Our spending habits say a lot about us and the choices we make with our money. When we become real and authentic with ourselves, we don't use our money to impress people or seek status, because we have nothing to prove. When we are authentic with our money, we are making conscious and mindful choices with it. We are very present and self-aware.
If you can view saving money as a joyful, long-term strategy towards enhancing your financial security, you will embrace it wholeheartedly. Saving money and having a spending plan are fundamental money management strategies. Most women I know make an honest attempt to save money, but many feel it restricts their lifestyle. Saving can be challenging, but when you re-frame your thoughts around saving money, and visualize it as an easy task, you will start saving more money naturally.
When I first started investing my money, I bought a penny stock (highly speculative investment) and didn't conduct the necessary due diligence (aka research) to really learn about the company and its potential. A well-meaning friend had recommended the stock. Thankfully I only invested a small amount of money, but lost every penny (excuse the pun). It stopped me dead in my tracks. I avoided investing for a short period of time until I regained my confidence. It took a while. I had never experienced a financial loss to this point. It was a powerful learning experience that reframed my approach to investing.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or stuck in making a financial decision, look inwards. This hesitance is a sign that there is an underlying issue you're struggling with. It can also mean that you are not considering the proper context. Are you too focused on the future and forgetting about today? Are you living according to your value system? Or conversely, are you so fearful of the future that you won't look at it and you live only for today? Either way, you're avoiding the real issue.
As I've grown in my career and in myself, along with so many women around me, my appreciation for the sisterhood has grown. Where women were my rivals they are now my supporters; where they competed in a win/lose environment they now look for mutual success. When and how did this shift happen in my life?
Women: pay attention to your disconnection from your money. The average age of widowhood is 56. Women, you need to take control. What is important to realize, as well, is that this isn't an all or nothing proposition. Many of the women who were direct investors also maintained a relationship with an advisor. You don't have to make an absolute choice to go it alone.
What is princess math? Your favourite department store is having a half price sale. The gift was originally $200 but you are saving $100. Princess math says -- I was going to spend $200 anyway so now I can buy that purse. The reality is, though, most women aren't flush with money. The problem is that deep down, we know our actions have consequences.
In my work with women, I hear women tell me that feel overwhelmed why they think of dealing with money and planning. You need to have that tough conversation with yourself, the one that scares you and that fills you with dread. You might try to ignore it or pretend you have control over it. You need a financial plan. Here's how to start.
Women relate to each other though stories, and through this process they learn and grow. Money is one of the last taboos and is something many of us are uncomfortable discussing. Creating safe and open spaces for women to talk about money is one of the missing gaps in financial and investor education.
A lack of understanding of how women do business is one of the reasons so many women are demanding female financial advisors. The industry, however, is sadly under-served by women. In 2012, less than 25 per cent of advisors are women. As a result, the business is neglecting the needs of women and is thus ignoring hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue and profit.