18 Apr BELIEVE IT OR NOT…YOU CAN BE WEALTHY
LADIES!…IT’S TIME TO GET YOURS!
Guest Blog by Kemi Egan
Take a second and look around you. Can you see any men? The chances are that guy over there, regardless of his or your skill level, knowledge or ability earns 25% more than you ever will for doing the same job.
Outraged? Me too. So let me share with you what’s going on and what we can do about it.
I’m a self confessed Nerd and I think you should be as well.
I love books, blogs, reading and studying for sure, but not reading for reading’s sake (although I love that too) most of all I love analysing them, spotting trends, collating statistics and making decisions about my life based on them.
I grew up flat broke, single parent family, alcohol abuse, domestic violence the whole shebang. I was not programmed for success. As a result the decisions I made were based on other people’s misguided beliefs and faulty data.
When I began on a journey to change my life and build wealth I couldn’t rely on my internal programming to guide me or MBA from Harvard so I went for cold hard statistics. Statistics take the emotion out of making decisions, focussing on them forces you to make a decision based on that data and that alone. For women this is crucial, we are wired to be kind, loving, giving and generous as a result this often guides our financial decisions rather than facts.
When I began building my property portfolio I travelled around looking for appropriate areas to invest. After narrowing it down to 2 or 3 I had virtually decided when my mentor went through the statistics with me. They were pretty revealing. Area one (my fav): Average yield 6%, 5% capital growth and predominantly homeowners. Area two: Averaged 12% yield, 8% capital growth per year and a growing rental population. A no brainer I think you’ll agree. Relying on the statistics meant I stopped thinking about my preference and made a business decision based on the statistics.
It’s perfectly OK if you don’t care about the statistics of my portfolio but here are some statistics you absolutely MUST care about:
- Women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. Average $11k per year (this stat is similar in the UK)
- On average men retire with a fund worth £201,000 while women will retire with £107,000
- 80% men get full state pension, less than half of women do.
- Women are 15% less likely to get promoted
- A typical woman endures a 73 percent reduction in her standard of living after a divorce. Her typical ex-husband enjoys a 42 percent increased standard of living.
- African-American women earn 64 cents to every dollar earned by white men and Hispanic women just 52 cents per dollar.
- 75% of the elderly living in poverty are women. 80% were not poor when their husbands were alive.
I could go on and on.
If these statistics scare you, good. I hope they scare you into action.
Thanks to periods, child birth, menopause etc etc women have enough challenges already, but poor financial planning and poverty are two things we can control and yet more often than not we don’t.
It’s time to make a change. We have been told again and again that men are the providers and take care of the family financially. Perhaps that is your ideal, and that’s OK. However there are two realities it’s my responsibility to make you aware of:
- 50-60% of marriages end in divorce
- Women live longer than men
For you this means it is probable you will live without a man at some point, for some reason.
I’m not here to tell you what you should think about men taking care of the family finances, I am here to tell you the reasons why you believe those things are probably crap.
Turn Carbon into Diamonds … Or is it the other way round?
We’re born like shiny new diamonds eager and ready to go into the world and make a difference. From the day we are born our belief systems are being formed, our view of the world is being influenced and indoctrinated. By the time we are seven years old depending on the scientific research you read, between 70-90% of all your core values will be set.
Just think about that for a moment.. Before we are old enough to write our own name we will have largely decided how we think and value core issues like, family, friendships, men, women, intimate relationships.
We have listened to people say ridiculous platitudes like “Isn’t she bossy”, “I’ll ask your father if we can afford it”, “Girls buy shoes and handbags”, “Boys are better at maths”, “Daddy has all the pennies”, “prince charming rescues the princess” thousands and thousands of time.
As we grow into adolescence we are slowly but surely covered in layer after layer of other people’s garbage until our diamond doesn’t shine anymore and we look and feel more like coal. We start to believe it.
If you think that’s extreme consider this. A young woman, Sara, was cooking a beef joint for her friends on a lazy Sunday. She chopped the ends of the meat off, threw them in the bin and then popped the joint into the oven.
One of her friends spotted this and asked why she had done this. Sara had no answer except that’s how her mum did it. The following day Sara called her mum and asked why she prepared meat in this way, like Sara her mum had no answer except to say that’s how her mum did it. After asking her aunts & cousins Sara eventually asked her great grandmother.
In her silky west country accent her grandmother replied that when she was a baby her mother had to cut the ends off because the oven was too small to fit the joint in.
Just let that sink in for a moment. For generations people have been throwing away great quality expensive meat because over 100 years ago the oven was too small. Incredible.
This is so important. Sara had formed her beliefs around ‘facts’ that weren’t even true, relevant or made ANY sense. And hadn’t bothered to ask the question, Why?
This is exactly what happens throughout our own lives. We take on the beliefs of our greatest influencers (usually our parents) without questioning any of them. When it comes to money this is particularly important. If you were brought up in working class family you would likely have been told time and time again that “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “women are no good with money”, “the more money you have the more you worry about it” conversely the children of wealthy parents are told “you can achieve anything you want”, “money is easy to come”, “being wealthy is your birthright”. No wonder these children go into the world confident, full of hope and utterly convinced success is coming their way. They make decisions based on an expectation of abundance and success and sure enough it works out.
The great news is that creating financial freedom, security and abundance is a skill and therefore can, and should be learned. You might not be able to change institutionalised garbage but you can and should stop asking for permission to be wealthy. Stop waiting for prince charming to rescue you, or hoping the government will fill in the void and begin taking tangible proven steps to change your life.
Get everything you can out of all you have
Here are five things you can do right now to start improving your financial health.
I don’t care about spending a few quid on a starbucks, life is far too short to deprive yourself and we’re here to enjoy ourselves right?
That being said, I strongly object to (read: hate) wasting money or paying more than you need to.
- Pay yourself first
To create financial security and wealth will take an investment of some time and somemoney. If you are sat there reading these thinking you don’t have the time or money, you need to make these changes the most.
Don’t freak out, I have good news for you…Have you ever had a job to do or an assignment to write that you flapped around with and procrastinated over for weeks and then bashed out in 6 hours the day before the deadline?
This is down to something called ‘Parkinson’s law’ that says something will take the amount of time you allow it to. This usually applies to cash as well. You will spend the amount of money you have. Think about every January, three days in you are completely broke and convinced you are never going to make it to pay day. And yet you do. Given the amount you live on in January, in February you be able to save or invest a ton what with the short month and no more Christmas parties to pay for. It never quite happens like that though does it?
The only solution and the biggest different between those that are financially secure and everyone else is that the wealthy pay themselves first.
Start with an amount that makes you a little uncomfortable. Whether that’s £20 per month or £2000. Before anything else put this money into a separate account. In the long term we end up with around 6 or 7 pot of money but to keep things simple for now we’ll keep it to two, saving and investing.
The first pot is the first layer in the financial wall you are building around your family and is a long term savings pot that you do not touch. You are aiming to build up to a sum that you can live off for two years! Imagine the peace of mind you have when you know that whatever happens you and family have two years of security.
The second section of that cash is to invest in yourself. It can be used to pay for a mentor, coach, training program, books, audio programs etc. The average CEO reads 3-5 books per month and has a mentor, the average blue collar work reads less than two books per year. Coincidence? Unlikely.
The second step is to find the time to read / listen to books, blogs, podcasts and trainings. I love to leverage time and use resources like audible to listen to books while travelling, getting ready, queuing etc. You can turbo charge this leverage if you listen to it on 2X speed.
Remember if you take 30 – 60 minutes a day to invest in yourself, the rest will find a way.It’s the law!
2. Credit Cards
Credit cards can be great tools when used properly and not just for pointless consumer debt. These tips when implemented will lower your outgoings and increase your income.
- Call all of your credit cards and ask them if you are paying an annual fee, if so ask them to remove it. 9 times in 10 they will immediately saving on average £100 per year per card.
- Then ask them to reduce your interest rate and guess what they can do that as well!
- If you have a 0% interest on purchases credit card consider investing in an asset backed (property) peer to peer (crowdfunding) platform that will let you pay with a credit card. Using this strategy you could be earning 6%pa plus on borrowed money, just be sure you can repay it when the 0% term ends.
3. Your credit score dictates the amount of personal credit you can get and on what terms. If your credit score isn’t great then you will only get limited credit on bad terms.
These tricks will help you improve your credit score and therefore access lower interest products.
- Call all of your credit cards and ask them to increase your credit limit. If you have been managing your cards well, most will. DO NOT use the excess, allow your credit score to update with all the new limits.
- Lenders like you to be using 50% or less of your available unsecured credit. Raising limits is a quick way to lower the percent of used credit when you can’t afford to pay them down. This will dramatically increase your score.
- Apply for lower interest cards based on your increased credit score and transfer the balances. Et Voila potentially thousands of pounds of interest per year saved and your credit score drastically improved. Cool or cool?
4. Strategically ask for a pay rise
The quickest way to increase your income and enable you to begin building financial walls around your family is getting a pay rise. You can increase your income by 5/10% or more overnight.
- Put in your diary a meeting with your manager for 6 weeks time but don’t book it with your manager yet. That will happen in 4 weeks.
- Before you even approach your boss you initially need to know the market rate for your skills. It’s really important you learn to differentiate your skills from your label. Just because your company choose to give your position a title, the value you add to that company is based on your skills not your title. So spend some time creating a chart of your skills and talents both tangible (certified) and intangible (soft skills).
- By combining your tangible and intangible skills you provide your employer with a list of the value you add to their organisation not just the jobs you do. It might be easy to find a cheaper web designer, but it is far more difficult to find a web designer with leadership skills that can manage a team and build a rapport with team leaders of other departments. Put a numeric value on that new ‘title’.
- Book your meeting as be clear as to the objectives of that meeting.
- You always want to be clear that you are not threatening or blackmailing your employer. Like most of us, employers don’t respond well to ultimatums or threats.
- Share your experiences with the company (ideally positive), tell them you enjoy your work and have a great relationship with your team – everything positive that you can think of that is true. Then follow up with an explanation that since your previous pay review/ rise or since your appointment you have developed a lot more experience, you have increased your skills and list any training programs you have attended. Include some of the intangible value you add to the company. This would include things like implementing systems or helping resolve conflict between teams. It’s a great time to share other ideas that you would like to do but haven’t had the opportunity to yet, such as money saving strategies or new technologies that will increase revenue. The whole staging is to demonstrate your worth and the value you bring to the company.
- Once you have set the scene for the value you add it’s time to ask for the money. Try “I’m aware that other organisations provide compensation packages of £25 – £35,000 for these skills and after adding X amount of revenue to the company and providing X skills I would like to be compensated accordingly”. The really crucial element is to ensure that the bottom figure is at least 5-7% above your current salary.
- Generally your boss cannot give you a figure immediately but they will likely either commit to considering it and come back to you with an offer or they will immediately decline.
- If they come back to you with a pay raise offer, Fantastic job done! If not, the next stage of negotiations is finding out if there other non-financial rewards such as extra time off, a reduced working week, a company car. Anything that will actually help you and is a reward for your effort.
5. Take the first step
This in a lot of ways should be point number one but I wanted to leave you with this. I know how much you have going on, I know how busy you are and how many demands you have on your time and energy. But I also know this…your mother, just like you do for your children, wished for you to be healthy, happy and yes, wealthy. This is your birth right but you have to grab it with two hands and claim it.
There will never be the perfect time. There is only THIS time.
For more information about how Kemi can speak to you personally and get your finances in hand (because we know it can be daunting and complicated), she is willing to talk you through it one-on-one this month, so to take advantage of her expertise and experience by emailing us at with ‘Kemi’ in the subject title and we’ll get you two together.