Kathy Griffin has some wise insight on finances and money management. If you listen to her advice you may find yourself in a much better financial situation and if you don’t listen to her advice she my make fun of you on her show someday!
During an episode of My Life on The-D List, Kathy Griffin’s reality show, she made wise cracks about actors and actress and their finances. Kathy’s comment was that she hates it when she hears actors and actresses say, “I don’t do the ‘business thing’. I am an actor.” Kathy’s sarcastic, yet true, remark about why this bothers her is that “business thing” is PART OF YOUR JOB. You need to learn the business end of things. You, as an actor or actress, are your own business and have to run your professional life and personal finances as a business.
Think that doesn’t matter to the average Joe? The reason this is such an important point is that it is pertinent to all working people. You spend such a great deal of time working to make money but most spend so little working on how to make that money work for you.
How do you learn to handle your finances?
While all of us might not have the A-List actor/actress income to manage everyone should manage their money. The first step is Money 101: Create a Budget!
One-half of American households have accumulated less than $1,000 in “net financial assets”, the value of money in the bank, stocks, bonds and other securities after subtracting loans, credit card debts, and other secured debt
A majority of Americans in households with incomes of $35,000 or less believed that they are more likely to accumulate a $500,000 nest egg by winning a lottery or sweepstakes (40%) than by patiently saving and investing of relatively modest sums (30%).
– Project C.A.S.H.
START MANAGING YOUR MONEY BY CREATING A BUDGET
1 – KNOW YOUR TRUE INCOME
Start with the basics. Identify how much money you make.
Begin by figuring out your net paycheck and multiplying the number of checks you receive per year then divide by 12 (months in a year) or taking your annual net income and dividing it by 12 (months in a year).
If you are paid weekly $1200 then your monthly income is
$1200 x 52 (weeks in a year) = $62,400 / 12 months = $5200 per month
2 – MAKE A VERY, VERY DETAIL BUDGET
What are your actual expenses? Take a look at how you are currently spending your money. By looking at your current spending habits you can identify areas where you need to modify spending. Some “necessities” are often luxuries we like to think of as necessities (morning coffee, dining out, new shoes for every new outfit, etc).
It is smart to evaluate your current spending and set goals that take into account your financial goals. Once you’ve set your budget, STICK TO IT and track your spending to make sure it stays within the guidelines you’ve established.
It is important to detail every standard monthly expenditure you have.
Be realistic on how much you actually spend. Look at how much you spent last month these items and you may be surprised.
Here is a sample list of expenses:
Savings – 10% of income (remember PAY YOURSELF FIRST!)
Mortgage or Rent
Home Owners Association
DSL or Highspeed Internet
Home Office Supplies
Club or Membership Fees/Dues
Shoes & Accessories
Entertainment (movies, theater, amusement parks, etc.)
Credit Card Payments
Second/Third Mortgage Payment
Boat, Motorhome, Time Share Payment(s)
If you have children
Sports, classes or club fees
School expenses (formals, pictures, uniforms, etc.)
Special Savings (see #3 for more explanation)
Include any items omitted from the above list that you spend money on
***NOTE: Now that you know how much you spend each month SPEND SMARTER. Make changes to your budget and change your spending habits to be able to save monthly.***
3 – THINGS YOU NEED TO PLAN FOR BUT USUALLY OVERLOOK
There are items in your budget that come up irregularly but will inevitably come up. Things like new tires, vacations, Christmas, etc. If you have not created a separate savings budget to plan for these items you will soon find yourself overbudget and in a jam.
Know the “Special Savings” figure you actually NEED to save each month.
This list will include the cost of the following:
Car maintenance such as new tires, oil changes, brakes, etc.
Christmas Expenses, gifts, etc.
If you own a home:
Home repairs or maintenance costs (water heater, roof leak, etc)
4 – SAVE, SAVE & SAVE MORE
Whatever method of savings works best for you, DO IT. Even if it a jar on the dresser you fill with money, a savings account, whatever. Take 10% of your earnings and pay yourself first, meaning save. This money will not only build a cushion for emergencies but will help you sleep better knowing you have a little stashed away should something come up unexpectedly.
It will also create the habit of saving and budgeting will lead to smarter spending, which in the years to come will develop into a solid future.
Even if you finish you spending and savings budget and it is more than you make it is a starting point. 40% of Americans live on 110% of their annual income! Don’t be one of them. Cut back expenses or find more income. It is better to have to tackle your finances than to not even know you have a problem.
More sophisticated money management, such as investments, can be tackled later. Start with getting the basics in and working!