The modern princess: beautiful, glamorous and the centre of attention, she can be alluring. Add to that a certain charisma, charm and love of life, and she’s often the life of the party. As you read this, I bet you’re imagining one you know: a friend, relative or colleague whose life seems straight out of reality show about housewives flitting from one fab party to the next.
Today, many of us suffer from what amounts to “princess culture.” The media and pop culture, television and movies in particular, have us programmed to desire, as a matter of course and expectation, things that are out of our financial reach. Worse: when we spend, we also don’t save.
Many women, young and old, fail to realize that they can earn a ton of money, simply by taking advantage of all of the earning years ahead of them — simply by not spending. In my next article, I’ll talk about compound interest but for now, here are some tips to help the princess in your life (maybe you?) get on the path to financial independence.
Get the career and working life in order
It’s key to find a job that pays well enough to cover your living expenses, contribute to paying off your debt and leave you with enough for fun and saving. TO find the right job, search your passions and interests. If you’re employed in a field or industry that motivates you, full-time work seems less like “work” — and the more you enjoy what you do, the more you succeed. If you’re just starting out, internships are an amazing way to get a foot in the door to your dream career. Unpaid internships can suck, yes, because, well, you’re not paid; however, they’re awesome because you essentially get free training and free job contacts that will launch you into your career.
Cut down on an indulgence, or two. Or three.
As I’ve said many times in this column, shopping shouldn’t count as a hobby. We all know how fun and pleasurable shopping can be, what with the rush of endorphins flowing through your brain and the thrill of simply spending. If you find yourself shopping weekly for things that you don’t really need — for example: clothes, shoes, makeup — or if you find yourself going out to eat and drink more than once a week, consider cutting back. Find a different way to boost your endorphins: go to the gym, read a book or learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals.
Start saving and investing
Once your debt is manageable, start putting away a certain amount of money every month. You’d be surprised how quickly savings can grow. Start researching how to invest your money. Every girl should know how to make their money work for her and a great way to do that is by investing: in bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and more. If you don’t know how to begin, there are numerous blogs and websites out there to help you get started. You can also make an appointment with a financial advisor at your local bank. And yes, you are entitled to speak to an advisor even if you have $1.47 in your bank account!
Bottom line: if you’re a working girl, supporting yourself in order to again some personal wealth, focus more on achieving and less on consuming.
Written by M. Alice Allen