As a creative, it can feel limiting to have to think about money. Sometimes the impulses and insights you have do not seem practical on the surface. Or you may even wonder how in the world your random passion is going to make you money and allow you to support yourself. We totally get it!
As you embark on your creative entrepreneurial journey, there will undoubtedly be times when money is not flowing as easily as you would like it to be. You may even feel stressed about bills that you can’t pay or anxious about how to make your business a legit endeavor.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all questioned whether or not we should continue our dream and hang up the “Closed for Good” sign. It’s part of earning your stripes as an entrepreneur. These experiences will allow you to build your resilience and strengthen your creative muscles.
And if you decide to stick it out through these tough times- you will come out stronger, wiser, and more nimble than ever before.
Money ruts are just like writer’s block. When you find yourself in a money rut, it takes a combination of patience and action to get out of it. While everyone’s process is different, here are six steps you can try that will help you get out of your money rut.
Get moving. Literally. Go take a dance class, go on a walk, do a workout video through YouTube, whatever is your flavor - just get sweating. As humans, we tend to hold anxiety and stress in our bodies. The more we have of it, the less clear we think and respond. By physically working the stress out of your body, you can regain clarity and focus.
Practice gratitude for the things money can’t buy. There are plenty of people with lots of money, who are miserable. Consider all of the things in your life that give you joy and fulfillment. Friendships, romance, a healthy body, a clear mind, a sunny day, the smell of lavender in the trees, your eyesight, hearing the giggles of a toddler, swinging in the park. Take a moment to appreciate all of these invaluable gifts of life.
Practice gratitude for the opportunities you do have. Write down a list of all things you can currently afford with your money and say thank you for it. Maybe it’s a delicious energy bar or a bouquet of flowers for yourself. Only have $20 in your pocket? Well, guess what? You can open a savings account that has one of the highest interest rates on the market. With only $100, you can start investing towards your future by using Radius Bank’s high-yield savings account. By developing your savings habits when you feel like you’re in a rut, is just like putting on a fancy pair of clothes when you feel extra sluggish. It immediately lifts your mood and attracts positivity towards you.
Take out a blank sheet of paper and write down your monthly expenses. What is the number you need to cover each month? Often times, it is much less than we think and this exercise will help your current situation feel less daunting.
Flip over the sheet of paper and brainstorm all the ways you can make money. Selling clothes or books to the local second-hand store? Babysitting? Teaching dance on the side (if that’s not already your entrepreneurial gig, of course. If it is, can you pick up a few more classes to teach or sub for others). Then brainstorm ways you can create more money from your business. List five people that can be potential clients. Can you offer them a new service? Let those creative juices flow.
Take action. The fastest way to get out of a rut is to start doing something to change it. Call those five people on your list. Pack your clothes and books and walk to the secondhand store to sell them. Open up a savings account. Place items on CraigsList. Create your own momentum and you will see the money tide flowing back your way in no time.
This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.
For more money tips, click here to get insider advice.
If you want to be the BOSS of your life and live on your terms, learning how to build wealth needs to be at the top of your priority list. Unfortunately, there are five common money beliefs that may be holding you back from success.
How do you know how much wealth you have? Your net worth.
Net worth is calculated by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. The remaining total is your net worth. In some instances someone with a high income, can have a low net worth if they have a lot of debt. The opposite holds true as well. Individuals may have a lower salary, but have a high net worth because they’ve invested in successful vehicles. That’s why income is only a part of the equation.
Women are lagging in the wealth game because of their lower incomes, but ALSO because many do not invest and grow their assets. On average, women tend to hold their cash in savings accounts. While I fully support having an ample amount of cash in savings, there comes a point when it is time to diversify and take the next step in your money journey.
If you want to be able to take 4-day weekend on a whim or escape to an exotic island for three weeks without getting permission or just live life on your own terms, then learning how to build wealth is the skill you need to develop.
Here are 5 common money beliefs that are holding you back from success.
You need a lot of money to invest. You can start with as little as $10! When you first start investing, I recommend keeping 10% of your savings in a liquid account that earns a decent interest rate. One of my favorites is Radius Bank’s high-yield savings account, which has a 1.30% APY.*
You need to know everything about investing. As women, we are the queens of research. Which actually makes us the better investor, because we are more informed (go figure!). But, analysis paralysis is holding us back. The longer you wait, the longer you are missing out on the magic of compound interest (where you earn money on money on money). Here’s the thing- you and I will never know everything there is to know about investing. It’s like having a kid or starting a business. You’ll learn as you go.
Investing is hard. Think of investing as like learning how to swim or trying a new workout. At first, the moves feel awkward and you’re scared you’ll make a fool of yourself. But, the longer you stick with it, the stronger you become and the easier it gets. With investing, the terms and concepts will seem foreign at first. But, you will get the hang of it. Promise!
You have to time the stock market right. No one ever times it right, all the time. Sure, some people get lucky. But, that’s all it is - good old fashioned luck. It’s more important to be consistent. Consistency always leads to gains over a long period of time.
Only stocks and bonds count as investing. Stocks and bonds are fabulous, but don’t discount your business and side hustle as an investment. As the greatest investor, Warren Buffet, says, “the best investment you can make is in yourself.” Investing in your skills and growing your blog, creates a foundation of recurring revenue. Just like dividend payouts from stocks. Continue to improve your skills and you will be on your way to financial independence in no time!
Now I want to hear from you! Are you holding on to any of these beliefs or do you have another belief about money that is holding you back? Let me know in the comments below!
*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 4/1/18. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01—$9.99, 0.05% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $10.00—$2,499.99, and 1.30% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings
This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.
Remember when your mom nagged you to make the bed in the morning? If you were like me, you groaned and hated every second of it. I would think to myself, and sometimes say out loud, “why do I have to make the bed, if I’m just going to get right back into it?”
She would promptly say that discipline is a virtue. Disciplining yourself to make your bed every morning is an easy way to set your day up for success.
Want a hot, banging body? You have to develop the discipline and make working out a consistent habit. Our daily habits are what determines our success in life.
The same goes for your financial health. You have to consistently pay attention to your money and discipline yourself to develop habits that support - not sabotage - your financial success.
If you truly want to be the BOSS of your life, financial independence is a goal that you’ll need to strive for and healthy money habits will help you achieve it. What are these habits?
Here are the seven daily habits of rich women.
Exercise. You may be wondering, what does this have to do with my bank account? Studies show that the better we feel in our body, the better we perform in our financial lives. It makes sense. If you are physically healthy, you are able to be fully present while at work or while negotiating with a client. A quick and dirty, thirty minute HIIT workout will do the trick.
Practice Gratitude. As Oprah says, “If you are grateful for what you have, you will have more. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.” The more you can practice gratitude for the people and things currently in your life, the more you will attract other awesome people and opportunities. Start by writing in a journal every morning for five minutes about the things you are grateful for- things money can buy and ones it can’t.
Nurture relationships. Wealthy people understand that your net-worth is in your network. Surround yourself with people that will lift you higher and make those relationships a priority. Together, you all can help build each other build wealth.
Practice self-love and self-acceptance. As I always say, financial freedom is a journey of self-love. If we are mean to ourselves, we will subconsciously sabotage our success. When you truly love yourself, you will see money as a tool that supports your well-being and the causes you care about. Every morning, look yourself in the mirror and say three reasons why you love yourself and three things you are proud of yourself for accomplishing.
Find a money mentor. It is important to find someone who has achieved what you hope to accomplish, in order to model their behavior. You can have many mentors - people that are in your life and you see on a regular basis, and people who you only meet through interviews. One of my biggest mentors is Marie Forleo. I religiously watch her Marie TV episodes on YouTube every Tuesday and joined her B-School program. I’ve never met her in person, but I consider her one my best mentors.
Read about money. ALOT. Studying business and wealth building strategies, will help you stay on top of trends and spark ideas for your own business. If you aren’t already on the Money & Mimosas newsletter, click here to sign up. Every Wednesday, I do a run-down of the business happenings from the week to help you stack your cash.
Do one thing out of their comfort zone. Fortune favors the bold. Building wealth takes courage and you will have to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Whether it’s speaking in front of a group of people and sharing your blog with friends, do something everyday that puts yourself out there.
Bonus: Rich women track their finances and calculate their net worth regularly. Wealthy people are always minding their busine$$. Start doing a weekly money date where you review your previous week’s expenses and set goals for the following week. We call this your Money & Mimosas date, because when you’re done you get to celebrate with a mimosa. Cheers!
Want to test your financial independence? Take our quiz, “How BOSS are you?” to see if you are living life on your terms or by someone else’s rules
Money is something that is present in all of our lives. Studies show that the average person makes 5-7 financial decisions everyday. It governs where we live, where we go to school, the quality of life our children experience, the type of food we have access to and our ability to pursue the life of our dreams. Unfortunately, women continue to make big mistakes with their money that is holding them back from living the life of their dreams.
Understanding how money works and making it work for you is the most important skill anyone can learn- whether you are an entrepreneur building a blog or a tech company, or an executive working for a large corporation. For women, especially, learning how to build wealth is going to ensure that you are empowered to lead a life of fulfillment. Otherwise, you will be living on someone else’s terms - and those terms will likely not be in your favor.
Here are the seven biggest mistakes women make with their money. And more importantly, how to fix them.
Not talking about it. Money is more taboo than sex and politics. And in some circles, it’s considered crass or low-brow to bring it up. How backwards is that?! Talking about the very thing that propels someone into a high social class, is considered pauper. If you want to change anything, the first step is to acknowledge it and talk about. Start chatting about money with your girlfriends. You can start with talking about shopping deals, but expand the conversation to include monthly expenses such as insurance and business costs, eventually moving to topics around high-yield savings accounts and investment vehicles. Not sure how to get the conversation started? Here is a link to talking about money with your girlfriends.
Going on a budget. While budgeting isn’t a bad practice, many women start thinking of ways to cut expenses before thinking about how they can increase their income. Being able to spend below your means is ideal, but if you don’t know how to generate an extra $1,000 or $5,000 a month for yourself, you will never truly feel financially independent. Before setting a budget, jot down three or five ways you can make the same amount of money you were going to cut out.
Charging low prices. When you are an independent contractor or entrepreneur, you are in charge of setting your prices. The issue that many women fall into is forgetting that their prices needs to include your fees for delivering the service and your overhead. If you sell products, your cost is not just the tangible expenses of producing the product. It also includes the retail space you are renting and staff. When setting your prices, be sure to include a buffer for taxes, health insurance, your retirement savings and overhead costs.
Not saving or investing. Ladies, this is huge! While we all know about the pay gap, women earning 80 cents on the dollar, the wealth gap is even bigger. Women have a net worth of just 32 cents on the dollar. The reason for this is, of course related to the pay gap, but also because we do not save or invest at the same rate as men. Start setting aside a fixed percentage each month that you will use to invest. Check out the Ellevest program, founded by Wall Street mogul Sallie Krawcheck to support women, that helps you identify your financial goals and create an investment strategy to reach them.
Not having a side hustle or at least two income streams. This is especially important for all the corporate executives. 2008 taught us that no job is 100% secure and we all need to have a back up plan. The key is to have a back up plan before your back is up against the wall. It could be starting a blog and offering consulting services in addition to your full-time gig. Always have at least two income streams so that your livelihood is never dependent on just one source.
Not trusting yourself. So many women leave the financial decisions to the men or financial professionals in their life. Whether it’s a father, husband, tax accountant, financial advisor. The reason for this ultimately boils down to a lack of self-confidence. While it is a good idea to do ask for insights from others, at the end of the day you are the best judge of what to do with your money. And research shows that women are actually better at investing and managing money than their male counterparts. Start by opening up an investment or savings account that is all your own and making decisions with it.
Not “dealing” with the finances. As a follow-up to #6, many women leave the big financial decisions to other people. Many women do manage the household budgets, but when it comes to investing, purchasing property, understanding tax implications- they leave the research and decisions to others. Start by having a weekly money date where you review all of your and the family’s accounts. We like to call this your #MoneyandMimosas date, because when you’re done you should treat yourself to a mimosa.
Want to test your financial independence? Take our quiz, “How BOSS are you?” to see if you are living life on your terms or by someone else’s rules.
Today's topic can be an emotional one. It's hard to think that one day the tables may turn, and we may be taking care of the parents who lovingly raised us. You may want to avoid talking about money with your aging parents because you don't want to face this harsh reality or you may be concerned with overstepping your bounds within the family.
However, it will be a lot easier to have this conversation now, when everyone is mentally present and capable of making mindful decisions about their finances. Rather than waiting until a medical or other crisis happens, and stress overshadows everyone's ability to make rational choices.
According to eldercare expert, Barbara McVicker, fifty percent of nursing home expenses are being paid-out-of-pocket by families, with adult children contributing on average $10,000 a year to their parent’s care. The average lifetime cost of care for an Alzheimer’s patient is $174,000, and is estimated to grow by more than 400 percent by 2050.
I don’t like to be a debbie downer on Money & Mimosas, and I hope that you never have to face this difficult situation. But it’s important to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
Here are five tips for talking to aging parents about money:
Make it a date! You know I'm all about making money talks fun, so schedule a date with your parents where you will all have thirty minutes to chat. If this is your first time talking about money with your aging parents, keep the conversation short. Many parents are concerned about being a burden on their children, and may be reluctant to discuss their finances with their children. Therefore, it’s important to give them a heads up about the conversation (no one likes to be blindsided!) and let them know that you are only asking to make sure you are financially prepared. Otherwise, they may feel that their financial decisions are being judged, which will cause them to become defensive.
Find a fun location. Maybe it's a park where you all have nostalgic memories or at the family's cabin. Keep it in a neutral location, and not at either of your homes, so everyone feels comfortable and relaxed.
Ask them to bring the contact information of their financial team. For this first chat, the goal is to get their main information in one place. Ask for their financial advisor contact information, the location of their will/trust, and who they have decided will be their power of attorney (which may be you or one of your siblings). Save this information in an email to yourself, Dropbox or Google Drive so you can easily access it later.
During the meeting, ask for a general sense of their monthly expenses so you have an idea of the costs that need to be covered. If the conversation is going smoothly, you may want to also go over their living preferences in case of of a medical situation. Would they like to have an in-home nurse or move to an assisted living community? Would you be willing to let them live in your home? Later, you'll want to go through the costs of their preference so you can be prepared.
Have a mimosa! Wrap up the meeting by letting them know you are grateful for their presence in your life, everything they've done for you, and look forward to many more years together. Then, pour a mimosa and cheers to the good life.
Now, I'd love to hear from you! What are other financial topics you've covered with your parents?
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Happy Valentine’s Day. Whether you’ve got a boo thang, or you’re rocking the single ladies life, I hope you’re doing something special for yourself today. It could be as simple as treating yourself to a juicy mid-day break to go on a walk around the neighborhood or purchasing fine jewelry with your own money.
If you are in committed relationship, this week's challenge to you is to proactively talk about money with your sweetheart.
Because, here's the thing ladies. Speaking up about money with your man is one of the first steps in becoming the true boss in your life.
If you truly want to own your destiny, you are going to need to learn how to articulate your values when it comes to money and how you are going to make your goals happen.
When was the last time you brought up investments and chatted with your man about your financial goals?
Do you know what his and your investment portfolio contains?
Are you aware of his long-term financial strategy? What is your strategy?
We all have different values, expectations and goals when it comes to money. And just like sex, you're going to have to communicate your values to your partner in order to be satisfied. Do I have your attention now?
Often times our values around money are based on our individual interests. I'll use myself as an example. While on vacation, I love to splurge on luxury hotel accommodations. Few things give me more pleasure than to wake up in a beautifully designed, spacious bedroom with heated bathroom floors, a sprawling kitchen with an island and a fabulous view from the 57th floor.
On the other hand, my beloved would much rather save that money and spend it on activities. Why? He's got an insatiable love for adventure and needs to be moving...constantly!
So, what do we do? Sometimes we compromise on the hotel to fit his budget and my needs. Or, I can choose to pick up the additional cost if I don't want to budge on what I want.
Boss ladies always get what they want. Period.
Whether it's traveling, household items, saving for a big purchase, wedding planning, eating out, how to decorate the home...learning about how each other views and values money is key to having open, honest conversations about money with your sweetheart. And just like sex, if you better understand each other's needs then you will both feel satisfied.
So for this Valentine’s Day, own your BOSS status and chat money on your date with your boo.
Not sure how to begin the money conversation?
Here are three steps to talk about money like a BOSS with your man.
Share your money story. What did you both experience about money. Here are some prompts for you - Did you hear your parents talk about money and what were those conversations like? When did you first start working? Were you given an allowance? How did your parents spend money?
Share your dreams and personal goals. Does one of you want to own a cottage in Tahoe and the other want a condo in the Hamptons? Who wants a private jet? Who wants to do more hiking trips? Do you want to turn your side hustle into a full-time gig? Let the conversation roll naturally. You may be surprised what you learn about each other!
Ask about investments. Get caught up on each other's investment accounts and long-term financial visions. Set a time for the both of you to chat with your financial advisor and talk through the questions you will ask them during the meeting. If anything seems confusing, now is the time to ask more questions and gain clarity.
Now I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways that you and your sweetheart differ when it comes to money? Let me know in the comments below.
And for more money tips that I only share in email, click here to join our weekly Money & Mimosas newsletter.
Today we’re chatting about the importance of having a money buddy. Someone that will hold you lovingly accountable to your money dates and financial goals. Talking about money ranks up with there with religion and politics--- we just don’t do it. It’s taboo to bring it up and women would rather share sex tips than insights on how to earn additional 5% on their investment.
When we don’t talk about it, we are robbing ourselves of learning valuable information from each other that will support our financial independence. Men do it all the time. In fact, one of my guy friends was able to negotiate a moving bonus that was double the amount that the company was offering. How did he know to negotiate for a higher amount? Because a mutual friend shared that he was able to receive that amount because it was the going rate.
A couple of months ago, one of my girlfriends texted me saying she needed some money chat time. I love supporting my friends with financial information whenever I can, so she came over that evening to sip champagne on my condo's veranda.
She was upset about her student loans. Her initial loan amount was $27,000. She had paid off $12,000. So her balance should be $15,000. Or so she thought...
She had paid $12,000, but her outstanding balance hovered around $25,000. How could that be?! I asked her if she had been paying attention to how they allocate her payments. What percentage of her payment was going to interest versus the principal?
As it turns out, most of her payments had only been applied to interest. At the rate she was going, she would ultimately pay $60,000 on a $27,000 loan. I told her that she had to call her loan company every single month to make sure that the majority of your payments are being applied to the principal. Otherwise, they will continue to screw her over. As we finished our bottle of bubbles, she felt relieved and ready to take action. Now, whether this was due to my advice or because of some liquid courage...
In either case, when you have conversations about money, at the very least you will feel less alone. And more than likely, you will gain additional financial wisdom and are more motivated to reach your goals. It could be about student loans, investment tips, how to price your services or ask for that raise.
That's why it is so key to find your money buddy. Someone you can trust and someone who you know will hold you lovingly accountable to your goals. Besides, isn’t way more fun to do things with a pal?!
Your challenge for this week is to find your money buddy and have a money date.
Your buddy can be a girlfriend, your sister, spouse, mom...anyone! Here are five items for you two to cover during your first date. Grab a mimosa and let’s do this!
Share your money story. What did you learn about money growing up? What were your experiences with money as a child and young adult?
What are your BIG, BOLD dreams?
Share what keeps you up at night. What are you most worried about when it comes to money?
Share your goals. What are the specific financial goals you want to accomplish in the next 3 months?
Snap a photo and check in on social with the hashtag, #MoneyandMimosas, so I can say hi and cheer you on!
For more tips on how to build your wealth and become the boss of your life, click here to join our weekly Money & Mimosas newsletter.
Imagine grabbing brunch with your girls. Giggling over mimosas, catching up on the love life situation (or lack thereof...sigh), getting the scoop on the latest shopping deals and...whether you should pull your money out of your 401k plan to invest elsewhere.
Although money may not seem like a topic you wish to broach on a day out with the girls, the fact is that women are not paying enough attention to their financial health. “Along with wage inequality, women retire with just two-thirds the money men have, all while living at least 5 years longer than men,” states Sallie Krawcheck, a Wall Street powerhouse and the founder of ElleVest, in an interview with CNBC.
On average, less than 30% of people feel confident in their ability to absorb a financial shock according to the Prosper Financial Wellness Survey. Furthermore, Fidelity’s “Money FIT Women Study” shares that while 75% of women wish to learn more about finances, only 47% felt confident to bring up money topics on their own.
The only way to become confident about money is to practice talking about it.
Similar to any area of your life, practice makes progress. Think about the first time you gave a presentation or tried a new workout routine. It may have felt nerve-wracking or uncomfortable, but you got through it. After you got through the first time, each experience afterwards was much easier. The same goes with talking about money. The first few times you do it, it may feel uncomfortable. But, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Especially if you practice with other women who will support you through it.
And talking about money does not have to be boring. In fact, if women begin to associate finances with pleasurable activities- such as brunch or a girl’s night out- the fear around money will start to dissipate. Because obviously, any discussion over a mimosa is a fun discussion.
So, go ahead and send out a text to three or five of your girlfriends, and invite them over to your home to grab some mimosas and follow these steps for your monthly money conversations.
Month One- for the first get together, the intention is to have a conversation about how everyone approaches their finances and their vision of a dream lifestyle.
You can even turn it into a vision board party where everyone cuts images out of old magazines that showcase their dream life.
While you all are sipping on mimosas and playing arts and crafts, allow everyone to answer the following questions:
Question One: Do you create a budget for yourself? Or just wing it?
Question Two: What’s your big vision for yourself? How will money help you achieve it?
Month Two- the next gathering should be about about debt.
Question One: How are you protecting yourself against identity theft? Have you checked out your credit report recently?
Question Two: Do you give your kids an allowance? How do you teach them about money?
Question Three: How much credit card and student loan debt do you have?
Month Three- as you all become more comfortable chatting about money, expand the conversation to include more specific questions about finances.
Question One: What does retirement mean to you? How are you preparing for it?
Question Two: Do you work with a financial advisor? How often do you meet with her? What do you talk about?
Question Three: What are your investments? Which industries do you focus on? What have your returns been?
Question Four: What is your monthly income?
Question Five: What are your monthly expenses and what do they each total?
Question Six: How do you and your life partner split expenses?
Question Seven: What’s something new that you learned about money recently?
Question Eight: Is there anything that is currently stressing you about money?
Continue to have these discussions on a monthly basis and watch your confidence around money soar.
And now we'd love to hear from you! How often do you and your girlfriends get together to chat about money? And what do you talk about? Let us know in the comments below.
This post was in partnership with Prosper.
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.
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:
Write down all the thoughts that come up when you hear the word "money". Take note of any words that have a negative connotation.
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.
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.