Does talking about money make you totally uncomfortable? Do you find it easier to ignore your bank statement each month than to take time to review it? When you swipe your credit or debit card, are you holding your breath in the hopes that payment goes through?
We get it!
Talking about your finances can feel completely overwhelming and slightly taboo if you don’t do it often or haven’t built your financial confidence.
We believe every woman deserves to feel confident and empowered financially! Read on for our top tips you can use to actually begin to feel more confident and in control of your money situation:
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to your finances, ignorance is definitely not bliss. In order to feel like you have a handle on your finances and money goals, you have to first know your numbers. Do you know your post-tax income or your fixed and variable expenses? In order to have a profitable life, you will want your income to exceed your expenses. Take some time to document your expenses and assess your situation: do you need to cut back in order to achieve profitability? Or, can you increase your income by picking up a side hustle or by negotiating your salary?
Other numbers to know: your credit score, your interest rates (on credit cards, mortgage, outstanding debts, etc.), your student loan details, your account balances (for your credit card, checking, and savings accounts), and your debt utilization ratio (the percentage of your credit limit you’re using). Once you have all of the numbers listed above, it’s time to record and keep them in one place.
Now that you have all of your information handy, it’s important to keep these details readily available and organized. Gather a few folders or a filing cabinet and create a filing/storage system for your financial information. This way, you’ll always have your important details available when you need them and you’ll feel infinitely more in control of your situation.
Other documents to gather and organize: receipts, your home/mortgage documents, insurance contracts (including any living wills or estate plans), bank statements, checkbooks, tax returns, and any other personal details.
Murphy’s Law (the notion that if something can go wrong, then it inevitably will) is an unfortunate part of life. We all know that things can spontaneously pop up at any time and wreak havoc on our budgets and financial plans. Car accidents happen. Trips to the emergency room happen. You can lose your job, get divorced, need to repair your home, need to book a last-minute flight, etc. Having an Emergency Fund in place can help you sleep better at night and prevent your need to rely on a credit card or investments to get you by. Aim to save at least 3-6 months of your income in a high-yield savings account that you can readily access. If you’re just getting started, even saving a little bit each month can make a difference. You’ll be thankful you set aside these funds to protect against some of life’s more difficult challenges.
Write down 5 realistic, time-bound goals for your finances and keep them in a place where you can see them. What can you realistically to do reduce your debt, build your savings, and better yourself financially? Who will hold you accountable for each goal? After creating a plan to achieve those goals, be sure to also create a plan to celebrate. It is so important to celebrate small wins and use that momentum to carry you into the next goal!
One of the best ways to demystify or reduce the anxiety of a situation is to simply talk about it. What might be uncomfortable at first will gradually transition into just a normal part of conversation. Aim to start talking about money little by little and build up to talking about your finances more regularly. Doing so reduces the control and power these fears have over your life and can help you feel infinitely more secure moving forward.
There is no shortage of amazing resources out there (including this blog!) that you can use to learn. Check out some of our favorite personal finance books here!
How will you build your financial confidence? Tell us below!
Author: Brittan Leiser
Brittan Leiser is a Financial Advisor in Cleveland, Ohio. Brittan created AdvisHER after recognizing that in the male dominated financial industry, women often felt ignored or overwhelmed when it came to having a conversation about their own personal finances. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, Brittan is passionate about helping clients understand their financial options in order to achieve their true potential.
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