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Young people tend to have a lack of knowledge in managing financial funds. This might lead to some irreversible mistakes and financial setbacks. To help you stay afloat and sail smoothly, we draw up a list of goof-ups you can avoid easily and save up quite a buck.

1. Not having an emergency Fund
Many of us underestimate the value of an emergency fund. It is recommended to have a fund that can last you for at least 3 months even if you don’t make a penny during this period. Borrowing money on living on a credit card can be tricky and expensive. Also those who have emergency funds, tend not to use it until they really need to. So when is it OK to use it? For sudden medical expenses, unplanned travel, a sudden house repair and such, but not for indulgences such as splurging on a pair of shoes you cannot afford.

2. Budgeting deficiency
It is very important to set a spending limit before the month starts. A lot of people forget doing that and spend more than they can afford. Budgeting is very important.

3. Love for your credit card
Credit sure does make our life easy whenever we need money. However relying on credit card every time is a big no-no. You have to remember it’s a loan at the end of the day and you will have to pay it back with interest. Over dependence on the credit card would also make you spend more than you earn. A lot of people have a habit of using their credit card for their tiniest expenses. These expenses go unaccounted for or are forgotten thus throwing the budget in disarray.

4. Not having Insurance
It is very important to go for the right insurance plan. Not having insurance exposes you to many unexpected dangers. However, while opting for an insurance plan make sure you get the terms and conditions right and know about the coverage and accident cover beforehand.

Managing Finances isn’t rocket science. A few steps can ensure that you will lead an easy life financially.

Many of us have gotten into debt at one time or another. Some have paid it off or some are still carrying it in forms of credit card debt, a mortgage, home equity line of credit, or student loan debt. Here are some ways to manage your debt and your life.
  • While you will focus on paying your debt down with the majority of your extra money, you can start a savings account at the same time.
  • At this time, recall why you got into debt in the first place. One reason might have been that an unexpected expense arose and you weren’t prepared. Having a savings account could have rescued you in that situation.
  • Making the savings account automatic will help you get back on the path to financial freedom without even thinking about it.
  • Set up a savings account that is linked to your checking account and have the money automatically deducted every month.
  • Consolidating your debt to one or two places will make this process much easier. You should also have a debt repayment plan.
  • Having a savings account can be instrumental in motivating you to reach this goal.

    We are nearing the end of the month, and here you are left with no money for a rainy day...again! How many times has happened in the past? Well, chalking out a budget for home expenses makes greater economic sense than handling expenses unplanned or as `they present themselves'. Here are a few tips to save those precious greens:

    • Draw up a budget that prioritizes spending and balances wants with limited earnings while making provision for savings (this must be a regular habit).

    • Expenses can be broadly categorized into fixed (these could include monthly salaries to house help, grocery, etc), recurring (these could include provisions for birthdays, festive spending and other miscellaneous heads), emergencies (these could include last minute purchases that are generally go unaccounted).
    • Ensure that you get `value for money' from your purchase.

    • As far as possible stay within spending limits. Have a `sound' reason for over-spending.

    • In case you are overstepping limits, consciously search for the reasons. Once you are able to find the cause you could curb that expense.

    • Plan purchases from wholesalers and co-operative outlets. There could be a substantial difference in market prices and those offered by these bodies.

    • Recycle envelopes, paper, jars and tins. Innovating interesting ways and means to reuse an old item is a good way of saving on resources.

    • Saving on variables like electricity, telephone, petrol, water, etc is a good idea. Conserve these as often as you can.

    • Budgeting is about living comfortably within your means, it is with patience and practice that one can master this art. .

    A number of hospitals fleece patients with an outrageous hospital bill. While some of the over charges are honest errors, many might be deliberate. That's because hospital bills are next to impossible for consumers to understand, which means hospitals can hide improper charges behind mysterious medical terminology and baffling codes.

    Take note of these tips and make sure that you are not taken for a ride.

    • If your hospitalization isn't for an emergency, check your insurance policy to find out just what it will cover and how much it will pay. Be sure to carefully review the section on exceptions and exclusions. It will tell you what your plan will not cover.

    • Phone the hospital's billing department and ask them what you will be charged for the room, and just what the room charges cover. For example, if tissues aren't included, then you will be required to bring your own.

    • Ask your doctor to estimate your cost of treatment. Also, ask if you can bring your regular prescriptions from home to avoid paying for medications administered at the hospital.

    • Make sure that everyone who will be treating you - the surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist, pathologist, etc. - participates in your insurance plan.

    • If you can, keep your own file of tests, medications, and treatments. If you are not able to, ask a friend or loved one to do it for you.

    • At some point you will receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your insurance company (if you're on Medicare, you will receive a summary notice). It will say, "This is not a bill." Don't toss it in the trash. Examine it. It will tell you how much the hospital is charging, what your insurance plan will cover, and what you will have to pay out of your own pocket in deductibles and co-payments.

    • When you get your bill, read it carefully. Compare it to the log you made, to the EOB, and to the estimate of costs you requested before you were admitted.

    • If there are items you don't understand, call the billing department and your insurer, and ask them to explain. Don't accept bills that use terms like lab fees, or miscellaneous fees. Demand an itemization.

    • If you are still in doubt, ask for an itemized bill as well as your medical records to confirm whether or not you received the treatments and medications you've been billed for.

    Thanks to the concept of malls, the potential buyer now has more options not only in choice but even in brands. While you can shop till you drop, it’s also the one place that designed to subconsciously burn a deadly hole in your pocket without you realizing it.

    That doesn’t mean a definite no to visiting or shopping at malls. What you got to do is be a smart shopper. It’s vital that you get value for your Rupee. How? Well read on. Here are some of smart ways that can be used to snag those bargains.

    Wait for a Sale
    If something you fancy is extremely expensive and can’t afford it right away, don’t worry it will be on sale soon. Stores at malls are extremely anxious to stay in the current fashion stream that they put their apparel on sale very quickly. To be aware of the latest sales check your local newspaper.

    Shop Online
    Online merchandise is priced relatively low. You can save up to 35% by shopping online and even avail of free shipping.

    Check out the Closeout Stores
    Though at times these stores are not beautifully decorated, they can really get you some amazing bargains on surprisingly attractive merchandise.

    Consider an Alternative Item
    Certain brands have the reputation because they actually deserve them. While many mall merchants are dead set on having you crave certain designer brands the ‘must have’ brand may not actually be the one best suited for your needs. Sometimes the most expensive brand isn’t even the most durable. By going for an alternative item, you can actually save on a whole lot of money.

    Wait When in Doubt
    All mall stores are designed to make the merchandise so attractive that you feel that you have to have it that moment. If you’re not sure if you want or need an item you see, step back a little. Walk around. Talk with someone to see if the purchase you are considering really will add value to your life.

    Forecast Your Needs and Plan Ahead
    You will get a better value when you plan ahead. Better still you may be able to combine a sale and a coupon.

    Do not carry plastic money
    Though it’s very convenient to carry a credit card, it results in you buying 70% of the stuff you don’t need. Keep the credit, debit cards at home. Carry just enough cash for your expenditure. At this rate you won’t be tempted to shop or experience any withdrawal symptoms thereafter.
    Always remember saving is all about choices, timing and information.
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