Underearning is no joke!

February 20, 2014

Women and underearniAunty Acid payslipng is a serious topic however, and one I feel strongly about. Pay equity is something that we all need to consider, not only for ourselves, but even more importantly for our daughters.

There is a lot written about both topics and there has also been a lot of research into pay equity, both here and elsewhere in the world. There is still a significant gap here between women and men in pay for jobs of “equal value”.

There are many reasons, excuses and justifications, but as Sheryl Sandford, COO of Facebook, wrote in her book we, as women, need to work to change it! Sheryl Sandberg leadership not bossy

So ask for a raise if you’re salaried, apply for positions that you will need to grow into ( guys do this all the time. They apply for positions which they are not necessarily qualified for, trusting in their ability to be able to do them successfully! Often as women we don’t do this.) and charge what you are worth if you are self employed. Many mentors or coaches actually suggest you charge what you think you are worth and then double it!! Too often we way undervalue ourselves. Most importantly teach our daughters to value themselves and that they can do and be whatever they put their mind to.

Please comment below and also please forward this to at least one friend. Someone you know would appreciate it.

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Getting to today! My story

February 4, 2014

Another of the most common questions I get asked is how did I get to be doing what I do! This up close and personal video tells most of the story.

 

Can you identify with my story?Let me know in the comments below or if you would like to do that in person click on this link and request a strategy session with me. It’s free and if you’re in Auckland I will meet you for coffee and I even buy the coffee! I can’t say fairer than that!!

 

Hugs

 

 

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about money? Does it interfere with your work life?
 
A recent arti12637931_scle in US News cited a study by McGraw Hill Federal Credit Union, which showed that in a survey of more than 1000 people, 36% of them said that they spent at least two hours a day either worrying about their finances or handling them. “…another study, “Stressed at Work,” from Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, an employee-assistance program provider, that suggests almost half of workers are so stressed out that it interferes with their ability to get their jobs done. About 44 percent of male respondents and 49 percent of female respondents said they had “difficulty concentrating” as a result of “personal problems and stress.” Meanwhile, Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report finds that 7 in 10 workers are not engaged with their work.”
 
If you are an employer this must make scary reading!
 
I was interested in the article, because I have been approached recently by an employer seeking assistance for one of their staff, who had a significant amount of debt and was very worried about it. It was agreed that they would pay for their employee to see me. We have met several times and have made some plans for dealing with their situation, which has eased her anxiety considerably. Even if she wasn’t worrying about her money situation at work ( and I’m certain she was!) she was losing sleep over it. This alone would have reduced her effectiveness at work.
 
So her company paying for her work with me will, I’m sure, be very cost effective. As well as improving her productivity it will also increase her company loyalty, because she appreciates how they have supported her personally.
 
Many companies now subsidise gym memberships; a good case can be made for also providing access to financial education and support. I have done several talks for companies to provide this. I am very happy to do it for your company as well; just give me a call.
 
As promised a couple of weeks ago now, here is the link to request my article “How to get through Christmas and the Holidays without blowing out the credit cards!” Simply click on the Christmas tree. You will also be sent a Holiday planner from Karen McCall of the Financial Recovery Institute along with the spreadsheet to go with it.

Have a great week.
 

For a few weeks now I have been watching an ANZ bank ad on television, and questioning it.

You know the one with the young woman and the bubbles above her head… which say ” I deserve a little splurge”, “I’ll buy myself an early birthday present” “It won’t be on sale for ever” and “I’ve had a couple of hard weeks”.This is a link to the web version. https://comms.anz.co.nz/serioussaver.html?pid=mkt-pbr-ad-hp-jan12-serioussaver

This bit I really get. I used to use variations of each and every one of those statements, as justifications for my overspending and putting more “stuff” on my credit cards.  I knew a whole lot more I can tell you. So too do my clients now, those who are overspenders and/or chronic debtors! They know these excuses and variations of them eg. “I should be getting a bonus next month” ” I need this as I haven’t got anything to wear to Jo’s party, Sue’s wedding…” or whatever.

They are all examples of justifications or excuses for spending money when, on some level, we know that we shouldn’t, we know we can’t afford to and/or we know that other people probably wouldn’t be doing it if they were in the same place as us, financially that is.

The bit I don’t get is, that the person using those excuses would be drawn away from their overspending habits, by a savings account with a good interest rate and some other positive benefits.

Maybe some would see the error of their ways and start saving instead of spending, but I know I wouldn’t have  and nor would most of my clients. The reality is, that if you are an overspender or chronic debtor and using those justifications for your spending, in almost all cases you are struggling to pay your bills and debts and there is little money left over to save, if any.

The ANZ ad says ‘Saying no to temptation has never been so satisfying”. They may well be right; saving instead of spending is very satisfying. I just need a lot more convincing that the young woman in the ad, if she is using all those excuses for her spending, will be tempted by the prospect of saving and earning “up to” 4.5% interest. Taken altogether, those excuses spell to me a problem with overspending, which is not insignificant and requires some expert assistance.

I would be interested to hear your comments.

From my last post you have seen I recommend that, unless you pay your cards off in full each and every month, you use debit cards.

Now that’s all very fine but, what if you already have a credit card, or cards, which have balances on them which you can’t pay off in full. What do you do then?

The first thing I recommend is,  stop using your credit cards immediately. There is a saying which is very pertinent here:

” If you want to get yourself out of a hole, first you have to stop digging”.

In other words, you can’t hope to get your credit cards paid off, whilst you are still using them and increasing your debt. Once you stop using them, the amount you pay off them then actually starts to make a difference. How you go about paying them off was the topic of another post of mine http://wp.me/pDpjD-2p. Essentially I recommend that you pay the minimum off them, until you have savings that will cover all periodic expenses you have, or will have. As I say it is the subject of another post!

For those of you who are now saying ” This doesn’t help me, because I have to use my credit card just to buy my groceries or kids’ clothes”

OK, what I suggest for you is that at the beginning of each month, you sit down and draw up a spending plan for the month ahead. Now if you are really serious about paying off your credit card(s) for good, this plan should address all the real needs of your family, namely, shelter, food and essential clothing, but not include wants eg new flat screen TV etc!! Once you have this drawn up, if there is a gap between the money you bring in and the money required to fulfill those needs, that is the amount you may put on your credit card. This amount is planned, which is the key word. This does not mean that you can see a dress that you just love and buy it with your credit card. The dress is not a need, and it’s purchase is not planned. You would also benefit from seeking the assistance of a Financial Recovery℠ Counsellor. You will find a list of them here:-http://www.financialrecovery.com/?p=find-by-area

Do you draw up a spending plan or budget at the beginning of every month? Do you stick to it? I’d love to hear your experiences.

Over the past few weeks, the question of whether to use savings to pay off debt, or save first when an “injection” of money comes in, has come up on numerous occasions and under a variety of circumstances. I have been asked it directly by clients, by people inquiring about the services I offer, it’s been asked of a panel in the Sunday newspapers and it arose in our Counselors Club.

One of my colleagues and mentors, Mikelann Valterra, (http://www.womenearning.com) answered the  question  “Should I use savings to pay off debt” this way “Only if you never have another periodic expense” By periodic expense we mean for example: annual insurances, car registration, vacations, annual dentist visits, eye check-ups and new glasses etc. Things which we can plan for, but often don’t, and then when they come up and we don’t have money put aside, we use a credit card!

Mikelann also said that too often we are over-focused on debt and under-focused on savings.

It is better to pay off your debt slowly and never go into debt again, than to pay it all off, leaving nothing in savings and then having to use credit cards for “emergencies” because we have no savings!

This creates far better financial habits.

I don’t know how many of you have been on a diet… but my guess a few of you have. Does the word diet turn you off….make you think of all the foods and sweet treats you’ll be missing out on?

I know it did me and now when I’m trying to lose weight (like right at this moment) I never talk about being on a diet. It just triggers something negative in my brain and makes me think ……deprivation.

It’s very similar for a lot of people who are working through issues with money.

When my friends used to ask me if I had a budget, or worse, tell me that I should be on one, it would just make something crawl up my spine!  My brain would immediately hear deprivation and I would almost panic. It would almost make me want to go out and spend……like a child doing the opposite of what was asked.

Now I am a woman of at least average intellect, and I could write a budget for myself, no problems. What I couldn’t do was stick to it.

I now understand that, at least partially, that was because I didn’t understand what was behind my need to spend to the limit of my credit. I now have a whole lot of insight and instead of shopping (the impulses will still come up), I understand that I need something emotionally rather than materially and attend to those needs. I learned this from my Financial RecoverySM counselling and my work with the MoneyAutobiography®.

With these programmes I now teach people to work with spending plans not budgets. The difference is that you plan your spending, rather than planning to budget/restrict. It may be semantics but for those of us with an issue with overspending or a shopping addiction, it works. It places the choice in our hands, and allows us to make decisions about our spending and if need-be adjust our spending as we go through the month.

It’s powerful.