Most single chick's concern of all concerns is budgeting. Handling finances and sticking on a budget could seem like a great challenge for some. I know, I know don't stare at me like that! I can quite relate to you baby doll, I have been there so many times. I couldn't seem to stop myself from buying this and that and whatever I laid my eyes on. I have been nearly broke several times because I did not stick to the budget. I spent more than I should.
The tendency to over spend among women is quite common. Especially among single, never been married, never had children women. There is the temptation of buying new shoes just because it was on sale, new clothes well because we would want to always look our best or impress the cute guy at the office, its just that sometimes our spending habits are out of control. We come up with all sorts of excuses and rationalize about what we did. In the end we are living in denial that something is seriously wrong with our spending. In the end we suffer the consequences of our action.
Ever watched the movie "Shopaholic"? The whole time I was watching it I kept saying oh "that's me" . I used to live like Rebecca Bloomwood. I'd spent left and right and ended up barely with nothing. It was insane, I guess I had gone mad. Another girl I could quite relate to is Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. She was addicted to shoes and high fashion, in one episode she spent around $40,000 for Manolo Blahnik's shoes! Insane right? I remembered in one of her lines she said she could have bought an apartment if she did not spend so much on shoes! I guess I would have a fat bank account right now had I not squander all my money on those girly stuff. Sigh.
There's good news for everyone, there is still hope for all the shopaholics out there! You don't need to be a math whiz to figure things out. What you need is self discipline and bulldog tenacity when it comes to sticking with your budget. I know whenever you walk the shoes on display at the corner store winks at you. The mannequin on display with that cute red dress with the $100 price tag waves at you hahaha. You gotta learn to restrain yourself sweetheart because the world will not run out of things to sell, what will run out is the green bucks on your pocket and you could end up poor and homeless.
So here are my tips for you my fellow shopaholic.
1. You gotta sit down and write down your net pay. Meaning the amount you get to take home every month after taxes. Write down the basic bills you have to pay and then the groceries.
Net Pay for the Month of March: $2700
Phone and Internet: $ 49.99
Grand Total: $898.99
2. Learn to pay yourself. Open an account this should be your "do not touch" account. This is for your life savings or retirement. Pay yourself %10 from your total net pay so that should be $270/ month that should go into this account.
3. Create an emergency fund. This account could be an atm account so in case of emergency you could easily withdraw. Ahemmm... may I say it again "real emergency cases only", not shopping emergency! You could deposit at least $75/ month. Oh don't complain girl remember this is all for you. You can spend $200 on shoes why not pay for the future? In a years time you could earn $ 900 in the account plus interests. Now do not keep your card in your wallet chances are you are going to use it.
4. Open a debit card account primarily for your bills. Keeping different accounts keeps you on track in budgeting and gives the assurance you will not over spend or touch your other accounts.
5. Set up another account for traveling, that's if you like to travel. Perhaps you can deposit $75/ month, in a few years time you can take your dream vacation. the amount you deposit all depends on you.
6. Again set up another account for your wish list. For example if you would like to buy a car perhaps you could deposit $100 into this account per month. It will give you quite a good amount for down payment of a new car, in about a year's time.
7. Set up a fund for spending or shopping for personal items but keep that at minimum. Let's say you have given yourself $200/ month shopping money. Make sure that you stick with it. Discipline yourself not to over spend. Forget that you opened other accounts in the bank that way you would not think of withdrawing all your money.
8. Pay your debts with the extra money that you have. Now let's check our budget list.
Net Pay: $2700
Phone and Internet: $ 49.99
Grand Total: $898.99
Savings Account: $ 270
Travel Account$ 75
Emergency Fund: $ 75
Wish list: $100
Shopping Fund: $200
Debt Payment: $600
Grand Total: 2218.99
You still have an extra amount of $481.01. What you do with the extra money is up to you but I do suggest you open an account that could pay for a new house. So if you save $481.01 per month, in a year you will have $5772.12. It may not suffice to buy a new house yet but that is money saved and that's better than having nothing. Plus you get an interest too, so your money will grow. I suggest that you put it in time deposit that way it will yield better interest rates.
8. Just keep only 1 credit card for emergencies. Choose the card that has a lower interest rate. Keep your card at home and not in your wallet.
9. Gather all loose change in a small jar. Those little pennies could pay for Christmas gifts come December. That way you don't have to over spend during the holidays. Another tip is buy Christmas gifts during sale period because you will pay less. Then you can store those items until Christmas time.
10. Cut down on going to Starbucks or eating out. If you could just bring your own lunch that would be better. You are assured that the quality of your food is good and fresh plus you do not have to spend extra.Mostly in the office you could have free coffee, if your office do not provide free coffee you can bring your own coffee , it is cheaper that way.
11. Keep your receipts and track down your weekly expenses. Remember self control is the key in staying on the budget. Change your mindset about money, do away with the one day millionaire mentality, it is not healthy for you at all.
Finally, after reading this I hope you will put all of these steps into action and let's see if you will not be debt free and financially independent in no time. Hope this tips have been helpful to you. You could print this out and read it over and over until it make sense to you. I would want to hear great testimonials from my fellow single chicks! Hit the comment button below if you have great things to share or if you need help. Your Single Chick sistah will get in contact with you very soon.