Ladies, you’ve often heard the saying, “know your worth!” and at first thought your mind is drawn to a guy (or girl) that treated you poorly, was disrespectful, or didn’t value all the wonderful things about you and what you gave to that particular relationship. While I agree, know your worth! Know that you are deserving of all things good in this world. However, this month, I want to invite you to internalize that saying by knowing your worth, financially speaking! How are your finances? Do you know how much you spend in a given month? What are your fixed expenses (i.e., mortgage/rent, utilities (water, garbage, PG&E), car payment, credit card, health insurance) vs. your variable expenses (i.e., shopping, dining out, entertainment)? How much do you “bring home” from your paycheck? How does your “bring home” compare against your monthly expenses, both fixed and variable?
These questions, I know, trust me, can be overwhelming and you want to look away now, you want to consider not reading another word in this blog! I see you! I know the feeling! Hold on! What you won’t find should you choose to continue reading is an in-depth amount of the usual financial information. The long list of “do this” and “don’t do that.” You know them already. I will try my best to keep it short. I got you! I see you!
First there’s, live within your means. That’s right, live within your means. It’s achievable. It’s possible. Like in all things, like you’ve heard before, hard work pays off. The hard work of living within your means ... Literally, pays off! Living within your means is a nice and encouraging way to say your “bring home” must be greater than your expenses, both fixed and variable. Second, Keep it Simple. That’s right, keep it simple. Don’t overspend on items when you can keep it simple. Simplicity in finances often leads to savings. Savings, in turn, generally leads to ease of mind, relieves one of the stresses of trying to figure out how to survive this month or the next month. Lastly, stay the course! That’s right, stay the course! Life often comes with unexpectedness. A job loss in the family, a notice of rent increase, etc. Stay the course! I know, easy to say, hard to do. Know this, you’re not alone. I’ve been there. I am often reminding myself, “Stay the course!” “Keep it Simple, Ev!” or “Live within your means”!
Sol Sisters, at its core, wants to be a resource for women to better themselves alongside other women of all backgrounds, including those of us who need a financial check-in, tune-up, or help. Enrich. Evolve. Empower is the motto. That’s why I’m a part of Sol Sisters! I want to learn from others and give back when I can. This month our focus is becoming better financial keepers of ourselves and those we love! Often times as women, we tend to instinctively fall into traditional roles of having someone else take care of our finances when married or coupled and more so drawn to not consider the idea of keeping a conscious mind on your finances! Yikes! Yes, I know boring! Right? Who wants to keep a conscious mind on finances when those heels are on “sale” or when that new restaurant has great reviews on Yelp?
What I hope you grasp from this blog, is this... Knowing your worth, financially speaking, will relieve stress and is a leading factor to achieving a well-balanced life. Really? You ask. Yes, really. Finances can bring about a tremendous amount of stress and negativity that often times spills into other aspects of our lives … our health, our relationships, our job performance, our interactions with our kids. All of which, blocks all the positivity we all really want out of life. Without really knowing your worth, financially speaking, you’ve opened the window to negativity, to stress, to helplessness at times. Let’s close these kinds of windows together.
So now what? That sounds great, and I’m pumped to close some of these windows, Ev! How do I get started? How do I figure out my worth, financially speaking? Let’s keep it simple and first start off with your net income for this year. That is to say: i) Am I living within my means? ii) Am I keeping it simple or am I overspending? and iii) Am I staying the course? Am I living a financially balanced life? So, let’s get to our net income for this year. First, print out three months of your finances, including bank statements, credit card statements, and paycheck stubs. Two, pull out a paper and pen. Run a line right down the middle, title the left side “Money Coming In” (what you “bring home” after taxes. This is normally found on your paycheck stub as net pay) and title the right side “Money Going Out” (all those debit charges on your debit card, monthly credit card payments, car payments, etc.). Third, take a look at all your statements and starting placing the numbers on either column (Money Coming In vs. Money Going Out). Then, add up each side. Finally, subtract your Money Going Out total by your Money Coming In total. That’s your net income for that particular period of three months. Multiply that number (net income) by 4 and you’ve got your estimated net income for that year! Not where you want to be? Is It a negative number? Don’t worry. The most important step to a better financial future is taking the time to know how you are doing financially and putting in the work to get to where you want to be! Need help putting a budget together for yourself or your family? Let’s get there together!
Meet me Tuesday, August 16th at 6pm to discuss helpful tips on savings, cost trimming and budget planning! Location is 1655 N. Main Street, Suite 270, Walnut Creek. More event details here! What do I have to offer you say? An encouraging word for starters. A non-judgmental conversation, and close to 20 years of work experience with small businesses in the bay area as a bookkeeper and a lifetime of experience with good and financially challenging times!
Your financial situation is on a good path you say? Great! Fantastic! I say to you with excitement, continue to live within your means, keep it simple, and stay the course! If you are so inclined and can help, donate at solsisters.org! Any amount helps! Enrich. Empower. Evolve.
Do you know someone that would benefit from gathering with other women to go over numbers, help with a personal budget, or just needs a helping hand? An anonymous donor has offered $500.00 to help two (2) sisters out with a cash donation of $250 for each woman and asks that this donation serve as a reminder to us all that we are not alone! People care. Sol Sisters cares. If you know someone who could use the help, send us information on your friend, sister, daughter, mother, cousin, niece, etc. Provide a brief description of the financial situation to help us understand why she (or you, if you need the help!) would be a good candidate for one of the two recipients of this month’s cash donation offered!
- Evelyn Iraheta