In my early twenties I felt like I was in this never ending gerbil wheel of: Get paid, spend it, pay bills, be broke, stress… repeat. I guarantee I am not the only person that has every felt this in their early twenties, or even for longer periods in your life. Unexpected expenses always arising, shit hitting the fan, spending too much on things you don’t need. You feel heavy in your chest all the time and panicked when you see an unknown number calling you expecting it to be a bill you forgot to pay.
As a young woman, I knew nothing about finances. Not how to save, invest, and no ingrained habits on promptness or order of importance. It’s said that the majority of women are taught to not shoot for high paying jobs, as they are told that they will be a “second income”. They end up gearing towards jobs that focus on providing care or reserved for the empathetic. Choosing a career based on only having to work it until you have a wealthy husband that will provide most of the income is pretty useless when half of all marriages end in divorce… and with the female not knowing where any of the fucking money went to begin with.
Obviously this is not the only scenario for women – nor should it every be the presumption that it is the sole thought and goal of the female sex. Unfortunately, however, it is prevalent. I have read books and books on women that get screwed over, are afraid to earn more money, afraid to ASK for what they are worth, or frankly just never take a chance out of not wanting to be uncomfortable.
I have been fortunate enough in my life to attract my tribe. By this I mean, I train a lot of bad ass business owning and dominating women. On the other end of the spectrum the universe also sends me those that NEED that type of person in their life. Sometimes all it takes is to be shown that a woman can be empathetic and heart felt and follow her passions, WHILE being a breadwinner, decision maker, and no-shit taker. This doesn’t happen overnight – this is YEARS of breaking habits and beliefs that have been carved into us by society and ourselves.
I am not rich by any means, but I guess that depends on how you define it. I have this mantra I repeat to myself when I start to get tired or lack energy and it’s:
“Six-figures in sweatpants.”
This is a very specific and personal mantra to myself – but I believe EVERYONE should have one. Mine represents that I have built a business from my passion and put my energy into growing it and letting it flourish by doing a fucking great job and continuing to build my knowledge… all while wearing Lululemon leggings and sweatshirts. YOUR rich, should be what YOU define it to be. For me, it’s comfort and security while enjoying my career – and having the means to adventure with the love of my life. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.
We create these ceilings for ourselves whether it be the amount of happiness we have, free time, or income. YOU ARE ONLY LIMITED BY THE CAPS YOU PUT ON YOURSELF.
I knew I wanted to get out of this rut of “make do-ness”. Before I could afford it I would weekly look at Lululemon’s website religiously. I wasn’t ever comfortable with pulling the trigger – but knew that someday I wanted the security in knowing that I could buy their products with ease. Remarkably, as I began to start purchasing sale items when I would plan ahead for it – I felt this sense of power and pride. I thought “People want to train with someone who looks like they have their shit together”. You get what you put out. It sounds superficial, but for me it was less about an expensive pair of buttery leggings, and more about that I wanted to show I was successful and good at what I did. This again is an act very specific to me, and they way I show it – but what makes you feel rich? What makes you feel in control and WORTH the type of life-wealth that makes you sleep easy at night?
My plan of attack:
Years of working and practicing the discipline lead me to these items and these words of wisdom that I am still practicing everyday.
- KNOW YOUR WORTH – Don’t be afraid to ask for the amount of money you have worked your ass off for. And if your career worth or work ethic isn’t matching up with the income you want to make… well time to educate, grind, and increase your worth girlfriend.
- Open a savings and/or retirement fund – This was scary and awkward for me. That feeling like “I might need that $XXX per month!” But with automatic withdrawal or deposits I don’t plan my bills or expenses around having that lying around. I don’t touch it, I don’t see it.
- PAY OFF YOUR DAMN CREDIT CARDS – I paid off ALL my debt. ALL OF IT. I had no fun for a while. I didn’t go out to eat, didn’t travel extravagantly, and watched a TON of Netflix. This doesn’t mean I didn’t’ allow for fun or “treat yo’self” moments… But I realized that the sooner I paid off those assholes, the sooner my money was MY money. I now have credit cards, but use them sparingly and pay them off monthly or as quickly as possible. My credit score is thanking me for it.
- Saying NO to shit you don’t want – THIS IS A BIG ONE. So many of my friends and clients, (and myself included) have been in relationships (friendships, spouses, families, etc.) that make them feel like they can’t say no, or cannot take control of a situation. Personally, mine came from the fear of the OTHER person’s reactions. I would preemptively scare myself shitless expecting a reaction of anger or disappointment. So instead, I just chose to never get what I truly wanted. This led to procrastination, and hiding my “miss-steps”. Pro-tip: GET RID OF THE ASSHOLES IN YOUR LIFE AND DO YOU BOO.
I never wanted to feel like I was indebted to someone, or owed anyone anything. As soon as I put this plan of attack into fruition the universe reciprocated. I invested in a bigger training studio space, and BOOM: More amazing new clients and time to train them. I paid off my credit cards and made payments on time, and my credit limits were increased to yet again improve my credit. I stopped buying frivolous things to “keep up” with others, put my nose down and worked… and now I can buy those pretty things, or splurge on valet parking (call me a princess but in the Pacific Northwest this is LIIIIIIIIFE in rainy season).
I am absolutely not perfect, but I am no longer a hot mess. The best part about beginning to understand finances and taking accountability for them is that I am my own boss. I don’t have to look at my income as “half a household”, because if shit hit the fan I would be just fine solo. I practice diligence in playing an active role in not letting myself slip back into old habits, although sometimes it gets rather annoying… you can ask my fiancé about how long it took me to buy a new rain jacket or see my blog: Buy The Damn Purse. This took away a lot of my areas that I felt weak in, and gave me power to start going after all things that made me happy – not just money, but truly asking for things that lit my world up.
“A girl should be two things: who, and what she wants to be.” – Coco Chanel
What I want to be is rich – rich in peace of mind, comfort, and memories. My finances allow me the freedom to these things. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can help me build a beautiful life in any manner I seek it. For myself as a business owner, I look first at all I can provide for other people and how I can give MORE, and secondly to afford myself that same luxury.
Don’t wait around for someone to fix you or take care of you. YOU are your best ally. Don’t fight yourself on who and what you want to be. Put that bad ass energy into the universe and take accountability for your version of a wealthy life.
PS. Check-out my website for information on training: Boss Corvallis // or The Lil Guys for online training. I offer in-person and online life coaching sessions for interests beyond fitness.