Happy Friday! Welcome to the second installment of Fiscal Femme Fridays. Please share, pin, tweet, etc. whatever moves you. We are creating a community that inspires and supports a new language around money and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
5-MINUTE FINANCIAL BLISS TIP: Want to know a secret? The fastest way to increase your credit score is to remedy an error on your credit report. Your credit score is determined using the information from your credit report and if that information is incorrect, it could be hurting your score. There could be a delinquent loan on your report that’s not even yours! You have the right to pull your credit report for free once a year. Check it closely for errors and if you find something is wrong, each of the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax accept disputes online. Schedule 5 minutes into your calendar to download and read through your credit report this week.
FABULOUSLY FRUGAL: Fabulously frugal means one of three things: 1) Living more fabulously for the same cost, 2) living just as fabulously for less cost or 3) the best scenario where you live more fabulously for less cost. This weekend we’re heading to the Florida Keys with my family and I believe we achieved #3, more fabulousness for less cost. Instead of staying at a hotel, we rented a house. Why is that more fabulous? We will have the intimacy of being at home, away. We’ll have lots of space, a great view, our own pool, the pups are welcome and it’s just easier for us all to spend time together. Why will it cost less? It’s going to be six of us (three couples) which would mean 3 hotel rooms for 3 nights. Let’s say with fees we could find a hotel that allowed the dogs for $200 per night per room. That’s already $1,800 for the weekend and you can find gorgeous houses for less than $500 a night. Win win!
LESSON LEARNED: An article came out this week, Most 20-Somethings Can’t Answer These 3 Financial Questions, and of course, I am excited to talk about it. First, check it out to see if you can answer the questions correctly. According to the San Diego State University study, the average score on the test was a 1.8 out of 3 and only 25% of participants got all three answers correct.
If you can’t answer these questions or they sound like complete gibberish to you, it actually makes complete sense! Where do we learn about financial literacy? Unless you have a parent or mentor who taught you or sought it out on your own, this is not information we learn. I was a finance major and I didn’t even learn about it!
While it may sometimes feel like you are starting from scratch when it comes to your financial wellness, I’d like to point out some silver lining! Knowing that we didn’t learn about this stuff growing up, realizing that money is taboo and often not even talked about and seeing how emotionally charged the topic can be helps us find some compassion for ourselves for where we are right now in our money lives. It’s no wonder we aren’t saving as much as we’d like, have accumulated some credit card debt or generally feel kind of lost when it comes to money. Just know that where you are right now is the perfect place to start. Forgive yourself and really get that given what you were working with, you did the best you could to get where you are. Once we do that and get back on our own team (vs. beating ourselves up) we are ready to move forward and take the first real step toward financial well-being! I’d be honored to take that step with you.
MONEY INSPIRATION: I met Elana Lyn Gross in a fabulous women’s group and I knew right then that I had to introduce you to her. Elana runs a beautiful site with the mission of creating a supportive space that inspires and motivates fellow driven, passionate young women. Elana, I look forward to some Central Park play dates with our pooches! I hope you enjoy my interview with this fab woman who lives by the mantra “say yes and figure it out later!”
What’s your #1 Frugal Joy?
I absolutely love taking long walks or bike rides in Central Park. In the spring and summer, I like to walk or bike to the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir to watch the sunrise. It’s so beautiful and peaceful in the morning!
Do You have a ‘Money Motto?’
I’ve heard LearnVest CEO, Alexa Von Tobel speak a few times, and think she’s brilliant. One thing that really resonated with me was the importance of an emergency fund. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict the future, but this makes me feel more financially secure.
Best money advice you ever got?
My dad has given me a lot of great financial advice! When I got my first job, he stressed the importance of saving for retirement early. I opened up a 401-K and Roth IRA as soon as I could! The future me will hopefully be happily retired in Florida sipping piña coladas on beach.
Where can we find you on a Saturday night?
Spending the evening laughing with close friends.
What are you most excited about right now?
One of my favorite series on my blog is my Career Profile series. I feature the stories of women whose careers I admire. I’m featuring some fantastic women this spring and summer!
How can people connect with you?
First and foremost on my blog, Elana Lyn. You can also find me on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn!
DON’T MISS: Next week, I’m excited to be co-hosting the final run of Finance Your Dream Life with fellow panelists, Danielle Mercurio and Jill Ozovek. The event will be moderated by the amazing women of Be Moxie and sponsored by AlleyNYC in their awesome space. It’s really a dream team and will be such a fun event! The happy hour / mingle portion starts at 6:30 PM. You can find more information on the event here.
Also, next Monday, May 4th, kicks off the 30 Day Money Cleanse! I can’t think of a better way to start off your summer than to set yourself up for unlimited joy in the sunshine without the stress and guilt. It’s going to be an amazing group and I can’t wait to dive into this journey with you.
While many of the past Money Cleansers enjoy hopping back on for another 30 Day Money Cleanse, they also asked me “what’s next?” I’ve answered with the Savvy Investor course that launches September 8th. I’m offering a very special discount and package for those who want to do the May 30 Day Money Cleanse and the Savvy Investor course for a financial wellness double whammy. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the details.