#GrownWoman: 10 Money Matters to Master Now

Girl, get your finances together!


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Step Up Your Finance Game! - You work hard, you slay, but what do you have to show for it at the end of the day? Look: You’re getting too old to not be on top of your money. Here are some finance lessons you need to learn now, before it’s too late. By Kellee Terrell(Photo: Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Step Up Your Finance Game!

First, a Man Is Never a Financial Plan - Some women can marry way up and be set up for life. Cute for them. But for the rest of us, if you want financial security, you are going to have to work for it — and for a long time. And why not make your own destiny? That’s how it should be. (Photo: Zave Smith/Corbis)

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First, a Man Is Never a Financial Plan

Balance Your Checkbook - Granted, nowadays we don’t use checkbooks as much, but too many of us are swiping those debit cards and not really checking our accounts each week. You need to know what’s coming versus what’s coming out, and quite frankly, not knowing just isn’t cute. (Photo: David A Land/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Balance Your Checkbook

Budget, Budget, Budget - How will you know what you can afford if you don't budget? Without a budget, you will overspend and find yourself relying on credit cards, when you don't have to. Remember: the key is bringing in more coins than you are dishing out to live. That way you can save and get ahead. For many of us, that means crunching the numbers. (Photo: Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Budget, Budget, Budget

Save, Save, Save - It's hard to save thousands of dollars if you aren't making that much, but you do need something for a rainy day. So start small; even if it's only $50 a week you throw in that account, that's better than nothing. Think: At the end of the year you'll have $2,600.(Photo: Wavebreak Media Ltd./Corbis)

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Save, Save, Save

Pay Your Bills on Time - Miss that credit card payment last month? Not a big deal? WRONG. Every time you pay your bills late (especially student loans, credit cards, utility bills, rent, etc), it lowers your credit rating, which can impact your ability to get a loan, an apartment/house and even a job. Stop playing with those due dates!(Photo: Blend Images/Corbis)

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Pay Your Bills on Time

Need vs. Want - One way to keep up with your budget is to practice self-control. We know you work hard, but that doesn't mean you can have everything you want. Splurge on those Beyoncé tour tickets, fine, but recognize that in order to be financially stable down the road you have to say, "no," more often than not.  (Photo: Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Need vs. Want

Stop Listening to Other People - Granted, we're giving you sound financial advice, so this isn't to say not to listen to anyone. However, be weary of folk who are trying to make you buy a house or invest in the stock market, and you know you aren't ready for all that. Finances and investments aren’t a race, you will get there in time.  (Photo: Mark Hunt/Corbis)

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Stop Listening to Other People

Stop Ignoring Your Debt - On one hand, your debt shouldn't consume your thoughts, but you shouldn't be blasé about it either. Accepting it and being proactive on how to tackle it is key. And, paying the minimum every month is not the way. Make a real plan that includes paying more towards your debt each month and set deadlines.  (Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Stop Ignoring Your Debt

Every Year, Ask for a Raise - First, Black women already make 64 cents to the dollar that a white man makes. Now add in the fact that every year the cost of living increases. Without a raise, getting ahead gets more and more difficult. So every year, suck up any fears you may have and advocate for why you need a raise.  (Photo: Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Every Year, Ask for a Raise

Don’t Beat Yourself Up - If you have $5,000 in credit cards and owe $60K in student loans, that can weigh heavy on you. But instead of beating yourself up about being "irresponsible," look at your credit cards as a learning lesson and your education as a necessity. Just know that you have to be more mature and step up in order to pay that debt down and fix your credit.  (Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up