3 steps to improve your emotional relationship with money

This past week, I had the honor of leading my "Wealth and Wellness for the Independent Woman" workshop at Sensiba San Filippo, one of the fastest growing CPA firms in Silicon Valley.

During these workshops, I share data to support why women's lack of confidence with money is the biggest reason why we have the gender wage gap and financial inequality.

The key to boosting your confidence is to become aware, and improve, your emotional relationship with money. 

After walking through examples of how our family and cultural upbringing impacts our financial decisions, I facilitate a conversation where the group is encouraged to share personal experiences with money.

Photo credit: Elese Moran

Photo credit: Elese Moran

The conversation this past week was particularly passionate and we all left inspired to become more aware of how our emotional relationship with money is impacting our financial health.

Here are three steps you can take to become more aware of your emotional relationship with money:

  1. Write down all the thoughts that come up when you hear the word "money". Take note of any words that have a negative connotation.
  2. Reflect on your earliest experiences with money. Was it hearing your parents argue about money? Was it your parents telling you "we can't afford this"? Or was it your parents being very hush about it and not talking about it with you? Take a moment to think about how this experience impacts your current approach to money.
  3. Who is your model for money? Usually this is a parent or guardian. Think about their habits with money and how you are repeating some of those habits.

Similar to any area of your life that you hope to improve, the more awareness you have around why you have your current habits the easier it will be to change them. As you gain more clarity about your emotional relationship with money, your habits will begin to improve.

Now we'd love to hear from you! What were some of your earliest experiences with money? Let us know in the comments below.

For more tips on how to remove the emotional baggage you have with money, click here to join our weekly #MoneyandMimosas newsletter.

Three Wealth Building Tools For Women By Women

In today's post, we are spotlighting three amazing fintech companies that will help you manage and grow your wealth.  And they are all founded by women with a mission to change the conversation about money. Woo hoo!

The first company is Startwise. Started by two women founders in the Bay Area, they help small business raise funding by giving their peers the opportunity to invest in them. We love the emphasis on community building. And their newsletters have fantastic tips about how to grow your wealth.

The second company is WorthFM founded by Amanda Steinberg, who you may also know as the CEO of Daily Worth. WorthFM makes investing easy for women and is passionate about educating you through the process. Yay!

The third company is Banqer. Founded by Kendall Flutey, based in New Zealand. I am in love with this program because it's purpose is to help children with financial education. How amazing would it have been if we had all been taught about money at a young age?! Love it.

Take a peek below for Q&A's with each of the founders.


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Startwise

Founders: Grace Leung Shing & Catherine Yushina

1. Why did you decide to launch Startwise?

Both Grace and Catherine worked in a Venture capital firm when they met, they saw so many great companies with revenues and customers looking to grow their existing business. unfortunately, they couldn't get funding since they were not the typical startup that will have a quick exit. We started talking to entrepreneurs and brainstorming about different alternative options. Turned out there were not that many. So bridging the capital gap for small businesses became the mission. Including the people using revenue sharing model became the solution.

2. Who is Startwise geared towards?

We are a double-sided market, we focus on:

- Product businesses with a minimum of 1-2 years in operations and minimum of $200,000 in annual revenues looking to expand and grow their company to the next level.

- The people: US residents of various wealth level and financial experience, looking to generate passive income while aligning the money with their values.

3. What if I don't have a lot of money, can I use Startwise? How much money should I have to invest?

Yes! That is why Startwise is around. People can invest as small as $100 and up to $2200. If you want to invest above the $2200, then the maximum will depend on the income and net worth level, as regulated by the Regulation Crowdfunding rules. 

4. What makes Startwise different from other crowdfunding platforms?

We focus on revenue sharing instead of equity. We work with existing small businesses instead of idea stage startups. It is a great way to diversify the investment portfolio not only by including different type of companies, but also a different mechanism of investing. We've also built our own software that facilitates not only the full investment process but the repayment as well - easy and accessible. 

5. What is your big vision for Startwise? What is the lasting legacy you hope to instill through this platform?

A truly inclusive economy is our vision. Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy, they create jobs and generate income for the majority of the people in the country. Our dream is not only providing the alternative to business funding but also tapping into the wealth gap issue. 

6. What is your #1 piece of advice to a woman who is new to investing?

Be you! Because you are totally rocking it. Multiple data sources show that women business owners and investors have been outperforming men in generating higher returns and success rates for a while now. We take our time to get ready, to research, we use both our brain and our intuition, we are good in listening to the market. Stop doubting yourself because there is no reason you should. 


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WorthFM

Founder: Amanda Steinberg

1. Why did you decide to launch WorthFM?

We began in 2015. We launched in Feb 2017. The federal regulatory process is very complex. 

2. Who is WorthFM geared towards?

Women ages 30-55 with between $25,000 and $500,000 in investments. 

3. What if I don't have a lot of money, can I use WorthFM? How much money should I have?

You can begin with $50. We offer a free savings account that allows you to open an account with us, no matter what. 

4. What makes WorthFM different from other "roboadvisors"? How is it different from working with a financial advisor?

We educate you as you invest so that you become smarter and more confident as your money grows. The others only focus on your portfolio. 

5. What is your big vision for WorthFM? What is the lasting legacy you hope to instill through this platform?

Global financial gender equity. 

6. What is your #1 piece of advice to a woman who is new to investing?

Diversify across multiple asset classes. 


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Kendall Fluety

Co-Founder: Banqer

1. Why did you decide to launch Banqer?

The launch of Banqer came after a series of serendipitous events starting with me leaving my career as an accountant. I retrained in software and shortly after landed my dream job as a developer, but not before returning to my family home for a weekend to recharge. It was there that a simple conversation with my then 12 year old brother sparked the inspiration for Banqer and kick-started the journey. For the first time I realised both the impact in-class financial education could have on a child, and also a child’s capacity to comprehend a vast range of personal finance topics. Within four months Banqer was alive.

2. Who is Banqer geared towards?

Banqer is used by elementary and middle schools and our students range from six to thirteen years old. The platform is specifically designed to be used as an in-class tool (aligning to teaching standards and curricula), however we also get some parents using Banqer at homes as well.

3. What if I don't have a lot of money, can Banqer still benefit me?

Given our users are students under thirteen most don’t have a lot of money and yet Banqer is extremely effective. When it comes to financial education your financial position is merely a starting point and there’s not a threshold you need to reach in order to engage, anyone can. It’s also arguable that those with a lower net wealth will see the most radical proportionate increases in wealth from starting their financial education journey as well.

4. What makes Banqer different from other financial education tools?

The biggest difference between Banqer and traditional financial education tools/resources is the experiential simulation we create that mimics an economy. All financial behaviours are contextualised inside Banqer as students engage financially just like we do in the real world. By creating an environment as closely aligned to what they will experience later in life, the decision making process, consequences felt, and perceived risk are as realistic as possible. This creates an environment that feels real to the students, so it’s not so much considered a lesson but instead practical financial experience.

5. What is your big vision for Banqer? What is the lasting legacy you hope to instill through this platform?

Our mission is to see Banqer enabling students everywhere to be prepared for the financial world that lays ahead of them. Too many of us learn financial lessons by trial and error and often when it’s too late.

Banqer has the potential to improve financial literacy (we see an average increase of 16%), shape positive financial behaviours, and instill confidence in the next generation. The economic externalities of this are huge and that makes us extremely driven to provide Banqer to those who wish to use it.

6. What is your #1 piece of advice to a woman who is new on journey of financial education?

Distinguish the difference between a need and want early. Marketing forces spend billions annually to try and blur the lines between these, often specifically targeting women. Decide what you need in your life, and what is just noise and don’t let yourself be swayed. From there you’ll have a better understanding of what’s important to you and you can frame your financial goals around them.


For more money tips for the independent woman, be sure to click here and join our weekly newsletter. 

Our Top 5 Favorite Bookkeeping Apps for the Independent Woman

Oh, bookkeeping. The bane of every business owner's existence. 

But, we all know that keeping track of our monies is the secret to leading the carefree, glamour-filled lifestyle. As an independent woman, it is imperative that we know how to manage our books. And not end up in a BBHMM situation like Rihanna did with her CPA firm. More about that, here.

Often times, business owners wait until tax season to start thinking about their books. Leaving you in a frenzy trying to figure out where the receipt is for that random $87 charge way back in the month of the May. 

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Do your tax accountant a favor this year and let's burn all of the shoeboxes. Get a jumpstart on organizing your books by using an online program. Not only does this make filing super easy peasy, it also helps you stay on top of your finances throughout the year during your weekly money dates

Here is a list of the top five bookkeeping programs that I love for the independent woman.

  1. Quickbooks Self-Employed - a fantastic tool for freelancers and independent contractors. Best feature: Love that it automatically calculates your quarterly taxes, and allows you to send invoices on the go. Downside: customizing your invoices is very limited, which we know is important to our creative friends. Cost: Starts at $10/month and goes up to $17/month.
  2. Freshbooks- great tool for the self-employed and project-based businesses. Best feature: hands down the best invoice customization tool on the market. Downside: the financial reporting is limited, which may be an issue as you grow your business. Cost: Starts at $15/month and goes up to $50/month
  3. Xero Tax Touch- known as beautiful accounting software, this program's design is really easy on the eyes and geared towards freelancers/independent contractors. Best feature: easy-to-read report on your income, expenses and how much taxes you owe for the year. Downside: no invoicing capability, which is a huge downside for the woman on the go. Cost: $6/month 
  4. Sage Onegeared towards the small business owner on the go. Best feature: great inventory tracking capabilities. Downside: this product is a little too robust for the freelancer or independent contractor, and therefore not very intuitive. Cost: $25/month
  5. Kashoo- named the #1 accounting app on the iPad and really great for the traveling business owner. Best feature: works offline so you can access your data even if you are out of internet range. Downside: similar to SageOne, not necessarily an intuitive program for the freelancer or independent contractor. Cost: Approximately $17/month

And now we'd like to hear from you! Which accounting software do you use for your business and why? Leave a comment below.

For more accounting tips for the independent woman, be sure to click here and join our weekly newsletter.