The Bag Lady Syndrome

Many women worry about ending up destitute and in the streets in their senior years. This is the bag lady syndrome; it often stems from lack of confidence in knowing how to make and manage money. The bag lady syndrome ranges from women who have a lot of money to women who have a highly emotional relationship with money. To build up confidence you must explore your money mindset. What is your thought or belief about money and its purpose in the world? Your money mindset ultimately dictates how you save, spend, invest, and gift daily.

Source: Kingsbury, How to Give Financial Advice to Women

Avoid Holiday Spending

Despite meticulous planning, the holidays are the time when most consumers do the most damage to their debt loads by buying presents for family and friends now and figuring out how to pay for them later.

Here are some tips to help you avoid overspending during the holiday season.

Get over the guilt

Are you buying that gift because you haven’t spent enough time with that recipient? Are you trying to make up for something you’re feeling bad about? It’s important to ask yourself if spending a surplus of money on a gift is really going to help you achieve the goal of gift-giving in the first place.

Set a budget, spend within it

It is crucial to establish a budget BEFORE you go shopping. Don’t spend more than you can pay back in one month. You’ll still have to pay your regular bills just like the other 11 months of the year plus all those added holiday expenses.

Always pay for purchases with a debit card

If you can’t pay with debit, you can’t afford it.

Don’t let a gift put a value on you

Consumers value themselves based on their spending choices. People become consumed in what they believe they’re expected to purchase. Think about what you can afford. What is the meaning and value behind your gift? The gift may not cost much, but may be worth more to the recipient than the price.

Put meaning into your gift

Donating to a charity of your choice in a loved one’s name is a fantastic way to show you care while staying within your budget. Research a charity or organization that holds special meaning to your recipient and honor them while helping somebody else in need.

Start the New Year right

Create a monthly expense budget and examine what you’re actually spending each month. Set your spending and saving goals early in the year.

Did you put these tools to use during your holiday shopping? Did you implement any other money saving tools? I’d love to hear back from you.
Source: Keltie, 5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Overspending

Many women feel they don’t know enough…

…to make smart financial decisions

They assume they must understand every aspect of their investments and financial plan in order to make a decision. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all delegate to professionals who have an expertise that we don’t have the time or the inclination to perfect, the same holds true with your financial life. While we do not suggest you simply “blindly” trust any professional you work with the reality is you do not have to know how to build the clock you just need to know how the clock works and can impact your life.

Types of Relationships; Which One are You?

The Big Spender
The Big Spender has no problem spending money if the purchase seems right. They view money as a vehicle for bringing themselves and others happiness. Big spenders view life as endless possibilities; they enjoy life and what it has to offer. The downside is that they overspend when they are upset or bored.

The Saver
The Saver is the polar opposite of the big spender. The saver believes in saving money at all costs. They keep track of all monies earned and spent and are extremely cautious with their finances. Many positive aspects come from pinching pennies. The positive aspect of being a saver is that they tend to have a nice emergency savings cushion, good credit and very little debt. On the negative side, extreme saving tends to come from a fear of never having enough, which means that the saver probably denies themselves things that they want and even need.

The Entrepreneur
The Entrepreneur gets a thrill from overextending and stretching financially. They make investments in a business or a beach house even if it means eating canned soup every night for dinner. Thrill-seekers tend to be free-thinking entrepreneurs; they view life as a game and money as the playing pieces.
When you’re a thrill-seeker with your money, your financial journey is exciting. Living with this thrill-seeking mindset means that each day is a new adventure. However, this mindset can be risky. If anything goes wrong, this spender could potentially lose a lot of money.

The Security-Craver
If you’re a saver and find yourself constantly checking your balances to make sure you have enough, you crave the security that you feel money offers. You aren’t afraid of spending money like The Saver; you take your time making a commitment to purchases, especially large ones. While this type of spending has its definite advantages, like the fact that you probably won’t find yourself in financial trouble, the urge to check and recheck your safety net can become overwhelming.

The Idealist
The Idealist views money and consumerism as unsavory and the root of many of the world’s problems. They prefer to dedicate themselves to innovative pursuits that don’t focus on money. The Idealist most likely ignores their finances and pays for necessary items quickly; afterwards, they jump back into their own agenda.

The Idealist spender tends to notice simple pleasures. However, this mindset is often impractical. They enjoy life, but forget that they need money to enjoy some aspects of it.
Source: Payoff, 5 Different Types of Money Spenders

Is Your Relationship with Money on the Rocks?

A relationship is defined as the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected. A relationship does not necessarily need to be between two people; it can also be between a woman and her money. Your money needs attention, respect, and understanding; all components are needed in a compatible relationship.

If you are struggling with or misunderstanding your finances, there are a couple steps you can take to acquire the relationship you WANT. First talk to a professional; make an appointment with a financial advisor. Next, educate yourself about money. Read something about finances everyday, that way you UNDERSTAND the other half of your relationship. You can also ask your money savvy colleagues for advice. Finally, be careful of rumors and scare tactics; those facts are generally skewed. Once you have defined and developed a healthy relationship with your money, you are on the road to success!

Source: Stanny, Time to Have a Love Affair with Your Money

If you won the lottery would you…

We all talk about winning the lottery, some just talk about it while others consistently buy tickets in hopes of winning the “Big Pay Day”. Whether it’s the lottery, a substantial inheritance ,or sudden financial windfall, how would you use that money? Without thoughtful preparation, a windfall can become your downfall. Consider the following:

  • If you won the lottery tomorrow how would you spend the money?
  • What would your objective be or what would you hope to accomplish with this money?
  • How can I make this money last my lifetime and beyond?
  • In what ways can I use this money in meaningful ways?

Do YOU Have an Emergency Fund?

A financial plan is a written document that spells out where you are in your financial life, where you want to be, and the investment strategies you will implement to reach your goals. A substantial financial plan should include an emergency fund.

What is an emergency fund?

An emergency fund is money that is set aside to be used in the case of an emergency, such as the loss of a job, an illness, or the death of a spouse.

Why have emergency funds?

An emergency fund increases financial security by constructing a safety net of funds that can be used to meet emergency expenses as well as reduce the need to use high interest debt.

How much should I be saving?

It is suggested that you save enough money to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses in a liquid account.

Renting Vs. Buying a Home

It is time for you to look for a new home! Where do you start?

Start by defining you goals. Consider where you want to live, the features and amenities you are looking for, what you can afford, and a realistic date for having the money you will need.  Another decision you will consider is whether you are renting or buying your home. Purchasing a home is a huge investment; you will need to take the time to weigh the benefits of renting versus buying a home.

 

Renting Your Home Buying Your Home
  • The initial cost of renting is usually lower than making a down payment on a house
  • You probably will not pay property taxes and upkeep directly
  • With no money tied up in real estate, you should have more savings to invest
  • You run no risk that the value of your property will go down
  •  You can deduct the interest on your mortgage and your local property taxes on your tax return
  • You build equity as you pay off your mortgage
  • You may be able to borrow against your equity and deduct the interest payments on the loan
  • Your house may increase in value and you may make a profit should you decide to sell

 

Source: Morris, A Woman’s Guide to Personal Finance

Do you have a “Whisper Letter”?

As women accumulate wealth, their focus often turns to their children; how can I help them and how will my money support them when I am gone. It’s easy to assume they will use it in ways that will better their lives and provide the security we want for them, but this can be “wishful” thinking. For more affluent people, trust is often an effective way to control distribution and even put stipulations on how the money can be used, yet this doesn’t always convey our wishes and desires. A “Whisper Letter” is written before your passing, and communicates to your children what your hope is for this money you are leaving behind. It’s not designed to control but to encourage your children to be more thoughtful in how they use this money. You might encourage tithing or investing; you may inspire them to save more or even to splurge a little bit. Giving your children some gentle guidance by using a Whisper Letter can provide both parties some guidance.
If you wrote a Whisper Letter, what financial philosophies and principles would you want to encourage?

It’s Not All About Money

Women are usually not taught the secret wisdom of creating wealth and exercising power. Studies reveal that the sexes view money and power very differently. A man’s self-esteem comes from his achievements and power is the ultimate goal. A woman gains her self esteem from relationships; power is a means to an end.

Men desire the respect of the office place while women yearn for the opportunity to help others, grow personally, and live genuinely. Women tend to fear power. This fear of power is a fear of finding out who they really are and fulfilling their purpose in life in the biggest way possible.

The word power comes from the Latin word, potere (‘to be able’) and means the great or marked ability to do or act. This definition can be interpreted in many different ways, especially between the genders. How do you define power as a woman? Through business success, money, or a successful relationship? Do you think power hinders or strengthens your success in life?