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Regular monthly bills

Regular monthly bills

The bulk of your budget is made up of necessities like rent, phone and internet bills, insurance, etc. If you can lower your monthly expenses, you can save a lot for unplanned events.

  • Find a cheaper place to live.
  • Get a cheaper phone plan
  • Find a better insurance company
  • Grocery show once a week, so you don't waste food.

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There are a couple of paths you can take to pay off your high-interest debt when you're on a tight budget.

  • The snowball method. For those who need to see progress, pay off the lowest balance first. You'll feel inspired to keep going.
  • The avalanche method. Choose the debt with the highest interest rate to pay off first. This may require larger monthly payments and will take longer to see progress, but you will save the most money in the long run.
  • If you need to prioritize your credit score, focus on paying down your credit cards first. Paying the ones you are near to maxing out will improve your score quickly by a few points.
  • Set up payment plans, even if you can only afford a few dollars at a time. That way, your lenders can see you're paying something.

Financial professionals will advise you to cut out expensive nights out. In truth, you will have night's out, even when you're dirt poor.

To incorporate unplanned entertainment, set aside an amount each month. Be realistic. You can open another savings account for fun spending or you can use cash only.

  • Emergency funds are essential, even if you put a bare minimum towards it.
  • Birthdays, Christmas, or car registration are expenses you should be able to plan for. Set aside some money towards it every week, and by the end of 12 months, you'll have a set amount to spend on these items.
  • If you have pets, you'll need to include a portion of your budget for their food and vet bills.

There are many great budgeting apps. However, apps can be frustrating and boring to use, or we may just get lazy.

Sometimes a pen and paper work best because it gives you a hand in your budget. With this method, you can also change your budget when you need to include extra expenses.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

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Automatic behaviours trigger better decisions and make the entire process seamless. One thing compliments the other, and good habits give space to other good habits.

Example: When a person is dressed up nicely, they tend to work harder.

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Refinancing your home

When mortgage interest rates get low, refinancing isn't always the best choice.

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate.

If you can't save a good chunk of your paycheck every month, investing once now can help you start saving in the long run.

A favorite investing platform is Betterment, where your money will be automatically invested in index funds. Betterment's fee is a straightforward 0.25 percent of your total portfolio.