Tag: Pop Culture

 

15 Quotes from Our Favorite Money Saving Experts

Like it or not, money makes the world go round. It provides you with basic necessities and helps you achieve your savings goals. Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees.

But here’s the good news: You can save and earn more money by turning to experts for tips, tricks and inspiration. To help motivate you, check out these 15 quotes from our favorite money experts:

1) “Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.” – Warren Buffett

No one knows the importance of seizing upon an opportunity better than billionaire Warren Buffett. Buffett made his fortune by purchasing millions in stocks during lulls in the market.

The takeaway: While you may not have millions of dollars sitting around, you can still invest and earn more money. Whether this means accepting a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity, moving your money into a high-yield savings account, or taking advantage of swings in the market, be sure to put out your “bucket”…not your “thimble.”

2) “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin

Those little expenses add up – and no one says it better than inventor Benjamin Franklin. While it’s easy to keep your larger expenses in check, it’s not so easy to count all the small, every day expenses.

The takeaway: Those little expenses add up, and can rapidly ruin your budget. To keep yourself in check, evaluate your expenditures every month, and cut back on any miscellaneous, unbudgeted expenses.

3) “A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.” – William Feather

Perhaps no one explains the importance of budgeting better than publisher William Feather. A budget is a great tool to tell you where your money should go. But it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable.

The takeaway: Pay attention to your budget and don’t spend more than you have available.

 4) “Make sure you have financial intelligence… I don’t care if you have money or you don’t have money… you need to go and study finance no matter what.” – Daymond John

You don’t have to be a financial analyst in order to understand the basics of finance. And this quote from entrepreneur Daymond John proves just that. No matter who you are, it’s vital that you educate yourself on the basics of personal finance.

The takeaway: Educate yourself by making free simple moves like reading books from the library or personal finance blogs.

5) “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller

Everyone faces a difficult financial period at some point. But instead of panicking or becoming overwhelmed, it’s important to note that these times are only temporarily.

The takeaway: With a lot of hard work, smart planning and determination, any financial situation can be turned around over time, no matter how bad it is.

6)  “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

So, you want to take control of your finances? You want to switch jobs? Start your own business? Any financial decision is just a thought until you take action.

The takeaway: Turn your thoughts into actions. Take a leap and make your financial goals a reality.

7) “Personal finance is only 20% head knowledge. It’s 80% behavior!” –Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey, financial expert and author of Total Money Makeover, has a unique approach to finances. According to him, your finances are more a reflection of your behaviors than your financial knowledge.

The takeaway: Establish positive money habits like creating a budget or automating your savings. Celebrate your new behaviors, which can easily become money wins.

8) “A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.” – Suze Orman

Financial guru Suze Orman is a huge proponent of saving money. And, saving for an emergency can save you oodles of stress.

The takeaway: Instead of worrying about how you’ll pay for unexpected expenses, consider starting an emergency fund.

9) Money, like emotions, is something you must control to keep your life on the right track.” -Natasha Munson

Money isn’t the end-all, be-all, but it certainly is important. Just like you must keep your emotions in check, it’s important to keep your finances in check, according to Natasha Munson.

The takeaway: Take steps to improve your finances as this will give your some control over your life and decisions.

10) “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.” – Confucius

Even according to Confucius in ancient times, planning ahead was extremely important!

You never know when something unfortunate could happen.

The takeaway: Prepare for the unknown by saving money for a rainy day.

11) “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” – Joe Biden

Unfortunately, simply creating a budget doesn’t mean you are on track financially. In order to keep yourself on track with your budget, check out these tips from EveryDollar.

The takeaway: Adhere to a reasonable budget so that you’ll be more apt to make strides with your financial situation.

12) “It’s simple arithmetic: Your income can grow only to the extent that you do.” — T. Harv Eker

T. Harv Elker, the author of “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,” is an enormous proponent of personal development. In fact, he claims that your income is a direct reflection of your personal growth.

The takeaway: Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself! Here are a few affordable ways you can invest in yourself while on a budget.

13) “Money isn’t everything, but it’s right up there with oxygen.” – Zig Ziglar

Money truly isn’t everything. But it does afford you the lifestyle you want, according to businessman Zig Ziglar.

The takeaway: You can’t ignore money. Instead, it’s important to prioritize your money goals so that you can afford the lifestyle you want.

14) “You can have excuses or you can have success; you can’t have both.” ― Jen Sincero

According to Jen Sincero, author of “You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth,” success takes a lot of work. So, instead of blaming your financial woes on your present situation, she proposes that you take control of your situation and turn it around.

The takeaway: Think of your financial situation as a reflection about your attitude about work. Hey, it’s worth a shot!

15) “In fact, what determines your wealth is not how much you make but how much you keep of what you make.” ― David Bach

According to David Bach, author of “Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams,” you can make all the money you have ever imagined…but if you can’t save that money, you have nothing. This is particularly liberating if you don’t earn a ton of money.

The takeaway: Whether you earn $30,000 a year or $100,000, your savings is what matters most! On that note, we’ll leave you with this pro tip: Don’t forget to save even more money by opening a Chime savings account!

 

How to KonMari Your Money

For a 4’ 7” human, Marie Kondo is huge.

More than 11 million people have bought her books, and still others are binge-watching her Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” People are drawn to Kondo’s philosophy: You can change your life by getting rid of all the things that don’t “spark joy.”

Want to give it a try? You don’t need to limit yourself to clothing or books or Beanie Babies. In fact, nearly all of us could stand to tidy up our finances, too. Here’s how to “KonMari” your bank accounts, credit card purchases, and investments — and maybe even spark financial joy.

Envision Your Ideal Lifestyle

As Kondo wrote in “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”: “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

So, take a moment to reflect. Do your expenditures and money habits reflect your ideal lifestyle? Or, are you, say, spending your money on bar tabs when you actually want to travel the world? Or living in an expensive city, even though you dream of retiring early?

Think about how you can align your finances with your ideal lifestyle.

“Start with the vision of your best financial life to help you shift your mindset and shape your criteria for what sparks joy,” says Kristyn Ivey, a KonMari Consultant who co-hosts the Spark Joy podcast.

Make a Money Mountain

If you were organizing your wardrobe, Kondo would tell you to make a “clothing mountain” by removing everything from your closet and piling it on the bed. This way, you’d get a full picture of what you own — and can therefore make better decisions about what you do or don’t need.

The same goes for your finances. While the results won’t be as physically impressive, collecting a mountain of data about your money habits will hopefully have an even greater long-term impact.

The most accurate way to assemble this information would be to track your spending and income for a few months. (That’s especially true if you often use cash to make purchases.) If you’re in a hurry to KonMari, however, you can get a decent overview by compiling your credit card, bank, and investment account statements from the past year.

“The reason we ask you to gather everything in one category all together is so that you see all that you have at the same time,” says Jane Grodem, a KonMari Consultant in the Bay Area.

“This is an opportunity to consider the state of your finances with clarity, and ultimately the goal is to let go of those [expenses] that do not serve you in your current or future life.”

Decide What Sparks Joy

Once you’ve created your money mountain, analyze the information.

  • Are you spending more than you earn?
  • Where are you spending the most money? Did those purchases spark joy?
  • Do you have enough saved to cover at least three months of expenses?
  • What have you saved for your future goals?

Unlike physical objects, finances are tricky because saving money often doesn’t spark joy in the moment. So, to help you feel that joy in your bones, visualize your financially secure future — whether it’s holding the keys to your first home or treating your grandkids to all the ice cream they desire.

You can also note the financial data points that definitely don’t spark joy, like an ATM fee from your bank, a spartan retirement account, or an expensive takeout meal.

Now that you know which financial behaviors do and don’t spark joy, you can look for ways to augment or disrupt them. For instance, you can spend more money on plane tickets instead of shoes, or you switch to a fee-free bank.

According to Liv Cloud, who blogs at Funding Cloud Nine, viewing her life and finances through the KonMari lens has saved her “thousands” of dollars.

“I no longer mindlessly spend money on unnecessary things,” says Cloud.

“I have become more intentional with my spending and with the items that I bring into my home. If it isn’t something that I really love, then I simply leave it at the store,” she says.

View Your Budget as Plentiful

Kondo is all about what your woo-woo friend might call an “abundance mindset.”

“The biggest mistake people make is to focus on what to discard instead of what to keep,” Kondo told Mic. “If you focus on this, you look for flaws… and cannot appreciate the things you own. The correct mindset is to keep what you love instead of throwing out what you don’t like.”

Although she’s talking about physical items, that’s the perfect way to look at your budget, too.

When you’re deciding which expenditures spark joy, don’t agonize over what you’re cutting out. Instead, delight in what you get to keep: rent for your (hopefully tidy!) apartment, groceries for next week’s potluck with friends, a splurge-y fancy coffee every Friday.

Organize Your Financial Paperwork

Being overwhelmed by paperwork is totally normal. In fact, Kondo devotes an entire clutter category to it, with her baseline rule being “discard everything.” (What a relief!)

Of course, some paperwork, like the past three years of tax returns, must be kept. Which is why Kondo recommends three folders, each with a different purpose: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or kept indefinitely.

You should also make a “pending” folder for papers you haven’t had time to organize yet. And then get in the habit of recycling paper as soon as you get it, so it doesn’t ever have the chance to — horror of horrors — pile up.

Be Grateful for What You Have

Before Kondo embarks on any decluttering mission, she sits on the floor and thanks the house. Before discarding an item, she thanks it for its service. Although it might sound loony, numerous studies have suggested that gratitude can vastly improve your outlook.

So, while you’re in the midst of KonMari-ing your finances, take a step back — and be grateful for what you have. Maybe you don’t have the latest designer handbag, but you have enough to eat. Maybe you don’t have enough money to take a vacation this year, but you have a job.

“I now surround myself with things, people, and experiences that bring joy to my life. Instead of focusing on what other people have, I focus on what is going to make me happy and make me the best person I can be,” says Cloud.

 

How Much Do Millennials Spend on Sports?

When it comes to saving money — and spending it — it’s all about priorities. For many millennials, having stuff takes a backseat to having fun. In fact, half of millennials say they’d rather drop their cash on experiences, versus buying material things.

Riley Adams, founder of millennial finance site Young and the Invested, says experiences easily trump “things” in terms of emotional value.

“For me, the sense of fulfillment which comes from experiencing new things far outweighs the fleeting happiness which comes from buying physical possessions. In the end, I value the lasting memory as my reward more so than a physical possession,” says Adams.

And just what are millennials spending on? Travel and concerts are on the list but they’re also spending big on something else: sports. With Americans collectively spending $14.8 billion to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, we thought we’d take a closer look at the millennial mindset when it comes to sports and other experiences.

How millennial sports spending adds up

Over the last few years, spending patterns in the U.S. have fueled the growth of the experience economy, which includes spending on sports. Millennials easily outstrip other generations for monthly spending on entertainment in general, as well as sports.

Check out these numbers measuring how much Americans spent on sports in 2016:

  • $56 billion attending sporting events
  • $33 billion on athletic equipment
  • $19 billion on gym memberships

A more recent study found that Americans spend $155 per month on personal health and fitness, including:

  • $33 on gym memberships
  • $56 on health supplements
  • $35 on workout clothing and accessories
  • $17 for healthy meal plans
  • $14 on personal trainers

The 2016 survey found that 36 percent of millennials spend money on monthly gym memberships. In fact, they’re twice as likely as any other generation to hit the gym regularly.

Millennials are also spending money on professional sporting events. In 2018, 25 to 34-year-olds spent an average of $118.43 to watch the Super Bowl. Thirty-four percent of millennials paid for mobile apps to watch the NCAA tournament from their smartphones in 2017, and one in four paid to increase a data plan to make streaming games easier.

What motivates millennial sports spending

Todd Weitzman, founder of MoneyHax, says accessibility is one way to explain millennials’ sports spending preferences.

While being a sports spectator has always been a popular activity, it’s now more possible to actually become an athlete or participant, and this makes sports more relatable, says Weitzman.

The FOMO factor may also have something to do with it. Nearly 40 percent of millennials say they’ve spent money they didn’t have to keep up with their friends. Adams says the FOMO effect can be chalked up in part to social media, which makes it easy for millennials to share their experiences with their followers. Seeing a steady stream of sports-themed photos in your Facebook or Instagram feed, for example, can make you more inclined to spend on sports yourself.

Personal health and fitness spending, on the other hand, may have a link to millennials’ interest in self-care and wellness. In a 2015 survey, 94 percent of millennials said they were committed to self-improvement and they were willing to spend $300 a month on average to meet their fitness and wellness goals.

Finding balance with sports and experience spending

Spending on sports and experiences can feel good in the moment and lead to lasting memories. But, your budget can feel the pain later. Drawing boundaries on sports spending and finding ways to save money can keep those experiences from breaking the bank.

First, review your regular expenses and income to figure out how much you can reasonably spend on sports and experiences each month. You can also go over your sports and experience spending for the last year and total up how much you spent. Use that number as a guide to decide how much you want to earmark for sports spending each month. Remember to budget extra if you’re planning to attend a once-in-a-lifetime event like the Super Bowl or World Series.

Next, consider opening a bank account just for sports spending. This can be a savings account if you want to earn interest or a checking account if you want easy access to the money. The idea is to have a separate place to park money you plan to spend on experiences.

“Setting aside a fixed amount in a dedicated savings account might be a smart way to enforce discipline on your spending habits if you have trouble controlling your spending on entertainment events,” Adams says.

Ben Huber, co-founder of DollarSprout, agrees.

“Be it a gym membership, sporting event or some other form of entertainment, millennials should consider setting up direct deposit to a new account solely reserved for events and their associated travel expenses,” he says.

Finally, look for ways to cut corners on sports spending without sacrificing fun. Weitzman, for example, has used eBay and StubHub to find deals on tickets to games. He and his wife also bring bottled water and snacks along whenever possible to save money on concessions.

If you live near a sporting venue and you’re comfortable taking a gamble, Huber suggests waiting until the day before to try and score tickets.

“Ticket prices may drop 25-50 percent in the last 12 hours leading up to events on nearly all of the major ticket exchanges. If your travel plans are flexible and it’s not a highly sought after event, there’s a good chance you can save hundreds on premium seating at most major sporting events,” he says.

There are also plenty of apps and websites you can use to save on sports and fitness. TopCashback.com and Ebates, for example, allow you to earn cash back when you shop online at partner retailers. That could come in handy if you’re shopping online for new workout gear or sports equipment. You can also use sites like RetailMeNot and Coupons.com to find promo codes and printable coupons for even more savings on fitness.

How much will you spend on sports this year?

In-between checking out the Super Bowl halftime show, gearing up for March Madness or waiting for baseball season to kick off, think about how much you’ll spend on sports in the year ahead. From there, create a budget and open a bank account for sports spending. This way you can cheer on your favorite team or go to the gym without money headaches getting in the way.

 

What Type of Relationship Do You Have with Your Money?

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we couldn’t help but think of all the different types of relationships we’ve had. Maybe you’ve experienced the stage 5 clinger, or the one who never wanted to commit, or the casual “friends with benefits.” Whichever the case, these relationships can very well apply to how well (or not so well) we treat our money. This Valentine’s Day we invite you to take a totally different type of love quiz, and see which type of relationship you may have with your money.

 

 

The 7 Types of People Who Use Dating Apps

Contrary to what your sweet nana thinks, not all dating apps are the same. And if you want to keep money from flying out of your savings account faster than Mexican jumping beans, it’s important to choose wisely.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We put together a list of the best dating apps for you, taking into consideration your personality type and what you’re looking for.

For the Highly-Educated, Distinguishing Shopper: The League

We see you, Ivy League graduate. You’re the type of person who wouldn’t dare be seen on Tinder. What would your friends — or worse, your colleagues — think, after all? That’s why you’ll like The League. This app requires you to add in your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, so that you’re hidden from people you actually know – in case they are on the app as well.

You’re also the type of person who doesn’t settle. If you prefer a lifetime of intelligent conversation to quick one-night-stands, you’ll love this app. It’s designed to cultivate the best-of-the-best, which feels a little creepy, but gives you a high caliber of potential mates to choose from.

For the Flirty Adventurer: Tinder

You’re single, and you love it. After all, there’s a time and a place to settle down (maybe….) but it’s not right now. In the meantime, there’s a whole world of people out there to enjoy, and you want to meet as many of them as possible.

If this sounds like you, Tinder is your best best. But then again, you probably knew that already, since you’ve got a go-get-’em attitude.

For the Liberal Woke Folks: OkCupid

You can be found participating in the Women’s March, the March for Science, or any other number of enlightened protests that suit your interests and political leanings.

You’re also the type of person who doesn’t like to be put in a box and answer campy dating questions. This is a big reason why you’ll love OkCupid, which offers 22 — 22! — gender options, along with 13 different orientations. OkCupid also asks fun questions, not just the what’s your favorite type of food-esque questions that are found on more mainstream dating apps.

For the Marriage-Minded: eHarmony

You’re not a tire-kicker. You mean business, and the ultimate goal of the dating game is marriage, right? Maybe you’re a shy person who doesn’t like to meet endless people. Maybe you’re ready to start a family. Or, maybe you’re just looking for a serious partner to share the rest of your life with.

Either way, eHarmony is probably your best bet, because it uses proprietary, scientific-based algorithms you can’t find on any other dating platform. The goal: To help you find the best potential matches for today — not five years from now. And that’s especially important for you, since you want to spend as much time as possible with your future spouse.

For the Busy Career Professional: Elite Singles

You don’t have time to waste weeding through endless profiles, half of which haven’t been active in years. Your time is more valuable than that, and you’re an independent-minded career professional. Still, life gets boring just being alone all the time, and you think it would be nice to share it with someone.

That’s why Elite Singles is for you. This dating app delivers custom-matched active profiles straight to your phone every day, so you can cut right to the chase. You won’t find many people fresh out of college on this app, which is fine since you want someone who is equally ambitious and as mature as you are.

For the Facebook Junkie: Hinge

You’re the type of person who thinks it would be great to date someone who is an extension of your existing social circle. This way you’ll at least have shared friends in common. But you’re also the type of person who thinks it’s a little weird to ask your friends for eligible dates.

No worries — the Hinge app uses your existing Facebook profile to quickly create a profile for you. Then, it will send you custom matches based on friends-of-friends, so you don’t even have to put out an embarrassing public call for love on Facebook.

For the Bold Woman and the Men Who Respect Her: Bumble

You’re a woman who’s tired of playing second fiddle to guys. Or, maybe you’re a man who enjoys allowing women the space to shine.

Either way, if this sounds like you, you’ll love the Bumble app because it puts women in the driver’s seat. Only women are allowed to initiate conversations with men, which suits you just fine since you think the whole dating scene is full of creepy dudes anyways.

Which App is Right for You?

You’re a fan of money saving apps, so it’s a no-brainer that you want to try a dating app, too. We’ve put together a pretty extensive list here for you to choose from. Now the only question is — which app is the best one for you?

 

The Real Cost Behind Red Carpet Looks

I know I can’t be the only one who thinks celebrities look absolutely flawless and stunning at red carpet events. But, let’s be real: It takes a whole team to create those glam looks, from hair and makeup, to attire and accessories.

So what’s the real cost behind red carpet looks? And how can you achieve something similar without blowing all your savings?

To help you go glam without breaking the bank, we’ve broken the costs. Take a look at how you can recreate your own red carpet look for your special event – on a budget.

Pre-Event Skincare Routine

You better believe that celebs have their own proven pre-event skincare routines to keep their skin glowing and blemish-free. Jennifer Aniston’s skin care routine, for example, reportedly runs around $1,187. This includes facials, chemical peels, skins creams, etc.

Other celebrities have been known to pay anywhere from $180 to $800 per facial, according to Vogue.

Budget-Friendly Hack: Don’t have $1,000 to shell out on skin products and services? No worries. Celebs recommend Neutrogena’s Facial Cleansing bar which only costs around three to four dollars. You can also get the Kinara Red Carpet Facial Kit on Amazon for $114. Or you can get free skin care product samples from direct sales associates for companies like Avon and Mary Kay.

Hair Styling

Your hairstyle can make or break your red carpet look. Some celebs take huge risks with their hair for events while others keep it classic. Hair styling can cost anywhere from $300 to upwards of $1,200 for red carpet events. According to Business Insider, Jennifer Aniston’s hair styles by celebrity hair stylist Chris McMillan have been known to cost $920. This includes both the haircut and color.

Budget-Friendly Hack: If you want a glamorous hairdo fit for the red carpet, all you need to do is find an exceptional stylist who’s willing to work with your budget. Show her the celebrity hairstyle you’re looking to emulate, and see if she can do something similar for you.

You can also check out celebrity salon chains like Mario Tricocci and take advantage of the expert services. Also, be sure to look for periodic offers at salons and deals on sites like Groupon.

Nails

Famous artists and entertainers like Beyonce can spend up to $900 on nails alone. Well, in Beyonce’s case they were gold nails, but this is still a steep price to pay.

Budget-friendly hack: Do your own nails. Purchase a quality polish from the drugstore and give yourself a manicure. You can also buy press-on nail polish strips for less than $10. Local nail shops can also give you a celebrity-worthy look for much less – whether you’re looking for acrylic nails, gel, or even 3-D elements like this.

Red Carpet Outfit

The outfit is often the most expensive part of a winning red carpet look. Women can spend six figures on dresses, while men can spend thousands of dollars on a nice tux.

In 2014, actress Lupita Nyong’o wore a $140,000 Calvin Klein dress to the Oscars. In 2015, actor Eddie Redmayne wore a $3,500 Alexander McQueen blue sapphire tux to the Academy Awards. Cate Blanchett, however, takes the cake by wearing an $18.1 million Armani Prive gown to the Academy Awards.

But are celebrities really paying big bucks to wear these outfits? Perhaps. Many of them, however, borrow attire or are gifted ensembles by designers who are hoping for a shout-out on the red carpet.

Budget-friendly hack: If you have a special event coming up, you can get a similar look without going into debt. For example, try checking out sites like Rent the Runway and Fashion Nova. At Rent the Runway, you actually rent the clothing via monthly subscriptions, while Fashion Nova sells fashionable attire for deeply discounted prices.

Shoes and Accessories

Shoes and accessories for a red carpet look can cost just as much as the outfit. It’s not unheard of for celebrities to wear $20,000 earrings and $600 designer shoes, while carrying a  $1,500 designer bag.

Again, these items may be rented or gifted from the designers themselves, but it’s still probably out of the question for people like you and me.

Budget-friendly hack: Charming Charlie is an accessories store when you can buy beautiful jewelry and bags for a fraction of the cost at other retailers. In addition, Stella and Dot is a great website to shop for statement jewelry. You can also find gently-used designer and brand name shoes and bags at Poshmark, ThredUp, and Plato’s Closet for affordable prices.

Is the Cost Worth It?

Red carpet looks for exclusive events like the Academy Awards can cost thousands of dollars. So, is the cost worth it? For celebrities, the answer is probably yes, as they will be photographed and interviewed for the world to see.

Luckily, you can still achieve a fantastic look without spending thousands of dollars. All you have to do is ditch the designer labels and use the resources above above to get the red carpet look you deserve. Better yet, you can go glam on a budget.

 

5 Money Lessons from Cardi B Lyrics

If there’s one musical artist that has taken the world by storm, it’s Cardi B. Cardi is well-known for her brash, unapologetic personality and her signature “Okurrr.”

The ex-stripper and current mega-star’s lyrics are provocative. But there’s one valuable theme that is consistent in many of her songs: Her love of cash.

And, believe it or not, you can actually learn a thing or two from Cardi. Check out these five money lessons from Cardi B.

1. You can love money

It may seem impolite to openly say you love money and that you unabashedly go after it. Why? Because although you have to earn money to pay your bills, saying you love money can cause others to think you’re greedy or money-hungry.

Unfortunately, the term ‘money-hungry’ doesn’t have a positive connotation, yet Cardi’s song “Money” is an anthem about making money and loving money.

“I was born to flex (Yes)

Diamonds on my neck

I like boardin‘ jets, I like mornin‘ sex (Woo!)

But nothing in this world that I like more than checks (Money)

All I really wanna see is the (Money)”

In the above song, Cardi talks about all the great luxuries in her life, like beautiful diamonds and jet-setting. But, she still admits that at the end of the day she loves nothing more than checks.

The takeaway: Part of handling your money is your money mindset. Despite what you’re told, you can love money and not be a terrible person.

2. Make money moves

In Cardi B’s song “Bodak Yellow,” she sings about making money moves.

“Look, I don’t dance now

I make money moves”

Cardi references her past as a stripper and says she doesn’t need to dance anymore because she is making money moves. Money moves can also be about making and managing money – allowing you to have more financial freedom.

She goes on to say:

“I be in and out them banks so much

I know they’re tired of me”

The takeaway: You can make money moves to ditch your old life and go after the life you want. You can also aim to get paid more and take steps to save more (which you can do automatically with Chime). This way, you too can “make money moves” in the right direction.

3. Ask for what you’re worth and get paid more

One of the more vulnerable yet empowering songs by Cardi B is “Get Up 10”. She raps about some of the troubles she’s gone through, but in the end says:

“Man, I said we gon’ win

Knock me down nine times but I get up ten”

Cardi is here for the long haul and isn’t going anywhere. And this song is about not giving up. But included here is also a lyric that just screams about asking for what you’re worth and getting paid.

“I walked into the label, “Where the check at?” (where the check?)”

Cardi is all about getting paid. I can just imagine her sauntering into the label demanding her pay.

The takeaway: Have the confidence to ask for what you’re worth and get paid more. Ask for that raise. Raise your rates. Don’t shy away. You deserve it.

4. You can save money on your purchases

It’s clear that Cardi is “rich, rich, rich”. But one line in the explicit song “She Bad” states:

“I could buy designer, but this Fashion Nova fit”

Although Cardi can buy expensive designer items, she knows that something more affordable found at a retailer like Fashion Nova does the job just as well. (In the same song, by the way, she mentions designer bags like Gucci and Prada.)

The takeaway: While you may want to go after nice things, you should also look for more affordable options. This way you can save money to buy things that really matter. There’s no shame in wanting the finer things in life, as long as you can continue to save money.

5. You can be a boss and earn your own money

Whenever I listen to Cardi B, I am motivated to work. She just embodies being a boss and earning your own money. This is inspiring to me as I’m self-employed.

One of the lyrics in “I Do” is:

“Now I’m a boss, I write my own name on the checks (Cardi)”

The takeaway: Whether you’re self-employed or not, I think the sentiment remains. You can be a boss especially when it comes to making money. You can get your side hustle on, start your business, and be the CEO of your finances. You have the power to transform your finances, do work you love, and get paid what you deserve.

Let Cardi B inspire you to improve your money sitch

Let Cardi B’s love of money and making cash rub off on you and inspire you to earn more, save more, and achieve your financial goals.

 

Money Traditions Celebrated for Lunar New Year

Growing up Vietnamese-American, Chinese New Year is important to me. Instead of busting out bottles of bubbly and watching a ginormous ball drop at midnight, festivities include dragon dances, lion parades, and offerings of fruit baskets and moon cakes.

The best part of celebrating Chinese New Year? The money traditions. And while the date changes every year (it coincides with the new moon of the first lunar month), here are a few ways the dollar is used to ring in every Chinese New Year.

Lucky Money

Fact: Money doesn’t grow on trees. But it does (sorta) during Chinese New Year. Red envelopes containing money are given to kids or unmarried folks. If you’re an established couple or are bringing in the Benjamins, you’re expected to gift grandparents and other respected elders with these red envelopes. If you live in China, your boss might even hand you a red envelope with a small amount of cash.

The color red symbolizes good things: energy, happiness, prosperity and good luck. And the dollars inside – which should be crisp – are a sign that you wish goodwill and success to the recipients.

So how much money should you give out if you celebrate this holiday? It really depends on your relationship with the recipient. If you just got married, for example, you’re typically not expected to include as much money in a lucky envelope as someone who has been married for two decades.

This is a favorite money tradition for obvious reasons. Who doesn’t like free money?

What it teaches you about money: If you are gifted with red envelopes of cash, figure out how this can help your financial situation. Maybe you can sock some money away toward your e-fund, or use it toward debt repayment. I typically spend part of the money, and the rest goes toward savings.

On the flip side, if you’re expected to dole out cash, make sure to save for it well ahead of time. Figure out how much you’ll need, and auto-save so you can meet your gifting goals. If you’re a Chime Bank member, you can automatically put aside a set amount on payday.

Games

We’re not talking about mind games or outdoor games or kiddie games. We’re talking about games of chance, like Blackjack or Mahjong. Vietnamese folks like me play Bầu Cua Tôm Cá, a gambling game involving three dice. It’s pretty common to play these games during Chinese New Year, and at least in my family, it’s certainly more about the camaraderie than winning.

What it teaches you about money: Gambling is a big no-no for obvious reasons. If you want more money, you’ll need to save it, perhaps by using a money-saving app. You should also earn it or maybe invest it. But the idea is: Do the right thing with your money, and you’ll be more apt to increase your net worth after many years.

The Year of the Pig and Money

While you’d like to think that your Chinese Zodiac year is going to be 100 percent awesome sauce, the truth is: It can go either way. This year – 2019 – marks the year of the pig in the Chinese Zodiac system. If you were born in the year of the pig, which is the twelfth year in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle, this means you were born in 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 – you get the point. It also means you’ll want to be cautious with your money as those born in the year of the pig tend to stress about money big-time.

You may also experience a stroke of good luck and get a windfall of cash, perhaps in the form of a donation, inheritance or bonus. And if you had a bad time with investments in years past, things might turn around for you in 2019. If we’re talking about which periods are best for those born in the year of the pig, it’s February, March and July. The least favorable period is the month of May.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Whether you were born in the year of the pig or not, it’s always important to make the most of your money, and treat it right. After all, you can’t depend on the Chinese Zodiac, fate, or the cosmos to work in your favor. It’s up to you to take steps to boost your finances.

 

6 Best Dating Apps When You’re On a Budget

Sometimes love doesn’t cost a thing, but that’s hardly the case these days. Even before you get to the pricey part of wining and dining a potential suitor, you can expect to run up big tabs on dating apps.

Subscriptions to these apps can come with a hefty price tag, which means less money in your savings account to actually win over your new paramour.

So, what to do? Take a look at the solid money-saving dating app strategy that we’ve put together. In addition, we rounded up some of the top dating apps to give you the lowdown on the costs involved and whether they are worth the money.

Saving Money With Dating Apps

Monthly subscription fees can cost as much as a good meal. But most dating apps offer a free “lite” version of the app. You still get a sense of the full functionality, ease of use, and size of the potential dating pool, but you won’t get access to the premium features.

So, before you commit to that pricey subscription, try this: Download a range of different dating apps. Only commit to the free version as a way to suss out the app’s usefulness. Only then, when you’ve narrowed it down to a favorite few, is it a good idea to spring for a paid subscription.

It’s also important to know what you get with the paid versions, and to really consider whether this is worth it. Does a paid subscription provide more access to potential partners, for example? Or is it just a dud feature that you probably won’t really use? Keeping a discerning eye on the value you get for your hard-earned cash can help keep those subscriptions trimmed to the bare essentials.

Best Dating Apps

Here are some of the most popular dating apps you’re likely to run across.

Match.com

Everyone has heard of Match.com, even your 95-year-old Nana. This website offers one of the largest user bases of any dating app, meaning the odds are good that you’ll meet people. Although you can see profiles as a free member, if you want to send and receive messages, see who saved your profile, and even attend in-person events, you’ll need to upgrade.

Subscription cost: Starting from $20.99/month

Tinder

Tinder – which revolutionized the terms “swipe right” and “swipe left” – is still one of the most popular dating apps out there. While the basic concept is simple to use, you’ll need to upgrade if you want to take the game to a new level. Plus, subscriptions allow you to change locations if you travel and undo swipe mistakes, among other things. The highest tier level, Gold, allows you to do everything in the Plus subscription while allowing you to “boost” your profile to the top of the line. You’ll also be able to see who has swiped right on your profile.

Plus subscription cost: Starting from $2.99/month

Gold subscription cost: Starting from $4.99/month

The League

If you’re a distinguishing dater and tired of all the scrubs, consider this app. It bills itself as an app for elite people who have done things like attended Ivy League schools, or at least have the conversation skills to match. You don’t join The League — you apply and hope you’re accepted — and the basic version is free. With the paid versions, you can get more “friend requests,” VIP passes, and custom-picked daily prospects.

Member subscription cost: Starting from $29/month

Owner subscription cost: Starting from $83/month

Hinge

If you like Tinder’s ease of use but aren’t looking for a short-term hookup, Hinge might be a better dating app for you. It’s also especially helpful if you’re active on Facebook, since the app will use your personal connections to find friends-of-friends to match you with. Preferred members get access to additional filters to find people, unlimited profile likes, and even access to Hinge Experts, a concierge dating service.

Preferred subscription cost: Starting from $7/month

Bumble

If you’re into flipping the script, Bumble is a great dating app to try. This app actually requires the woman to message the man first if they are a match. And not only that, there’s a time limit — she only gets 24 hours to make the first move, or it disappears. For same-sex matches, anyone can make the first move. Upgrading to Bumble Boost allows you to see who’s right-swiped your profile, find matches with expired connections, and extend your current matches longer than the 24-hour window.

Bumble Boost subscription cost: Starting from $24.99/month

OkCupid

If you consider yourself woke and are looking to meet up with other like-minded liberals, consider OkCupid. This app allows for dozens of combinations of gender identity and sexual orientations, and makes the profile-creation process a fun game of questions (If I were sent to jail, I’d be arrested for…) rather than your standard demographic listing. It offers two levels of premium subscriptions. A-List members get a wide range of features, such as seeing who has read your messages and changing your username periodically. A-List Premium members get access to a few more features, like having your profile boosted or your messages appearing in a prominent spot in your match’s mailbox.

A-List subscription cost: Starting from $9.95/month

A-List Premium subscription cost: Starting from $24.90/month

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

You’re a savvy user of money-saving apps and banking apps, so why not plan a smart dating app strategy as well? As we’ve shown you above, the world is full of options — and that applies to both dating apps and the people that use them. Planning a smart approach to your dating app strategy means you’ll have the best chances of finding love and keeping your wallet as full as possible. We call that a win-win.

 

YouTube Stars Who Make Frugality Cool—and What We Can Learn from Them

Life without YouTube is like a morning without your cup of joe.

You can spend countless hours stumbling across everything from baby goat videos to makeup tutorials to the adventures of mink trainers. And, it’s far too easy to fall down a rabbit hole, engrossed in clips that speak to your curiosities – even if your interests include videos about saving money.

So, we’ve rounded up our favorite YouTube stars who make frugality cool. Chances are, you can learn a thing or two from these Internet sensations and their interesting views on money.

Tabasko Sweet

My favorite YouTube celebrity, hands-down, is Tabasko Sweet (real name: Nate Contreras) of Super Deluxe’s Cheap Thrills. The Martha Stewart of crafty homies on a budget, Tabasko has charm and a unique lexicon that instantly makes you feel like you’re part of his “fam.” Plus, you’ll learn clever hacks to replicate designer fashions for a fraction of the price. DIY Gucci belt? Or perhaps a counterfeit Louis Vuitton coin purse? Tabasko’s got you covered.

Takeaways: Tabasko has it right in my book: Frugality is the ultimate act of creativity, resourcefulness and self-expression. He’s superb at advocating just how cool it is to be frugal. His main message: You don’t have to spend a small fortune to look like a baller.

Budget Girl

We all love a good story with trials and tribulations. The Budget Girl’s YouTube channel reveals how she crushed $33,000 of debt in three years. A crowning achievement, no doubt, and The Budget Girl recounts her success with humility. From her bare-all videos that break down her budget sheets to how-tos, she offers engrossing content if you want to improve your finances.

Takeaways: Per a Federal Reserve Study, the U.S. household debt is almost $13.3 trillion. It’s safe to say that many people carry a debt load.

An advocate of Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, the Budget Girl’s ascetic ways can be a bit extreme for some. That being said, you can glean pearls of wisdom. For example, paying off debt requires focus, diligence and making trade-offs. And, after you’ve conquered your debt, guess what? You’ll develop solid habits to be judicious in your spending and grow your money.

Matt D’Avella

Documentary filmmaker and podcaster Matt D’Avella shares philosophies on being a modern-day minimalist. His hugely popular video “A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance” details the basic tenets of personal wellness: Avoid lifestyle inflation, kill debt so you can take more risks and have more options, develop a positive relationship with money, and openly talk about your finances. His simple, no-frills videos are easy to understand and info-packed.

Takeaway: The beauty of D’Avella’s minimalist approach is that it humanizes financial wellness. D’Avella once was drowning in nearly $100,000 of student debt. What’s more, he gets why you should make the effort to care about your money in the first place: To live a life based on what makes you happy.

Personal finance goes beyond crunching numbers and information. By learning how to track, spend, save, earn, and invest your money, you’ll be able to reach your financial goals.

Joanne the Scammer

Joanne the Scammer has amassed a huge following, and rightly so. Honored as being one of TIME Magazine’s “25 Most Influential People on the Internet,” Joanne the Scammer, aka Joanne Prada, boasts over 1.8 million followers on Instagram, and has provided inspo for some of the most iconic, viral memes the world has seen. (For example, scam today, before today scams you.)

Donning a luxe fur coat and bedraggled wigs, she speaks with a “caucasian” accent and brags about her acts of money crimes: credit card fraud, identity theft, and stealing from unsuspecting rich men. Joanne’s money mottos include “When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When a man hands you his wallet, you scam him.”

Takeaways: If only wealth-building was as easy as grifting rich dudes. But growing your money takes planning and discipline. You’ll need to drum up a spending and savings plan to make sure you’re on track.

One simple thing you can do today that will help you big-time down the line? You can start auto-saving. Set up auto transfers so you can pay yourself first.

And sure, you don’t want Joanne near your passwords, but there are also more serious threats to your finances: credit card fraud and identity theft.

Sorry to be a downer, but identity theft is at an all-time high. According to a study by Javelin Strategy and Research, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud in 2017. As for credit card fraud, $905 million in total fraud losses were reported in 2017, which was a 21.6% bump from 2016, according to a report from Experian.

To prevent yourself from getting scammed, set security measures in place. For instance, opt to receive phone alerts for any suspicious activity. And be sure to check your credit score. There are a handful of money apps and credit cards that offer free credit scores. Or you can order one from each of the three major consumer credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Beyond Entertainment

The YouTube stars listed here are engrossing and fun to watch. But more importantly, if you dig a little deeper, there are also some important money messages and lessons you can take away from your YouTube fix.

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