Know your money story
Ask yourself some questions about your relationship with money, Doe says. “What did you see growing up? Did you see both your parents talking about money or only one of them managing the money? Did one of your parents save a lot? Did the other spend a lot? Were there fights around money? What’s your cultural upbringing around money? (There are some cultures where it’s taboo to talk about money.) What is your story around money? Don’t judge it. Just become aware of it.”
Have a weekly money date
Doe calls this your “money and mimosas date.” Every Friday, Doe drinks a mimosa and goes through her finances, looking at what she spent the previous week and what money came in.
“[See] if where you’ve spent your money the previous week really is in alignment with what your values are,” she says.
Doe recommends using free apps like Mint, Personal Capital and Status Money, which make it easy to track your previous week’s expenditures. “They also do a good job at the end of the month of giving you a pretty graph to look at to see where your money was spent,” she says.
Know your values
“And that leads to the next step, which is getting clear about what money means to you,” Doe says. “Money, in and of itself, is not the end of the story. Money is a tool. It’s a vehicle to get you to where you want to be or to maintain what you have.”
Evaluate what money means to you. Does it mean security? This may manifest as having more money in savings. If money represents pleasure, that may mean that you spend more money going on vacations. “Get really clear on those values, and make sure that you are using your money to support those values.”
Have multiple income streams
Most businesses have multiple revenue streams. Where it gets tricky, Doe says, is on an individual level.
“I was working as an accountant for a company, and we went through a pretty terrible downturn,” Doe says. “One season we didn’t have good business and our pay was cut by 20 percent. It’s a lot of money. That could’ve cut into my ability to pay rent, food. The thing that saved me was I was also teaching Zumba classes on the side. The exact number that had been cut out of my paycheck was what I was making with my side hustle. So although I still felt it, my livelihood wasn’t impacted.”
Doe recommends that even if you are working a traditional job, have something on the side that ensures you can be financially independent if something ever happened to your “day job.”
“It doesn’t have to be that drastic,” she says. “But whatever happens, you have something going for you that can support you.”
Photo credit: Danetha Doe, Brianna Doe