People are dining out less, but they’re not skipping breakfast. Yes, even as inflation drives prices up (sorry, PSL fans). Buying breakfast on the go gets a bad rep in the financial advice community (hi, avocado toast). But, these days, it’s hard to save even if you are eating at home. Prices for staples like eggs, bacon, and cereal are up significantly from last year.
Track your spending. Whether you’re hitting the Starbucks drive-thru with your kids or impulse buying an iced coffee for yourself, keep track of how much you’re spending. If that breakfast sandwich habit or that caffeine fix is costing you $$$, adjust your budget to free up funds (bye, Hulu subscription) or cut back on how frequently you eat out.
Meal prep. If you commute to work, you might be tempted to grab coffee or breakfast on the way. But if those sous vide egg bites are causing your food spending to spike, try meal prepping at home to save some cash. Buying in bulk and opting for store brands are two ways to save on groceries.
Weigh the costs. Skipping a few lattes won’t make the biggest difference in hitting your major financial goals. But every dollar counts. Do a little math to see just how much you’re spending and ask yourself if it’s worth it, even if it’s not breaking your budget. $12 a week doesn’t sound like much, but that’s over $600 a year you could be investing.
Financial Goal Unlocked
The Goal: Building a f*ck-you fund.
A winning mindset: Not to be confused with an emergency fund or a sinking fund. A f*ck-you fund is there for you if you decide to say ‘goodbye’ to an unhealthy workplace or need to leave a toxic relationship. Because, in many situations, financial freedom is the ability to GTFO. And if you don’t need one now, you might want one in the future. It’s never a bad idea to set some cash aside.
A winning strategy: Get started by…
Opening a new savings account. Specifically, a high-yield savings account so your money grows while it sits. Compounding interest will keep adding $$$ to your fund even if you can’t make regular contributions.
Determining how much to save. Six months' worth of expenses is a good goal. And keep it separate from your emergency savings. That fund is for unexpected expenses (think: car repairs). But your f*ck-you fund should be available for less urgent things. Like if you want to give your two weeks' notice without the stress of losing a steady paycheck.
Automating deposits. Even if it’s a small amount from every paycheck, it’s a great way to start building that fund without lifting a finger.
theSkimm: A f*ck-you fund can give you peace of mind and make sure you’re financially taken care of, no matter the situation. And hey, if you don’t use it, you can always add it to your retirement fund later on.
And Also This…
While theatergoers nationwide can score movie tickets for $3 this weekend…
Dish Network will pay one horror fan $1,300 to watch 13 Stephen King films.
Who’s getting all dolled up…
America’s first documented self-made female millionaire. Madam C.J. Walker, a beauty entrepreneur, will join greats like Rosa Parks and Jane Goodall in getting a Barbie made in her likeness.
What’s got us reassessing our budget…
Our Myers-Briggs personality type. The psych assessment (hint: you may have taken it at work to better relate to your coworkers) can also help you figure out which budgeting method best fits your decision-making style. Example: If you’re an ENTP, consider an open-ended money plan like the “anti-budget budget.” Aka where you set aside savings and bills first, then play the rest by ear.
Who’s financially fabulous…
Single women without children. According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in 2019, a single, childless woman’s median net worth was $65,000 compared to $57,000 for a man in the same situation. Single mothers, however, faced a much bigger wealth gap than single dads (hi, motherhood penalty). Single moms had a median net worth of just $7,000 vs. $59,000 among single dads.
Save Your Seat: SkimmU Money
Reminder: You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. And to help you decide how and where to start, tune into SkimmU Money. Four financial experts will walk us through minding your investment mindset, building a portfolio, tackling your short-term goals, and exploring crypto assets. The series kicks off on September 19. *Cha-ching.* RSVP.
The Smartest Purchase I’ve Ever Made
“I finally upgraded to using an actual hair towel (instead of my usual trick of an old cotton T-shirt). Why did I wait so long?”
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