Brandi Savitt is the Co-Creator/Co-Editor-In-Chief of Fabulous & Frugal, an online lifestyle and financial magazine for women. She sat down with LearnVest to answer twelve Proust Questionnaire-inspired questions about her financial experiences, her website, and her thoughts for the rest of us!
1.Best financial advice you ever got?
From my Grandmother: It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you have in the bank. Even if you make a lot of money, it doesn’t mean you’re rich. If you spend every penny you earn and never save, you will always be poor.
2. If you could change one thing about your finances, what would it be?
As an entrepreneur with a growing new business, I look forward to the very near future when we can let a notch out on our belts, and I can refuel my travel fund!
3. Biggest financial mistake you made?
There was a period of time in my early twenties when I didn’t read my credit card statement carefully enough. I always paid my American Express card in full each month, but at some point Amex added an option to my charge card, making it a credit card where I didn’t need to pay in full. Because I never read the notification regarding the offer, I never thought that the highlighted box on my statement was the minimum balance due, not the total amount owed.
It was eight months before I realized that I had a balance of $3,500 to pay off with interest accruing every day! Needless to say, I ALWAYS read my statements now with a fine-tooth comb. In fact, yesterday I found $60 dollars worth of double charges on one statement alone!
4. Biggest financial mistakes other people make?
I think many people approach their finances from a place of fear. A fear of being financially unstable puts blinders on people. For some, this manifests by avoiding small fixable issues until they become such big problems that are too overwhelming to deal with (like credit card debt, late rent or mortgage payments).
I also think many people who don’t make much money fear that they don’t have enough to save and invest so they never even look into their options. I’ve seen people with this mindset go out for dinner and drinks and drop $100 in one night without blinking an eye, and then turn around and say that they don’t make enough to save.
Fear closes our minds off from seeing reality and potential opportunities. It traps people, fueling and perpetuating their bad financial habits.
5. What is your greatest extravagance?
I live in New York City...It is shocking how much we spend on eating out and socializing with friends. And it adds up fast! I cook at home much more than I used to, but I must admit that I love to indulge in a nice meal out with friends more often than I should!
6. What is your most treasured possession?
Old family photos and my library of books that I can’t seem to part with—even after getting a Kindle.
7. What is your motto when it comes to money?
Never spend more than you have!
8. What is your greatest financial fear?
Not saving enough for retirement.
9. Who is your financial role model?
10. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’ll let you know when I find it!
11. What should people know about your site?
Fabulous & Frugal is an online lifestyle and finance magazine for all women who aspire to live well and spend wisely. Whether you’re a career girl or supermom, the Fab & Fru reader is obsessed with fashion, food, entertaining, travel, decorating, green living and most of all, how to have it all without breaking the bank!
12. What do you like best about LearnVest?
I love LearnVest’s mission to provide unbiased financial information to all women so that they can make the best financial decisions possible. The site is easy to navigate, full of fantastic personal finance tools, with easy to understand nuts and bolts advice!