One the most important things we as #Black Southern Belles can do to ensure that we live the lives we want to no matter what life may bring us, including career changes, health issues or family concerns is to have our money in order. Money is not the most important thing in life but it should be managed so that it does not take over your life. As Black Southern Belles we may have high standards in clothing and home decor but our standards should be just as high in our savings accounts and retirement plans. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Get Some Help: Sign up for a budget management site like Mint or LearnVest to get daily tips and jumpstart your budgeting and tracking of your finances. Seeing all that student loan debt on a website may be scary but knowledge is power when it comes to budgeting. You can still love your HBCU while hating your student loan.
Get a Grip: Determine your budget based on your debt, savings goals, and income. Gather all of your account information both in paper and digitally. Store them in a safe place online and at home. It gives you another excuse to buy a cute container from Target to store them in.
Find more Money: You don’t need a raise to find more money in your budget. There are plenty of places to save money in your budget. Start by negotiating insurance rates, reduce grocery bill by going to bulk or discount stores, look out for a new cell phone or cable plan. Maybe even get rid of cable all together, all we need is Netflix anyway now that they have all the season of A Different World.
Put in Some Work: Now you know what you owe, what you make and where to save. The next step if to figure out how to implement the plan. You may use the envelope system for paying bills, pay everything online or keep multiple accounts for different types of expenses. Whatever you do make sure it is easy fits your lifestyle.
Keep Checking In: Evaluate every quarter to see if you are on track. Don’t be afraid to admit you were a little thrown off by an unexpected wedding trip or being a bridesmaid in one too many weddings. Readjust for the next quarter and keep moving forward!
Make it Social: Host an event with your friends to discuss financial planning. You don’t have to do it alone. More often than not they have the same questions as you do. Your friends can support you in more than just break ups and can also be your financial accountability partners. Not to mention a wine night makes even budget planning fun.
Now you know where to start and and you are well on your way to being a financially savvy belle. Let us know your budget saving tips and tricks, we would love to feature some of them in our next article!