Live Like a Rich Girl (on Less)

Image by sushi♥ina via Flickr.

If I was a rich girl. Na-na – na-na-na-na-na – na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na , Say I’d have all the money in the world…

OK, we’re sorry in advance if that song gets stuck in your head, but now that we have your attention, take stock of these four tips to keep you living like you’re a rich girl even if you’re on an intern’s paycheck.

1. Take Stock of What You Have

Once you realize where your money goes each month you’ll feel on top of things. Sign up for one of the free money tracker website’s like mint.com — it’s easy, you’ll just enter information from all your accounts (loans, credit cards, debit card, etc) and the site will automatically update with every transaction you make. It’s like a personal assistant-secretary without having to actually pay someone to do it.

2. Live on a Budget

Setting a budget is easy, sticking to it — not so much. But it’s simple (trust us) just download one of the cheap apps that will keep your spending in check. One of our favorites? Spend — at .99 cents the price is right and it’s actually useful. After you set budgets for various categories (think food, clothing, vacation) the app displays what you can literally spend for the day, week, or month in each category. As soon as you spend in a category, the app deducts the amount and you’re updated with a current view of your budget.

3. Maximize Your Pay

Does your company offer FSA (Flexible Spending Account) — most large corporations and smaller companies with external HR groups do. If you’ve got access to one take advantage! With FSA you’ll put pretax dollars from your salary into the account and then you’ll use it to pay for health related products or services like a doctors appointment, contact lenses or even acupuncture. For example, a woman making $50,000 a year who puts $2,500 in her FSA could get a tax savings of $625. You’re using the FSA money for stuff you would have already had to purchase or pay for — so basically you’re getting $625 that you wouldn’t have had before!

4. Pay Your Bills

Sounds easy, right? But so many people fall victim to late fees and end up with bad credit because a simple phone bill goes unnoticed. If your bank account doesn’t offer bill pay reminders, create an e-mail account with calendar alerts three days before the bill is due — with a free service like Gmail – for electronic bill-delivery.

How does your financial outlook compare to other U.S. Women? Take a look at these figures from Marie Claire of ladies ages 18 to 34:

2.3 credit cards per woman

43% have credit-card debt of $10,000 or more

23% saved up at least three months’ expenses (compared with 34% of men)

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