Hello Sophisticated Spenders!
Today is #FinHealthMatters Day!
53% of US consumers have less than three months of income saved.
Your financial health is just as important as your physical (and mental) health.
What I wish I’d known about financial health:
Money doesn’t solve your problems, YOU solve your problems.
I was lucky enough to screw up my credit at an early age. I was approved for my first credit card at the age of 18. I headed off to college and never paid the bill. I applied for more credit cards on campus (hello free t-shirts).
I borrowed money from friends for security deposits for my off-campus apartments. I paid an insanely high 23% interest rate when I decided to buy a car. And forget about buying a home because I couldn’t even save enough money for a security deposit (note, lenders will NOT let you borrow a down payment for a home from friends and family).
So what did I learn from all of those mistakes?
There are 5 crazy smart things you can do with your money:
1: Save. I would save a few dollars here and there. But I really didn’t get serious about saving until I realized the amount of money I was throwing away paying credit card interest. Would you pay $130 for a $100 item? That’s exactly what you’re doing when you put something on a credit card that you don’t pay off at the end of the month-you pay an extra 30%.
2: Live within your means. Why didn’t I live on campus longer? I clearly was not ready to move off campus because I would have had the money to do so. When you find yourself borrowing to upgrade your lifestyle…don’t. Stay in your lane. If you want a new car or bigger home, figure out your monthly payment and save that amount for 6 months to see if this is something you can afford. And after 6 months, you’ll have a nice chunk of change saved to decide your next step.
3: Invest. No worries if you don’t know anything about the stock market, you can invest in things you’ve never even considered. Your education, your wardrobe, an idea, the list goes on.
4: Be picky! Back to the Zumba example. Be picky and strategic with how you spend your money. I spent around $400 on my Zumba, INSANITY, Cycle, CPR and Group Exercise certifications. Now I make $400 per month using said certifications. I paid off my car with that extra income and am currently applying that extra money to the mortgage on one of my investment properties (oh and on new Zumba clothes).
5: Plan for Emergencies! Emergencies will happen…So plan for them! I have at least 3 months living expenses in my Emergency fund. Save when times are good so that you are not in a panic when times get rough. Don’t get me wrong, I like vacations. I like happy hour. I like nice things. But I’ve also paid my dues. My vacations are planned and paid for 6 months in advance.
The Crystal at the beginning of this article is long gone because I’ve improved my financial health. I paid attention to my money ailments and one by one I fixed them.
Please make sure you are paying attention to your relationship with your money and share this article with someone else who would benefit from reading!
I’d love to hear what financial health means to you in the comments below.