By Melissa Tosetti
I find it romantic to believe that money isn’t important. How wonderful would it be to live life without being burdened by monetary details? But the truth is, money affects every aspect of our lives. It affects how we dress, where we live, what we eat, how we spend our free time and what we can give back to our community. It affects our emotions and enhances or detracts from our enjoyment of life.
Effective money management is about so much more than retirement plans and saving money at the grocery store. To illustrate this point, the following is a brief comparison we use in our book Living The Savvy Life of the lives of the proverbial Average Woman and a Savvy Woman:
An Average Woman
An Average Woman has no idea how much money is in her checking account at any given time. She often uses her debit card with a knot in her stomach, hoping it will not be declined.
She has a closet overflowing with clothes, few of which can be pulled together into a complete outfit. Many of the clothes in her closet still have the tags on them because she realized she has nothing to wear with the item once she brought it home. She continues to purchase clothes at random, always feeling the need to buy more.
She finds herself eating out several days a week because her kitchen cupboards are bare. When she does buy groceries, she does so without a plan and isn’t quite sure what to do with them once she gets home. When she goes to her favorite high-end restaurants, she feels a tinge of guilt as she pulls out her credit card to pay the bill.
She takes a vacation at least once a year, but finds herself preoccupied while on holiday since she was just on the verge of paying off her previous vacation when she headed out the door.
An Average Woman is a consumer who keeps buying, hoping the next item she purchases will magically create the life she so desperately wants.
A Savvy Woman
A Savvy Woman knows exactly how much money she has in the bank and always spends less than she makes. Her growing savings account gives her a confidence that is visible to others.
She has a pared down wardrobe comprised only of clothes she loves, look great on her and make her feel good. She shops with purpose and never purchases an item for her wardrobe unless she has fallen in love with it.
She has a black belt in grocery shopping and cooks the majority of her meals at home. This allows her to enjoy the occasional meal out at her favorite high-end restaurant, without guilt to spoil the experience.
She consciously saves for those long weekends away and the trip to Europe she has been planning for the past year. When she vacations, the trip is paid for prior to departure, so it is a true holiday.
A Savvy Woman picks and chooses what she brings into her life, being selective versus mindlessly consuming. This control over her financial life allows for even greater joie de vivre.
Does the Average Woman’s life sound a little familiar? Are there times when your paycheck doesn’t last until the next payday? Is your closet overflowing with clothes, but you have nothing to wear? Do you have trouble fully enjoying a vacation or dinner out knowing that you put it on your credit card? Perhaps there are certain aspects of your life that you have under control, but you get derailed by holidays, special occasions or when your car unexpectedly breaks down.
Every day we help clients create a Spending Plan and shift their day-to-day habits so they can start living savvy. If you’d like to learn more about our programs including our Savvy Life Makeover visit: Savvy Programs.