Do you feel that you have your money ‘stuff’ all figured out and happily talk about your bank balance, your financial goals and that super savvy investment you made?
If this is you, well done! You are in the minority of women who feel they have got their financial act together. If, however, you feel more like you are juggling around in the dark with the finances and randomly pushing buttons, hoping the (financial) lights will switch on. These 8 steps will get you feeling like the money boss you are meant to be.
1. IDENTIFY WHAT IS REALLY WORRYING YOU ABOUT YOUR MONEY SITUATION
Is it the potential spending diet you see needing to happen, the shame of people finding out you do not have it as together as you want them believe, or once and for all confirming your worst fears that you really do not have enough money to secure your future.
Remember when you were a small child and the overwhelming fear you had of the monster under the bed. The more you focused on your fear, the bigger and scarier the monster became. Our adult imagination can create an even bigger, scarier money monster than that one under the bed.
The easiest way to start diminishing the monster is to turn the light onto your fears. This means being brave and finding out exactly where you are now. Take a deep breath (or two!) and dive into your finances.
– What savings do you have?
– Do you have a retirement plan in place?
– Do you have other assets?
And here comes the big one…
– Where is your money going?
2. START WITH THE END IN MIND. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE TO LOOK LIKE?
Although your visions and plans may seem so out of reach now, by simply starting the process of designing and planning them, they start coming into existence. Break your big vision into smaller goals, the break the smaller goals into achievable milestones. As you drill down the first steps it all starts looking totally achievable!
3. CREATE A SPENDING PLAN
No, I do not mean deprivation and giving up your latte habits – I mean a conscious spending plan. A plan that starts to align with your vision, goals and milestones above. Identify one easy action step to take now that can start you on the path to your vision.
This could be identifying excess areas in your spending that you could cut off immediately. A common one is subscriptions that you no longer use, or never did! How many subscriptions to magazines, music and content have you forgotten you have and can cancel? Are you getting the best insurance deals or gym membership, can you cut your fuel and heating costs?
As soon as you have plugged cash leaks, you can put that extra cash towards working on your goals. The best way to do this is to start building your emergency savings.
4. TAKE ON THE ULTIMATE TABOO AND TALK ABOUT MONEY
Believe it or not, you are amongst the majority in having money fears. 66% of people are believed to have money phobias about financial distress. But you will most certainly be in the minority of people who decided to take action to fix it. Talking about your money fears starts to bring the fears into perspective… and starts the solutions flowing!
5. AUTOMATE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Simply, the less we have to think about, the more likely we will do it – and stick to it! Start by setting up debit orders to pay bills, automate bank transfers into savings accounts and establish monthly automated instructions for investing into your chosen investment vehicle. Easy and convenient means it gets done!
6. PREPARE FOR FAILURE AND SUCCESS!
Any action that involves moving out of your comfort zone, even if that comfort zone is a lot of money stress, is going to trigger your internal danger signal. Suddenly having a little extra money, and having to make decisions around that, may cause you to quickly self-sabotage in order to move back into your comfort zone of stressing about not having enough! Recognising this allows you to quickly self-correct.
7. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS!
YES, even the ones that seem small and inconsequential! The biggest win is deciding to shine the spotlight on your money fears and seeing how small and conquerable they are.
8. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE PERFECT SAVER ALL OF THE TIME
There is no perfect, just remember to take positive consistent action every day to move towards your goals.
So what actions, big or small, are you going to take today in order to move closer to your goals?