A common theme that continues to come up when working with female clients is that they wish to take more control of their finances.
Many single women are no longer relying on a man to be part of their financial plan and are delving into the world of mortgages, investments, superannuation and probably the most frightening of all (for those who love shoes and clothes) – a household budget.
Women who are married or in committed relationships tell me they want their own security and/or they want to be a partner in the financial decisions.
I was single for a long time and am very proud of the financial goals I set myself and achieved. I can completely relate to other woman who are in the position I was, and I enjoy assisting them any way I can.
Obviously I am not a financial planner so during my own quest to invest I had to go out and find one. It wasn’t pleasant. There were so many of them on the internet that I became completely overwhelmed and confused. I’d heard you had to find someone “independent” who wouldn’t just try to sell you the products offered by the big banks and investment companies, but that was difficult.
I was eventually referred to someone by a friend but I couldn’t really connect with him. How could I? He was a well off male in his late 50’s to early 60’s and I was a 30-something single woman. He had a very limited understanding of my situation, but I appreciated he was doing his best, so I continued working with him. At the end of the day he did help me with my finances, and for that I am grateful, but it wasn't an enjoyable experience.
Recently I decided that, on behalf of my clients, I would go out and find someone who may be able to give us women a better experience. Surely there is someone out there who understands us, is qualified and wants to help us? Yes! There is!
I found Nicole Heales in Melbourne and I’ve met up with her a couple of times to get to know her and her business. Nicole is a financial planner, mortgage broker and founder of Nicole Heales Financial and her tag line is “teaching women to be clever with money so they can relax and enjoy their lives”. I wish Nicole had been around when I needed her!
I've asked Nicole what the biggest mistakes she sees women making with their finances are, so I could pass them on to you. These are the seven she gave me.
1. Overspending on luxury and/or fashion items – some women seem to have a problem with overspending on items such as clothing, shoes, handbags, magazines etc. This is usually heightened when they do not have something to save for. Set a goal (music to a coach’s ear!) and work towards that goal. The goal can be anything such as a holiday or an investment or a new dress every week.
Just get clear on what you want to spend your money on and stick to it.
2. Not being conscious of what your household is costing you – Do not install pay TV if you don’t watch it very much or wifi if you don’t use it. Do you know if your telephone plan is the best you can get? Do you bundle your utility bills together to receive a multi discount?
3. Overuse of credit cards – her advice was to stop living on borrowed money. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.
4. Buying a car that’s too expensive – cars are liabilities that lose value the minute you drive them out of the car yard. Be really specific about what type of car you need and how often you are going to drive it. Yes, you need a reliable car but is $600 per month in car loan repayments and insurance worth it if you take public transport to work every day?
5. Borrowing more than you can afford - remember your first home is not necessarily your dream home. Save your deposit, shop around for the right loan and buy something modest. Pay down the debt. Then upgrade your home if you wish.
6. Drawing on equity - once you’ve paid some of the debt down (see point above) you may find you have some equity in your home. Using this equity as a piggy bank to buy a liability such as a car or holiday only creates more debt. If you draw on your equity you should do so to invest or upgrade your home.
7. Living payday to payday – Nicole advises we all have at least 3 months (but she prefers 6 months) living expenses saved up as a “buffer” in case of illness or emergency. Pop it into a high interest savings account that makes your money work for you, but you can get it if you need it.
Some great advice from a very knowledgeable woman. Some of it could be easily implemented today if you so desire. If you want to read more about Nicole Heales Financial or contact her for some woman-to-woman financial advice you can do so here: http://nicolehealesfinancial.com.au/.
You can also meet Nicole in my multimedia online course, Average to Ah-Mazing as she one of my ah-mazing guest presenters.
If you struggle with clarifying your monetary goals or would like to work on your mindset or beliefs about money and saving you may wish to contact a coach or counsellor.
I wish you all the very best in your financial journey – whatever that looks like to you!
Hi and thanks for reading! My name is Janelle Ryan and I am a Personal Coach who helps high performers create extraordinary lives.
If you would like to take some steps towards your OWN positive change and make 2018 your BEST YEAR EVER I , I invite you to check out my 10 week online ecourse, Average to Ah-Mazing.
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