1. PAY YOURSELF FIRST.
I know what you’re thinking… “YAS, Queen. Das right. TREAT. YO. SELF.”
And while I totally agree with pampering yourself with a bi-weekly nail bar visit, that’s not quite what I mean here. When I say “pay yourself first” I mean before you go out and blow your paycheck on Rihanna’s holographic Fenty line at Sephora, put money back into your savings account first. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Start by putting 5% of your paycheck back into a savings account each month or maybe just sliding in $20 a week into a envelope for your rainy day fund.
A rainy day fund, you say? You mean like a stash of money I set aside, so when I have a bad day I can go have a shopping spree at Bloomies?
2. START A RAINY FUND.
Now, I know saving is hard, but being a broke a$$ B without a job is even harder. And trust, the last thing you want is to (goddess forbid) lose your job and have no way to support yourself while you frantically search for a new one.
Unless you want to enlist as a sugar baby for some Hugh Heff wanna-be (RIP), that means start planning now. Experts say you should have 3 months of living expenses set back in a rainy day fund for just this. Now, having 3 months of expenses in your bank account isn’t going to happen over night. It will take time to save up this money, hence numero uno listed above, pay yourself first.
3. CREATE A BUDGET.
I hear ya, it’s everyone’s least favorite financial term. Unless you are Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO who as of Oct ’17 is now the richest man in the world), you need to plan and budget. Which I guarantee you, Mr. Jeffy-B didn’t get to where he is by oversleeping or overspending at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale…
(Don’t worry, we’re not judging you here.)
At then end of the day, it’s about making sure you are not spending more money than you are making. A good starting point is to make a list of your expenses, pay your self first (aka put some money back), and budget the remaining money accordingly.
4. CUT YOUR SPENDING.
Now this doesn’t take rocket scientist to figure out. STOP SPENDING MONEY ON USELESS SH*T.
I know and I am the first to admit – giving up my Starbucks latte habit… it’s not going to happen. Not entirely at least. So, fine. So be it, sista. But you have to find ways to cut back in other areas. I.e. Cancelling unnecessary beauty box subscriptions. Because lesbi-honest, do you really love everything they send you in that box? Probably not.
There’s other ways to cut back too, like maybe try bringing your lunch to work a couple of days a week. Or challenge yourself to have 1 day a week where you literally spend ZERO money. Trust me, it’s more of a challenge than one would think (or maybe that’s just me *shrugs*). And avoid those random impulse buys! When shopping, go in with a plan. You need new boots? Fine. Go buy your new thigh high boot-boots, but don’t leave that store with an new pair of heels too, just because they “spoke to you” too.
Pull it together.
And for the grocery store, make a list, and try to stick to it. I know, I know… Target buggies (I mean “shopping carts”) were not built for people with “lists.”
And maybe, just maybe, avoid late night Amazon shopping after you’ve finished off that bottle of Cabernet… just sayin’.
If you work for a company that offers a 401k, great. If your company offers a 401k and offers to match your contribution, even better! That right there is free money, and if you are not currently taking advantage of that benefit… this is your reality check — What are you doing with your life?!
Start with 3-5% contributions and slowly work your way up. Retirement may seem like a long way out now, but trust, if you start planning now, you will be way ahead of the game.
Don’t have a 401k? Don’t panic. Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are another excellent option for retirement investment. Now, my stint working in the financial industry was short lived, so I’m going to leave these explanations up to the experts. Compare and decide which suits you better here.
Not ready to jump right in Wolf of Wall Street style just yet? No worries, boo-boo. Baby steps right here. I was recently introduced to an investment app called STASH. STASH is essentially an investment app for beginners. It teaches you how to build your own portfolio with even the smallest of investments. I’m starting with investing just $5 a week. That’s just one iced skinny vanilla latte sacrificed a week, people. If I can do it, you can too.
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Saving money is hard, but reaping the benefits like a grown ass adult… totally worth it. At the end of the day, just remember…
**Full disclosure, I am not a financial expert. Words shared here are things that I have learned from my own education and pure self preservation as a working millennial in today’s world. It’s always best to ask a financial professional first before making any big decisions. K, thanks.**
xo, your gal-pal, Al