By Nicole Shermet, IATG ContributorMay 19, 2016
Talking about money: not fun.
Planning for the future: overwhelming.
As much as money related tasks totally suck, we have to embrace them. Money will play a role in everything we do, so instead of ignoring it, we need to take control.
I don’t like talking about money or thinking about how I’m going save for my future. I, like many other women, don’t have ‘coin confidence.’ But why is that? For a long time, it was the societal norm for the ‘man of the house’ to take care of finances. These skills were not taught to women. The financially independent woman is a relatively new phenomenon, but there are many simple things we can do to better understand money.
1. Talk about it
Yes, that's right – talk about your salary, spending, and savings. We should share our financial fears, questions, and plans with each other. This will allow us to learn how to support one another. If we can’t talk about money with our friends and family, what are we going to do when we have to talk to a boss about a raise, a financial advisor about a loan, or a bank about a mortgage?
2. Start small
You don’t have to do it all at once. Whether you’re in university or starting out your career, you don’t have to figure it out all at once. It’s not necessary to save every penny of your retirement right now or finalize all financial decisions at once. When I got my first job, I knew the right thing to do was create a savings account. I’m lucky my dad’s friend is an investment advisor, and he helped me set up an account. I put away a portion of each paycheck into an account where it would ‘work’ for me. I knew this was a good place to start. It felt good to make my first move. Take a look around and see what’s available for you. Starting is the hardest part; the rest won’t seem so scary.
3. Give yourself a break
I hate spending money. It takes a lot for me to actually part with it. Sometimes I find it difficult to spend money for a specific reason – guilt. I feel like I don’t deserve to be spending it; that I shouldn’t be ‘wasting’ my money. I save and never splurge, so why do I feel guilty when I want to buy something for myself? About a year ago I fell in love with a designer bag. It was exactly what I wanted and on sale. Instead of thinking ‘you need a bag, you love it, the price is right, you have the money; treat yourself,’ I thought ‘it’s too much, you don’t need it, don’t be so extravagant.’ I was telling myself I didn’t deserve it and afraid people would think I was a spoiled, irresponsible millennial who didn’t value money. I eventually bought the bag, and I LOVE it! There’s no reason to feel guilty for spending your money. If you pay your bills and are careful with your money, go ahead and treat yourself.
Remember that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable about money and finances. It will take some time to understand things and figure out what works best for you. The best thing to do is start. Build up your ‘coin confidence,’ reach out, and talk about it.. It’s never too early to save and never something you regret doing.
Let’s talk money! What financial questions do you have? Ask them! Seek out an advisor, ask a knowledgeable friend, or do a little research!
Nicole is a 2012 communications and business graduate, who then specialized in Public Relations. She grew up in the Great White North (aka Canada) and recently moved to London. A top priority is trying to navigate adulthood. Her interests include travelling, exercising, and finding edible gluten & dairy free treats (darn allergies).