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My Biggest Financial Tips (+ How I Started Investing)

One of my big goals for 2020 is to get a hold on my finances, especially in terms of financial goals and independence (and share more "adulting" content on here as I go along!) As I approach graduation and moving to one of the most expensive cities in the country (so excited to finally reveal and share my post-graduation plans in a couple of weeks!), I've been focusing a lot more on money management and financial planning. I know money can be a taboo subject, but I personally feel that, especially for young women, it is so important to talk about money and get an early start on managing our own wealth and financial future.

Below are a few things I am working on to manage my financial goals! Obviously, I am no professional in this subject, but I think these are just simple, helpful things that everyone should hear if they have not already. 

Budget down to the dollar
I have a big spreadsheet I created when I accepted my job offer that includes my base salary, appropriate taxes, 401k contribution, and expected rent. In addition, I've included what I plan to spend on food, drinks, going out, clothing, etc. To be completely honest, I am really irresponsible when it comes to daily spending. Once I'm an adult in the real world, I won't be able to just spend whatever I want, whenever I want (not that I can right now either, but I'm just really reckless and do that anyway!). I think holding myself accountable to a budget, down to every dollar, will be a great way to make sure I stay financially on track. I'm sure within a few months of starting my job I will get used to what is within my means when it comes to spending, but in the starting weeks, I think this is going to be incredibly resourceful and helpful!

Start Investing Early
If you don’t feel confident enough to start investing on your own, one of the easiest ways to get started is by using a robo-advisor like Ellevest — a women-founded, women-focused investing platform. I started investing through Ellevest in October, and I love checking my portfolio to see what my money has been up to. One of my favorite parts about investing is not only knowing that my money is expected to triple in roughly 20 years, but the money I put into my portfolio can no longer be used for my frivolous spending habits. So, it makes me think I have way less money to my name when I check my bank account, which is great because then I want to spend less! In reality, I'm actually increasing my wealth, and I'm not going to interfere with that!

I know investing can seem really daunting, but it doesn't have to be. I know next to nothing about stocks and even less about investments in general. With Ellevest, all I had to do was set up an automatic withdrawal from my savings account into my Ellevest account every month, and one day (if our economy doesn't crash!) all of those accumulated deposits will magically have made me money! The website is super easy to use and helps you choose what plans are right for you. I personally have a "Build Wealth" portfolio and deposited an initial lump-sum, and now deposit monthly automatically, but there are a lot of ways to personalize your portfolio to whatever works for you!

One more thing on this: you don't need to have a lot of money to get started! Even if you only deposit $20 a month, that's still $240 a year, which can only grow from there!! (This entire post is not sponsored, but the link I included above is to start your own account using my referral code, so you get $20 added to your portfolio, and so do I!)

Don't Be Afraid to Say "No" to Spending Pressure
This is something that I, admittedly, do not do. If I don't feel like spending money on dinner out with friends, I never say it. I am the most easily convinced person to do just about anything, and when it comes to spending money, this is included. It is (another!) one of my goals to learn to say no this year. If I feel like I've been spending like crazy, I will work on saying "no" to another dinner out when I have groceries at home, or another impulse purchase at Target, and things like that... a little can go a long way! And, honestly, learning to say no would just be a generally useful life skill for me.

On the other hand, I know I have definitely been on the other side where I'm the one doing the peer pressuring... trying to convince my friends to go on trips, go to concerts, brunch, etc... Money can be a very touchy subject, especially if not all of your friends have the exact same financial means (which is every friend group, I'm sure!). This is also something I am going to work on! Of course, I never (and I'm sure, you too, if you're in this position) mean to make anyone feel bad, but it's easy to suggest things within your budget and forget that it might not be in everyone else's budget, too.

Use Your Resources
I feel like finances seem really daunting to young women in general. I personally find it daunting, too! But, this is just another reason why it's up to us to take control of our finances and educate ourselves!!! There are a million resources available, including podcasts and blogs that lay everything out in ways that even I can understand... and trust me, if I can figure this stuff out, anyone can. I have next to no common sense... hah.

My favorite place to go for financial advice and resources is the Everygirl's website. There are endless articles that explain everything from taxes (ew, haha, no thanks), to how you can save more money in your bank account, or find a new side hustle!

I also recently downloaded the Status app. Status is like Facebook but for finances... it privately connects you with people in your city, age range, and financial status so you can share financial tips and knowledge, compare finances, and manage your money. Here is my referral code if you're interested!

that's it for now!
I hope you found this helpful! This is a new type of post for me, so please let me know if you liked it or found it beneficial, or would like me to do more posts like this in the future!


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