It’s come to my attention that while a lot of you lovely ladies may have your fingers on the pulse, you don’t seem to have a handle on your wallet. I am, by no means, the next Suze Orman, however, I’ve done a pretty good job managing my finances throughout the years. While we do have access to the Kardashians’ every move courtesy of E!, we do not have access to their bank accounts. So many Americans have been tricked into thinking that they too are uber fab celebrities with unlimited funds and the need to fill their closets full of designer duds. I know plenty of girls living on PR girl paychecks (or with 529 college savings plan) with trust fund style wardrobes. Sure, Sally has a closet full of designer shoes, but she’s also got a mailbox full of credit card bills. And let me tell you, there’s nothing chic about credit card debt. So, rather than suffer the embarrassment of having your AmEx declined at brunch, here are some quick tips on how to keep your balance sheet in the black:
- Do not buy things you can’t afford. I know that sounds pretty straight forward and sensical… but it would appear that many of you have no common sense. Try only using a debit card. Give your credit cards a break. There was a time in my life where I put mine in my freezer. Talk about a spending freeze.
- Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Answer truthfully… 9 times out of 10, the answer will be, “Absolutely not.”
- Make a budget. Fire up good ol’ Excel and start tracking your finances (like that food diary you keep). You will be amazed at what you are spending your money on. Did you really spend $200 last month on afdsfadf?
- Not good with Excel sheets? Sign up for Mint.com. It will link all your accounts and help you get a handle on your finances. You can even set goals and track progress.
- Set up your bank account online so that you can monitor your transactions anytime, anywhere (so long as there’s wifi).
- Put away a portion of your paycheck every month. If you set it up to take it out automatically, it will be as if you never even saw that money. I have been doing this for years. I actually don’t even know how to turn it off… and it’s probably for the best.
- Do not touch your savings unless it is an absolute emergency. And no, a Balenciaga bag is not an “emergency.”
- It’s the little things. Don’t go out as much. Eat in. Don’t buy things online. Sure those panties were only 15 bucks, but when you buy 6 pairs that’s $90!
Sure, these seem pretty obvious, but it never ceases to amaze me how many young ladies have no control over their own finances. Don’t get caught up in retail therapy and land yourself in debtor’s prison.