Smart Girl’s Guide to Financial Bliss: 11 Tips to Help YOU Take Control – Tip 4

August 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

4.)    Learn the lingo –  There are some common financial terms that you should know and that I know you can learn, even if you don’t really care that much about all of the details of finance. Since my husband loves car stuff, I’ve heard terms like carburetor, manifold and the like spoken of enough that I’ve learned a little about those items without doing a lot to learn it. Just hearing the words spoken of by someone I love have gotten the terms in my head. I’m not a mechanic, (I mean really?) and I don’t pretend to be one simply because I understand the basic terms, but I sort of understand what’s being shared with me when we talk and I can help think through problems when we talk.

  I’m sure you’ve also observed how quickly kids learn words and terminology . Words that you may not want them to learn they may quickly remember simply by being exposed to new terms. I think this makes the point that you can become familiar with the financial terms that are fundamental so that you can be the boss of your money world.  

 Over time, and adding just a bit of knowledge to your foundation, you’ll know who’s pulling you leg and who’s doing things in a way that seems right and good for you. The kinds of basic lingo, or terms to know, for instance, is being able to explain what a mutual fund is and how it differs from a CD.

 However you learn, whether reading about it, talking to someone or getting a kid’s picture book, please do this.

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment III

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

3.)  Don’t disrespect yourself– stop thinking something’s wrong with you because you have trouble understanding money.

 As I said in my presentation, A Smart Girls Guide to Financial Bliss, you’ve got to love yourself, kids.  68% of people with high esteem are good at planning their day-to-day finances. By contrast, 70% of those with poor self-esteem don’t feel in control of their finances.  62% of people with high esteem have set themselves long-term financial goals.

Let me tell you how self-esteem helps in finance. You need to know that you are important enough to stand up for what you believe is needed even when you don’t feel technically capable about the details of the financial matters in your life.

Let me tell you about Beth and her story. Beth, not her real name, didn’t feel smart about her finances. So when she married, she gave the money reins to her new husband. His mandate was to direct all their money towards paying off his debt. Minimum payments were made on all her debt.  Beth voiced her concerns that this seemed wrong, not wise, unfair, but because she felt ‘stupid’ about money she’d acquiesce about this crazy inappropriate allocation of funds.

 Not surprisingly, they are divorcing, because there were problems in the relationship. If you doubt you’re smart, if you let yourself be bulldozed, if you know in your heart something isn’t right…it ISN’T.

 Most important priorities after having a budget: don’t add to debt; having retirement savings (particularly important for women for so many reasons in my book) plus emergency money.

 You don’t need to know these topics well enough to earn a Ph. D.  I am not an expert on topics at which you may excel. You probably don’t sew your own clothes, build and fix your computer and harvest all your food and fuel? No? So you don’t need to be the sole resource of financial information in your life. YOU need to know what you need to know and you need to know when you need help!

 But you DO have to make having a basic understanding  of your financial life a priority, as you are doing today – I mean you don’t have to be reading this blog. You could be doing other things like shopping!!!!

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