How to Start Creating the Life You Crave

There was a time, in 2004, when I drove around for nearly 2 hours trying to find a local WalMart. We had just moved from Northern KY to Oconomowoc, WI. I knew where I wanted to go, but my starting point, my foundation was all off. I was totally turned around and lost all sense of direction. My daughter was 3 years old at the time and thankfully, she was in a car seat and slept the whole time.

Fast forward and what would we do without Google Maps and GPS on our phones or in our cars?

The life you crave is out there, waiting for you. You may know where you want to go and the lifestyle you want to create, but without knowing where you stand financially now, it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible to make that happen.

Let’s talk about that.

Your Financial Foundation

Studies show that 90% of women will have to make all the financial decisions at some point in their lives. We typically live anywhere from six to eight years longer than men and we are healthier than ever before.

If you are married, this is why it’s essential to have your own financial plan, too.

True Story:
Several years ago, I spoke with a woman whose husband had unexpectedly passed away while on a business trip. They had just spoken the day before and she never imagined she’d be in this situation.

Aside from losing her husband, she had no idea where all the important financial documents were. Things like life insurance policies, bank and investment account statements, etc.

Her husband handled all the finances...everything. In addition to grieving the tragic loss of her soul mate, she was left with having no idea where to start getting her financial life together or how to rebuild it.

Know Where You Stand Financially

Often, we don’t take time to understand what’s going on financially because we’re ashamed at how bad it may be. However, no matter what your financial situation is, there is nothing to be ashamed of and you can always make it better.

Let today be the day where you create your financial foundation so you can start building the road map to the lifestyle you crave.

Here are some places to get started:

Credit score
Credit report
Insurance coverage
Cash accounts
Retirement accounts
Other investment accounts
Debts-personal, auto, mortgage, credit cards, etc.
Estate planning documents

And a few questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you know how much you spent last month, and on what, within about $100?

2. Do you know how much you made last month within about $100?

3. Do you have more than $1,000 in savings?

4. Do you have at least one retirement account?

5. Do you have at least one investment account?

How's Your Personal Self-Care?

Your personal self-care is just as much an essential part of your financial self-care. When we women take care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually, we are much better equipped to address our finances and vice-versa.

I admit, when I don’t treat myself to personal self-care, I can feel my own money triggers start to bubble up.

Just how many entertainers still get stage fright even after years of performing, financial professionals are not immune to money triggers.

For example, as of this writing, I'm in the middle of getting my daughter ready to head off to college. She's the last one to leave the nest. Navigating college, running a business and trying to keep some sense of order, in the middle of a global pandemic, has been extremely stressful to say the least.

My body physically manifests stress, which means I have to incorporate a lot of stress-relieving self care into my life, such as meditation, yoga, silence and peaceful music. As I'm writing this, I have noise-cancelling headphones on with slow jazz playing. (Thank you Dr. Amar Bose!)

Take inventory of what’s going on in your personal life.

Stress Relief
Career Satisfaction
Pampering (Spa days)
Healthy Boundaries
Relaxation Down time

Taking care of yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially is all part of your holistic wellness.

Questions to address:

1. How often do you pamper yourself?

2. Do you take time to relax and unwind after a long day or week?

3. Do you schedule a pampering session with yourself on a Saturday or Sunday?

4. Are you not just satisfied with your career, but do you absolutely LOVE what you do?

Creating and keeping the lifestyle you crave starts with your financial and personal self-care foundations. In order to create the road map to where you want to go, you have to know where you stand now.

And, as things change over time, you’ll be better able to make adjustments along the way. Your finances will ebb and flow, just like life does.

Until next time,
be fear.less!

Patty Bonsera is a former Securities Trader who became a Financial Wellness Advisor to support midlife women asking, "What's next?" In an industry built for men, she founded Fear.less Girl Financial as a better way to help you feel confident and beautiful about your finances and to celebrate midlife with soulful abundance. She will coach you, teach you, and celebrate with you every step of the way.