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It’s episode 270 of this podcast, which means it’s time for another solo episode where I talk about what’s on my mind. Today’s topic is money and 20 ways you can become a financially responsible adult. You don’t have to do all 20 to be responsible, but these tips can be helpful.
I used to have a series on my blog called “Molly’s Money.” I’m not Dave Ramsey, but getting out of debt was a big part of my story. I know that when your personal finances are out of whack, it throws everything out of whack.
In the past 10 to 14 years, I’ve learned a lot along the way. Where I am now in my financial journey is totally different from years ago. I’m married to a financial advisor, who has taught me a lot.
One of the most common reasons marriages end is over finances. My hope and encouragement is that I can impart some wisdom and share some things I’ve learned along the way.
In no particular order, let’s jump into the tips:
6:48 – Live within your means
- Live on less than you make. Don’t max out credit cards. Have extra money at the end of the month.
- We live in a culture that is constantly creating this desire to spend and buy.
8:54 – Know how to budget
- It’s surprising how many people don’t have a monthly budget. I didn’t do this well early on in my debt-free journey.
- To this day, my husband and I have a shared monthly budget.
11:12 – Save for emergencies
- You need to have 3 to 6 months of expenses set aside for an emergency.
- Your heat pump goes out, you break a leg – no matter what it is, you need this money.
- My husband and I decided to increase our emergency fund since we live on the farm now.
14:01 – Save for the future
- The future is unpredictable, so you need to save for the future.
- Maybe it’s a Roth IRA or 401k. If you are young, just imagine how much money you could save.
15:08 – Pay your bills on time
- Pay them on time – all of them! I’m speaking from experience.
15:35 – Check your credit report
- Check this yearly. Make sure there’s nothing wonky on there.
- You may be a victim of identity theft, and you might not know.
19:14 – Learn how to shop for insurance
- Health insurance and auto insurances are not the only ones you need. You also need life insurance.
- Life is fleeting. You need to protect your family.
21:33 – Control your spending habits
- Are you an impulse buyer? What’s your spending style?
- Find out what your style is and how to control it.
22:28 – Get debt under control
- If you’re in debt, try to tackle it and get out.
- It’s going to be hard, but you can do it.
25:11 – Give, give, give
- I was in debt, but I felt called to start tithing to my church.
- My mindset changed when I began to think of money as a gift and I was to be a good steward.
28:44 – Start buying smart
- You need to be shopping around and know what you’re paying for.
- Don’t buy a new car. Buy a barely used one for a better price.
30:04 – Get a job
- Get a job, any job. This is the best time in history to get a job.
- At one point in my debt-free journey, I was working four jobs.
33:07 – Know about your job’s benefits
- Does your job offer any benefits? Talk with your boss and see what you can negotiate if they don’t offer what you want.
34:23 – Learn to read fine print
- If you’re signing your name, you better be sure you’re reading the fine print.
35:06 – Learn about your taxes
- Taxes aren’t fun. Nobody likes them. But know the difference between feeral, satte and local.
- Know how much is being withheld from your paycheck.
36:52 – Know what you need to do to buy a house
- What do you need to do to qualify to buy a house?
- What is PMI? What does your real estate market look like?
38:33 – Know what is needed to qualify for a mortgage
- Learn about escrow, PMI and other things you need to know about mortgages.
39:02 – Learn about everyday financial services
- What fees are you paying for things?
- Know the ins and out of your accounts.
40:26 – Don’t borrow money from family or friends
- It gets awkward and creates tension.
- There are exceptions to this, but in general, don’t do this.
42:05 – Be an eager student
- Be a constant learner. There are a lot of things that have changed over the years with how we handle finances.
When you give, it shifts your entire mindset on money.
I’m not Dave Ramsey, but getting out of debt was a big part of my story. I’m married to a financial advisor.
When your personal finances are out of whack, it throws everything out of whack. You feel stressed.
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