If you're required to get SR22 insurance, you need to come up with a plan to make sure you can make each and every insurance payment on time. If you don't pay, even for reasons beyond your control, your insurance company can notify your state's driver's license department, and your license can be suspended. Given how helpful — even necessary — being able to drive somewhere at a moment's notice can be, you do not want to find out your insurance and license are no longer good.
Insurance Becomes One of Your Top-Priority Payments
Your car insurance payment is no longer going to be a routine monthly or semi-yearly payment. It now has to be one of your priority payments along with rent, utilities, and food. If you're on a tight budget, that can be distressing as SR22 insurance will likely cost more than your regular car insurance. Now's the time to look at all your budget "extras," such as cable, and see which ones are truly necessary. Look through your budget and see what can be reduced, if necessary, even if for you that means keeping cable and cutting back somewhere else. Make sure that you create space in your budget so that you're confident you can pay that insurance bill each and every time.
Setting the Right Payment Plan and Insurance Levels
Contact your insurance agent to discuss payment plans. If you're worried about overspending and not saving well, you might want a monthly payment. If you're sure you can stock away money each month, a semi-yearly payment schedule may work well for you.
Also, check what types of coverage are required for the SR22 insurance policy, and what insurance coverage is necessary for your situation. For example, if you don't have a lot of extra cash for deductibles, you may want to arrange for a $0-deductible comprehensive coverage policy, which is often just a few dollars more per month than coverage with a deductible. That can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars if you have to fix a windshield chip, for example.
Create a Specific Savings Category or Account
If you're paying on any plan other than monthly, and you need to set money aside for the payment, create a separate savings category or apply for a new account. If you bank with a credit union, some of them allow you to set up "suffixes," which are essentially subaccounts within your main account. You can set one up for car insurance. If you prefer to keep all your money in one account, be sure to mark in your budget book or spreadsheet that $X amount is earmarked for car insurance and shouldn't be used for anything else.
Eventually, you'll have the SR22 restriction lifted, but for now, take it day by day and just make sure you stay out of trouble and pay that insurance premium on time.