Money, Money, Money… ah yes, the root of all evil. Or is it? Isn’t it really our desire for money that’s the problem?! If money is the root of all evil, then they say, greed is the seed.

Greed is evil, money is powerful.

We all have a unique and personal relationship with money. There are some people who measure their success by power and status. For others, maybe their upbringing made it come easy throughout their lives, with generational wealth as a cushion. And some have had to struggle to make ends meet and so have developed frugal, sustainable habits as a result.

So as you reflect on your relationship, I want you to ask yourself how you can build a healthier relationship with money? Money is our lifeline and we make financial decisions every single day. We don’t have to think of it as bad, especially when we can make it work in our favor. It’s not about wanting to be rich. It’s about living a rich life. Most notably helping to provide for ourselves – gone are the days women have to rely on marriage as a means to survive. Now instead of just surviving – we thrive!

Money also gives you the chance to invest in yourself and your well-being (education, travel, gym memberships, saving for a rainy day etc). And best of all, it gives you the opportunity to help others, opening doors to give to meaningful causes that can really help make a difference in another person’s life. Creating opportunities many may not have had otherwise.

Everyday we see women bossing up and taking control of their financial future, so why is the generalization that so many women struggle with money? We’re either stereotyped as being frivolous overspenders who can’t budget well or save, taught that it’s not polite or even taboo to discuss money. Or the worst theory, which I completely reject – that females just aren’t as good at math.

Have you been a victim of any of these misconceptions? Do you, yourself, have some apprehension about your own financial acumen, planning or security?

If so, it may not entirely be your fault. We live in a culture where these misconceptions reign supreme – so try not to be so hard on yourself as you examine your money story.

But, regardless of how our relationship with money was initially defined, there’s still a high price to pay if we don’t feel completely secure with our financial futures.

The financial services industry caters to men, only adding to the perpetual narrative that traps women behind the mystery of money. So it’s not surprising that men have more financial confidence than women.

Trust me, this is not a question of intellect. They’re not smarter than you! They’re just more confident because perhaps they’re just a bit more informed.

Though I tend to think and be very grateful for the fact that we have evolved so much in terms of women’s rights (but obviously still have a ways to go). There was a time when women weren’t allowed to have an education or earn their own money. And while this may seem absurd to us now, there are still some inequalities around money that exist. Wage gap anyone?!

Financial security is not something you want to learn through trial and error. Best time to get money smart is NOW! Don’t buy into it the idea that money management has to be elusive.

Whatever your money story is, it is important to know how it affects the way you approach everyday and big decisions. Things like life plans (can I afford to quit my job and start my dream business), earned income (whether negotiating your salary at your job or a contract with a client), budgeting and spending (how you prioritize), and long-term financial goals (investing and saving for retirement / your future generations) – these are all manifestations of your money story.

For those who have day dreamed about starting your own business, or ones who have already taken that leap – I hate to break it to you but you’re going to have to get comfortable with money. It’s the language of business!

So don’t be afraid to do some digging within yourself, about your own attitudes, perceptions and fears when it comes to money.

Do you know your worth? Can you use that number to confidently negotiate?

Do you know how to budget and live below your means? Personal budgeting can be as simple as the 50:30:20 rule (Needs:Wants:Saving). That way you are always living below your means and always saving for a rainy day.

Do you know where to go if you need help to learn?

Start with getting your personal finances in order. And since so many of us are still on lockdown, now’s the best time to do it! This pandemic has shown us what we truly need vs what’s nice to have. And even moreso, so many of us have had to make some very difficult decisions. Whether as a struggling business owner, someone who has been recently laid off, or as someone living in uncertainty and trying to figure out what our financial future looks like, you are not alone.

Set some time aside to sit down, set some financial goals and put a plan together to achieve them.

You could learn to budget better, save more and plan that trip you want to take when the world finally opens back up or be able to afford further education to improve your income, pay off credit card or student loan debt, learn to invest, or save for a down payment. For all of this, you need a plan.

We know you can do it!

Make today count!

Here are some resources to help you get started on your personal and business money journey to freedom

Personal Finance Help

Money by TheSkimm

Women, Money & Investing with Fidelity

The Life Changing Personal Finance Class You Never Took 

Small Business Help

How to Start Your Own Dream Business

SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance Loan Resources

author

lisa val verde

COO/CMO

Singapore

During her 10+ years marketing everything from concept to commercialization on a global landscape, Lisa has found that her greatest opportunity is to empower and encourage any woman with a burning passion and a desire for change to pursue whatever lights her spirit on fire. With Wildernest, Lisa is able to help other women break down their own walls to achieve their full potential, and enable a community of passionate women to create thriving businesses and become catalysts for change.

read lisa's full story