Black women, the odds are against us. Statistically, we have a harder time finding work and on average, we receive less pay for the same work. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a financial expert to save a few extra dollars and prevent financial stress. Here are eight ways you can save your money:
1. Say No to Fast Food
How much could you save: (approx. $200/month)
Need your coffee in the morning? Don’t buy it from a corporation. Instead, head to a local coffee shop and get some fresh coffee beans. Not only will you be saving money, but if you make it right, your home-brewed coffee will taste even better than the chain-store version. Choosing not to eat out regularly doesn’t mean you have to become a shut-in though. Instead of eating out with your friends, invite them over for a home-cooked meal.
2. Avoid Getting Into Debt
How Much You Could Save: A of money (depending on where you go to college)
For black women in college, it’s extremely important to avoid getting into debt as much as possible. A study from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) revealed that black women borrow the highest rate of loans during university and have the toughest time paying them back. If you must get a loan, make sure you’re aware of the repayment plans offered, the interest rate, and ensure that you have a good payment plan. If you already have debt but the interest rate is low, you can focus on saving money gradually first rather than focusing entirely on your debt. But otherwise, it’s important to pay off your debt as soon as possible.
3. Start Saving For Retirement Now
How Much You Could Save: Up to $1 000 000 (with compound interest)
Don’t wait until you’re 28 to start saving for retirement. Thanks to compound interest, saving just five dollars a day or $100 per month can add up to million save consistently until the age of retirement.
4. Always Be Prepared for an Emergency
How Much You Could Save: $1000+
No need to fall into credit card debt during an emergency. Set aside an amount for any future potential emergencies at the beginning of the year. Even you don’t need to use the money, make sure to carry that money into the next year.
5. Plan Out your Spending in Advance
How Much You Could Save: $50+
There’s nothing wrong with splurging on makeup or buying those expensive jeans every once in a while—as long as it is within your budget. Impulsive decisions will quickly drain your money and savings, so plan out all your spending in advance. At the beginning of every month make a plan for your total expected income, expenses like gas, food, maintenance bills, savings and any potential emergencies that may pop up. This way you know how much you can afford to treat yourself, without overspending, etc.
6. Keep all your Coupons
How Much You Could Save: You could save 30%-50% per purchase
You don’t need to get into extreme couponing to save some extra money. Save your coupons in a safe container and bring them out whenever you plan to spend money. Ever if you prefer online shopping, choose stores that have sales or reduced prices. If you really want to challenge yourself, see how much money you can save by only buying items that are on sale for a month. It’ll make a huge difference.
7. Don’t Make Financial Decisions Without a Second Opinion
How Much You Could Save: Some extra money and prevent unnecessary stress
Even if you’re sure you want that new car, make sure you wait some time before purchasing it. Call your spouse, a friend or a parent, who will be honest and let you know if your choice is actually a wise financial investment or just a moment of impulse.
8. Stay Healthy
How Much You Could Save: 20$/month and up
Why pay for a new gym membership when there are plenty of free high-quality exercise videos online? You can find aerobic exercises, breakdancing, Zumba, Pilates and yoga, or strength exercises specifically tailored to keeping your arms, legs and belly toned. Staying healthy and keeping a nutritious diet helps prevent health problems that can put a big dent in your budget.
"While some have described her as overly opinionated, Grace much prefers the terms headstrong and passionate. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law.”