Ashley Feinstein Gerstley is a Money Coach and Founder of the Fiscal Femme.
According to Ashley, you should follow these three money tips to put your best financial foot forward:
1) Put together an annual spending plan. I call a budget a happiness allocation because I think it’s a lot more fitting of a term. A budget is just a plan to allocate your money in ways that will make you the happiest in both the short and long term. You can do this on your own in Excel or use a budgeting template. It takes a bit of work to set up, but it is worth it. Having a plan gives us room to spend on the things we want and gives us peace of mind.
2) Start investing. Our 401(k)s or IRAs (individual retirement accounts) are a great place to start learning by doing. We (myself included) often have a tendency to want to wait until we know everything about investing before getting started, but unfortunately that means we don’t get started because there is always more to understand and learn. And it’s so much easier to learn by doing. Contributing to your retirement accounts at work or on your own is a great way to get started and learn the lingo.
3) Use sinking funds to save yourself a lot of money stress. What are sinking funds? A sinking fund is money we set aside each week, every paycheck, or each month with the intention of spending it on something in particular. For example, instead of spending $2,500 in one paycheck for a vacation, which can wreak havoc on your wallet and stress you out financially, you can put $96 per paycheck (or $208 per month) into a sinking fund so the money is there waiting when it’s time to pay for the trip. You can use sinking funds for any large infrequent expenses like travel, holidays, and tuition payments. They are game changers!
Ashley Feinstein Gerstley is a Money Coach and Founder of the Fiscal Femme. She is an author, entrepreneur, and feminist who is on a mission to end inequality through financial well-being. Ashley is the author of The 30-Day Money Cleanse, which has helped thousands of people cultivate harmonious relationships with money and achieve their financial goals. As a trusted money expert, Ashley has been featured by CNBC, Forbes, NBC, Glamour, and the New York Times, among many others.