“I don’t like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves” so said Joe Louis.
I think we probably all kind of know what he means. It’s not money itself that has virtue, it’s the freedom, choices, security and solutions that it can provide, that has the real currency. And having those things in your life can contribute to your feeling more confident about your ability to cope, change, blossom, respond – whatever you need to do. As we say at Independent Women, if you’re in control of your finances, you’re in control of your life. At least to some extent.
Whilst a lot of very wealthy people can appear to be comparatively confident (maybe even arrogant sometimes) because of their ability to command and demand service, quality, speed of response, personal attention etc, much of this confidence can be extremely thinly veiled and deep down, they may be just as worried, insecure or broken-hearted as the rest of us. It’s actually the CONTROL of your finances that is liberating, refreshing and power-giving, whatever scale those finances are on.
You need to be running your finances, rather than the other way round.
Women, even more than men, are affected enormously by the various experiences they have throughout their life – both emotionally and, crucially, financially. The greater impact largely stems from the experiences that are uniquely female, such as child-birth, maternity leave, career breaks, gender pay gap issues, pension interruption as a result of the above etc.
‘Six Stages of Women’ explores these impacts and works with women to ensure that they optimise their flexibility and their choices by getting their finances into order. This is particularly important at times of dramatic change, such as redundancy, separation, divorce or bereavement. Often the last thing you want to think about at times such as these is money – but it’s a necessary evil and getting help early can help ease the trauma of the practical issues around bills, commitments and developments.
Separation and divorce particularly can play havoc with a woman’s self esteem and often her view of herself and the world and that is severely confidence-sapping. Getting yourself in a place of financial independence and control can go a long way towards restoring some of that confidence – whether it’s your own ‘Shoe Fund’ (our concept for balancing the spending and the saving to maximise security and allow for luxuries) or overhauling everything about your financial, social and emotional position.
The money bit doesn’t happen in a vacuum and you need support and genuine empathy to help you navigate the options and make the right decisions, not just to grow your money, but to nurture your self esteem and help you blossom back into a new life stage – or even a new life.