I asked female personal finance bloggers what the best financial advice they’ve ever received was, and they answered.
This group includes women who make over $100k / month, have appeared on Good Morning America, write for big publications (like Forbes) run their own financial planning firm, have published books, run their own podcast, and have successfully grown their own brands online. They’re each very inspiring to me! (They’re listed below in the order of how I received their responses.)
Okay, so here’s what they have to say about the best financial advice they ever received:
1. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents: The best money advice I’ve ever received is to find ways to make more money. There’s always extra time that a person can devote towards making extra money, and even though I felt busy, I found time to start my blog, mystery shop, take surveys, and more in order to make extra money to put towards my student loans. My student loans are now fully paid off and I turned my blog into my full-time business!
2. Catherine Alford from CatherineAlford.com: It’s a simple piece of advice, but my father in law told me to always keep excellent records when it comes to my finances. He is 74 years old, and he has spreadsheets upon spreadsheets recording his spending over the years and every important document you could ever need filed away. Recently, he needed to file an insurance claim using a very old insurance policy. The policy had been purchased and changed hands from company to company numerous times over the years, but he had the original insurance paperwork (a small yellowed card you could barely read that was 40 years old,) and they honored it! He truly enjoys being organized and seeing financial trends. Some people think he goes overboard because he tracks his gas purchases and mileage too among other things, but over the decade that I’ve known him, there have been so many times I witnessed him saving money or making smart financial decisions simply because he had a strong understanding of his own finances and impeccable records.
3. Tess Wicks from TessWicks.com: The best piece of money advice I ever received was to pay myself first and become my own bank. Ever since I had a job, I’ve always taken 10% of what I made and saved it in a separate savings account. As I got older, I opened more savings accounts (with a bank that allows me to do this for free) and squirrel away small percentages of my money for various goals. That way, when I want to buy something I don’t need to go to the bank to get a loan or put it on credit, I have the money there in my savings account for that particular goal. I use that money to make the purchase outright so I never need to make loan payments for months and years to come for things I’ve purchased in the past. Then I go right back to squirreling away bits of my paycheck into my goals-based savings accounts.
4. Mary Beth Storjohann from Workable Wealth: The best money advice I’ve ever received is to learn how to negotiate. When it comes to asking for a higher salary, a lower price point for a car, or a discount or services or products, knowing how to properly negotiate, push back and communicate has saved and earned me tens of thousands of dollars over my lifetime (and I’m only in my early 30s!).
5. Lauren Bowling from Financial Best Life (formerly L Bee and the Money Tree): Set up a separate checking account (different from your spending and savings accounts) strictly for bill payment and automate every single bill payment. You just take how much all of your fixed expenses (mortgage, car payment, utilities, insurance etc.) total, and divide that number by two and automate that amount into the bill pay account. This keeps you from overspending money you need to set aside for bills! Since I work for myself, automating bill pay and keeping the “bill account” separate has been a game changer – it’s saved countless hours of worry and having to keep up with separate due dates. I read that tip in a Learnvest article and it’s been the biggest positive for my finances.
6. Stefanie O’Connell from StefanieOConnell.com: Your worth is separate from what someone pays you. When we say, “charge what you’re worth”, it’s easy to confuse a monetary value, like your salary, with your self-worth. And that’s a slippery slope. Instead, charge what your work is worth. It’s also important not to discount context when talking price point. For example, if I write something for another blogger, I know I can’t charge what I’d charge a national brand – it’s a completely different market and that plays a major role in shaping the price point. It’s not someone’s budget that defines what your work is worth, just as it’s not how much you’re paid that defines your self-worth.
7. Holly Johnson from ClubThrifty: When I was growing up, my mom always reminded me that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” I didn’t realize how true this was until I grew up and started earning money on my own. While saving is only one part of growing wealth, being smart with your spending can make a huge difference in your bottom line. When you save more and spend less, all of your financial goals become a whole lot easier to meet.
8. Jessi Fearon from JessiFearon.com: The best money advice I ever received was that money is just a tool – you get to choose how you’ll use it. When we stop seeing money as this thing that we don’t understand and instead see it as something that we can use to build our lives, we stop letting money control us.
9. Jessica Moorhouse from JessicaMoorhouse.com: If you don’t have the cash to buy it, you can’t afford it. Don’t rely on credit to fulfill your wants or needs. Be patient and save your money.
10. Whitney Hansen from WhitneyHansen.com: The best money advice I’ve ever received was to avoid lifestyle creep. I worked as a nail tech to help me pay for undergrad. One day, one of my favorite clients looked me straight in the eye and said, “Whitney, you will always be successful if you live on less than you make and save your pay raises.” Don’t upgrade your lifestyle just because your income increases. To this day I still live on less than $30,000 a year.
A Final Note!
I want to share the best money advice I’ve received with you, too. For me, it’s something my grandpa said to me when I was a teenager. He said, using a credit card is like taking a mortgage out on your clothes.” I took it to heart, and at 30 years old, I still have never had a credit card! (Too bad he didn’t teach me about student loans! 😉 )
Ok, what a list! I’m so thankful for each of these ladies. Hopefully, you can take something away from this that’ll touch you, too!