How to Permanently Stop Financial Stress, Even if You’ve Tried Everything!
Financial fitness is such an important part of life-health, wealth, happiness and all.
Financial savvy women (and men) know the ins and outs of their financial situation and how to handle any disruptions without getting completely thrown off track.Being financially fit is part of the health, wealth, happiness formula! Click To Tweet
Whether you’re a single lady, a CEO mama, or just leaving the nest, these financial habits will help you to keep your finances and life in order.
1. Don’t live above your means. (Don’t eat the marshmallow)
I know this can be hard at times with all those tempting credit card offers. BUT DON’T DO IT! Savvy financial divas don’t depend on credit and can hold back from that ever so tempting instant gratification.
Understand that looking wealthy and actually being wealthy are two completely different things. Just cuz you can buy a $300 Michael Kors watch-on a credit card– doesn’t mean that you have any actual money. Be motivated by the long-term financial freedom rather than looking the part now.
2. Get rid your most expensive debts first. Work smarter not harder.
If you DO have debt that you need to climb out of, write down exactly how much everything is, the monthly minimums, and the APRs. Which one is COSTING you the most? Work on those ones first or transfer any debt with high APRs to something with lower ones to try and save a little while you are working on paying it off.
3. Don’t spend frivolously.
Again with the instant gratification…Do you really need the newest model of your smartphone? Probably not. Really know where your money is going and don’t let it just disappear out of your bank account.
Before I had a handle on this, I can’t tell you how many times I looked in my checking and saw charges that I had no idea, or couldn’t remember, where they came from. This is a TERRIBLE habit!
4. Cut back where you can.
This goes hand in hand with #3. You can easily save $25 a week by making your coffee at home rather than stopping at Starbucks 5 days a week.
Look for ways you can cut back unnecessary expenses, like those pesky late fees that creep up on your or buying certain items that you would normally buy, but only when they are on sale or you have a coupon.
There are lots of things that you can do to cut unnecessary expenses. Have kids in sports and extracurricular activities? Look for hand-me-down items from other parents in those groups. Check out Craigslist or resale Facebook groups for items your kids need.
Here is a personal example. When my son started BMX racing, I wanted to buy him a brand new bike and gear, but that would have added up to around $1,000! Instead, we purchased a used bike from the local BMX track for $100 and some other parents gave us (for FREE) some gear, and we purchased a perfectly good helmet of a friend for $10. SCORE! $110 vs. $1,000+, he was just has happy 🙂
5. Have a savings AND emergency fund.
You may be thinking to yourself, what’s the difference?
Generally speaking, you should have 6 months worth of expenses in your savings and an additional $X amount for an emergency fund-you know like if you need a new water heater-those annoying and unexpected expensives-I mean expenses.
Contribute to your savings and emergency funds regularly. Be prepared!
Your savings will help you out in the case if you lose part or all of your income. A general rule of thumb for savings is 6 months worth of income. But how much should you have in your emergency fund-that really depends on your situation. Own a house? Have kids? Own a vehicle or two?
Make sure you factor in all these types of things when figuring out how much to save for an emergency fund so you don’t have to take out a credit card to pay for a busted water pipe or new car engine.
6. Know how much money you have and where it comes from.
How much is your paycheck normally? Do you have a side hustle? Any investments from your employer that you earn dividends from?
Make sure you know what you earn, where it comes from and that it is working the hardest it can for you! If your employer automatically puts your 401K into a diversified portfolio, is that money being utilized for maximum profits? Find out, if not, change it!
7. Budget, budget, budget!
It’s time to rethink what you know about budgets!It’s time to rethink what you know about budgets! Click To Tweet
Your budget should be flexible yet consistent. It’s not very common to have the same expenses month to month for an entire year. Have kids-yeah the budget in late August is vastly different than in late May (school supplies and fees!).
Your budget needs to be realistic rather than a rigid, tedious thing that you avoid at all costs. Make sure you budget in for going out to eat with friends and actually having fun too.
The point of a budget is to take control of your money, not become a hermit. There are plenty of things to do without blowing your paycheck.
8. Know your due dates for your money babies.
Late fees are a pain in the a$$!
They are expensive and annoying, however, easy to avoid, so why not. It can be as simple as writing all of your expense due dates down on a calendar or setting reminders on your phone but don’t forget to budget for ALL of your expenses.
9. Invest in yourself!
Ok, so I know this may sound counteractive to what I said before, but hear me out…
This is something that can often be overlooked, especially for us women and mothers who tend to put ourselves last, above all of our other responsibilities.
Make sure you are also rewarding yourself when you reach those hard fought milestones, whether they be financial, health, or relationship related. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Pay off one of your credit cards? Buy yourself a new book or some bath bombs, whatever floats your boat!
You will be highly less likely to stick to a budget or your goals if you are overly strict on yourself and don’t allow for any fun whatsoever!
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10. You can afford it? GOOD! Now don’t buy it!
Now that you have worked to pay things off and have a good amount in your savings and you CAN afford that new pair of Jimmy Choo’s or the latest iPhone doesn’t mean that you should buy them.
If you start spending just because you can, then you will not be financially free for very long. Now I know I just said you should invest in yourself and reward yourself when you reach your goals, but keep things in perspective here.
Keep your bigger ticket items occasional and calculate for those expenses. Stay away from those frequent and impulsive purchases. Those are probably what got you in trouble in the first place!
11. Stock up your nuts for retirement.
Your retirement should be kept separate from your savings or your emergency fund.
Whether you have a retirement setup through an employer or through an IRA, you should have it setup to contribute regularly and as much as you can afford. Remember, this is pre-tax savings here people, take advantage of it!
12. Money isn’t everything!
This is hard to grasp when you have very little of it, but remember money, ultimately, does not define who you are or how happy you are. The number in your bank account should not determine how you feel about yourself.
The number in your bank account should not determine how you feel about yourself.
Time to get serious here for a moment…
Way too many couples fight over money. I can honestly say that this is one thing that my husband and I have HARDLY ever fought over. Cuz, really? Is it worth it? No! The important thing is that we have each other, our children, and a home to call our own. I
Are there any financial freedom tips and tricks that you have used? Remember sharing is caring 😉
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