Financial Fitness For The Modern Woman

By @nataliejhall

For all our #MYNETFIT members we have included a fully interactive budget plan in the resource section of the website for you to Create Your Financial Game Plan. If you’re just entering the workforce or have a weekly allowance then it’s probably the first time you’ve had actual money to budget – and you probably have no idea where to start! Just as you’re responsible for looking after your health and wellbeing you also need to be responsible for your financial future.

As a modern woman, you need to know what your financial goals are for the future, where you stand right now and your financial game plan to how you actually live your life. Because, here’s the thing. If you want to become financially independent and be in a position to make decisions about investments, start your own business, travel the world or start a family you need to get it together and master your own finances.

Trust me, it won’t be an easy road if you’re flying by the seat of your pants or you choose to take a head-in-the-sand approach. Your financial fitness MUST be as high a priority to you as your physical fitness – which given you’re part of the NETFIT community I’m guessing is pretty high! Wouldn’t it be great if you were to take complete control of your financial situation, and feel the confidence to not just survive, but thrive…no matter your job or income? Here are some basic principles that you need to know about your hard earned cash.

1. Take Control Of Your Money You wouldn’t let someone control your career or health. Just like that, you should never let someone else control your finances. Being on top of your money is necessary for being in control of your life and your direction. For knowing that you have enough saved for tomorrow without having to sacrifice the things that bring you happiness today. Now you don’t need to be a financial expert to take control of your finances. You can always ask others for advice. It just means that you have a good idea of what’s going on with your money and that you be your own decision maker. A wealthy partner or winning the tattslotto is NOT a financial plan. Only you can be in charge of your destiny.

2. Reset Your Money Mindset It’s easy to spend money mindlessly every day that you could be spending on the things in life that really matter to you. However, you can completely change your future by resetting your money mindset and being more purposeful with your money. The best place to start is by getting real about who you are and what you care about. Every time you make a purchase you’re making a statement about what you value in life. Whether or not you’re aware of it, each and every one of your financial decisions says something about you. Ideally, what you truly value in life correlates to how you’re spending your money. Next time you make a purchase ask yourself if it’s something that you value or are you just spending money for the sake of it?

3. Eliminate And Avoid Lifestyle Debt Using credit cards and personal loans to help pay for your lifestyle from holidays to shopping sprees is only going to lead to a debt hangover. Anything you borrow today by paying for it on your credit card is a total freedom killer because you’re always going to be chasing your tail trying to pay the debt off. What makes it worse is that on top of the cost of the holiday or shopping spree, you’ll also be paying interest to the bank every month until your debt is paid in full. Money that you could be spending on things you really value. So If you have lifestyle debt, prioritise paying it off before anything else. And next time you make a purchase only do so if you have if you have the funds available to pay for it (and no… having available credit on your credit cards does not count!)

4. Don’t Compare Yourself Social media might be great for keeping in touch with friends but it also enables you to compare yourself with your peers. This in turn can have negative consequences such as overspending and even depression. The truth is that most people project an idealised version of themselves online and so their clothes, cars, holidays, careers and glamourous looking lives you may envy are likely less glowing in real life. Remember all you’re not seeing – the work frustrations, debt they’ve incurred to get the latest shiny things and personal disappointments that people generally keep to themselves. So instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your own goals. Run your own race as you’ll never be free if you don’t stop comparing yourself to others.

5. Invest in Yourself Always Investing in yourself and personal development is the most profitable investment you can ever make. By upskilling or learning something completely new, you can make a huge impact to your current and future earning power. Below are some ways to invest in yourself:

● Read books

● Complete a course

● Attend a conference, workshop, networking event

● Start a business

● Find a mentor

6. Create Your Financial Game Plan Just as a netball game is split into 4 so is your Financial Game Plan. The 50/20/20/10 Financial Game Plan is an easy way for you to make sure that you’re spending your money the way you want and on the things you value most. Most importantly, you’re setting yourself up for the future and creating your own destiny. As soon as your wage is deposited into your bank account, allocate the funds into these 5 Digital Money Jars (ie bank accounts!): Living DMJ – 50% of your wage is for committed living expenses. It includes your mortgage or rental payments, utilities (electricity, gas, water, phone/internet), transportation to work and groceries (not eating out). The things you literally need to survive. Lifestyle DMJ – 20% of your wage is for your lifestyle. It includes everything you do for fun – eating out, clothes, shoes, smoothies, movies, concerts, gym membership, entertainment. This Year DMJ – 10% of your wage is for things you want this year but will cost more than a few weeks’ wages. It includes holidays, weddings, furniture. Future DMJ – 20% of your wage is for the future. It includes paying off credit card debts, personal and car loans, fines, investments, building up your emergency savings fund (see below) and saving for retirement (your future self is going to be very happy with you if you can start doing this as soon as possible).

Just like a great netball team is always prepared by having their emergency players available to take the court when required, you need to make sure you have your emergency funds available should anything happen and you find yourself in financial strife. In addition the above 4 Digital Money Jars, you also need to set up another Emergency Fund Digital Money Jar that is held at a separate institution to your other Digital Money Jars.

This will cover you for any financial strife that may happen – losing your job or medical emergency. The Emergency Fund DMJ – Ideally you want 3 month’s wage saved in this account but to begin with start with 1 month’s wage. Then once you’ve built up your Future wealth go back and save up the rest of your Emergency Fund.

Find below worksheet and start creating your Financial Game Plan today. Once you take control of your money, you’ll never worry about money again. You’ll be in charge. You will call the shots. You will be free. And most importantly YOU will have created your own destiny!