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5 Money Management Tips For Leading A More Productive Life

5 Money Management Tips For Leading A More Productive Life

If there is one thing guaranteed to raise your stress levels, it’s the money worry. Whether you’re under pressure to pay the mortgage or struggling to find the cash for that much-needed holiday, personal finance is one of the modern world’s biggest worries. Concerns over money can have a negative impact on your life, limit your choices, and impact your relationships with others.

However, armed with a little financial know-how it is possible to get a grip on your finance, and ensure your money is working hard for you, allowing you to lead a more productive life.

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1. Claim Back On Tax Allowance

If you are self-employed, you may well be eligible for a variety of tax benefits that you’re currently unaware of — anything you pay for which is necessary for your job — can be claimed back against income tax, ensuring you keep a higher proportion of the money you earn.

Travel expenses, work clothing and equipment, all qualify and if you work from home you’re even entitled to claim back the cost of electricity and internet bills if they’re relevant to your work — and by limiting the amount of tax you’re paying, you’ll have more money left over for investment opportunities.

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2. Keep A Record of Outgoing Expenses

    One way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your earnings is to keep a record of everything you spend — by monitoring your outgoings, you can gain an understanding of your finance which will stand you in good stead when it comes to the potential future investments, as well as ensuring the money you do spend goes as far as possible.

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    It’s all too easy to unwittingly overspend, but by keeping a record of what you spend on a daily basis, you’ll have a better idea of where the money is going.

    3. Take Advantage of Savings Account Offers

    Once you’ve got a grip on your accounts, the next step is ensuring that you have a savings account which suits your needs. In the ultra-competitive field of high street banking, companies offer all sorts of interesting deals designed to get you to bank with them. High rates of interest will see your savings inflated over time, while other perks include air miles and luxury hotel accommodation — perfect for high-flying businessmen and women who travel the globe for work.

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    4. Put Your Savings To Work

    If you’ve managed to save up a lump sum for the future, it’s important to make sure you’re putting that money to the good use. Whatever your position, there are plenty of opportunities to increase your savings through investment — bonds offer small but steady rates of interest, while if you’re looking for larger potential rewards, you might consider researching stock trading or spread betting.

    Although the risks are higher (and it’s possible to lose money as well as make it), by studying market movements, you can gain the knowledge required to earn substantial profits, taking advantage of benefits including tax-free profits and 24-hour trading. By learning how financial markets work, using the wealth of market-insight resources available from websites such as Market Watch, Reuters, and CMC Markets, you can try to grow your savings pot and turn a profit on your existing capital.

    5. Research Crowdfunding Opportunities

    Another possibility for investment which you may want to consider is crowdfunding — raising money for projects by presenting investment opportunities to a large number of people, offering significant opportunities with limited risk. Not only does crowdfunding allow you to begin a business venture with a reduced capital investment, it can also increase the profile of that venture as investors spread the word — and if the business is successful, everyone’s a winner, as those who have a stake in the business will receive a proportion of the profits!

    Those are five of the best money management tips to incorporate into your routine. Give it a try!

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    Tom Willis

    Web Marketing & Content Producer

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    Last Updated on March 4, 2019

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

    I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

    Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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    Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

    Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

    Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

    I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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    I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

    If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

    Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

    The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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    Using Credit Cards with Rewards

    Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

    You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

    I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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    So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

    What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

    Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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