Saturday, January 16, 2016

FINANCIAL ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT. (GUEST POST)

financial advice women budget

So how have I been doing so far with my financially fit January?  We'll go with moderately well.  While I haven't had any wine induced online shopping sprees I did have a slip with a $13 Target  sweatshirt.  I rationalized it by the coziness factor and the appearance of temps below 60 degrees in Florida.  (If you're just catching up you can check out my original post about my financial goals for January HERE.)  But the point of today's post is to hear from someone who has a little more self restraint and knowledge in the fiscal department.  That person is my darling mother.  My mother has been a beacon of financial smarts since I was young and always my go-to when I had a money related question.  What's the difference between an IRA and TSP?  Is it better to pay off credit card debt first or set aside money for savings? What kind of student loans should I take out? She knows the answer.  So without further ado sit back, relax, and take in some sage financial advice...

I would like to introduce myself as Mimi, mother of the oh so brazen brunette, Nicole. As you have read through her blog, she loves to shop, travel, and definitely enjoys the finer things in life. But don't we all up to a point? That is why saving is so important.  By saving you can enjoy all of those things and not have the feeling of stress that comes with credit card debt or lack of having money set aside for an emergency.  I have been on my own since I started my first job at the age of 21 and have worked for the same company for 34 years. I have learned a lot along the way and would like to share some of that wisdom with all of you…

‘Pay Yourself First’ -
Society today has bills that were unheard of 25-30 years ago.  I remember when cable TV came out it cost 15 dollars a month!  There were no cell phones so no one had these astronomical phone bills, not to mention college debt.  That is why it is more important than ever to try and save a little each week. First and foremost the old adage still rings true, “pay yourself first.”  Regardless of how many bills you have, or the thought “I can’t possibly save any money,” if you don’t start saving something every week through an automatic withdrawal with your bank you will never have any money.  Even just $10.00 or $25.00 a week is a start. 

Start an Emergency Fund -
It is very important to have an emergency fund set aside separate from your savings account with a few months’ salary in case you lose your job, your car needs to be repaired, or some other unforeseen incident causes you to pull out your credit card because that is your only recourse. It always pays to have money set aside for life’s little unfortunate surprises and this fund should be used strictly for emergencies only.

Plan Ahead -
When you start your first job always participate in whatever 401K plan your company is offering.  Especially if they match a portion of what you contribute that is like free money in your account. Every time you get a raise, increase the percentage you contribute (even if it is just one percent) and it will make a big difference in the long run.  When you are young you don’t think about needing money when you retire because it feels like a lifetime away, but the earlier you start the better off you will be when that day comes.

Spend Money on Experiences Not Things -
I agree wholeheartedly with Nicole that we should spend our money more on experiences as opposed to material items. I wish I had followed this advice 30 years ago…who can remember what they got for Christmas last year, not to mention your birthday? But you would remember that cabin you rented for a week on a beautiful lake in the Adirondacks one summer, or that weekend ski trip you took to Vermont with friends. Things just give us temporary fulfillment, memories last forever. 

Invest in Quality Items -
I think people have too much “stuff” today that causes some of us anxiety and a feeling of losing a bit of self-control.  There are countless books and classes out there just to tell us how to get rid of all of this “stuff” we think we want or need and just have to have so badly.  Cheaply made clothes today is a culprit of all of this.  Just watch the documentary "The True Cost" on Netflix and you will see how much the fashion industry has changed.  Years ago the majority of clothing was made here in the US and made well, lasting for years with fashion trends changing only a couple times a year.  Today a lot of clothing revolves around “fast fashion,” cheaply made clothing that doesn’t last long and that we are quickly bored with.  Spend your money on what you love and feel beautiful in not splurging just because something is on sale or marked down.

I have been pleased to share my thoughts in this "guest post" for my witty, charming, intelligent, and beautiful daughter Nicole. I hope you enjoy reading her blog as much as she adores writing it for all of you!

I hope you guys enjoyed this special guest post!  I have to send a huge thank you to my amazing mother for writing down and offering to share her wisdom.  While I may not listen to everything she says (guilty as charged) I am trying to get better and completely agree with her on the importance of spending your hard earned cash on experiences as opposed to material items and the freedom and security that comes with staying on top of your finances.  Thank you so much for stopping by and please share a piece of sage financial advice you have received over the years in the comments below!  I would love to hear them!!

xoxo Nicole

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