Meet Bella Livingstone: a 24-year-old pastry chef who was able to build a successful career in the food industry with zero financial help. After moving out of her house at just 18, Bella was forced to get serious about her money—and fast. Bella’s best money tips:
Your financial mistakes do not define you.
“If I could go back and give my younger self some advice, I would say, ’Chin up, kid. Even though everyone thinks you’re really irresponsible now, it’s going to do a total 180. You’re going to be by far the most responsible person in your whole family, by a large margin.”
Avoid comparing your finances to others.
“I was seeing other people being so subsidized by their parents, and them just doing it so lovingly and easily. Some part of me was like, ‘My parents just don’t love me like that.’ That’s not the case, it’s just my parents didn’t have the income to do that.”
As your income grows, don’t get carried away.
“Your mentality changes once you have money. Especially if you haven’t had it before. I started feeling like I could afford more things. It’s always been a little bit of a back and forth of like, ‘No, you can’t actually afford that.’ Since having a steady job, I’ve never put myself in a situation where I was in trouble with money. I feel like I have my intense struggles with money to thank that. It’s made me more cautious.”
Tracking your spending can be a powerful urge to save.
“It was exciting to watch my savings grow. Every time I’d get a paycheck, I would allot a certain amount to my savings, and calculate how much I could have, in whatever amount of time, if I kept saving. I would probably look at my bank statement every other day or every three days or something, roughly.”