Are you finally making good money, but still feel you have nothing to show for it? Perhaps you’re still living paycheck to paycheck, even though that check has gotten a lot bigger. You’re not alone. I’ve been there and nearly every woman I know has too. The struggle to get control of your finances is real!
We’ve all fallen into the same trap. Believing more money will be the solution. And hustling to get that promotion, raise, or new job just for the bump in pay. I’m 100% for women getting bigger checks and we need to keep pushing for more, and then some more. But we must understand that when more cash is pumped into a broken system, our problems just get bigger.
And at some point, you recognized that all your hard work paid off — you got what you were chasing. But your situation with money didn’t improve. Then, maybe then you fell into a new trap — resigning yourself to a life of just “getting by.”
That’s what I did. Until I had a coach who opened my eyes. You see, if you’re like me, you’ve
already demonstrated over and over again that you are 1) worthy of building wealth and 2)
absolutely capable of doing it.
With a few simple steps, you can banish your overwhelm, get back in the driver’s seat of your money management, and start building a better financial future. Here are five steps you can take today to put yourself on the path to wealth.
Understand that how you think and feel about money and your specific financial situation has the greatest impact on your ability to achieve financial freedom (however you define it). Hear this: The most important asset you have in your wealth-building toolbox is your mindset.
The first step is to know if you have a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset. Take this
free money mindset quiz to find out.
You can’t transform your financial situation if you’re in the dark. Awareness is an essential part of changing your relationship with money and your financial results. Start to cultivate an awareness of your thoughts, actions, and habits related to money. And then build a habit of staying aware of your financial results – your spending, net worth, and cash flow.
Here are some tools to help:
Note: Being “aware” does not mean being judgmental or shaming yourself. It simply means you observe. Try not to label a thought or action as “bad” because that will result in more negative thoughts which is counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve.
One of the easiest ways to take control of your finances is to cut back on mindless expenses. These are spending decisions you make on auto-pilot. Mindful spending means that every time you give a dollar in exchange for goods or services you do so with awareness and intentionality. By reviewing your spending weekly, you will likely start to identify purchasing patterns that were made without a lot of conscious thought to how they impact your financial wellbeing. Examples may include subscriptions you no longer use, expenses that are too high and could be lower with a little negotiation, or purchases you make in the heat of the moment and then regret later. Those are great candidates for cutting back and freeing up more cash flow to put towards your financial goals.
Some ways to cultivate a mindful spending habit include:
Planning ahead and taking your time making decisions – We make mindless decisions when we’re pressed for time and in situations that make impulse choices too appealing. To counter this, plan your spending in advance and if you face an unexpected choice, buy yourself more time (24-48 hours) before deciding.
Practicing gratitude and forgiveness – Forgive whatever actions you have deemed to be mindless and shift your focus towards being grateful for what is going right. Making gratitude a daily practice will help condition your mind to appreciate what you have instead of seeking fulfillment through spending.
Ask “what do I want more?” – add this simple reminder in your wallet or on your phone and use it anytime you feel tempted to make a purchase that may not be aligned with your goals.
Once you’re aware of how you think and feel about money, you’re comfortable reviewing your finances weekly, and you’ve built a mindful spending habit, the next step in taking control of your finances is to create a plan. This could entail a budget, but that isn’t always necessary.
Refrain from using generic benchmarks to set goals and avoid the pressure to copy someone else’s. Your goals should be personal and driven by your deepest desires. When you set goals that aren’t meaningful, you struggle to build and sustain momentum to keep working towards them.
The best way to set meaning goals is to surface a vision for your life. Envision the life you want now, 10 years from now, at retirement, and at the end of your journey on earth. Use your imagination to get a crystal clear vision of what your life will be and then work backwards to determine what steps you need to take to bring it to fruition. Then identify which parts of your vision contain financial components and make those your SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
One of the most important steps in taking control of your finances is to start saving for the unexpected. Unforeseen expenses can arise at any time, such as car repairs, medical bills, or job loss. By having an emergency fund or rather “Peace of Mind” fund, you can avoid going into debt or having to rely on credit cards to cover these expenses.
Conventional advice says to aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an easily accessible savings account. But will those amounts give you peace of mind? Maybe. Maybe not. If you lost your job or had an unexpected expense, what amount of money sitting in a reserve would allow you to sleep well at night? That’s your target amount.
Start building your Peace of Mind reserves by setting aside a portion of each paycheck and gradually increase your savings over time. It helps to make this goal one of your top priorities. Building healthy cash reserves can help you build a sense of security, which will allow you to take confident action towards your other financial goals.
Need help to take back control of your finances? Schedule a 30-minute Money Chat to learn how I can support you.
want to be added to my list to learn about new products and services?
*I take your privacy seriously. No spam ever.
you're all signed up!