“The Budgetnista” Tiffany Aliche’s 10 tips for becoming good with money

The child shakes money from a piggy bank while the parent looks and smiles.

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Check out some money basics from “your financial preschool teacher”.


Key points

  • Most Americans don’t get a good financial education in childhood.
  • Tiffany Aliche grew up around honest and open conversations about money, which helped her when she ran into financial problems.
  • It has 10 solid tips for improving your money management skills.

Tiffany Aliche is a financial educator, writer and podcast host called “The Budgetnista”. Tiffany grew up in a family where she discussed money openly and freely, and she soon found success in saving money and buying a home in her twenties while she worked as a preschool teacher. Unfortunately, she later ran into difficulties with her job and her debts and had to rebuild her financial life from scratch. Now, her mission is to teach Americans financial skills, with an emphasis on young people (and in fact she has called herself “your financial preschool teacher”). Thanks to Tiffany’s efforts, her home state of New Jersey now has A1414, “The Budgetnista Law”. Requires middle school students to receive financial literacy in New Jersey schools.

Tiffany has 10 steps to “getting good with money”. They aim to outline the basics of good money management and then expand on the fundamentals.

1. Construction of the budget

Not only do you need a budget, you also need the right bank accounts and automations (like automatic payment and direct deposit) to support that budget. Without a budget, it will be harder to see where your money is going and where you can save and learn how to spend better.

2. Save as a squirrel

Tiffany believes the often repeated financial advice that you should have at least three months’ worth of expenses in your savings account, in case of an emergency. You also need to save for other financial goals, such as investing.

3. Dig out of debt

To get out of debt, you need to know how much you owe and to whom. So you can make a plan to get out of it and use online bill payment and automatic payment to do it.

4. High score

Did you know that you can request three free copies of your credit report per year, one from each of the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax)? Your bank may also offer credit monitoring. Tiffany Aliche says you should aim for a credit score of 740 or higher.

5. Learn to earn

Tiffany also tells people to invest in themselves by tracking their skills and contributions at work and using that information to get a raise. You can also take a side fuss and bring in more money using these skills.

6. Invest like an insider

Investing for retirement is another key money move. Tiffany notes that it’s all about understanding what your goals are, making a plan to invest, and being on hand with your money so it grows.

7. Get good with insurance

Adequate insurance coverage is critical to your financial security. You should make sure you have the right type of coverage for your life and situation, including life insurance, which is not required, as car and home insurance often is, but is still a smart purchase for your peace of mind.

8. Get rich

Tiffany claims to learn how to calculate your net worth and then make a plan to increase it based on your financial goals. This should be a monthly exercise in your overall money management plan.

9. Choose your money team

Having the right financial professionals on your side during this process is vital to your success. These can include a financial planner, certified public accountant, insurance broker, and wealth planning attorney.

10. Leave a legacy

Tiffany notes that no matter how many resources you have, you need to have a plan for what will happen to them after you leave. Take stock of your assets (real estate, stock portfolio, even personal items like valuable jewelry) and work with a lawyer to figure out where they will go.

Budgetnista’s tips hit most of the financial foundations that many of us, unfortunately, didn’t learn in school. The first five will help you with the basics, while the last five focus on helping you maintain and grow wealth. Many people have had to find their own way when it comes to personal finance, and it’s hard to find someone who can’t tell at least one financial regret. Tiffany Aliche’s financial advice is grounded, accurate and achievable and her advice is worth considering.

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