The 3 money lessons I learned from childbirth:
So while my husband kept telling me on our way to the hospital, “they will probably tell you to go home,” I kept laughing to myself and thinking I’m having this baby today.
There will always be curveballs thrown your way, and you need to be ready to make adjustments to your plan. Maybe you thought you’d work a little longer, but your health won’t let you. Maybe you thought you wouldn’t be getting a divorced, but your husband had different plans. It’s all about your attitude and approach to these life challenges that can help set you up for the next chapter or put you in a downward spiral. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying it’s doable.
If you don’t know a lot about money, educate yourself. If you don’t know about budgeting, get a spreadsheet started. Learn as much as you can about your money habits and how you can adjust them to better suit your goals. The more you know how your money is working for you, the less stress you are likely to have. It can help you to gain confidence that you are on your way, control over your money issues, and clarity over why you doing all this hard work to get ahead in your life.
My new saying for this year is to love your life and love your money. You can have both and it just starts with taking action. Check out my new book’s website where you can gain so much knowledge and insights into your money.
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James.
Alright you, I have a question for you? Why do we, as women, always stress ourselves out? I was thinking about this very thing this morning while walking my dog. I was rattling through my to do list for the day, getting all worked up about how on earth I will get it all done. And then it hit me, I’m missing this beautiful morning outside with my little nugget of a dog thinking about things I had no control over at the moment. Stressing about my long list of tasks for the day wasn’t going to complete any of the tasks, it wasn’t going to erase any of them, and it wasn’t going to help my mindset going into the day. So why was I wasting time, energy, and a gorgeous morning overthinking my busy day ahead of me? I could of ruined a walk with my dog if I didn’t get my head on right and start enjoying the moment.
And then, later that day I was talking with my editor, who exclaimed how she is stressing herself out over deadlines. She has the same routine, knows they will all get done, and yet still gets herself into a tizzy. Hilary also made the comment how men don’t do this, if they don’t get to something, then tomorrow will work just fine. This must be why husband always leaves his clothes in the dryer, he’ll get to them tomorrow, whereas, I stress out to no end about getting my clothes washed, dried, and put away ASAP!
I strongly feel as women, we feel we aren’t working hard enough if we aren’t busy and stressed. We have to be busy, oh so busy, and think to ourselves: “you have no idea how busy I am, so much busier than you.” I have been known to get all worked up about my long list of tasks, when in the end, I know I will get it all done. Now I have been working on this, (it might have taken me over a year), but changing my mindset about it has really helped. Before I’d keep saying to myself, “this will never, ever end!” Whereas now, I tell myself to breath and be happy you have a nice house to keep clean and organize, that you have wonderful people who need my help, and it goes from being a stressful, never ending task, to a pleasant experience.
And I also don’t think we need to be busy to be successful, and we don’t need to be stressed to feel like we’ve worked hard. I know a lot of women who lay awake at night going through to do list among to do list. So now they are adding no sleep to the stress of their list, not a good combination for your health. Think about it, your body can only handle so much stress before it starts to take its toll on your health. If men can master never being stressed about getting it done, why can’t we? Not to get you stressed about stress, but here is a list of the side effects from stress:
A quick google search will tell you stress can cause headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, stomach issues, and sleep problems. I’ve heard people complain about every one of those when dealing with their money stress. Well maybe not the sex drive, but I’m sure it’s there. As I say in my book, money fights don’t usually end with great make up sex! There will be times in life where you will be stressed out and should be stressed out such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, and health, so don’t let the little things like to do lists stress you out.
Please stop being so hard on yourself and always feeling the need to be busy. You do NOT have to be busy to be productive, and you don’t have to overload your day in order to feel like you’ve contributed. It’s an impossible task you put yourself in and end up on autopilot the entire day. Have you ever noticed some people will ask you a question and immediately check out? They are on autopilot and are just cruising through their day without taking time to enjoy it or enjoy life. I recently read this amazing quote that I will end with. It went something along the lines of:
If you are told you have 6 months to live and fully live in those moments, then you will have lived a more fulfilling 6 months than someone who is just cruising through life on autopilot and lives another 30 years.
Opinions expressed are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James.
And now we will go through the last two steps to taking control over your money and telling it whose boss. These two steps are last, but they are probably the most important ones so listen up! These steps are important to do by yourself, with your partner, and with your advisor because you want to make sure everyone knows everything and is on the same page.
Month 3: Your Financial Plan
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Congratulations, you are on the money detox train going full speed ahead! You now know more about your cash flow, and have hopefully taken steps toward saving more money and spending less on “stupid stuff” as my husband loves to call it. It’s so important to know where your money is going to you can get back in control of it.
One family was spending over $3,000 a month on food. They were spending a mortgage on food, and it was no wonder they had to declare bankruptcy a few years ago and are back in debt. Another couple was spending $1,000 on wine each month. Now I love my wine, and cannot wait until I can drink some good vino after having my baby, but if your wine budget is 10% of your income, something is wrong. But neither families would even know they were overspending so much if I didn’t have them go through their expenses.
So Month 1 is taking care of your cash flow, and now you will go through it every month when you sit down to review your money. This week we will go through your 4 steps in Month 2 that focuses on your finances and investments. And without further ado:
Month 2: Finances and Investments
And next week we will finish the last 2 steps to tackling your money and telling it whose boss!
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
I get asked most of the time how can I start to be more active with my money. Sometimes it is a wife asking how she can get more involved since her husband takes care of everything, and she has no idea where all their money is. This can be very scary, what if something happens to your husband? OR What happens if he isn’t managing the money right? You don’t want to be scratching your head trying to figure out why you thought you’d be retiring, but you just had to borrow money from your parents or declaring bankruptcy. You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. I’ve seen it happen and if you don’t believe me, just do a little search.
Now the other times, the women who ask me, are on cruise control. They get paid, pay their bills, and whatever money is left, they shop with, spend on themselves, or maybe save a little. Think of it like you wake up, go to work, come home, and go to sleep. And repeat for 30 years until you can hopefully retire. You are on cruise control with your money and with your life. It’s time to get off this hamster wheel and live your life, not just go through the motions. And what will help, is taking charge of your money so you can use it to help live the life you want and deserve. Remember it’s not about making more money or saving more money, it’s about the lives you can change with that money. So I’ve come up with a money detox to get you started.
You’ve heard of a health/juice/diet detox, so why not a Money Detox? Let’s apply the same concept to make small changes with your money, which can lead to drastic changes with your life goals. Instead of removing one thing from your diet, we will add one thing a week that deals with your money.
Here are my Top 12 Money Detox steps to telling your money whose boss:
Month 1 focuses on your cash flow.
Next week, we will go through Month 2, which deals with your finances and investments.
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
How to become a Financially Successful Woman is easier than you think. I will break down the top common traits of women who are in control of their money so you can also take charge of your money!
So how many of these traits do you see in yourself? And how many would you like to add to your life?
To recap, let’s see how it all works together:
Financially In Control+
Financially Successful Woman
If you want to be a financially successful woman, schedule a FREE 1o minute call with me and let’s get you living the life you really want to live. Find out how money can be your tool not some stressful burden weighing on you day and night.
I had a one on one client in my office the other day, and she was ecstatic with how much money she has already made with Airbnb. Within the first month, she made over $400! The main reason she was so enthused with the amount was she booked a trip without realizing how she was going to pay for it. She always defaulted to using her credit card and figuring out how to pay the balance off later. You might be guilty of this as well, let’s just put the purchase on my AmEx and pay it off later…right? Luckily, she’s been working with me for the past 6 months and now knows that this concept is not the solution. She’s gotten away from this bad credit card habit, and knowing the many evils associated with the credit cards, she has now found a way to help pay for her trip.
And lucky for you, both her trip and strategy for paying for the trip, got me thinking about the number one goal I’ve seen among retirees: TRAVEL! 50% of the people I meet with, who are with coming up to retirement, say they want to travel in retirement and the other 50% say they NEED to travel in retirement. It seems to be on most pre-retirees minds, and they usually have their first trip already planned out. So I did a little research for you, and found some budget friendly travel tips to share. Some might not work for you, but if you are desperate enough to travel, then they are definitely worth thinking about. So keep an open mind!
My Top 5 Cost Effective Travel Tips:
There seems to be a rising trend of spending more and more on travel for retirees. Overseas Adventure Travel has found trips for people over the age of 50 has grown by 67% in a decade. Most people I speak with explain they didn’t have the time to travel or to really enjoy vacations while they were working. They feel retirement is their time to do the things they’ve been putting off for the past few decades. And while I can understand this, it is also important to remember your retirement plan and not to spend it all on a few trips. You are going to be retired for a long time, and need to make sure you stay within the realm of reality with your travel spending. Before you start booking all your trips, think about the following questions:
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Raymond James is not affiliated with the independent organizations referenced in this article. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed web sites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any web site or the collection or use of information regarding any web site’s users and/or members.
It is nothing new that student loans are becoming an increasing expense for college graduates, with the majority of students leaving school with debt equivalent to a small mortgage. It is no wonder they have trouble moving out of their parent’s house, trying to buy a car or house, or becoming financially independent. I recently met with my cousin to go through her loans and put a plan in place to tackle them as quick and cost effectively as possible. The whole process can be very overwhelming, and since the trend seems to be only getting worse, I thought it would be beneficial to talk about what to do before college. So let’s start before you even get to your new school.
How exciting, you are starting the college search process. You probably never thought there were so many choices out there, small and big, cheap (ok maybe I should say cheaper) and expensive, industry focused or liberal arts. The list of options goes on and on. Do you want to stay close to home or go as far away as possible? Do you want a school focused on internships? How about a campus so large, you will somehow get lost even after your fourth year? You will hear from everyone to put a list of priorities together to help narrow down the search, but what they won’t tell you is to look at the school’s value. What I mean by this is to see how much you are willing to pay for the extra “bonuses” of the school such as nicer dorms, new fitness center, great business department, or whatever it is. You are investing in this college or university, so think of it like researching a company you might buy. Are those added bonuses worth the hefty price-tag?
I remember hearing one person say, “I don’t know why we put a $200,000 decision in the hands of an eighteen year old. No offense, but $200,000 is a lot of money and the magnitude of that price-tag might not sink in when you are looking at schools. This is obviously the case since student loans have grown between $53 billion to $120 billion between 2001 and 2012. Colleges are expensive, and the price is only going up, yet wages haven’t gone up. More and more kids are borrowing money to go to these very nice but pricey colleges. I mean some of them look like country clubs! The problem is they aren’t thinking about what $20,000 of student loans will look like when they graduate. A lot have upwards of $50,000 of student loan debt. And then you add a jobs market that is NOT in favor of graduates, with the average income being $50,556 in 2016. However, that is if you can get a job!
Let’s do the math:
If you are lucky enough to get a job and one that pays $50,000, your net income after paying taxes is about: $42,000.
The average student loan payment is $280 a month or $3,360 per year. This is based on a debt total of $25,000 with an interest rate of 6.8% being paid off in 10 years.
Now your income is $38,640. But what if your debt total is double that? What if you borrowed $10,000 each year of school to go to your top choice for a total of $40,000?
Well your total annual payments each year would be $5,520 assuming a 10 year loan at 6.8% interest. And you would waste $15,239 from your interest payments. Is that school worth it to you to spend an extra $5,500 each year for ten years? Ten years is a long time to be stuck paying debt. Trust me, you will want to move out of your parent’s house at some point (I’m sure they want you gone too!), you will want to get married, buy a house, travel, and the list goes on and on. And having these payments can get in the way of those dreams.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but do the math before you commit. Just like any big purchase, put a price limit on your search. Here are a few items you need to consider before borrowing for college:
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.
In our last We Are Women post, I thought it was appropriate to end with the following quote:
“It’s a great satisfaction knowing that for a brief period in time you made a difference.”
Isn’t that the point to our lives, that we have made a positive difference in someone’s life? Whether it’s your own life, your children’s, your family’s, your loved ones, or whomever’ s life you’ve been able to touch. I am writing this post the day after my first book signing of my #1 International Best Seller: Strong Woman Stronger Assets. And I thought it was a very fitting post to follow up my presentation from the event since below was my speech for it:
iI was driving home the other day and a Miley Cyrus song came on. And as any Miley Cyrus song would, I started thinking about my life to new depths. I had my dog next to me, our baby girl in my belly going to see my husband and the home we have built together. And I thought this is what it is all about. It isn't about more money, it is about finding happiness and peace in our lives. It's about uncovering what drives you, what your asset is. Just like the title of my book Strong Woman Stronger Assets, Assets is whatever you are working so hard for. It's not to earn more money or save more money, it's about the lives you can change with that extra money. It's about having no stress over how we are going to afford this baby, college down the road, and her wedding. And helping women gain control and confidence in their life is what fulfills me and gives me great happiness.
I committed to writing this book the day after I found out I was pregnant. And something about being pregnant made me think about what kind of role model I am going to be to this little girl. Obviously we didn't know she was a girl yet, but it was probably destined. Being able to tell our girl I've been able to change women's lives and be a positive influence on them is such a great feeling. Our baby along with other young women and girls are a part of a movement where more women are controlling the wealth, more women are owning their own businesses, and more women are becoming executives and CEOs. And it all starts with gaining control over your money, getting confidence for the next chapter of your life, and clarity over what it is you really want, what will bring you happiness.
So let’s start the process and get you towards your own happiness. Let me ask you, who here has things in their life they’d love to get rid of? And who has stuff they’d love to add to their life?
We all have pieces we need to shred from our lives, and we all have dreams and goals we want to get to someday. What I want for you is to get to those dreams sooner than later and start taking action today to get them. We all become a prisoner to “maybe one day,” maybe one day I can travel, maybe one day in retirement I can exercise, maybe one day if I win the lottery I can help my family. One day, but not today. Well I say why not today? Let’s get to the core of what it is you really want, put a plan together, and take action. It all comes down to living your self-worth and opening up your eyes to what your life is worth to you. Let’s level up your life tonight!
So when you go home tonight, open your book to chapter 3 and think about 3 items you want to discard from your life and 3 things you want to add to your life today!
This is the first step toward getting the life you want to live. If you don’t think about it, if you don’t write it down, it will never happen. You will never take a step toward getting it. And it is your asset. Remember assets isn’t just money, it’s whatever change you are working so hard for. Maybe it’s telling your daughter as she tries on her dream wedding dress, “honey, I got this, don’t worry about the price.” Or “Telling your boss you quit because you are starting your own business, that you found your dream job.”
So what is your asset?
Now who likes to procrastinate? Who loves it especially when the thing they’re avoiding overwhelms them?
This is what I’ve found with money, most people are overwhelmed by it so they steer clear of it. This book breaks it down in a relatable fashion so you can understand why it is so important to take charge of your money. I interviewed over 50 women for this book and for my blog to get stories to inspire you to take that first step toward getting the life you want.
And here is an exert from the book to give you an idea of how relatable I can make it:
Think of it another way. Let's say you have a wedding coming up, and you need to find a bombshell dress. One where the instant you put it on, you feel freaking fabulous. I know you know what I’m talking about. Hugs all the right curves, maybe forgiving in some other areas, and your date can’t stop staring at your butt. But before you find the dress, you commit yourself to losing a few pounds. So, you wait a few months to start looking, then a few months turns into a year, and still no dress. Finally, it is the night before the wedding, and you find yourself in a dead sweat in the dressing room with dozens of dresses but no contenders. Let me ask you, did procrastinating benefit you or endanger your chances of finding THAT dress? You’ll be showing up to the wedding in an old dress that probably has a stain on your back, maybe a hole under your armpit, and you'll hope no one notices. If this is the case just for a dress, imagine how procrastinating with your life and money can turn out for you.
In the book, we will create your own plan so you know exactly what to do and when to do it, which takes all the stress and anxiety out of your money. You will gain confidence to move forward, clarity over what it is you’re working for, and control over your money habits. Too many times you don’t realize how much your money habits are jeopardizing your success and in the end happiness. When you see your bank account at a new low or your debt at a new high, your happiness plummets, your self-worth falls, and you feel like you’ll never get to your goals. But, when you see your bank account climbing higher, you feel better, gain confidence and belief in yourself, and your account can start racing to new highs.
When we are in a dark place or going through a transition, we forget our self-worth. We tend to value ourselves very low and think, “This is what I deserve.” Your children, spouse, and families witness it, and will start thinking the same way. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all have a critter part of our brain that tells us we aren’t worth it, that we suck. By knowing it’s there, we can address it and silence it. This along with other tweaks and adjustments you can make will get you to start living the life you want and the life you deserve. I will take you step by step to give you the knowledge you need to know about your money, open your eyes to different possibilities, and show you exactly what to do at the end of each chapter. Information is great, but if you don’t know what to do with it, then it is useless. Isn’t it? By giving you a call to action, it ensures you will get it done instead of wasting another year being “stuck.” As I say in Strong Woman Stronger Assets, I hope this book is the piece that enables it all to click into place when it comes to understanding your relationship with money, and that your world will start to shift in the same way it has for me over the past few years.
And if you'd like to buy my book, just click the link below. Let's start your transformation now!
Views expressed are the current opinion of Jessica Weaver, but not necessarily those of Raymond James. Investing always involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss. No investment strategy can guarantee success.
In my second We Are Women posting, this week’s quote is…
“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”
How important it is to have a support group around you when you go through a tough time. Your true friends are there with you when you are at your worst, but are also there when it’s time to celebrate. They are the ones who will drop everything to help out, and are truly happy for you when good things come your way.
During the times you stumble in life, you will have grief to deal with. It’s important to realize this, and not shut down completely. Allow yourself to grieve at your own pace, and don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel. I will say to wait on any big decisions for about a year after your tough time. There will be items to take care of immediately of course, but give yourself time to process the major change in your life. When you are grieving, you won’t make the best decision for your life, sorry but you won’t. You might rush through the decision, you might make the choice out of anger, but whatever happens, you will likely regret it down the road.
When you make a decision based on such high emotions, you are making a rash decision. This choice will feel great in the short term, but that feeling doesn’t last. And the feelings you will get in return, are regret and disappointment. So whether you are suddenly single from divorce or losing your spouse, take time before you completely change your life.
One woman, we can call her Sally, lost her husband very expectantly in a car accident. She seemed ready to move forward very quickly, and called us up to meet to go through all the paperwork within the first two weeks of his passing. Sally was ready to get everything transferred, make some quick decisions, and mark it off her to do list. A few weeks after meeting with her, we received calls from her sister. It seems like Sally was falling more apart day by day, completely stressed out about the money, and acting very irrationally. She put up quite a front to us, we would have never thought this was going to happen.
We took extra time with her to make sure she understands everything, let her ask questions whenever they come up, and address any concerns she has for the future. When you put up a front, people don’t know you are still hurting inside. They won’t offer to help because to them you seem fine and tell them you are fine. They won’t know you are terrified inside and have no idea what to do. They will expect you back at work like your old self, and ready to move on.
Now when you are ready to move on to the next stage of your life, here is a quick checklist to help get you moving forward:
Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James.