This is great stuff, guys! The $5 dollar bill trick is fascinating, and feasible for the vast majority of people.
Since a lot of y’all are getting close to college age, I highly recommend going to a public college in-state unless you’re in the rare field where getting a degree from a prestigious university matters (and there’s less of those fields than you might think). Many states have lucrative scholarships and reduced tuition when you go where you live, and being near family can be helpful in a lot of ways. Also, be sure to research what other scholarships you may qualify for, as there’s a ton of them out there.
The ‘no debt’ comment is one of the most important. But I will say that if you have the funds and discipline to maintain it, it’s beneficial to do your spending on your credit card and pay it off in full every month as opposed to just operating out of the checking account with a debit card and paper checks. This keeps your credit score high in case you need a loan for any reason, and also earns you reward points (and if you aren’t getting free reward points on your card, drop it and get a new one stat).
Never use savings accounts. Money market accounts have almost the same level of Reg D accessibility and always yield more interest, as long as you make sure to keep it above the minimum balance.
Vending machines are your enemy. As is any other expenditure where you’re way overpaying for something out of sheer convenience. Just plan ahead of time for things like this and it adds up to huge savings in the long run.