"It's a spooky time of year, but your finances shouldn't be scaring you. Most of us share concerns about our money and our financial futures. It's normal, and even healthy sometimes, to be on alert when it comes to your finances. But as with any fear, your financial terrors shouldn't rule your life. Here are some tips to deal with some of the most common worries so you can leave the scaring to the ghosts and the goblins.
Many fear that illness or medical emergency involving themselves or a loved one will leave them bankrupt. This is certainly a valid fear as medical catastrophes account for the highest number of bankruptcies. Keeping an emergency fund and being informed of what your health insurance covers are essential preemptive measures to take.
If the situation does unfortunately arise, ask the hospital for an itemized bill and review it carefully. Ensure that each item was actually provided during the hospital stay. If not, bring it to the attention of the hospital. Additionally, health insurance companies change their billing codes frequently. If you were charged for something that should've been covered by insurance, your doctor may have used an old code. Give your an insurance company a call to try to remedy the error.
Paying for retirement
Another of the most common financial fears is not saving enough money for retirement. Over the past several years; the pension changes, the outlook for social security, and the increase in lifespans have all caused heightened concern about retirement savings. Young people, in particular, are concerned about whether they'll be able to save enough. Thinking about retirement can certainly be stressful and scary. You may feel as though you'll have to work forever or that you'll be unable to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
The best way to ease your mind will be to start saving as early and as much as possible. By beginning your savings as a young adult, you'll create the habit. Then, you won't even notice the money coming out of your account. Research how much your employer will match. And remember that retirement funds use compound interest. The earlier you put money into a 401(k) or an IRA account, the more it will grow over time.
Affording your child's education
Tuition rates continue to rise every year. Therefore, being able to send your children to college has become a prominent financial fear. Young parents are especially concerned about saving for their children's future because they may still be paying their own student debt. But it's never too late to start saving. You can create a savings plan at any given point. Saving something is better than saving nothing.
Additionally, creating a cost analysis for what's needed to pay for your children's schooling is sensible. This process can start around the time your oldest child is 10 or 11. You'll then be able to use this to create a savings plan. Figure out how much will be reasonable to save each year, then break it down by month.
You may also wish to discuss the cost of college with your children with age-appropriate conversations. Help them understand the significance of the cost to ensure they take it seriously. As they get older, emphasize that hard work can help them earn scholarships, which can save money. Discuss other ways in which they may be able to contribute to their college fund, such as getting a part-time job.
Losing your job
Whether it's getting fired or laid off, losing your job can be a major blow to your financial situation. Once again, it's best to be proactive to prepare for the worst. Continuing your education or learning a new skill can help make you a more marketable job candidate in case you're let go. If you have an annual review with your current boss, use this as an opportunity to gauge your status. Get a feel for where you stand and what the future of the company may look like. Additionally, at any point during your career, having a few months of living expenses saved up is a wise move.
Being held back by debt
Many people have accumulated significant debt and may fear that their debt is insurmountable. They may also be afraid of how their debt will begin to creep into other parts of their lives. Debt can affect you in a vast number of ways. It can affect the types of loans you qualify for, your mental health and even your relationship.
You may be afraid your significant other will find out how much debt you have. You may wish to keep the information to yourself and work it out alone. To face this fear, the first step is, to be honest with yourself. From there, find out how much debt you have and make a plan to tackle it. Then sit down and have a frank discussion with your significant other. You may feel better after just having the conversation.
Facing your debt head-on, and being honest with yourself and your loved ones, will help prevent you from feeling as if you're drowning. This will help your overall financial situation. In turn, your relationship with money will improve.
Having fears about your finances is entirely normal. Many of us have worried about money and what might happen to our money in unfortunate situations. But, as with other fears in life, it's essential to manage your financial worries. By being proactive and honest with yourself, you can make your financial situation less intimidating and more manageable.
We are living in a time when women are rising to new heights which means they are regularly being confronted with the fear of being "too much". For women in business this is pervasive and costly.
A few ways women can be perceived as "too much" are:
Speaking up about their successes and achievements.
Sharing one too many photos of their cute kids.
Telling one too many people about that date night.
Looking a little too good in that swimsuit.
These can lead to being publicly attacked on social media or privately slandered which in turn leads to women dimming their light and walking on egg shells in hopes of avoiding conflict and judgement.
The minute a woman feels it's unsafe to shine she will begin to overthink, worry, and fear how she shows up in the world.
Forgetting to announce the book is done and the interview is live.
Choosing to focus on what's still on the to-do list rather than what's been checked off.
Many female entrepreneurs are subconsciously altering their behavior in an attempt to not attract too much attention to themselves, rather than focusing on allowing authenticity and magnetism to attract their ideal clients and community.
Women are afraid of being criticized, ostracized, and abandoned by other women for simply being who they are. This leads to quite the quantum when being who you are is simplest way to accelerate the growth of your business.
New research shows men are far more comfortable with self promotion than women are. Researchers found that men rate their own performance 33 percent higher than equally performing women. What we know is that self promotion pays off and this is where women are missing the boat.
The world needs more women to step into leadership roles and no longer be intimidated about creating six and seven figure careers.
Here are five ways to release the fear of being "too much":
1. Approve of yourself.
While it feels good to receive outside validation it will never be enough if you don't first appreciate yourself. The key to having a healthy support system is to make sure you are part of it. Being your biggest critic is what your mother's generation did. It's now time to be your biggest cheerleader. Becoming aware of self talk will reveal what belief is ready to be re-wired. Create a simply mantra that affirms how incredible capable you are.
2. Connect deeply to those you serve.
One powerful way to shift out of people pleasing behavior is to get clear on who actually matters to the wellbeing and success of your life and business. Leadership is not about being the most popular, instead it's a decision to be brave for those who can't be. Take a few minutes each day to visualize and meditate on those your business serves and supports. See your future clients moving toward you every time you choose to stand in your power and use your authentic voice.
3. Remember the legacy you wish to leave.
Having your life purpose and legacy in writing is one of the most transformational exercises you can do. Reading this often will keep you focused on what matters. Knowing what you wish to leave in the hearts of those you love most is incredibly grounding. You didn't come here to keep your mouth shut, dilute your truth, or dim your light-you came here to make a difference.
4. Forgive those who have been unsupportive in the past.
The past has a way of informing the future in a negative way when there is unresolved pain. Take a few minutes to get quiet and ask yourself who you have unforgiveness towards or maybe their name came to mind as you read this article. Listening to a forgiveness meditation or writing a letter to the person you are ready to forgive are both simple and effective ways to process and heal.
5. Be part a community of bright, successful women.
Meaningful relationships with others who have similar aspirations is what will keep you out of isolation and playing small. These connections can happen in a networking group, online community or a local Meetup. Thriving in every area of life is depend on you knowing where you belong and being celebrated there. Don't wait to be invited, go actively seek out people and places that support your dreams and desires.
6. Accept you can have it all.
Women have been fed a lie for generations that says, you can have love or money. Decide you can have it all and allow it to flow to you. You can have a successful career and an amazing mother. You can balance motherhood and loving marriage. Don't let anyone write the rules for you. This is the time to create the life you desire on your terms.
7. Celebrate everything!
The fastest way to leave the haters in the dust is to celebrate everything! At the end of each day lay in bed and recall the best moments. At the end of each week, publicly acknowledge and celebrate what's good in your life. Once a month, have a celebration dinner and share it with those who have helped you in the journey. If there's something good happening, talk about it with everyone who will listen!
May you be a woman who chooses to shine so that others may be reminded of all they can be and do.