Ready for the truth? Many women are killing it when it comes to making money.
More and more married women are the breadwinners in their household. Just a few generations ago, only 3.8% of women were the main wage earners, but more recently half of women in the US reported earning more than their husbands or partners.
And as far as the single ladies go, they’re doing their thing too! An article from The Daily Beast revealed that single and childless women under the age of 30 out earn their male counterparts.
So why then, are women 80% more likely than men to be impoverished as we reach our golden years?
It’s because many of us are great at making money, but not so great at HAVING it. Overall, women typically have a lower net worth than men.
It’s time to rewrite the ending to this story. We must begin taking care of our present and future selves by increasing our capacity to have money.
Having money equates to having a sizable net worth and it’s the road to more freedom, more fun, a lot less stress and it’s crucial for early retirement. Once you have more money you can invest in tax friendly income streams to create even more wealth.
It’s an ugly truth, but you can’t rely on your income alone to make you wealthy. You never know when there will be a financial downturn, salaries slashed or even a pandemic resulting in jobs lost. This is why true wealth comes from building your net worth through consistent financial disciplines.
Ready for the secret to having more money? It’s a head game.
There’s inner work to be done first in order to make the changes we want to see in our outer lives. I’m going to lay out the mindset shifts you need to make in your belief systems in order to fall in love with HAVING money, not just making and spending it.
This is the perfect place to start building your net worth.
Shift 1: Your thoughts are powerful. Use them for good
If you want to create a new financial reality for yourself, you have to get your brain on board. Believe it or not, your thoughts run the show. Nothing in this world happens without someone thinking about it first. The iPhone would not exist today if an engineer at Apple didn’t have a thought about it becoming a reality. The same is true about your finances. If you want to accumulate wealth you must first think you can do it. That thought will generate a parallel emotion, that emotion will cause you to take an action, and that action repeated will eventually lead you to the outcome you desire. Let’s take this example:
Thought I am going to pay off my student loans in 2 years
Action Make a spending plan that includes aggressively eliminating your student loans
Result Student loans will be paid off within two years
Keep in mind, this works whether you think positively OR negatively, so be careful to redirect your thoughts when they don’t line up with what you want to create.
Let’s look at an opposing thought pattern:
Thought I’m never going to get rid of these student loans
Action Keep paying the bare minimum year after year
Result You’ll never get rid of your student loan debt
Remember, as a woman thinketh so is she!
Shift 2: Decide what you’ll do with your money in advance, and honor the promise you make to yourself.
When you decide how you will spend, save and invest your money ahead of time, you will make much better decisions for yourself and your family than if you decided in the moment. Let’s think about it in regards to food. If you were to plan what you’re going to eat tomorrow, you would likely choose healthier options than if you were to decide tomorrow right before it’s time to eat. In the moment, cookies and brownies will win 99% of the time :)
It’s the same thing with your money. When you intentionally choose how you’ll spend it at the beginning of every month, your decisions will likely be aligned to the financial goals you’re aiming to achieve. The cute top that mysteriously shows up in a newsfeed ad probably won’t make the list. Although, I do recommend including fun in your spending plan that aligns with what’s important to you.
Shift 3: No-one will take better care of you, than yourself.
Most people believe that saving money is important, yet few actually manage to do it. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans have zero money saved for unexpected expenses.
People dislike saving money because it makes them feel restricted. If you feel this way, instead look at saving money as spending it on your future self. Usually, when we think of spending money on ourselves we think of buying ourselves a new dress, or pair of shoes. I want to challenge you on that because spending money on a new dress isn’t spending it on you, it's spending it on a new dress.
See what I mean?
Don’t get me wrong, I love cute new dresses, but not at the expense of having my own back. Saving money allows your bank account to grow, which will put up a cushion between you and all of the unexpected things that life can throw at you. Having money saved helps us feel safe and free. When we feel free, we’re able to live in abundance instead of a constant state of lack.
Ladies, saving money for the near future and for several years down the road is a form of self care. It is truly one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to your future self.
Shift 4: Getting out of debt takes math, not magic.
I’m going to tell you something that you probably have never heard before. Your debt is neither bad nor good. It is simply money that you owe, and judging yourself or the situation is not helpful.
Instead, add it up and understand it. Once you know how much you owe, then you can begin making empowered decisions to get rid of it.
Whatever you do, don't start randomly cutting a bunch of expenses. That is a very limited way of eliminating debt because there is only so much you can cut. Instead, explore ways you can earn more so that you can pay more towards it.
So ask yourself, how can I earn more money to pay off my debt?
Shift 5: You can manage your money better & still have fun!
How might you ask? By using the power of the “&”
Isn't that such a big relief? Here's how it works:
Decide which financial goals you're going to focus on. Will it be paying off debt, saving more or increasing your investments?
Next, decide which lifestyle features are important to you. Is it annual vacations, going out regularly with friends or seasonal wardrobe refreshes?
From there, create a plan ahead of time that allows you to do both.
Keep in mind, doing both may seem to slow things down, but in reality it could be speeding you up. Remember this is a marathon NOT a sprint. It’s not only about reaching the destination, it’s also about who you become on the journey.
Shift 6: Have a strong reason for wanting to get your money under control.
Having a goal to get your money together is awesome. But having a reason why you want to accomplish your goal is even more powerful. For example, if you want to save $20,000 in an emergency fund, write down the reason why. In other words, what will you do, or not do, with your $20k? Put emotion and drama into it. What would it feel like to have that amount of money in your savings account? Reasons empower your goals and make them more real and easy to imagine.
Be sure to dream big! If you want to pay off debt, be specific about how much debt and write down at least one reason why you want to accomplish that goal. It’s time to make things happen.
Written by Germain Foley, Owner and CEO of My Dream Finances.
Germaine Foley is a Life & Money Coach who empowers women to stop overspending and make a financial plan to live a fulfilling life they love. Her passion is fueled by her own past economic struggle. Now, a financial success, she’s paid off $200k in debt and built a multiple 6 figure net worth. Her mission is to help other women do the same!
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