Each spring, come tax time, we have the opportunity to take stock of how much we’ve made, how much we’ve spent, and overall, how we’re doing with our money. If, as the saying goes, “Money talks,” – what is its message to you after this year’s tax season has come and gone and tax returns have been signed sealed and delivered?
Maybe money is urging you to start an emergency fund; invest more in your 401K; cut back on take-out; or do a much-needed kitchen remodel. Or maybe money has a far more profound question for you…how does your relationship with money reflect the way you value and care for yourself?
In her book, Women & Money: The Power To Control Your Destiny, financial guru, Suze Ormansays paying attention to money is a critical part of our self-care. “We have to develop a healthy, honest relationship with our money,” Orman explains. “How we behave toward our money – how we treat it – speaks volumes about how we treat and value ourselves.” Orman also notes that money is an important part of self-empowerment. “If we aren’t powerful with money, we aren’t powerful period,” Orman says.
So how do you care for yourself by caring for your money? Do you have a “healthy honest” relationship with money? Do you feel empowered when it comes to your finances?
For many women, a “healthy, honest” relationship with money is still a work in progress. The Financial Behaviors & Experience Among Women Study, conducted by Prudential in 2014, found that the women surveyed had not been actively seeking to expand their financial literacy. The study’s findings highlighted the fact that women felt they were no more comfortable or informed making big financial decisions than they had been a decade earlier.
Amanda Steinberg, author of Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms and founder of Daily Worth, says that gender roles can play a part. “As women, many of us were raised to believe that finances should be a man’s job,” Steinberg notes. “Men approach finances as if it should be their responsibility, while women hesitate because we’re not so sure it’s a good thing to get involved.” Steinberg identifies the biggest hurdles standing between women and financial confidence as guilt and shame, and Camille Gaines, of the website Financial Woman, agrees. “Guilt and shame play out as avoiding our money, underutilizing our skills, and giving away our power around money to the men in our lives,” Gaines says. “The first step to confidence is knowledge.”
Lack of knowledge plus anxiety around money can keep women stuck and often embarrassed about reaching out for financial advice. It’s been humorously bandied about that women would rather discuss their weight or sex lives than talk about money, and the findings in the Money FIT Women’s Study bear that out. The study, published by Fidelity Investments in February 2015, found that eight in 10 women avoid conversations about money because the subject is “too personal” and they feel “uncomfortable” when the subject is broached. The majority of women in the study felt that money was a “taboo” subject – which makes sense, since so many of us were taught that it was “gauche”/ “not proper etiquette” to talk about money as we were growing up.
It may seem daunting to start wading into what seems like an ocean of financial do’s and don’ts, but Amanda Steinberg suggests starting small. “Money can get a bad rap, so start reflecting on how you think about and language money,” Steinberg says. “Maybe there’s a belief that ‘money is evil’, or that there’s ‘never enough’. Think about your opinions about money, and ask yourself, ‘Are these beliefs serving me, or should I reconsider them?’”
Our beliefs about money, often planted at an early age, can have a profound effect on how we view and handle money in our adult lives. In next week’s post we’ll continue the ‘Money Conversation’ with tips for excavating down to the heart of your beliefs about money and abundance.
The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge and Special HackARTICLE BY WHITNEY HANSEN
If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest searching around for money saving tips or money saving challenges, I’m 99.9% certain you’ve come across the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge.
It’s fun, fairly easy to implement and helps you save $1,378 in 1 year.
For most people, $1,378 is a lot of money. If you are just starting your financial life out, that basically becomes your starter Oh Shit Fund. If you are past your Oh Shit Fund, you can use that savings to help you pay down debt. Or this can be used as extra savings to help you travel the world.
Whatever your goals are, almost $1,400 can go a really long way.
HOW IT WORKS
The whole goal of the 52-week money saving challenge is to keep it so simple that anyone can save money. When you first begin the challenge, you start at week 1.
During week 1 you transfer $1 to your savings account.
Then, as the week’s progress, you’ll transfer the same amount in dollars as the week you are on. For example, during week 5 you’ll transfer $5.
Told ya this is easy!
The cool thing is by the end of the challenge, you will have saved $1,378! That’s a nice chunk of change, right?
A lot of people criticize this savings challenge. Isn’t it better to take equal amounts of money every month and put that automatically in savings?
Yes. And no.
If you are the kind of person who would much rather see the same, consistent amount of money go into your savings account each month and never worry about it again, the 52 weeks money saving challenge may not be the right challenge for you. If this is you- just take $1,378/12 and schedule an automatic savings transfer of $114.83 to your savings account once a month.
But if you are the kind of person who loves to gamify your finances and find a lot of joy in the challenge aspect, then this is a ton of fun and gets really exciting towards the end. Keep in mind that if you started this challenge in January, you’re looking at saving quite a bit of money around the holidays which can cause some potential problems.
HOW TO AUTOMATE THIS CHALLENGE
If you are trying to manually remember to save that money every single week, you might not actually do it or it might get a bit cumbersome that’s why I like to hack this method through automation.
I haven’t tried to do this with my bank, mostly because it seems like a giant pain in the butt.
And, thankfully, you don’t have to.
There are lots of apps that can help you increase your savings, but my personal favorite for this type of challenge is Qapital.
Qapital is a free app, that allows you to set up rules for your financial life. For example, one of the pre-set rules you can use is the 52 week challenge. All you do is link your current checking account with Qapital and it will pull the correct amount of money for each week that you are on. It’s so easy to do!
I’m currently saving for a trip to Machu Picchu. The idea of exploring around this world wonder makes me so anxious and unfortunately, it’s not a cheap trip. I anticipate needing $2,000 for the trip.
I set up a savings with Qapital, selected the 52 week challenge AND the roundup rule (every purchase gets rounded up to the nearest dollar with the roundup being saved) and I just watch the account grow.
I started this in 17 weeks ago and am currently sitting at $249.42. The best part of this is I really don’t miss the money at all. It has not had a negative impact on my life in the least bit and stacking the rules is helping me hit my goal of $2,000 for Machu Picchu even more quickly.
- Try Qapital out today, make your first deposit and we both get $5 deposited towards our savings goals
MY PERSONAL QAPITAL ACCOUNT
You can select your background picture to be something that inspires you. Apparently, I think a ridiculous llama is inspiring. Haha!
But you can really do some cool money challenges with Qapital like setting a budget for eating out of $50 per week and if you come in under budget, it will automatically save the difference. I suspect I’ll cover that in a future post or video.
ALL IN ALL
The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge can be a great way to help you save more money, achieve your financial goals, and start to become a master saver. It takes time to build up a really big savings account, but if you use apps like Qapital or just schedule automatic transfers from your bank account to your savings account, you’ll start to see progress soon!
Take action today and good luck with the money saving challenge!ARTICLE BY WHITNEY HANSEN
Wealthy Mindset Series #2 Wealthy Money Mindsetarticle by rennie gabriel
“Your income will be the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
1. The importance of who you hang around with.
If you hang around people who struggle to earn a living, it is likely your income will be similar. If you hang around people who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, it is also likely your income will be similar. And it STARTS with who you hang around with, and not the other way around.
Here is another quote I often use: “Of the billionaires, I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.“- Warren Buffet
I did not want to hang around jerks, and many years ago I realized that if I wanted to create wealth I needed to hang around people who earned far more than me and who had a net worth far larger than mine. Guess what? How they think and their attitudes rubbed off on me. I saw opportunities where before I saw blocks. I looked at how to effectively grow my business, how to create large dollar contracts and more. Who you hang around with is one of the keys that open the door to more wealth.
2. Money terms like interest versus earnings and the cost of money.
There are so many terms the wealthy use when they talk about money, and the first thing to understand is that the wealthy do not think it is rude to talk about money. They will not hesitate to talk about the cost per square foot to build a new house, or the best interest rates on savings, or the appreciation they earned from a stock, or how their broker might have found an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for them. Another point is that if you do not have an understanding of money terms, you cannot participate in the conversation. Here are just a very few things you should understand:
- Interest is what a borrower pays a lender for the use of money. If you deposit money in a bank, you are the lender and the bank is the borrower. In this environment, the bank will pay you about 1% to borrow money from you. (This is a typical savings account.) If you borrow money from the bank, they are the lender and may charge you 6-10% interest. The difference between the 1% they pay on savings and the 6% they charge on a loan is called the “spread,” and this is how they make a profit.
- The cost of money refers to borrowing money to invest, whether in other stocks, a business, real estate or whatever. The point is that more money should be earned than the amount of interest you pay. This is the cost of money, also called the cost of funds. If you borrow money at 4% and you’re able to invest it, or loan it out at 10%, then you’re the one earning the spread, and your cost of funds is 4%. You do not have to put money in the bank to earn interest. This is available through peer-to-peer lending, trust deeds, tax liens and other financial instruments like bonds.
- The term “earnings” is often confused with interest by people who do not know money terms. If you own a stock or a mutual fund, it may pay a dividend and grow in value over time. If you receive a 1% dividend and it grows in value by 8% over a one year period, the total earnings would be 9%. This is not interest, but total earnings. 1% is income and 8% is appreciation. If you see that a mutual fund or stock returned 22% over a one year period that could all be appreciation, with no income and has nothing to do with interest.
There are so many more financial terms, I could write a whole booklet: Compound interest versus simple interest, debt coverage ratio, capitalization rates, amortization, depreciation, present versus future value, discounting, puts, calls, margin accounts, on and on. If you want to know more, just send an email to me here.
In the next article in the series, we will cover how the wealthy use questions instead of making statements when they hear familiar information.
To your prosperity,
RennieLearn more about rennie gabriel
Wealthy Mindset Series #1article by rennie gabriel
“Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.”- Warren Buffet
My daughter found a video blog that she thought would be of interest to me, and she was right. As a wealthy person now, (as defined by being in the top 1% of Americans by net worth) who was actually a broke person 20 years ago, I saw and adopted the attitudes that the wealthy had. I noticed similarities between what I discovered and what the author of the blog saw regarding how the wealthy think that is different from the majority.
These new attitudes saved me, and it feels like there are too many attitude differences to fit into one email.
So, I have created a series of articles and will cover just a few of these attitudes in each. So watch for the next article in the series, and in each, I will cover at least two key attitudes that separate the wealthy from the majority.
In this email I will cover:
- The wealthy are willing to ask for help and/or hire help.
- The wealthy put a value on their time and know they cannot buy more of that.
These two attitudes are intertwined. You and I have a limited amount of time on this planet, and we cannot be sure how much of it we have left. If I earn $400 per hour working with clients, and I spend 30 minutes cleaning a toilet, that means it cost me $200 to clean the toilet. For $100 I can hire someone to clean my whole house and all the toilets. It makes no sense for me to do any cleaning in my house.
It makes more sense to me to hire someone who can build a website than for me to spend the time to learn how to do it. My time is better utilized doing what I do best, and that is not learning technology. My assistant is a wiz at social media and I let her post things on Twizzler or Instagrief for me.
Since I cannot buy more time, it makes sense to ask for help or hire someone that saves me time, or has the expertise that I lack. I can always make more money, but I cannot make more time, except by buying someone else’s time.
In the next article, we will discuss money terms like interest versus earnings and who you hang around with.
To your prosperity,
*This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase through one of these links, I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That’s what helps keep this website alive!
Most people that have debt wish it were gone ASAP.
But a lot of people that have a goal of paying off debt fast will be told they can’t do it, it’s too aggressive, you’ll have no life, it’s not possible __________.
I’m here to tell you-you can do it.
I know it’s possible because I did it.
In 2010 when I graduated from college, the first time, I had $30,000 in debt and was super disappointed with myself for not paying attention to how much I was borrowing.
So I put together a detailed plan, got to work and paid it all off in 10 MONTHS. No that’s not a typo- I was hustling.
That’s where this topic came from.
If it takes you longer than 10 months because your situation is different than mine, don’t sweat it!
Progress forward with intentional action gets results far faster than sitting around complaining that it will take forever.
These 5 tips will help you pay off debt in an accelerated plan. If you prefer to watch rather than read- the video below cover similar content.
TIP 1: KNOW YOUR DEBT NUMBERS
Do you ever watch Shark Tank? You see entrepreneurs wide-eyed and scared shitless go in front of successful angel investors and have their idea ripped apart and (hopefully) receive investment to feed growth.
If you watch this show, you might have picked up on a common reason people lose investments- they don’t know their numbers.
Don’t know your numbers? Then you will be the entrepreneur getting torn apart and life, well, life is the shark.
Luckily, knowing your numbers is easy. Painful. But easy.
Start by getting a better look at your current financial situation.
List out all the debts you have, the balances you currently owe, minimum monthly payments, due dates, and the interest rates.
Do not try to start paying off debt until you do the basic steps listed above.
- Download my Get Out Of Debt Template and get access to my short and sweet free workshop on how to pay off debt
TIP 2: SNOWBALL YOUR DEBT
I LOVE the debt snowball. The debt snowball is basically a really good way to pay down debt quickly.
So let’s talk through the details here.
Start with the smallest balance debt, ignore interest rates. Then once you have that lined up, pay the minimum payment on ALL debts except for the smallest balance debt.
The smallest balance debt will receive any and all extra payments you were planning on making.
This is key. There is power in focus and what gets attention gets results. Once that smallest debt is gone, pretend you still have that previous minimum monthly payment and put the entire debt payment towards the next smallest debt.
Whenever you get any extra money put all of that money towards the smallest debt. Which leads us perfectly into the next big tip…
TIP 3: SIDE HUSTLE
Side hustles are the booooomb! They help you pay off debt so fast and if you choose an appropriate side hustle can really help you expand your skillsets.
When I paid off debt, my side hustle was working nights and weekends as a nail tech. I was an accountant by day and did manicures and pedicures to help me pay off debt. My side hustle was 100% commission but supported me through undergrad, so I continued to live on that allowing me to put my entire accounting income towards my debt.
If you’re trying to find “easy” side hustles, I highly recommend:
- Uber or Uber Eats
- Seasonal retail work
- Contract work
- Flipping cell phones
- Picking up overtime at your current job
It doesn’t matter what you do- as long as you are working towards paying off the debt.
TIP 4: SPRINT
Sprinting is a concept from that came from software development but can be applied to any area of your life.
Start by setting a clear goal and objective of what you need to accomplish. If you are working on a $3,000 credit card, set an ambitious goal of 1-2 months for paying it off. That will more than likely require you to hustle, pick up an extra job, cut some monthly expenses out and sell stuff around the house to reach this goal.
That period of intense focus is a sprint. Now, you can get real nerdy and say “that’s not technically a sprint Whitney,” and you wouldn’t be wrong from the true Sprint methodology, but this is my version of a sprint.
During your sprint, the only focus you have is paying off that $3,000 card. You become fixated on that goal with a healthy level of obsession. That my friend- will get you results.
I’ve tested it in business, finance, and health and it works like a champ!
TIP 5: REDUCE MONTHLY EXPENSES
This is equally as important as side hustling. Most people look at their budget and think, “yep, there’s not any room for improvement.” But frankly, it’s bullshit. I have never seen a budget that doesn’t have some area for improvement. It might be a small monthly saving, but little things add up to big things over the long run.
Hopefully, you are creating and living on a budget. (You are right?) That’s the best place to find areas to cut. Additionally, look through your bank statement with a fine tooth comb and figure out where your money leaks are.
You have some areas you can cut back. I have some areas I can cut back. It’s totally normal.
You do need to temporarily reduce expenses if you are on an accelerated debt payoff plan.
With these tips, you will be well on your way to an accelerated debt pay off plan.