When I ask people what their retirement dreams are, the answers tend to be simple. Most of us just want to have enough saved to live a comfortable life doing more of the things that we enjoy. But for many of us, particularly women who take significant time out of their careers to care for others, the idea of living a comfortable retirement can seem more like a stretch target than a certainty. So, let’s delve deeper into women’s super. 

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Saving money is crucial to achieving financial independence. It helps to afford the basic necessities in life, retire comfortably and handle financial difficulties. However, the savings journey is not always a smooth one.

There are endless obstacles that can come your way even if you are very determined in reaching your financial goals. Some obstacles are self-created, like bad money habits, while others are unexpected emergencies we can’t avoid.

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You may not think invoicing is the most enticing topic out there, but let’s be real, in order to stay successful as a small business owner or freelancer you’ll need to keep the cash flow flowing. By improving your approach to your business’s finances and fiscal procedures you are paving the way for business success. Central to this idea is making sure you have strategic invoicing methods in place that ensure you get paid faster. Read on for a few of our simple, yet essential, invoicing tips for business success.  

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Who do you rely on to advise you about your finances? Whether you are taking the steps to completely engage with your finances for the first time, or you know it’s time to take your wealth creation to the next level – what if today, you became the CFO of your life? Let’s dive into how to manage your own wealth creation. 

STEP ONE – Set the foundation for financial awareness and wealth creation

  • Know exactly how much revenue and expenditure you are currently generating. What do your finances look like right now? You must have clarity about your current financial situation so that you know what your next financial targets need to be.
  • Know exactly how much money you need to run your life/business as you would truly like it to be. What would you like your finances to be? Write down all the costs of running your life and your business as you would like. Include the essentials and all the fun things – dinners out etc. Add what you would like to have in the next one to five years – holidays, courses, new purchases and investments.
  • What can you add and create? Rather than focus on cutting spending (although you may see some ways where your expenditure is better placed elsewhere), put your attention on asking, “What are the options for getting me there?” and “What can I add or invest in that will create money now and in the future?”
  • Create a “10%” account for you.  For every dollar that comes in, put 10 cents away. This is not a “rainy day” fund. It ensures you always have money in your life and future which creates a sense of peace around money. It’s about fostering a different relationship with money that is about continual growth.

 

STEP TWO – Educate yourself on different kinds of wealth and investments

Most people think there’s a formula for creating wealth: A + B = C. But this will only limit you in terms of what you can generate for yourself. Out-creation is about throwing out the blueprints and rulebooks; it’s about seeing how all the facets of your life can contribute to you. 

As your own CFO, ask: What are all the things I would like to add to my life, not just the money? How can I create a portfolio of income to support that? These questions will help you plan the bigger question of how to manage your own wealth creation.

Wealth includes everything in your life, bringing you money – and more. For example, most people don’t consider their jewellery as part of their wealth or investments.

The first time I invested a lot of money in myself this way, I bought a unique set of pearls. When I put them on, my whole body lit up. 

Wealth creation is not about sticking to the tried and true, or accepted standards of financial generation. Educate yourself about different forms of wealth and investments and, most importantly, follow what is interesting and fun for you.

 

STEP THREE – Add things you enjoy to your life.

Take the focus off your bank account. When you enjoy your job, you don’t think about the paycheck you’re getting. Instead, it becomes about enjoyment, joy, and enthusiasm. Out-creation is about adding more richness to your life, no matter the balance in your bank account.

When you focus on the bigger picture – enjoyment, being of service, helping the planet – you become more aware of possibilities and opportunities for the creation of wealth in a more multi-faceted way.

There is a wonderful saying that I live by:

Money follows joy, not the other way around.

Money is a by-product of what you choose that cultivates a greater sense of wealth and richness in your life.

Wealth can be the kindness you bring in your smile or the gratitude you choose each day. The more gratitude you have, your generosity of spirit grows. You have more generative fuel in your tank – where you can celebrate your success and growth. As well as the success and growth of others.

What are you grateful for about you and your life right now? Flex your muscle of gratitude every day.

The creation of your own personal wealth includes money, but it truly is never just about the money.

STEP FOUR – Practice “Benevolent Capitalism” when considering how to manage your own wealth creation

When thinking about how to manage your own wealth creation, remember it’s about generating something sustainable – for you, others and the planet. True wealth comes from asking, “What can I create that will make money for me, and grow, and benefit the wider world?” It is about we, not me.

Last year I ran over 85 events and classes all over the world and my business contributed to many other businesses. In that time, I hired over 60 translators, and my business supported many others in a multitude of ways. It was providing work, experience and tools to create more in their business and lives!

You don’t have to be a business owner or running a global business to practice benevolent capitalism, you only require developing a mindset of looking at how you can invest in creating a greater future for you and others. It is as simple as asking yourself: What contribution can I be to the creation of wealth and a greater future for myself, others and the planet?

True creation occurs when you are willing to erase all the definitions and projections and pre-conceived ideas held by you or anyone else. If you meet someone interesting but they don’t fit your definition of what your business or investment needs, let that definition go. Adapt, evolve, ask questions and you will always remain engaged and aware of greater possibilities for the expansion of wealth.

 

Laleh Alemzadeh-HancockAbout the author

Laleh Alemzadeh-Hancock is a life and communication coach, management and professional services consultant, and facilitator of Wealth Creators Anonymous, a special program by Access Consciousness®.

Laleh has inspired and empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals and families including Fortune 500 executives, government agencies, non-profit organizations, athletes and veterans. A lifelong entrepreneur and passionate change-agent, Laleh strives to seek out possibility in every problem and aims to facilitate strategic change and optimal growth for all her clients. She is an advocate for people of ages with special needs or disabilities and their caregivers and served on the Governor of Maryland’s Caregivers Support Coordinating Council for four years. Through her organization, Global Wellness for All, Laleh inspires individuals – including individuals with perceived disabilities – to create wellness in all areas of their life and seek greater success. 


When it comes to financial success – or failure – people can set tough benchmarks for themselves. Financial fears or success means different things to each of us. For a single parent, it can mean not having to worry about unexpected bills. Or for a young professional, it might mean reaching the C-suite.

No matter what financial success looks like for you, when it comes to personal money management, Mortage Choice estimates that close to one in two women are confident that they are on track to reach their financial goals.

However, bubbling beneath the surface, women have some very real concerns about financial failure even though many of these fears may not be founded on reality.

Not meeting self-imposed financial goals

43% of women believe that not reaching their own financial goals is a sign of fiscal failure. The good news is that this suggests women are not only setting financial goals for themselves, they also attach considerable importance to achieving them. The question is, are we setting clear money goals to work towards?

Why it’s unfounded:  73% of women have set formal money goals for themselves. Almost one in five have gone as far as documenting their financial aspirations.  That’s a smart move. Behavioural science tells us that articulating goals creates concrete aspirations to work towards. Formally writing goals down, and even sharing them with friends or family, increases the likelihood of achieving your aspirations.

What you can do to avoid missing your own financial goals:

  • Be realistic with your goals. Setting a benchmark that is genuinely achievable within a given timeframe can keep you motivated to achieve other goals.
  • Make your goals specific and avoid indeterminate goals like “I want to save more”. Instead, add a concrete target such as “I plan to save $100 each month”. This gives you a clear figure to work towards.
  • Take steps to achieve your goals. If your goal is to grow savings, make it happen by setting up an automatic transfer out of your everyday account, into a savings account. 

The looming fear: Bankruptcy

The single greatest financial fear shared by six out of ten women is being declared bankrupt.

Why it’s unfounded: Sure, the idea of becoming bankrupt is unsettling, especially as it carries a considerable social stigma.

However, bankruptcy is very much an act of last resort. There is a whole spectrum of actions that can be taken to salvage personal finances before bankruptcy needs to be considered. And the vast majority of people are a long way from this point.

What you can do to avoid bankruptcy:

  • Monitor your finances regularly – 89% of women do this already. It’s a simple way to identify early warning signs such as mounting debt.
  • Excessive use of debt is the leading cause of personal insolvency in Australia. Don’t take on more debt than necessary, especially debt that’s not backed by a valuable asset as is the case with credit card debt.
  • Consider taking out income protection insurance. Only one in five women have income protection insurance, yet loss of income is the second main cause of personal insolvency.

 

Losing your home 

Homeownership is a big deal for many people. The study found that almost one in two women own their home, with a further one in four saving for a place of their own. Just over 10% of women also own an investment property. Unsurprisingly, the possibility of being forced to sell their home and downsize or rent is what 44% of women feel to be a sign of financial failure. 

Why it’s unfounded:  Homeownership often goes hand in hand with a home loan, and only 7% of women report having difficulties meeting their debt repayments.

What you can do to avoid losing your home:

  • Avoid overcommitting yourself. Be realistic about how much you can afford to borrow – and pay – for a home of your own.
  • Take early action if you’re struggling to meet repayments. Speak with your lender or mortgage broker before you miss a payment. It’s often possible to negotiate a more manageable payment plan.
  • Be careful about acting as guarantor for someone else’s debt (including debts of an adult child). If they default on their repayments, the lender will turn to you to make good with the loan, and that can jeopardise your ability to pay off your own home.

Dispelling the myths & financial fears

There is no doubt that women can face gender-related financial challenges including lower rates of pay, a greater likelihood of working in part-time/casual roles and increased chance of taking extended periods of time off from the workforce.

However, as research highlights, women are taking plenty of sensible steps to bolster their own financial well-being. For many, drawing up a personal balance sheet could reveal that they are in far better fiscal shape than they realise, and are much closer to financial success than failure. Having a money mentor can help too. Speaking with a professionally qualified financial planner can help you stay on track for financial success and let you thumb your nose at those personal financial fears.

 

This is a guest post by Nicola Field – a senior finance writer from Mortgage Choice. Find out more about Financial Fitness research.