As a financial planner I spend a lot of time thinking about money. And as a forty-something woman I notice that my attitudes and priorities about money are shifting. There is a biological aspect to this, but I embrace the idea that it is time to forgive and forget past mistakes, and live a life that allows me to enjoy my life today as well as in the future.
A few thoughts:
Simplify to Stay on Budget
These days I have just one credit card, one checking account, and one emergency fund. I avoid using my credit card unless I know for sure that I can pay off the balance that month. If I can’t pay it off, I understand I really can’t afford the purchase in the first place.
Focus on What is Really Important
I accept that I need to consider my retirement goals as I make my day- to- day spending decisions. Eating at trendy restaurants or buying new things for the house no longer hold the same appeal. Instead, I enjoy the idea that dining out is a splurge for special occasions and entertaining at home in a simpler way allows me to have the option of dining out and entertaining in retirement.
Make an Effort
My personal finances look better today but I work hard at it. I track my expenses in Quicken on a weekly basis. I know how much I spend on fixed vs. variable expenses and how much I save. I also say no to some adventures when I would love to say yes, because life is about choices and I choose to save.
My current vision of retirement is very different than in was in my 30’s. Being close to friends and family is far more enticing than owning a second home. Having a positive attitude while saving for the amorphous goal called retirement is critical.
Get a Grip
I know that I am not going to strike gold or inherit millions of dollars. I have a good income which I need to make work now and in the future. There are no quick fixes, hot stock tips or IPOs that will make me rich. And,married or single, there is no white knight that is going to save me financially!
Sharing my money frustrations controls my impulsiveness. I have 2 dear friends that I call regularly to share my money worries. They help hold me accountable to my goals.
I enjoy the simpler things in life, the first chilly day, the laughter of my boys, a glass of wine and good conversations with friends. And, I experience joy each day by helping women plan for their dreams!