Since starting this blog in 2020, we’ve covered a wide range of topics. We have talked about taxes and learning how to file on your own, understanding your 401(k) and the benefits of owning a credit card. We’ve discussed budgets in every way you could think of; how your personality effects your budgeting, different types of budgets and the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. At one point, we even threw in a financial challenge that proved to be a total failure if you don’t have great willpower (for me, anyway). It has been fun doing deep dives into the world of personal finance. All this big thinking, though, can cause us to gloss over basic financial principles.
Let’s go back to basics. These may be obvious but are definitely worth repeating.
Saving money is one of the best financial habits you can adopt. It allows you to cushion the blow of a financial emergency, assist in large purchases, avoid debt, reduce your financial stress, and provide you with a greater sense of financial freedom! Saving your money doesn’t always come easy but there are some practical ways to help get you on the fast track to saving money. For instance, start paying off your debts from smallest to largest. This snowball method allows you to gain momentum as you pay off each remaining balance! When you pay off one debt, roll that minimum payment over into the next smallest debt payment.
Spend less than what you make! It is a simple premise, but one that is often ignored. If you live on more than you earn, you’re going to have a harder time getting ahead.
Let’s use this principle as an example when buying a home or car. When buying a house, always look at your financial health beforehand and don’t even consider buying until you have an emergency savings account with three to six months of living expenses. Buy within reason and realize that the more you spend on housing, the less you’ll have for everything else.
When looking for your next car purchase, don’t go into crazy debt over it. I have had a few cars in my life and trust me when I say my $10,000 KIA drives me from point A to point B just as well as the latest $75,000 Audi.
Well, first off, what’s a financial windfall? A windfall is a large amount of money that someone comes into unexpectedly. I listed this as a basic financial principal because, at some point, we will all end up with a lucky break or two in our lifetime. Maybe it’s a surprise bonus from work, a large inheritance, a spike in a stock you hold, or you score the jackpot from a winning lottery ticket (side note: as an honorary basic principle, don’t try to gamble your way into wealth!). It is a fair assumption that most people will go out and splurge with this newfound money, but it should go straight into something that targets your financial future rather than the short term, like your mortgage or highest-interest debt. I know, where is the fun in that?! Your fun will come later when you’re granted greater financial freedom. It’s just one more step to getting ahead!
If you win a million-dollar windfall on a lottery ticket, maybe then, and only then, you can splurge and buy yourself a Trenti coffee from Starbucks because, let’s face it, those things aren’t cheap! But that’s about it.
You work hard for your money and your money should work hard for you! Not only can you grow your wealth, but if you’re able to invest young then you set yourself up to have more financial freedom when you’re older. If you’re just starting out, begin to look at your company’s 401(k) and Roth IRAs. If you’re interested in safer options, Certificate and Money Market accounts are good choices to keep and grow funds in.
If there's anything that I've learned from writing these blogs, it's that creating a financially sound like can be overwhelming. As I grow older, it almost feels like a daunting task that requires a financial GPS - where am I today, where do I want to get to, and which is the best route to take that won't veer me off into costly detours? It is in these overwhelming moments that I take a deep breath and go back to the basics of what I've learned.
Category: Think Pink: A Millennial Perspective
You just got home from your beach vacation. Instead of unpacking, you spend hours scrolling through photos reminiscing about your time away. But then reality sets in when you realize it is Sunday night and you have to work the next day. Your stomach grumbles but the fridge is empty because you haven't been grocery shopping for 2 weeks.
It is officially summertime, you’ve put in the request for some time off at work and you’re ready for some much needed R&R! You finally start to plan out your vacation getaway, and then… you see that the expenses are adding up quickly. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and realize you’re out of money. So how do you plan a vacation without overspending, that also fits your budget?!
Spring is finally upon us! While most people are thinking about spring cleaning their homes, it is equally as important to think about cleaning your finances. Yes, just like that one crinkled shirt hidden in the depths of your closet that you promise “you will wear one day” – your finances need some reevaluating, too! So, where do we even start? Here are a few tips and tricks to start spring cleaning your finances:
Before we start, I already know what you’re thinking, “Olivia, you’re not good at saving money. Is this going to be a huge flop like the ’No Spend November‘ challenge?” And my answer: potentially. I always do my best to be transparent when it comes to money… and I am a work in progress! I cannot guarantee this spending plan is going to be my “a-ha moment” where I get my life and finances together, but it is worth a shot!
Ah, February – the month where love is in the air and, for us single folk, it is the month where we get amazing deals on post-Valentine’s Day chocolates. In February, relationships are celebrated with romantic dinners and roses, however, there is an important relationship that often goes uncelebrated – your relationship with yourself!
When you’re 25 years old, retirement seems so far away. Even though I have at least 40 more years in the work force (sigh) I still know that one day I am going to be burnt out from working 5 days a week- I already am! Eventually, I’ll need to stop working as hard as I am now to enjoy some relaxation except I can’t get to that point if I run out of money prematurely.
When my mom was growing up, my grandparents would pull off the clown car illusion of stuffing every neighborhood kid into their car to go get an ice cream cone every Friday night. There were days when my grandparents had only a couple dollars in their pockets, yet, they never turned anyone down.
The painful truth for most people my age- we have no clue how to file taxes. And what do you do when you have no clue how to do something? Ask your parents!
When I was 10 years old, I envisioned that by age 23 I would be an “adult.” I’d be married and living in a colonial home that I’d raise my family in. Fast forward 16 years. At 26 years old, I am not married, I still live at home with my parents and I couldn’t imagine having kids of my own right now. It seems laughable now but how did my 10 year old vision change so drastically over the years?
Is anyone else confused at how it is already 2022?! Growing up, I always felt that the years were so much longer. However, the older I get the more I realize how quickly each day goes by. I began my career at the credit union when I was young and fresh out of college. Now, I am in my late 20’s and my back pops when I bend over!
Hi my name is Olivia and I am a total clothes horse. I buy for a mixture of reasons, including being a spin instructor so always “needing” new workout sets or severely overestimating the amount of times I go outside my house. In reality, I wear the same t-shirt and sweatpants every day (yay for working from home!). Essentially, I have spent so much on clothes that my bedroom has started to look like a TJ Maxx popup shop.
At one point in my post-grad career, I had to temporarily switch to an Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan. This option stipulated that the loan payments were going to be based on my annual income. I was only on this plan for about one year but I was paying almost $200 less than what my regular payments were supposed to be.
When I was young, I was gifted the coolest plastic safe. It was deep grey with a bright purple handle that you would spin to open and it had clinking sound effects whenever you opened the safe and deposited money. Since this was before I had a savings account, I threw all of my money in there until it would all fall out when I opened the safe.
According to a survey from CreditCards.com, “47% of Americans are carrying credit card debt.” This statistic would make my grandfather furious if he heard it. He would often say to me, “Vivi, the world started to go downhill once they introduced plastic money!” Following my grandfather’s testament to the downfall of society, he would then tell me the story of how he used to always leave a wad of cash in his work locker for emergencies.
If you’ve been a regular reader of the ThinkPink blog series, you should be well-versed on the importance of a budget. When it comes to saving money and having a plan, a budget is one of the best ways to take control of your finances and reach your financial goals. However, I’ve found that following through with a plan can be cumbersome and while there may be momentum in the beginning, eventually it fizzles out before a goal is even reached. Why is that?
For some readers, the No Spend Challenge could be done with ease and that is awesome! For me, a No Spend Challenge is difficult. It is especially hard when participating during the month of November. Let’s cue the smallest violin here, again. For starters, every store is now fully stocked with their transitional fall into winter pieces, which is arguably the best season for creating outfits.
When you graduate from college, one of the first things that you start to save toward is getting your own place. You just lived on your own for 4 years and had that taste of “freedom.” You could go about as you pleased without having to tell your parents where you were going at 11:00 pm. And if your diet consisted of late-night pizza and mozzarella sticks then so be it. College is essentially a 4-year long sleepover with your closest friends but then one day it ends and before you know it you are back in your bedroom at home.
Since starting this blog in 2020, we've covered a wide range of topics. It has been fun doing deep dives into the world of personal finance. All this big thinking, though, can cause us to gloss over basic financial principles.