5 Things you can do today to improve your financial future

5 THINGS YOU CAN DOTODAY  TO SHIFT YOUR MONEY PARADIGM AND MOVE FROM FEAR AND ANXIETY TO CLARITY AND LOVE

 

 

Eight years ago I started hosting workshops for women as I was inspired to do something as the Wall Street Journal published an article claiming that women retire with 2/3 of what men retire with, when compared at the same jobs, the same time horizon etc.

I wanted to change this!

 

So I failed quite miserably trying to lecture ladies in the strategic steps of financial planning. Since then I have been in the quest to find ways to help us women to close the gap between their retirement funds and that of their male counterpart. I think I have found new and more effective ways to[NB1]  coach and advice ladies in their finances.

 

 

The system of power we ‘ve been cultivating in our society is masculine. It is about strategy, linear thinking, goals, anything controllable, anything that can be broken into action steps.

 

This leaves most women feel frustrated and discontent.

 

The reason why a different mode of activity is important for us ladies is that in general women fear being labeled selfish when they pursue power that only advances their own goal, not the common good, and they fear they lose out in relationships if they are too overly power-hungry, even if the result would be their own financial freedom.

IT’S TIME TO MOVE FROM FEAR TO LOVE

 

So, here are five steps to do today for better tomorrow in your finances:

( I am not yelling to you even though I am using caps J )

 

1.     TRY TO HONESTLY UNDERSTANDYOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD MONEY

-       WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OR FEELING REGARDING MONEY?

-       HOW DOES THIS AGE OLD MEMORY SHOW UP IN TODAY’S FINANCES FOR YOU?

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-       How would you end this sentence: “If I HAD $500,000 EXTRA IN CASH, I WOULD ……….”

-       >>>WE NEED TO REALIZE THAT MONEY IS NOT GOOD OR BAD. IT IS JUST ENERGY!

-       >>THE REASON WE MIGHT WANT TO FOCUS ON CREATING GOOD INCOME AND WEALTH IS THAT MONEY ALLOWS US TO LIVE AT THE FULLEST EXPRESSION OF OUR CREATIVITY, PRODUCTIVITY AND GENEROSITY.

-       WITH THE FUNDS WE EARN WE CAN EFFECT CHANGE BY GETTING RID OF POVERTY AND HUNGER! WE CAN EMPOWER WOMEN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO HAVE DIGNITY AS THEY LEARN TO RUN THEIR OWN BUSINESSES AND EVENTUALLY WILL BE ABLE TO EDUCATE THEIR OWN DAUGHTERS.

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2.     IN A STUDY ABOUT THE TOP INCOME EARNERS IN THE US, 3 TRAITS UNIQUE TO THIS GROUP WERE IDENTIFIED

#1 ; SHE FEELS SHE IS IN CONTROL OF THE OUTCOME OF HER LIFE. NO VICTIMHOOD, NO FATALISTIC BELIEFS!    THE LESSON FOR US IS TO DREAM BIG, SET GOALS, MAKE PLANS AND MAKE INTENTIONS.

#2: She has drive and strong desire to increase her wealth.

 

#3. TOP EARNERS BELIEVE WHAT HAS CONTRIBUTED THE MOST TO THEIR FINANCIAL SUCCESS IS FINANCIAL LITERACY AND KNOWLEDGE.  - YOU HAVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU WHOM YOU HAVE HIRED TO DO SOME FINANCIAL WORK FOR YOU. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU MIGHT HAVE AN ACCOUNTANT, A TAX PERSON, A BANKER, A REALTOR….BE CURIOUS, ASK THEM QUESTIONS. IT IS NOT DUMB TO ASK WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND. IT IS DUMB TO STAY SILENT AND PRETEND TO KNOW AND THEN HAVE TO PAY FOR BIG MISTAKES AS NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU MONEY AS MUCH AS YOU DO.

 

3.     MONITOR YOUR FINANCIAL METRICS.

 

-       KNOW WHAT COMES IN AND WHAT GOES OUT

-       CHECK YOUR BANK ACCOUNT BALANCE DAILY WITH A GRATEFUL HEART

-       CLEAN OUT YOUR WALLET WEEKLY

-       SPEND TEN MINUTES EVERY SATURDAY MORNING TO RECONSILE WHAT YOU SPENT THAT WEEK AND WHERE YOU SAVED.

-       DECIDE TO LISTEN TO YOUR INNER KNOWING WHEN IT COMES TO MONEY AND INVESTING. IF SOMETHING DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT IT PROBABLY ISN’T. DON’T LET ANYONE TO TALK YOU INTO SOMETHING YOUR GUT TELLS YOU NOT TO DO.

-       A GREAT WAY TO TAP IN OUR INNER KNOWING IS TO FIRST WORK ON OUR INNER BARRIERS (THOSE CHILD HOOD MEMORIES AND ATTITUDES ABOUT MONEY THAT NO LONGER SERVE US) AND BY CONNECTING WITH OTHER WOMEN TO SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES, BUILD SUPPORT THROUGH AFFIRMATIONS AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

 

4.     ACTION IS WHERE OUR POWER IS FOUND.

-       YOUR MONEY IS YOUR VOICE AND YOUR VOTE

-       THE FASTEST WAY TO SHIFT YOUR MONEY KARMA IS TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T SUPPORT WITH YOUR MONEY ANYTHING THAT IS DETRIMENTAL TO THE ENVIRONMEN:  YOU WANT TO CHOOSE PRODUCTS AND INVESTMENTS THAT ARE CRUELTY FREE, SUSTAINABLE AND GREEN.

IN MY WORKSHOPS WE LOOK FOR WAYS TO CREATE HARMONY WITH OUR MONEY.

TO MAKE SURE OUR RETIREMENT FUNDS ARE NOT INVESTED IN PRODUCTS THAT CAUSE HARM SUCH AS TOBACCO, ALCOHOL, SLAVE LABOR, FOSSIL FUELS, OR CORPORATIONS THAT EXPLOIT THEIR EMPLOYEES, ENVIRONMENT OR THEIR SUPPLIERS.

 

HOW ABOUT INVESTING IN THE CORPORATIONS THAT HAS FEMALES IN THEIR BOARD ROOMS?

5.     WE NEED TO TEACH OUR DAUGHTERS THAT THEY, TOO, NEED TO UNDERSTAND MONEY ISSUES, THAT THEY NEED TO LEARN TO MAKE THEIR OWN INCOME AND DECISIONS, AND NOT TO COUNT ON PRINCE CHARMING TO COME FOR RESCUE.

THIS WILL HELP THEM BECOME BETTER PARTNERS TO THEIR FUTURE SPOUSES!!!
- EQUALITY STARTS AT HOME, THEN >> EQUAL PAY>>> EQUAL NUMBER OF SEATS IN BOARD ROOMS>>>EQUALITY IN BUSINESS, POLITICS AND EDUCATION.

 

IT IS MY DESIRE TO empower every woman I come in contact with to move from fear of finances and money decisions to confidence and love.

 [NB1]

How Not to “Should” on Yourself in Your Finances Or How to Move to Choice and Love from Fear and Shoulds

Many of us often find ourselves in the ‘Could Have’, ‘Should Have’, ‘Would Have’ zone – we know we “should” save for a rainy day; save for retirement, and so forth.  Since we know we are not doing those things, a conflict is set up between our thoughts and our behavior!  And the Should Bird sits on our shoulder, chirping away negative and critical messages.  Shame and inadequacy, maybe even anger are the result. 

 

Every time we use the word “should,” we are, in effect, saying that we are “wrong” and not good enough. I “should” save for my retirement expresses inner conflict. I need to restrict my current comforts; It means I shouldn’t buy a latte a day; can’t treat my friends when we go out; I shouldn’t do anything fun with my money. There is a conflict, or even a down right rebellion in my mind.

The closer we get to what we feel we should do, the greater the resistance. There are hidden demands and needs within “SHOULD”.  

Do you remember who first used this nasty word when talking to you? Who nagged at you? – After all it is a NAGGING word.

What comes to mind when you hear “or else”? it generally means if you don’t do it- you’re in big trouble, hence the fear.

 “Or Else” used to mean she would withdraw her love for you, either temporarily or forever, fractionally or totally.  -You were scared. Now, twenty-forty years later “Should” drops you right in the middle of that same fear. “Should” and fear of abandonment are the twin sisters in our subconscious mind.

 

We should get organized about our money or else we become old, broke and unlovable.  How does that sound??

Isn’t it the time to reframe that one??

 

Another big issue with “Should” is that we receive no reward for doing what we should in the first place!  -  Did you ever get a pat on your back for making your bed or taking out the trash?

 

How can we let go of our “should”?

and instead allow ourselves to choose?

 

>>>Your choice and goal setting heals conflict and creates flow in your life. Making right choices is something to be proud of!

 

Instead of having an inner dialogue about how I should save up for an emergency fund…

I CHOOSE to put myself first and establish account for me, for my good, because I am important. Choice is about self-love without which we cannot really love anyone else naturally and fully.

 

Instead of nagging at myself about starting a retirement fund….

I CHOOSE to own my future. The first 10% goes to me. I split it in two accounts: 5% goes toward an emergency fund and the other 5% goes to ME fund. – It is not selfish to choose to keep the first 10%! After all I still have 90% to give away!

 

 

Instead of I should have a budget…. I CHOOSE to make a spending plan so I have more control of where and in what priority order I use my money.

 

-       >>CHOOSE to feel good no matter what!

 

 

 

A big “Should” that comes up a lot in my workshops is:

 

“I should have trusted my inner voice when I knew me my broker was wrong. Had I held my own, I would not have lost 40% in a stock market crash!”

 

Letting go of these kinds of “Shoulds” is about self-forgiveness. When we compare notes with others we often find that our big financial disasters are not that unique, yet they are a very common cause of self-hate and shame. Everyone has erred but it is how we forgive ourselves, and deal with the shame that shapes our financial future. Self-forgiveness is more important than asset allocation, diversification or balanced portfolio.

 

-       This of course is a bit more nuanced conversation because most of us vacillate between Greed and Fear. It is tricky! Usually, if the market is already sliding down fast, it is our Fear that is talking to us….

-       One way to manage fear is to draft an Investment Policy that states that we will NEVER sell in panic. – When Market slides, you stare at your investment policy and sit on your hands!  - This would require that we had earlier chosen to make a plan and thus have means to stay the course even if the market crashes.

 

When we make it our choice to improve our grip on finances, every piece of the money puzzle starts falling into place. Adding self-forgiveness work and realization that we don’t need to be perfect will free up lots of energy. With your batteries charged up, creative ideas will pop up and we become cultivators of a new conscious style in our day to day money management tasks. You are the Captain of you ship and you can make a choice as to where you are headed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

time to shift from fear to Love, or: what every woman needs to know about money

Facilitating the structural change from anxiety and fear to thriving in personal money management

Six years ago, after passing the CFP exam,  I felt I had what it takes  to start hosting financial planning workshops for professional ladies. The Wall Street Journal had published an article claiming that women retire with two thirds of what their male counter-parts retire with, from a similar position and same years of work. So what happens to our IRAs and 401(k)s? Are we too timid to ride the waves of economic cycles, or do the male advisors invest our money differently from their male clients' portfolios?

- I thought I can change this inequality by teaching women better money management...It did not work out as over and over I saw what happened when I presented great charts with action steps and strategies: their eyes glazed over! - Later on I found out that I am not the only one who has failed: there is a statistic that claims that over 80% of all financial plans never get implemented!

There must be another, better way to help women realize their potential in the areas of money and financial freedom. 

So I came across a concept called Feminine Power and straight-away saw how it could be adopted to financial planning. Basically women thrive in groups. Connecting authentically, collaborating and contributing is where we want to be. We love to help and support others, we need to feel supported and we love affirmations from each other. 

However,  it is not only the connection we need. We also have some house cleaning to do, especially we need to work on the inner glass ceiling that our negative self talk and the money scripts learned from child hood have created. - Only after clearing the limiting beliefs can we really benefit from doing the nuts and bolts of financial planning and become energized by the new possibilities in our lives.

Do we women collectively have beliefs that damage our chances of investing successfully?

- do we believe that in general men have more money than women?

- do we think men know better how to make money than women?

- do some of us still believe that Prince Charming will/should show up and rescue damsel from their money trouble?

How about personally, do we have programs running in our heads that tell us that money doesn't  buy happiness, money is not important, rich people are bad, there is never enough? - These kind of personal beliefs can cause us to sabotage our finances, our well-earning jobs, or can even cause compulsive shopping habits or credit card debt!

After all, money is not good or bad. It is a neutral flow of energy that we either welcome or block.

We need to clear our collective and personal hinderances for successful money management. There are several ways to do it; for some becoming aware is enough to set us on the right path, financial therapy is another way. EFT has been effective in some cases. 

After clearing the issues, it's time to re-program! We could look at what are the personality traits of the top earners and see if we can somehow adopt a trait or two. For example, top earners are known to have internal locus of control, which means that they do not believe in victim mentality! Another trait they have is a desire for a solid financial knowledge. This part is easy if swallowed in small bites:

Anyone can start their path to financial wisdom with simply learning first how much they make, how much their expenses are and what income tax bracket they are in. - There are good easy publications like Money Magazine that teach basics and have a wealth of financial information available. Building a diversified, balanced investment portfolio is on the other side of the spectrum of financial wisdom, yet it is attainable through ladies' investment groups and discussions. 

- Just a final word of warning: please don't buy into the fear factor most financial talking heads advocate! Despite all that you read and see in media, there is still a Universe that wants your good, and by connecting with your inner points of knowing you will expand in any area you are interested in exploring.

Getting your financial house in order is so much better than just surviving! When you have more than you need you can help many less fortunate and do your part in easing the suffering. There is nothing glamorous about being broke or hoarding now not to starve in 40 years....we are here to live in the present moment and to be kind to ourselves and to contribute to the well-being of others and the Planet Earth.