well as possible future life events. Money is the foundation of successful management of personal finance. It is the capacity to buy, obtain and manage all material wants with relative ease. This also makes it the basis of one’s self-worth and social status.
For a smooth and uncomplicated functioning of personal finance, there are four major factors that need to be taken into consideration: personal finance budgeting, debt management, effective debt repayment and effective spending habits. The first factor, personal finance budgeting, requires setting and adhering to a regular budget. This budget should be reviewed and revised as per changing circumstances. Personal budgeting should involve assessing the current expenses, looking into areas where savings could be made, setting aside some amount on a regular basis for contingency purposes and looking into opportunities for reducing current expenses and increasing savings. By making a realistic and well-structured budget that meets the needs and constraints of the family, one can increase savings and cut down on expenditures.
One of the major areas of concern for many families and individuals is their management of their debt. Managing debt requires both discipline and good money management skills. A major challenge is that many people make use of their credit cards without thinking about its long-term consequences, thus falling into a debt trap. In order to make sense of personal finance debt management, it is important to know what debt management means and how credit cards help one track personal finances.
One may find it difficult to control expenses, especially in today’s fast-paced living environment. Credit card debt is a major cause of escalating debt levels and it is equally difficult to get out of such debt. The key to debt management is to stop using the credit cards, keep track of all transactions, track every penny spent and make a budget to maintain financial stability. Many people tend to spend excessively because they don’t feel they have the control necessary to stop at just a single penny. If one has the proper tools to effectively track spending and develop a budget, one is in a better position to control the extent of debt and the resulting consequences.
Planning for future needs is another critical aspect of personal finance. To achieve these future needs, one should save more than enough to live comfortably above a basic survival level until the goals are achieved. One can achieve this goal by saving enough money to pay for a house, education, travel, retirement and the like. If all savings amounts are not enough to meet these future needs, a part of the solution lies in finding supplementary retirement plans. These plans should be well-managed to ensure long-term security.
Investing in the right areas is another way of preparing for future needs. In personal finance, saving for retirement is one of the most important things to consider. Investing in stocks, bonds and real estate is an effective method of saving for a comfortable retirement. Other strategies of investing include saving towards building a foundation for the future, such as in home buying and paying for children’s education. A key objective of personal finance is to create wealth and increase wealth, so it is necessary to take stock of how the assets will be used to achieve the desired ends.