Written by Penelope Farthing
There is a lot of chat of securing bags and “Get money sis!” in these streets when it comes to relationships. These are definitely good goals to shoot for, but sadly not everyone can marry Mike the Millionaire or Barry the Billionaire (no matter what his race). However, you don’t have to be raking in a six+ figure salary to live well (but it helps, no lie there). Additionally, not because you’re married means that your level up process ends; leveling up in your life should happen at all times, even when you feel like you’ve “made it”.
However, there are ways you can level up, stretch those dollars and cents, and still live comfortably on an average salary. Here are a few things you can consider:
All the world’s richest billionaires don’t have more than four children, and they have more wealth than many countries’ GDP. Personally I see myself only having one child, but as twins run in my family, things might change. Children are expensive, and if you are dedicated to giving the best life your funds permit, that may mean having one child or delaying parenthood altogether.
There are many benefits to marriage, and certainly benefits to the children born in wedlock. However, being married doesn’t automatically mean you should start popping out babies, either. If you have doubts about the parent you might be, or about parenting in general, do all you can to prevent unwanted children, even in wedlock. Remember, you are free to be childfree.
If you want to take that European vacation, it will more than likely be cheaper to go in the winter months (November to February or thereabouts). It’ll be cold, so pack a coat. In addition to the benefits to your wallet, winter vacations generally means less crowds to contend with as you try and get your photos with the Eiffel Tower in the background, or holding up the leaning tower of Pisa with clever photography angles. Cruises around Spring Break will cost you a pretty penny, so instead, set sail in the late summer/early fall time. However, not because you’re saving money by traveling in off-peak times means you should go on vacation in the first place. If you can’t afford the cost up front, it would serve you better to continue saving until you can, rather than go into debt for a good time.
Everybody wants to buy a house that comes ready made with four bedrooms, two and half bathrooms, and even a white picket fence to boot. But what is the point of having your dream house when it is just a stone’s throw away from the bad side of town? It may mean downsizing or giving up the dreams of the west facing windows, but long term it is better to get a house that needs a little work in the best neighborhood you can afford, rather than a mansion in the ghetto.
If you have a green thumb, or need a new hobby, why not take up gardening? There’s something very rewarding about eating food that you cultivated yourself, and even more so, you can be satisfied that pesticides and other nasty chemicals are not contaminating what you eat!
I believe every woman, regardless of marital status, should have a little side hustle. By side hustle I don’t mean leaving your 9am to 5pm to start at your 7pm to 3am because you are financially struggling. I mean something you can do, ideally from home, that doesn’t take a whole lot of time or effort, and nets you a little fun money. It could be event planning, or photography, or, if you’re comfortable, there is still a market for black lady bloggers in niche markets. I personally am tired of black women earning their claim to fame on YouTube gluing 26-inch wigs to their foreheads and using makeup as a mask. I’m not denying their talent, but the market is saturated. I would welcome seeing more black women in fitness, business, coding, or other non-hair and makeup creative endeavors.
Money is a leading cause of divorce, and if you didn’t manage to snag an heir or a millionaire, more than likely there will be some difficult conversations about money to be had. Hold on to more of your money by avoiding the urge to keep up with the Joneses and leave the credit cards alone! If you can’t buy it cash when you see it in-store or online…that means you can’t afford it! If you are in debt, make sure that you prioritize paying them off, ideally starting with the highest interest rates and snowballing them from there. You may want the latest car or gadget, but there is something so satisfying about not having a car payment (even if your car is older than all your friends’ vehicles) and having that credit card statement say $0 month after month.
What tips do you have for leveling up on an average income? Do share in the comments below!