*This post was edited on August 31st, 2019.
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. 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”. I hope to accomplish writing a solid budgeting lesson to starting a designer shoe collection at the same time.
The Lessons (not the 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. 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, events, family time (birthdays or brunches) and personal time (like clubs or classes) is a must to jot down.
2. Budget Your Month
Depending on the winning combination of your schedule-planning you can similarly adjust your budget. Workers can contact their human resource department 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 workers (and even college students) split their remaining income (and 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 and 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 workers they need to do cover costs like apartment rent and transportation like workers. I would suggest automatically deduct expenses such as apartment rent and utilities and then gas and maintenance for a car if you choose to have one from your checking account. Then budget personal care items and grocery items that vary month to month. Once you have essentials paid the remaining can be spent as you please.
3. Learn The Difference Between A Savings Account And 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 know how to do it otherwise there are other services banks providing 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 and after you have saved money in a retirement or savings account then you can get that manicure, a pedicure, a massage or a haircut 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 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. 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 for college). Later 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 (an example)
An activity I have planned includes my dream designer shoe list. I have put prices next to each shoe I want. Given the notes how can these budget in with your income?
- Alexander Wang Booties $550
- Tory Burch Riding Boots $498
- Stuart Weitzman Over the Knee Boots $655
- Dior Limited Edition J’aDior Slingback Kitten Heels – $1500
- Hermes Kitten Heels – $1000
- Sophia Webster Madame Chiara Heels – $495
- Gianvitto Rossi Plexi 70 Mid-Heels – $900
- Manolo Blahniks – $1000
Miscellaneous – For Pakistani Girls Only 😉
- Khussas – $50
- Khaula Puri Chapel – $50
- Roger Vivier Pilgrim Buckle Ballet Flats $550
- Gucci Loafers $730
- Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats – $500
- Valentino Garavani Cage Rockstud Ballet Flats – $1500