By Sheena Williams
One of the first rules of Accounting we’re taught in college is, “Cash is King!” As an Accountant, my job is to record all income and expenses for an organization. The problem was, I got paid to do a job that I didn’t do for myself. Sort of like, the hairstylist that never does her own hair. There I was, reconciling millions of dollars daily but couldn’t seem to manage my own finances. Needless to say, there was definitely a problem or disconnect.
We live in a society that glamorizes excessive spending on materialistic items and doesn’t place enough importance on self-esteem, individuality, and most importantly financial literacy. As a capitalist, spending in the marketplace is an absolute necessity but with control and manageability. However, unconstrained and irresponsible consumer spending is a giant that must be abolished. But how?
Studies conducted by the White House show that women between the ages of 18 and 35 have very little financial education. At some point, I had to take control of my finances and how I managed money. I began researching easy ways to budget, give, and save. Once I grasped these fundamental concepts, SheWill was born. SheWill, Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization created to educate young girls, between the ages of 8 and 17, on the importance of financial literacy and career empowerment. I wanted to help the next generation make better financial decisions and become more independent. There aren’t many programs that accommodate girls and their issues revolving around economic illiteracy, so I created one. We’ve provided a few tips to jumpstart your financial independence while empowering you to pursue your highest self. She Can! She Is! She Will!
- Register for a FREE Personal Finance Class or Seminar
Most banks and credit unions offer free personal finance resources. Don’t be too prideful to seek help with managing your money. After all, only 17 states, in this country, mandate Financial Literacy to high schoolers; so, let’s just say you are part of the majority of Americans that need a stimulant on handling money.
It’s never too early to start discussions about your finances. Whether you’re a middle schooler prepared to set up a bank account for your babysitting funds or a retired grandmother opening a 529 Savings Plan for your babies. Just begin where you are with what you have.
Make The Commitment
Financial independence is not a sprint to the finish line. I don’t even think a finish line exists. There’s always work to do. The more money you make, the larger the amount you’ll have to manage. Therefore, you will have to commit to educating yourselves and owning your finances. Write down your goals and work towards achievement.
Address Problems At The Root
Financial capabilities have little to do with money and everything to do with self-esteem. Why would you buy a house, car, or shoes you can’t afford? Why would women take their income tax refund and purchase thousand dollar handbags with no sort of consistent cash flow? These types of decisions have nothing to do with a dollar. Money is just paper. (Well, cotton so I’ve heard). The root of the issue is self-esteem or lack thereof. We must become empowered to love and cherish the women we’ve become. We must honor ourselves in a manner that makes us pursue greatness and the validation from others doesn’t sway us, especially in our pockets!!!
Pay Yourself FIRST!
You work 40 hours per week, the least you can do is reward yourself. Begin by saving at least 5-10 percentage of your income. Delaying gratification by overcoming all desires of impulsive spending is the primary goal. Once you master that giant everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae. Reward yourself, with prizes that don’t lose value. Take a trip, learn another language, or purchase your dream car with CASH! These are the rewards that will never lose its significance. Live the life you love and love the life you live –Bob Marley
Author- Sheena Williams, MBA
Sheena is the President and Founder of SheWill, Inc. (www.shewill.org). SheWill is a non-profit organization in Atlanta that educates young girls on the importance of financial literacy and career orientation. Let’s keep this conversation going. Join SheWill on social media: