With the economy struggling to get back on its feet, many people are struggling to keep their heads above water financially. If you’re one of those people, you’ve come to the right place. This article compiles a bunch of different tips to give you a starting point to managing your personal finances.

It is more convenient to use ATMs rather than traveler’s checks. Not only is it easier and faster to get your money this way, it is also cheaper. If you are going to use the ATM, make fewer and larger withdrawals, so that you can avoid paying numerous transaction fees.

Taking advantage of a bank’s program to automatically make deposits into a savings account, can be a wise personal finance move. Many banks offer such programs. They take a fixed percentage of every deposit or a set monthly sum out of a customer’s checking account and deposit it in a savings account. This can help the customer build up savings without any hassle.

Always avoid payday loans. They are scams with extremely high interest rates and next to impossible pay off terms. Using them can mean having to put up valuable property for equity, such as a car, that you very well may lose. Explore every option to borrow emergency funds before turning to a payday loan.

Do not borrow from your 401K. Consider this the same as robbing yourself, because you are taking valuable money from your retirement account. While you are using the funds for something else, they cannot be in the market gaining interest. In addition, you are likely to pay high fees and taxes.

Be sure that utility bills get paid on time each and every month. If you don’t make timely payments, it can have a detrimental effect on your credit. You will also probably get hit with late charges, adding to your bill. When you pay your bills late, it causes a lot of problems and complications; therefore, it’s best to pay your bills in a timely manner.

Keep good records of your expenses. If you aren’t keeping accurate records, it’s doubtful that you are claiming all you are allowed at tax time. It also makes your situation very difficult if an audit should happen. A digital or paper file can work just fine, so work on creating the system that works for you.

A great way to save money, with gas being as expensive as it is, is to cut down on your driving. If you have several errands to run, try to do them altogether in one trip. Connect all the places you need to go to into an efficient route to save mileage, and in effect, save on gas.

If you have not started putting away any money for retirement, no matter how old you are, now is the time to start. If you have already started, try boosting up your contributions. Every year people find that they are having to support themselves more in retirement as social security goes down, and may one day disappear.

If finances are a bit tight now is the perfect time to start doing side jobs left and right. If you can make twenty bucks here and fifty bucks there do not hesitate. Whenever there is an offer for work on the table take it, and you never know what doors it may open.

Now that you’ve read all of our tips, you should be ready to begin managing your personal finances properly. If you’re new to the world of personal finance, you may consider bookmarking this article so that you can come back to it when you need to. If you need more information, there are plenty of other pieces of advice floating around just waiting to help you.