Right up there with that belief “girls aren’t good with math” is the very false credence that “women aren’t good with money.”
Have you ever thought:
- I don’t make enough money to save
- Money only causes problems
- It’s difficult to get rich these days
- I’ll never pay off my (insert your debt here: credit card debt, school loans, etc)
- I’m never going to understand investing, so why try
- I’ll never make as much as _
- I can only make so much money in this industry
- I’m too old to start saving for retirement
- You need money to make money
- Money doesn’t grow on trees
- My husband does that, I don’t need to learn
- Money isn’t that important
- I don’t check my credit card balances (or retirement savings) because I really don’t want to know
(Note: When I started writing these down, I surprised myself by how many I came up with. I created this list in just a few seconds. I only stopped because: you get the point. As women, we have a lot of negative self-talk going on inside our heads about money.)
I find money to be one of the most fascinating topics. It’s something we discover very early in our lives, knowing right away that money is power. With it, we can buy things. We need it for our very survival.
And yet, something gets lost along the way, and we start assigning it too much power. In reality, money is nothing more than an inanimate object. It’s a flow of energy from one form to another.
You can utilize it in paper, coins, a check, a credit card, or a tap from your phone. The energy can buy you a nice meal, a new car, or that dream home you’ve had in your mind for years.
Now let’s talk about money from a different energy point. Let’s talk about wealth.
Did your mind flip on you? Are you apprehensive about money, but you move from unease to flat-out fear when it comes to wealth? Maybe even a little disgust?
Yep, that’s the old mindset kicking in. Lots of beliefs are born from this mindset too.
- The rich get richer while the poor get poorer
- Money is the root of all evil
- Money can’t buy you happiness
- My family has never been rich
Many people associate wealth with all the bad stuff money brings. Greed. Hoarding. Evil. Suffering. Scarcity.
We’ve learned to judge simply based on what we see, material items, that truly aren’t a reflection of wealth.
I remember quite vividly as a child when my mom spoke of a neighbor. They’re “rich,” she would say, putting a very negative spin on the way she said it. Then she would talk about all the things they were doing wrong with their money, how they bought a new car every year, or remodeled their home more than anyone should.
It took a long time to come to terms with that.
As Gen X women, we’re coming off a time when women didn’t have the rights we are afforded today. Women couldn’t even get a credit card in their own name until 1974. How could we expect to learn about money – wealth – from our mothers, when it was something they quite literally had no experience with?
That means it’s up to us to break free of past hold-ups that were automatically transferred to us from our own mothers.
Men and women view money differently. Men and women also define wealth differently. For me, wealth means:
Having a plentiful supply of a desirable thing. Have you ever referred to a person as being a wealth of information? They have in-depth knowledge about something, and you love talking or listening to them to pick up tidbits along the way.
Wealth is about having a plentiful supply of a particular resource. Yes, it can be money. But it can also be well-being and prosperity.
The difference between many successful people and others is the way they approach the world.
You can’t BE wealthy without learning HOW TO BE wealthy.
And that means taking charge of your money! Even if you are married and he’s always the one who’s handled it before, it’s time to change that around.
Strong women – Strong definition of wealth
I am a huge proponent of education.
Education comes in many different formats. School is just one small part of it.
If you want to learn, there’s never been a better time in history to do so. Want to learn more about money management, wealth training, or business building? You can do so – in some cases, for free.
Head to your local library, and you’ll find an unlimited supply of books, recordings, magazines, and other resources ready to help you learn.
Do a simple search in Google, and you’ll have more content to look at than anyone could reasonably use in their lifetime.
Our problem isn’t lack of information; it’s finding the right information to learn from. I truly believe:
You can’t BE wealthy without learning HOW TO BE wealthy.
If you want to turn around your financial situation, all you need to do is make wealth training a big part of your life.
Pull out your daily journal and ask yourself a few questions:
What does wealth mean to me?
- Does it mean owning an island in the Caribbean?
- Does it mean owning homes in several parts of the world?
- Does it mean never having to wonder how to pay for something – buy whatever you like?
- Does it mean you can support your family?
- Does it mean you can give freely to the causes you support?
- How does it impact your daily life?
Wealth is one of those ambiguous words that comes with a lot of meaning built up from our past. But when you take an active role in it, you start to see it in a new light when you truly define what it means to you.
If you’ve always held the “money can’t buy you happiness,” if you start to define the ways you can put happiness into your life with your wealth, it can change your inner belief.
It’s about building a conscious relationship with what you have
My biggest change with money management came when I started spending time with it.
The unknown has fear built around it. Learn, and you take away the fear.
It’s also about listening to your internal money talk.
“I’m always broke” and “I can’t afford it” is self-deprecating. The more you say it, the more true it becomes.
Ask why. Is it because you’ve never learned about money management? Change it.
You don’t have to be a billionaire to be wealthy. You don’t have to be Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffet to be considered good with money.
It starts by defining what you want, right here in midlife. And what you want most of all as you move forward.
See it. Write it down. Build it into your life.
Here are some of my money goals right now.
- Invest 10 percent of my income each month.
- Leave a tip the size of my bill at every restaurant.
- Increase my royalty-driven income producers in my business.
- Attend one investment or money training program each year.
Need some mantras around money to put it in a better light? Try these.
- Wealth allows me freedom to be who I choose to be.
- I live in a state of abundance.
- Money is the root of happiness.
- My wealth allows me to give.
What are your thoughts on money management right here in midlife?