Femillionaire: The Movement

By reading this post, you’re ready. Or maybe you don’t know if you’re ready, but your curious.

Either way, you’ve found the right place.

Whether you’re sixteen and just discovered spending money, twenty-two and lost AF with student loans, thirty-five and in debt to your eyeballs from your twenties- you’re here. You’ve done the hardest part, which is just showing up and paying attention.  I want you to know this isn’t complicated and you can take control of your finances and take control of your life.

Welcome to Femillionaire. You’re already on step 2.

What is Femillionaire?

Femillionaire is exactly what it sounds like Female + Millionaire, Femillionaire. Maybe it’s tacky, maybe it’s catchy. Either way, I don’t care. What I do care about it turning you into a financially independent, strong woman.  As you read Femillionaire material I want you to feel empowered and given the tools to be successful right now with your money and successful in ten, twenty, and thirty years into the future. Femillionaire is my way of educating women and girls to actively be involved with their finances.

With the steps, tips, and advice I give, your future millionaire status is set in stone. You’re not going to be selling shakes, teas, or wraps. You’re going to be investing. You’re going to be smart. Your definition of financially independent means you don’t have to work again- ever. Not a hoax work from home job.

Welcome to the Party.

Who is Femillionaire for?

Femillionaire is for every woman who doesn’t know how much they make per pay period, for every woman who doesn’t know how to invest, for every woman that has stayed in a terrible situation due to lack of money. Femillionaire is for eradicating fear in women over money, for educating women on how to handle money. Personal finance isn’t taught in schools, and outside of school usually boys get ‘the talk’ when it comes to finances. We’re breaking down barriers between women and their money.  We’re building the next Buffetts and financially secure women who aren’t afraid of living a life they deserve.

Let’s cut it short- how do I become a Femillionaire?

You need to have passive income. The most typical type of passive income is investments, like ETFs. You invest your money, it earns you more money in the stock market, and eventually you’re at a big, fat $1 million.

It’s a bit more complicated, and it takes patience and diligence. Femillionaire isn’t a diet pill, it’s a life style change. If you want to drink tea that makes you shit, look elsewhere, sis.

Femillionaire will give you the education to understand the brief how to above. Femillionaire will hold your hand and guide you- and hold your hair when you puke.

Wait- but why do you even want to become a Femillionaire?

Maybe your goal isn’t to have a million dollars or more.

That’s okay, but you’re wrong- we’ll get to that later.

Most likely right now you want financial stability and I applaud and cheer your for that! Femillionaire will prove useful for you to decrease your debt, and increase your net worth. Following Femillionaire advice will pull you from living pay check to pay check to thriving in today’s world.

Maybe you already have a 401k, but are unsure of how to set up an IRA, or how to choose a Traditional vs. a Roth. Again, Femillionaire will be valuable to you too!

Maybe you’re already a Femillionaire and you like reading positive shit. Cool, welcome! I would also love to hear your story!

No matter where you’re at with your journey, I want to invite you to Femillionaire. I want you to feel confident that you will become a millionaire and take control of your finances.

Welcome to the Party – Let’s get started!

 

Female Fridays femillionaire

How I Paid off $25k in Student Loans in 18 months while Making $50k a year

High dollar student loans are the struggle that the majority of millennials understand- 63% have >$10,000 in student loan debt. Pair that with the poor financial decisions often made in their twenties *cough* credit cards  *cough* and a lot of millenials are in rough shape

I took out a little over $25,000 in student loans, $5,500 through Sallie Mae with a floating interest rate of 9 – 12% (yikes!) and the rest were all federal subsidized/unsubsidized loans with the highest interest rate being 4.65%.

My plan, when I went to an in-state college, was to minimize my debt. How did I do that? I graduated in three years, applied for every scholarship I could (I went to China for free!), and was extremely frugal.

For me there was no Plan B if I graduated and couldn’t find a job. My parents were out of the picture and I wasn’t sure about living with my boyfriend at the time. I was 100% on my own, both in college and out of college.

While I was in school, I worked different jobs, mainly in the campus offices. I wanted to get some relevant office work on my resume to help me find a job. I worked anywhere from 15 – 40 hours a week while taking 18 credits every semester.

A very Frugal College Experience

My life wasn’t fun in college. Looking back, I wouldn’t go back to those years at all. I was depressed and stressed for three straight years. But future me is appreciative of how past me treated loans. I considered them as not my money . And the thing is, student loans are not your money for booze, parties, and eating out every meal. Student loans are so you can afford to be a student- the bare necessities like tuition, housing, food, and basic transportation.

My Freshman year, I did live on campus, which is where most of my debt came from. I think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000. The next set of debt came from a Chinese Summer program I did in Indiana, that was another $5,500. The rest of the debt, comes from federal loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized.

My tuition was covered (for the most part) through an academic scholarship and covered four years of education. All I really had to cover were living expenses.

I started getting into personal finance at the end of my Freshman year. I loved reddit’s personal finance  and started using different programs to track my expenses. After realizing I didn’t want to graduate $40,000 in debt, if I were to go to college all four years and live on campus, I grabbed a friend and moved into an apartment right off campus. I could still walk/ride my bike everywhere.

My monthly budget for living expenses in my Sophomore and Junior years were pretty similar and break down as follows:

  • Rent  (utilities included) – $310/$400
  • Groceries – $150
  • Phone – $45
  • Internet $17/35
  • Misc. $50

The max total I ever spent in a month on non-school related items was $680, and that would only have been in my junior year if I spent all my grocery money and all of my Misc. money, which never happened.

The cost difference in rent and Internet is that my Sophomore year, there were three of us in a two bedroom apartment and my Junior year, just two of use.

The apartment we lived in wasn’t new. In fact, it was about 60 years old and besides carpet and 50 layers of paint, had never been renovated. The oven was so small it could only fit the smallest cookie sheet in our pack of  cooking sheets. Everything in the apartment smelled kind musty and old. The tub would flood whenever it rained. And, we got bed bugs.  BUT the money that that apartment saved me was real. Thousands of other students were flocking to the new high rise apartments that cost $750/month for one room in a four bedroom apartment, plus utilities. No, I didn’t have stainless steel appliances, but I did shave off time on my student loan debt sentence.

A note on the Misc. category. This money was rarely spent. This money was for deodorant, shampoo, necessary personal care products, and the very, very rare meal out. My sophomore year, my parents got divorced and amid the divorce I was able to hoard all the shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and clothes detergent that was built up. I didn’t have to buy shampoo or conditioner the entire time I was in college.

But everything else, I rationed. I allowed myself to use 1 razor for every 2 weeks, and did I take care of that mid-priced three blade razor. I would stretch out my body wash by adding water, cut lotion bottles and toothpaste in half to get out every last drop. Living frugally in college was absolutely utilizing and using everything until you were forced to replace it.

And for my food budget, I ate a lot of rice and beans, beans and rice, just beans, and just rice. But I also ate a rainbow of eggs, spinach, apples, strawberries, frozen veggies, and Trader Joes’ mini pizzas. I had lost 50lbs and wanted to keep it off, so no, I didn’t eat Ramen every day.

What I didn’t splurge on in college defines my frugality just as much. I didn’t buy new clothes for three years (even after losing weight), I didn’t get my hair cut, I didn’t own a car, I didn’t buy booze, I didn’t have time to party. I took care of myself mentally and physically and hoped for the best in my future.

Starting in my Junior year I was re-paying my Sallie Mae loan from my paychecks (literally, my whole paycheck), and living on my other loans.

Finding a Job and Paying off My Loans

I knew I could graduate at the end of my junior year if I wanted to with a major and two minors. That was the goal, but I would need a job first. Plan B was to stay at university and take a minimum amount of classes, and earn enough money to pay for my expenses until I found a full time job. Or multiple full time jobs.

I applied to over 50 positions in the Fall of 2014, I was set to graduate in May of 2015.

I heard back from two. One was a denial letter. One was an interview offer. I interviewed in mid-January and accepted my first full time job two weeks later, earning $50,000 a year.

This was the most money I had ever seen in my life. I set up my 401(k) to take 10% of my base. I had $6,000 of unused loan money in my bank account and while I became comfortable at my new job (while also taking 18 credits my last semester), I slowly started paying back the $6,000 as well.

I graduated with about $16,000 left in student debt.

I think my paychecks were something like $1,345.00, and I felt like I had made it- that everything would be okay.

Hunkering Down

Due to a problem with our apartment, my friend and I split ways. My ex-boyfriend helped me buy a car on craigslist for $2,500 and I got my own place. My rent has skyrocketed up to $975/month and utilities for an additional $140 (Arizona is HOT). And while I wish I could have stayed at that apartment longer to save money, living on my own after all those years was fantastic.

I had a car, which was freedom. A gym membership. And I even spoiled myself with the occasional makeup product.

But at this time I never had more than $1,200 in my account – which scared me shitless and I was paying down my debt as fast as possible. If an emergency did happen, I could just not make a loan payment.

I got a kitten during this time too.

My 22nd birthday went by and I bought myself Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Palette. I cried. I was so excited.

And for the next 5 months I would get paid and immediately pay what I could uncomfortably afford to pay for my student loans.

The End

March of 2016 was when I made my last student loan payment. I went to work and told coworkers double my age about it. Most were proud of me, and many mentioned their own student loans that they were still paying off. It was one of the happiest days of my life, no longer being debt free, being able to hold more than $1,000 in my account because there is no debt for it to go to.

I had also just gotten a $20k raise. My next check, the very first check where no student loan needed to be paid, was all mine. I had a really, really fun shopping trip to Sephora, upped my 401(k) contribution, and never looked back.

Finances My Finances student debt

Foxxy Finance Female Fridays (FFFF) – How your Nails Compound Interest

Welcome to Foxxy Female Finance Fridays! How many more F words can I add to the alliteration?  Fridays are dedicated to females and their finances. I hope these articles specifically target women and bring up issues and decisions, as women, we all struggle with.
This week I want to talk about nails, and getting them done.
For some of us, our nails are who we are, it’s like our hair, our go-to outfit, or a bag- they help define us. Well groomed nails, that are shaved trimmed, and often painted look better than nails that are manicured. Even nails that have a thin, clear layer of polish look better.
But not all of us are good at clipping our nails without making them stubs (me), painting their nails (me), or maybe we just don’t have the patience for it (also, me). So, we go to a nail salon to have them professionally done. The nail salon is also a great way to catch up with girlfriends, bond with mom, or have some alone time with a coffee and a magazine.
Salons are also a great way to separate yourself with your hard earned money,

personal finance budgeting

In an ideal world, I would get a manicure every 5 weeks. That’s about the time where the growth really starts to show. For a pedicure, I could go every 5 weeks, but let’s just say every 8 weeks because that’s more realistic.
The average cost for a gel manicure is between $35 – $45, so I’m going to go with $40. The average cost for a pedicure is $25 – $45, I’m going to go with $35, again right in the middle.
With tip, that’s $45 for a manicure and $40 for a pedicure.
Let’s do the sexy math:
Annual Manicure =  $45 * 52 weeks / 5 weeks = $468
Annual Pedicure = $40 * 52 weeks / 8 weeks = $260
 For an annual total of $728.

Let’s say you’re 25 and 40 years away from retirement. Saving that $728 and letting it grow at 7% interest is almost $11,000.

You can do the math too! Download the below Excel template and try it for yourself!

Now for me, I don’t go every 8 weeks or every 5 weeks. This year, I went 3 months without going at all. But I was consciously not going to save money and hated every second of it.  There are a lot of assumptions in the above calculation, but I hope the message is clear: getting your nails done is expensive and you need to weigh the opportunity cost. Would you rather get your nails done, or invest 728? Would you rather get your nails done or come close to buying a pair of Valentinos?

Alternatives

When I was in college, I was poor. Not twenty-something broke. But poor. I had no parents to bail me out of a bad situation, or anyone I felt comfortable accepting money from. But, I still wanted to look good and feel good.
Starting in my freshman year, one night a week I would have “spa” night where I would soak my feet, scrub of dead skin, trim my cuticles, and trim my nails. It was fun “me” time where I could stream a movie and relax. I was never good at it, but it did the trick.
I would usually paint my toe nails and put a clear coat on my fingernails. As I became a sophomore and junior I started trying designs I could do with Scotch Tape and was horrible at them, but, a couple of times they did work.
In effort to up my nail game and turn it into a self-care hobby I bought a gel nail UV lamp and polishes. My nails looked better and I was the one doing them. I had no talent for design or even getting polish only on my nails, but by doing my own nails I was able to save money.
When the time came and I found a full time job, I waited until I paid off my student loans. Then I sold my gel kit for $20 and have never touched my nails again except to ruin them with a nail clipper.

personal finance for women

Now, I could afford to go every 5/8 weeks if I wanted to. But to me, being able to go a few times a year and having naked nails the rest of the year is a much better alternative than doing my own nails because it turned out, I never became good at it, and I rather it be a service than a hobby.

In Conclusion

Yes! You do look more put together and professional when your nails are done. But, you need to understand if it’s something you’re willing and able to do yourself or if you can afford to have your nails professionally done. Even when you can have your nails professionally done, is it worth the cost? With the savings could you get something else that will last you longer than 5 weeks?

 

 

Female Fridays

WARNING: Bad Debt Ahead

Helllo!~ Another week, another financial blog post. How has your week been? Mine has been going pretty well, and I am super stoked about today’s topic.

Did you know there are two types of debt? Now, I know if you’re reading this you think debt is most likely bad. That ALL debt is bad. Bad, bad, bad. But, what if I told you there is Good and Bad Debt? I mean… most debt is BAD, but there are some good guys too.

Today I want to focus in on those bad guys – the bad debt, and see what it is and how we can combat getting ourselves into it.

 

Defining Bad Debt

Bad debt, in the Personal Finance sense, is debt that has massive depreciating value or has an extremely high interest rate. A high interest rate I would consider as anything >6%, because that’s definitely worse than long term market gains. But, a mortgage isn’t bad debt and neither is a business loan (for the most part), so if an interest rate is >6% on either of those things, I would not consider them bad debt, except in extreme circumstances.

 

What is Bad Debt? – Common Examples

 

Credit Cards are the most common form of bad debt. Do you know the interest rate on your credit card? Most are >18%! This rate is significantly higher than most consumer loans. The payment schedules are also maximized so the debtor will owe as much money as possible.  Any type of balance on a credit card is never a good idea.

Cars are the second form of bad debt. How many people do you know with $30,000/yr income or $60,000/yr income with cars that are $30,000 or more? Thousands of Americans fall into this trap of having a high car payment. While the interest rate on car loans is often low, transportation costs per month should be <10% of your income. This includes gas, maintenance, registration, and a car payment. Having a car payment you can’t afford on an asset that loses thousands of dollars in value within months is never a good idea.

Consumable Goods America, and many globalized cultures value spending money and the “consumer debt”. Have you ever gone into debt during the holidays, or spent more than you planned? This is consumer debt and most things bought have no or little resell value.

“Transportation costs per month should be <10% of your income. This includes gas, maintenance, registration, and a car payment.”

 

How to Avoid Bad Debt

If you’re familiar with personal finance or the Femillionaire mindset, you know exactly what I’m about to say. If not, that’s okay! Welcome to the club.

Step 1: HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND. I cannot stress this enough. Seriously, you need to have savings set aside for when shit hits the fan- because it will, and usually it’s a lot of shit all at once.  Just start. saving. now. Even if it’s only $15 a month, having a $100 emergency can compound into $200 very quickly when put on credit cards.

Step 2a: Be smart and have awareness of your financial situation, especially when buying a car! Buy a car that you can afford, has low monthly payments, will be paid off in 36 months, and that you can put a big, cash deposit down on. I know this is a lot and often means you won’t be buying a new car, but there are so many used cars that are only a couple of years old, have low miles and are incredibly reliable.

Step 2b: Buy a reliable car! Research which brand/years are most reliable. Generally, you can never go wrong with a a Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra, or Hyundai Sonata.

Step 3: Self Control. This is going to be one of the more challenging steps (if not the most challenging!). You can have an emergency fund and an affordable car, but still lack self control.  If you don’t have self control,  you’ll find yourself in a cycle of gaining bad debt, paying it off, and taking on more bad debt.

 

“You can have an emergency fund and an affordable car, but still lack self control.”

 

The Bottom Line

Bad Debt is, well, bad.  It’s bad for your wallet and your mental state. Avoiding bad debt at all costs should be your primary goal. If you already have bad debt, paying it off before all other debt should be your priority.

 

Have you ever had bad debt and paid it off or are in the process of paying it off? I would love to hear your stories below!

 

Female Fridays Finances financial independence

Self Control and Your Finances

No, this isn’t a dieting post, I’m not going to tell you that Keto is better than ANY OTHER DIET EVER or that you should become a  vegan because #animallivesmatter.  But, it’s going to sound quite similar to a post on diet and lifestyle because Self Control and Willpower, especially if you have very little or none when it comes to your finances, is going to feel like a diet.

And like all dietitian gurus, I’m going to say it’s all about moderation. And with finances, it’s all about what you value the most.

 

What is Self Control with Respect to Your Finances

Can there be a plate of cookies or a box of donuts in the break room at work and you don’t have any? Can you have $200 in your bank account that you don’t feel the need to spend? While one is about food and the other is about money, they are the exact same concept. Self control and willpower over your finances is just like maintaining a healthy diet. You need to plan and use information to live your best financial life.  Many of these skills are taught on this blog and in my Femillionaire  series on my Youtube Channel.

 

The Science of Willpower

Let’s chat about willpower for a second. Willpower is like a muscle, it can become fatigued, but it can also be super buff and hawt. As you use your Willpower, you’re exerting that muscle and making it tired.  When you have to exert your financial willpower often whether it’s feeling too restricted, having financial issues, or other reasons, you’re more likely to make purchases you wouldn’t otherwise make.

The best way to overcome fatigue in Willpower is having a set game plan. When a situation comes up, or thoughts or feelings occur that make you want to spend, a game plan can assist in taking steps to not spend. Having rules set in stone make is so you don’t have to use any Willpower when debating an unplanned purchase. You simply won’t.

 

Building Financial Self Control: A Tips and Tricks

Track Your Spending: Track every single penny that comes into or out of all of your accounts and where it goes. Are you spending ungodly amounts on eating out? On Makeup? On that car? Tracking your spending is the first step in any financial journey. This also helps create Awareness on your way to becoming a Femillionaire.

There are great tools to help you track your spending, like Mint and YNAB (You Need a Budget). A simple Excel sheet also works great.

Make One Financial Decision at a Time: Science backs that decisions are exhausting. This is why people like Mark Zuckerberg wear the exact same thing every day. (And your blogger might follow a similar principle!). Decision fatigue is a thing, and so is Willpower fatigue, especially if you’re making too many financial decisions at a time. Make one decision, let it sink in and blend in with your finances, and then make you’re next decision. Decision 1 could cost a lot more, or a lot less, than you initially intended.

A prime example of this is having your first baby. While you’re preparing (and spending!) for baby incoming AND you need a new car, it’s really easy to go from affordable sedan to expensive SUV because you’re already spending so much on baby, you should get the more expensive car (plus you deserve it!). But that’s wrong, wrong, wrong. If your old car is fine, keep it, but if you need a new car, focus on that purchase first, remove baby from the equation.

Save Automatically: Your bank can do automatic transactions, did you know that? Set up automatic transactions so that every pay period your money is sent to savings, debts, and investments. Many times when money is out of sight, it’s out of mind. Also, having money specifically assigned to a labeled account can do wonders for one’s psychology.

Personally, every pay check I have money that goes my investments, a savings account at a different bank, savings accounts for travel, a treat yo self fund, my kitty, and my car. Whatever is left in my checking account is for bills, then fun.

Avoid Temptation: Remember those donuts in the break room? Guess where I’m not eating my lunch today. This rule applies for savings. Avoid places where you spend money or make you want to spend money. This includes shopping malls, certain Youtubers, and social media. You can also manage your spending by only carrying cash.

Find Support: Surround yourself who have your best financial welfare in mind, or with friends who understand if you cannot attend an event because you’re trying to save money. You know your friend who is always broke? Have them read this post, they need some Financial Willpower in their life.

If you struggle with managing your finances, seek help. Many psychologists have tools to help people better manage their money.

The Bottom Line

Just like with eating healthy, in today’s consumerist world, Willpower takes energy. But, it can take less energy if you build strong habits in decision making, and by resetting your primary reaction to not buying anything that hasn’t been well researched, much needed, and long awaited.

 

 

Female Fridays

Emergency Funds – How an Efund will Save You

Happy Fri-YAY! everyone! Will that ever get old? Probably. Will I start using something more original as an opener? Maybe one day! Hah! It is another Femillionaire Friday and I’m super excited because this is two Fridays in a row! How long can I keep it up, the world will never know.

Okay- great intro, Meredith, now to the point.

I want to write about Emergency Funds and why you need one, why your grandma needs one, why your dog needs one, and remind you of all the horrible things that happen when you don’t have an emergency fund.

First, do you want to know something terrifying? 56% of Americans can’t cover three months of expenses.

What is an Emergency Fund?

An Emergency Fund is a type of savings that is held in a savings account and used when an “emergency” occurs.  Generally, this is 3-6 months of living expenses, but all situations and plans of precaution are different. Expenses are inclusive of your mortgage/rent, food, kids daycare, insurance, electricity, trash/sewer, pet food, vet visits, gas, general car maintenance, student loans, personal care, etc. Any expense you currently have, don’t think of cutting it out, include it! I think a lot of people do this with child care, thinking they’ll be home, but you’ll be home and busy editing your resume, going on job hunts, and maybe even catching up on some work around the house/apartment!

What Constitutes an Emergency?

An emergency is anything that meets the UNU criteria:

Is it Urgent?

Is it Necessary?

Is is Unexpected?

This is where you need to build AIM (Awareness, Information, and Management Skills) when it comes to your finances. You need to be aware of how much you spend and use that information to manage your accounts!

A perfect example of this is car maintenance. You know a new timing belt is going to be needed at your next oil change, so why dip into your emergency fund? Save for that piece of car maintenance as best you can! I personally don’t measure out the price of maintenance (I hate dealing with cars), but I budget around $600 a year for car…. stuff. And if anything goes over that, I do dip into my Efund.

true emergency is something you absolutely cannot plan or expect.

 

The most common reasons to use an emergency fund:

  • Loss of Job
  • Necessary travel (ill family member or death, NOT a wedding)
  • Car repairs
  • Unexpected medical bill
  • Unexpected pet illness (Save for your pets!)
  • Heater or A/c went out in unfavorable temperatures
  • Necessary and Urgent Home Repairs
  • Use to cover before insurance pays out

 

NOT Emergencies

  • Christmas
  • Birthdays
  • Spur of the Moment travel
  • Going out with friends

 

… What happens if I DON’T have an emergency fund? It’s Risky…

Have you ever been stressed out before? Was it about money? That’s EXACTLY what not having an emergency fund feels like, overwhelming, compounding stress that you can’t control the situation you find yourself. One of the main issues in marriages is money. One of the main causes of depression is money. You know what solves some of life’s biggest problems? An emergency fund!

Some more extreme examples include homelessness, being hungry, losing your home, or taking on bad debt (i.e. credit cards) and finding yourself in even more stressed out.

An Emergency is the definition of peace of mind.

 

Let’s talk about the Beneies- the Benefits of an Emergency Fund

The largest benefit of an Emergency Fund is peace of mind, aka not being stressed. When your car needs a new tire- or four and you can pay for them, it’s the easiest “yes” you will ever say. You might even get a little high from the sheer adrenaline rush of not having to worry about the expense.

The second largest benefit of an emergency fund is it stops you from taking on bad debt. Aka, it stops you from taking on debt with high interest rates that make you more stressed to pay back.

The third benefit is somewhat indirect- having an Emergency Fund teaches you to not spend money. Having a lump of cash in the bank takes huge amounts of self restraint to not spend. And if you can keep it there, you’re absolutely killing the mental game of savings.

 

How the Hell am I supposed to Build an Emergency Fund??

I’ll tell you right now, it’s going to take time, patience, and intelligence to finally have your emergency fund, especially if you already have a tight budget. My recommendation is to save at least 10% of every single paycheck into a savings account until you have the amount of money you need.

You can help yourself by opening a High Yield Savings Account outside of your current bank and set up automatic transactions. This means when you login to your normal checking account, you never even see your Emergency Fund.

If an emergency happens while you’re building your emergency fund, take a deep breath, use your cash, and start building again.

 

Meredith Foxx’s Approach to an Emergency Fund

What’s my personal approach to an emergency fund? I use my emergency fund for only the most true emergencies, aka loss of job. I have had to dip into it once for my cat and once for my car, but for the most part, I like to structure my savings.

I have accounts labeled (and yes, these are all seperate savings accounts):

  • Car account – $106/pay period, this is for gas, insurance, and $600 of maintenance a year
  • Kitty – $30/ pay period, this is for food, toys, clothes, and vet visits. Any excess I’m saving for a surgery he’ll need.
  • Travel – $200/pay period, this money isn’t used for any unexpected bills (although I could for unexpected travel), but I think it’s important to point out where my cash goes
  • Efund/General savings – $300/pay period, while my Efund has been maxed out for a couple of years now, I am in the beginning stages of saving for a house and other big purchases. I have all of this lumped into one high yield savings account. But I know, $10,000 of what’s in there is an emergency fund.

 

Really think about the Amount you Need

There are a couple of reasons why you should think critically of what you need. The more important one being, will you have enough money? 3-6 Months is the standard, but if you have a large mortgage, kids, a spouse that doesn’t work, pets, loans, a job that is high risk, etc, you might want to consider 12-24 months of cash reserve. You’ll be prepare when the shit hits the fan, especially because when it rains, it pours.

If you’re young, healthy, no pets, no dependents, etc, really think about not holding onto too much cash. You’re losing time in the market by keeping dollars in an account that doesn’t even keep up with inflation.

 

In Conclusion

I hope halfway through this article you opened up your bank account and started a new savings account called EFund. Having an emergency fund is so critical to being able to handle stress and impactful moments in life. An Emergency Fund takes the edge off and allows you to breathe easy, knowing you’ll be okay.

I know saving money isn’t always easy, but it’s so much better than the alternative.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article, thank  you for reading! Check out my Youtube video for more:

 

Female Fridays Finances

Savings vs. Investments – Aren’t they the Same Thing?

Happy Femillionaire Fri-yay! Well… Not so Fri-yay as this post goes up late…. You know what my plans are for the week? Get. Shit. Done. Same as any other week. But I still love Fridays, mainly because it means new Finance tips on my Youtube Channel and here! Yay!

In this first post of 2019, and the first video in my Youtube playlist, Femillionaire, I want to start with a two basic definitions that can alter you from being comfortable, to being wealthy and financially independent.

Savings vs. Investing

I want to touch on the topics of savings and investing today and the key differences between the two.

Definition

Savings

Generally savings are in cash accounts held at your local or online bank.

Investments

Investments are investing in something with the intent to see your money grow.

Savings are held, investments are for growth.

Examples

Savings are cash in a savings account at your bank. You might keep savings in a checking account (which isn’t a great idea!). Savings can also be stored in Money Market Funds.

Investments are stocks, mutual funds, property, gold, or even in yourself. Anything that invest X gets you Y, where Y > X.

Purpose

Savings

Saving money in a bank account has one soul purpose. It is short term money that you need in order to fulfill a want or necessity. There are a few things that need defined in that sentence.

First, short term. What is short term in terms of your money? Short term is anything less than five years. So, any savings should only be done for something that is 5 or less years away. This includes a house, a car, a new purse, a baby, etc. Short term also mean urgency, if an emergency happens, you need cash now. 

Let’s break down the second part of that sentence, fulfill a want or necessity. Yes! Savings isn’t just for a rainy day fund (or to the more financially aware student, Emergency Fund), but is also for fun things like vacations, big projects, etc.

The final intent of savings is that it will be spent. You just may not know when.

Investments

Pay attention! This is where  we go from cash rich to actually wealthy. The purpose of investments is to increase one’s wealth by converting one amount of money into a larger amount of money. The purpose of investments are that they take time, mature, and when they mature your money has doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled- something you certainly wouldn’t see in a savings account. Investments also aren’t actively spent until they’re used to help fund your retirement or your next big project.

 

Returns

Savings

Savings is going to have very little returns. I highly recommend parking any large amount of cash you do have (>$3,000 saved) into a High Yield Savings Account. These accounts will at least earn you 2% as of me writing this article. My current Synchrony account is at 2.2%.

Investments

Investments, historically, have a much higher rate of return than savings, primarily because they increase in value over time. While investments may decrease for a short amount of time, history proves investments increase wealth and net worth.

Risks

Savings

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “gotcha bitch” TRY to tell me that savings is risky and a bad idea.

… Okay, I will. Savings is incredibly risky when it comes to your money.  Are you going to suddenly have pennies, like you could with an investment? No. you’re just losing critical compounding time in the market when your money could be working for you.  Also, you technically are losing money…. if inflation is greater than your savings account rate, which, it most likely is. So the $100 you have in savings today, is still going to be $100 in 10 years, but worth only about $80 of today’s dollars.

Investments

I think it’s quite obvious why investments are risky- it’s why many people, especially women, don’t invest to begin with. Investments could be $5,000 one day, and $0 the next. If you invest in a company and it goes Bankrupt, you’re out of luck. If you buy a house and it burns down before you can buy insurance, you’re out of luck.

What we need to realize that yes, stocks, real estate, etc are all risky. However, with due diligence and staying the course, especially when things are going south, Investments out perform cash. Every. Single. Time.

Liquidity

The availability of liquid assets, i.e. cash.

Savings

Savings are quite liquid. You’re able to pull out all the cash you need, generally on a single day, from a single bank. Liquidity is one of the key reasons for keeping cash.

Investments

Investments are not as liquid as savings, however different Investments have varying levels of liquidity. Stocks in a normal, health year of investment are pretty liquid. It easy to sell stock and have the money in your bank account less than a week to two weeks later. Real estate as an investment is a different breed. One can flip a house, or sit on it for month – even years – until someone wants to buy or rent it from you.

 

In Conclusion

I hope the difference between savings and investments is clear to you now. In a way, investments, especially buying into mutual funds, are basically like saving with a slightly better interest rate. That is, until you have enough money where compound interest really takes root and you see your numbers start to soar.

After this article, I hope you are able to correctly discuss savings and investments and continue to invest and grow your wealth!

 

For the more audio readers, below is my Youtube video covering the same topics as above. Thanks!

 

Finances Uncategorized

2019 IRA LIMIT INCREASES by $500!

You heard it here first folks, in 2019 IRAs are increasing their limits from $5,500 to $6,000 per year. The $6,000 contribution is based on the government’s fiscal 2019 calendar, which starts in April 2019, but you should be able to start contributing larger amounts for the Fiscal Year starting in January. Just make sure you’re 2018 IRA account is already maxed!

How Much Should you Contribute per Paycheck to Max Your IRA?

  • If you are paid monthly (12 paychecks/year) and you max it out in 12 months, you need to contribute $500/paycheck to max out a 2019 IRA.
  • If you are paid bi-monthly (24 paycheck a year) and you want to max your IRA, you need to contribute $250/paycheck to max out a 2019 IRA.
  • If you are paid bi-weekly (like me! 26 paychecks a year) You need to contribute $230.76/paycheck to come close to maxing out a 2019 IRA. You’ll need to contribute an additional $0.24 to reach $6,000. Easy peasy.

 

For me, this increases my per-paycheck contribution up from $212 to $230. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be getting a raise this year as I plan to negotiate for more PTO, way more PTO.

But, I also may not be doing the per-paycheck method anyway. I anticipate a bonus of ~$3,000 and if I actually receive it I’ll dump it all into my IRA to already have it half maxed.

 

Do you max an IRA every year? What method do you use to max it out?

 

Finances financial independence

Where have I been?

I’ve been busy. Very busy.

I have been BUSY and spending way too much money. Like, way too much. BUT the things that I’ve recently bought brought me more joy than anything else this past year. I mean, besides my cat, my boyfriend, and our trip to Cabo. I’ve learned a really important lesson on how spending money can be beneficial, and it’s not all bad.

My New Computer

I built and bought a new computer. First, I’m not hugely into computer components and understanding every last detail about them, but I do have enough knowldge to be intereted in how to put a computer together and how to make a dope as fuck computer. I wanted something with speed, agility, and beauty. Also, my current 8GB of RAM laptop was dying. It was time to buy something else. And this time, I finally wanted to buy/build something I never had growing up, a computer that was fully functional for what I wanted to do.
I went for a super computer with an AMD professor, 512GB of storage on an M.2 SSD  that clipped right into the motherboard. Building the PC was a whirlwind of events. But eventually, I turned it on and saw the MSI home screen, figured out how to install Windows, and never looked back.
My new computer is a total UFO, I can play games, create huge spread sheets, and do what I really wanted- edit videos.

I’m a Youtuber

I’ve wanted to join Youtube for YEARS. When I was in college, I couldn’t afford Netflix or Hulu and if I wanted to watch TV I would go to websites that allowed streaming. Que Youtube. I found free entertainment with some of the funniest, most creative people who were living lives I wanted so badly. I watched many girls around my own age, including Remi Ashton, Alisha Marie, Casey Holmes, and more. I lived vicariously through their Black Friday shopping adventures and their Target Hauls. Their DIYs were so cute and for five minutes at a time I could pretend I didn’t have homework, work, or student debt. I could pretend I just hauled a bunch of makeup from Sephora.
I finally took the plunge this Fall. After I built my computer, I bought lighting, created a background, and started brainstorming video ideas. I’m using a GoPro I bought in the Spring to film with, and it’s not great, but I’m working on my content and what I want my channel to be. Of course it will focus on finances and building income and wealth. But I also have some Hauls, DIYs, and random videos up as well. I’m working on my video editing skills and having lots of fun while doing so.
It feels like something I’ve wanted for so long is finally happening and I couldn’t be happier.
Check out my <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClrLWlfevT77PN9jheHrCrQ?view_as=subscriber&#8221; Youtube channel </a> if interested! I’m going to be adding YouTube videos to more of my posts!

I Threw a Huge 25th Halloween Birthday Party

It’s not every day we turn 25.  And not everyone has such a close birthday to Halloween.  I was blessed with both of those things this year, along with enough disposable income to throw a huge party with the perfect food spread, tons of booze, and the perfect decor. All in, I spent about $2,500, along with a $562 gift from my boyfriend the party cost $3,000. And we had it in our condo!
Halloween decor is already marked up because it’s a holiday, and a few items were even more marked up because they’re such specialties. Enter <a href=”https://amzn.to/2CEfbdd”&gt; blood bag drink holders.</a> All the money was well spent, and I now have memories that will last the rest of my life. Clean up was sticky and the hangover was real, but I would throw it again and am even contemplating a huge 30th…

<h2> All In </h2>

All in, the past three months, including my rent and normal purchases, I’ve spend >$7,000. But it’s all been worth it. I think I’m finally understanding investing in your hobbies, because now I CRAVE to be on my computer (even more so than before) and I hope I’m inspired to publish more on my blog and create great Youtube content.

 

Until next time!

Finances