all the things I didn’t know about money
In October of 2021 I decided I was going to look into learning more about money, and how to save, invest and eliminate debt. I did not feel financially competent and I wanted to remedy that situation. The ‘algorithm’ must have picked up on it, because within two days I saw a popup from a company called Dow Janes, inviting me to join their free webinar called “Think Like An Investor: How I went from $40,000 in debt to collecting money from my investments every month.” I checked out their website and the first line read “Good things happen when women+ have money.” I signed up for the webinar on the spot.
My head was in the sand when it came to money facts
I had spent the majority of my life with my head in the sand when it came to money facts. I avoided looking at my bank statement and my husband took care of all our bills. Whenever we went to do our taxes I would find myself saying “oh I don’t know anything about the financial stuff you will have to ask my husband.” (I thought what other area of my life would I ever do this in? And the answer was none lol)
After watching the webinar and signing up for Dow Janes’ signature program (called The Million Dollar Year, which I cannot recommend enough), I have learned so much, and I want to share some of the highlights from the program so far. I genuinely believe that when people who identify as women have money, really magical shit can happen and I hope we can start getting more comfortable talking about it!
Women need to talk about money
If I’m being honest, even as I write this blog I am uncomfortable sharing about money facts. It feels very taboo, and I am bouncing between feeling embarrassed, privileged, incompetent and materialistic.
It is nonetheless important for women to talk about money facts. We are taught not to talk about money because it is not polite or correct and it goes against the conditioning that many of us believe falls in the category of being “good girls”. So we don’t talk about it.
By not talking about money or learning about it, however, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We never learn about the power of investing or compound interest or how to negotiate a salary. We miss out on so many financial possibilities because we simply do not know what to ask and/or how to ask it.
The reason Dow Janes spoke directly to my heart is because they understand the incredible things that can happen when people who identify as women have money.
There is clear research that shows when women have money it is distributed more and contributed to causes that are important to us, supporting small and local businesses, and taking care of our families and communities. Women keep money in feminist flow, with the focus on making peoples lives better.
So we need to start talking about it, asking each other about it. We need to learn the skills to negotiate how much money we make, and to better understand the value that we bring not only to our workplaces but to our homes as well.
Take the plunge and look at your finances, even if it’s scary
It is actually less stressful to know the concrete numbers, than to live in a constant state of uncertainty.
When I first started the Million Dollar Year (MDY) I had no firm handle on how we were doing financially. My husband always paid our bills, and he has been the more financially responsible of the two of us forever. But he also wasn’t paying much attention to the overall state of our finances.
One of the steps in the MDY is to get a full financial snapshot of what you earn, what you spend, what you own and what you owe. I was shocked when I completed the snapshot and realized that we had a considerable amount of debt. Split between my Line of Credit, my spouse’s Line of Credit and our credit cards.
After the initial shock wore off, I thought that I would feel devastated and discouraged, but it actually helped me feel more grounded. Having a clear understanding of our financial situation I was no longer just worrying about an unidentified number, I had the exact amount written down and it gave me a starting place. I knew that I’d be learning the tools to help manage that debt over the next several months. Which has been spot on.
If you have debt pay off your highest interest rate payment first
Once you have a financial snapshot, come up with a plan to start paying down your debt. The best amount to tackle first is the one with the highest interest rate, which is usually a credit card.
It might sound backwards but if you have access to a line of credit, or lower interest loan, use that money to pay off your credit cards which have high interest rates, and then work to pay off the loan or line of credit.
*Supertip* If you have credit card debt, call your credit card company and see if you can negotiate a lower interest rate!
Look at your money at least every week
Do you connect with this scenario: It is pay day, but you don’t actually look at your bank account because you know that the money has already been allocated? Then somewhere in the month an additional expense pops up and you pay it, although you still don’t look at your bank account. You assume somehow it will all work out in the wash!
Yes, me too. That is how we ended up with a good amount of debt. If you aren’t paying attention to your money then you cannot be certain that things are “working out” for you. Not looking also reinforces the feeling that money is ubiquitous and not something that we can really fully see or understand and it definitely doesn’t have to feel that way.
Set up a time to look at your money every week and it will make a huge difference.
This is part one of what I hope will be multiple installments about money, and what I am learning through The Million Dollar Year. If you would like support and education on gaining financial freedom from financial experts I highly recommend Dow Janes, and you can use the code BEBOFRIEND to get $100 off!
Let’s start talking about money, and getting comfortable in our finances, let’s hone in on our financial power!
Did you learn about money in school or from your family? What is your relationship with money like now? Is this a topic you feel comfortable talking about, or does it make you uncomfortable? Feel free to share in the comments.
all the things I didn’t know about money
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