You may not have to give up latte to get yourself into a savings state of mind. It might even help if you choose to spend some money on things that bring you joy. Manisha Thakor ’92, director of wealth strategies for women at the financial firm Buckingham, shared her wisdom with Wellesley seniors at a panel sponsored by the Center for Work and Service. She advised them to pay for “needs” first—food, shelter, student loans—and save 20 percent of what’s left, right from the beginning. Some dos and don’ts:
DON’T be swayed by media images. The “average” lifestyle conveyed is misleading.
DON’T drive more car than you can afford.
DO save—even $5 a week. “Every dollar you save in your 20s is five times more powerful than the dollar you save in your 40s,” Thakor says.
DO keep a spending journal. At the end of the month, highlight everything that didn’t give you joy and try to eliminate it. But if it gave you joy, you might want to keep buying it.
“The joy factor gives you something to use on a personal basis to make decisions,” says Thakor.