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Money is tempting. It’s easy to blow your next paycheck on shopping with your girls, a fancy dinner, that shiny watch you’ve had your eye on, or a brand-new phone even though you really don’t need it. But, it’s also important to think about your savings, emergency fund, and retirement. The last thing you want is to be entering your golden years realizing you only have enough money to get you through a few years. Instead, take a proactive approach with these five safe money habits for getting your finances in shape.
1. Automatically Transfer Money into Savings
This habit is an easy one. All you have to do is go to your bank account and set up auto-transfer and set a specific amount you’d like transferred each week. So, if you have a goal to save $1,500 in the next 5 months, auto transfer $75 each week. The best part about this is that it’s automatic, so you won’t have to remember to set aside money or be tempted to not transfer money at all. With auto-transfer, you’ll be able to save money so you can afford your next vacation, that luxury car, or increase your retirement fund.
2. Stay Alert
There are hundreds of scams floating around on the internet, through phones, and even through the mail. Do you really think a Nigerian prince is going to transfer $6.5 million in your bank account to keep safe from the Nigerian government and give you 30 percent for helping him out? We sure hope not. Or, did you get a fake IRS letter scam that asks for your personal information such as your bank account number and Social Security Number? Ignore it.
Government agencies will never contact you by email, so if you receive one, report it immediately. Nor will the IRS ever ask for information like your bank account number. If it looks suspicious, it probably is, so always stay alert.
3. Make a Budget
Creating a budget when planning a big purchase will ensure you prioritize your spending. Whether your goal is to get out of debt or to go on a family vacation, creating a budget will ensure you don’t spend frivolously on unnecessary items. There are numerous budgeting apps on the market that sets aside money for you, track bills, and looks at your transactions. Creating a budget will allow you to plan out your financial future by determining which months you may be strapped for cash, and which months you’ll have a little extra spending money.
4. Don’t Spend Where You Don’t Have To
This tip is hard, even for us, but not spending money where you don’t have to can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year. Maybe try brewing coffee at home instead of heading to Starbucks and spending $5 on a triple, venti, half-sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato with an extra shot and two pumps of syrup. Or, instead of going out to lunch every day at work, bring a lunchbox and pack your own meal.
Trying to cut back spending in every area of your life can make you feel deprived. Instead, focus on one single area that you know you spend extra on and try cutting back. So, if you’re all about hitting the clubs up on the weekend, try offsetting your weekend spending by either having a few drinks at home before you go out to save on overpriced drinks, or meal prep to cut back on dinner costs.
5. Make a List of Purchases You Need
As we all know, it’s never a good idea to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Doing so will cause us to buy pretty much everything in sight. I’ve definitely been guilty of this!
Instead, make a grocery list so you know exactly what you need, and nothing else. Many stores work in a way to entice you to buy more product with strategically placed sales signs, aisles in the form a maze, and other sneaky tactics. By creating a shopping list, you’ll be able to track your purchases and control your spending so you can save more money.
Forming safe money habits isn’t as tough as it may seem. While it’s nice to treat ourselves to nice clothes, fancy dinners, and fun experiences, doing it on the regular can set you back financially. Instead, forming a budget, planning your purchases, staying aware of scams, and saving money, will set you up for a bright future.
About Money & Mimosas: Money & Mimosas was started as a passion project by Danetha, a former NFL cheerleader and CFO. After a brunch conversation with girlfriends, Danetha was inspired to launch a resource to learn how they could all enjoy life while being smart with their money. Because who doesn’t want to have their money and mimosas, too?
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There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.” Cheers to our new faces in Congress!!
We 👏🏾 are 👏🏾 on 👏🏾 the 👏🏾 move.
On this Wealth Wednesday lets celebrate the women who made HER-story last night and to us who made a difference with our votes.
However, remember that the work is not done. Everyday we VOTE with our DOLLARS.
Voting at the polls is one way to express our views and create the world you wish to live in. On a daily basis, we also have the power to vote with our dollars. How you choose to spend, or not spend, your money has a direct impact on the world around you. Here are three ways you can use your dollars to affect positive change:
Bank with a bank that actually cares. We have seen time and time again examples of financial institutions that take advantage of their customer base and do little to give back to their community. We have the power to change these practices by intentionally banking with institutions that uphold our values. One of my favorite banks is Radius Bank, which recently launched their Superhero Checking account. Through everyday spending, 1.00% of your total purchases each month will be donated to March of Dimes. Your donation helps advocate for policies that prioritize the health of moms and babies and provide resources and programs for moms before, during and after pregnancy. And if that wasn’t enough, you also earn 0.50% APY on balances of $2,500 or more! All interest earned will be matched by Radius and donated to March of Dimes.
Shop with the environment in mind. Manufacturing clothes is one the top pollutants of our environment. It is estimated that apparel and footwear industries account for 8% of global greenhouse emissions and is steadily increasing. The impacts include water pollution and toxic waste. We all need to wear clothes, so let’s be mindful about where we shop. Companies like Patagonia and Athleta make a conscious effort to use sustainable materials and practices to manufacture their clothes. Or you can host a mimosa party and swap clothes with your trendy girlfriends. Saving money and the environment never looked so good.
Visit the local market. Shopping online is super awesome and convenient and all the things, but doing it all the time does have an impact on your local community. Local grocers, farmers markets and boutiques depend on us to keep them in business. Keeping them in business means that they are able to pay taxes that support local initiatives, create jobs that allow them to hire people within the community and add to the overall well-being of the area. The next time you visit a local shop, instead of price-checking an item to purchase it online, ask the small business owner if they would be willing to match the price for you or create some sort of loyalty program. Shopping local creates stronger communities and benefits you and everyone in the area.
For more tips on how to use your money for good, join our weekly Money & Mimosas insider list.
When it comes to money, everyone wants more of it. There are two ways to have more of it, either earn more or spend less. While earning more can take a lot of effort and time (and sometimes money), spending less is only a matter of discipline.
Here are four ways that many of us lose $2,500 each year without even realizing it. Pssttt- I’m sure you’re not doing of any these, so pass this article along to a girlfriend who could use a little money coaching.
1. Unused gym memberships
Countless Americans sign up for gym memberships, with the resolution to work off that Token 10, but the vast majority let their membership slack like their waist line. And eventually their wallets. On average, a gym membership is $50 per month or $600 per year. Most gyms only anticipate that 18% of their members will actually show up. What?? Before you sign up for a gym membership, think about using drop-in classes as your workout routine and combine it with running outside or working alongside your favorite YouTube star. My favorite app to use for this is Zenrez Fitness that offers discounted rates on last-minute class signups. I saved $10 on a spin class in LA by using this. Some of my favorite YouTube channels to work out with are Blogilates, Tone It Up and this 12 Minute Madness Workout by BodyRock. Instead of spending $600 on a membership per year, you could easily cut that in half by finding discounted classes, using free trial periods, and working out at home. A savings of $300.
2. Wasted food
Whether it's the plus-size bag of spinach or cashew milk that you convinced yourself that you would use to make smoothies for the week but ended up going bad in the fridge, wasting food (and therefore money) is a regular occurrence for many people. According to the American Chemistry Council, the average U.S. household throws away $640 of food each year. Combine that with our gym memberships above, that’s a total of $940 you could be losing each year. My recommendation is to choose one day per week that you go to the grocery store. Make a list, do your shopping, then meal prep with all of the items. For our family of two, we cook our meals on Sunday and I batch things like smoothies and freeze it until I’m ready to drink them. A little preplanning will go a long way with helping you save money.
3. Overspending on restaurant meals
While I totally support eating at restaurants, especially for your weekly Money & Mimosas date, doing it on the regular will start to add up quickly! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household eats out four to five times per week, and spends a total of $3,008 dollars on food away from home per year. If you cut that in half, that’s an extra $1,500 in your pocket! Combine that with the unused gym memberships and wasted food, we’re up to $2,460 in savings for the year.
You may have heard the saying that a dollar today is worth more than tomorrow. This is because of a little pesky thing called inflation. Now this doesn’t mean that you should go out and spend that dollar! It means that you need to place it in account that earns interest, so that your dollar outpaces inflation and works for you. One area that most people lose money is in their checking account. Many checking accounts have 0% interest, meaning that your dollar is actually losing money. Instead, you can place your hard-earned cash in Radius Bank’s Hybrid Checking account that does add interest to your dollars! Depending on your account balance, your interest could mean an extra $40 in your pocket. Combine that with our totals above, that’s four ways you could be losing $2,500 without even realizing it. With some simple tweaks you could turn that around and save that $2,500 and put it towards your financial goals.
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This post is sponsored by Radius Bank.
If you consider yourself a fashionista, then you are probably well aware of the company, Poshmark. Poshmark is a digital marketplace where you can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes and accessories. One woman made $15,000 by cleaning out her closet and posting the items on the site. That makes for a sweeeet side hustle.
According to a recent article quoting Poshmark’s press release, the site carries over 75 million items and 5,000 brands and 1 in 30 women in America sell on Poshmark. Since it’s launch in 2011, the company has grown to over 4 million sellers.
I had the great fortune to be able to meet and interview one of the founders, Tracy Sun, at the Hustle 2X event in San Francisco. Hustle is an incredible media and event company for folks like you and me - ambitious, go-getters seeking inspiration and always striving for more.
The 2X event is a traveling show in 7 cities where Hustle brings together incredible women to share their inspirational stories of success. The Hustle team was kind enough to offer an opportunity to me and Socialite Renee, to meet Tracy Sun and ask her about her journey to success.
Here are some of the insights that she shared:
Many of the Money & Mimosas readers would describe themselves as multi-passionate. As a woman who transitioned from science to fashion to tech, what is your advice to our community on creating a career when you have multiple passions and skills? For me, it was important to consciously give myself the freedom to explore. Once I gave myself that permission, I realized that I could bring a different perspective to fields because of my diverse background. It became my super power and unique skill.
Money is always a big topic for business owners. What is your money advice for other entrepreneurs? Learn that it ebbs and flows. The first part of your journey as an entrepreneur is to survive and MAKE money. Once you start earning, then you get into the saving mode which is really really important. Once you have saved a comfortable cushion, then it’s time to focus on growing your wealth. That’s the place where I’m at now and it took a long time to get here.
Do you have a mantra for money? What is your guiding philosophy for building personal wealth? Always be willing to learn more about it and how money works.
What is your #1 advice for a woman who wants to be financially independent? Discover your superpower. We all have one and it will be your #1 tool for success.
Wow, such great insights! To build on her money advice for entrepreneurs, one of my pieces of money advice is to learn how to make money in every possible way you can. Especially in the beginning stages of your business. It is all about THE HUSTLE in the beginning. One easy way to do this is to use Radius Bank’s Hybrid Checking account.
It’s one of the only checking accounts that pays you interest on your balance. Most have zero percent interest which means you actually lose money on balance because of inflation. Click here to learn more about the Hybrid Checking Account.
For more money tips, join the Money & Mimosas Insider list.
You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion? Party in France? You betta…
Get financially fit. And there is no getting around it. Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, if you dream of living the rich and famous lifestyle you will have to learn how to make, manage and grow your money.
And even if you have been raised with access to a lot of resources, becoming savvy with your finances will help you boost your sense of self-worth and give you the confidence you need to achieve all of the dreams you have in life.
Mastering your money is the gateway to personal freedom. Once you have the confidence in your ability to manage your finances and the skills you need to increase your net-worth, a world of possibilities will open to you. It may mean the ability to travel the world, spend quality time with friends, feeling a sense of accomplishment that you can stand on your own two feet.
Whatever success looks like to you, money will play a role within it. Commiting to your financial fitness is demonstrating a commitment to the dreams you have for your life.
Here are the five steps you need to do to get financially fit:
Get clear on your money story. A lot of our financial habits stem from our upbringing, culture and beliefs about money. Take ten to fifteen minutes and think about your money story. To get you started, you can ask yourself: what did I learn about money from my parents and how I view money today as a adult?
Find a money buddy. There’s nothing like having an accountability partner to help you stick to the goal you set for yourself, whether it’s fitness or finances. So, the next step to getting financially fit is to find someone to help you stay accountable. This is a person that you can trust, you know has your best interest at heart and is someone that is not afraid to tell you the truth. Check out this post for more tips on how to choose your money buddy.
Weekly date. With your money buddy, schedule a weekly time to chat about money. At Money & Mimosas, we call this your money date. During this time, you want to review your expenses, income and share your goals. And the best part- is when you’re done, we say treat yo’self to a mimosa.
Bank account. Choosing where you store your money is a HUGE step in getting financially fit. Because, this will determine if you make, or lose, money while it’s sitting in a bank account. With inflation, most checking accounts are set up for you to lose money because you don’t earn any interest on the balance. But, with Radius Bank Hybrid Checking Account, you earn money on your money. Cha-ching!
Pick up a side hustle or additional income stream. Having multiple income streams is the best way to ensure that you financially fit and secure. When you rely on one source, you can place yourself in a vulnerable position if it disappears all of sudden. Beyond preventing a financial crisis, a side hustle also offers an opportunity to explore your creative side. For more reasons to pick up a side hustle, check out 14 Reasons Why You Need a Side Hustle, Now.
For more money tips, join our Money & Mimosas Insider List.
This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.
One of our favorite things to do at Money & Mimosas is to listen your questions about money and help you find the answer to them. Here are eighteen of the most asked questions we had from you about managing your finances as an entrepreneur.
What kind of money goals do should I set? There are five categories for financial goal-setting. Earning, Saving, Investing, Spending and Giving. Ask yourself how much do you want to earn and by when; how much of your earnings do you want to save and invest; what do you want to spend your money on (and yes, a brand new wardrobe is a great goal); and how will you use your earnings to give back to the causes you care about.
What is the first step in setting money goals? The first step is to get clear on your priorities. Want to buy a home? Increase your investments? Redo your wardrobe? Launch a business? Is this in the next year? Or five years from now? Figure out where you want to spend your money, and calculate how much you want to spend in each area and in what timeframe. The total will be your money goal.
How often should I set money goals? I recommend setting one goal for the year. And three-month money goals throughout the year.
It's really hard for me to save money. How do I get better at saving? Most of us have trouble with this! Automate and use a separate savings account. During your weekly money date, commit to transfer a fixed percentage of your earnings into your savings.
I'm really good at setting money goals, but it's hard for me to keep them. How do I stay on track? Find a money friend aka accountability partner. This could be a spouse, friend or colleague. If that doesn't feel comfortable to you, check out money groups, such as the Money & Mimosas BOSS club, to find other people that are passionate about reaching their financial goals. Once you find your money buddy, have a weekly date to chat about goals & challenges. We all need support.
I am self-employed. How much should I pay in taxes? This completely depends upon your business structure and a lot of other factors. Generally speaking, if you live in the United States, aim to save 25-30% of your earnings for potential tax payments.
What tools do you recommend for tracking my finances? Personal Capital and Mint are two of our faves for tracking personal finances. Xero, Quickbooks and Freshbooks are our faves for business finances.
Is there a bank that you recommend? There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a bank account. One account that we really love for personal use, is the Radius Hybrid-Checking account. They offer you the ability to earn interest* from your checking account - which is unheard of!
What is bookkeeping? Bookkeeping is the process of categorizing your business transactions.
What is the difference between bookkeeping and accounting? Accounting is the process of analyzing your business transactions to make decisions. Bookkeeping can be completed without accounting. Accounting can not be completed without bookkeeping.
Do I have to hire someone to do my bookkeeping? No. We recommend waiting until your business reaches at least $250,000 in annual revenue before outsourcing your bookkeeping. Why? Because you have to understand how the cash flows in and out of your business, before you can expect someone else to be able to do so. Remember, no one cares more about your money than you do.
Do I need to use a bookkeeping program or can I use pen and paper? There is no legal requirement to use a bookkeeping program. Use whichever method makes most intuitive sense to you- an internet program, pen and paper, Excel or a shoebox. The key is to be consistent. However, using an internet program will save you time and money when analyzing your financial statements and filing your taxes.
Is bookkeeping only important for filing taxes? No. Bookkeeping is necessary in order to file taxes. However, managing your finances is one of your #1 tasks as a business owner. Bookkeeping allows you to stay on top of your money throughout the year.
How does bookkeeping help my business? Bookkeeping allows you to determine when it is time to hire someone, expand your business and make strategic tax filing decisions.
I don't have an accounting background. Will I mess up my books? It's ok if you don't have an accounting background. As the boss of your business, you can easily learn how to manage your books. The key is to find a bookkeeping program that works for you (refer to question #4) and use it consistently.
When should I hire an accountant? This is a personal decision. We recommend working with a tax accountant as soon as possible. Keep in mind, not all accountants file taxes. And most tax accountants do not offer strategy services. You should hire a someone to help with your bookkeeping and/or with financial strategy, once you reach a minimum of $250,000 in annual revenue or feel that you have a good understanding of your books.
Should I write off as much as I can in business at the end of the year? Your tax filing strategy is a personal decision. While most business owners want to write off a lot of expenses at the end of the year, remember to consider your future goals. For example, if you plan on purchasing a home next year, you will want to show a healthy profit in your business as opposed to writing off a lot of expenses. You may also want to consider your retirement planning before spending your money on other business expenses.
Have a money question that’s not listed here? Click here to submit your question for a chance to have it answered on Money & Mimosas.
This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.
*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 05/2/2018. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01-$2,499.99, and 0.85% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings.