Finance and Financial Planning, Money Advice and Financial Strategies Articles For Women
Smart money advice and financial strategies for women. Our guide to money and smart financial strategies for women with articles and advice which provide expert knowledge on matters of finance.
Throughout our lives we make tens of thousands of purchasing decisions-some more thought out than others.
Knowing the difference between our "wants" and "needs" is an important part of learning to manage our money in a mindful and empowered way. It's easy to spend money. What can be more challenging is money spending in a way that is truly attuned with our values and desires.
One simple way to guide conscious spending is to get super clear on our needs and wants, and actually list them all out on paper:
NEEDS are the essentials-the basics of life that you must have to survive: food, shelter, clothing, health care, etc.
WANTS are basically everything else: eating out, entertainment, travel, gifts, gym membership, luxury consumer brands etc.
When it comes to over-spending, self-knowledge is definitely power!
If you are one of the many who struggle with over-spending, by becoming more aware of your signature over-spending triggers, you will be better armed with the knowledge to craft a plan of action to avoid them. When it comes to over-spending, on things like travel and luxury consumer brands, self-knowledge is definitely power!
Identifying what triggers your particular over-spending will help you be more conscious of the times when you are most vulnerable to over-spend. If you are not sure what triggers you, keep a log of over-spending incidents, making note of the following:
Childhood events shape how we relate to money as adults, and I always ask my financial therapy and money coaching clients about their first memory of money
These seemingly innocent experiences are a virtual goldmine of information, often creating a template for future beliefs, feelings, and behaviors regarding money. The memories I hear range in texture from traumatic to more benign. I'll share a few examples from my work with clients [all names have been changed to protect privacy] to illustrate the link between childhood experiences and present day behaviors with money.
One of my money coaching clients, Andrea, recently shared an early memory involving the painful way she received allowance from her father, who was quite rigid and parsimonious. On Saturday mornings he'd come home from a visit to the bank and give Andrea her the allowance. It's how he did it that is so meaningful. He would take each crisp, new dollar bill-crumple it a bit to ensure that none where sticking together-and hand each one individually over to her. She would be flooded with shame as she stood there, watching and waiting for her weekly allowance to be literally doled out to her.
Do you know what you are worth, and is it that important anyway?
Net worth is taking center stage as many financial bloggers publicly track theirs' monthly, and there is even a website, NetWorthIQ.com, where you can "track, share, and compare" yours with others on the site. This is taken to a bit of an extreme in my mind, but the sad reality is that most of us are clueless when it comes to knowing our net worth. We blindly acquire assets and incur debt without knowing its impact our bottom line.
I recently attended my mentor Barbara Stanny's Overcoming Under-earning workshop
She shared a number of tips and tools with us, but one that resonated strongly with me is the values clarification exercise. [You can find it in her Overcoming Underearning book.] She provides a long list of life values, such as family, beauty, success, travel, etc. and asks you to choose your top ten. This is actually much harder than you might think! I felt a sense of completion having come up with ten, but was then asked to whittle the list down to my top five! I found this to be very challenging. But, it was also incredibly illuminating. There is something deeply grounding about knowing your top five values, and I find them a helpful decision-making compass that relates not only to money, but life in general.