5 Tips for Managing Single Money

martinis and your money

5 Tips for Managing Single Money

There are some people in your life that you immediately click with as soon as you meet them and I felt that way when I met Jess Garbarino of the site Every Single Dollar. We both attended Podcast Movement in Chicago in July and we just started talking and didn’t seem to stop for three days straight. So I was really excited to have her on my podcast to talk about the best ways single people can manage their finances better.

There really aren’t enough resources to help single people with their finances like there are for couples. Jess helps singles as a side hustle! This conversation is great for anyone who manages their finances alone, but couples can benefit from these tips as well!

What are we drinking?

Jess — a Cosmopolitan

Shannon — Chardonnay

Jess’s Financial Journey as a Single Woman

  • In the late 90s early 2000s when Jess was in her early twenties and in school getting her MBA in Philadelphia, she got caught up in spending money on things she really didn’t need.
  • In 2010, she visited her grandparents in South Florida and watched her grandmother balance her checkbook—Jess says she should have been an accountant with how meticulous she was.
  • Her grandparents came to America from Cuba with no degrees and no money and had to completely start over in their late 30s.
  • This experience made her realize how hard her grandparents worked and how conscious they were about managing their money; she left with a different perspective on her own spending habits.
  • She realized she had $56,000 in debt and bought Dave Ramsey’s book then signed up for a Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class.
  • In the first year she paid off $26,000 of her debt.
  • However, in 2011, her grandparents began having health issues so she decided to move to them to help take care of them.
  • Finding a job at that time was difficult and paying her mortgage became impossible so Jess ended up losing her Minnesota home she purchased in 2005.
  • Jess says the foreclosure process affected her credit and was not the “easy” way out as some people like to believe.
  • Jess eventually found a job and cut her spending drastically.
  • In March 2015, she finally paid off all of her remaining debt!
  • Jess wished she would have had someone advocating for the single person while she was struggling with her spending and debt repayment.
  • After she became debt free, she decided to start her site, Every Single Dollar.

Tips for Managing Money as a Single Person

  • Put any payments you can on autopay.
  • If you find yourself overspending in any category of your budget, take out your allotted amount in cash to help you reign in your spending.
  • Use cash to help you see exactly how much you are spending.
  • Shannon suggests a hybrid approach to using cash and credit cards together—when using a credit card for a purchase, pay yourself back that amount in cash.
  • Time management is key—a time budget can help you find extra time in your day to earn more money.
  • You have the choice to use your time spending money or earning money—now, while you are single, is the time to work hard and earn more!
  • When you are single, managing your finances is a combination of controlling your spending and working hard to further yourself and earn more.
  • It is easy to get caught up in yourself when you’re single—find a way to give back to the community and grow your “mental health” wealth.
  • Think about the risks there are when you are the only one dealing with your money—having insurance and a will are so important!
  • TAKEAWAY: As a single person, you have a unique set of challenges around managing your money. The sooner you acknowledge and create a plan around these challenges, the better off your financial picture will be no matter what your relationship status is!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite Spotify or Pandora station?
  2. Are you an appetizer or dessert person?
  3. What is a bucket list item that you definitely want to achieve?

Connect with Jess:

Website/Blog: Every Single Dollar

Twitter: @jessgarbarino

Instagram: @jessicagarbarino


What resources do you find helpful for single money?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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