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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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.


Now more than ever we are told to diversify our income sources, however, when you are busy and already have a job, it can seem unmanageable to make it happen. I personally find that a single income is not enough to sustain a living where you not only survive but truly thrive. With this in mind, have you thought about creating multiple income streams? So your job isn’t the sole source of your income? Let’s explore some options.

Using smart investments when creating multiple income streams

Investing your money can be risky for first-time investors. We’ve all heard horror stories of investments gone wrong, which can be daunting and overwhelming. However, one bad experience shouldn’t put you off from investing. Many successful investors will even tell you that you must be willing to lose money, in order to be successful.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to go big, especially not at first. Investing isn’t just about the stock market. Start small and focus on lower risk investments that you’re comfortable with, before investing larger amounts. 

When considering a potential investment opportunity, ask yourself, “What can I invest my money in that would allow it to grow?”.

Embrace your side hustle

The modern-day woman has so much on her plate and the idea of turning a side hustle into a business can seem counter-intuitive. However, it doesn’t have to be. Many successful businesses have been created by people juggling multiple commitments.

Creating a part-time business can be done with only a little bit of your time, providing you are willing to jump all in and commit. Start by writing down all your different ideas, no matter how crazy they seem! The more ideas and choices you have to look at, the more opportunities you have available. Don’t just decide on your first idea as this limits your options.

When you’re happy with your business idea (or your first of many), look at what daily action is required. No doubt you’ll be juggling many priorities, so instead of working until your breaking point, take a few small steps each day. 

Putting you on the list of those that receive

When looking to create extra income, one of the major pieces we forget is to put ourselves first. We like to provide for our families and come up with millions of reasons for where the newfound money should be spent. However, when you don’t put yourself first on that list, you are sending a message that everything else comes before you and you are your last priority. Have you looked at where you are on your list of priorities?

One of the greatest ways to start prioritising you is to put away 10% of everything you earn. You will find that once you have accumulated a certain amount, you have a sense of ease around money. Another side effect if you put this amount away in a bank account is that financially, you will start to look better on paper and be exposed to more investment opportunities.

Your day job doesn’t have to be the sole source of your income. There are many income streams waiting for you. Money is an ongoing possibility, available if you are willing to go out and choose it.

About the author
Rebecca Hulse is an author, speaker, Wealth Creators Anonymous Facilitator and possibility-maker. She is an Access Consciousness® Certified Facilitator, event organizer and consultant. Rebecca revels in shaking up the realities and limiting paradigms of her clients, all over the world. Having completed her first bucket list by age 20, Rebecca is the personification of her motto “impossible is temporary”. She is a go-getting, jet-setting millennial and the author of three books. Rebecca regularly speaks to a global audience on business, consciousness, bodies, being and sex. She has experienced firsthand the power of opportunity and strives to constantly push the boundaries of what she is capable of, both personally and professionally, and help others do the same.


Would you live in a camper for eleven months to pay off debt? This couple did.

When Zack and Jen McCullock first got married they decided to begin their marriage in an unconventional way. They lived in a camper. The couple had around 50k in school and car loan debt and after having an honest talk shortly after their honeymoon about their financial future, they decided to tackle the debt. They discussed taking a drastic step to becoming financially free.

They first cut expenses in as many areas as possible, but they knew that in order to experience the complete freedom they desired, as well as be able to pursue their dream of owning their own business, they would need to make a big sacrifice. That sacrifice came in the form of a 30-foot camper.

After making the announcement to friends and family, whom they say were completely supportive, they purchased a camper for around $3,000. They set the camper on a piece of land owned by Zack’s family, got rid of most of their possessions, keeping only a small storage unit with a few of their seasonal clothes and other small items.  One of their few expenses included a monthly electric bill and they reduced evening activities to listening to podcasts, reading, and watching one of three available television channels.

Zack and Jen will admit that it wasn’t the easiest season of their life, but it was life-changing. Although they considered quitting at different times, they hung in there and succeeded in their goal. They paid off all of their debt in a little less than a year.

In this article, the couple share a bit about their journey, talk about the importance of financial freedom, and give a few tips on saving money.

Where did the idea of living in a camper come from?

The idea evolved from our original plan of living in a tiny house. We were going to live in a camper while our home was being built. However, after considering the cost of building a home (even a tiny one) we knew that we were putting more of a financial strain on ourselves. We decided to stick with the camper idea and use the money we saved to pay off debt.

Did both of you work full-time jobs during this time?

Yes, we both worked for nonprofits full time. We used the money we saved to pay off our debt.

What was one of the hardest challenges that you encountered?

Downgrading. We kept only the essentials in the camper. Like, we had only two coffee cups there and kept a week’s worth of clothing in the camper. We put all of our clothes in our storage shed and would rotate items week to week.

How has being debt free impacted your life?

The biggest takeaway for us was that short-term sacrifices are always worth long-term gains. Making a sacrifice to pay off our debt by living in a camper was tough but it has ultimately fueled us starting our own blog and business where we get to talk about money with other millennials and give back to the community that gave so much inspiration to us. Not only that, I am now completing my graduate school degree and we are able to pay for it out of pocket. None of these things would have been possible if we were still in debt!

What is one thing you wish more people understood about money?

Ultimately, being good with money is all about self-control! Also, it’s okay for others to have different goals than you. If your friend wants to buy a brand new BMW and have a $40k car note, fine! I think we often get caught up in the idea that we need to keep pace with our friends when it comes to material things. Life isn’t linear like that and everyone has their own reasons for doing things. Take your own path. Set your own money goals and don’t worry if your friends are going on nice vacations, buying outrageous houses, just do what you know is right for you!

What are 5 ways we could save money without moving into a camper?

  1. Cut out cable – cable is the worst!
  2. Commit to only eating out once per week
  3. When you do eat out, skip the drinks and pick up a bottle of wine on the way home instead
  4. Visit your local library and pick up books for free instead of buying them on Amazon
  5. Buy home goods (toilet paper, cleaning supplies, soap, etc) at the dollar store instead of Target or Wal-Mart

What is one actionable step our readers could implement today that would drastically impact their finances?

Reduce the amount you spend each month and actually make a budget! If you don’t have a budget app you use, find a good budgeting app or use just download our free budget spreadsheet to start tracking your money each month. If you have student loan debt, we also highly recommend looking into refinancing — we wish we would have done that during our debt free journey which is why we support it so much on our blog.

Zack and Jen have been featured in both Forbes and Yahoo Finance. They hope to one day take their business on the road and continue their work helping others make more financially responsible decisions. You can gain more financial tips and free useful resources by visiting Zack and Jen’s website yourmoneyyourfreedom.com


We are taught to believe that wealth comes from having access to lots of money. But experience has shown me that this is not true. I was raised in a billionaire household and yet lived most of my early adulthood in deep anxiety about my personal finances. At the age of forty, I was a single mother with $2 million of debt and no idea of how financial systems work.

Living a life of prosperity – creating the right riches for you – has nothing to do with how much money you have around you. It is about having a healthy mindset and a willingness to create.

Of course, wealth creation is easiest if you have the right tools, so here are some that I believe are key to financial freedom. Most exciting, every single one of them is within your reach, right now!

Self-worth

This might surprise you and perhaps sounds a little cliché, but experience has shown me that self-worth is the key to creating wealth. Why do 70% of lottery winners lose their money within five years? Because, at a deep level, they do not believe they can have this type of wealth. Or it may be they feel they don’t deserve it. Either way, this unconscious lack of self-worth drives them to make unhealthy decisions and unwise investments.

You must be invested in your own fulfilment to invest time and energy into researching your best financial options.

If you want to create the right riches for you, it is vital that you value yourself enough to make the best choices for you. You must love you enough to say ‘no’ to yourself. You must believe you are worthy so you can make truly wise decisions. You must be invested in your own fulfilment to invest time and energy into researching your best financial options.

When it comes to wealth creation, self-worth is the foundational tool. Without it, nothing else matters.

Questions

Most people are unaware of the power of a question, but queries are an effective tool in many facets of life, including wealth creation. Firstly, asking yourself questions can reveal your underlying beliefs about money and highlight your unconscious points of view. This is important information to have as you set out on your journey to p08rosperity.

…queries are an effective tool in many facets of life, including wealth creation

How do you view money? Is it a happy or sad thing? Is money easy to make? Why or why not? What should people do when they have lots of money? Save or spend? Why? What are your family’s views on money? What does your culture or religion say about money? All of these questions, if answered honestly, can offer you vital insight into your point of view about wealth and, most importantly, how you may try to sabotage your own financial well-being.

Secondly, questions can help you navigate those awkward moments when you want to spend money impulsively, or frivolously. Wealth creation is about wise decisions, and experience has shown me that wise decisions are not aligned at all with out-of-control emotions and desperate yearnings!

When you find yourself about to make a significant impulse buy, use questions to bring yourself back to reality. Can you live without this item? (The answer to this question is normally “yes”.) Once you know you can survive without the item, you can realize the purchase is a choice. Is this the right time to spend money on that kind of purchase? How will the purchase affect your other financial plans? Is the purchase more possible and appropriate at a later time?

When you ask a question, you activate your creativity and intuition

Finally, questions draw our awareness to new and exciting possibilities and help us create financial opportunities that we have never before considered. We are taught that the key to any step forward is to make judgements, come to decisions and form conclusions. But, this way of thinking actually limits our decisions to knowledge we already know, or possibilities we have already considered. When you ask a question, you activate your creativity and intuition – you open your mind to recognize and consider ideas that are not simple replays of your past.

If you really want to be a powerful wealth creator, keep asking questions:  What else is possible? What is right about this situation that I’m not getting? What do I have to be or do different today to create and generate more money right away? Vitally, don’t immediately come to conclusions. Instead, let the answers and ideas reveal themselves to you in their own time.

Internet

Ok, this one seems pretty obvious, but when you have a firm belief in your worthiness and a mind that is open to all possibility, then the internet becomes more than an information highway – is an incredible realm of opportunity. With the internet at your fingertips, there is no excuse to be poorly informed about your finances. Looking to invest? Research the company or fund statements. Wanting to learn new ideas? Enrol in online courses and seminars. Want to see what opportunities are available to you, right now? Real-time updates of stock, commodities and real estate are all at your disposal. So get moving, and make the internet work for you!

 

Curry Glassell is a dynamic producer, author, speaker, philanthropist, Right Riches for You facilitator and art-loving mother of two who loves helping people realize what’s actually out there for them in the world, if they let it in. For more information: www.curryglassell.com


The holidays are over and the year is finally in full swing again (sigh of relief). But for many of us, after the dinner parties, holiday shopping, travel and family-get-togethers subside, we have a not-so-friendly holiday reminder when our credit card statement shows up… and is rolled over to the next month, then the next. The holidays can certainly add up to additional spending and often that spending is done on credit.

Regardless of your current financial situation, no matter how much debt you have incurred, you don’t have to get that sick feeling when you look at your money. There is a way to get out of debt and create the finances you desire – with joy and ease.

Here are my top 5 tips for getting out of debt and staying there:

You are the one who can change it

This is a really important first step and one that is often over-looked. A new financial reality is up to YOU. You are the source for creating it. If you are waiting on some event to take place to change things for you, you could be waiting a very long time.

Winning the lotto, gaining an inheritance, marrying a rich person or getting an amazing promotion with a significant increase in pay could happen, but do you really wish to hope for some event to come and change things for you? Or would you like to start changing things now?

When you recognize that you are the source for creating your life, you are empowered to change it. Commit to your life. Commit to taking action. Ask, “What’s it going to take to have the financial situation I desire?” Now choose.

Take an honest look at your finances

How were you with money, growing up? Were you educated about money? Was money talked about? Or was it hidden? Ignored? A topic that was avoided?

If you came from a family that avoided the topic of money, you may find that you have carried that over into adulthood. The problem with this is that ignoring your finances does nothing to change them. If you would like something different, you have to be willing to take a look at where you are today. Not from a place of judging you. Rather from the place of, “Here’s where I am. What’s it going to take to change this?”

Once you are clear on how much debt you have, work out how much extra you would need to pay each month towards your credit card debt to be out of debt in 12 – 24 months. If you have more than one credit card to pay off, what are the possibilities of consolidating your debt?

Change your perspective on money

How many points of view do you have about money? Your point of view creates your reality. If you desire to have a different reality, be willing to change your points of view. If you have decided that you have to work hard for money, guess what? You will work hard for every dollar that comes in.

What if money could come to you easily? What if you were able to receive money from many places? What points of view about money would you have to lose in order to create that with ease?

To change your points of view about money, use this tool. For every point of view that you notice, say, “Interesting point of view, I have that point of view.” As you say this, you will notice that all of those points of view that you have made, real, true and significant become simply interesting. And when they are simply interesting, you are free to let them go and choose another perspective.

Carry around the amount of cash you think a rich person would carry

How different would you feel about your life if you saw a big wad of cash every time you opened your wallet or purse instead of a lot of blank space and some half-crunched up receipts?

Practice. Carry around the amount of cash that you think a wealthy person would carry. Because I travel a lot, it’s fun for me to have my cash is in different currencies. I also have gold coin worth about $2000 in my purse.  It makes me happy to have it there.  It makes me feel abundant.   What would be fun for you?

Acknowledge You

Are you waiting for others to acknowledge you so that you finally know what you have to offer is valuable? What if you were the one who recognizes you are valuable, no matter what anyone else thinks?

If you are going to change your money situation, you have to be willing to acknowledge you. When you do not acknowledge you, you diminish you. When you diminish you, you limit your creative abilities. A much easier way to go forward in life is to acknowledge what you have accomplished, to open your eyes to your greatness and not dismiss the things that you have created and changed.

There are three ways you can begin acknowledging you more effectively:

  • Acknowledge the value of you
  • Acknowledge what is easy for you to do
  • Acknowledging what you create

It might be difficult for you to see your value at first. Commit that you will do it anyway; no matter what. Get a notebook and write down what you are grateful for about you – add at least three different things every day.

Don’t let holiday debt or any debt for that matter stop you from creating a change now. Remember, you can change it. Have an honest look at your current situation, be willing to change your perspective on money, start to carry cash around and acknowledge the gift of you. Daily choose these things and a different financial reality is possible.


Simone Milasas is the Founder and Creator of Joy of Business as well as the Worldwide Coordinator of Access Consciousness® which operates in over 170 countries. Simone is the author of the internationally acclaimed book Joy of Business (currently available in 11 languages) and her brand new book, Getting Out of Debt – Joyfully. You can find out more about Simone by visiting her website at gettingoutofdebtjoyfully.com.