- If you can’t afford it now, assume you can’t afford it later. Avoid those buy now, pay later plans, unless you have the money sitting in the bank to cover the purchase.
- Make a budget and stick with it. Adapt it, don’t scrap it. If the first budget method you use doesn’t work for you, revise it and keep tweaking it until you get your perfect system.
- Get organized. Write your due dates down for all of your bills. Late fees mean more of your money ends up in their pockets.
- On pay day, sit down and pay all of the bills that are due before your next pay day. That way you only have to spend a couple days a month playing accountant and you will know exactly how much money you have to live on.
- Live by the rule: Expenses must be less than Income
- Check credit report. Mistakes in your report may be costing you money. Lower credit scores equal higher insurance premiums and interest rates on loans. Fix any errors and save money.
- Make more than required minimum payments. A few extra dollars every month can save you several years in payments.
- Pay down the debt on credit cards or loans that carry the highest rates first. As you pay off bills, apply the money you are now saving to the next highest interest rate bill.
- Pay extra on monthly car loan payments. You will save interest and pay off your car sooner.
- Set aside money for an emergency fund. Machines break, people get sick, accidents happen — you’ll be ready for life’s “not-so-great” moments.
- Check your auto coverage. Having a $1000 deductible may save you money every month, but if you’re in an accident, you’ll have to come up with that money to get your car fixed. As you are able to accumulate more money in your emergency fund, increase your deductible. Also, make sure you have coverage in case you are hit by a driver with no insurance. Even if the accident was not your fault, you’ll still be responsible for your own deductible.
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