Stretching Your Dollars – Juliette Fairley
Q: How can single women stretch their dollars?
A: Keeping track of every dime you spend really helps you know how much is coming in compared to what’s going out. If you know what you’re spending, you know how much you need to bring in. I use Quicken to help me keep track of what’s going out and coming in. I end up having more money at the end of the month because of record keeping.
Q: What’s the most important thing that young, single women must learn about money?
A: We must learn to save money, put away at least 20% of all income into some sort of investment account, whether that is a 401(k), mutual fund or stock portfolio. Basically, you want to pay yourself first, always. Before you pay any bills, put away 20% for yourself.
Q: How can women afford nice clothing if they’re on a budget?
A: Find out about sample sales and go to discount outlets. Designer resale stores are my favorite. You can also take a part-time job at your favorite designer store. Not only do you earn extra money, but you get a discount. Another alternative is to buy a copy cat brand; generally nobody knows a knock-off from the real thing. Just make sure there are no strings hanging from the seams!
Q: Is it really possible to live a glamorous life without credit cards?
A: Yes, but it takes a lot of hunting, research and networking to find a fabulous job, fabulous apartment, and affordable fabulous clothes. Network among your friends to find out where they get their designer clothes, use the phone to find the hip parties, and join professional organizations in order to find a glamorous job. It can be done…but it may not be as easy as it looks on television. My book, Cash in the City, is a guide to living a glamorous life on a budget.
Q: I am in debt. How do I get out?
A: First, cut up all of your credit cards and stop incurring any new debt. Budget 10% of your income towards debt repayment. Pay the lowest debts off first and then work your way up. Write letters to your creditors to cancel your accounts and let them know how much you can pay per month. Get them to agree to accept that amount.
Q: Where does credit card debt fit into all of this?
A: It doesn’t! I tried to emphasize in the debt chapter to stay away from debt. Don’t use credit cards to finance a “Sex and the City” lifestyle. You’ll wind up going crazy. My method focuses on budgeting in order to afford the luxuries in life, such as manicures and manolos. In fact, cut up all of your credit cards!
Q: How do you afford to live a glamorous lifestyle, Juliette?
A: If you use these budget ideas to save money, you will have money left over for fun activities. I’ve lived in the city long enough to figure out the scene. Years of hit and miss have led me to the right parties, hairdressers, and friends! I make my manicures last by applying a topcoat daily to a fresh manicure, joined a pricey gym through WellQuest and only pay $56 a month, and if I need a free blowout, I sign up for free class night at Frederic Fekkai. I recently learned that you can get free massages by signing up with Healing Works! The list is endless….
Juliette Fairley is the author of Cash in the City: Affording Manolos, Martinis, and Manicures on a Working Girl’s Salary. A New York based lifestyle consultant, professional speaker and personal finance author, Miss Fairley is the author of 3 other personal finance/investing books including Money Rules: Personal Finance in Your 20’s and 30’s and CliffsNotes on Investing in Mutual Funds. She has contributed to USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, The New York Times, and other publications. The avid Central Park cyclist has been featured on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN-FN, the Amanda Lewis Show, The Other Half, Good Day New York, the Fox NewsChannel, New York 1 News, and Bloomberg Television.
“Cash in the City is destined to become the urban-girl’s ultimate guide to a glamorous lifestyle…on a shoestring salary. It’s clever and informative, overflowing with sage advice for living well, looking good, and having fun. But underneath the practical tips and clever tricks, you will find a very powerful and upbeat message for young women everywhere. The message is this: You can create whatever life you desire…if you know how to do it right. Juliette Fairley shows the reader precisely, and with great flair, how to do just that.” www.juliettefairley.com