Financial Sabotage: How Women Drain Money, Energy &Time by Giving Too Much

What’s one of the biggest mistakes women make with their money? As I ask women and men to respond to this question, one answer comes up repeatedly: women give their money, time and energy away too freely. Then they don't have enough for themselves.

Who do they give their money to? Usually their children and I’m not talking about those under 18. “An online poll commissioned in May by the National Endowment for Financial Education and found that nearly 60% of parents are giving, or have in the past granted, financial support to adult children who are no longer in college.”*

Yes, I know the tough economy is a factor with women wanting to step in and help their adult children. It's a lovely part of women's (& many men's) natures that we are the nurturers and caretakers of the family. But sometimes we over-equate love and money.  To not give money can seem selfish to mothers. And, mothers are encouraged by culture and church to sacrifice for the well-being of their children, right?

That’s not a bad thing, unless it leaves the mother in dificult financial straits. I’ve talked to women who have been robbed by their children, given in to sob story after sob story, been taken advantage of and even those left nearly destitute because of over-giving.

There is a balance point between over giving and creating dependency or entitlement. It’s not selfish, but self-loving to consider your own financial need and to set limits with children about what and how much you’re willing to help. As we’ve heard often – women, put your own oxygen mask on first.

*(Modesto Bee, Michelle Singletary, The Color of Money column 11-27-11)

Mature Enough to Make More Money - and Keep It?

I work with women in business who want to make more money. Some have what it takes, some don’t. How do we know?

A friend shared a story from T. Harv Ecker of Millionaire Mindset fame. He’s made a lot of money; from what I can tell mostly from teaching people how to make more money. 

He says making more money is sort of like ice cream. We have to be mature enough to earn the right to a double or triple scoop. You know how you take your 5 year old to the ice cream store and they’re all excited to eat ice cream. You're thinking one scoop is plenty. But then they see a 10 year old who has two scoops. Or grown ups with a banana split. Now they're not satisfied. They want two scoops. They throw a fit, but, you let them know that’s it. One scoop. On the way out of the store, plop goes their ice cream. "See, you tell them. You weren’t ready for more than one scoop." After a couple of experiences, they figure out what it takes to handle one scoop. Then they're ready for more.

It's the same with money. In the beginning of our life, we're not ready for more money. Most of us make lots of mistakes with money. We open credit cards, ring up balances, get into debt, overshop or overspend. We haven't yet earned the right to more money.

If we learn from our money mistakes, it matures us. We begin to understand our relationship with money and what it takes not only to make it but to keep it. As Robert Kiyosaki says, 'it’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how much you keep." Play his game Cash Flow sometime. It’s like Monopoly on steroids and very quickly demonstrates where you're really at with your money consciousness.

Financial maturity takes practice and patience. Enjoy and learn from your one money scoop until you're ready for two, or more.