Pay yourself first!
This is something that took me a very long time to get into the habit of – before paying down debt, bills, or thinking about spending money on non-essentials after pay day – pay yourself first!
For many many years, I would empty accounts to pay off debt, prepay bills in advance, or purchase things without thinking about saving with a “who cares” attitude.
My wife and I auto deposit at least 30% of our pay checks every pay period into a separate account where we can only withdrawal the money in person (no debit card).
This account has only been used to pay unexpected bills like home repairs, auto repairs, medical bills, etc.
After several years of this, I can confidently say that in any situation that may arise in our lives, money (or lack thereof) is certainly no longer a driving force in decision making.
If you aren’t paying yourself first, you’re essentially working only to satisfy your creditors and loathing in financial servitude into perpetuity.