The state of the economy is forcing many families to take a long, hard, look at their wallets. Focusing on spending and saving may feel frustrating, but taking good care of your personal finances will only benefit you in the long run. Here are some great personal finance tips to help get you started.

If you have lost a prior home to foreclosure, this does not mean that you are out of home owning altogether. You should be able to get a government-backed mortgage through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA, in as little as three years after your previous home has foreclosed.

To establish a good credit history or repair a bad one, you will want to keep your credit card balances low. You should never let your balance get anywhere near your maximum credit line. Having reasonable balances that you pay off regularly is a sign of a responsible credit user who can be trusted with debt.

Make sure you always have a small envelope handy. Your envelope should be used to store items such as business cards and purchase receipts. Keep them around so that you have a paper trail. Your receipts can be used to compare statements in the event you are charged twice for a transaction.

Be aware of your finances by making detailed arrangements for your financial stability. This plan will encourage you to stay on track, and stop you when you become a spendthrift.

Pay off your high interest credit cards first. Come up with a plan for how much money you can put towards your credit card debt each month. In addition to making the minimum payments on all your cards, throw the rest of your budgeted amount at the card with the highest balance. Then move on to the next highest balance and so on.

If you’re very good at paying your credit card bills on time, get a card that is affiliated with your favorite airline or hotel. The miles or points you accumulate can save you a bundle in transportation and accommodation costs. Most credit cards offer bonuses for certain purchases as well, so always ask to gain the most points.

Companies that tell you to create a new credit file are scamming you. Creating a new credit file is illegal, considered to be credit fraud and you can be held accountable for doing something illegal. To be on the safe side, know what you’re getting into and make sure to double check everything that the company you’re working with says.

One of the most important things a consumer can do in today’s economy is be financially smart about credit cards. In the past consumers were allowed to write off interest on their credit cards on their tax return. For some years now this has no longer been the case. For this reason, the most important habit consumers can have is pay off as much of their credit card balance as possible.

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.

While no one wants to cut back on their spending, this is a great opportunity to develop healthy spending habits. Even when your financial situation improves, these tips will help you take care of your money and keep your finances stable. It’s tough to change the way you deal with money, but it’s worth the extra effort.