Balancing Your Budget: 5 Tips to Stay on Top of Your Finances

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When you’re saving money to invest in your own business, it can be hard to figure out which sacrifices to make in order to meet your budget goals. A good place to start would be to adjust your lifestyle habits. We oftentimes spend the most money eating out, shopping for clothes, getting our hair done, etc.

By cutting down on luxury items and switching to DIY solutions, you’ll be able to save a couple hundred to thousands of dollars in a few short months! Are you ready to try out some of these saving techniques?

  1. Beauty Routine

As women of color, we tend to invest a lot of time and money into our appearance–especially our haircare routines. 

A way to save some money would be to explore hairstyles that don’trequire you to go to the salon every two weeks. An array of protective styles, like crochet twists, don’t hurt your pocket and offers a different look.

Other aspects of our beauty routines that could stand adjusting are our mani/pedi routines. If you’re an avid gel manicure enthusiast, consider Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel line. You get a similar look without losing time at the salon and you save money in the process.

2. Food Routine

The next area on our list to tackle is our restaurant/fast-food spending. We all know that we save so much more on cooking from home, but our hectic lives don’t always allow for that. Well, just like you took the time to write out your budget for the month, you can easily take out time to meal prep. As the saying goes: we make time for what we want to make time for. And it doesn’t have to be a daunting task! Invite your friends over and have a full-out meal prep party! That way, you’ll get 5 or 6 meals for the price of one. Consider even calling your kids in the kitchen to help you cook, while teaching them some basic recipes. It’s a win-win.

3. Shopping Patterns

Do you really need those new shoes? Can you find a similar style at a lower price? Do you have a friend who’ll let you borrow her gown for that one-time gala? Most often, there’s an alternative to spending a lot of money on clothes. Watch out for your impulsive spending habits and learn how to tame that itch! You’ll learn how to love the idea of money collecting in your bank account vs. being exchanged over a counter or in an online transaction. This principle will prove to be a major key as you grow your business. You’ll learn to say yes to gently-used inventory if it will cut down on your expenses.

4. Travel Arrangements

Are you one of those people who Uber or Lyft everywhere? Is it really necessary? Is there public transportation that you can take instead? You never know–you could end up sitting next to someone on the subway who wants to hear your pitch and invest in your business! Give yourself the opportunity to be around strangers and people you wouldn’t normally come in contact with. Opening up yourself to new modes of transportation could be the leg-up on your competition you’ve been looking for!

5. Memberships

Yes, I’m going to talk about it. Netflix. Apple Music. Pandora Plus. Can you go four or five months without it? You probably could. Those coins really add up over time, and if you want to discipline yourself, sometimes it requires making some uncomfortable adjustments. What do I do instead, you ask? Read some business books from the library (another place to meet new people.) Listen to free podcasts and interviews on YouTube. Invest that time in creating your OWN content. The possibilities are endless. You’ll thank me later!

The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to completely ditch your standards when you’re saving money. You just adjust in affordable, yet fashionable ways.

 

Let us know if you end up putting any of these tips into practice!

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith is passionate about connecting marginalized populations to resources that position them for success. As a business counselor at the Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia, she equips aspiring business owners with the tools they need to become economically empowered through entrepreneurship. She teaches monthly business startup classes and conducts daily counseling sessions to meet the individual needs of her clients.

 

Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

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