Here’s a tough question for you! It’s one most people don’t stop to think about. And that’s either because it’s not looked upon as a certainty in their life, and so why should they worry about it – or, it’s the elephant in the room that they don’t want to admit is actually there, even when they know it should be addressed.
Here’s the question – in two parts. “If you stopped working today, with no source of income coming in – how long could you survive? And if your spouse passed away today – how long can you survive financially, at your current standard of living?”
The good news is, women today, are becoming more empowered about their finances. You may have heard the phrase ‘money doesn’t buy happiness,’ – (who hasn’t right)? The person who said it likely had a lot of money too. But they aren’t completely wrong.
“Having money is not everything, but not having it… is.”– Kanye West –
Of course we don’t recommend taking financial advice from a rapper either, but he makes a good point.
One of the reasons we are still seeing women getting into trouble financially however, is because they are not properly prepared. And if a financial crisis were to hit them – 1: they would have to deal with the immediate emotional pain and loss. And 2: they’re now expected to manage money they never managed before. Oftentimes women don’t know how to do that, and that’s not to say that women in general can’t cope – rather that women need to step forward, get educated about investing, and begin to make changes for themselves in the context of… ‘what if.’
So, what can we do TODAY?
First and foremost, we can take charge – then act. No more placing our heads in the sand believing it will never happen to us. Maybe it won’t. By taking steps today to ensure that it doesn’t, however, could be the most important decision we can make right now for ourselves, our family, and our peace of mind.
Here are 10 of the best ways you can begin the journey toward a financially healthy tomorrow. There are many more of course – but for the purpose of this exercise, we believe these will create a solid foundation for you to build upon.
1: Get educated. Speak with someone who is qualified to give you the advice you need going forward. Family and friends will offer their help and advice… and that’s great. Thank them and keep going. Do your own research, and seek expert advice.
2: Start small – but start! Money that you won’t get into a panic about, that won’t overwhelm you. Not throwing everything you’ve got into a single investment and hoping for the best, but rather well informed and well positioned investing. “Size doesn’t matter’ – right now. You are heading in the right direction regardless, and that’s to be applauded.
3: Set up automatic payments for all your regular monthly outgoings. If it’s going out automatically you won’t have to think about it – it’s paid. It’s a simple thing to get done. This way you can budget and manage your money far better, with peace of mind in the process.
4: Spending. Is it something you need or is it something you want? A simple yet instant decision maker. Clever choices that produce good outcomes.
5: Making lists for a 30-day period – before deciding to purchase write it down and do nothing for 30 days. Our purchases are more often than not, emotional ones, and emotions can literally change in a nanosecond. It’s a good exercise to use in other areas of our lives too. This is simply a way of training yourself into understanding how your spending habits have been forming your psyche. Take the control back!
6: Pay with cash. With more and more talk surrounding cashless societies, we are slowly seeing an end to where everything is paid for in cash. Until that happens however, cash payments can curb your spending habits. If you don’t have the cash with you, it is almost guaranteed that you won’t go to the ATM to withdraw more to buy what it was that tempted you in the first place. Carry cash for what you need, and no more. Stick to the budget you have set for yourself.
7: Start ‘serious’ saving – seriously. You must look long-term when it comes to how you are saving. When you invest long-term typically that amount is locked away for a period where it can’t be accessed. Short-term or access to funds should be all we need for the normal monthly outgoings with extra funds for emergencies. Once you get more used to what investing looks like for you, you can invest more. A jar on the shelf is good, but easily dipped into on our ‘not so strong’ days.
8: Get excited about what you are achieving and when you start to see changes happening. When we change our thinking and we do so by following through consistently, we form a new habit. And once you get into the ‘habit’ of making better choices, it can be far more rewarding when you see what can be accomplished, than what it would be if you were splashing out on the latest inanimate object that you don’t need. And we all do it, or have done it at some point. We need to start prioritising and sticking to the decisions we make.
9: Stay away from the ‘all or nothing’ mindset. One thing at a time, as and when it needs to be addressed. Don’t try to do everything at once. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Enjoy the new journey you are embarking on.
10: Don’t stop! As cliché as that sounds – it’s true. It’s much harder to start all over again than it is to keep going. Results will come. Some quicker than others, but they will come.
We all know by now that being rich won’t fix every problem in life, but saving money regularly is a worthwhile pursuit. And when you become financially free, you will no longer make every decision solely based on money.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you get started on the road toward financial freedom.