By Kathleen Nolan
Girls, do you ever feel you just can’t seem to get a handle on your finances? No matter what you do to try to save, something always seems to come up. Well you are not alone, but I have a few suggestions that may help you to get out of that hamster wheel that seems to have you going round and round. The question is, are you willing to make some changes in your behavior and get rid of some preconceived notions that have you repeating the same financial mistakes over and over? If you are having trouble making that commitment to yourself, begin by trying this:
Picture yourself as an elegant white swan, head held high. You are effortlessly gliding along a body of shiny, still black water. As you float, everything and everyone around you knows to get out of your way, not out of fear, but in reverence of your strength and confidence. In fact, some decide to follow after you hoping to become more like you. When some immoveable object gets in your way, you easily change course, but immediately get back on track so seamlessly, no one even notices the temporary diversion. Put yourself here. Get this image in your head. This is who you want to be. You’re probably thinking, “Ok Kathy, this swan thing sounds nice, but how do I get like that?” You start here:
What do you want?
What is your purpose? What are you working for? Have you ever really thought about this? Or are you an ostrich, head in the sand, no plan of action, just existing day to day?
Why do you want it?
How is getting what you want going to make your life better or more fulfilling?
How are you going to get there?
You are going to be a SWAN.
Focused, determined, and committed. Here’s how:
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
This takes a little work. Go through your checkbook, your credit card statements, and your ATM withdrawals. Write down every big and LITTLE thing you are spending money on. Now once a week, total it all up. How much did you spend on Starbucks? How much in Walgreens when you when in for toothpaste? How about grabbing a meal on the fly? Add up all the necessities you have like gas and groceries. Next , include the mortgage or rent, utilities, insurances, gym memberships, phones. Break down quarterly or yearly bills into monthly amounts and add them in to the pot. Now this gets a little harder-think about all the people in your life you buy gifts for –birthdays, holidays, etc. I know it’s not easy, but try.
When you add it all up, are you surprised? Most of us are. What we find is that we are often living beyond our means. In other words, we are spending more than we are earning.
Look at your list. What are the things you really NEED to spend your money on and what are the things you just WANT? Separate the list and be brutally honest with yourself. Amazed?
We are such a consumer driven society. We are bombarded with messages, advertisements, and a culture that practically brainwashes us into thinking we have to have the latest fashion, the newest cell phone, the coolest gadget or the decor du jour. Really? Are we gonna die if we don’t have it?
PAY YOURSELF FIRST
Most of us are upside down here. We spend, spend, spend, and then try to save what’s left over. Trouble is, there is usually nothing left over. In fact, to become a SWAN, we need to SAVE first, THEN spend what’s left over. Commit to a dollar amount. Consider it a bill–a payment that must be made and just DO it.
HAVE A PLAN
How can you possibly hope to get where you want to be if you don’t know where you are? When you get in the car you know what roads will lead to your final destination. You have a roadmap. Why do you want to go there? What’s waiting for you? Is it success, self-worth, helping someone, creating or building something? And finally, how do you plan to get there? How much do you need to save, and for how long?
Who do you want to be? An Ostrich or a SWAN? I’m here to help.
Visit our website at www.FFFGonline.com or call us at (732) 364-5462 to get more info on our Savvy Women’s Club free classes, or upcoming group discussions Smart Money Strategies for Savvy Women. Dip your toe in the pond–you’ll be gliding in no time.
About The Author
Kathleen A. Nolan is an Investment Advisor Representative. Investment Advisory Services offered through Global Financial Private Capital, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Neither Kathleen A. Nolan nor Global Financial Private Capital gives tax or legal advice.