Updated: Feb 5
Disclaimer: My advice isn't bible or law, do what you want with the gems that I'm dropping today.
“When you look good, you feel good.”
If you’ve seen me in my real life or on the gram, then you know my nails and toes are always done and my wig collection is fruitful. One of my besties jokes with me all the time and says despite the hard times you’ve had, you always have your nails done and if I ever see you without the nails on then we’re having a coming to Jesus meeting. She’s absolutely right; life be lifing, but I don’t believe in looking bad just because life is on my ass.
Looks aren’t everything but when you step outside you need to look put together. Furthermore, I don’t believe we’re brought into this world to pay bills and die. Therefore despite the financially hard moments I’ve had, I still get my monthly maintenance done and I’m notorious for booking a flight when I need a break from reality. Is this arguably irresponsible, yes it is, but if America is over their debt limit tell me why should I keep being stressed and depressed over some bills that always manage to get paid regardless.
I’m not encouraging anybody to be irresponsible, but working 24/7 and just paying bills gets tiresome and sometimes you need to treat yourself. Don’t treat yourself as frequently as I do, but there’s some ways to still be a baddie on a budget.
Here’s some advice on how I’ve managed to be down bad financially, but I still look and partially live like I’m that girl.
Find a side hustle. CNA, Serving/Bartending, Doordash, Uber/Lyft, Instacart, etc are all positions that have a fast hiring process and instant money. Most of my 20’s have involved a part-time job because I love to travel, I love to go shopping and having self-care days, and I thoroughly enjoy driving an Infiniti. Contrary to social media, living a certain lifestyle requires a certain income. Also these side hustles are a quick way to make fast money when shit hits the fan. Being a server at Red Lobster when I was 24 is how I paid off $7k of credit card debt and I’ll never forget right before quarantine I made $1,000 in a week (big money, I like that lol). Then I literally survived chapter 25 by serving and bartending at Red Lobster. Another example is two of my friends have their CNA licenses and whenever they need to they’re always able to find an agency and run up the bag. Another one of my friends hasn’t worked since 2020, and she relies on doordash and instacart to make money. We live in a fucked up society, but there’s ways to make money if you need it. Personally, bartending and being a travel CNA is where the biggest bag is at. One key to surviving hard times and just surviving in your 20’s is getting a side hustle you can work as frequently as you want. Another side hustle that I’m about to tap into is digital products (the product is dropping soon). Get on Youtube, learn some shit, and get in your bag.
Utilize a payment plan. When I was 22 years old, payment plans weren’t a thing but since 2019 there’s unlimited payment options such as Afterpay, Paypal, Sezzle, Quadpay, Klarna, etc. These payment plans are the upgraded form of layaway, have it now, pay it off later. These payment methods are how I’ve been able to travel, buy clothes, get a new wig, etc.
Go out during happy hour. A lot of restaurants have happy hour during the week and some type of special on the weekends. When I was getting out of debt one of my favorite places to frequent was Applebee’s. They had half off appetizers after 9pm and a monthly drink for $1. To all the baddies, whenever you go to the bar somebody’s son is bound to buy you a drink, I’ve experienced this several times. Also as a female we can finesse the game and go out without spending our own money, me and one of my besties did that shit frequently during the 2017-2018 era. Just because you're experiencing trying times doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to eat out or enjoy a good drink.
Get an open line of credit. One mistake I made in 2017 was running up credit cards. Credit cards aren’t bad if you use them the right way. However if you don’t pay off the balance or you surpass the interest free time period then that interest will eat your bank account up. If you need to finance something or need a certain amount of money immediately then I’d suggest an open end loan and preferably financing one from a credit union. Credit unions offer lower interest rates and an open ended loan gives you flexibility to borrow and pay back money as much as you need too with minimal interest. Open ended loans are also a good way to build credit without getting a credit card.
Buy a black dress. I’m sure you’ve heard of the LBD which is the little black dress and the aunties weren’t lying when they said that you needed one. Black is classic and can be worn to any event. Black is also a color that can be worn multiple times and people wouldn’t notice that you had on that same outfit 2 events ago. I got a gift card to Forever 21 in 2016, and I brought a black sweater dress. I have that dress till this day and that’s my winter LBD. Ideally you need to invest in a summer and winter LBD so no matter what the weather or occasion is you can still put that shit on. Furthermore this dress can also be your go-to outfit that looks good on you whether you're feeling fat, if you’ve lost weight, etc .Prioritize getting a black dress immediately, thank me later.
Invest in a black wig. Wigs are by far the greatest blessing when you're going through it financially. Hairstylists have lost their minds and thanks to Youtube University you can learn to install a closure or lace frontal in less than 30 minutes. Once again black is classy and a black wig can go with any outfit. There’s something about a black bust down that makes you feel and look like that girl. Amazon has great wigs ranging from $80-$150, and UNice has fire ass wigs as well and they offer a payment plan. Stop stressing about your hair and invest in a quality black wig.
Do your own maintenance. Shout out to Youtube University again and Tiktok for showing the girls how to do their own maintenance. Press on nails are bomb, and a great substitute if you can’t afford the nail salon. Personally I’m going to go to the nail salon regardless, but make better choices than me by buying some press on nails. You can also do a basic acrylic set if press ons aren’t your thing. Another unnecessary expense is getting your lashes done. Lashes are by far the most expensive and time consuming beauty maintenance. Save the $120 and get some strip lashes from the hair store for under $10. Another investment is getting gel polish on your toes. Gel polish lasts longer and you wouldn’t need another pedicure for at least 2 months. You can also do a pedicure at home by purchasing the materials from Five Below or Amazon. Another maintenance hack is to schedule an appt. when there’s a special. Most nail techs or nail salons offer specials on certain days and 90% of wax techs have a wax special that offer one day a week. Stop looking homeless and get yourself together sis.
Flex. I told y’all there’s payment plans for everything which also includes your rent. I haven’t done this before but I’ve heard nothing but good reviews regarding the Flex app. It’s a payment system that you can apply and get approved for based on your credit. If you're approved and your apartment complex is linked with them then you can guarantee your rent will be paid on time and the app allows you to pay back your rent in interest free payments. This app is also good for building credit. Even if your complex doesn’t accept Flex pay there’s typically some payment system that can help you pay your rent on time and don’t forget to utilize the grace period that the complex gives you before you get charged a late fee.
Skip your car payment. This tip isn’t the smartest thing to do in the long run but when money is tight it’s the most logical thing to do. Most banks or financial institutions allow customers to skip a car payment once a year. Utilize this option as a last resource.
Payment extensions. Most companies whether it’s the electricity, car, internet, etc. will work out payment arrangements if you explain your situation and damn near all companies are more lenient since COVID happened. Utilize this option before you get late fees or get a service turned off and have to worry about a reconnection fee. Nothing is glamorous about sitting in the dark.
Find a hobby. All baddies need a hobby outside of looking good and making money. Figure out a way to decompress from reality. Having a hobby is also a way to enjoy your own company without needing your friends, a man, or somebody else around you 24/7. This blog started out as a hobby and grew into something greater. Your hobby can also turn into a side hustle or form of income.
Learn something about finances. It’s hard to stay positive when the odds are stacked against you but you need to keep your spirits lifted and you need to find the time and energy to understand why your financial situation is what it is. Read or listen to a finance book (some recommendations are on my Amazon store). Listen to a podcast or Youtube video regarding money. Be honest with yourself when you evaluate how you got into this financial bind and make an action plan. If you're an overspender it’s time to figure out why and where you're overspending and make better financial choices. A lot of finance books recommend a budget and that may work for some people. I’ve realized that I like to live a certain way and I don’t want to downgrade so my only option is to make more money or keep bartending part-time, period. If you continue to have more expenses than income then it’s time to get a part-time job, side hustle, or apply for a higher paying job. Stop ignoring your finances and get on your shit. Also if you’ve never managed a certain amount of money before you still need some financial guidance so you don’t blow a bag and don’t have shit to show for it.
Utilize other resources such as your parents, your man, the church missionary, coupons, etc. I used to be prideful, but not anymore. If you have people in your life that’s willing to help you please take the help. You don’t win a bigger prize or accolade by struggling and suffering because you're too embarrassed to ask for help or you've brought into the stupid ass mentality of let me struggle and come up on my own.
I hope my advice has been helpful and I want to see all the baddies winning. Check out this money affirmation video on Youtube, https://youtu.be/VFFdjm1qJAg and consider making and committing to realistic financial goals for 2023. Being a broke bitch isn’t cute and I hate to say this, but why should somebody’s son finance your life or trust you with money when you don’t know how to manage or maintain money.
Personally, I want to work on making more money and maintaining money this year, as well as be intentionally about saving up a fuck it fund and 3 months of living expenses.
Here’s some financial baddies you can follow as well
IG: Moneybossmama: get money coach for single moms
IG: Thebrokeblackgirl: one of my favs and the person who encourages women to have a fuck it fund account
Of course I got a money playlist for y'all too https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/money-mindset/pl.u-oZyl3PluoYoval
“Whatever you're not changing, you're choosing. Remember that.”
Before you go,
In honor of being a baddie and Valentine’s Day coming up you should check out the wig section and financial book recommendations on my Amazon storefront, https://www.amazon.com/shop/ericanicole
UNice is having a wig sale this month and they have different payment plans. Invest in a black middle part bust down.