“From birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five she needs a good personality. From fifty-five on she needs cash.” Sophie Tucker
Over a hundred years ago the first and most famous psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, asked the question: “What do women want?” Men, of course, are still perplexed by that question. No surprise. We women are complicated. That’s ok.
But women, WE don’t want to be perplexed by our money! That’s expensive ignorance. To be financially savvy, there are certain things you must know about YOUR money.
#1 You must pay more attention to your money more consistently.
It’s best to practice living within your means. This can also be called living with a buh, buh, BUDGET. But, before you freak out – there are easy budget plans.
I love Chellie Campbell’s budget definition in her book: From Worry to Wealthy: “Baby, U Deserve Getting EveryThing”. We do deserve everything, and we make a big statement to the Universe that we are ready for more money to come our way when we become more conscious about our money. We work hard for our money and we should want to care for our hard earned money.
#2 Women, you must save more.
According to McCalls Magazine women tend to think that if they understand how to balance a checkbook, deposit a paycheck or calculate their net they know enough about their money.
Those are all important first steps. In a Money Magazine study Barbara Stanny, author of Prince Charming Isn't Coming, states that women are more prone to saving for their children, a home or a car than retirement. Those are important but remember you are important also!
Can you imagine how much less stress and greater FREEDOM you’ll experience when have 6 months living expenses saved for the next economic down time? Having a cushion gives you a certain amount of security. Yes, it’s challenging to SAVE when you have children, home, living expenses – shoes to buy… But, start small, rather than not at all.
#3 You must spend less on things that don’t have any long-lasting value.
What about those quick feel good items you don’t really need? You know what I’m talking about – did you NEED another hair-brush, lipstick or hair product?
I love clothes, shoes, purses and beauty products just as much as the next woman, and when they’re NEW they make us feel special and good. But, how many pairs of shoes do we really NEED? How good are those shoes going to taste when we’re 80?
To help distinguish between a want and a need here’s a definition of a true need: A true need is defined as replacing something that has worn out. A want? Everything else. I don’t agree entirely with this philosophy because a girl has to have some FUN, but she also needs to think of her financial health and her future. And, if you still have the dream that some prince is going to swoop in and rescue you, enjoy the dream, but plan and save in the meantime.
#4 You must know how to make enough money for the lifestyle you want and to secure your future.
That means you want to pay attention to your numbers – your monthly cash flow of income and expenses. I know…boring? Not when you reach 80 and have enough money to live in the way you’d like, rather than relying on cat food or other non-yummy food choices.
#5 You must know how to manage money effectively.
Yes, it’s back to a budget or cash-flow plan. Try not to grimace – there are easy ways to do so.
Here’s one example of a budget guide. I like it because it’s broad based percentages rather than an item-by-item detailed listing.
I love LearnVest.com’s 50/30/20 Rule: LearnVests Guidelines are for those of you that aren’t ready to be REALLY specific and want to think more broadly about your cash flow.
50% of take home pay goes for the basics of mortgage, rent, utilities, food, insurance.
30% of take home is for Life Style choices like dining out, vacation savings, the remodel job you’ve been dreaming of.
20% of take home goes to savings. The only way to accomplish consistent savings that I know of is to set up an automatic deposit, otherwise … well, you know, those shoes get in the way.
Try the LearnVest budget example for 90 days. Notice if there’s any change to your financial stress level. When we are more in control of our money it’s FREEING.
You do deserve to have everything you want, and you also want to be able to pay your bills, save for vacations and sock money away for retirement. When we’re in our 30s or 40s retirement can seem light years away but speaking from experience 40 to 60 happens VERY quickly.
As a financially recovering blonde Lynn understands we ALL make mistakes as we are developing a healthier relationship with money.
Lynn wrote Prosperity, Power & Peace to encourage, support and give a gentle kick-in-the pants to women who are tired of being financially stressed or overwhelmed.
The goal? To feel secure and to know HOW to make your BEST financial decisions to create more of what you want. (& less of what you don't want!)
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Certified Money & Business Coach, Professional Speaker & author, Lynn Telford-Sahl, writes thePowerUP Your Money blog for women in sales and small business. If you’re ready to PowerUP your Money, your Business & your JOY get your FREE Financial Strategy Session with Lynn at www.powerupyourmoney.com or take The Money Quiz to find out your Money Strengths & Challenges.