As a divorced woman you do not need me to remind you that money is an important resource (and the most often named reason for a divorce). And because you are a woman, it becomes an even more diminishing resource after the divorce. That is why I want to introduce you to the greatest motivating factor that helped me focus on saving money, rather than spending it, or worse yet, wasting it.
I recently became a dislocated worker (the politically correct way of saying I was heartlessly fired after 8 years of service). As many of you may have experienced first hand, with any changes that affect your economic status, this can be a very traumatic event.
However, I was mentally and financially prepared to weather the fiscal fallout. I can attribute to this my sound financial planning. I had managed to save well over the eight months cushion you need in this economy. In addition, I must give credit to one of my muses, a fictional character that provided me with an "epiphany" over 20 years ago that motivated me to save rather than waste.
For those of you who have not read James Clavell's masterpiece Noble House, you must run out to the library and check it out right away. What made me truly love Noble House was its beloved heroine, Casey. Clearly to have this much affection for a fictional character I had to identify with her on some level.
The level was that Casey was determined to save as much money as she could and worked hard to build her nest egg. She referred to her nest egg as her "F YOU MONEY".
"F YOU MONEY" is the amount of money you need so that you do not have to put up with anybody's BS anymore. It is like the universal "win the lottery" fantasy when you can walk into work the next day and say, "I quit". (A sidebar here; the best question I ever received regarding my book was when a woman asked me if the "F YOU MONEY" could also apply to your spouse! The answer is - yes!)
Accumulating my "F YOU MONEY" was a great motivator for me to develop sensible money habits. These habits were set by my desire for financial security, in tandem with the fine example my parent's set for me in the art and joy of frugality. Nevertheless my levelheaded practices have made me an expert in spending money wisely.
This is not about living a lifestyle as a Trappist Monk, even though they probably have more fun than we think! I love nice things, like Italian shoes, shrimp that was never frozen, a good cut of steak and staying at a luxurious hotel. What I know though, is if I want those things, and want my stash of cash too I have to make trade-offs. This is so "you cannot have your cake and eat it too."
By staying focused on getting my "F YOU MONEY", I have managed to save more money than my colleagues at work (earning the same amount of money). As a result, I am that much closer to reaching my goal - a healthy nest egg and the power and freedom that comes with it. Now, let me help you get the same results.
Copyright Lisa Wysocki, author of: Don't Waste Money, Spend it! - a guide on how to allocate your money so that you spend on things that matter and skimp/return or negotiate on the stuff that does not have the same value in your life.