Women bear the responsibilities of maintaining a household, family demands and chasing career goals while also making room for personal aspirations. As daunting (and tiring) as it may seem, the resilience of women shines through the work we commit to each and every day. While things often fall off and add to our daily to-do lists, we can’t afford to let our financial future slip away because of competing priorities. Use the tips below to reignite, re-boost and re-energize your thoughts and actions as it relates to your finances.
Set clear, reasonable goals
When was the last time you’ve had the opportunity to sit down and update, reset or create new goals? Even if this activity has to be divided into a few days or different time intervals, dedicate some time to think about where you want to be financially. What’s most important to you? As women, we have a tendency to cater to the needs of everyone around us first, leaving very little time (or patience) to consider our own wants and needs. Remember, when you take good care of yourself it’s automatic everything (and everyone) around you flourishes in the process. Do you ever get in the car without knowing where you want to go or attempting to drive somewhere for the first time without any directions? Your finances aren’t any different. Having open-ended or loosely set goals result in little to no commitment. Do yourself the favor of creating a clear roadmap with actionable items that help you in achieving that goal.
For example, if you would like to increase your emergency fund by $1000 in three months you could implement these actions:
– Increase the automatic draft amount every pay period
– Earn additional income by monetizing a skill or hobby you enjoy
– Create a cash system for discretionary spending to limit impulse purchases
Never be afraid to start (or restart) where you are.
Visualize where you want to be and believe you can have it all
While it may seem juvenile, never allow yourself to enter a mental space where dreaming isn’t allowed. The harshness of this world has the ability to taint your perspective, creating feelings of failure and overall loss of hope. Daily demands can and will become unbearable, which can further bury the very things we had great intention of pursuing. It doesn’t matter if your financial goals are one month, one year or one decade old – it’s never too late to regain the confidence that’s needed to see it through. When the days seem long, you have to remind yourself that you are worthy – and so are your finances.
Need some tips to stay focused?
– Recite your financial goals aloud daily. Post them anywhere you visit frequently in the house: bathroom mirror, closet or fridge. Make it a mission every day to see them. Confidence is everything; say your goals until you actually believe they’re achievable.
– Take five minutes out of your day to visualize your future. Nothing is too big! This could be envisioning your dream home, car or witnessing your business thrive. This could be having a flexible schedule to spend more time with family and friends or the freedom to treat yourself to a spa day once a month. When you’re thinking about where you want to be and making the moves to get there; your future has no choice but to follow suit.
– Create a financial vision board. This exercise allows you to be creative, while also reinforcing the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Never dim your light
In a world where women are often overlooked, underpaid and underappreciated it can seem second nature to question the financial goals you’ve set for yourself. We often don’t recognize our own strength and tenacity. However, we all share so many different experiences that can help assist the women around us in our families, friend groups and communities. Use your voice! Share the wins and the uphill battles with those around you – you will never know how your story can impact the livelihood of someone else. Sharing personal successes create an environment for other women to believe their hard work can (and will) pay off.
Here are a handful of easy, yet impactful ideas:
– Join one of the many finance-related social media groups that empower women from all backgrounds. It costs you absolutely nothing to share your story!
– Have regular conversations with the women in your life about finances. Normalize the idea that contrary to popular belief; women don’t have all of the answers all of the time. Lean on your support system to encourage you along the way when you feel discouraged.
– Teach the young women in your life about the importance of good, healthy financial decision-making. Passing your knowledge to the younger generations creates space for someone else to learn from your journey while introducing you to a new perspective. This will also empower and motivate you to finish your financial journey strong.
Pace yourself and embrace the journey
Things are ever-evolving and ever-changing, which is the beauty of life. Often times we find ourselves getting swallowed into the hustle and bustle, creating one of two things to happen: going too fast, causing us to lose steam; or having to slow down, stirring up emotions of disappointment or failure.
Here’s how to avoid that:
– Reflect on where you were and the progress that’s been made since then. This is because of your hard work and dedication! When you get discouraged, list three things you’re grateful for that you are now able to do for yourself. Not only does this keeps you grounded, it reminds you that you are more than capable of completing these new financial goals.
– Keep a finance journal. Documenting your milestones (big or small) can help provide you the extra boost when life get hectic.
– Before reaching the point of overwhelm, take a deep breath. In every ‘loss’, there is a lesson. It’s there to teach you and build you for what’s to come. The journey may be scenic, but it will always be worth it.