As financial literacy month comes to a close, it's a great time to put some simple steps into action to bring you closer to your money goals. In celebration of her New York Times best-selling book, Get Good With Money, let's get into the advice of Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche for fixing our money mentality.
Highly recognized as one of America's "favorite financial advisors," Aliche has empowered more than one million women to pay off more than $100 million in debt and save more than $200 million toward any number of life goals. Her Live Richer Academy gives play-by-play counsel on how to fix credit issues, overcome crippling debt and view saving money as a downpayment for the joy of your future self.
One thing that makes her plan easy to follow is how attainable she makes each goal feel by breaking it down into incremental pieces that take away the overwhelming dread of accounting that keeps many people stuck in unhealthy money patterns.
So, if you're looking to get unstuck, here are a few gems from The Budgetnista to get you moving in the right direction.
Choose Your Savings Goals, Write Them Down And Share Them With Someone
Having a clear plan and an accountability partner is a great way to make sure you actually meet a goal. A key component to manifesting what we want in life is putting it into words, and having a trusted partner to keep you focused when things get bumpy always helps!
Be Purposeful With Your Spending: Wants, Needs, Loves, and Likes
It is easier to maintain a budget that actually takes into consideration the things that truly matter to you. It is not about forcing yourself to live a life that does not suit you. It's about framing the life you want with money behavior that allows you to enjoy now and still make plans for the future. Identifying your wants, needs, loves and likes can help you make attainable financial goals while reminding you of what really speaks to you. It's easier to forego that extra pair of shoes when you remember that you actually love travel. Or, if you're a fashion girl, maybe you'll decide to have one less UberEats meal in exchange for a new staple wardrobe piece. The point is, identifying what matters to you can show you where your money is best spent!
Of course, many of us have learned the importance of getting rid of non-essential things in our lives over the last year, but it still bears repeating we are all spending a lot more than we think on things we don't genuinely need. Cutting the cord by buying a coffee maker instead of hitting Starbucks or asking for a lower monthly payment on specific bills are all ways you can find a little extra money to set aside for savings goals.
Make Your Credit Jump Like Jordan By Auto Paying
Suppose your goal is to raise your credit score. In that case, you can utilize Budgetnista's 'Jump Like Jordan' plan by opening a $0 balance credit card (or using an existing card with a $0 balance) and attaching a very small recurring bill to it (think an Apple Music or Tidal subscription). Only use the card for this purpose and set up auto-pay to ensure this bill gets paid on time every month. Leave this card at home to avoid any temptation to use it on anything other than raising your credit via prompt payments.
Sometimes, You Just Need To Make More Money
Many financial teachers charge their students with living within their means and pitch it as a cure-all, but sometimes, there's simply not enough money to take care of all the necessities and have a life too. So, The Budgetnista has suggestions on how to bring in more money to spend on the things you love (not want or just like—those things that absolutely add to your joy). Here are some ideas:
- Focus Groups—Want to get paid for your opinion? The Penny Hoarder suggests ProOpinion to find online focus groups. You can also look to CraigsList or FocusGroup to get paid for participating in research studies.
- Take Online Surveys—Take surveys in your downtime while watching TV or commuting on public transit and get paid for it. The Penny Hoard recommends Ipsos Panel, SendEarnings, MySurvey, and Springboard Panel.
- Make Money as a Transcriptionist—Transcriptionists can make up to $25 per hour listening to audio and typing out what's said. This job could be right up your alley if you're a fast and accurate typer. Learn how to get started in the field on The Penny Hoarder post "Earn $25 an Hour as a Transcript."
- Rent or Sell Clothes Online—Do you have an entire closet of clothes you don't wear? Sell or rent them for extra money. Head over to the site's Loanables and RentNotBuy to cash in on your unused clothes.
Keep saving those coins, sis. You're getting closer to where you want to be!