Nicole Lapin is the star of the CW's new business competition reality show "Hatched."
Lapin became an overnight success last year with her instant New York Times bestseller Rich Bitch: A Simple 12 Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together...Finally. She shares her tips on how to budget like a pro.
1. Break down to 3 Es- essentials, endgame and extras:
I like to break down all expenses into 3 E's: Essentials (spending to live now–think housing, food, gas, transportation– 70% of your budget should be going to this), Endgame (spending for the future–think savings–15% of your monthly budget should be going to this) and Extras (spending for fun, mani/pedi, drinks out with the girls, etc.–15%.)
2. Allow for small indulgences
A financial diet is like a regular diet: crash-dieting rarely works, and only leads to binging. Allow yourself the small indulgences–lattes, lipstick, a Netflix subscription–while keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Everything in moderation, including moderation!
3. No more than 35 percent on housing
A home is one of your largest expenses, so what you decide to spend will have the greatest impact on the rest of your Spending Plan, a.k.a. what else you can do in life. Spend more than 35% on housing and you'll have to be cutting back elsewhere. It might feel awesome to get an insane place that's half your salary, but it's not so awesome when you're there eating Ramen with no electricity.
4. Label your savings accounts
So much about saving is having your eyes on the prize and keeping your goals tangible. Labeling various savings accounts reminds you what you're saving for–even if it's something little like "Fixing my broken iPhone" (yes, that's an actual account I have.) Start one for Gift Spending 2016, so you don't derail your Spending Plan when the holidays arrive.
5. Don't forget charges like subscriptions when accounting for what's going out:
In order to really get a clear financial selfie, you have to know everything you're spending money on (yes, even your Spotify and Netflix subscriptions) to get an idea of what's working and what isn't, and where you can be more efficient. Cancel anything you're not using, or look for cheaper alternatives.
6. Make more so you don't have to save more- get your side hustle on
Because the more you make, the more you can save and the less you have to worry. Into sports? Ref high school games on weekends. Wanna make it as a writer? Try your hand at paid online reviews or on freelancing sites like eLance. Like to get your craft on? Sell your homemade jewelry on Etsy. These are great ways to indulge your passion projects while making a little extra coin on the side.
7. Don't hide anything from your partner
Get it all out on the table, so you can plan happily and transparently for the future. Money is THE numero uno reason for relationship strife. So be proactive vs. reactive by remembering to talk openly and honestly about your finances regularly. And keep "yours" "mine" and "ours" accounts: yours will cover his expenses like that dudes trip to Vegas or boxing classes; mine for personal expenditures like your monthly mani/pedi or gym membership; and ours for household expenses, or other shared expenses like a pet.