In this age of self-taught experts, it’s not hard to DIY the life of your dreams. From weekend Pinterest projects to Instagram-worthy recipes and YouTube tutorials on how to change the oil in your car, there is so much information out there to help you achieve a better life. However, achieving a debt-free life is one of those projects you really can’t rush through.
There is nothing I would encourage more than for all women to learn the basics of finances. Learning about personal finance will help you reach personal financial goals, whether it’s having enough for short-term financial needs, planning for retirement, or saving for your child’s college education. Not to be labeled the expert, but it’s time to finally take a hold of your own life and become the powerhouse woman you are meant to become.
During this unprecedented time, it seems like the perfect opportunity to brush up and plan for our future, no matter what it may look like now. Here are a few of the tools I’ve been using to become debt-free and live a simple and worry-free life.
I bought Shoo, Jimmy Choo!: The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spending Less and Saving More years ago but I never really moved past the first two to three chapters. Because I was made to believe I didn’t know anything about even so much as opening a checking account, I didn’t bother to learn any more than that. So now that I’m divorced and on my own, I needed to start at the beginning, not like balancing a checkbook beginning but back at chapter one. This book was funny, and while not everything applied to us, it turned out to be a fun read that didn’t bore me to death like other finance books.
I’m new to podcasts, and in all honesty, they are not my favorite. I only regularly listen to one titled, WSJ Secrets of Wealthy Women. I’m old school and usually prefer to read, however, finding myself short on time and rushing to make dinner one day after work, I played an episode on debt while the kids played in their rooms. I found myself actually taking notes. I try to catch an episode a week on this one now and replay past ones.
I’m guilty of checking Instagram first thing in the morning while enjoying a hot cup of coffee before the kids wake up like the crazy tornadoes they are. It is my guilty pleasure. However, instead of looking at just beauty looks (research for work, of course), I indulge in #plantmom, #simpleliving, and one account that my friends got me hooked on: @myfabfinance, which gives great daily tips and pushes you closer to your own financial goals.
As I mentioned before, I am old school and prefer to sit down and read articles. Even more so, as a 10-year bloguera, I enjoy reading other blogs and listening to the voices of other women just like me. So when browsing through Instagram, I found Mixed Up Money and went straight to the site and signed up for the newsletter. The first thing that caught my eye, was “Money, Motherhood, and Machiattos”—someone who understood my world, finally.
I feel like I’m making more sense and sensibility when it comes to finances now. It took a lot of self-teaching to understand what really should be a required course in every high school across America. Hopefully, when this pandemic is over, we can all go back to tackling our financial goals.
This article originally appeared on Modern Brown Girl, a digital media platform that amplifies brown voices, one story at a time.