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Month: July 2017

Women! Are you using all your financial power?

Women! Are you using all your financial power?

Right, I’ve had 3 weeks off writing and I’m back with a bang! Usually, when I write my posts about money, I try to be balanced, I try to be polite, and I try to be gently encouraging. I try to take account of the fact that everyone’s circumstances are different, and I try to be inclusive in how I write (whether I am successful or not is another matter). I try to not upset anyone. But this is important, and its something I feel strongly about. I see and hear strong, intelligent, capable women shy away from investing because they don’t believe they can do it.

So women, ladies, chicas, bitches, femmes, whatever we’re calling ourselves, this is a battle cry for us all to become more courageous and make sure we’re using all our financial power.

Don’t get me wrong, we have some of the most beautifully colour coordinated budget spreadsheets, can make one large chicken feed an army of 5000, and have an small but impressive collection of fleece pyjamas to help us abstain from central heating. But mention investing, and we lose our confidence and strength is replaced with fear and doubt.

I used to be guilty of this. I was 100% convinced I would lose all my money, that I could never understand what I was doing, that it was too complicated for me.

Perhaps it comes from times when men would hunter-gather and women would protect and nurture. Putting your money in a savings account and being frugal with your expenses is how that manifests today. But we live in world where we all provide, all protect and all nurture. It is time for us to learn that we can be better providers when we dare to take carefully balanced risks.

One of the greatest financial powers there is is investing. It might even be the greatest power

Being able to feed your family on £50 per month is epic. But it takes one heck of an effort to do that month in, month out. I know I’ve never managed it.

But when you invest your money, it earns more money for years and years and years to come. And that money it earns, also earns more money for years and years to come. And so it continues. And the more it continues, the easier it is. Easier than keeping your grocery bill to £50 quid whilst inflation continues to rise, that’s for sure.

Let just do a couple of quick sums. For funsies.

If you pop a nice little £50 a month into a savings account, its a great start. After 25 years, with a rate of 0.5%, you’ll come out with £15,978.59. A nice chunk of money, right? Good job on the protecting and nurturing front.

But, take advantage of your financial powers by stock market investing (feel free to make your own superhero cape or throw your head back and roar like a lioness- whatever works for you) and that £50 could grow to £29,406.04, assuming a 5% return.

The same resources go much further and you’ll nearly double your money. And that calculation is even with me failing to have courage that the stock market will continue to yield an average of 7% annually, so it could well be worth a helluva lot more.

There’s enough inequality without bringing it upon ourselves

I don’t deny that it is shitty that in 2017 there is still such an embarrasingly wide pay gap, that mothers get overlooked for promotions, and that females have to work harder to earn the respect of their male co-workers. It might not be true in 100% in workplaces but it is way more normal than it should be.

However, we cap our earning potential further by failing to have the courage to invest, to seize a little piece of financial equality, to omit one of the greatest financial powers at our fingertips. It’s  something we have control of, so why aren’t more of us seizing that control?

Why do we let that little voice in our head tell us its not for us, that we can’t understand it, that knowing our luck we’ll lose every penny we ever had? To that voice I say IT IS FOR US AND WE CAN UNDERSTAND IT!

Don’t just take my word for it!

Don’t believe me? Check out superhero Feminist Financier, the oh so sassy bitches get riches, and educator extraodinaire she picks up pennies (who is also a mom, so you can’t be using kids as an excuse).

We are all different but we are all capable of understanding how to invest, as long as we believe we can.

Where do you start? I thought you’d never ask! I came up with an investing guide for beginners, with all the stuff I wish I’d been able to read all in one place.  Beyond that, the world is your oyster. Don’t stand by, a helpless onlooker to financial markets. Stand up and soar, be a beacon for other women who have yet to make the leap.

If you, or the women in your life, are amazing investors (or even brave beginners) shout up and share your story. Let’s inspire more to do the same. If you’re a bystander, join in the conversation too. We can tackle this together. I’d love to hear from you all, whatever your journey!

 

 

Is life too short to blog?

Is life too short to blog?

Do you ever find yourself wondering if life is too short to blog? I’ve wondered it since starting to write almost a year ago.

There is one reason why people blog, and that is to reach people. There are many reasons for wanting to reach people- to help them, to connect with them, to make money from them, to show off, to build a community, to inspire, to persuade, to receive validation, etc. But if we didn’t want to reach people, if we were writing for the pure joy of writing, we wouldn’t need to hit publish on our posts, wouldn’t need to put our words out there on the world wide web.

It is both easy and difficult to reach people. Easy because so many people now have access to the internet. Difficult because there are billions of other pages out there vying for people’s attention.

To build a blog that people read (and I mean more than 10 or 20) takes a lot of time and effort. The pursuit of readers consumes a lot of your time, and I’d wager that, before you started blogging, you didn’t spend hours on end at a loss for what to do with your time.

And so, this question of whether life if too short to blog has been on my mind. Rather than thinking about how I can attract more readers or constantly considering new topics, should I let it all go and get on with ‘living’. Many people who start a blog do just that, and who could blame them? I decided that when I went on holiday earlier in the year, I’d take two weeks off. No signing in to check stats. Nothing scheduled. No plans to draft. At. All.

Throughout the two weeks, ideas popped up here, there and everywhere. Good ideas too, better than some of the posts sat in my drafts. Time spend travelling, on a train or in an airport departure lounge, was greedily gobbled up penning words to paper.

Staring at a laptop screen night after night isn’t conducive to interesting posts about money. Following the same routine, talking with the same people, and reading the same news source isn’t either.

It makes sense now, but when life is dull, writing is dull. When life revolves around writing, rather than the other way around, THAT is when life is too short to blog. But when life inspires you to write, then that is exactly what you should do! I might not be wedded to a schedule that every ‘how to be a successful blog’ tells you that you need to be. But when I write, I’m going to enjoy it!

 

What’s my why for blogging? Well that’s not as straight forward an answer as I thought. I guess I’m arrogant enough to believe what I write could help people not just improve their finances, but improve their lives too. That’s what I’ve gained from others and what I want to give back. I want to be that next article someone pours over when they’re trying to repay their mortgage or work out how to start investing and have it just ‘click’ with them. What about you?