Oct 23, 2014

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Money Management 101: A Latina’s Guide to Saving that Dinerito

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License Attribution Some rights reserved by Tax Credits

License Attribution Some rights reserved by Tax Credits

 

A Latina’s Guide to Saving that Dinerito

I find that conversations around money tend to be uncomfortable and difficult; nonetheless they are of great importance. My papito always made it a point to discuss the significance of money management with me, and though I may have fallen off the bandwagon at times, his words always resonated with me. I’ve compiled a list for all you chicas of what I feel are the most important steps my papito stressed, and created Latina’s Guide to Saving that Dinerito!

Set a Budget

Knowing what your living expenses are (i.e. rent/mortgage, utilities, car payment, student loans, etc.) versus lifestyle costs (gym, shopping, dining out, and so forth) is always the first and most necessary step. Setting a budget will guide you in saving some extra dimes by providing you with a visualization of how much is expended every month on necessary expenses giving you a platform for what can be spent on “wants”.

Monitor

Monitoring your budget has definitely evolved over the years. With online banking and apps such as – mint.com and learnvest.com – we are not only able to see where most of our funds are being exhausted, but it allows us to compartmentalize our expenses. The use of such apps enables us to realize that maybe we are drinking one too many lattes a week, and by eliminating unnecessary expenses we can put more dinerito back into our pockets.

Págalo (Pay it off!)

Most Americans live beyond their means, but getting into debt is never a good idea. Rather than listening to that urge to buy those killer heels or bag, pay off any current debt you may have. Being is debt is not only stressful which takes a toll on your health; it also damages your credit score. And whether or not you want to come to grips with it your credit score sets the precedence for what the future you can do – like own a home or send your future chamaquitos to college. Most importantly, paying off your debt will give you financial freedom.

Plan Ahead

We are never too jovencitas to think about a stable financial future. Whether it is starting a savings account, opening a 401k plan, or even investing in stocks the future you will thank you. Nowadays saving and/or investing is at the touch of our fingertips with most employers offering a 401k plan or mutual funds portfolio, I suggest talking to your Human Resource department to get more information and take advantage of such offers. About every bank has financial advisors that are there to help you, so the next time you are at your bank take about an hour and get information about what would be the best action plan for you. Money comes and goes, but having a plan for the future will provide you with more flexibility later in life.

Recompénsate (Reward Yourself)

I know I have already stressed the importance of saving, but rewarding yourself is just as important. My papito instilled in me the “hard work pays off” gene and for the sake of our own sanity we need to feel that “pay off” once in a while. Having a little treat on a monthly basis or as often as you can afford it will get your mind, body, and soul aligned, and give you the best reward of all – felicidad.

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Leticia Meza

Leticia Meza

Leticia is a Los Angeles, CA native and first-generation Latina. One of her many goals in life is to help guide future generations of Latinas to transcend their true sense of self without any guilt through her writings. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where she studied Political Economy and Chicana/o Studies.

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