Give yourself a raise

Here's something obvious and kind of dumb I figured out this week. When you pay off a debt, you suddenly have a lot of extra money in your pocket, especially on an annual basis. I recently finished paying off my student loans and my wife is about to finish hers, and our old car is just about done with payments. All told, we'll be saving around a thousand bucks a month that would normally been sent away, which isn't too bad at all, especially on an annual basis ($12 grand in my pocket!). Then I started looking at all my bills as annual raises.

I bet if you check your own budget and monthly bills, you can find some ways to save. When you finish paying off that $300/month student loan, you'll get a $3600 raise. If you ditch a second car you were paying $500 per month for a loan/insurance/gas, it's like giving yourself a $6,000 annual raise. If you have a $850 monthly rent and you, say, move in with someone you're dating and they pay the rent, you'll make $10,000 more this year.