Women and Men So Different About Money

This is not my attempt at male-bashing, but it is my effort to point out how different women and men view money.  Women see it as security to establish a foundation and build a future.  We typically risk less, and stay the course more often.  We fear running out of money, and having to be dependent on our children.  Men feel more comfortable with risk, and for the most part believe that they can make more money in the event of change of circumstances.

Fewer than 2 in 10 women feel “very prepared” to make wise financial decisions.  Half indicate that they “need some help,” and one-third feel that they “need a lot of help.” (Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women 2010-2011 Prudential Research Study).

Ladies, let’s not shy away from the conversation.  Now is the time to face the money woes; ask the money questions and get a plan in place to tell your money what to do.  Let’s get your money in alignment with God’s great financial plan by taking these four steps:

1. Start tithing immediately

2. Pray over your finances regularly and ask God for wisdom in how to handle them

3. Build a budget and spend less than you bring in

4. Be a person of character and integrity and keep your word (if you owe someone and haven’t repaid them, work out a game plan to pay them back – if you can’t do it in full then make payments that you can manage, but be in communication).

You can do this.  You just have to learn how to say “No”.  Say “no” to impulse purchases, therapeutic shopping, and guilt actions of giving money to others while seeking their approval.

Start SOWING your financial seed, rather than EATING it.

Currency implies flow

Another word for money is currency.  Currency implies flow.  Your money has to flow like a river where there is a constant source of inflow and a constant source of outflow.  If your money experiences only an influx and no positive output (i.e. places to bless others, planting of financial seeds and gifting in the lives of others) then your financial situation becomes like a stinking, stagnant swamp.  What used to be green and vibrant, becomes infested and putrid.  If you fail to bless others, then there is no beauty in creating new life and new possibilities in the lives of others.  Your financial blessings are designed to be a blessing not just for you but for those fortunate enough to be connected to you.  You are blessed to be a blessing.

Focus on getting in the flow of currency.  If God can get money through you – He will certainly get money to you.

But if you only see purpose in getting all you can, and canning all you get – then who else would be blessed by that?

Malachi 3:10 shows that the blessing of the Lord should be demonstrated in overflow

 

Financial Freedom is Intentional not Accidental

Intentional – an adjective, defined as “done on purpose or deliberate”

Accidental – an adjective, defined as “happening by chance or unexpectedly”

Financial freedom is not something that you can stumble into by accident.  It requires making a decision to create a better financial future for yourself, and holding yourself accountable in your daily choices of earning and spending.  It does not require perfection, but it does require time and attention.  Most people spend more time planning their family vacations than they do preparing for their retirement futures.  Put the time and effort in to becoming knowledgeable about your money and learn how not to repeat the mistakes of others.  Read articles and biographies of those that have succeeded.  Watch interviews of self made individuals to hear how they came from humble beginnings and created the life they now live.

See the attached link for one woman’s story of her decision to be in charge of her finances and create what she wanted for her own life.

http://www.prolificliving.com/blog/2011/09/20/live-without-debt-in-charge-of-finances/

Put some action to the plan! Raise ’em up!

The month of January is winding down already.  It’s time to make sure you are putting some shoe leather on your monetary plans for 2014.  Get on the computer and increase the percentage that you are saving in your company retirement plan.  Retirement age will get here faster than you realize, and cost of living expenses only go up.  Get yourself ready.  Raise your long term savings and investments.

A customized plan is best, and the success certainly depends on the amount of time you have for the money to be working for you, your current investment balance and the average returns of those investments.  A good general rule of thumb though is a goal of saving 10% long term gives you a shot at maintaining your lifestyle in retirement.  Saving less than 10% and you will likely be dependent on family or government programs to provide support.  Savings of 15-20% would give you a better opportunity to have more disposable income available for more than just getting by in retirement.

So how much did you save in 2013 towards your long term savings?  And now give yourself a push to increase that amount in 2014.  Increase it as much as is realistic and maintainable.  Look at it quarterly to see if you have room to sock away more.  One step at a time is all it takes to make progress. Raise ’em up!

What you focus on becomes larger in your life

Debt-FreedomWhat you give your focus to becomes larger in your life.  This is true for relationships, finances, health and anything else you can think of – both positive and negative.  If you give your attention and focus to your finances, you will find yourself looking for ways to improve the matter.  You will find yourself learning about money.  You will be more conscious of what things cost.  You will pay more attention to what you spend and how you spend it.

If you ignore money thinking that the problems will go away by themselves – you will create a bigger problem because you will neglect details that cost you money.  You will miss payments and be charged with late fees and increased interest rates.  What you ignore, atrophies, and weeds come in and choke out what little life there was in the matter.

Consider your finances a garden of your own making.  Right now it may be out of control, but you can take the time to weed out and uproot the things that destroy it (creating more debt, living above your means, ignoring financial lessons, pretending it doesn’t exist, trying to keep up appearances, failing to focus on how to make it better).  Decide to give your financial garden some livable boundaries, then spend time tending to it daily.

Apply your focus here, and you can make a difference in your financial life.  Take control of  your financial life.  Tell your money where to go before you get it in your hands.  Give your money an assignment and hold it accountable to work for you.

Wherever You Go – There You Are!

I was driving down the freeway and saw a billboard that read “Eliminate Your Debt.  File Bankruptcy” along with an ad for a bankruptcy attorney that promised to make your debt problems go away.

As I read it at 70 miles an hour, it hit me how finances is another place that a misguided world is looking for a fast solution to a problem that was built with years of poor financial choices (overspending and undersaving one day at a time has put most of us in the situations that we are in today).  And just like an over-eater who wants to lose weight, the solution cannot be found in a quick fix surgery or magic pill.  Even those who undergo surgery can only have true success when there is a lifestyle change in eating and exercise habits.  So too must you make a true lifestyle change to master your finances.  Instant debt elimination without a change of better spending habits will not keep you from finding yourself in the exact same situation 5 years from now.

Commit to making better financial choices.  Save more this year than you did last year.  Get credit card debt out of your life one card at a time.  Review your statements and bills to find those little fees and extra charges that are eating away at what you could be saving for tomorrow.  Commit to paying no more late fees or overage fees, and commit to earning interest rather than paying it.  You can do it.  It all starts with a decision.