The Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, brunch and (if you were lucky) jewelry were lovely and now you’re back to your routine, but Mom there’s still ONE important thing that we need to discuss. Yes, I know the dishes are in the sink, the child just did something ridiculous (what’s new), these bills won’t pay themselves, and you STILL need to lose those extra pounds….
I get it. Trust me, I get it.
“…women tend to live longer than men, on little money”
The Sad Reality
Let me tell you what I also get; I get that women tend to end up cashing out their insurance policies in mid to later life in order to take care of ill loved ones, to recover from a large financial set back, or just to survive. I get that women tend to live longer than men, on little money. I also get that women tend to always think that they have time….
My step mother had a massive heart attack without warning one day in her mid 50s. She went into a coma, was there for 11 days, and died. Never woke up. She left 3 children – 26, 17 and 15, all at various stages of their schooling, a successful one-woman business with several employees, a large tract of land that would one day hold her dream home, several other holdings, a vindictive estranged husband, and . . . no will. She had time ….
My mother, God bless her heart, has worked at management level in financial institutions for as long as I know myself. In her mid 60s, she has no insurance (all cashed at least a decade ago, to help her recover from a house fire and before that, a car theft), she has little savings (as a result of the unforeseen setbacks), she’s still working, and there will be no end to that in her foreseeable future. She had time…
Thing is, these women are not the only ones I know who failed to put their financial homes in order, while they did everything else and took care of everyone else. I know of TWO other women in their late 60s and still working, because they cashed in their insurance policies to care for ailing husbands who eventually died, leaving them with mountains of medical expenses to struggle with. One has a business (thank god) and the other finally retired in her late 70s and now depends on her adult children to live.
So mommy, shall we chat about Money now? Is NOW a good time?
“we also tend to avoid dealing with money, unless we’re spending it.”
As women we tend to take care of everyone else, before paying ourselves any mind. As women, we also tend to avoid dealing with money, unless we’re spending it. The thing is, as my grand mom would say – “What you don’t deal with, deals with you”.
Your Action Items
Take heart though, because Money isn’t as scary if we have the tools and knowledge to deal with it properly, so I’m here to help. Here’s a crash course to get you started.
- Where do you stand? What is the exact dollar figure of your savings (including the few dollars in that retirement account you opened at your first job)? What is the exact dollar figure of your debt? What is the exact dollar figure of any large items you may be able to sell if you had to, for example house, vehicle, designer clothing collection, etc? If you don’t know these figures, you’ll never get your Money right, so let’s start making phone calls and asking questions.
- What’s your plan? How much money would you like to leave your child(ren) should you die while they are still young? What’s your plan for paying off bills and debt? Is consolidation an option? Perhaps you can get a credit/gift card consolidation as well? How much money would you like at your monthly disposal when you retire? The future comes faster than you realise, so get the upper hand by planning for it. Chatting with a Financial Advisor will help you to gather your thoughts and get guidance. National Care Financial is a great place to start!
- Half the battle of having more money is keeping more money in your pocket in the first place! Where in your household and life are you wasting or giving away unnecessary money? Are you paying for extra cable channels no one really looks at? Can you get better rates on your care and/or home insurance? Are you actually using all the food that you purchased at the grocery and green market? Get a handle on the leaks from your budget, so you can divert those coins into savings!
- Money Mastery is a family affair! Get your household members involved. How can they help save money? How can they earn extra income for the household? What habits can the family change e.g. eating out a lot, that can help put coins into the piggy bank, instead of into someone else’s hands.
- What financial tools are available to you? Where can you find good, free or affordable financial advice? What money books have you seen recommended on social media, that you can get and begin to read? Are their free online financial classes or sessions that you can sit in on? One of the authors I recommend to every woman who needs to untangle her Money Mess, is Barbara Stanny. She is real, easy to read, and offers concrete, doable actions and worksheets.
A financially secure future is not a pipe dream, and you’re exactly the person who needs do it for yourself. Come on mommy you’ve got this, get going!