Manage Your Money to Lead You to Success
Money is one of the most powerful forces in our life. It is the resource that, at its simplest form, we trade for food, shelter, and clothing, and in many cases, so much more. Money is at the heart of independence for young people just starting their lives, and it will be a basis by which most of the major decisions are made in your life. Yes, there are more important things than money, like those we love, our family and our friends. Yet, money does become the reason why you have to say, “No” or “I can’t” or “Not this year” when there is too little of it.
If you are in a bad home situation, either as a teen or as an adult woman, money becomes critical in figuring out how you can take control of your life and make a world where you control your time and other resources available to you. It becomes critical to your freedom.
The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself
My mom used to tell me, “Never allow yourself to be so dependent on anyone that you can’t take care of yourself.” I think this is excellent advice, and I also believe this advice applies even if you are in a good, healthy relationship. Why is it so important that you have the ability to be financially independent?
We don’t like to think about the bad side of life very often, that is a normal human response. Yet, really bad things do happen, and often when you least expect it. It is also easy, especially as a teen or young woman, to get wrapped up in a relationship that seemed like it was love. You know what I’m talking about, the guy your mamma warned you about. When you met him, your angsty first love, he was intense, passionate, and VERY into you. That first kiss in the high school parking lot was the stuff that pulls in droves of teens to “coming of age” blockbuster movies. Then, once you are hooked – and your heart is his, he transformed slowly into an abusive, manipulative, possessive controlling monster. You are a sweet, kind girl, and maybe a pleaser – and you want to fix everything. So, you try to be a better girlfriend, it must be you. You try to be perfect, everything you think he wants, and you slowly fade into what he manipulates you to be. Fast forward this relationship 3-5 years into the future… If you stay with a guy like this, maybe he doesn’t let you work, you end up pregnant with one or more kids, he doesn’t allow you to talk to your family much, and eventually you think you have no choice but to stay in the daily despair, first out of fear, but even on your brave days, you stay because you think you have no choices.
Resources for Domestic Violence
First of all – if you are in this situation – you DO have choices. There are many organizations and resources to help women in these situations. If this is you – PLEASE get help before it is too late.
If you are reading this live and are on the internet, you can get help from the Hotline.org. If you know someone who needs this kind of help, but they can’t get to the internet, if they can make a phone call: Hotline.org posted this information.
Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
Even if Your Life Seems Perfect, you Need to Take Care of Yourself
Ok, so imagine this, you are in a beautiful healthy and happy relationship. You get married very young, but it was your high school love, and he really is a sweetheart. (I am a person who believes in love, so if you have a good love story, I’d love to hear it!) You go along life, maybe he works, and lets you raise those beautiful children. You are listening to this podcast today, because you do have dreams and goals and you plan on getting to them when the kids are a little older. I think this is wonderful and admirable – and will be here for you, no matter what your goals are! Since your husband makes the money, he also decides he will manage it. He is very generous and gives you plenty of money to take care of the kids, the house, and even enough to let you splurge on things just to make you happy. This does sound like a beautiful life.
What happens if the two of you never really plan for the future? Does your family have life insurance? Do you have skills to make money in case of a tragedy? There are countless stories of amazing families that were sent into a tailspin because the sole breadwinner was disabled or fate served up an untimely death, or even very serious health concerns, that might eventually be resolved, but cause months or a year with a dramatic decrease in primary income. This will really have a major impact on a family.
Where are my strong, single, independent ladies?
Even if you are just a strong, single woman, ready to take on the world, and you already live in your own place and are taking care of yourself, this podcast is for you. I know you, and you have really big plans for your life, and I want you to achieve anything your heart desires. The one thing you don’t want, is to have to pass up an awesome opportunity because your finances get in the way.
When money is flowing in, it opens up opportunities and when it isn’t flowing, it is one of the highest points of stress in our lives. There are times when things happen that are truly out of our control and create great financial burdens. Yet, there are so many things that you, a smart Genuine Driven Woman, will do to make sure that you are as financially protected as possible, and available for unexpected opportunities that may come your way!
Here are the 5 building blocks to being an independent woman who is willing and ready for new, exciting opportunities:
1. You do need budget.
Budgets sound boring, I know, and maybe even complicated. But, it is really not that hard. A budget is just you writing down all the things you know you need to spend money on. Most people do a “monthly budget.” This is a list of all the bills you have to pay every month, how much you need to pay and the day it is due. You also need to write down when you get paid and how much money you will receive. If you get paid on a stable/predictable basis, budgeting is pretty straight forward. You right down the amount you are paid, and then sort your bills by when they are due so you know which bills need to be paid from which paychecks.
If you are paid less regularly, for instance on a commission basis, so it is hard to predict how much you will make each paycheck or on what day you will receive the money, then it does become more complicated. This actually makes it even more important that you do this exercise. I used to be in the military and I always got paid on the 1st and the 15th of each month, for 23 years. After I retired, it got a little complicated, because now my job pays me every two weeks, which is still predictable, but I used to have my bills sorted by the first half of the month and the second half of the month. Try changing how you do things after all that time, it is a bit disconcerting for a while. If you have an unpredictable income, then write down all your bills in literal priority format. Then, as your money comes in, pay the first thing, then the second thing, and so on. That is being deliberate on how you are going to spend your hard earned income and will lead to stability and a life where you can take care of you.
2. The next most important thing you can do is do not go into to debt, or if you are already in debt, make a plan to pay it off before you grow more.
I do recommend you use Dave Ramsey’s plan, “The Total Money Makeover” and his Debt Snowball method for this part. You can get all the info free, he has a podcast, a website, and so many free resources. (Like the Every Dollar App) You can buy his book, and he has an excellent course to go along with all of this, especially if you need inspiration. The way the total money make over works is that after you set aside $1000.00 in a savings account for an emergency, you list all your debt, smallest to largest, and the minimum payments required for each. Then, you focus ALL your free money on paying that smallest debt until it is paid off. You then move on to the next and the next, etc. It works because you get small wins at first, and you will free up the minimum payments that you had been paying to that company. This feels l like you got an immediate raise! If you have any debt, like credit cards or car loans, try this and see how amazing it feels to pay those things off! It really doesn’t take that long if you get intentional.
If you pay off all your debt (except maybe your mortgage, if you have one) you will already feel incredible freedom. If you get moving on this third step though, which is building a savings account to cover your monthly expenses, Dave Ramsey recommends 3-6 months’ worth of savings to cover monthly expenses (refer directly to your budget for this amount.) What decisions would you be able to make if you had no debt and enough money in the bank to cover six months of living, even with no income coming in. There is nothing like interviewing for a job when you don’t need it, there is nothing like being able to leave a job that is sucking out your lifeforce. Have you been considering starting your own business? Maybe you want to take a sabbatical and travel or study – being in a financial position like this will make those kinds of dreams a reality.
You probably know that you need some kinds of insurance. The different types of insurance you need will be different depending on what your life situation is. Do you own a car, are your renting an apartment, do you own a home, are you married, do you have kids, a business, which person is bringing home most of the income, etc. is really important, car, health, homeowners, etc.…
Let me tell you a story about a friend of mine. We were very young and, in the Navy, and it’s a really long story, but she was having a hard time with money, and as a result allowed her car insurance to lapse. She did have a loan out on the car and was making payments, which is a rather normal situation to be in, for a young adult. Unfortunately, she was in a car accident and her car was totaled. (She was ok, thank goodness!) The thing is, there was no insurance company there to help her pay off that car or replace it for her. She was then in a situation where she had to continue making payments on the car she no longer had, as I mentioned she was already struggling financially, so she could not afford a new car. She had no form of transportation, she did have kids, and then she had to rely on friends to help her get around — for a really long time. That one decision, to allow her insurance to lapse, led to a long, long series of issues that took almost ten years to fully recover from. She is an amazing woman and is doing well today, but I always wonder what would have happened if she had had car insurance at the time of that accident. She struggled SO much for SO long.
You can apply this type of story to most of the things or people you value in your life. What would happen if your house caught on fire, if your apartment was broken into and you were cleaned out, if your spouse died. What will happen to your kids if you unexpectedly die? Don’t think about how sad you would be if any of this happened for a moment, try to set that aside – try to think about the actual facts of how your finances would play out if your spouse were to pass away today.
5. Long term financial planning.
Long term financial planning is important for so many reasons and is also usually very low on the priority list for most people who are just finishing college or just starting in the workforce. The funny thing is, if you would start saving when you are 20, and just save a very small amount into an individual retirement account, you could be a millionaire by the time you are 50 without doing anything extraordinary. (A small amount would be about the cost of a car payment, or the cost of two NFL football tickets, or the cost of those expensive jeans or handbag that will be out of style in one year.) This type of planning, if done right and with an expert, is THE way to get to a place where you can retire from working early, and the lack of this type of planning leads to people who have to work for their entire lives. The choice is yours. When you are 50 or 60 years old, I will tell you what you will wish you would have chosen.
Don’t Forget WHY You Are Doing All This HARD Work!
You are a driven woman, with BIG plans and dreams. I know – or you wouldn’t be spending your time here with us today. I want you to have it ALL, I want you to be free to chase that opportunity, to say yes when a once in a lifetime experience pops up. To be able to walk away when the love you chose ends up hurting you more than loving you. To have the choice to leave when the job you are in sucks. You should not have to be “stuck.” Not ever, not anywhere, for any reason. The choice is yours and making smart financial choices will help you maintain your freedom throughout your life. Choose freedom and live the life you have been dreaming of!