When I was younger my parents used to say "Remember the Golden Rule." What is the Golden Rule you may ask?
"She who has the gold, makes the rules"
What I know now is that money is power. Money is freedom. Money gives you the ability to say 'yes' and buy that ticket to Venice. Money lets you say 'no' to that extra shift when you'd rather go get a massage. We all say we want more of it but most people don't know what to do with it even when they have it.
I read some really surprising facts in Glamour magazine recently that surveyed women and found these responses:
56% of women don't have a 401K
85% of women don't own stocks
51% have less than $500 in savings
Only 41% of women say they're financially independent
Considering we make up for 50% of the population, that's CAH-RAZY how low these percentages are! Women have spent the greater half of this past century fighting for their right to vote, for equal pay, for more say in our reproductive rights, the list goes on but we're still falling behind when it comes to financial independence. If there's anything that plays louder than a megaphone in our capitalistic society, it's the green machine: money.
We owe it to ourselves and our female sisterhood to take care of our money and give it all the TLC it needs to provide the lives we deserve.
So how how can you show money how Crazy, Sexy, Cool it is so you're not always chasin' Waterfalls?
For starters, I'm going to share that I am not going to be Featured on Mad Money anytime soon but I am a millennial who's taken an active approach to coddling my nest egg. With that said, there is no perfect science to money management because shit happens but if you do what you can and what feels good then you're net worth will always be snug as a bug in a rug.
1.) Celebrate Your Earnings!
The Confetti Files is all about feeling good and it starts with enjoying what you have. You have a job? Awesome! You have a side hustle? Amazing! You have a trust fund? Um, so cool!
If you have some kind of income, you're doing pretty damn great! That's the first step to living a life by your own rules.
Every time you find yourself saying 'I wish I had more' or 'I'm so broke' switch the narrative to 'I have a great job that pays me every 2 weeks' or 'I won't feel broke forever because I'm a girl with a plan'. Changing your negative energy is a way to revitalize your relationship with money.
2.) Start a Savings Account
Ok, so you have a job or some kind of income? Excellent! Well, one way that made me feel financially independent was finding ways to save money so that I could have more 'yes' experiences in my life.
I started by having small amounts of money auto transferred from my checking into savings so I barely noticed it was gone. Then I started participating in my company's 401K plan which I recommend everyone do. Contribute at minimum what they match (remember it's technically part of your total compensation plan!) and then once you get more settled - talk to a financial advisor about how to allocate all your investments.
I recently signed up for Acorns which is a really cool 'round up' app that helps you save. For every transaction you make on any credit card, it rounds up to the nearest dollar and invests it for you. It enforces the act of saving and requires the least amount of effort on your end.
If you can find a balance between what you earn, what you save and what you spend - life will be biscuits and gravy!
3.) Identify what you value
Ok, so you have a job? Check! You're saving at least 5% a month? Check! Now something that I think not enough people do - especially women - is make a list of your non-negotiable money goals.
What do you value most related to money goals?
Do you want to pay off student loans or credit card debt? Do you want to have money for a down payment on a house? Maybe you have to make sure that there is always enough money to get a full head of highlights and gel manis every month.
Ain't no shame in that game no matter what your goal is.
My point is that if you have a goal, you can hatch a plan. If you're saving for a house, pick a number that you need to have for a down payment. How much do you need to save a month? Maybe you want to consider asking your boss for a raise or having a side job? These are all really good next steps to get you that Confetti Filled moment of walking into a house that has your name on the deed.
You can build the blueprint of your financial dreams once you decide what's most important to you. Also, don't feel bad about having smaller goals like money for taco Tuesdays or that spring break trip to Mexico. You should never feel guilty for spending money on what makes you feel really really good inside!
I'm going to Creep on out of here before I'm arrested for too many TLC puns...