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Skimm Money: Budgeting Mistakes, Interest Rates, Vacay Costs

Women own less, save less, carry more debt, and are less financially literate than men. That changes now.

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We asked you to vote on a question you’d like answered. The winner was:

What are some common budgeting mistakes to avoid?

One mistake to avoid is writing a budget that is completely unrealistic. The first time my husband and I ever wrote a budget, we decided that we were only going to spend $10 eating out at restaurants for the month. As a married couple who wants to go out to dinner and wants to go on dates, clearly, that was so unrealistic. It's laughable. Another mistake to avoid is writing a budget and then ignoring it. Writing a budget for a budget's sake isn’t going to get you anywhere. I recommend printing it out and displaying it somewhere you can see it. That way, you can compare your real-life spending to your budget. Plus, this will actually help you become better at budgeting because it allows you to recognize your own spending patterns.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. You can read an extended version here.

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This week, we’re skipping our usual Tell Us poll. Don’t worry, we'll be back with Qs for you to vote on next week. In the meantime, catch up on expert-backed advice for how to redeem credit card points for travel, use the High-5 Banking Method, and make cash stuffing work for you.

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money win

An inside look at how women are building wealth.

I received a 6.5% raise in the spring, which put me over the six-figure mark. This is a big deal for me since I'm also the first generation in my family to have a college degree

— Brittiny W (IN). Increase. that. income. But friendly reminder: Beware of lifestyle creep.

Scored a raise, saved up for a big purchase, or reached another money goal? Tell us about it here. Quotes are edited and condensed for clarity.

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investment piece

 The items celebs and influencers think are worth the big bucks.

Investment Piece Melissa Butler headshot

Melissa Butler, the founder and CEO of The Lip Bar, is known for creating quality lipsticks. But the makeup maven is doing more than serving face, she’s also crafting some seriously stylish looks. Ahead, Butler fills us in on a recent fashion staple she bought to prep for chilly fall and winter temps.

Tell us about a recent investment purchase you made.

I bought a Canada Goose coat from the collab they did with Reformation. TOTALLY OBSESSED. It’s bright and fun like me. I can pair it with a Lip Bar lippie for a total fashion moment, and it’s incredibly warm. I live in Michigan, so a girl has to bundle up.

How much did you spend on it? 


Why do you consider it a good investment? 

In winter, your coat is your outfit and a good one will last you for many years. At nearly $1,600, I certainly plan to use this for years to come.

Answers are edited and condensed for clarity.

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