The Time Has Come for Women to Talk About Money
As seen in Image Magazine, March 2019
They say that money makes the world go around, but that doesn’t make it any easier to talk about. I’ve worked in finance for more than 20 years, but I still see people squirm when they talk to me about what they earn, how they spend and what they save.
Given how much money feeds our lifestyle and sense of worth, that’s understandable, but it’s also ultimately destructive. The simple fact is that if you can’t talk about money with key people like your employer, your clients, or your life partner, then I guarantee you, you are losing out.
Take work as an example. When it comes to your next salary review, how will you prepare? Will you sit quietly by and accept whatever your employer says? Or will you go armed with evidence, bullet points and clear examples that show your value to the business should be recognised with a pay rise?
Speak up and articulate the value you deliver to the business. If you’re in sales, for example, go to that review meeting armed with details about the number of deals you’ve closed, the profits you’ve secured, the value of your pipeline, etc. If you’re in services, list your successes and the benefit that success has had on customers and the company bottom line.
Whatever your job, take time to really think about how your work affects the company. Arm yourself with real examples of how you have delivered value, saved company money, earned the company profit. Then, have the courage to articulate that information to your employer. You’ll not only increase your own self-worth, but you’ll gain more recognition and hopefully earn yourself a pay rise.
What if you work for yourself?
If you work for yourself, then complete the same exercise and answer the question, “are you charging enough for the value you create?”
I’m passionate about this advice because in 2018, I took the decision to change how I value my work and it has been life-changing. For many years, I didn’t charge a time-based fee for my advice. Clients would ring to get updates on their pension, savings or tax-saving ideas that would take hours to complete, and I never charged a cent. Finally, I realised that I needed to value my time and advice more and took the brave step to inform clients that I would subsequently be charging for my time.
How did they react? Naturally, they were a little taken aback at first, but now that they know they are paying for my time, they are much more focused, organised and committed to achieving results. Because I value my time, so do they, and the result is that I’m conducting more business than ever before.
Behavioural finance, which studies why people act the way they do around money, backs this up. Stating that there is a sweet spot where the service or product we offer is seen as “expensive but worth it” – this is the best possible place to inhabit as a business owner. So do yourself a favour and make every effort to find it.
But don’t leave all this newfound bravery at work. Take it home and apply it there too. Money is always listed as one of the top reasons why people divorce, and it’s easy to understand why. If you’re in a relationship where one partner earns more than the other, or you have different attitudes to debt, spending or saving, then it’s natural that disagreements will occur.
So how can you learn to have better financial conversations with your other half? Start by understanding what money means to each other. Ask specific questions and really listen to the answers. For example, what does money mean to you, to your partner? What positive financial memories have you both taken from your childhood? What negative memories? What do you want from your future earnings?
Next, take what you have learned from that discussion and apply it to a plan for your future financial lives. Designate the first Monday of every month as “Money Monday” and sit down together to go over your bills, saving and spending habits, making sure things are on track and your priorities are compatible.
If you feel you could do with a little outside help, then don’t hesitate to meet with a financial advisor because it’s their job to make sense of your finances and set you on the right track.
CEO & Founder
Donegan Financial Services
Donegan Financial Services is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland:
As an insurance intermediary registered under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations, 2005;
As an investment intermediary authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995;
As a mortgage intermediary authorised under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995; &
As a member of the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA).
Unit 2 Block 403 Grant's Drive, Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin
Lorraine Donegan t/a Donegan Financial Services is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland
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