Here is the #1 way you can save MONEY! Are you ready? I mean, really ready? Are you sitting down?
Pay your bills on time. Yep. That's it. Seems easy enough. When you're late on your phone bill, what happens? Late charge. When you're late on your water bill, what happens? Late charge. When you're late on your electric bill, what happens? Late charge. And so on and so on. Last month, I had a "blonde" moment (or more) and calculated all my bills - but I forgot to pay them! Can you believe that? I forgot the water bill and the electric bill, so, that was well over $20 out of my budget that I wasn't planning on. What a BUMMER! Also, *MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE INSURANCE IS THE FIRST BILL YOU PUT ON AUTOMATIC DRAFT* because you NEVER want to have a lapse in insurance. You will pay severely by not having insurance if you get stopped. 1.) Ticket. 2.) Towed vehicle 3.) Possibly higher insurance rate. And if you get in an accident and unknowingly let your insurance lapse, you will feel like the World stopped turning long enough just to poop on your head! Don't let this happen to you!
The next "no brainer": Don't be in debt! Not to school, not to a car, not to your parents, not to the bank, not on your mortgage. Total up all the money in interest you pay every month and times that by how long you think it will take you to pay it off. SHOCKING RIGHT?! It's insane that society considers it normal to pay that much in wasted money every month.
My good friend, Dave Ramsey, knows what's going on in the way of debt payoff. But here's the thing: Paying off debt is SO hard! So, as Dave says, start small. Start with your smallest debt and pay that off as fast as you can. Then move on to the next. I'll let Dave be the debt payoff expert, but definitely make this a priority and a goal! It's totally worth the peace of mind. I'll just be your cheerleader. YAY!! And you can be mine!
Okay. On to the expecting the unexpected. MAKE AN EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND. Next to paying your bills on time, this is probably the most important step for saving money in the long run. If nothing else, this will put your mind at ease when an emergency comes up, like, an ER trip, or a vehicle that stops running. Mine was completely wiped out last week, but we'll get it back soon. I do feel good that I don't have that hovering over my head as debt but rather as just a blip on my radar.
Okay, that's enough ramblings for the evening. Good luck!
Happy Emergency Fund!