What is Prepayment?

Here at Metromile, we hear a lot of questions about our initial prepayment to sign up for Metromile. We also truly value transparency and don’t wish to confuse any of our customers. The way we work is a little different than traditional auto insurance companies, so that’s why we are here to clear up any confusion about how prepayment works.

What-is-Prepayment

One of the key differentiators between Metromile and traditional insurance carriers is our unique billing model. The short explanation is: the less you drive, the less you pay each month. The Metromile billing structure gives you – the customer – the unique opportunity to always be in control of your monthly bill. This means that you can tailor your bill to fit your budget and your lifestyle. Pretty cool, huh?

So, herein lies the confusion: if your bill varies each month based on how much you drive, how is it possible to prepay for many months at a time? Let’s throw it all the way back and chat about how billing works here at Metromile before diving into the explanation.

How Billing Works at Metromile

When you first purchase your Metromile policy, you are charged for your first month’s base rate (plus any additional prepayment). This is because we don’t have any data on how many miles you drove that month. Then, at the end of the first month, you’re charged for the next month’s base rate + any/all miles you drove the previous month, at your per-mile rate.

Autopay is a requirement for all Metromile customers. If there ever comes a time when you need to update your billing info, it’s not a problem. You can always update your billing information from your online dashboard or app at any time. Simply navigate to ‘Billing’ and then select ‘Edit’ in the ‘Payment Method’ section on the right-hand side of the page to edit your payment information.

A special note for all you New Jersey customers: you exceptional folks may opt-out of autopayments and opt-in for manual billing at any time by calling us at 888-244-1702.

So… You Still Haven’t Told Me What ‘Prepayment’ Is

Because we charge for insurance based on mileage, Metromile requires a one-time, upfront payment to start a new policy – and this is called a prepayment. A percentage of your prepayment will be applied as a credit to each of your first five billing statements – which means that your first five bills will be slightly lower. When you receive your sixth bill, the prepayment credit will have been fully spent, so you will no longer see a credit. You can think of your prepayment as a “security deposit” on your insurance policy. In the event of a cancellation in the first six months of having the policy, we will refund any remaining prepayment credit.

Prepayment is only a requirement for your first policy term, the credit is applied to your first five monthly bills. After six months your policy will renew, and no future prepayment will be charged or applied to your policy.

Your monthly bill will be made up of your low monthly base rate + (per-mile rate x miles driven that month) – (prepayment amount ÷ 5) until your sixth bill. From there on out your bill will be calculated by taking your base rate, and adding it to your per-mile rate, multiplied by the number of miles driven that month.

Hopefully, that helped to clear up any questions or confusion that you had about how prepayment works at Metromile.

Now that you fully understand how prepayment works, it is a perfect time to finally get that quote you’ve been thinking about. As always, we are truly here to serve you, so please Tweet, or DM us with your burning questions. We’ll get you answers as soon as we can. Be safe out there and see you on the roads!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

How to Calculate a Daily Road Trip Travel Budget

It’s no secret that vacation planning can be headache-inducing. The logistics, scheduling, and reservations are painful enough to figure out, but then there’s that money issue. If you’ve decided to swap the sky-high cost of airfare for a more affordable car trip, you’re already on the road to big savings (all puns totally intended). But even if you’ve figured out the tricks for snagging sweet hotel deals and cutting corners to save cash, you’ll still be faced with plenty of financial decisions as you drive. The best way to avoid an unpleasant post-trip credit card bill is to set a realistic budget that keeps you in check while leaving room for plenty of fun—this is a vacation, after all.

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Here’s how to calculate a daily road trip allowance:

  1. See what you’re working with. To get the ball rolling, it’s best to know exactly how much money is in the pot, so to speak. To do that, take your monthly income and subtract all your expenses (car insurance, rent, phone bill, cable TV that you sadly won’t be watching while traveling, etc.). Once you have that leftover number, consider that your limit. Sure, you could charge outside your means, but that pretty much defeats the whole “traveling on a budget” concept. Unless you have a special savings fund to pull from, stick to spending within your monthly net income.
  2. Figure out your fueling needs. The most obvious expense you’ll encounter on a regular basis is, of course, gas. If you’re traversing the country, it may be tough to pin down an specific price per gallon, since costs vary from place to place. Even if you can’t land on an exact dollar amount, you can take an educated guess and round up, just to be safe. And if you have no idea where the open road is taking you, just rely on the national average, which is currently $2.85 per gallon.

    Your total for the day will of course depend on your vehicle’s tank and the amount your driving per day. But for clarity’s sake, here’s an example: Some of the most common cars in America have gas tanks that hold about 15 gallons, and get up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. If you’re driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles one day, that’s about 383 miles, which you should be able to do on one tank of gas (15 x 30 = 450 miles). Based on the national average, that’ll cost you about $43 if that’s all you’re driving in a day, but it’s worth rounding up to $50 to be safe (or more to be extra safe).

    A few more ways to save on gas:

    • Gas Buddy and Gas Guru are two apps that help you locate the cheapest fuel around.
    • Community-based app Waze offers real-time traffic information and gas prices. Be sure to keep your oil fresh, engine tuned, and tires inflated to ensure better mileage, and when you can, fill up outside of big cities, where prices are often way higher.

    And of course, if you’re a Metromile customer, you’ll want to make sure to keep an eye on your daily distance since you have the benefit of pay-per-mile coverage. If you’re worried about accruing a big bill because you’re traveling—relax. Metromile caps the daily mileage costs at 250 miles/day (150 miles/day in New Jersey). But if you’d prefer to stay under that limit, map out your daily route ahead of time, and make sure to pull over once you’ve hit that self-imposed max. Metromile charges a low monthly base rate as well as that pay-per-mile rate, so chances are, you’ll still save big—whether you’re driving all day or limiting your miles—just because you’re a Metromile customer. Congrats!

  3. Factor in accommodations. This will of course vary tremendously depending on whether you’re camping, glamping, or going for full-out luxury (that last one probably shouldn’t be in the cards if you’re trying to save…but you knew that). While the current average daily rate for a U.S. hotel hovers around $127, that amount could fluctuate a ton. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to sidestep exorbitant hotel costs, so take advantage of every tip and trick you can ahead of time!
  4. Eat economically. The simplest way to slip up and spend way more than expected is to fall into a “treat yo’self” mentality when it comes to food. Yes, you’re on vacation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a steak dinner is in order every night (those four bags of chips at each rest stop may not be a great idea either). If you have no idea how to begin calculating an approximate food allowance, consider allotting $5 a day for breakfast, about $10 for lunch, and $15 to $30 for dinner. That should give you a fair amount of wiggle room without leaving you ravenous. But eating cheap doesn’t have to mean subsisting on an all-junk diet. Some ways to spend less that don’t involve drive-through at every stop:

    • Hit the grocery store. Better yet, before your trip, pay a visit to a bulk store and stock up on big quantities of wholesome car-safe snacks that don’t require refrigeration (think: rice cakes, pretzels, popcorn, etc.). And invest in a cooler to pack nutritious perishables (yogurt, string cheese, hard boiled eggs, etc.). The accessory will pay for itself when you realize how much you’ll be saving on road snacks.
    • Go halfsies. Traveling with family or friends? Consider splitting entrees when you sit down for meals. Portion sizes at most restaurants are way beyond single serving, and since you probably won’t be hauling leftovers with you, order a single meal for two.
    • Eat breakfast before you go out if you can. If you are staying in a hotel, you might just be able to score a free breakfast buffet. And even if that’s not the case, you can still make a pretty hearty morning meal without overspending at a diner. Oatmeal packets are awesome options to keep on hand (just add water!), and fruit, granola bars, and more can set you up with a solid base so you’re not starving by lunchtime.
    • Eat like a local. Talk to people around town and ask where they love to dine. Chances are, it probably won’t be at a chain restaurant. You’re more likely to find a delicious, affordable destination off-the-beaten-path if you do a little research.

If you’re not a Metromile customer, what are you waiting for? Visit metromile.com for a free quote today. Happy trails!

Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

5 Things You Could Do With the Money You Save Using Metromile

How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? *crickets* Yeah, same. But hey, we’re not judging – in fact, we’re here to help! Did you know that on average, Metromile customers save $611 per year? If one of your resolutions this year was to save money (and honestly, when has that not been a resolution), then settle in and get cozy. We put together this list to show you all the things you can do with the money you save by switching to Metromile!

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5 Things You Could Do With Your Metromile Savings

    1. Deposit more into your 401k. Getting into some seriously sexy money talk right out of the gate. I like it. If your 401k hasn’t been getting the love it deserves, take that extra dough and up your monthly contributions. You won’t be missing the money (because it’s what you were already paying with your previous insurance company) and it will help your future, retired self! By contributing to your retirement fund at a young age, you will turn yourself into a millionaire by the time you retire at age 65.

    2. Pay down debt. Sexy money talk, part II. Having debt is a totally normal thing, so there doesn’t need to be all this unnecessary shame surrounding it. Face your debt head-on and see which payments are the highest interest, and pay those off first. You’ll be amazed at how fast you can tackle your debt if you consistently, and even somewhat aggressively, put money towards it.

    3. Create an “Experience Fund.” Okay, now that sexy money business is out of the way, we’re into the fun stuff. Instead of creating a vacation fund, try out an “experience fund” instead. Life is about creating experiences, beyond those knock-down-drag-out, five-star vacations. This includes weekend excursions, social events, and pretty much anything that you can come away with an epic story. The best conversations and stories with friends revolve around experiences, not just a bunch of stuff that looks pretty. Use the extra money you save by switching to Metromile and get experiencing!

    4. Put a down payment on a new car. Or buy out your car lease (like I did!). Having an extra chunk of change means you can get ahead of certain things you’ve been putting off, like getting a new car. If it’s time for an upgrade, use that extra coin you’ve been saving from your Metromile switch and put it towards that car you’ve been dreaming of!

    5. Invest it. It’s a myth that you need a ton of money to invest in the stock market. You can still make financially sound investments, even if you only have a couple hundred dollars kicking around. With apps like Acorns, you can take a small amount and gradually invest it, without having to do any upfront legwork. This means that you can literally be making money in your sleep – all by investing the money you’ve saved by switching to Metromile! Go you!

Now that you have all of these great ideas, you have no reason not to make the switch to Metromile! Up those 401k contributions, pay down your debt, or set up an experience fund – the choice is yours (+ all that extra money!). What will you do with the money you save by switching to Metromile? We’d love to know!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

10 Ways to Save Money in 2018

There’s no better time to initiate good habits than January. Everything feels fresh and new, and you’ve likely already resolved to be a new and improved version of your former self. Maybe you’ve vowed to be more responsible, more organized, or more independent. One route to achieving all those goals and more? Cha-ching.

That’s right: making smarter decisions when it comes to spending can completely transform your personal and professional life. Money definitely isn’t everything…but it sure does help. And feeling totally secure about your finances will help you feel in control in all areas of your life.

Ready to start feeling like a total boss? Here are 10 ways to grow your bank account in 2018:

    1. Set financial goals. Hoping to travel? Buy a new car? Maybe even purchase your first home? Think about what you really, truly want, get excited about it, and then strive for it. Commit to your goal by writing it down or even creating a vision board with pictures and phrases that motivate you — bonus points for displaying it somewhere you can see it every day.

    2. Take stock of what you pay for. Are you really watching anything on cable these days or are you exclusively getting your entertainment via Netflix? Have you actually attended a class at that expensive gym since….last January? If you’re not getting full use out of each of your expenses, consider downgrading or eliminating them completely.

    3. Pack your lunch. Maybe it doesn’t sound as fun as an impromptu afternoon at the Olive Garden (or wherever your coworkers wind up), but it’s unbelievable how much money you can save just by making your own meals at home. Think about it: if you spend $10-$15 (or, let’s be honest — more) five days a week, that’s anywhere from $2,600 – $3,900 a year. Brown bag it instead and save all that cash for something special.

    4. Look for deals. You don’t have to be a compulsive coupon clipper to reap the rewards of available bargains. Websites and apps like RetailMeNot and BradsDeals make it ridiculously easy to comparison shop and find deals on big-ticket items and smaller splurges.

    5. Brew your own coffee. Just like packing your lunch will help you save, skipping the super fancy and overpriced coffee shop latte will spare you tons of wasted dollars. You can even buy a personal french press that doubles as a travel mug to brew your own on-the-go java for pennies.

    6. Set up automatic transfers. Everyone’s eyes widen with possibility when they see their paycheck hit their bank account, but to avoid the temptation of burning through it, set up an automated transfer to your savings account on your pay days. It doesn’t have to be a big amount, but putting a chunk of change out of sight will keep you from spending it.

    7. Couple bad habits with good ones. Everyone deserves to indulge now and then, but if you’re trying to break a bad habit, kill two birds with one stone and pad your savings account while you’re at it. For every dollar you spend on something you consider a “bad habit” purchase (alcohol, junk food, cigarettes, etc.), deposit a dollar directly into your savings account.

    8. Walk whenever you can. In some cases, logging the steps necessary to get to the office takes just as much time as dealing with gridlock traffic or the hassle of public transportation — not to mention it’s great for your health and it’s totally, completely free.

    9. DIY more. Modern technology has made it absurdly easy to pay your way out of every inconvenient task, but taking the time to fix your old appliances, making your own homemade gifts, or putting together your Ikea furniture will save you lots of cash and help you realize how capable you totally are.

    10. Switch to Metromile. Not only will you save money on your car insurance, but you’ll avoid the exorbitant costs of street sweeping tickets, mechanic shop visits, and other money pits. Wanna know how? Check us out now.

Making sound money saving decisions now can set you up for big success in the long run. Try these ten tips and pat yourself on the back for showing 2018 who’s boss.


Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

How to Pay it Forward this Holiday Season with Your Metromile Savings

The gift-giving holiday season is right around the corner. This time of year is always so special because it is the perfect opportunity for loved ones to shower each other with tokens of affection. But, it is also a good time to give back to your community or someone in need. From big to small, acts of kindness can really make a huge difference in someone’s day and even have a big impact on the upcoming year ahead.

How to Pay it Forward this Holiday Season with Your Metromile Savings

Here’s a thought: why not use your Metromile savings to pay it forward this holiday season? Many of our customers are saving an average of $500 a year by switching to pay-per-mile insurance. Already using your Metromile savings for something else? No big deal, you don’t have to buy something to bring holiday cheer to someone’s life. Here are our top tips for paying it forward this holiday season.

    1. Donate old items that you don’t have use for anymore to those in need. This can includes clothes, shoes, furniture, books, kitchen supplies, electronics, blankets, school supplies, old movies, unused toiletries, or even loose change. There are many local donation centers that make it very easy to drop off items such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Dress for Success, or even local churches or shelters.

    2. Put pen to paper and send a warm fuzzy letter. Write a nice card or letter to someone who is down on their luck or had a rough year, uplifting them. You can even send military cards to recognize and thank those who serve our country. Or anonymously leave an encouraging note in a random place for someone to find. Every small bit of positivity you put into this world helps.

    3. Volunteer your time with the elderly. Many times elderly folks end up alone during the holiday season. Most assisted living homes have drop-in volunteer hours, so do some research in your area. You can always bring flowers to a retirement home, organize a group caroling session for those in the hospital or even just sit and spend time playing games or reading with them. Programs like Meals on Wheels or Create the Good are a great place to start.

    4. If you are shopping, shop for gifts that give back. There are many amazing companies out there that will donate a percentage of the total cost of items to charities. For every product purchased, The Giving Keys, supports job creation for people transitioning out of homelessness. Proceeds from every S’well water bottle purchased goes towards efforts to provide clean water and sanitation facilities around the world. If you buy a pair of glasses through Warby Parker, they will donate to nonprofits who help to train people in developing countries to sell glasses and perform basic eye exams. Even Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchases to charitable organizations of your choice through the AmazonSmile program.There are so many companies that give back, do some research before you buy all your gifts to see how your gifts can help someone in need.

    5. Keep it simple and do small acts of kindness. Buy the next person in line’s coffee or pay the toll for the driver behind you. Give a homeless person your doggie bag, so they can eat your leftovers. Leave extra coins at the laundromat, for someone who might be struggling. Bake cookies or bring doughnuts in for your co-workers, to bring a smile to their face. Pick up a piece of trash and throw it away to help clean up the environment. Give kudos or positive feedback to someone who provided you awesome service. Put your neighbor’s trash can back for them. Leave a generous tip to a waiter who gave you a great experience. All these acts can really go a long way to bring someone holiday cheer.

We hope this small list of holiday cheer can help you pay it forward this season and make someone’s day! Metromile wishes everyone a heartwarming holiday season.

How to Keep Resolutions All Year Long

With the first month of 2017 coming to a close, it’s time to take stock of how we’re doing with our resolutions. Maybe keeping your resolutions so far has been a breeze, or maybe you’ve stumbled already. Either way, if you’re trying to make lasting changes, this is only the beginning. Recent research suggests that willpower may be more like a muscle, which would not only mean that you can strengthen it over time, but could also mean that willpower could become fatigued if you’re overtaxing yourself in the self-control department. With that in mind, here’s some advice to help you use your willpower wisely and keep your resolutions all year long.

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  • Find what works for you. Make sure your strategy for keeping your resolution fits your personality. If you’re not a morning person, trying to go to the gym every day before work will not be an easy feat. Think about ways that you can work with your natural inclinations, instead of having to use more willpower to go against them. Remember, what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you.
  • Get enough sleep. It’s probably not surprising, but research suggests that it’s tougher to make decisions, especially good ones, when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Putting that in the context of resolutions, it’s easy to see how missing out on your zzz’s can make it tougher to stay on track with your new habits. If you’re trying to cook more at home to save money and get healthy, it’ll be more difficult to make all the necessary decisions (e.g. weekly menus, shopping lists, schedules) if you’re in sleep debt. If you’re sleep deprived it’s much more likely that you’ll give in to your impulses.
  • Start from outside in. Changes in environment can often lead to changes in behavior. If you’re tempted to grab a coffee on the way to work, but you are trying to cut back on your spending, it might be time to rethink your route to work. If improving your diet is on your list this year, try putting your healthy options in the most convenient place in the kitchen and tossing out the tempting junk food. We’ve even found that low-mileage drivers who switch to pay-per-mile insurance tend to drive less (and save even more!).
  • Have a backup plan. Inevitably, even the best plans and perfected routines won’t always work. With busy schedules, life gets in the way. One way to make sure you don’t lose momentum is to have an “if…then” backup plan already set. Think of examples like, “If I miss my yoga class on Tuesday, then I will go for a run after work on Wednesday.” Be sure to keep your “then” statements as actionable items, rather than things you won’t do.

If your goals include getting fit, saving money or helping the environment, then Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance could help you reach them if you are a low-mileage driver. To learn more and see if you could save, head over to www.metromile.com/insurance.

New Ways to Save Money in 2017

One of the top resolutions each year is saving money. Maybe you are saving for a big purchase like a new home or car, or just hoping to be more financially responsible this year. With a few small changes to daily habits, you can really make a difference in your bank account. Here are easy to do tips and tricks that you can do to save more in 2017.

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  • Start by brewing your own coffee at home instead of racking up the Starbucks points. There are lots of tricks to creating the perfect brew at home like grinding your own whole beans or using a french press for cold brews. If you’re still in a hurry and a coffee stop is a must, Instead of ordering your favorite go-to tall, nonfat latte with caramel drizzle, try switching to tea or black coffee. Without all those extra add-ons, the price will go way down and will also help you kickstart a healthier habit.
  • Pack that healthy lunch for work instead of dining out all the time will help to add a few extra dollars to your savings. Consider making a bigger dinner the night before so you can bring leftovers for lunch or make yourself a sandwich or a salad so you can just grab and go in the morning. A big trend right now is growing your own garden with fruit and vegetables. Even more reason to buy fewer groceries and also live a healthy lifestyle! If you dine out for lunch socially, set up designated days on your calendar for when you can go out for food or drinks so you can plan ahead for the expense.
  • Find a carpool buddy and rotate days you drive to and from work. There are lots of easy ways to find a work carpool including apps like Scoop and Hitch A Ride. Or be adventurous and try UberPool, where you share a ride with others on your way to your destination. You can always try taking the bus, walking, or biking instead, too. Put the money you would have spent on gas each week into savings and watch your bank account grow!

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Trimming the Fat in Your Budget & Actually Saving

The following guest post is written by Erin Lowry, a personal finance expert and founder of well-known blog Broke Millennial. Erin created her blog to increase financial literacy and is known for her smart yet attainable advice to thousands of broke millennials.

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You might be familiar with the common tips to automate your savings. It’s actionable advice that sounds great, in theory, but you probably feel like it’s just not possible. Looking at your bank account towards the end of each month makes you think there isn’t possibly a spare penny or two that can be stashed away into savings. Spoiler alert: you’re probably wrong.

You can’t trim the fat without understanding your cash flow

Oh, the joys of budgeting. It’s such a commonly reviled word and practice, and yet, it’s the surest way to reduce your financial stress and get on the right track to building wealth. After all, if you don’t understand the cash flow of how much you have coming in and going out – then how will you ever be able to trim the fat in your budget?

Take 15 minutes to sit down and write out all your fixed monthly bills like housing, cell phone, Netflix, and student loan payments. Add all these charges up and subtract that number from your monthly, post-tax, income. The remainder is the amount you have to work with in terms of both spending and saving. Ultimately, the money you’re saving should be routed directly into savings before it hits your checking account. Hence the delightful expression, “pay yourself first.” Plus, if you aren’t already contributing to an employer-matched retirement program before your money hits your checking account, then that’s a simple way you can start to save a little extra and take advantage of free money!

Do you really need those reoccurring charges?

After establishing the basics of your monthly cash flow, it’s time to comb over your credit card and bank statements to see if there are any reoccurring charges that you don’t use anymore or didn’t even realize were there. It’s so easy to hand over your credit card information in exchange for a free two-week trial of a product and then forget to unsubscribe.

Costs millennials can reconsider

Once cash flow is established and credit cards free of unnecessary reoccurring charges, then it’s time to take a look back at those fixed monthly expenses and decide where to slash in order to free up more room in your budget.

The go-to common offenders are often:

  • Cable: Just cut the cord already. You know you’re primarily using Netflix anyway. Price out how much it would cost just to have Internet because no one needs a landline + cable bundle anymore.
  • Cell phone plan: Shop around and compare costs for your cell phone plan. The biggest financial gains usually come when you’re willing to part ways with the fanciest of phones. Just something to keep in mind if you’re really dedicated to doubling down on saving.
  • Living alone: Surprisingly enough, there are millennials who no longer living with mom and dad. Some are even living alone! Getting a roommate is an easy way to cut bills in half and free up some of your cash flow if you’re struggling to figure out how to save a little extra.
  • Eating out regularly: “I can’t cook” isn’t an excuse. Learn how to make a few dishes well (it’s part of adulthood) and a few dishes that are passable enough to eat. Start brown bagging it to work at least three days a week and eat dinner at home most days. You’ll see a whole bunch of money get added back into your bank account. Brownie points if you cook in bulk during the weekend and stockpile some frozen meals.
  • Insurance: Reducing insurance costs immediately pads your bottom line. Switching your car insurance over to Metromile and paying per mile, instead of a fixed rate for times you aren’t even in the car, could mean finding an extra student loan payment in your budget. Get a free quote here to see just how much you could save.

So, you think you saved your money

Congratulations, you’ve found some extra money month-to-month by slashing expenses and negotiating on existing bills. But are you actually saving your money? The money you’ve freed up needs to be proactively moved to savings. Leaving this spare cash in your checking account just means it will be used for some other non-necessity and not put towards meeting your financial goals. Add this newly found cash to the amount of money you have automatically routed out of your paycheck and into savings before it hits your checking account, because obviously you’ve already set that up in the process of becoming a financial boss.

Being Your Own Financial Boss

The following guest post is written by Erin Lowry, a personal finance blogger for Broke Millennial. Erin created her blog to increase financial literacy and is known for her smart yet attainable advice to thousands of broke millennials.

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Starting off your life as an adult means getting your financial house in order. Simply put: you’re going to be your own financial boss. Sure, you might be working a traditional job – but no one is handling your money decisions. It’s on you to pay bills without missing due dates, to chip away at debt, to build your credit history and start to saving for the future. Before you panic, take a deep breath, you can step up your financial boss-ness in just three steps.

Step 1: Adulting 101 means you need a budget

The idea of a budget sounds so restricting, except it should be considered empowering. A simple budget can take stress out of handling your money because you know exactly how much is coming in and how much is going out. Sure, you may be wishing the in-flow drastically outpaced the out-flow, but at least it means you understand your balance sheet. Mindlessly spending and just hoping you have enough to cover all your bills is how you’ll end up in trouble. A budget can redirect your focus to prioritize your true money values. You can start saving for a trip, or put more money towards paying off debt or maybe it encourages you to work for a promotion or pick up a side gig.

Start your budget journey by writing down all your fixed monthly expenses + put a percentage towards savings + a buffer of $100 (things happen) and subtract it from your monthly income. The remainder is what you can use to spend. This is the most basic of budgeting styles that will at least put you on a track towards being a financial boss.

Step 2: Credit cards for beginners

Credit cards often strike fear into the hearts of fledgling adults. You hear horror stories about people getting tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt and unable to dig out. Your parents may have warned you about the evils of credit cards. Or maybe you got access to one in college and didn’t quite use it properly.

Truthfully, credit cards can be a valuable financial resource if you understand three basic principles.

  1. Never charge more than you can afford to pay off in a month: ideally you want to spend no more than 30 percent of your total available credit limit.
  2. Always pay your credit card bill on time: missing your payment can not only crush your credit score, but also result in fees and hiked interest rates.
  3. Always pay the balance in full: there is never a need to carry a balance on your credit card (I don’t care what anyone tells you). As soon as that bill comes in, you pay off the entire amount due – not the minimum due. Paying the full amount means you don’t owe the bank any interest.

By adhering to those simple rules, you can build a healthy credit history and score, which makes the rest of your financial life much easier. Your credit history and score can impact whether or not you can rent an apartment, the rates on loans and, in some cases, even employers do a credit check.

You should also look for a card with no annual fee and don’t focus on rewards early on. The rewards program may lead you down the rabbit hole of overspending, so proceed with caution.

Step 3: How pick the best financial products

Suddenly making all your financial decisions can feel daunting, so it’s common to turn to your parents or friends for advice. Listen respectfully, but be sure to do your own due diligence. What is ideal for your parents, or was ideal when they were your age, may not be the right fit for you.

For example, Metromile is the perfect solution for you city-dwelling-often-public-transit-riding millennials. Instead of opting into traditional auto insurance, you can instead pay according to how much you drive with pay-per-mile insurance. This saves the average customer over $500 annually – that’s easily an extra student loan payment or way to boost your emergency fund.

If you find yourself on public transit more often then behind the wheel, you could benefit from pay-per-mile car insurance. Get a free quote here. For more financial advice, check out brokemillennial.com.

Spending & Saving in the City

From new pop-up stores and great nightlife to job opportunities and historical landmarks, city living is exciting and exhilarating on a day-to-day basis. However, it can also be very expensive. Here are some easy ways you can save money, so you can enjoy city living without breaking the bank!

city driving

Create a budget. This may seem obvious, but take some time to look at your take-home pay and monthly expenses. By using a software like Mint, you can create savings goals, categorize expenses, and receive custom alerts when you are close to overspending.

Take public transportation, or opt into a bike-share service. The less you drive your car, the more you’ll save money on gas and car maintenance. If you switch to pay-per-mile insurance, you could save even more money because your bill is based on how much you drive. Read more here.

Walk to your local farmers’ market. Since farmers have more stock of in-season fruits and vegetables, they are able to sell them at a lower price. Bonus tip: if you prefer to buy organic, it’s often cheaper at a farmers’ market than at a grocery store.

Eat in (sometimes). Okay, okay. We know it’s fun to try the trendy new restaurants. You can still budget for a weekly dinner splurge, but spend more time in your kitchen. Plus, leftovers make a great lunch the next day!

Automate savings. Have your bank automatically move cash into your savings on payday. You won’t know it’s not there, so you won’t miss it!

Side hustle. With so many new modern conveniences and resource sharing services, you can side hustle on your time with ridesharing, dog walking, house cleaning and more. Or if you’re crafty, try your hand at selling your art on Etsy.

If you are interesting in saving on car insurance, Metromile could save you $500/year! Try getting a quote to see how much you could save.