It's your money...

As a money coach, one of the most common scenarios I come across (especially among women), is the fear of not knowing where to start when it comes to managing their money. I would have been in the same position I think, if it wasn't for my very practical and trustworthy husband stepping in.

Money makes us nervous. We know that it is important for us to learn and practice some simple money management and yet it can trigger "freeze" or "flight" responses.

I break it down to 4 simple tasks.

1. Tracking expenses does a number of things. Being conscious of how much you spend and on what, gives you pause to think about whether you are spending your hard earned money wisely. It allows you to calculate how much you will need when you retire. And in fact, it cuts out wasteful and needless spending.

2. Pay off debt. I know there are people who would disagree. They say "use leverage". And if that's your strategy and makes you comfortable, then you should definitely go for it. Personally, for myself and my husband the thought of owing anyone any money for any significant amount of time, caused us to be stressed.

Do not carry balances on credit cards...this does mean learning to live below your means....

Pay off your student loans and mortgage as soon as you can.

I love the freedom of knowing we own our house completely and that I use credit cards to get frequent flier miles and can track my expenses all in one place....and never paying a single cent in interest money. (I'm sure the credit card companies hate us🤣).

3. Save and invest. Every bit helps. Even 5-10% of what you make. More is better. This doesn't have to be complicated. If you are employed, make maximum use of retirement accounts such as IRA's and 401 (k) plans at work. As they say "pay yourself first". Historically, the stock market is where most investments have been placed. Over time, the trend is positive. Leaving money in low paying CD's or savings accounts, leads to "losing money" because of inflation. This is the only "guarantee" when it comes to investing.

Investing does not have to be complicated. Fidelity, Charles Schwab and the giant, Vanguard all offer low cost index mutual funds. The expense ratio is very low, these are "indexed" to the market, such as the S&P 500 and the risk is spread out over hundreds of companies, so there is built-in diversification.

This money is for your future, when those steady paychecks stop coming in. The biggest caveat is to not panic sell, when the market crashes.

Another caveat is to not to try to "time the market". Everyone wants to have a magical way of predicting when to buy low and sell high. No one has ever cracked that code.

And time in the market works so much better than timing the market!!!!

4. Money mindset. This may be the last point on this list but is probably the most important one. Just like any other skill in life, you CAN learn money management. It is okay to make mistakes. Learning to take charge of your financial wellness can be fun and enjoyable. Some discipline is necessary for sure but the rewards of feeling in control and not stressed makes it worthwhile!!

And, if you need my help with becoming a financial Ninja, please reach out! I offer 1:1 as well as couple's coaching...