Oprah Winfrey famously said: “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”
When it comes to managing your money, it’s never too early to start cultivating good strategies, and never too late to kick bad habits. It’s all about your attitude: Would you rather be that person who succumbs to instant gratification (Prada today) and winds up with not much but a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes in your retirement years (nada tomorrow)? Or do you fancy yourself a #Girlboss who is in control of her finances and hence, her life?
We hope you picked the latter because that is the right answer. Whether you’re fresh out of school and new to the workforce or in your mid-30s determined to get your life in order, you might find some very good advice and tips from women who have been there, done that, figured it out and are now passing on their wisdom. You’re welcome.
Image: Marie Claire
#1 Sophia Amoruso, founder, NastyGal
“If you’re tempted to buy something, just imagine that those new shoes were actually made out of crisp $20 bills. Do those $20 bills look good getting dirty on the sidewalk? No, they do not. That’s because money looks better in the bank than on your feet. Even if I had wanted to drop $500 on a pair of shoes, I was just too busy. When your time spent making money is significantly greater than your time spent spending money, you will be amazed at how much you can save without even really thinking about it.”
#2 Kristen Juliet Soh, co-founder, Daily Vanity
“I have a strict meal budget on weekdays, splurging only on special occasions or when I meet up with friends. It’s easier than you think if you can give up the small things — a Starbucks coffee or Gong Cha every day adds up; water is my best friend. Try cooking your meals as much as possible — it’s a good way of saving money and it’s definitely healthier than eating out.
I also make sure I save about 20 percent of my pay every month. This goes straight into a separate account that’s meant for savings only — no withdrawals. As a reward to myself for being prudent with my spending, I treat myself to a holiday or one big-ticket item each year.”
#3 Georgina Koh, co-founder, nana & bird
“When you get your pay cheque every month, pay yourself first. This money goes into a savings account I don’t use for daily transactions so it’s ‘ring fenced’. And each year as my income increases, I’ll pay myself more. This has helped force me to save. From time to time, I’ll treat myself to a ‘decadent’ purchase so there’s something to look forward to.”
#4 Suze Orman, TV host and financial advisor
“Stop buying things you don’t need to impress people you don’t even like.”
#5 Sofia Vergara, actress
“The truth is I save way more than I spend. I invest. I plan for the future… and work harder than anyone might expect.”
#6 Yap Shan Shan, founder, An Uplifted Day
“The most impactful piece of money-saving advice I’ve ever received is, forget saving on the little things such as your daily coffee. Yes, that can make a real immediate difference, but it is finding ways to cut major expenses like eliminating holidays (do you really need a third beach vacation for the year?), owning a car or an expensive seldom-used gym membership.”
#7 Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power, founders, WhoWhatWear
“Learning how to save money is something you can do from the beginning of your career onward, even on an entry-level salary. One of our favourite pieces of budgeting advice is to go on an ‘all-cash diet’. To do this, first, assess your weekly and monthly expenses and figure out your ‘hard costs’, meaning things that cannot be adjusted, like rent, utilities, and your car payment. Subtract your total hard costs from your salary, and then analyse what’s left over. Of that non-hard-cost money, allocate a portion that feels tight, but also realistic, for food and entertainment. Take out that amount each week, and put the rest into savings. (How you spend that said savings is up to you.)”
#8 Leslie Tayne, author
“Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget.”
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