Money may not be all you need in life to make you happy, but it can literally control how you spend your life. Money equals power, stability and peace of mind. Not having money can make your life miserable. This is especially true if you face obstacles out of your control. Money can also make you independent – rather than having to depend on anyone else. Therefore, it’s important that you get in the habit of doing things that help you to take control of your money.
Since the educational system does a lousy job of teaching us (in some places especially women) how to manage our money, it’s up to us to learn and understand budgets, retirement funds, credit scores and more. Does it seem like your paycheck or business profits are disappearing almost as fast as they appear in your account? Then, it’s time to get a handle on money and how to control it for your (and your family’s) benefit. Here are six important things you should know about money on your journey of independence.
1. Pay Yourself First
– If you receive a paycheck, you’ve probably noticed that the government takes a big chunk first – then your bills are paid and the rest belongs to you. If you want to take control of your money and enjoy a great financial future, it’s imperative that you pay yourself first out of the remaining money before you spend it on anything else. As a businesswoman, this is a habit you want to adopt so that you are motivated to continue being an entrepreneur.
2. All Debt Isn’t Bad
– You should know that some debt in your life could actually enhance your life and ensure a great financial future. A home is usually classified as good debt and financing a college education can help you negotiate a higher salary later on. Avoid bad debt such as credit cards – especially if you’re struggling with other bills. When you start looking for ways to control your spending habits, you should not just decide to cut out all your major purchases. Always bear in mind that as some are going to be good investments in the short or long term.
Create a Budget
– Without a budget, you’re like a fish out of water. You must create clear goals and plans for getting to the place you want to be in life. You may think you know where your money is going, but taking steps to write it down can help you see where to cut costs. When you know exactly where you can cut unnecessary spending – do it. Somethings may take longer to cut than others, so be patient with yourself. Remember that looking to control the budget will be a habit that will help you for years to come. In this case, patience will certainly be a virtue!
Understand How Credit Works
– Know your credit score and what it represents. Whether you agree or not, as the ambitious wife and mum your credit score is the foundation of your financial future. Do everything you can to learn about how to create and keep a good credit rating. Then, monitor it periodically to be sure that there are no negative reports and that the information is accurate. You’ll be judged by your credit score on everything from approval for rent, mortgage and loan applications. Yes, in some cases, even jobs you apply for will use it as a check against you. Understanding how your credit works is not a set it and forget it exercise. As part of taking control of your money matters, be prepared to revisit your credit score on a regular basis.
Find a Good Financial Planner
– Search carefully for the right financial planner for you. He or she should have CFP certification, charge by a fee-based rate or retainer fee and should always listen to what you’re saying. It’s also very important that they take the time needed to understand your wants and needs. A good financial planner is like having an angel on your shoulder during life’s ups and downs.
Start Saving By Spending Wisely
– When beginning your savings journey, be sure to consider the little things that can break your budget – not just the big expenses. If you frequent a coffee shop every morning, consider making your own at home and carrying it in a thermos. Think about using public transportation. The savings of a car payment and soaring gas prices can boost your savings enormously. There are so many ways you can save money.
It may take a bit of sacrifice at first, but as you see those financial planning, spending practices, investments and savings account grow you’ll know it was worth it. All it takes is for you to make a few simple decision. 1) Decide to improve your financial situation. 2. Follow that with the willingness to do things differently to what you were doing before. 3) Finally, take simple and focused action repeatedly. Slowly but surely you will begin to see the increase in your finances and that will have a very positive impact on many areas of your life and happiness.
For many more tips on how to improve your financial situation, I’ve put together a list of 55 things that can be really helpful, which you can download now. If you wish to speak to someone in my team schedule a 25mins ‘Empowerment and Clarity Session’ in the Calendar. You will leave feeling renewed, empowered, gain clarity and feel energized to move forward with joy, towards real fulfilment. We look forward to being of support to you.