If you don’t already know Erin Lowry for her practical money management advice, now is the time to change that. Her easy-to-understand approach to finances has re-shaped the way tens of thousands of people now set and reach their financial goals. As someone who’s devoted much time to help people get out of debt, I appreciate her ability to make complex financial areas easily understandable for any audience.
Recently, Erin Lowry has been active in her Instagram community allowing her followers to “Ask Me Anything”. I found her advice on the AMAs both refreshing, unbiased, and also highly relevant to the creative community. You can learn more about Erin and about money and investing through her AMA’s below.
Erin Lowry is the author of Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together and just released her follow up book Broke Millennial Takes On Investing. As a special book-tour experience Erin will be returning to CreativeLive to help beginners learn how to invest! In this class, Erin will go in-depth to help creatives create an investment plan, build net worth through stocks, and create short, medium and long term financial goals.
What is your degree in?
I double majored in theatre and journalism.
Is your husband’s name really peach or a nickname?
It’s a nickname. It’s actually tied to his real name. I call him that in real life as do a lot of his friends and even coworkers. I was anonymous years ago when I started this whole thing, which is why he had a moniker too.
How did you and Peach get on the same page about money?
A lot of talking! And notably, we don’t always agree on strategies and have to compromise on financial goals, which is a-okay.
Our game plan for handling money has changed so many times because our relationship went from college kids to long distance to unequal incomes to living together and finally, to married.
Learning how to effectively communicate about money is critical, but that doesn’t mean always having the same opinions. It is about active listening, compromising and touching base frequently.
I would love to know some free date ideas. I always feel pressure to spend on dates.
- Free tours
- Hiking/walk in the park or getting lost together wandering a new area of your city
- Free hours at museums
- Cooking a fancy meal together
- Teaching each other a new skill
About Money and Investing:
Do you know any short term tricks towards developing healthy financial habits?
- Nickname your savings accounts to something really specific. This help remind you why your saving and reduces your temptation to skim a little
- Push up the amount you save by 0.5% to 1% every 3 months until you reach your goal. This slow boil method helps you achieve without feeling too much of a pinch.
Mid 20s/starving artist applying for first credit card. Any tips?
You may have to start with a secured card (aka a credit card with training wheels). You put down a refundable deposit (usually around $200) that acts as your line of credit. Make one or two very small purchases each month and pay the bill on time and in full.
Once your score is strong, you can get a regular credit card and close the secured card and get back your deposit. Just make sure it’s a secured card with no annual or crazy start up fees!
As a freelancer, how much should I have saved at certain age benchmarks?
The benchmarks can be scary and it’s not different for freelancers. In fact, I argue it’s more important for us to be aggressive because no one else is helping. Benchmark example: having 1x your salary invested for retirement by 30
Personally, I love a good benchmark as motivation, but if it freaks you out then focus on just always improving your own game year over year. The way I save for retirement is increasing how much I set aside for taxes.
The rule of them is 30% set aside from each paycheck for taxes. I do 45%! Each and every paycheck. It makes sure I have enough for federal, state and nyc tax (we get a special extra one) and then the leftovers, after I pay taxes, go into my retirement account.
Start with 35% and try increasing by 1% every few months until you hit your goal.
Learn more in Erin Lowry’s new CreativeLive class or if you’re in the Seattle area join Erin Lowry and Chelsea Fagan, of The Financial Diet, for their book signing at the CreativeLive office on April 25th at 5:00 pm PDT, 228 Dexter Avenue North Seattle, WA 98109. Register here.