By Kendall SummerHawk
Mid-way through the year is the perfect time to gain some fresh insight on how to not only make more, but how to keep more of what you make. And if you’re not the “budgeting type” you’ll be glad to know that trying to force yourself to spend less is typically NOT the solution.
Budgets are like diets: they don’t usually work because they feel too restrictive and tend to stir up feelings of guilt and remorse, which leads to at first trying not to spend, only to later indulge in a shopping spree that puts you right back where you started.
What IS critical is to know that highly successful women share certain habits. They’ve figured out how to balance treating themselves with life’s luxury items AND still save, thus creating feelings of security and peace with money, while securing their financial future.
Best of all, it’s never too late to start modeling these habits. Which is why I’m sharing my top 4 tips to help you increase your “money mojo.”
- Tips #1: Track Every Penny In And Out
When it comes to money, ignorance is NOT bliss. Consider this: Money loves to be paid attention to and it WILL capture your attention, one way or another. By tracking what you make and what you spend you’re giving money the attention it requires.
I use a simple tracking form where I jot down the total amount of revenue I’ve brought in each day. For expenses, I tuck all receipts into one handy folder and let my bookkeeper enter the expenses in a tracking program such as Quick Books®.
You’ll be shocked at how quickly you start creating greater income — and effortlessly start spending less — following this simple tip.
- Tips #2: Only Create Debt If It’s An Investment, Not An Expense
Purchasing consumables such as clothes, food, entertainment, gasoline, mani/pedi, etc. on credit is a big mistake because once the money’s been spent you have nothing to show for it. (The exception is if you have the discipline to pay off your credit card balances in full each month.)
The only time it makes sense to use your credit card for a purchase that may not be paid in full at the end of the month is if you’re investing in training and education that will help you grow your business.
Every business needs to be invested in, in order to grow. And leaning on credit cards to either get your business started or fuel your next level of growth can be one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make. That’s because investing in yourself is always the best investment you can make. Just be sure you have a clear payoff plan written out so you stay in financial integrity and make your investment pay off.
- Tip #3: Always Pay Yourself First, Even When It Feels Like You Can’t (Or Shouldn’t)
Women are notorious for undervaluing themselves. But the truth is, if you don’t value yourself, why would you expect any one else to? In the beginning the act of paying yourself first is more important than the actual amount. Later on, you can give yourself a raise.
For now, start writing a check to yourself once or twice per month (even if you need to deposit it right back into the account it came from). And don’t settle for what’s left over at the end of the month.
Instead, decide in advance how much you want your business to pay you as an annual salary, then divide by 12 if you’re going to pay yourself monthly, or divide by 24 if you prefer twice per month (that’s the schedule I use).
At first it may be a stretch to consistently pay yourself that amount but trust me, once you begin to respect that amount as non-negotiable you’ll find yourself doing what it takes to make more money and grow your business.
- Tip #4: Start Saving Today, No Excuses
Like paying yourself first, the act of saving money is more important than the amount. Over time you can increase the amount you tuck away. What’s key is to have a compelling, emotional “why” as to what the money saved is for. The more emotionally connected you are to your money, the more connected your money will be to YOU (helping it to grow quickly and effortlessly).
It’s Time To Put On Your “Big Girl Panties” And Become A Financially Empowered Woman
Highly successful women understand their relationship with money is one of the most intimate, long lasting and revealing relationships they’ll ever have. Just remember, by valuing your money you’re valuing yourself in a positive, powerful way that is truly priceless!
“Would you like to learn more simple ways entrepreneurs can brand, package and price their services to quickly move away from ‘dollars-for-hours work’ and create more money, time, and freedom in their businesses? Check out my web site, http://www.KendallSummerHawk.com, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “7 Simple Steps to Create Your Multiple Streams of In-come “Money and Soul” Business.”
Award-winning small business expert Kendall SummerHawk is the Million Dollar Marketing Coach.