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The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Your Finances


Nicole Lapin is on the blog today and we are so excited because her specialty is….FINANCES.

It’s so refreshing to see a woman helping other women take hold of their financial situations & futures. In this post Nicole is going to get into her tips & tricks for saving money, investing for the future, and how to manage your finances so that you can still have fun and indulge a little, aka LIVE.

If you haven’t met Nicole yet, be sure to listen to her podcast on The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER. She is a television news anchor, author and businesswoman. She is known for being an American news anchor on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg. Nicole also served as a finance correspondent for Morning Joe on MSNBC and The Today Show on NBC.

With that, let’s welcome Nicole to the blog to talk all about MONEY.

Introduce yourself to The Skinny Confidential audience.

Nicole Lapin: Hi guys! I’m Nicole…no one has ever asked me about my skincare routine but I do love answering your burning hot financial questions. I do that on my daily show Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin. The show covers everything I wish we learned in school about money and also breaks down the financial news of the day so you get WTF is going on. 

What’s the biggest mistake you see young women making with their money?

NL: Not investing. You don’t need a lot of money to make a lot of money. You need the most time possible. Because of the power of compound interest, a little bit of money put in the market (not individual stocks but in index funds) can grow a ton over time. The earlier you start, the more your money works for you. It’s not too late. You’re not too old. Today is as good a day as any. 

What are 5 quick and easy tips to saving money that someone can start right now?

NL: 

1. Negotiate your bills…including your credit card APR.

2. Take fun money out in cash…when the cash is gone, the party’s over.

3. Look for unclaimed money at unclaimed.org.

4. Set up another email for online shopping…that way you’re not tempted by marketing emails but can get discount codes when you need it.

5. Audit your apps…keep up good app hygiene by going through what you’re paying for every few months, chances are you probably can cut something.

What’s something small that makes a huge difference over time? Something that compounds.

NL: We know how sucky credit card interest can be when it compounds against us. Well, we can use the very same power in our favor by investing. It doesn’t have to be risky. Start slowly with CDs or money market accounts at your bank. Then, work your way up to other kinds of investment vehicles like bonds and stocks.

What are your investing strategies?

NL: Buy low, sell high. Seriously…it’s the only truism on Wall Street. People panic when the stock market is down. They want to sell everything. But it’s not the time to sell when things are low (if you have a long time horizon), it could actually be a great time to buy because likely high-quality investments are on sale. And who doesn’t love a good sale?!

How can you make your money work for you?

NL: My favorite investments are low-cost S&P 500 index funds and ETFs. This is basically buying a little bit of the whole S&P 500 (made up of 500 of the biggest companies) so you have built in diversification. I also really like Series I bonds right now… “I” stands for inflation.

You can get them at treasurydirect.gov. Inflation is high right now so you at least need to inflation-protect your money otherwise it’s like you’re losing money because you’re losing your future purchasing power.

Is it possible to ‘make money while you sleep?’

NL: 100%! That’s the best way to do it. I don’t sit and look at stock charts all day long! I just make a plan. Dollar-cost average (which is putting little bits of money in consistently). And chill. I’m a long-term investor so I try to put my blinders on with the ups & downs of the market and panic porn news.

What are some apps & programs that you use to help you save money?

NL: Honestly, a lot of them are the same. Whichever banking or brokerage app you are going to stick to…for whatever reason…is the one I like for you. 

How much should someone be spending on rent? What’s the percentage of salary that’s standard to spend?

NL: I break down a spending plan into the 3 Es: Essentials, Endgame and Extras. 70% of your overall take-home pay should go to the essentials…your food, housing, transportation, etc. No more than half of that 70% (so 35% of your take-home pay) should go to housing. Then at least 15% to the endgame…your savings, retirement, investments. And no more than 15% to the extras…the latte, mani/pedi, going out, whatever fun stuff you want.

You should include extras in your spending plan because it’s just like a sustainable eating plan…if you don’t allow yourself small indulgences you’ll end up binging later on. 

Your new book just came out! What can we expect?

NL: YAY! Book baby #4. Mama’s gotta take some book birth control. But seriously…I’m most proud of this one. Miss Independant is the most advanced yet and helps you start investing and grow your own wealth. 

You will learn:

+ The freedom that wealth affords you, whether it’s the ability to leave a crappy job or significant other, go on the vacation of your dreams or otherwise live life on your own terms. 

+ The best method for establishing your “number”—the amount of wealth you want to accumulate before you retire—and getting it.

+ The meaning of the most common investing terms, like stocks and bonds, (and some more exotic ones like REITs or cryptocurrency) and how to make them work to your advantage.

+ The ins and outs of big financial decisions and concepts, like taking out a mortgage, owning investment properties, and buying life insurance.

Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out! 

NL: Subscribe to my pod Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin wherever you listen to your pods and/or pick up my books Rich Bitch, Boss Bitch, Becoming Super Woman and Miss Independent wherever you get your books!

Be sure to listen to Nicole on The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER podcast. It’s such a must-listen for all the women out there who want to grab their finances by the balls.

x, The Skinny Confidential Team

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