Money Surprises: Good or Bad?

by Galia Gichon on August 6, 2009

I had a huge revelation the other day regarding finances. We don’t always end up with the result we go after. The money success we end up achieving is not what we planned but is still a direct result of the action steps we take to towards controlling our money matters. I saw this recently with my SIMPLY MONEY class when women were sharing goals they had achieved that they NEVER thought they needed or thought they could handle. During the process of looking at their money EVERY WEEK, they unearthed a few very important goals.

Why Does It Happen?

Money has been compared to everything from Freddy Kruger to Six Flags Amusement Park. Do you see a theme here? FEAR!!!! Once you realize that you ARE smart and capable enough to master your own money independently – much of the fear fades away. Next thing you know, you aren’t scared to open your 401k statement or open the automatic savings account or even discuss expense ratios on your mutual fund.

Where there’s a WILL, there’s a way.

When I bring up the topic of wills, most people’s eyes glaze over. If they don’t have children, they assume that they don’t need one. Or they think they are going to live forever and not need one! Wrong on all counts. This was a big eye-opener for some women going through their financial check-up. Once they tackled their immediate needs, such as finding out their credit score, they were open to dealing with other areas of their money life such as drafting a will.

Everyone needs a will, regardless of their situation. The complexity of the will clearly changes based on your situation. If you have ANY savings, you want to be clear about who gets the savings when you are gone. What I have found is that once people learned a little more about wills, they realized they needed one and were motivated to get one – this was especially true of business owners and home owners. If you have children, you obviously need it. When you are drafting your will, don’t forget the living will and health care proxy. If your situation is fairly simple, you can buy a will kit at Staples or nolo.com. Just be sure to get it notarized with witnesses.

“I Discovered Mutual Funds”

Wouldn’t you like to be the person saying this? Again, some women signed up for SIMPLY MONEY just to feel better about their cash flow or get support around opening their 401k statement. Along the way, they learned about mutual funds, how to analyze them on Morningstar and how to figure out which ones they needed for their asset allocation. Believe it or not, they found they actually liked learning about mutual funds and were empowered by that knowledge. One woman even brought up no-load fees on a date and was impressed with how much she knew! They ended the class stating they “discovered mutual funds” and wanted to learn more.

The point of this is that by getting inserting money into your weekly life, you will unearth other money goals and see the effects ripple throughout. Try it. See how it fits. Who knows, you might like it?

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