As a correspondent at TheStreet.com, Farnoosh Torabi was tired of financial-advice books that tsk-tsked her jeans splurges and offered 101 ways to spice up ramen noodles. So, at 27, she wrote
You're So Money: Live Rich Even When You're Not — full of solid advice wrapped in
Devil Wears Prada
attitude. Here, she talks us through the current economic tumult — the country's and our own.
STOP FREAKING OUT.
"Markets go up and down. Twentysomethings shouldn't be concerned about what will likely be a yearlong recession," Torabi says. If you're heavily invested in domestic stocks, you might want to switch in some foreign mutual funds or Treasury bonds. Just don't pull out of the market altogether: "Your money's safer there in the long run than in your checking account, where you'd just spend it."
STOP MAXING OUT.
To keep your credit score from tanking, Torabi suggests a 30 percent rule — use only that portion of the card's limit. Since the Fed recently slashed rates, your mail will be flooded with zero-APR card offers, but check the fine print: Many start you off with a low ($500 to $1000) credit line, so it's easy to pass that 30 percent mark and watch your score take a hit.
HAVE THE MONEY TALK WITH YOUR GUY. TODAY.
"Marriages end over money," Torabi says. So it's never too early to find out if your goals match your partner's. "I'm not suggesting you ask, 'How much bank do you make?' But say, 'How much do you think is enough for you to happily live on?' Whether he says, 'Money doesn't buy happiness' or '$300K a year, plus 15 percent bonus,' you've got your answer."
LET THE U.S. TREASURY PAY OFF YOUR AMEX.
If you have debt, put your government rebate check toward that. If you don't, put the cash into your 401K. If your 401K is fat and you're debt-free, Torabi says to follow the Fed's advice: Spend to stimulate the economy — i.e., buy that iPod Touch and feel patriotic doing it.
THREE WAYS TO SPEND CLEVER
1. SKIP THE GYM.
Dump your membership for now and re-up in the summer, when rates are lowest.
2. NEVER OPEN A BAR TAB WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD.
Tipping 15 to 20 percent when you close out comes to much more than the dollar per drink you'd drop if you paid cash.
3. SEEK OUT BYOB EATERIES.
A $10 bottle of red at the liquor store costs $29 at the restaurant; end-of-month hangover a given.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Sofia Richie Grainge's Favorite Foundation is On Sale Right Now at Sephora
There's no better time to try them than now.
By Brooke Knappenberger
Makeup Brush Sets for Creating the Perfect Looks
Options for makeup experts and beginners alike.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
Meg Bellamy of ‘The Crown’ Was Nervous to Recreate Kate Middleton’s Iconic Charity Fashion Show Walk
“I would love her to think fondly of it.”
By Rachel Burchfield
Peloton’s Selena Samuela on Turning Tragedy Into Strength
Before becoming a powerhouse cycling instructor, Selena Samuela was an immigrant trying to adjust to new environments and new versions of herself.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
This Mutual Fund Firm Is Helping to Create a More Sustainable Future
Amy Domini and her firm, Domini Impact Investments LLC, are inspiring a greater and greener world—one investor at a time.
Power Players Build on Success
"The New Normal" left some brands stronger than ever. We asked then what lies ahead.
By Maria Ricapito
Advice for Finding Your Forward From the Marie Claire Power Trip
Surmounting obstacles is just what these female founders do.
By Maria Ricapito
Don't Stress! You Can Get in Good Shape Money-wise
Yes, maybe you eat paleo and have mastered crow pose, but do you practice financial wellness?
By Sallie Krawcheck
The Book Club Revolution
Lots of women are voracious readers. Other women are capitalizing on that.
By Lily Herman
The Future of Women and Work
The pandemic has completely upended how we do our jobs. This is Marie Claire's guide to navigating your career in a COVID-19 world.
By Megan DiTrolio
Black-Owned Coworking Spaces Are Providing a Safe Haven for POC
For people of color, many of whom prefer to WFH, inclusive coworking spaces don't just offer a place to work—they cultivate community.
By Megan DiTrolio