When women feel confident in their financial decisions and know that they have a plan in place, they have the capacity to spend their valuable time focusing on the people and things they care most about.
We’re all about that, Jenna. But, how do we get there?
Tip 1: Find someone you trust.
The first step is to get good advice. Find someone you trust, who is ideally a Certified Financial Planner, who can help guide you through the process of creating a financial plan.
Tip 2: If you are not investing, you are likely losing money.
Women typically live much longer than men, which means their money needs to last longer. What's interesting though is that women are typically less likely to take risks and they instead keep their investments more conservative than men, which is the exact opposite of what you should do if you need to stretch your retirement dollars for a longer period of time. If you are not investing, you are likely losing money.
“Women are typically less likely to take risks and they instead keep their investments more conservative than men, which is the exact opposite of what you should do.”
Tip 3: Put the metaphorical oxygen mask on yourself first.
How much can I give away?’ is one of the most common financial questions I get asked by women. Women are SO generous. They want to help out their kids, their parents, charities, yet they so often neglect to save for themselves. I love how much women want to help others, but the old adage of “put the oxygen mask on yourself first” really rings true when it comes to finances. I like to recommend setting aside 5% of your monthly pay for YOU. Whether that be for a massage, an art class you’ve been wanting to take, a designation that will boost your career, or a nice dinner out. Honoring yourself is important.
Tip 4: Make savings automatic.
A piece of advice I recommend is to set-up automatic savings each month directly from your checking account, so before you can spend the money, it is automatically swept out and invested elsewhere. Ideally in an account that is invested for your future, where you won't be tempted to pull from or spend.
After we picked her brain about making the best of our paychecks, we sat down with Jenna to find out what it’s like being a career woman in finance:
Being in a male dominated industry like finance can pose many challenges. Often times when I am the only female in the room, it is automatically assumed that I am there to take notes, or get people coffee. We've all heard the Maya Angelou quote "At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel" and in my experience that is true. Initially, I worried so much about having the knowledge (having my Master’s degree, being a Certified Financial Planner, etc.) so I waited to speak up. I've since learned that while it is very important to have the knowledge, it’s more important to listen, express genuine interest, show you care, speak up and work hard.
It took many years for me to feel confident enough to stand up proud, claim my space and not default to being the “helpful female” in the room. Being the person in the room giving advice initially felt bossy to me, which was challenging because it was ingrained in me at a young age to not be bossy. I've learned tricks for avoiding this challenge and handling it when it does happen. Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk about power posing was incredibly beneficial for me. Before big meetings, or situations where I am worried I might feel small, I step into the bathroom, do a minute of power posing (stand up tall, deep breaths, expansive stance) and remind myself why I do what I do and why I love what I do. It really helps to squash the fears I may have had before doing the power poses.
Carly Mask, @carlymask, Santa Barbara
Power is confidence.
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