10 Personal Finance Tips for Dummies


In general, there are three categories in finance, namely: corporate, public, and personal.

  • Corporate finance refers to the financial activities involved in a business or corporation, such as bonds or stocks.
  • Public finance includes all the monetary activities of a government, whether national or local. One example of these activities is taxation.
  • Personal finance details an individual’s financial activities, including banking, investment, and budgeting.

Financial literacy is essential for everyone. Whether you’re handling a business’s finances or personal funds, having a solid foundation in financial literacy can help you during situations that require monetary support. As you start earning money, it’s best to analyze and properly manage your finances immediately. Here are some helpful finance tips to help you get on the right track.


1.) Start with the Basics

The first step in getting your finances in order is to make a budget and stick to it.

Creating a budget is very important even if you think you don’t need it. Writing down your income, expenditures, and savings on a spreadsheet can help you visualize your financial situation. This way, you can see which expenses you can cut to save money.

Within a few months, you will better understand where your money is going and how to improve your spending habits.


2.) Pay Off Debts as Soon as Possible

Make a list of all your debts, such as loans, school debt, credit card bills, and the like. You must also include their pertinent details like minimum payments and deadlines. Doing so allows you to see expenses you must prioritize so you won’t be tight on cash when their payment dates come around.

You can set deadlines on your calendar or regularly set up an email alert. Paying off debts as quickly as possible can save you a good amount of money and there are many ways you can do so.

For example, you can pay more than the minimum if you have money to spare. You can also increase the frequency of your payments or restructure your debt.

If it isn’t possible to do any of the mentioned strategies, you can still save money from late charges by being a responsible borrower and paying on time.


3.) Separate your Savings and Checking Accounts

Create separate accounts for your spending and savings. Many banks already offer this feature, so separating these funds into their dedicated accounts should be easy. You can also opt to split your funds by bank.

For example, you can use Bank A as your primary account for online purchases and other costs, while Bank B is only for savings, so you never take money out of it. This way, you won’t accidentally spend your savings.


4.) Get a side gig

Sometimes, setting a budget is not enough. If your necessary expenses take up most or all of your income, you can explore other earning opportunities aside from your full-time job. The work you find will depend highly on your abilities and your network.

You can get a side gig that’s related to your primary job in a way. For example, you can look for English tutoring jobs for kids on the weekends if you are a writer. Conversely, you can choose a completely unrelated side gig, like if you’re an office worker and spend your free time in food delivery.

There are a lot of possibilities, both in-person and online. So, there is bound to be a side gig that fits all the boxes for you.


Invest wisely


5.) Invest wisely

Another effective way to earn passive income is through wise investments. However, always conduct research before making any decisions regarding investments. 

There are many kinds of investments that you can participate in, which will highly depend on your budget and timeframe.

Some of the basic kinds of investments include:

  • Stocks – This investment is when you own a portion of a company, allowing you to earn money by selling your shares or from the company’s earnings
  • Mutual Funds – Here, you can join a group of investors in purchasing assets alongside a professional manager, earning money from returns.
  • Real Estate – This investment involves buying and selling real estate. You can earn money from commissions or a pooled investment through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

There are lots more investment opportunities out there, but make sure to do your research. A good rule of thumb is never to invest in something you don’t understand.


6.) Save on Utilities

Aside from your rent or mortgage, a good portion of your income may go to your utilities. However, there are ways to reduce water and electricity usage and save money. For example, you can save water by doing laundry in bigger batches or fixing leaks as soon as possible. Additionally, installing water-saving upgrades like a dual flush toilet can make a big difference.

Electricity bills can also take up a good chunk of your utility bills, especially if you’re working at home most of the time. You can use windows allowing natural light to come in throughout the day. You can also clean your air conditioner’s filter regularly, so it doesn’t use too much energy to make the room reach the desired temperature. Doing so enables you to save on your electricity bill.

While it seems minimal per month, your savings from the utility bill can compound into a hefty amount.


7.) Scale Down

If you find it challenging to keep up with your expenses, you may need to adjust your lifestyle. 

Some signs of living beyond your means that you need to look out for include missing rent payments or being unable to repair your car. You may be indulging in some luxuries you can live without, like fancy coffee or expensive gadgets. These luxuries may seem minor. But over time, it can add up to a significant amount.

Instead of ordering from expensive restaurants, you can cook at home and pack your lunch. You may also try using your bike instead of driving to work. This step can vary because your negotiables won’t be the same as others, so find lifestyle alternatives that best fit your needs and wants.


Start an Emergency Fund


8.) Start an Emergency Fund

Emergencies can happen at any time. And one of the best tips to remember is to have enough money for unexpected disasters or situations. No one can predict when floods will happen or their job to go bankrupt. As such, ensure you save some of your income to help weather these storms.

Starting an emergency fund as early as possible can help mitigate these situations. Remember to add to these savings as regularly as well.


9.) Curb Impulsive Purchases by Sleeping on it

It may be tempting to buy a new console because it’s on sale. You may even want to purchase the most recent smartphone because everyone seems to have it. However, consistently spending money on things you don’t need will run you dry.

One strategy for preventing such habits is to postpone the purchase until after a good night’s sleep. With a clear and rested mind, you can reconsider if you need these purchases.


10.) Continue Learning

Invest in your learning through workshops, books, and courses. There are many good deals in-person and online. But there is also a wealth of free information on the internet that you can use to further your knowledge.

Whether you are improving a skill you already know or learning a brand new one, investing in yourself this way is an effective way to increase your income.

For example, finishing certificate courses in marketing can help you negotiate for higher pay with your employer. If you are a business owner, you can also integrate what you learned from books by successful entrepreneurs.


Managing Finance Wisely

Learning how to manage your personal finance is a skill that needs work and effort. By continuing to try new things, you can improve your capacity to manage your finances wisely. But most importantly, practice money-saving habits that are most comfortable for you.


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