Girl, Let’s Talk About your Financial Future

There a few basic things each woman should be paying attention to when it comes to her financial future. This is an extremely important part of your life and many of us do not know where to start when it comes to handling that “green stuff”. Here are a few things you can do to get yourself on the path to success and wealth.

YOUR SAVINGS

Starting off with a strange one, but hear me out…. Collect $5 dollar bills. Every time you get a five in your hot little hand, don’t spend it. Look at it like a collectible stamp or something. That five is precious to you, so you must save it and put in an envelope in your sock drawer. This will help you start a small little side savings.

Set up weekly savings transfers. Automatically deduct $20 a week from your paycheck or your checking account into your savings. You can live without that extra $20/week without really feeling it and it will help you have something in your savings in case of an emergency.

YOUR SPENDING

Keep a 30-day list. If you have an impulse to buy something you don’t absolutely need, put it on a 30-day list. When the 30 days are up, you can buy it — but most likely, the strong urge to buy it will be gone, and you can evaluate it more calmly.

Track your spending using geeky software packages. There are expensive programs like MS Money, Quicken, and the like that will do amazing things with your financial information. There are even free ones, on your desktop or online, that can do all kinds of things. Trouble is, I don’t need all that. Many banks are offering online banking with personal spending tracking that will tell you where you’re spending your money. Take a look at this every month when you look at your statement. Adjust and re-evaluate for next month, without being too hard on yourself.

Pay savings and debt first. When you sit down to pay your bills, make the first bills you pay be your savings transfer and your debt payments. If not, if you pay them last … you’ll often end up shortchanging them. But if you pay them first, you’ll make sure you still pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries and gas … so you’ll just cut back on other spending.

YOUR HABITS

Declutter. By getting rid of all the excess stuff in your home, you not only make your life more simple and peaceful, but you make it harder to buy stuff that will just clutter your princess palace up again. Once you’ve simplified your home, you won’t want to go back.

Lend and borrow. Give books, clothes and toys you don’t need anymore to your friends, family and neighbors. If you need something, send out an email asking if anyone has it. Chances are, they’ll give it to you for free if they don’t use it anymore.

Barter. It’s a lost art, but lots of people will take your services or goods instead of money, especially if you’re friends or at least know each other. Get into the habit of offering to barter, and you’ll find yourself saving a lot of money.

Teach your babies about advertising, saving, earning, and gift-giving. If you have kids, educating them about money will save you a lot of money in the long run. If they know about how advertising influences them in tricky ways, they’ll be less likely to demand the latest fad toys. If they know about saving and earning money, they’ll respect the money that you earn, and that you are trying to save. If they know that gift-giving doesn’t have to be about spending a lot of money, they won’t necessarily want expensive stuff.

Find happiness in life, not spending your green. Many times people buy stuff because they think it will bring them happiness. They just HAVE to have the latest gadget or shoes or cars. And yet, you buy that stuff, and you’re only happy for a day or two at most. Then you just need to buy more. It’s a never-ending cycle. Instead, learn to love life.

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