Something happens to me when I hear Beyonce’s famous women’s anthem, Run The World (Girls). I’m not sure if it’s the beat of the drums that boosts my spirit or the lyrics that gives me life. Either way, after hearing that song, I’m quickly reminded that I have the power to accomplish anything my heart desires. I get even more excited when she say’s, How we smart enough to make these millions; strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.” Girl, you might as well present me with my cape and just watch me fly away.
Listen, if nobody knows...women know a lot about working, raising children, and taking care of our families. However, far too many times we consume so much of our energy caring for others that we feel depleted when it comes to nurturing and investing in ourselves. So as of today, the first day of Women’s History Month, I suggest we pause and take some time to celebrate our brilliant minds and identify what smart money moves will allow us to get these millions and get back to business.
Smart Money Move #1: Ask For What Your Worth!
If I asked how many hats you wore at home, you’d probably bring me at least ten out of your closet. Let’s see... you’ve probably have a mom hat, a wife hat, a daughter hat, a mother to your mother hat, a friend hat and let’s not forget the teacher, therapist, chauffeur, the accountant and probably even a chef hat. And I know you're walking into work with a pile of hats on your head too. They’ve got you doing your job, the person who quit and Sam’s job, who is a bit slow. I know, girl! You’re probably wondering how in the world did you get on the sign-up list and how the heck do you get off.
For most women, it’s natural to jump in and save the day. That’s who we are and what we do, right? Because if we don’t, we can count on it being expected. Lies!!! We need to understand at work our job is to capitalize off our talents and skills and negotiate our offering. Not have additional tasks added to our job duties without it reflecting in our bank accounts. Let’s do a self check. When was the last time you looked up your job title and checked for what the market demands for your skills, education, work history and location? Most women would say it has been a while, and that would be correct. But year after you grudgingly take the 3% cost of living increase and maybe the “thank you” lateral promotion or bonus that’s smaller than your tax refund and act happy. And let’s not forget about my hustle and flow women business owners. Now that you’ve broke away from the 9 to 5 and finally settled into being your own boss it’s time to raise your prices. Nice doesn’t pay the bills. Girl, in order to run the world, you’ve got to get paid! Know how much you want to earn and ask for it. Know that it’s acceptable to ask. And know that you don’t have to take the job or the client if it doesn’t suit your financial needs. The Dollar Store didn’t ask you if you wanted to pay $1.25 per item, did they? No, mam.... they did not. The economy reminded them that supply and demand was real and with inflation it was necessary to raise prices. My dear the same goes for you. Not only do you probably deserve it, but I’m sure you need it and for that very reason you need to ask for what you are worth.
Smart Money Move #2: Manage Your Income & Debt!
Now that you’ve asked for what you’re worth you’ve got to properly mange it. For some, you’ve spent it before you received it. And those spent funds are sitting some where on a credit card collecting interest month after month. Those are actions that will leave you digging out of a never ending cycle of debt for years. Listen, I know you deserved it. And you probably did. But all of it didn’t have to go to that one “thing.” Girl, in order to run the world, we need to have a plan and strategies within the plan to sustain the thrown. Having a plan for our money will not only help you get out of debt, but it will allow you to free up more money to invest. The first step in managing your cash flow is measuring what you’re bringing in monthly compared to what your monthly bills total. If you’re monthly bills are more than your monthly income, I’m sure there are items in your spending plan that can be eliminated. Self gratifying spending like frequent drive-thru visits, reoccurring fees on your credit cards or even unplanned trips to the mall or the virtual mall, Amazon, where you may not be counting ALL the costs. Managing your income will help eliminate debt and free up more funds to invest. So, let’s create a plan to manage your cashflow and credit so you can start seeing how your money can work for you.
Smart Money Move #3: Manage Your Investments!
I’m still stuck on the verse, “How we smart enough to make these millions.” Honey, I get excited just on the thought of making millions because those are FACTS!!! Women are brilliant! We are geniuses! And we are intelligent! We’re smart enough to know our worth and get paid for it. Smart enough to manage our cashflow when we get the money. And smart enough to eliminate our debt when we get more money because we know in order to rule the world we have to invest in the world. See....when you are released from the bondage of debt, you can allow your money to work for you instead of you working for it. Let’s look at a simple example of a $5000 balance you may owe on one of your credit cards. Your statement reminds you every month the amount of interest you’ve incurred for the month and if you only pay the minimum payment, how much interest you would've paid and how long it will take you to pay off your balance. Let’s say you’re required to pay 18% on your $5000 credit card debt and the minimum amount you need to make for the month is $125 which is 1% of the balance plus 18% interest. The total you would have paid in interest at the end of 273 months is $6,923.09. Now, insteadof continuing to pay on the debt, you chose to pay the debt off and used that same amount of money you would have incurred in interest to invest. What would your investment account look like in 273 months at 5%? It would total $21,066.64 if the interest of 5% was just compounded annually. This is what it looks like when your money is working for you instead of you working for it.
So, while there’s no guarantee that you’re investments past performance does not predict future results it has been proven that stocks outperform bonds over time. You must equally evaluate your risk and understand the benefits of investing and saving your money versus being caught up in the dangerous debt trap. Being in debt stifles our ability to grow and build wealth.
Our time is now sistas. During our month-long celebration of women’s history month let’s take some time to reflect on the great women in our lives and in history who have run the world. Women who have accomplished milestones, faced insurmountable challenges and pathed the way to help make us who we are today. Let’s take what they’ve taught us on how to value our worth literally & figuratively, and manage what’s in our hands. So we can not only invest for ourselves, but invest those treasures in the little girl who’s asking…. Who runs the world? And you can proudly proclaim, GIRLS!
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