How To Get Your Finances In Check

A post about financial health written by a freelance creative feels a little, you might even say.

But as a professional lady who's worked full time, part time, freelance, and remotely, I've learned a few things over the course of my career about the realities of being financially smart in ways that say, someone who's had a full time job at a single company for years and never moved between cities and countries, might not have learned or had to deal with.

While I'm certainly still no expert (like at all – at all, at all), I've picked up a few tips that have helped along the way. In hopes of paying it forward (har), I've jotted down some insights into keeping your personal finances in check, from one saver and do-er, to another:

Ignoring financial concerns won't make them go away

Don't believe me? Just ask Robin Reetz, West Village resident and publishing industry entry-level salary earner, age 22. If you're feeling stressed or a little uncertain about your finances, avoiding your bank statement or credit card balance will not make those concerns go away. Charging things to a card and then trying to forget about them will only hurt you, as (hopefully) most of us have learned by now. Similar to your real insecurities, confronting your financial insecurities and forcing yourself to deal with them will only do good things for your wallet, and for your sleeping patterns. Trust.


Educate yourself

Feeling unfamiliar and uncomfortable about where to start with your financial health? Turn to an expert. Even if it's something as basic as signing up for a weekly, financially-focused newsletter, make yourself open that newsletter when it comes through your inbox, at least skim it, and take in some of the advice. Great, non-scary resources include Workable Wealth, LearnVest, and Bottom Line. (There are a million more, so tell me which ones you love! I'd like to know.)


Know what you're willing to sacrifice – in life, finances, and all things – and what you're not

No matter how much money you earn, pretty much everyone in the world is working within a budget of some kind, and the way that budget is structured depends on the ways in which we live our lives. You can't do and afford everything (sorry), so it's super important to prioritize in little and big ways. Maybe you're spending less on monthly transportation and more on organic foods, or more on travel (me!) but going out less at home, or buying nicer things but fewer of them (also me). It's just about figuring out what's important to you, then working your life and budget around those priorities.


So, financial responsibility – maybe not that hard after all? Regardless, I'm still learning and changing my patterns on a regular basis so I'm all up for hearing about any experiences, resources, or tips you'd like to share. Please and thank you!


Photo by D Watterson III