Money talks. As the daughter of political refugees who were looking to start over in America, I grew up understanding financial stability is key. It’s very important to living a happy life. Take note, I didn’t say rich. I said financial stability. This can be different for a lot of people. On a recent podcast, Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack, broke down wealth into three things and I would have agree with his logic.
- I’m not stressed out about debt: People who no longer have to worry about their credit card debt or student loans.
- I don’t care what stuff costs in restaurants: How much you spend on a particular meal isn’t impacted by your finances.
- I don’t care what a vacation costs: People who don’t care how expensive the hotel is or which flight they go on.
This summer, I partnered with SoFi, a personal online finance company, to talk about how I’m planning for my future. They have a variety of products to fit your current needs and help you prepare for the future. From paying off student loans, medical or dental resident refinancing to helping with a mortgage or a wealth management program, SoFi has solutions to fit your goals. Plus, SoFi has really cool community events where SoFi members can network. They host panels or even give members access to cool events including the U.S. Open or X Games to name a few!
As a TV Journalist, I don’t make a lot of money. However, I definitely make enough to pay bills and get by with a little leftover for investing. Thankfully because of incredible readers such as yourself, I’m able to earn a bit of an income from my blog and put that toward the future. This is why I SoFi. I want my money to work for me when I’m not working, essentially being able to make it grow long-term. But Investing can be intimidating. Where do you start? There’s a lot of jargon, so how do you understand what everything is? How much do you need to start? These are just a few of the reasons why many people don’t take the first step.
First off, SoFi is different from traditional wealth advisors, which makes it a lot less frightening. You can start investing with just $100 a month. That’s a good quality dress or a nice pair of heels. It’s also not buying a month’s worth of coffee from a cafe or cutting back on eating out. SoFi’s advisors also don’t work on commission Another reason why I SoFi is the ability to have a curated portfolio. It’s a mix of low-cost index-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs), based on age, income, assets and SoFi manages it for you.
Ways to save…
But how do you initially save that money? Here are some things I personally do to save money so I can put it toward investing:
- Don’t buy coffee. 95 percent of the time, I make my coffee at home. Think about it. Your coffee probably costs about $3-5. Multiply that times five, times four. At the high end that equals $100 a month. You can buy ground coffee for about $5 or $11 if you want to be high-brow, make it at home and it’ll last you about two months.
- Pack your lunch. My Sundays are reserved for meal-prepping. I plan out my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week. I will make my dinner, which I eat at work, ahead of time and lunch if possible. Sometimes I’ll end up doing finishing touches on lunch that day. You’ll save so much money by bringing your food instead of buying lunch and/or dinner each night.
- Set a limit. Calculate how much you really need to spend and stick to it. Sit down with a calculator, receipts and add it up. Then, stick to it. Do not go over your limit unless it’s something you plan for or you’re dealing with a crisis. Johnny recommends withdrawing this amount in cash and only using cash to pay for things.
For as long as I can remember, I knew exactly what I wanted to save up for. I want to be able to pay for my wedding, a house and to take care of my family. It can be easy to take the money you make and get instant gratification by taking a vacation or buying a new designer bag. But to me, it’s important to think of what can happen long-term. What if tomorrow you walk into work and you are suddenly laid off? Or what if you get into a car crash and can’t work? What if you find yourself needing to spend thousands of dollars to fix your car or around your home unexpectedly? Or what if you have to leave your job because it’s a toxic work environment? Johnny and I call this our “f–k you fund” meaning if a situation gets really bad, we know we can leave and be okay. That wouldn’t be possible without savings.
Investing allows you make returns on the money you work so hard to earn. Of course, I have a few stocks I own because I love the company. Plus, I’m a geek like that. But one main reason why I SoFi is because their aggressive portfolio will hypothetically give you a 75 percent return over 10 years. That’s 15 percent more than the industry benchmark. There is always a risk of losing money but you can mitigate that with how aggressive your porfolio is.
Of course, Johnny and I treat ourselves now and then. We love taking trips to New York and having nice things here and there. But it’s important to plan for your future today. I encourage you to take charge of what you future could hold and do your research into what financial stability is for you. How much money do you really need to be happy and really calculate this out. It might not be as much as you think. I believe being financially literate is more than spending less than you earn. It’s understanding how to make the most of your money.
*This post is sponsored by SoFi. All opinions are my own*