Single Ladies' Guide to Smart Money Management

Hello Sunshine! While I'm on day 3 of my Singapore vacation, I'd like to take a step back and talk about financial responsibility. Last month was my birthday month, and as usual, I sink into a lot of thinking when my birthday month swings by.
Among many, I have given the way I've been living some serious brain space. For one, while moving out of my parent's house is not something I would say comes as a natural behavior for me, I had no strong desire to uproot myself, I know four years after that time I packed my bags and went, I still wouldn't trade this life for anything. I have enjoyed so much freedom the past years.

Living on my own has taught me so many things, about life and  about myself. I know it sounds daunting at first. When I first started, I would joke, even the air I breathe I have to pay for!!! It's like my entire day is a metered ride. When you’re on your own, you naturally bear the sole responsibility for your own finances: water, electricity, rent, food. But don't worry. It's all about making wise decisions... and today, I'd like to share a little bit of what I've learned so far. I hope my tips would help my fellow young, strong, and independent women as well.

Accept your single life budget

You've heard it before, and you probably heard it a lot. Live within your means. Get real, girl. You know what your parents would always tell you, that money doesn't grow on trees... it's a fact of life that would slap you in the face (maybe slap you hard even) so the earlier you learn to budget (and stick to it), the better!

Diamonds may be a woman’s best friend, but a soundly planned budget is the better companion. Some women are afraid of budgeting, when in fact it’s just a written plan for monthly spending that’s necessary so you can keep track of where the money is going. Ideally, you should have an investment strategy like a balanced fund when accounting for your expenses.

Focus on saving

If you only have a single source of income, having an emergency fund is vital. The extra money will be a lifesaver if you’re unable to work for a long time due to an illness or injury. When it comes to how much money you should save, around six months’ worth of expenses is generally recommended, but you can still buffer it based on your needs. This bit has been a struggle for me... but I really am trying to get better. Emergencies can really bite you hard if it comes when you're most unprepared (they often come that way!!!) so as part of my ultimate new birth year resolutions--I will strictly set aside money for emergencies. I have YOLO'd enough!

Saving for an emergency fund can take time, so the sooner you start, the better. Even a small amount of money every paycheck is a step in the right direction.

Plan your retirement as early as now

You may feel very vivacious and yes, energetic, and yes, sexy right now. Well, lovey, getting old is a fact of life. Since I'll be turning 30 soon, retirement talks have been an enjoyable discussion for me. I'm not quite sure how early or late the retirement conversation should be taken seriously... I know for some people, their life plans can come as early or late (or even never!) but for me, retirement planning as a must-consider activity has reached its ripe stage. I know I should get started, and I know I should really take this on with the wisdom that life and my experiences has granted me so far. While the golden years are still a long time ahead, it's important to use the time to really think retirement through. There really is no better time than now.

The only part of my retirement plan that I somewhat have... my Portland vision board.
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Protect your credit

Buying either a car or home as a single woman is of course, possible. But more often than not, it’s not a walk in the park. Maintaining a high credit score makes approval for both vehicle and mortgage loan less of a hassle while affording yourself with the best shot at having a low-interest rate. Paying your credit card debt or other loans can give your score a serious boost. Make sure that you’re paying your bills on time monthly since a single late payment can cause a major hit to your score.

Consider investment funds

If you don’t know it yet, saving your money in the bank essentially makes it sleep, giving your just a trickle of what the bank earns off your money. Investment funds, like a balanced fund, for instance. is a good choice for conservative investors. It is a mixture of stocks (equity) and bonds (fixed income). This reduces risk yet provide financial growth. Of course, you should research first and weight your options before putting your money in any investment plans.

Commercial... my other investments. Art!
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There you go, sunshine. It’s true. Carving a path to financial freedom as a single woman absolutely has its hardships but it’s achievable if you do enough research and planning. The guide/tips above are just a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind as you work toward short and long-term financial goals. Best of luck!