An auto title loan service may seem an odd place to go for money management tips; after all, aren’t auto title and registration loans all about making money off people who aren’t great at money management?  To be honest, our business will do just fine in any economy because emergencies happen.  We do better when our customers can manage their money well so they repay their loans on time, so it is in our best interest to help our customers manage their money well.

As an auto title loan service, we see people in many different circumstances—and emergencies do tend to top the list. Our goal is to help them through the emergencies and to be part of a larger, sound money management system.  A good money management program has three goals: budget now, plan for the future, set aside money for emergencies.

To budget now, you have to first understand where your money goes. A good way to do this is to track everything you spend.  Saving receipts is tiresome, and going to Venmo, PayPal, and your credit/debit card history is a pain.  Instead, download a budgeting app. Mint is free and YNAB (You Need a Budget) gives you a free trial—and there are a lot of others. Get a handle on what you spend and start tracking every penny today.

Once you know what you are spending and on what, you can start making better spending decisions.  The next step is to plan for the future. Maybe spend a little less on eating out or on Internet subscriptions and put that money aside for bigger goals like camping gear, education, or a big vacation.

Then the final step is having an emergency fund so when something big hits, you are ready for it. An auto title loan service can help you now before you have all the boxes checked, and we can help you if the emergency is too big for the emergency fund.  But if you manage your money well, you won’t have too many of those.