If you are under the age of 30 and have never read anything about managing finances, you should read this book. Although this may seem like a slightly off-topic post for this blog, I think it's relevant because:
1 - In my context [suburban, affluent, missions mobilizing] finances are very relevant.
2 - I meet a lot of suburban students that want to be poor. In most cases, this is an incorrect posture for future ministry. [I should probably unpack this idea huh.] Finances is an integral part of this decision.
Instead of notes from the book, a few things I learned and are doing.
1 - Credit Score
Instead of the standard get a budget, track your expenses, emergency fund, 401k, etc. [If you don't know what any of those terms mean and you are over 20 years old, you should be embarrassed. Please get some financial education.] The book opens with the topic of credit score. Simply put, getting the best credit score will save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Part of this is paying off your credit card balances in full every month, which means having self discipline when it comes to spending. No one talks about credit score when they teach you about finances.
What I did: increased overall credit limit on our primary credit card, because credit score is related to credit utilization.
2 - Automatic Payments
Pay yourself first - take money out of your paycheck first, putting it into a savings account. Systematize paying your bills.
What I did: Start paying fixed costs [cable, internet, phone, utilities] on a credit card. First, I put these onto a card that gets airline miles. [Our primary credit card gets points for a 529 college fund for our children.] Secondly, this helps build credit history, related to credit score.
3 - Bargain Shop
What I did: Researched lowering fixed costs [cable, internet, phone].
4 - Reallocate 401K funds
Yeah yeah - this is a middle aged man point. But whatever. If you have a job that offers a 401K, sign up for it - this is called paying yourself first.
Lots more on the I Will Teach You to be Rich blog.