Creating financial success for yourself is not “one size fits all” like many books and experts would like to tell you. Each person has their own journey which is why personal financial coaching is so important. It is especially important for women. Why? Because traditionally women tend to lack money managing confidence and suffer a shortfall of financial skills. Why do we lack the confidence and skills? There are many reasons, of course, but a major reason is women have abdicated the management of money to others. Usually, this is a male figure in their life (husband, partner, or even father). This is especially true for baby boomer and WWII generation women. Believe it or not, 50 years ago women could not contract for their own mortgage or credit cards. It wasn’t until 1974, when Congress passed a bill to outlaw credit discrimination based on gender. It took decades for older women to overcome this disparity and some still have not. Fortunately, younger women today are protected by law from the past era of financial bias. However, the habits of old continue to be passed down to children from others who didn’t know better. It takes time and financial education to overcome the past and thrive financially in the future.
If you are reading this and it rings true to you, don’t automatically assume that you are managing your money incorrectly. And most certainly, don’t beat yourself up if you are not great with money right away. It takes time to relearn and replace old habits with good ones. At Monarch CPA we can help you find and build your confidence with sound money management through our financial coaching program.
Understanding Your Money Story
Your money story is much more nuanced than “I am a spender” or “I am a saver”. The first step to understanding your money story is to start listening to your “money chatter”. Whenever you are buying something, paying bills, or evaluating money decisions, listen to what your voice inside your head is telling you about money and write it down. Tune into that chatter and determine if there is any judgement, encouragement, guilt, fear, insecurity, or shame? Then identify your challenges. What parts of the chatter don’t serve you? What is at the root of your pattern as you think through your mindsets about finances?
The next step is to think of money as your best friend or your partner and reference the things your chatter was telling you. Let us say one of the things you said about money is, “Why is it never enough?”. Think about how that partner or friend would feel if you told them, “You are never enough!” Would they stick around? It isn’t that money isn’t enough, but rather your approach and relationship to money devalues the worth of your money management skills. That is where financial coaching can help.
Your Path to Financial Freedom
We must first heal and move past our beliefs. Let go of the negativity around money and learn to trust yourself. When we stay with our fears, we sabotage ourselves. What do you really want in life? Not what you are supposed to want, but what you really want. Throw out the stereotypical vision of financial success that we have been handed. You know the one… the dream life of yachts and billions of dollars.
Evaluate your life vision, your purpose, and your talent. How do you want to feel in life? It must be your way, based on your values, for it to be the right way. What are your priorities? Your healthy relationship with money and your new money story must be connected to who you are now, your values, your goals, your priorities. Then you can begin to learn how to financially live within those boundaries and form your path to financial freedom.
Values, goals, priorities act as your GPS to direct you to where you need to go. Get clear on your values and bump them up against each money decision. You just need to know where you are going-not exactly how you will get there. If fear arises during your journey, is it because your journey is out of alignment with your values or is it because you are trying something new? Spend money that is in alignment with your values.
Take responsibility and own your relationship with money. Create a welcome environment for money. We CAN have both money and family, money and happiness, and money and free time. When you put your money out there in the world, know that it will not only come back, but it will come back bigger even if you don’t know how or when.
Monarch CPA is here to help you get on the road to financial freedom. Schedule a free consultation with Katie Mongelli to discuss your financial coaching needs.
*Monarch CPA provides full-service accounting and financial coaching with locations in Reston Virginia and in Rockville, Maryland. We serve businesses in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Area.