Financial Resolutions: Tips, Tricks and People to Learn From

I'm in a lot of Facebook and Google groups filled with smart, savvy, funny, successful lady friends. With the new year approaching, the conversation has turned to resolutions and goals. Financial goals keep surfacing -- making our businesses more profitable, paying down debt, saving for down payments and planning for retirement. Even setting a big goal like "travel to _____" can be a big finance plan to devise.
Repeat. After, Me.
So, what should we be doing differently? How can we encourage ourselves and each other to make the right choices? I asked that question to friends and followers and have been getting great advice, so I'll share the "best of" here. Tweet me @tammy or leave a comment below if you've got one to add to the list.

Habit Hacks

Smart Reads 
  • The Financial Diet comes out January 2nd -- just in time for resolution reinforcement. Lily Herman, one of my faves to follow on Twitter, recommended it. I'm also going to follow authors, Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage, on Twitter. I think surrounding myself with smart women in my newsfeed helps me up my game and holds me more accountable. [NOTE: Chelsea just gave me a heads up that an Audible version is coming soon. I'll update here when it's buyable!]
  • In 2017, on the advice of my business manager Sherrell Martin, I read Profit First. I think implementing this in 2018 will help my business become not just a revenue-generator, but also a profitable business for me personally. 
  • NPR has a great series called Your Money and Your Life
Reduce Shopping & Impulse Buys
  • A friend of mine who's worked for financial clients for over a decade says, when you get a bonus or unexpected check, "use the rule of thirds - 1/3 to savings, 1/3 to pay off debt and 1/3 to do something fun." 
  • Read Ann Patchett's "My Year of No Shopping."
  • In 2017, I downsized my closet by over ten garbage bags of clothes. When I held each piece and thought about whether or not it brought me joy, I learned that what brings me joy are a great fitting pair of jeans, a baby soft t-shirt, a warm alpaca sweater. And, I'm not mad that they are almost all black or grey. I love it. But, sometimes, I need more -- for work, an event or just a trend I want to try. So, I use Rent the Runway Unlimited. I check clothes in and out like they are Netflix movies. Fancy dresses for weddings, savvy professional dresses for big meetings, expensive wool coats I can't afford and trendy fun dresses for going out. But, after one wear, I pop them back to RTR and move on. And, I don't miss them. If I did, I could check them back out again. Also, I think it's psychologically deprogramming me from that "buy" rush.
Travel Hacks
  • Seeing the world - and my friends - is very important to me. But, travel can be expensive. The brilliant Nisha Chittal (who I met back when she ran social for Travel Channel), turned me on to Scott's Flight Deals. Whether you want to travel to Florida or Fiji, Scott emails you when prices drop, tells you the savings, and approximately how long the deal might be live. I've found it's a great way to plan for big trips -- and spur of the moment whims. I sprung for the paid version, which allows me to customize my departure airports (and cut down on email clutter for deals that don't appeal to me.)

Invest Like a Lady

  • Look, women have different financial needs and life cycles than men. So, it only makes sense to financial plan for those things. Ellevest is a company that helps you do just that (and it's founded by the fabulous Sallie Krawcheck, former head of Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney.) One of the things that I'm overdue for is consolidating my 401(k)s from past jobs... and figuring out how to invest as a self-employed business owner... and potentially figuring out solutions for my team members to financially plan. I'm planning on starting out this with Ellevest in January.

Podcasts to Play
Folks to Follow 
Groups for Good Decision Making

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