Second of a two-part series about why you should care about your financial life and how to establish a healthy, fulfilling relationship with money.
By guest writer, Zoe Wolpert, Associate Investment Advisor.
Last week we discussed why it’s so important that we, as women, take care of our money. We discussed the investing gap and how to think about money to create a solid foundation. If you haven’t read it, go back and give it a quick once over.
Recall that a Healthy Money Mindset has 4 elements: Acceptance, Appreciation, Advancement and Application. The below is a step-by-step process to work through each of these areas.
STEP ONE: RECOGNIZE SELF-SABOTAGING THOUGHTS
Reflect on the “story” you tell yourself about money and look for any un-helpful thoughts. Some common examples are “I need more” or “I don’t know how to save”. Write them down, get them on to paper and analyze them for what they are, ideas you keep repeating, not rules set in stone. Often simple acknowledgement is enough to stop the negative thinking hamster wheel.
STEP TWO: APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
Have you ever thought that if you made more money you would be happier? There’s a phenomenon called “lifestyle creep”. It’s the reason many high earning people still have negative feelings about money, they have let their spending rise just as much their income. Wage is important but so is realizing that we already have everything we need.
Don’t compare yourself to idealize standards you have created, instead feel wealthy by focusing on what you do have as well as all the opportunities that are yet to come.
STEP THREE: LET GO OF PAST MISTAKES
Reflect on the fact that mistakes are a part of life and you will never stop making them, that’s what self-growth is all about! If you avoid mistakes you avoid growing so instead of dwelling find a way to embrace them for the learning tools that are. You can give this a try by picking a recent “mistake” reflecting on the lesson behind it. For example, a mistake I make is wasting money on eating out all week, the lesson behind it is that it matters enough to me to try and be prepared next week and the week after that. It’s about continuous effort, not perfection.
STEP FOUR: (THE BEST STEP) DEFINE WHAT GIVES YOU JOY
At the beginning of this post I told you that a Healthy Money Mindset would help you get more of what you want, but first, you have to know exactly what that is.
The term “buying happy” refers to spending strategically on the things that bring you the greatest sense of joy. An example might be that having brunch with your friends every Sunday makes you feel connected or that putting money aside for retirement makes you feel secure.
Whatever it is, it’s important throughout your financial life that you truly take the time to figure out what makes you happy and why.
MAKE A MANTRA
So far, we have released our self-sabotaging thoughts, realized we have a lot to be thankful for, learnt from our past mistakes and defined what makes us feel fulfilled. We’ve laid the groundwork for a Healthy Money Mindset.
Take your time to reflect and then write a mantra that you can refer to when you need to see the big picture. Work though the steps on your own time and come up with something that reflects what you value. Refer to it when you feel stressed or extravagant.
An example of a mantra might be something like this: “I take care of my money and apply it to things that make me happy.”
From this foundation, you can embark on your financial life knowing the decisions you make will be in line with what’s most important to you. Whether your next step is paying off debt, creating an emergency fund, saving up for a trip or investing for your future; there are plenty of fulfilling opportunities when it comes to using your money. Ask questions, read articles and source out the information you need to make the most of what you have.
Zoe Wolpert, Associate Investment Advisor
Zoe is a wealth professional at Canada’s largest independent investment firm where her focus is goal oriented and tax efficient wealth management strategies for high net worth clients. Zoe has extensive experience working with accredited investors, private placements and impact investments. Applying her knowledge of personal wealth management and private funding, Zoe fosters initiatives to get women investing and help female founders raise capital. She has a great interest in the financial implications of gender bias in business and is an advocate for equal pay and equal opportunity. Zoe is currently working towards her Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation.
Contact Zoe at: 416.572.5421