Money Matters: B.E.A.C.H. Wallet

It’s June! And for most of us, that means summertime splendor! 🌞 And for many people it means all things beach 🏖. Or, beach-like activities. Getting or staying in shape, hanging out with friends, kicking it poolside 🏊🏽‍♀️ or at the beach itself. And although all those activities🏄🏼‍♀️ are super fun🤽🏿‍♀️, they be super expense when they add up. So, while everyone else is focused on their beach bodies, focus on your B.E.A.C.H. wallet.

What’s that?

Beginnings of Establishing Any Cash Haven.

In other words, funds. Savings. Rather than spend every other paycheck hanging out and giving the appearance you can afford to hang, save for those occasions. I’m sure we’ve talked about this already; the importance saving up for things and experiences you want to enjoy rather than just splurging and figuring out how you’re going to come up above water next month.

Save, save, save!!!

I cannot begin to stress this enough. I don’t care if you have five profitable side hustles and three full time jobs (unlikely, but these days who knows), save. For anything. For everything. Make it a point this summer that whatever your goals or plans are, you put some money aside for those occasions you want to really enjoy before you spend haphazardly.

I mean, after all, going to the beach should be fun. Not a bank-breaking event.

Money Matters: Girl, You Need to Save More Money

Happy April 1st…April’s Fool and Cesar Chavez Day. Today’s like a mouthful. But if you still got some space left… happy 2nd quarter of the year!

Yeah, like why do you care? Well, in about 14 days your taxes should be filed. And when I hear that said out loud, I hear money. More like money that needs to be saved. I don’t know if you’re getting a return back or if you’ll owe, but regardless if you’ll be writing a check or depositing a check, we need to start saving… more. No, I get it. You are saving. You’ve even got your savings on automatic transfer. Go for you. Now increase it. Seriously. 😐. If you can save whatever dollar amount you’re saving now then try to save a little more.

If you’re only saving $5 a month, go ahead and start saving $6. The increase to your savings doesn’t have to be magnanimous. But it should be greater than what you were saving. If you’re saving $20, aim to save $25. If you’re saving $25, aim to save $30. Or $50 if you can swing it. Save more money to accelerate your dream fund, your travel fund, your down payment on a home fund or whatever you’re planning for in the future. Let the same principle to your emergency fund too.

If you make one positive money move this second quarter of 2019, let it be that you increased your savings. Your future self will thank you.

August 💵 Money Challenge #1

I thought it was time to bring back the topic of money but in a more natural and healthy way. And there’s nothing more natural and healthy than…

A CHALLENGE!!! 💵💵💵💵💵💵💵

Well, at the very least, nothing as rewarding as a challenge can be. And I’m going to join in and do it too.

So to kick this off starting with the first Monday (and every Monday for the month) in August is budgeting. Dun-dun-dun. I hate that word too. I know how to do it, but I don’t always stick to a budget as much as I would like to. And maybe there are a few of you out there who feel the same. So to get things started, here’s what we’re going to do:

List all our expenses, everything we pay out from rent to our Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. List them and tally up the actual amount we’re spending. If we’re ordering out twice a week, include that too. We’ll go log online to our bank account to get an idea what we’vespent on food outside of groceries if we need to. We gonna do this right.

After we’ve written everything we’re spending, we’re write down everything coming in. And if you haven’t guess or figured it out, we’re going to substract what we’re spending from what we’re bringing in. This is going to give us an idea of what kind of “disposal income” we have.

Now, here’s the challenge: write down what you’d like to save in dollar form from what you’re already spending.

For example: if you’re bringing in $3,000 a month (and no, this isn’t before taxes) and you’re spending $2,500 a month, that means your disposal income is $500. But what you really want is to have $750 a month in disposal cash. Okay. That means you gotta cut back on $250 in your expenses this month. And no, I don’t want you to get a side hustle for this challenge. We’ll get to that in the coming months. Right now,we’re going to work with what we have to save that extra $250 or $100 or $50 or even $25 that will give us a little more wiggle room. The only activity for this is cutting back.

What can you do without for this month?

Money Tip: Get Refurbished

I’m looking around my apartment right now and I just realized everything (just about everything) I own is second hand. From my couch, to my dresser, my kitchen table and chairs to my HP Chromebook laptop, all of them are second hand.

Now my laptop wouldn’t necessarily be called “second hand”. I think the PC term (no pun in intended) is “refurbished”. I bought my laptop about three years ago to the date from Staples for less than $300. And I had the intention of using it for only side work and gigs, but I use it for everything now. And it’s held up pretty well. I even purchased an additional warranty just for peace-of-mind sake. Now, I gotta cracked screen at the moment that has nothing to do with its performance or life expectancy. Just me forgetting I am too big to be lying onto something that’s already flat. But my refurbished laptop has been one of my most prized investments that I use daily.

Do you know what refurbished means. Same body, new interior. Meaning, what makes the computer run has been upgraded to new, the shell and frame have had other owners.

And I love it. Like I love all my second hand pieces. I enjoy not paying full price for something that is just as good as when someone else bought it.

And I encourage others to live a little. Save money and buy second hand.

Money Tip: Quality VS. Quantity

This is one of the best money tips that I could steal and share. This is not an original idea of my own, although I’ve heard it shared by many other reputable sources and practice it as often as I can. Simply put, always choose quality.

If we spend a little more money on quality items we regularly use, we’ll spend less money replacing them when they do become worn out, which equates to more money saved in the long run. Best example: clothes.

It seems like fast fashion is everywhere now. Cute trendy clothes for pennies on the dollars made cheaply and quickly. So let’s say we buy a new top every three months because it’s only $5.99. But because it’s only $5.99, it’s not made with the best materials, so after a few washes and wears, it’s already ready for retirement. So, every 3 months, we’re replacing this particular top. That comes out to $23.96 plus tax every year.

Tax in L.A. is 9.25%, as an FYI.

Or you can buy a really nice top between $25-$30 that you may have to replace every 3 or 4 years. Which means in the four years we would’ve kept that really nice top, we’ve spent 3 times as much on really cheap tops. So, not only is the quality inferior, we wasted more money on it.

I may not be wealthy, but I know that’s not how we get there.

Money Tip: Budget Eating Out

I huge advocate for eating at home.  And if for no other reasons than your bottom line and your waistline.  Eating at home saves money and worry.  Never once do I have to worry if I unknowingly pissed off the waiter asking him to take back my food.  And dinner can easily be served as lunch for the following day.

Trust me, I’m a leftovers lover.   Mmmm, mmmm mmmm!

But cooking all the time can get boring, especially if you only know how to make a handful of dishes.  There’s only so many times you can make spaghetti or make a chicken salad before you’re over it for the month. I get it.  I allow myself one meal a week where I can get to eat out.  Whether it’s out with friends for a night or something I order in on a Friday night.  But that’s the catch.  I don’t order food that whole day.  Just for one meal.  So, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, I pick one day of that week and one meal I’m willing to spend a little dough (did you like to food pun I did there? No? Really? Well, stand up comedian is not one of my side hustles, so have no fear).  And then I set a budget for what I I’m willing to spend on food for that meal.  Say, $15.  And no roll-overs.  So, if I pick up one of those $4.99 12-inch sandwiches Subway has going on right now (comes to $5.45 with tax), that doesn’t mean I get spend the difference I didn’t spend on my food plus that week’s budget on food I eat out.  I’m trying break the monotony without breaking the bank.

I do allow myself to spend $20.00 on one meal, giving myself a $80-a-month budget to eat out.  This is to factor in dinner and tip.  Hell, I’m spending $200 on food month, how much more money do I need to spend for just one person?  And I hold myself to the same principles, no rollover unused money to the next week.  So, if I only spend $40 on food that I ate out on, I saved my self $40 on my own budget.  I like that.

Money Tips