Hello Work It, Mom! members. I’m very excited to have found such a resourceful community that I can identify with. Everyone has been so helpful and friendly, especially Nataly, so I can’t wait to browse around and meet more of you. I, of course, am a working (single) mom who’s an executive by day, a personal finance blogger by night, and a dedicated mom to my teenage daughter (aka BabyGirl) 24/7. To learn more about me, I welcome you to check out my Work It, Mom profile or my personal finance blog, Fabulous Financials.
Since talking about money is what I seem to do best – although I tend to I run off at the mouth about a lot of other things, too -- I wanted to share what I call Five Secrets to Fabulous Financials. I hope someone finds it helpful.
1.) Start now. There is no better time than the present to start saving. You don’t have to wait until XYZ happens before you open a high-yield savings account. Save the good excuses for when you call in sick on a fabulous day. Matter of fact, I can feel myself getting sick next Thursday (*cough – need another three-day weekend -- cough*), but go ahead and open the account already!
2.) Start small. If you're just starting to save and you’re trying to develop a healthy habit, it doesn’t matter how much you save, as long as you are saving something. Keep your conscience clear though; saving $5 when you net $1,000 a week is so UNfabulous!
3.) Create a goal. A goal should be something realistic that you’ve always wanted to attain, but seems out of reach (for now). I think goals keep us grounded, focused, and motivated. When you’re reminded of your goals, they also help you correct bad spending habits. Then, when the goal is achieved, it’s an ego boost that makes you feel even more fabulous than ever!
4.) Automate. I know saving is hard, but if you put yourself on an automated savings plan (like direct deposit, payroll allotment, automatic transfer, etc.), it minimizes the effort and forces you to live on what’s left. Eventually, you forget about it and don’t even miss it. Before you know it, you’ve built a nice little nest egg. Don’t worry, having less money doesn’t mean you’re less fabulous. It simply encourages creativity to maintain your fabulosity.
5.) Balance. Don’t deprive yourself of everything. This will only make you angry and resentful of any previous savings efforts. *shhh, don’t ask me how I know this* When you establish limits to save and limits to spend, it creates a nice little balance. For example: I love shoes and handbags, but my spend plan (I hate the word budget) limit for “entertainment” is only $150 per month. Yes, shopping is a form of entertainment for me – tell me I’m the only one – but so is dining out, buying books and CDs, taking BabyGirl to the movies… you get the picture. If I see a really cute handbag that I absolutely can NOT resist, I’ll forego all other luxuries in exchange for the bag. Of course this requires discipline and patience, but so does finding the perfect outfit and accessories to go with my new bag. :-)