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

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

Tips to Talking About Money

Talking about money with your partner is tough. Eventually, we all have to do it. Don’t try to negotiate about money before airing your feelings; otherwise, negotiations will always break down. Here are some tips to get started with talking to your partner about money:

  1. Find an appropriate and stress free time when money is not a loaded issue (don’t use tax season for example).
  2. Articulate your concerns and fears about your partner’s money style. After you express your concerns, acknowledge what you admire about their methods.
  3. Talk to your partner about your goals for the future, short and long-term.
  4. Share your hopes and dreams.
  5. Contemplate making a shared budget or a spending plan together by merging your hopes and the goals.
  6. Set up a time to have the next talk. Aim for weekly conversations in the beginning, then monthly ones.

Source: Mellon, Men, Women, and Money

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?

Money is a Tool

According to Phyllis Chesler, “Money is power sacred to most men and foreign to most women.” Money does not give us power. It is a tool, and like many other tools, it does us no good unless we know how to use it. Money bestows power by giving us choices. Money gives us the freedom and the resources to make choices based on who we are and what we want, not on what someone else expects or society dictates. No matter how much money a woman has, unless she is knowledgeable and responsible for it, she can never fully tap the power money holds. It is the understanding of how money works and our ability to manage it autonomously that empowers women.

Source: Barbara Stanny, Prince Charming Isn’t Coming

Proactively Manage your Money

What role do you want your money to play in your life? As a natural multi-tasker, you must incorporate a process or routine that allows you to proactively manage your money so that no stone is left unturned and nothing falls through the cracks. Just as we create routines and a process in other areas of life, we must do the same with our money.

checkbook

But the reality is there are many aspects to consider when managing your wealth. You’ve got your investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds), insurance (life insurance, long term care, mortgages), lending issues, and estate planning. At times, it managing your wealth can feel overwhelming. That is why it is important to break everything down into a manageable system that works for you.

Getting Paid What You Deserve

Financially Savvy Women get the money they deserve
Financially Savvy Women make sure they know what they are worth, and get it!

Do you think that you deserve more money than you are earning? Here are 5 tips for developing your self-worth which in turn develops your net worth:

 

  1. Think Big, Then Think Even Bigger: The idea is to think in terms of what you are worth, not just what you assume the market will bear.
  2. Do Your Homework: One of the worst negotiating mistakes women make is picking a number out of the air that’s way too low.
  3. Take the Initiative: Have tangible evidence of what you bring to the table. Every time you accept more responsibility, successfully complete a challenge or create positive changes, document it.
  4. Daily Affirmations: Affirmations are positive statements expressed as if they’ve already happened. When you act as if you’re worth a lot, you’ll eventually convince yourself as well as others.
  5. Challenge yourself in other areas: A stretch in any area of life has a ripple effect in other areas as well. Anything that puts you out of your comfort zone builds confidence and self-worth.

 

By implementing these tips, you’ll begin to notice a shift in how you feel about yourself. Making more money is not something that you should do, but it is something you have to do, because you know you are worth it.

 

(Barbara Stanny, 5 Tips for Getting Paid What You Really Deserve)

Woman facing Divorce

Facing Divorce

 

The independence that comes with divorce can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with your finances. You are in a strong position if you are familiar with all aspects of your family’s finances and have played a strong role in the financial decision making. If you are not familiar with your finances, this is the time to be prepared. Be involved as a partner, not a supporter, when discussing your finances. Take the lead! The advice of a financial professional can also be helpful.

(Morris, A Woman’s Guide to Personal Finance)