The Smart (& Broke) Girl's Guide to Money


I hope this post earns me a sitcom starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs....

With a mountain of debt and constant cravings for a new pair of gorgeous shoes, it's hard to be smart about money. The recession isn't helping us either. In my struggle to become financially savvy, I've picked up a few great tips. Time to pass 'em on to you:

1 Scrimp and save-- most of the time.
Splurging constantly is bad for your wallet, and you'll appreciate the indulgences less. Being frugal all the time isn't any fun. Compromise.

2 Sign up for a no-penalty savings account. Put as much money as you can afford into the account and do not touch it unless you absolutely have to. You'll accumulate a small (but still worthwhile) amount of interest, and you'll have cash for an emergency or a rainy day.

3 Use your talents to earn extra cash. I won't be naive and say it's easy or that it's a substantial amount of cash. But the occasional proofreading gig, evening of babysitting or few hours of tutoring (or selling cupcakes like Max and Caroline on 2 Broke Girls!) might work. It's also a good way to fill out an empty resume.

4 Don't rush to move out. If you're in your late teens to late twenties, not only is staying with your parent(s) financially savvy, it's also becoming the norm. Instead of spending money on rent or a mortgage, fill your savings account (see number 2) and stay with the fam. My mom and I live together, and it's great. Sure, we get on each other's nerves from time to time (she leaves apple stems all over the place; I refuse to vaccuum until absolutely necessary) and I get frustrated by the days when I go from being babied to having a list of chores and errands to do, 'like the grown-up you are', BUT my mom and I are closer than ever, and we're finally able to see each other not only as mother and daughter, but as friends. I wouldn't change that for the world.

How do you stay smart about your finances?

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