If we’re going to be honest with one another, I have confession today. I used to suck with money. Budgets? Who cared. Understanding debt? Not me. Yes, I know ignorance in the money department is a luxury. But my self control was crap along with my patience so I had absolutely no desire to learn about finances or how to get your finances on track.
Thankfully, with a little help from a friend or two, some very intentional goals and trial & error, I’ve learned quite a bit. So for you babes who are like me and don’t know where to begin, I hope today’s post can help. Yes, you can read all the finance books on the planet. I’d recommend Rich Bitch* and Unshakeable*. But sometimes you have to walk before you can crawl. And these tips are the ones that got me walking on the road to a goal of being debt free. If I can do it, so can you!
Learn Your Spending Habits
I knew I needed to create a budget. Seems simple right? If you want to get your finances on track, you have to know what track you’re currently on. But when you live from paycheck to paycheck, it can be hard to get an idea of what true spending looks like in your life. I’ve been a fan of Mint.com for a long time despite my lack of budgeting skills. So I started there.
I looked through the last two years of spending habits and made notes. How much did I normally spend on groceries? Where was I spending money and not realizing it? Amazon. Always amazon. It took me sometime to really get an idea of how I spent money but it was incredibly helpful. Once I knew my habits, I could anticipate them for the future. It also meant I could plan for things without making myself feel deprived.
For me, it meant I could set aside a certain amount for the skincare I knew I’d want to try out or the nice meal I want to have once a month. Your budget might look more like giving yourself and eff it fund for the days you just want to spend money on whatever the hell you want. If you can plan for it, then you can hit your goals and still live your life. But you’ve got to figure out where all the money is going in the first place.
Employ a Tool To Keep You In Check
I wanted something that would help me keep an eye on my transactions while also helping me save for the future. I didn’t want a million bank accounts. I just wanted to be able to leave money in the bank and know it was set aside for vacation or already appropriated for my vitamins that month. Eventually, I decided on You Need A Budget.
It’s both a website and an app that allows you to track everything with Type A accuracy. Almost all of my accounts, minus Regions, can be added so I can track my funds. Plus it makes it easy for me to still use credit cards and earn rewards! It took me some time to figure it out. But eventually, YNAB and I found a groove. It’s given me the structure I needed to maximize on the benefits of my accounts while also helping me with my goal of being debt free. I’m in love!
DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO USE CREDIT CARDS OR NOT
I’m a big fan of credit cards when used properly. If you’re carrying a balance, I am and I don’t recommend it, then you’re not really helping yourself get your finances on track. But if you can be smart with your money, then you can use credit cards to get cashback that can be your own little vacation account or even score free flights. The options are endless.
I am not equipped to educate you on credit cards. There’s a million out there so I’d recommend doing the research. Nevertheless, if you want to make any kind of big purchase, you’re going to need good credit. And a credit card is a great way to start paving the road for better deals down the road.
SET UP A SAVINGS ACCOUNT. THIS IS NOT NEGOTIABLE.
You need a savings account. Even if you don’t think you need one, you need one. There are several that exist and provide you with 4% interest which is awesome if you aren’t spending the money. But you need a savings account. Eventually, investing might be a road you go down but finding a savings account that pays you for not spending your money is a good start. I have one with Simple I’d recommend. But there are a few other online ones out there worth checking out.
EDUCATE YOURSELF AND ENSURE YOUR FUTURE
In the few months since I’ve gone down the Ed Mylett Podcast rabbit hole, I’ve learned a lot. But the beginning of the learning journey start with an episode featuring Tony Robbins. Tony is known for quite a bit but his recent book, Unshakeable*, was the topic of discussion.
The idea is essentially this: how do you invest and make your financial future unshakeable. Unless you’re a fortune teller, it’s hard to know what the markets going to do. But there are tactics you can do to make sure that your money is in the best place possible. And this means educating yourself and not letting someone else have their hand on the wheel of your financial future.
There’s a lot to unpack in his book. I have the audible version*, of course, because I find that it’s easier for me to digest in small chunks that way. If you have ANY kind of retirement, you need to read this. The stories Tony tells about how fees are ripping away SO MUCH MONEY from your IRAs is insane. Just by asking a few questions, you could see the difference of several thousand dollars in your retirement fund! I know you babes are smart, want to get your finances on track and make sure you are financially secure for the future. Trust me. You need this book.
Do you have an financial tips that have helped you change your life? I’d love to hear them! Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know. And feel free to share this post with a babe you want to encourage on her financial journey. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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