Money Matters: Budget, Even While Traveling

So this is the last time I’ll mention my new job and traveling to New York (hopefully) but I wanted to quickly share and remind you about the importance of budgeting even while traveling.

Simply put: have a dollar figure that you’re not willing to go over.

Now, I was fortunate because my new job was comping us for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the days we, the company, didn’t eat together. Which was great. That meant less money out of my pocket. But that’s not always the case. I may have very well had to supply my own meals in which I would have had to decide how much I would be willing to spend on each meal, budget accordingly and ensure I didn’t go over that dollar figure.

In my case, as silly and perhaps lowballed as it sounds, I didn’t want to spend over $100 while in New York. Crazy, right? Well, I had most of my facts up front. I knew the company was going to supply or comp our meals. I knew the company was going to pay for transportation to and from the airport. And the company had already supplied the hotel room. So logically, what more did I need to spend on other than getting around the city on my free time and a few souvenirs?

Budgeting, wherever you go, is easier when you have all the facts.

Think about it: how much would you know to stock away if you didn’t have an estimate, at the very least, of what something – an item, a meal, an event – was gonna cost? Even in a city like New York where the cost of living is 13% higher than Los Angeles, I still budgeted to the best of ability.

How do you budget when you travel?

Money Matters: Clean Out Your Purses

I feel like our purses and wallets are a sneak peak into our finances and our lives. I believe how well we keep the things that hold the representation of our finances reflect how we feel and deal with our finances.

I was watching my mother clean out one of purses so she could switch items into another purse to take with her to an on oscar party she attends every year. And in doing so, it was littered with receipts, old napkins and tissues and just stuff that should’ve been trashed awhile ago. I wanted to be like, “eww” but she’s my mother. Yet, I still felt eww about how managed her purse was. As a mature woman, why hadn’t she gotten a better system of cleaning out her purse? Why after so many years does she treat her purse like a trash can?

But — being frank, here — my mother isn’t the best at managing money. She isn’t the worst, but she won’t be holding any top 100 spots in the immediate future. Money has always been a tool for her to spend. And sadly, this applies to many women I know. They’re always scrambling around to make it to the next pay period. And it’s not a junky purse. It’s a junky lifestyle. Careless purchases. Impulsive spending. Emotional shopping. Just no regard for their financial future. Like, none. And so, they’re broke or short on money or have no savings. Or — usually– a combination of it all.

I don’t know if I mentioned the “broke girl” from my former job, but in case I didn’t, let me give you the run down:

She lives paycheck because it’s very important to her she has a social life. She’s $15,000 in credit card debt. She never pays off a purchase once she used her credit card so she always carries a balance and pays the minimum. Her total minimum payment is about $300 for all 3 credit cards. She paid $700 for her cat and only feeds her cat expensive food even when she doesn’t have food for herself. When she’s unable to prepare lunch from home for a workday, she puts it on her credit card. She has no savings. Doesn’t believe in 401k so she doesn’t have a retirement account or savings or a plan of anything sort.

I’m not making any of this up. She’s told me all this herself. And she’s not alone. Many women treat their lives like a junky purse. Like, one day it’s all gonna get magically cleaned out sorted and whoosh — everything will be better.

Sorry, ladies. You gotta start cleaning out purses and now. There is no fairy Godmother out there waving and magically fixing all your financial problems. You, my dears, have got to do that yourself.

Turn them purses upside down!

Money Matters: Cutting Back on Your Spending

As a hustler, one of our biggest obstacles is money. I mean, isn’t that the reason we got into side hustlin’ to begin with? But not just making more money, but managing it, saving it and as we all do at some point, spending it. But sometimes we forget to shift our mindset about our money from spender to saver.

One of the best ways to get in the habit of saving more of our hard earn extra greenbacks is to start cutting back on the things we’re already spending on that we don’t need.

Side hustlin’ is not about wants, it’s about needs. Supporting the needs, fulfilling the needs, saving for future needs and of course, needing to earn more. Wants go out the window (at least for a little bit).

To help you better manage your side hustlin’ money, cut back on your Starbucks or Coffeebean drinks. Skip Kindle for your books and go to the library. They got digital copies too, now. Pack snacks for on the go and lunches for work. Bring water with you wherever you go to avoid the temptation of spending on convenience store drinks. Limit your Uber or Lyft rides to a reasonable number and on a need basis per month. Shop at the Dollar Tree for office and work supplies. Need a better outfit to impress a prestigious client? Good Will. Or ThredUp. Or Poshmark. Second hand is your friend.

As you can see, whatever you need to get your side hustle off the ground and start bringing in real dollars begins with you first changing where your money goes. If you wanna see more money coming in, start by letting less money go out. Then your side hustle money will really look good. Hello!

Money Matters: Get You a Side Hustle

If don’t have a side I hope you’re already living your dream. And if so, 👏👏👏👏👏👏. Do you, boo!

But if not, why not? It’s been reported and polled and studied that, in U.S. at least, between 70-80% of people hate their job. I’m one of them!!! But unlike the bulk of the country who would rather call out sick than drag their crushed souls into the office Monday through Friday, I have a side hustle. I have a few, in fact. And I roll my eyes to those who do not have a side hustle at all.

Sorry, not sorry.

In all seriousness, how can anyone complain about a job they feel pays them too little and works them too hard not do anything about it? I never understood that.

Now, you may think that person can just start looking for another job but let me ask this: do you really think they’re going to find everything from that one new job?

I’m gonna go with no. And that’s ok. Its almost weird if a job is completely satisfactory that we don’t need to look anywhere else to fill our voids. Even a decent or good job may lack some soul-purpose elements.

But to work at job and not have a side hustle in the city is almost dangerous. We have rising rents, fees coming at us left and right, and for 61% of us (allegedly), no savings. I mean, why don’t you just get the lighter fluid and matches now?

Okay. Sorry, sorry. Too far. But, was it really?

2017 and 2018 were some pretty expensive years as Los Angeles made it’s way to being the 3rd most expensive city in the county. Being beat out by only New York and San Francisco. And I don’t see 2019 being a generous one. So I tell everyone who has the mindset to hear it, get you a side hustle.

If for no other reasons, for these two:

  1. Build your non existing savings or to beef it up
  2. To add more skills under your belt and become more you desirable to lucrative prospective employers (bosses who will pay you better)

In other words, a side hustle is the easiest and quickest way to increase your net worth, help you build wealth and develop and build skills.

Your job now may be about your career or a bridge to your career. But a side hustle is all about staying in the black.

Money Matters: Forgo Today’s Spending Habits for Tomorrow’s Dream Goals

I’ve been guilty of this too.

Postmates will offer free delivery until Sunday at midnight. Or $5 sandwiches. Or $5 burritos. Or whatever promo and discount trying lure me to spend. And then I tell myself I’ll treat my self that day. But that $10 treat becomes an expense I hadn’t calculated in my budget which is no bueno.

But those treat yo self moments add up pretty quickly. And next thing I realize, I spent almost $100 on food outside of my grocery budget because I came across a deal I thought was too good to pass up. That’s the covert downside to “deals”. In order to get them, you still have to spend money. Especially when ordering out.

It’s only a deal when I was planning on buying whatever the item was and with the deal, I’ll be spending less to get it.

So I’ve been training myself to stop and remember the bigger picture. Remember why I hustle. I don’t have to hustle. I can be content with living paycheck to paycheck. I can hope my employer gives me a raise or I find a better paying job or I win the lottery that I never play. I can hope and wish for a lot of things. But acting is more effective than wishing and hoping. So before I open the UberEats app or the Postmates app, I ask myself what in the kitchen can I make to eat instead? Do I really need that? Is it worth?

Yes, I can make something to eat from the kitchen. No, I don’t really need to order that and it’s not work $15 plus the small cart fee. Small decisions like these help me steer myself back to what I’m doing all this for.

I gotta goal. I got something I’m aiming for. And careless spending is not going to help me get there.

What helps you stay on track and thinking about the bigger picture?

Money Matters: Setting Goals

saving and making money

Since it’s still early January and many people are making promises and resolutions to themselves on how they’re going to do better this year, I want to continue to talk about money.

Openly.

Honestly.

Because, let’s be honest here, it is the catalyst to anything we want to do in our lives.  From going to the grocery store to take a week long vacation in another country.  Money is how we get there.  And I don’t care how you come across money, you’re still going to need.  Whether you work for it or someone gives it to you, money, money money.

I promise you, I’m not obsessed.  I’m conscious.  I am conscious of the tool money and how it plays in our lives.  More importantly, how we allow it to play in our lives.  So, let’s start of this year right.

Let’s set some money goals.  And we’ll do this together.

Here, I’ll tell you mine for 2019:

  • I want to save $1,000 for my Chase Savings account.  Chase, like many of the other big banks, aren’t paying anything in the way of interest.  But I’m not saving this grand for the interest, but rather for immediate access.  For an emergency.
  • I want to earn a minimum of $2,000 for the notary this business this year.  I had a pretty good year last year with my notary business as a part time venture.  It definitely has pay for itself a few times over, but now.  I want to take it up a notch.
  • And, I want to add an additional $1,000 to my dream home fund.  Started this a couple of years and have successfully saved over $2,500.  It’s not much in the way of buying a home, especially here in LA, but you know what they say about taking on something.  You gotta start somewhere.

So, all in all, I am looking to save and/or earn an additional $4,000 this year.  Ambitious?  A little a bit.  It just means I’ll have to be more creative than I’ve been in the past to get to where I want to be.  Hence, that’s why I hustle.

So, what are you money goals for 2019?  I’d love to hear them.