I have made just about every money mistake possible. Not because I wanted to but simply because I didn't know how to save. My idea of saving money was putting clothes on layaway! I was never taught how to save, how to budget, how to invest. I've learned over the years but it's still a challenge. Honey, I love me a sale at New York & Company and I know where every Ross store is in a 20 mile radius of my home..see what I mean. A 2013 study shows that 40% of women are now head of their households. That means we are the primary breadwinners and as such we need to have our financial game on point. We get ourselves into financial trouble because of our ignorance of money. We get ourselves into trouble when we try to keep up with the Jones-es. We get ourselves into trouble when we try to take care of everybody else instead of us.
So how do we turn our financial bondage into financial freedom? I'm glad you asked.
1. You have to be honest about your financial situation. You are not a baller if you are robbing Peter to pay Paul.
2. You've got to know how much money you bring in and how much you spend. If the thought of a budget makes your skin crawl then simply do an assessment. Write down all your expenses and look for those non-essential things you can cut. Happy hour every Friday is not an essential expense!
3. Pay your bills on time. Will we forget a bill sometimes? Sure. Will there be times when you have more month than money? Yes, but we can't fall into those negative patterns of always playing catch-up.
4. No new debt. If you are up to your eyeballs in bills don't put yourself into further debt by buying things on credit or leasing that 2015 Mercedes when there is nothing wrong with your 2013 Kia Optima(which those cars are super cute).
5. Protect your credit score. In today's time your credit is like currency. The better your score the better rates you receive.
6. Open a savings account and put money in it. It is critical that you start saving money now! You need to save 3-4 months of living expenses first before you allocate your savings for something else. I know that sounds hard but it's not. I have money from my paycheck automatically go into my savings account that way I don't even have to think about it. Once you have saved your living expenses then set a goal for the rest of the dollars. Maybe you are saving for a nice vacation or you want to take the kids to Disney, give it a goal and it will make it easier to save. If that is still a little challenging for you then try the 52 week challenge. My whole family is doing it. (Don't know what it is google it).
I have come across 3 books that have given me a good laugh, a hard reality check and encouragement to get my financial life together. Check them out on the All Things Fabulous page. I hope these tips help you to start getting your financial life in order cause there is nothing FABULOUS about being broke!
Be blessed and fabulous!