Women + Money: Taking Control
Women + Money: Getting Financially Naked and Taking Control Love Squad Workshop at The Financial Gym on August 13th 2018
Last week, we had the opportunity to gather our squad at one of the financially fittest gyms around-- The Financial Gym. We left feeling incredibly moved and eager to take charge of our lives! Being that this was one of our first Love Squad Workshops, it was quite cool to see everyone open up about the challenges we face with money, whether that be tackling debt, how to save, or acknowledging your worth. Here at Love Squad we continue to approach these uncomfortable conversations because it's what we NEED...and trust us, once we get over that hump, we eventually tap into our power to make changes in our lives. That's impact.
Founder of Love Squad, Ally Love, and Founder/CEO of The Financial Gym, Shannon McLay kicked off the evening talking all things money. Our goal, as Love Squad, is to encourage and uplift - and at this particular workshop we aimed to let go of fear and shame around money. What would you share with a group of strangers if you were not afraid of judgement?And as expected, the Love Squad show up and shared their challenges, provided support, and asked some deep questions surrounding the green paper and self-worth.
Let’s get green and naked- Shannon says its important that you save 15% of your paycheck. How do you do that?
FOCUS ON YOUR GOAL: Set a goal and focus on what needs to be done to reach it. You can set a goal amount every month and check back in quarterly to see how far you've come. Maybe you need to set a goal for what you want to save in 6 months and what you are doing to achieve those goals, whether it is paying yourself 15% of your income, pinching pennies, or getting a side hustle to help you reach your goals faster. Just remember, do what you can.
KNOW YOUR SPENDING HABITS: Know what you're spending and know what you can afford. Anything left over from your budget can go to your savings. The more you understand what you are spending money on the most you may just want to cut back and throw it into your savings.
THE KEY IS TO STAY ORGANIZED: Get naked with your finances-- that means write down all of your income, your expenses, and debt. Also, be sure you know your due dates. You can easily budget when you know what you have and when you have it.
It's important that you make goals while creating your budget, getting really specific of what you are trying to accomplish like "Save $5000 for a trip to Bali"
We then moved on to DEBT. How do you get out of debt? There's a few approaches-- the debt snowball method or the avalanche method. Shannon explains that it varies on the type of person you are and how you want to tackle it. You can either go from smallest debt to largest OR tackle the largest to smallest according to it's APR%-- Most important thing here is that when focusing in on your debt there can be a downward spiral-- people can experience debt exhaustion and, in reality, it is demoralizing if all your energy is being put into throwing as much cash at it as fast as you can. It's just not a realistic or healthy way of life. What do the trainers suggest?
CREATE A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY: Understand that debt happens and YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Save money first towards an emergency fund, this will help with you not going back into debt and create a sustainable and intentionalplan to paying off your debt over a period of time. This is a positive relationship you can have with your money as your bank balance begins to increase, giving you the confidence you need to shrink your debt.
But what if you don't make enough money? That's typically the question that gets asked at every session. Then what?
KNOW YOUR WORTH: Ask for a raise or get a new job and negotiate your needs. Yup, you heard right-- get after the things you want and know what your'e worth. The evening at our workshop we learned that you'll never get a "YES" if you don't ask. So when negotiating your salary or pay raise we gave a rule of thumb to always ask for more. Often we set ourselves back by just accepting what is offered rather than understanding your worth and what that means to you. Don't create the gaps in equal pay by settling.
REDUCE YOUR EXPENSES + CUT COSTS: Tighten the loose ends and screws. Organization is the key to success and clearly outlining your expenses shows how much is being spent and where! You would be surprised how reckless we all can be, but don't stress-- think of it this way, if you cut back on dining out by cooking at home, you can save a pretty penny and contribute that to one of your savings goals.
We broke off into groups with financial trainers where each group would have to get financially naked which could mean they had to share their credit score, their bank account balance, or how much they make. This exercise is to show that there is no shame in any of these numbers and that you are not the only one. It was an evening filled with laughter and tears, an experience that the Love Squad hopes to have at every event- WE ARE REAL, Never perfect. We want to light the fire that's within all of you, so that you’re leaving our events feeling refreshed with hope and excitement for what's to come! Although, this recap is just the tip of the iceberg as we also really got into the topic of Negotiation and Equal Pay for Women at this workshop. We will share more on that topic for the next round.
Be sure to NOT MISS the next Love Squad event as we aim to empower all of you through sweat and conversation. Follow us on Instagram @lovesquad for all the latest details and subscribe to our newsletter here to be the first to know!
If you are ready to take control, The Financial Gym is offering a summer special. Reach out to them to get started!