Ignorance can sometimes equal bliss. Like when you’re off the grid at a silent yoga retreat or when you’ve cut the cord on a relationship that ain’t serving you.
However ignorance does not equal bliss where your financial future is concerned.
Last week I was innocently sipping my matcha latte whilst waiting for my business coach to arrive. Serendipity had me open up the newspaper.
“48% of women report that they were earning less than $34,000 a year and that 73% are concerned about making an adequate income to remain in Sydney”.
WTF? I almost spat matcha down my front.
Then I reflected on figures reported by NAB in their Wellbeing Index that I had included in my book, Smart Girls Screw Up Too.
“Women aged 20-39 have the lowest levels of wellbeing in the country (even more than unemployed people)”.
This ain’t okay.
When I find things that are not okay I go ape with research (that’s actually how my first book came about, so perhaps this is a pre-cursor to the next one!).
I started my research with a post on LinkedIn calling out to people that are helping Smart Girls secure their financial future to tell me what they’re up to so I can share it.
When I started digging deeper into the financial health of Australian women, what I found astounded me.
Superannuation balances of women continue to lag men by about 30%. ABS data shows that the gap is the smallest when a Smart Girl is under 35 years of age. (Tip: top up your super or pension before you have kids or start your own business).
According to the ABS there are only 189,000 women in Australia earning over $100,000 per year, and only 630 that earn over $1million.
By now you might be thinking ‘Hey Bella, life ain’t all about the money’, and you’re right it’s only one part of becoming what I describe as a Fully Expressed Human.
BUT here’s the thing.
According to my research of 4,500 executive women six in ten you pass by on the street would hit the reset button on their career if … wait for it… they were not incessantly worried about their finances.
And imagine how much happier and energetic the world would be if more Smart Girls believed they could prove to their narcissistic manager that they now earn more than them, doing what they love, on their terms?
Sticking your head in the sand ain’t getting you a Fully Expressed career anytime soon, neither is waiting for the ‘man or woman plan’ (in full transparency I’ve done both in the past).
Let’s be clear not getting educated about managing money or the skills to accumulate and save it, is not Smart Girl esque.
In fact it’s simply not smart at all.
Smart Girls are positive realists, not optimistic rookies.
Any client who works with me, one on one, agrees to open up their financial books. It’s scary, I know, but it’s a game changer once we push through the taboo.
We then work to create a set of financial scenarios and budgets to get my clients EMPOWERED.
Because to change anything in your life money is THE enabler.
I insist on financial strategy planning as part of my work because you can’t become financially independent with your head in the sand.
If you want to find your money mojo in 2019 here are five things you can do right now to begin to secure your financial future.
- Follow fellow Scott Pape The Barefoot Investor’s blog here. Better still buy his book and don’t just read it ‘do it’ over the holidays.
- If you want an approach tailored to Smart Girls buy Unf*ck Your Finances written by my awesome accountant and fellow Smart Girl, Melissa Browne.
- If you’re in your 40’s read my good friend Vanessa Stoykov’s Book The Breakfast Club for 40 Somethings.
- Set up a budget / spending app tracker and at the very minimum know what’s coming in and out and make sure there’s more coming in than out. I use Pocketbook.
- Oh and learn how to negotiate your worth across every part of your life.
If you want a referral to my panel of ‘Smart Girl esque’ financial planners let me know and I’ll make it happen for you, because there are some epic people doing incredible work out there and you need not be afraid to put your hand up and say you need help.
This is an edited version of a post Bella Zanesco published on LinkedIn and is republished with permission.