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!

 

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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

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?

 

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I’m Holding on to Too Much Cash – Will I Regret it?

Too Much Cash

 

I’ve reached the point with my finances where I have options. While I can’t have everything, I can have anything if I set my mind to it. And while I lean to be more conservative with my spending habits, I do love nice things. I always have. Even while I was growing up in a house-poor household with maxed out credit cards, I wanted a Louis Vuitton. Now, I had no idea how money worked, and the important difference between saving and investing.

Where My Savings/Investments Go

Currently, I contribute $1,211/ every two weeks (or 26 times a year) to my brokerage/Roth and $500 to my HYSA. Meaning every paycheck I’m saving almost 30% as cash. This doesn’t include money I fully intend to spend, like for the holidays, my cat, or a vacation.

Right now, cash is sitting at 21% of my NW. With my current rate of contribution, cash will ultimately reach 24.4% of my NW before decreasing- assuming I don’t spend any of it.

But that’s just it, I do plan on spending this money. Just not at Sephora. hah.

Big Life Events

I call this my “Big Life Events” Fund. The general rule of thumb is if an event is >5 years away, don’t put it in the stock market. And, while I don’t plan on buying a house in less than 5 years, I do if the market retracts. And if the market goes down and my savings for a house is in the market, well, there goes my savings until the market recovers.

I want to be prepared for if/when the market takes a nose dive.

I also want to be prepared for:

  • An Emergency (duh, some of this money is my emergency fund)
  • My annual max out of pocket
  • A new-to-me car in ~2 years
  • A potential down payment on a house
  • Replacing my laptop (even though I’m kind of saving elsewhere)
  • A pet emergency
  • I have really bad teeth, over my life I’ll need ~$40k in dental work
  • A Loss of job
  • Taking time off of work if I burn out
  • etc.

For me, there is no Plan B if I lose my job. There is no safety net other than the one I create to catch me if I fall.  I was very poor once upon a time, but I won’t let it happen again.

What Cash Makes me Lose Out On

I save $13,000 in cash a year (if everything go according to plan [it doesn’t]). On this $13,000 I make 1.085% currently.

Over a decade, if I were to invest it I would come out with $192,000 at 7% return. By saving it, I would come out with $144,000, or a difference of $52,000.

$52,000 is a lot to lose out on over a decade. $52,000 could be one year earlier of committing to FIRE.

But one year earlier doesn’t compensate for a cash security net right now. Perhaps once I get to a certain number and have a more reliable care I’ll invest more of it. But for now, I’ll stay a little cash rich.

How much cash do you hold on to?

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