Hi Guys and a happy Monday! Yesterday, I visited my cousin studying at UC Davis and was actually taken back by his demeanor. On many occasions, I made fun of him saying he looks like a zombie to which he responded like a zombie should. But, on the drive back, I realized he was just another college kid and felt a little bad. So today, I decided to do something didactic. Today’s post is for young girls and those new professional women who are getting their first taste of independence. Yes, the connection between “budgeting” and starting a designer shoe collection is odd, but I know how us gals think and love “planning ahead” the moment we land our “first real job”. So I hope to accomplish writing a solid budgeting lesson and teach you how to start a designer shoe collection at the same time.
The Lessons (Not Steps!)
1. Learn Your Planning MO
I am a planner. I have planned my class schedules, lesson plans, and even when to shower and perform cat duties. Yes, it sounds pretty intense so I am trying to be more flexible because I find that as I have grown older, I need to accommodate unforeseen conflicts that require “empty” spaces. Leaving a few hours open to read a book, do errands (or sleep!) are a great way to incorporate a little flexibility, self-care, and relax from anxieties of everyday life. While some individuals remember their schedule, which I won’t recommend, I wouldn’t go overboard with writing everything down either. Ask yourself: Do you want to just schedule (aka write down on a planner) important work meetings or events, or do you want to schedule all activities hour by hour? Depending on what stresses you out, play around until you have a winning combination. Just remember important work meetings and events, family/friends time (birthdays or brunches), and personal time (like book clubs or classes) is a must to jot down!
2. Budget Your Month
Depending on that “winning combination” of your schedule-planning method, you can similarly adjust your budgeting as well. A great sample resource can be accessed HERE. Young professionals can contact their HR and see if their employer can split their monthly income in a separate checking and savings account. Legally, your employer takes money from your monthly income and puts it in a retirement plan for you. However, young professionals (and even college students) can even split their remaining income (or pocket-money) into a savings account, which allows limited activities and a checking account, which allows flexible activities.
Depending on the “flexible” part of your income or pocket-money aka money that is in your checking account, you must budget monthly. While college students do not need to worry about savings, or putting money away in retirement funds like professionals, they need to cover costs like apartment rent and transportation like young professionals. I would suggest automatically deduct expenses such as apartment rent, utilities; and gas and maintenance for a car IF you choose to have one, from your checking account. Then “schedule” or budget-in personal care items and grocery items that CAN vary month to month. Once you have “these essentials paid for” the remaining can be spent on as you please.
3. Learn The Difference Between A Savings Account & A Checking Account
The wonderful government of USA has many ways you can budget your money so you do not get into debt. While all professionals and employees are required to save money for retirement because you know you won’t do it otherwise, there are other “services” banks are required to provide YOU with money help.
A savings account allows maybe 2-3 activities per month which include deposits sometimes. This account is great for saving for that great pair of designer shoes, a vacation, or an unforeseen expense aka “rainy days”. Naturally, the saving account requires you also add or maintain a minimum amount of money each month. So you really can’t screw this one up.
Checking accounts on the other hand really need to be managed because anything really goes and you can end up in debt. These accounts are linked to those lovely credit cards that get swiped all the time by people who are not smart with money and end up in debt. My advice for young professionals and young girls is never get a credit card or if you need one, get one with not more than a $1500 credit limit. You truly only need a debit card at this stage in life. If you have money left after your monthly expenses (mentioned above) are accounted for and if you have saved money in a retirement or savings account then you can get that manicure/pedicure, a massage, or a haircut/color in a nice salon.
I remember when I started making money, my idea of being responsible was “putting gas in the car”. So each week (Yes!) I would drive my car to a gas station and put in gas. Slowly I realized that I was spending way too much in gas because I was driving a lot. So I stopped driving far to meet friends and began meeting them in “central locations”. Another fun lesson I learned was through my obsession with coffee (See HERE). I loved coffee since I was a teenager. I remember drinking cups and cups of coffee from the coffee pot next to the YMCA registration desk where I worked. Then in college, I began searching for those rare moments of stress where I just had to buy a $4 cup of mocha from an artisan coffee shop (I went to Berkeley). By the time I was a teacher, I would drive to Pete’s on early mornings and get a muffin or croissant with my mocha. It got so bad that my credit card bill would include my trips to Pete’s or Starbucks and Banana Republic only. I knew to change my spending habits after that.
My Dream Designer Shoe Collection (Also See HERE)
A fun activity I have planned includes my dream designer list. I have put prices next to each shoe I want. Some I already own. Given the notes, how would you budget these in with your income? *Hint Hint: Savings over a couple of years is totally allowed. Do this with a parent if needed!
- Alexander Wang Booties (See HERE) $550
- Tory Burch Riding Boots (See HERE) $498
- Stuart Weitzman Over the Knee Boots (See HERE) $655
- Roger Vivier Pilgrim Buckle Ballet Flats (See HERE) $550
- Gucci Loafers (See HERE) $730
- Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats – CHECKED-OFF
- Valentino Garavani Cage Rockstud Ballet Flats – CHECKED-OFF
- Dior Limited Edition J’aDior Slingback Kitten Heels – GET PRE-LOVED (App. $1400)
- Hermes Kitten Heels – CHECKED-OFF
- Sophia Webster Madame Chiara Heels – (See HERE) $495
- Gianvitto Rossi Plexi 70 Mid-Heels – CHECKED-OFF
- Manolo Blahniks – CHECKED-OFF
Miscellaneous – For Pakistani Girls Only 😉
- Khussas – CHECKED-OFF
- Khaula Puri Chapel – CHECKED-OFF