I’m a feminist (to wit: every time I’m in a conversation with men who consistently make dick jokes, I set myself the private challenge of matching every mention of the male member with a shout-out to some anatomical component of the vagina. Half the fun comes from watching the shock ripple across their faces. The other half comes from airing out such inexcusably-underused words, such as “Mons Venus”). So it should surprise no one that I get a kick out of reading stories about how other women successfully — and independently — navigate their own finances. For me, reading these articles is a doubly-enriching experience; first, there’s a sound financial philosophy or tactic that I can learn from and implement in my own life, and second, there’s that unmistakable mental fist-pump (“Get it, girl!”) that makes my own goals feel that much more attainable.
That’s why I enjoyed combing through the testimonials of four women who have (or are continuing) to slay their debt with consistent payment strategies. I was particularly inspired by Taylor’s story: she managed to pay $14,000 of student loans off in just seven months.
As someone who has worked in a variety of industries (and navigated living in an expensive city with limited financial means), I’ve had to exercise student loan payment strategies that are very consistent, but also very slow-going. After several years of saving and paying this way, I’ve begun to associate “responsible” financial management with the phrase “slow as f*ck.” Taylor’s success reinforces the idea that simple strategies — everyday spending cutbacks, like bulk shopping at discount outlets, or refusing to “inflate” your lifestyle when you’re enjoying the security of a well-paying, salaried job — are not just low-maintenance solutions that provide powerful results. These acts of discipline can also deliver results quickly. What a lovely idea.
Below, you’ll find J. Money’s picks for a few other informative, inspiring financial reads for the week. Enjoy!
1. 31 Signs You’re Financially Stable — Frugal Rules
“Financial stability provides the freedom to buy what you want. You’ve set aside money and can do so with freedom from fear of how you’re going to afford it.”
2. The Four Phases of Saving and Investing For Retirement — Nerd’s Eye View at Kitces.com
“This framework of Earn, Save, Grow, and Preserve can be a helpful way to think about the progression of accumulating for retirement. Each phase has its own unique issues to be navigated, and success in one phase leads to the challenges of the next.
3. A Jedi Mind Trick to Saving & Investing More — 20 Something Finance
“In just about all personal saving scenarios, you realistically face a gain incentive –- i.e. ‘If I save $X, I will gain $Y.’ The gain of compound returns should and can be an extremely powerful incentive. However, it is far more powerful to view the taking away of compound returns as a loss incentive: ‘I will lose $Y, if I don’t save $X.'”
4. 4 Women Who Will Inspire You to Crush Your Debt — Jessica Moorehouse
“The amounts they owed are all different (and some are still chipping away at them), but it is seriously the coolest thing to read how they are all tackling their debt head-on and what advice they have for others in similar situations.”
5. A Spending Rule If You Want To Be Bad — Financial Samurai
“To overcome spending dysfunction, I’ve come up with a no-brainer ratio to help people spend responsibly…The FS:RS says that in order to spend $1 on something unnecessary, one must FIRST spend $2 on something beneficial.”
6. 5 Countries Where You Can Live Off $1,200 Per Month — The Frugal Vagabond
“As our safe, monthly retirement income creeps towards the $1,500 per month mark, the number of places in the world where we could live a happy life expands dramatically. This edition of the “Retire Abroad” series focuses on cities where $1,200 per month provides a safe, comfortable, fulfilling life for two.”
7. If It Doesn’t Fit In The Backpack, We Aren’t Bringing It — How Do I Money
“It’s helpful to think about your budget as a list of things you are going to shove in a backpack with limited space and carry with you for a whole month…There’s limited space in the backpack. What you don’t bring is just as important as what you do.”