Bobbi shares 20 quick and easy ways to be a little more Financial Grownup some of her hopes for the podcast as the show grows up.
Bobbi: This is a surreal episode. We are celebrating number 200 - and I want to first thank everyone for your support. The DM’s that you send me mean so much- as do reviews so just thank you and I hope I keep delivering value to all of you. Please be in touch and keep letting me know what you like and what you want to hear more of.. and I will do my best to deliver. So for this special episode I kind of wanted to do something fun directly with you guys,
20 quick and easy Financial Grownup tips
Organize your closet to know what you own and be able to find it when you want to use it. Full disclosure I’m in the process. When we moved into our apartment- oh a decade ago- stuff got put away. and we all know how that goes. We are dong a major re-org and I’m working up to actually spending money on a closet system. There’s always something more important- right? I’ll keep you posted and leave links in the show notes for resources. But knowing what you have will keep you from spending on things you.. already have. And if we are being honest- unless you are that really organized person we all aspire to be- it probably has happened.
Donate or sell clothing you have not worn for two years- or choose your own time frame but no a decade is not acceptable and yes I have clothing that is a decade old. So i’m on it too. Let’s face it- we all have stuff that we know was a mistake-buy. I give myself a 5 out of 10 on this one. There’s more room to go on this. Make sure to get a receipt in case you end up deducting donations on your taxes
Go on that trip. Modify it to fit your budget but to not put off your life until you feel you are a “grownup”. I had a hard time last year going to Iceland. It’s expensive. So we went for just 4 nights. Don’t sit home not living your life. That’s definitely not grownup.
Decide on purpose if you are buying or renting for the next 5 years. In other words have a plan.. and play out the scenario of how your finances are impacted by that decision. Write it down and maybe discuss with someone you feel comfortable talking money with.
Make sure your side hustles actually accomplish a goal. If it’s money- make sure you are making enough to justify the time. If it’s for fun- make sure you really are having fun. Don’t side hustle just because its a thing
Plan meals. This is on my aspiration list which is really bad. We eat at home but it’s a lot of same same same. And because we live within a block of several groceries including whole foods- I’m not organized with shopping and often need to run across the street for that one missing ingredient as I’m cooking dinner in the evening. Not grownup. We can all do better.
Understand your paycheck. Go through each line and look up what it is. Just so you know. If you already did your 2018 taxes (we filed for an extension) go through each line there so you understand the tax pain points under the new tax law. You may make different choices if for example, something you used to deduct no longer is.
Clean out your computer and create digital systems. I’ve been working on this and it is already making a difference in my general productivity not just in my business but with life in general. Also my computer runs better when it’s cleaned out. Pro-tip: if it is really bad- drag everything onto a hard drive- wipe it clean- and then only load on the stuff you miss. You might want a professional to supervise.
On that note, create mail systems. I use sane later and I’ve been mostly happy with it to sort e-mail.There is still a lot of room for improvement because sometimes it is too aggressive and puts emails from unknown senders (like a potential client) into spam. Feel free to send me tips on organizing my email better.
Follow brands you like on social to get discounts. For example: we were ordering in last week, I went to twitter, got a discount code, and instantly saved money
Read the news. Grownups know what is going on around them- politics is important because it is often the politicians decisions that impact our finances- hello new tax law. Be aware of what is up to date- and by the way that includes things like financially relevant supreme court decisions, and trade war developments. Those can directly impact everything from what things cost to buy, to the job market.
Create a financial slush fund to support your friends charities and causes. Like it or not, as we grow up, we get asked to support friends and actually co-workers causes. Sometimes you even get ambushed when you least expect it- I remember being with my husband at a work related party hosted by someone senior to him at the firm. His 12 year old son hit us up for a donation to his boy scout troop. We had no choice but to give. Multiply that time losing count and that’s what you will start to get. And the truth is that example aside, you want to give. So start to budget for it. And it is more than ok to give $25 even $10. It’s the support that counts.
Focus on being really nice to anyone you deal with in customer service. You can usually get better service and sometimes a better deal. You can even ask nicely if there are any coupons or discounts available. They often are and if you are that nice person, they usually choose to tell you.
Read the directions to things you buy and invest the time to really learn how to work them- not just muddle by. This is an aspiration for me. I often rush to use products without really learning to use them. Even my iPhone. I can do the basic stuff but I haven’t invested the time for example, to learn how to take the best photos, or shortcuts that I know are out there. Every time I go to an apple store I learn just from those slide shows they have showing little iPhone tips. So Note to Self- take the time to learn more about the things that I already own - like the iPhone- can do.
Read more books. Books make you smarter. They just do. I try to segment 45 minutes before bed to devote to reading books.That often goes to books of authors that are going to be on the show. I also listen to books on audio when I’m walking around or taking public transportation. And as our regulars know- I use Blinkist to get the best summaries of books I have aspired to read but haven’t gotten to. Done is better than perfect and Blinkist gives me the intel I want to get from the books in the most efficient way. I do audio but you can also get it with just text- and on any device including Kindle. As some of you know, I love Blinkist so much I partnered with them- so if you want to check it out- please use my link for a free trial and to support the show.
Install web extensions like honey , rakuten and ebates so you get cash back when you buy things
Sell things you aren’t using for money- and buy used things when they are just commodity items. And yes you can buy refurbished.
Unsubscribe. In your email and also with almost everything you do- then add back in the things you miss. They will always take you back. and you sometimes get a better deal for requesting to cancel.
Be smart about outsourcing. It may make sense to have someone do things for you if they can do it more efficiently and free up your time to do things that either make more money than that person costs you, or if you can afford it, frees you up to have more fun. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should, or that you are the best one for the job. Financial Grownup has a great editor- even though technically I know how to edit, Steve does a better job and it is not the best use of my time. Same goes for a lot of my social media. Ashley, my wonderful assistant, is more efficient at it than I am. What should you be outsourcing?
Look up from your screen and talk to someone IRL. You could even call someone instead of emailing, texting or messaging via social media. And focus on listening- something I’m definitely always trying to get better at. You never know what kind of business opportunity- or even friendship- could come from just paying better attention to the world around us.
Before we wrap- a quick note about the show. If you listened to the April Fools show- but not until the end. It was April Fools. The show is continuing. I do have a lot going on but this show is a labor of love, so I have no plans to stop. That said, my goal for the next couple hundred is to focus on expanding the show and yes- monetizing it. I have two people that help put the show together- Steve Stewart and Ashley Wall and they need to get paid, as do I. So- while the show will remain free- I do ask that you understand that we will be having sponsors on the show. Rather than shortchange you on the editorial content, the sponsors may at times make the show a little longer. And that’s ok. I have an amazing lineup of guests for the summer that I can’t wait to bring to you- so thanks to all of you for being financial grownups with me.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.