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5 Women on Things They Wish They Knew About Finances Sooner

For many women around the world, we’ve experienced so much trial and error as it relates to finances. The transitions in life begin in our adolescent years which develop our ideals about money. As we mature, we quickly realize that our wants and needs naturally change over time, directly impacting our money goals. There’s no better way to learn about finances as a woman than from other women – take a look at these key lessons and begin these discussions with other women in your life.

Money Mindset

Shannah Compton Game, Certified Financial Planner and Host of Millennial Money Podcast

I wish I had understood the power of my money mindset and the role that plays in financial success. After spending 12 years as a Certified Financial Planner working with clients, I quickly saw that the one thing separating most people from achieving their money goals was their mindset; how they think, act and feel about their money. I wish I had understood that my money journey isn’t meant to be linear. Working with hundreds of clients over the last decade has shown me that money definitely ebbs and flows for most people. It’s easy to get hung up on your money mistakes and choices that you wish you would have made. However, the magic is found in embracing your money journey and doing the best you can to not give money more power than it deserves in your life.

Long Term Planning, Investments and Wealth Building

Erin Lowry, Author of Broke Millennial Talks Money: Scripts, Stories, and Advice to Navigate Awkward Financial Conversations

While I know I should probably give a more traditional answer like “invest in a Roth IRA when I got my first job!” (which is true, I wish I’d done that in college), my answer is actually about learning to invest in relationships. I was incredibly fixated on earning and saving money in my early twenties. But to the point of almost always saying no to invitations to dinners, happy hours, get togethers, small trips — you name it. There is, of course, nothing wrong with focusing on building financial security for yourself. In fact, you should have that as a goal. It’s also important to have some balance in there as well.

Investing in relationships doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it’s something you should consider balancing in with your financial journey. Saying no over and over means people will eventually stop asking you to participate. Instead, offer a more cost-effective alternative. “I want to spend time with you, but instead of doing bottomless brunch, how about we get a bagel and go for a walk in the park?” You can also open up with your friends about your financial goals to give them some context about why you can’t always indulge in the activities they want to do.

Deidra Willis, Certified Financial Planner

The first time I finally took the chance to invest, I wish I would have done it sooner.  Long of the short, you won’t know everything about the company you choose to invest or have an affinity for, yet, if you have 80% of the information, do not get stuck on paralysis by analysis.  When I finally did, it was “what’s next?”

The earlier you plan, the less it takes. Time compounds and works for you. I did an awesome job of starting this right out of college, however, I did not know the same worked for insurances and other financial investments.

Shannah Compton Game, Certified Financial Planner and Host of Millennial Money Podcast

I wish I had understood that there are so many ways to grow your wealth. Growing your wealth isn’t about following a set 10-step checklist. It’s about figuring out what is really important to you and then being intentional with your spending and savings to help fund the life you want to live. I wish I had understood how to invest in stocks from a very early age without having fear come into play. I grew up thinking that men were the only people successful at investing. Because of that, investing always felt scary to me. We need to teach everyone from a really early age how to be savvy investors without fear and greed.

Debt & Money Management

Maggie Germano, Financial Writer, Speaker, and Financial Educator

I wish I knew that I could make payments on my student loans while I was still in college. Even if I could only afford small payments, making a dent before I graduated would have felt really good. Relatedly, I wish I knew that a “refund” from my student loans meant I still had to pay back with interest later. And that I should use it to pay off the loan, rather than spending it elsewhere. I also wish I knew that I didn’t have to isolate myself in order to stick to a budget and save money. There are ways to be social while stick living within your means. I spent too much time at home, by myself, before I realized that!

Elle Martinez, Founder of Couple Money and Host of Couple Money Podcast 

For me, I think one of the biggest helps when it comes to finances is doing a goal-based budget. I’m someone who needs something concrete to focus and keep me motivated, especially when working on paying off our debts.

The second piece is more related to the whole marriage and money mix which is having monthly money dates.

By having these regular and lowkey check-ins it helps us adjust the numbers as needed. We’re able to catch things early. This way they’re not a big deal instead of having spending or debts snowball out of control.

Entrepreneurship

Deidra Willis, Certified Financial Planner

In business (so this is more of a tip for the independent employees/contractor/1099) every dollar you earn is not yours!  Separate your money and the only thing to operate as an employee is your pay until your bank account can sustain you, your team, and your expenses for a month. I see the excitement of earning and spending, but not properly planning as a business.  A lesson for me as savvy as I was and am was that business operations must have financial structure, even when the expense is not there yet!

As we can see, there are many ways to approach money management, investments and establishing your own money mindset. This conversation doesn’t stop here! Rally together a group of family and friends to share your own personal lessons from money. Now you can incorporate some new approaches as you continue to prosper on your financial journey.

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