Achieve Financial Stability
Make a monthly budget and stick to it
This is especially important if your monthly income tends to fluctuate based on client appointments. Instead of splurging during the busy months and scrimping during the slow ones, come up with a fixed budget you can stick to every month. Start with your fixed costs (mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance, etc), and add in costs that vary (groceries, medical expenses, going out, shopping, etc). Download the following template to help you get started.
Avoid sneaky expenses that add up
Stop using ATM machines that charge you a fee. Ask your credit card companies about lowering their interest rates (especially if you've been a loyal customer). If not, try to carry a balance only on the lowest interest rate cards. Cook at home more, and even pack a lunch when possible. Without having to change your life drastically, you could easily save a couple hundred dollars every month by taking these steps.
Set up a direct deposit to your savings account
The easiest way to save is to make it automatic. Have a set amount automatically deducted from your paycheck or checking account so that you never even see it (except as the number in your savings account gets bigger!).
Being on a budget doesn't have to mean denying yourself every pleasure. You can still take a vacation with your friends, invest in education for yourself, or treat yourself to a new set of tools or appliances. Do it responsibly by reviewing your budget and figuring out how to work the expenses in without going into debt - savings is a great place to start.
Plan for the future
The earlier you start stashing away money into a retirement fund, the more funds you will have by the time you hit retirement age. If your salon owner provides a 401K plan, max out that benefit (it's a good one.). Otherwise work with a financial adviser to figure out a plan of your own - ask your friends or family to recommend a reputable financial advisor or look online for well-established financial advising companies in your area. Interview a few before you choose one.