Suri shares her advice on how to avoid the 3 biggest money mistakes she sees women make, as they start their journey towards financial independence. Join in the conversation by leaving a comment or sending in your questions.
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TRANSCRIPT – edited for clarity
INTRO: Hello again my dear friends, fellow moms. Welcome back to Doing Things On Purpose, the podcast that empowers women to take charge of their time, health, relationships, and money by doing things on purpose. I’m your host Suri. It’s such an honor to have you joining me yet again, this week. And if you’re new, welcome!
A Gift for You
Continuing on with this third episode about money, I have a super special gift that I’m excited to share. It’s to help you actually get started on managing your income, expenses and investments, for beginners. So stay tuned till the end, to see how you can get your hands on it.
This week, I’ll be talking about the biggest money mistakes that I’ve noticed women and especially moms making, when starting their journey of being more aware of, and trying to take more control over, the financial situation in their families.
CHECK-IN: Before we begin, let’s get started with this week’s Mom Check-in. For those of you who are new here, these are simply gentle reminders from me, to hopefully guide you, towards taking action in building the habits that you’ve always wanted to start doing, but always kept procrastinating.
- How was the last week for you? For me, it was once again more of a mixed bag. I did manage to make time for my daily morning yoga and some Byron Katie worksheets – which is a kind of journaling and reflection exercise for me. But I’ve also been feeling a little sluggish. Which is to be expected as I’m in the middle of my “autumn season”, which means it’s the week or so before I menstruate.
- I’m taking some 5 minute naps when I need it. It’s a time when we women can be a bit more sensitive to criticism, and when we can practice being a tad more patient with ourselves. I have a dear friend who even avoids making big decisions during this time. Which I think is very kind and wise. Have you also noticed how your cycle affects you?
- I hope you’ve been able to really anchor in, with some daily self-care habits that help support you, no matter what season you’re in right now.
- 🗓️ How’s your calendar looking? Yes, if you’re a stay at home mom, you can also have a calendar to organize all the cleaning, shopping, school drop offs, playdates, and invitations from school that you need to manage.
- My best time management tips for moms can be found at suristahel.com/time. I’d love to hear what you think if you’ve tried any of the 12 tips I’ve put together there. I’m always looking to improve things.
SURI: Now on to today‘s topic which is How to Avoid the 3 Biggest Money Mistakes, for moms.
👎 Mistake #1: Thinking that Taking Control of the Family Finances = ‘Total’ Control
Let me start with a story.
Last week, my husband and I actually had a little money disagreement which left me feeling a little vulnerable and imbalanced. My recent podcasts have after all been all about the topic of personal finance and I’m again amused with the way the universe always manages to push our buttons, just when we least appreciate it.
Like a full blown argument right before our wedding anniversary, or an accident right before a birthday party right?
But then I recalled that I’ve been here before. That taking conscious control over our finances can never equal total control.
I remember that fear and my ego always pushes me to think in terms of ‘me’ instead of ‘us.’
But I have better tools now. I wrote down my grievances on paper. On Byron Katie’s Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet to be exact. You’ll find the link on the show notes.
I turn my statements around around. I sit and reflect. And I always come out of it a lot lighter. A lot more humbled.
It allowed me to reconnect again with my other half. To return to the same conversation with a more open heart and minimal negative emotions.
Because when we put our barriers down, I think we make it safer for the other to do the same. And when we consciously choose to listen without judgment, we also show our partner that we trust them and that we accept them just as they are.
Because I’m sure you know this, but in a committed relationship, there’s more than just one of you. There’s more than just one opinion about every single thing – from parenting, to lifestyle choices, to eating habits, and to finance.
So how do we make room for a spouse who might have different beliefs and values than us when it comes to anything, and in this case money?
💎 Just commit to doing your part
All we can ever hope to do in my opinion, is just to do our part. To put our best foot forward and keep investing in our own financial literacy – so we can have better informed discussions, and eventually make better informed decisions as a family.
And remember, that building trust between couples to talk openly about money takes time. Which brings me to my next mistake…
👎 Mistake #2: The ‘Now or Never’ or ‘All or Nothing’ Mentality
Maybe you tried having a discussion with your partner about money and didn’t end up well. Maybe the discussion left you even more confused and feeling smaller than you ever did before.
You think, that’s it. It’s just too hard. I give up.
And just like that, you give up control. So you end up:
- Hiring a financial advisor at the bank to handle your money.
- You get sold life insurance and annuities that you don’t understand, to help secure your retirement in the future.
- You hire an investment manager to help you buy and sell stocks.
- You close your eyes and just ‘hope’ that these strangers will take very good care of you because you’ve paid them for it.
Who else would you trust with your life, and the well being of your future so blindly?
⚠️ Warning: These contracts are often easy to get into, and very expensive to get out of. So don’t ever feel pressured to solve your problems or gaps in financial understanding by just leaping into whatever advice, distinguished looking men or women in fancy suits, tell you.
They don’t care about your or your partner’s money, more than you do.
💎 Learn to be happy with ‘good enough.’
- Maybe your ‘good enough’ for this month, is just starting that conversation with your partner.
- Maybe your ‘good enough’ for next month, is your partner finally finding out what his company retirement plan entails.
- Maybe your ‘good enough’ the following month is finally calculating the emergency fund that you need to save towards.
- Maybe it’s finally organizing one more money bucket from my 12 money bucket list from last week’s episode.
- Or maybe it’s eventually taking a simple investment course, to give you the confidence to open a brokerage account and start buying into the stock market on your own.
Don’t ever think you have to figure it all out, all at once. Or go all in, for any kind of investment or strategy.
💎 Be willing to figure out what you like and don’t like along the way.
Every financial advisor or financial influencer thinks their way is the best. Including me!
So find someone who’s heart and money philosophy matches your own.
👎 Mistake #3: Having Unreasonable Expectations
The lovely thing about the digital age is how accessible and affordable financial instruments have become for the average consumer. Anyone with a mobile phone can now invest in the stock market or in crypto, if they so choose.
Everyone can follow financial experts and finfluencers on TikTok or Instagram, who tell them what and when to buy and when to sell.
With all that noise, it’s easy to understand that we can get confused. We think, they must know better.
So again, we end up giving up our power:
- We fail to listen critically to advice, and to question things that don’t add up.
- We get giddy and greedy when we see examples of people claiming to double and triple their money over short periods of time with crypto and in up-and-coming trend stocks.
- Or we get too excited about investing in small companies that we want to support socially, which carry the ‘sustainable’ or ‘vegan’ labels that we talk about with our friends.
- We start acting like a trader and not a long-term investor. We don’t care if these companies make a profit or not, or if they’re small. We lose sight that we never actually wanted to gamble away our money like this. We forget that small companies are more vulnerable and are the first ones to fail when the markets tumble.
- We forget that as women, as mothers – we were looking to feel safe and secure with our money, in order to take care of ourselves and our family in the long run.
💎 Learn from people you trust, and don’t get distracted.
That’s why I created these money series podcasts. And why I wrote the 13 Money Lessons that Every Parent Needs to Know article, which you can find on my website, in which I listed what returns you can reasonably get from different types of investments.
Because I also feel called to do whatever small part I can play, in helping women feel more empowered to grow their financial knowledge. So please check it out at suristahel.com/money.
Again, this is just the way I see it as a woman, wife and mother. Take what feels good to you, and leave the rest.
OUTRO: So I know I’ve shared so many links with you. But to end this podcast, I’m so excited to give you the gift that I promised at the beginning of this episode. It’s my…
So what is it? Well this is a new and improved version of exactly the document that I used to start planning our money as a family. I used this to ask questions and to start a conversation with my husband about our finances.
It contains tables for you to fill out, to calculate and plan for everything:
- Emergency savings
- Target Retirement or Financial Independence (FI) Number
- Income and Expenses
- Retirement Fund and Kids’ Education Fund
- Compounding Interest Estimator (how your money grows over time)
- Retirement Income Estimator (how much you can expect to earn from your investments)
Just fill in the blanks that apply to you. Except don’t touch the areas highlighted in gray because they have formulas in them. It’s all included in the instructions.
So where can I get this amazing template?
Just go to suristahel.com/moneymastery.
You can download the file as an Excel sheet or a Google Doc. Let me know if you have any problems accessing it. And if you need any help, notice a mistake or have a suggestion on how I can improve it, just shoot me an email at email@example.com.
OUTRO: Okay, that’s all I have for you this week. I hope you’ve found this episode helpful. Please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share this podcast with a friend, if you liked it.
Again, you can find all the links mentioned and the transcript of this episode at suristahel.com/12.
Thank you so much for tuning in. This is Suri, and you’re listening to Doing Things on Purpose. I’ll catch you again next time.