There are things that everyone does the day that they get paid. Whether they get a direct deposit from their employer, or they have to take a check to the bank, the first thing that many people do is pay everyone that they can with that paycheck. But there are some things that you should consider doing beforehand.
Before you pay your phone company, your landlord, your utility company or your car payment, remember to pay yourself.
Don’t not pay those people; getting behind on bills will never help you in the long run but remember who it was that worked hard for that money. Paying yourself means to put some money in savings for yourself, either for an emergency fund or for some sort of goal that you want to save money to accomplish.
Many recommend saving 10-20% of your check, however many won’t find this to be possible. Start small, aim for something like 3-5% and it will add up quickly. Use a savings account to do this, as it isn’t as easy to spend it and you’ll avoid the temptation. You can find an online savings account with a 2% APY fairly easily.
Fill Your Gas Tank
Before you spend money on your weekend activities, fill up your gas tank in anticipation for next week’s transportation needs.
You’re going to need that gas next week when you go back to work, so don’t put it off and risk needing to put your gas on a credit card. It’s a priority that you’ll need to cover at some point, so do it as soon as possible.
Go Grocery Shopping
Eating out is a great luxury, and nobody should be telling you that you’re not allowed to enjoy small things like getting breakfast at your favorite drive through.
However, from a cost standpoint, it is much cheaper to buy groceries and make your meals yourself. A coffee and breakfast sandwich can be made at home for less than $2 in raw material. Lunch and dinner are only slightly more expensive, but overall, it is much cheaper to prepare food at home. If you’re looking at cutting costs, this is an easy one.
Get Ahead on Debt
If you have debt, it has interest. To start saving money, put together a plan to start paying your debt off. If you have credit cards, student loans, car title loans or other types of debt, Dave Ramsey’s snowball method is good if you’re not super-disciplined with repaying debt and you need some positive reinforcement, but the debt avalanche will save you money in the long run by reducing overall interest.
Refine Your Budget
Look into where your costs are adding up the most and consider if you could get away with spending less in that area. Many people who are into very basic budgeting allocate the proper amount of funds to expenses, but when those are taken care of, the remaining funds end up being a free-for-all. Consider limiting discretionary expenses and roll the extra money into either savings or debt