During difficult economic times, intelligently managing your personal finances can mean the difference between living comfortably, and losing your home or being forced to file for bankruptcy protection. This article was written with the average person in mind. It is designed to help you improve your financial situation by teaching you to intelligently manage your personal finances.

Minimize your credit card accounts to just one account. Having more than one card can lead to difficulties in managing your monthly payments. Typically most people spend on cards that are available and with multiples you run the risk of outstripping your ability to cover all the payments necessary to maintain your due dates.

Keep an eye on your personal finance by watching your credit reports closely. Not only will this empower you with valuable information, but also it can also help you to ensure that no one else has compromised your personal information and is committing fraud in your name. Usually checking it once or twice a year is sufficient.

Always put away money to save first when you get paid. Saving money left when the month ends will not likely to happen. Once the money is put in a separate account, it reduces the temptation to spend, since you’ve compartmentalized it in a way that makes it psychologically “less available.”

A young consumer with a modest personal financial situation, should resist the temptation to open accounts with many credit card companies. Two cards should be adequate for the consumer’s needs. One of these can be used regularly and ideally paid down regularly, to build up a positive credit history. A second card should serve strictly as an emergency resource.

Although one would never expect it, money can be made from spiders. Not just any spiders, but select tarantulas that are in high demand in the pet trade, can yield great benefits to one’s personal finances, if one chooses to breed them. If a person has an interest in spiders, they can use it to their gain.

Each day, there are companies targeting consumers with poor credit histories with promises that they can clean up a credit report so that consumers may purchase a new car or secure a home mortgage loan. Of course, you must pay a fee for this service. Unfortunately, these companies cannot make good on these promises. The truth is, no one can erase accurate negative data from your credit report. After handing over your money to these unethical companies, you are still left with the same negative credit history.

If you are self-employed, don’t forget to deduct your insurance premiums on your taxes. The premium amount you deduct will reduce your adjusted gross income and you can use it even if you do not itemize your deductions. This can save you quite a bit come tax time, so don’t forget about it.

Remember, intelligently managing your personal finances is the key to wealth and security. In an economic downturn, being careless or foolish with your money can have grave consequences. Carefully read the tips in this article, and apply what you learn to your own personal financial situation. By doing so, you can protect yourself from financial ruin.