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Naveen

Are You Waiting To Be Saved? Here’s Your Life Jacket

I know we’re mostly progressive, independent women here and to some that question might even be offensive.  Really, who wants to be thought of wanting to be saved?  Saved from what?  Ourselves?

But the reality is that some of us secretly think this way.  We’re overwhelmed with work, kids, family life and obligations as well as a host of life events. Managing our finances may not be at the top of the list.

Heck, even Sheryl Sandberg admitted to this during her Lean In tour and that raised a few eyebrows.  Most of us think that powerful women like her should take the reins as it relates to her money (lots of it!) but she doesn’t.  And to a certain degree, that’s OK.  For her pay grade.  More on that later.

So the question for me as always is how do we throw ourselves a life jacket when we don’t feel like saving ourselves?  I’m speaking to the times when we just want to saunter through life hoping and praying for prince charming to show up, pay off our debts and manage our money for us.  The reality is that it is a fairy tale that some women have which makes it easier to put their heads in the sand when it comes to their money.  Here’s how you get it out:

Change The Way You Think About Money

Just because you weren’t raised to think about money in terms of  being a sole provider, doesn’t mean you need to stick your head in the sand and avoid it.  Bankrate discusses the socialization of women and men that happens to women from birth:

Born to shop From birth, American women and men are raised to view and spend money quite differently. Our socialization, a trained behavior, is primarily modeled after our same-sex parent. While experts agree these generalizations are breaking down, here’s the money paradigm most of us have been dealt:

  • Women, trained to nurture and seek acceptance, view money as a means to create a lifestyle. Women spend on things that enhance day-to-day living. Theirs is a now-money orientation.
  • Men, trained to fix and provide, view money as a means to capture and accumulate value. Men don’t spend, they invest. Men don’t want something, they need it. Theirs is a future-money orientation.  “Women have been taught to invest in lifestyle and children. Men have been taught to invest in things that hold value — a house, retirement,” says Ruth Hayden, a financial counselor and author of For Richer, Not Poorer: The Money Book for CoupleBankrate

I see this all the time in private practice.  That is, women who are either homemakers or professionals and have no clue how to go about managing their money.  For starters?  Read a book.  Any book about managing your money properly.  I started with – Girls Just Wanna Have Funds – check it out on Amazon.

Then begin to apply the principles to your life.  But you’ll want to first think about the emotional barriers that stand in the way of you managing your own money.  If you’re married, then you must at the very least have access to and know what is happening with your money as a couple.

It’s All Up To You (And Your Financial Advisor)

No one else.  You’re responsible – ultimately – for what happens with your money from here on out.  But let’s not forget that you’re not alone, you have help in financial advisors, financial planners and coaches.  So this may seem scary at first but you do have help out there waiting to help get you on the right track.  Even if it means depending on them for a while until you’re ready to go on your own.

Your Kids Are Depending On You

If you have kids then they are depending on you get this right.  Should you lose your job then I hope you have an emergency fund.  This affects them if you don’t.  They are depending you to teach them good money habits, especially if you have a daughter.  She’s looking up to you to learn how to be independent and savvy as it relates to managing her money.

You’ve Got This

Nuff said.  You got this.  It might be scary doing this but the feeling you get once you realize that you’re in control?  Priceless.  Go after it.

 

  • Susannah

    *reins (“Sheryl Sandberg should… take the reigns”). As in, grab the leather straps and steer the horse.

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