Personal Financial Wellness
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© 2018-2020 Shake Your Money Tree

THIS IS A GREAT PLACE FOR YOUR TAGLINE.

Do either of these statements ring true for you?

 

~ Men should take care of the finances because they're better at math.

 

~ Women are bad at math - so they're bad with budgeting and investing.

 

These are the myths most of us have heard throughout our lives about the gender differences in how men and women handle money and who's good with computing numbers. But studies show little difference between women and men’s financial knowledge and habits and despite evidence to the contrary, both genders think women are bad at math.

 

I hated math when I was in school… all those calculations that seemed to have no place in the real world. My mind just didn't grasp the need for mental computation, and instead focused on history, English and creative writing. And because I transferred schools three times during high school, no one could keep up with whether I was doing well in math or not, so I just got placed in the class I was supposed to be in based on my grade and fell completely behind.

 

I became a math flunkie - BIG TIME.

But I loved economics. I loved it so much that in order to get out of math class once a week, I volunteered to teach Junior Achievement to 5th graders. If you're not familiar, Junior Achievement programs "foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to succeed". Little did I know just how involved I'd eventually become with the concepts around financial literacy!

 

These days I'm especially intrigued with the whole concept around behavioral economics and behavioral finance, as illustrated in the books Nudge and Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes.

 

Why do we behave the way we do with our money, and how does that impact our economy at large?

 

When I made some huge (we're talking Pretty Woman store-clerk HUGE) mistakes with my money, I just didn't grasp how much of a long-term effect it would have on my life. In a matter of just one year, my entire financial world blew up into itty bitty dollar size pieces. I was over $200,000 in debt and had made less than $20,000 in income that year. I ended up bankrupt and had to face the fact that my bad behaviors with money had finally caught up with me. But it still took a few years for me to get back on a financial footing that enabled me to focus on my money in a more positive way.

 

This was the turning point. This is when I became a #moneyjunkie

 

I realized that being good with money had nothing to do with math. Rather than focus on what I couldn't do in the math department, I focused on what I could do, which was Excel (no pun intended!). I created a spreadsheet that helped me track and pay down my student loan in half the time, saving thousands of dollars in interest.

 

I also realized that spending money and getting into and out of debt had everything to do with psychology and resulting actions and nothing to do about the actual act of balancing a budget.

 

Our mind is what determines how we act with our money, and managing our money stems from how our mind acts.

 

I had to get serious about earning more income now that my business venture had failed. I decided to take a more "manly" approach in being aggressive with negotiating salaries, bonuses, and raises. I jumped from job to job in order to earn more money, and each time I negotiated a significantly higher salary. This enabled me to double my income in 3 years, bringing me back over the 6-figure mark.

 

I had to face the fact that I wasn't a know-it-all and had flaws (gasp!). I'd earned such a good income for so many years that I thought it would never end and I was something special.

 

Going bankrupt was both the best and worst thing to ever happen to me.

 

I had to get a grip on why I was spending money like I was in Congress. I thought that in order to make money you had to spend money, then I hid behind a computer hoping a stranger would give me their money. I turned to gurus who promised fortunes if only I would give them mine. I left my job before ever making a dime in my side-hustle and lived on my 401k savings.

 

Did any of this have anything to do with math? Nope.

 

It has everything to do with mindset. Being a #moneyjunkie means investing in understanding why you make the money decisions you do, how behavioral finance plays a part in us being Unintentionally Irrational creatures, and what it takes to actively make different decisions than the ones that get us into these messes.

 

It's incredibly easy to read a personal finance book and know WHAT we should be doing with our money, but it's the HOW that's the hard part.

 

HOW do we uncover our irrational behaviors? HOW does the way we grew up impact our ability to be balanced in our money decisions and actions? HOW can we take advantage of all the tools and resources out there for effectively managing our income and expenses?

 

Like I said, it's the HOW that's the hard part. It's the HOW that requires being intentional. It's the HOW that insists we take an active role in engaging our brains, hearts, and relationships in building a financial life we're proud of.

 

It's the HOW that's going to take us to financial freedom.

 

This is why I focus my coaching first on the WHY of our irrational behaviors so that we can get to the WHAT to do with our money, which leads us to the HOW of doing it. If you don't know the process, it's easy to get off course and give up just as you're on the brink of success. I can help you also go from a math flunkie to a #moneyjunkie! Book a clarity consultation call to learn more about the process I take my clients through so that you, too, can enjoy the kind of financial freedom I'm now enjoying!

 

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