I’m all about action. I’m a busy mom of two active boys and an accredited financial counselor that coaches busy moms on all things money. I GET how busy life is. And in my life, I always want practical solutions that I can take ACTION on right away. ‘Cause let’s face it… If I don’t start DOING right away… it’s probably not gonna get done. SO… here are three things you can DO TODAY to start making your money prettier.
1.) Figure out what you believe about money.
What you believe about money is really important on your journey to financial success. I talk to busy moms every day that have mindset blocks holding them back from achieving their goals.
When I hear someone say that they are too busy, that they can’t afford it, that they are just “bad with money” or “investing is too risky” I know that there are mindset issues we need to work on. If you find yourself saying these things, you are probably also familiar with phrases like “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” or “The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.” Examine your thoughts on these phrases. Do you find any truth in them? Many people believe the only way to financial success is to work really hard. Put in overtime. Penny pinch. Save, save, save. Don’t spend. Limit your lifestyle.
These mindset blocks come from a scarcity mindset and often they’re put in place during childhood. Think about how you were raised. Did money seem like something scarce… something to hold on tightly to?
Sometimes I meet people who are on the other side of things. They have their needs met and have good cashflow, so they don’t think that they need to budget. They feel like it’s too restrictive. It’s too time consuming. It limits their lifestyle or makes them feel guilty about spending. YOLO, right? Live in the moment. You’ll worry about later when later comes.
Whatever your beliefs about money… they are either going to push you towards your goals or holding you back. My job as an accredited financial counselor is to make sure your mindset shifts to a place where you are PROPELLING yourself TOWARDS your dreams!
So. Get a pen and paper. WRITE DOWN the things that come to mind when you think about money. Don’t think, just write. When you’re done, examine these beliefs and figure out what’s underneath them. Where did these thoughts come from? Are they negative or positive? Are they helping you toward your goals, or are they blocking your path? Which leads me to my next point…
2.) Figure out your goals.
We need goals and dreams to keep us going. A reason to wake up every day. Something to look forward to. Something to work towards and aspire for. Without a goal, we often fall into complacency, boredom, or even depression. I have worked with hundreds (maybe even thousands) of busy moms by this point in my career and I can tell you that every woman’s goals are different. There are some common themes, obviously, but each person’s life goals are as unique as a leaf is on a tree.
One of my client’s deepest desires include buying a multi-family rental property within 5 years, scaling her business and hiring a full time helper within 2 years, and getting a black belt in her marital art. Another wants to get a part-time job after her youngest goes to kindergarten so that she can use the extra income to pay for a horse, which she will train and sell for a profit. She plans on buying the horse within a couple of years and sell it by year 5. After that, a new goal will be established.
If you want to achieve financial success, you have to figure out what financial success looks like for you. It’s going to look different for everyone.
When I am setting goals with my clients I like to have one or two goals that can be accomplished within the year. It can be really draining to have goals that are always long term. If you don’t have any short-term goals, sometimes you can turn your bigger goals into bite-sized pieces. For instance if your dream is to buy a house and it’s gonna take 10 years to save for the down payment, make your goal to have a certain amount set aside by the end of the year. I would also suggest coming up with a “fun” goal that will keep you motivated and inspired as you save for your house.
It’s important for us to see that our efforts are working. So what I want you to do is set some goals. Set 1 that you can accomplish within a year. Set 2-3 more for the next 5 years. Write these goals down. THEN I want you to make a vision board for your goals. Cut out clips from magazines… make a Pinterest board and then print a screenshot of it… draw… whatever you like. Just make it a physical board that you can put in a place that you’re going to see every day. Another really great thing to do is to find a motivational phrase and put it on your desktop background or phone background.
3.) Don’t forget about future you.
Future you needs money too! This is one of the BIGGEST mistakes that busy moms make with their money. We forget about our future selves! Moms are BUSY. Sometimes we’re runnin’ on empty and are just trying to get through the day. Which is why it’s super common to focus on money for the day. What do we need to buy for dinner tonight? What bill is coming out? Who do I have to e-transfer today? Then we take some time to look at where our money WENT. What debt do we have to pay off? How did we spend so much last month? But what about you next week? What about you at your kid’s graduation? What about you in retirement? What about when the brakes go on the car next month?
You can’t seem to get ahead because you’re on the hamster wheel. You reach for the credit card when “unexpected expenses” throw you off. Car maintenance is not an unexpected expense. If you drive a car, you know that it needs maintenance. You know that you have to get the oil changed and that parts are going to break. If you have kids, then new soccer cleats are not an unexpected expense. Just because you didn’t plan for them doesn’t mean they are unexpected. You know that these costs are going to come… what you don’t know is when. Planning for future you is absolutely key to gaining control over your money. Even if you CAN afford expenses as they come up you want to be sure that you’re not robbing one of your future dreams and desires from happening as soon as possible. So here’s what I want you to do
Grab a pen and paper and list your irregular and future expenses. Here are some examples:
- Gifts (birthday parties, christmas, weddings, baby showers)
- Sports registrations and equipment (new cleats, game fees, travel costs)
- back to school shopping
- property tax
- kids education
- house maintenance (roof, water tank, new appliances or appliance repair, gutter cleaning, garden and lawn, house cleaner, septic tank removal, fireplace replacement)
- car maintenance
- dental care
- medical care
- veterinary bills
- emergency fund
These are all things that future you is going to need to spend. Figure out how much you need to set aside every month so that you can pay for these things when they come up.
Alright! Three things down. I’m gonna give you 3 more things to do next week. Keep an eye on my social, blog, or youtube!