Ozami - Finance
You and Your Finance
Everyone at some point in their lives has to start dealing with their own personal finances. At first, it can seem incredibly complicated, especially once you get into loans, mortgages, and insurance. However, even if you don’t have a head for numbers, none of these things are as complicated as they seem.
When people talk about personal finances, they’re more or less talking about balancing your check book. This isn’t hard at all if you keep up with it. All you really need to do is make certain your record your checks and other debits when you make them. If you make a lot of transactions or own a business, you may even want to invest in software to do this for you. All you do is enter how much money you spent or deposited and the software does the math for you. It can also run reports, sort your transactions, and more.
However, some people, especially younger people, no longer keep a check book ledger at all. Instead, they track their spending via the internet. Nearly all banks and credit card companies allow users to view their expenditures online, allowing them to keep track of their spending as it happens. This allows individuals to notice and react to fraudulent spending much more quickly, plus it helps the environment by producing fewer paper statements.
Loans are another aspect of personal finance that most people will have to deal with at some point in their lives. The first loan most get is either a car loan on a student loan for college. Generally, unless you’ve been using credit cards for a few years, you won’t have enough established personal credit to secure a loan on your own. This means you’ll have to have a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who has established credit and basically says that, in the event you can’t pay back your loan, they will.
There are two main parts of every loan: the principle and the interest. The principle is the actual loan amount you take out and have to repay. The interest is basically what the bank or other lending agency makes off of your loan. What this means is that if you borrow $10,000 as your principle, the bank is going to charge you a percentage of that amount as their fee for loaning it to you. If you got a $10,000 loan with 10% interest, you’ll actually have to pay back $11,000—$1,000 of that is the interest. Therefore, you generally want to go with the loan that has the lowest possible interest rate.
There is one thing to consider when it comes to interest rates, however, that may actually make a higher interest rate better. Some loans have what is called a fixed rate, meaning that the interest rate will never change. However, some have a variable rate. This means that every few years or so, your interest rate will change. More often than not, your interest rate will go up. If you have a choice between an 8% fixed mortgage and a 7% variable, you may be better off in the long term going with the 8% unless you plan on paying off your loan early or on refinancing it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to personal finances. There are many other things to consider, including ways of raising your credit score and how to successfully apply for a loan. However, just knowing these basic details is enough to give you an idea of how to deal with your personal finances.
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