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Women's Financial Empowerment

The “Queen of Frugal” Shares Top Tips for Life on a Budget

Photo: Courtesy of Jylare Smith

There was a time when Jordan Page had no savings. Her family had racked up $15,000 in credit card debt and had limited income. By cutting back on expenses and searching for deals, she turned things around dramatically. Now an influencer with over 500,000 YouTube subscribers, she offers her tips on how other women can do the same:

Understand how to budget

Page, a social media personality and mother of six, says to first determine your actual take-home income, and write down 70 percent of that figure. This is your budget for the mortgage, bills, and other expenses. Savings should be 20 percent of your monthly income, with the remaining used to invest, tithe, or pay off debt.

Keep it simple

Don’t focus on having eight to 10 or more budgets to manage per week. “Give yourself a set budget amount each week, then spend it how you see fit,” Page says. Some weeks you may need most of your cash for groceries, while other times you might use it for baby shower decorations or taking your kids to the zoo.

Adopt the envelope budget system

Limit yourself to two spending categories each week. “Add up everything you spend money on weekly that doesn’t include bills, utilities, emergencies, and medical,” Page says. “Remove what you spend on the first category (like food and essentials) and give yourself a reasonable budget to cover everything else. Keep track of it in one envelope, like an old-school check register, and keep all receipts in the envelope.”

Beware of the sneak attacks

Page says it’s the $1, $10, and $20 decisions we make daily that ultimately decide our quality of life. Think twice before indulging in pricey cups of coffee, frequent takeout meals, and monthly subscriptions.

Don’t rely on clipping coupons

Just because you appreciate a good deal, know how to find one, or stock up on items that are on sale doesn’t make you frugal. “Being frugal is cooking at home and eating leftovers because you’d rather use that money to build your financial future,” Page says.

Recognize value

Cut-rate isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, learning how to save up for, and invest in, a top-quality item is ultimately more frugal than buying the cheapest version of something.

Limit using plastic

If you have an outstanding balance on a credit card, literally freeze the card in water and don’t touch it until the balance is paid off. Once your spending is under control, find a card that gives cash back — not points or flight miles.

Take control

Don’t dismiss budgeting as too complicated or a hassle. “I can either ignore budgeting, resent money, scrape by, and limp along forever, or hit it head-on, make it my own, find how to make it exciting and bearable, and find what works,” Page says. “I can actually live the life of my dreams without having to win the lottery.”

Cindy Riley, [email protected]

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