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Nobody minds if you pay bills early

For people struggling, it often does not occur to them what happens if you pay the electric company 3 months worth. They think some clerk steals the extra and next month the bill is due again. No.

Actually, the electric company carries the extra on your account as a credit balance. Next month's bill comes, but it simply reduces the credit balance, and so the bill shows you owe 0, shows a balance of a negative number, the bill has a red stamp "Do not pay" and they don't include a return envelope.

The upshot is that it totally works to overpay or prepay; the money is still yours and you will still get full value for it.

This does not work on revolving credit, which is to say, credit cards.

My gas company charges annoying surcharges for every payment method except check, so I pay them $400 and they leave me alone for a whole year.

So pay your bills first thing.

The instant you get your check, bang off checks for this month's rent, expected utilities, all of life's necessities that you can possibly prepay. Pay enough extra that it's covered for sure so you don't have to follow up with a £2.16 extra payment.

Groceries? Gift card. Eating out? Gift card. Retirement? Pay it immediately, no wobbling. Saving up emergency fund? Prepay it.

Since these are things you genuinely do need and will definitely buy, you are effectively "paying yourself first", a core principle in financial competence and creating wealth.

With all your genuine needs paid up...

Don't borrow

All remaining cash is the month's fun money. If you want it to last til the 3rd, drown yourself in blackjack and hookers. Or make it last longer, your call.

Live with your choice.

Regardless, don't go "oh, I need more party money" because that's silly.

Notice that since all your necessities have been paid, you are unable to say "I need more for necessities" . That was the point of paying your necessities up front.


Edit: the main problem for me is the excitement that arises from a 180-degree shift in finance (yesterday I was starving, but today I'm a king) when I have that mentality, all my logic and reasoning and education that I receive from you guys goes out the window.

By the way, that is the crux of your problem, and that is a financial-education problem. As a result of education I do not have that feeling at all. I see my finances not as a "right now, devil may care about tomorrow" planning window, but "now and future money is all my money, and looking a couple years out, I want to maximize its usefulness to me." So for instance when a shiny new cell phone comes along, I ask a lot of questions about total life-cycle cost of ownership.