Don’t let your past mistakes get in the way

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Don’t let your past mistakes get in the way

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No one is born with money management skills

The only financial education I got when I was a teenager was one day in class the teacher showed us how to fill out a check. She didn’t discuss how to balance the checkbook or anything else about money. Even then I thought that was so odd. I couldn’t figure out why she was only teaching us how to spend money. 

My mother was a bookkeeper but never taught me how to manage my accounts. Actually, she never said anything about money until one day when I was already an adult and had a business. I had received a check from a client that bounced which created a ripple effect and caused all kinds of problems. I called my mother and yelled at her. Why hadn’t she taught me anything about accounting or bookkeeping?  She came over the next day and taught me how to balance my check book and told me to not spend money I received until the check had cleared the bank.  Helpful information but still not all that I needed to know. 

By the time we’re adults, we are expected to be able to manage our money effectively; however, few of us are taught how. Therefore, many people experience the usual emotions that occur when they don’t know how to do something well.

These may include: 

  • Frustration
  • Guilt
  • Envy
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Disappointment

Like driving a car or playing an instrument, the skill of managing money must be learned – and it’s never too late to start! If you put fear to the side, doing so can lead to immediate benefits. You won’t necessarily make more money if you have a budget and track your spending, but you will be able to use the money you do have to make your life more joyous now and in the future. Learning how much your life really costs might just motivate you to look for ways to increase your income so you have more money for the things you desire.  It’s likely that you will also feel more deserving of making more money now that you are a skilled money manager. 

If you manage your finances responsibly you will have peace of mind and know how to:

  • Get the most from the money you have
  • Live without debt
  • Save for the extras that make life enjoyable
  • Avoid constant money anxiety
  • Save for unexpected expenses and life events

The foundation of sound money management is a budget. However, for many people, the word “budget” evokes feelings of fear, frustration and shame. Your budget is simply your plan for how you will use your money. It is based on choices you make and priorities that you identify. You are in control and can allocate your money to be used for the things you care about and give your life meaning.

Creating a spending plan, or budget, is a step–by–step process. Once complete, your budget is a tool you can use to plan for future possibilities.

If setting up a budget is something you have been putting off or are afraid to tackle please think about hiring a money coach to help you. Taking control of your finances really can change your life.

Sheryl  Kosovski

Sheryl Kosovski

Money and Business Coach

I think of myself more as a self-love or self-worth coach than as a money coach. I help my clients see their value, so they come to believe they are worthy of more. Sure, I also teach them to make spending plans and how to get out of debt and save. More importantly, I help them to see that by taking care of their money they can better take care of themselves and the people they love.

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless

Save money no second income

Ask An Expert

Ask an Expert – What are ways to save money now that we don’t have a second income?

Jason Conger Financial Advisor

Answered By

Sue McQueen

Financial Professional


What are ways to save money now that we don’t have a second income?


First thing is to adjust your priorities. Remember this key point: It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. Along with setting priorities comes one tough rule of life: You can’t have everything. You have to make conscious decisions about every purchase.

An important concept to understand is want vs. need:

• A need is something you have to have, something you can’t do without. You “need” food. You “need” shelter.
• A want is something you would like to have. You “want” ice cream. You “want” a bigger house.
You may have to make sacrifices for a period of time and go without some of your “wants.” It’s not that tough, but it is very, very important to your financial health.

Look for ways to reduce spending or eliminate expenses, freeing up more money to save. Some common areas to look at are auto and home insurance, cable and internet, club memberships, subscriptions, and eating out.


We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless

How do I budget? Where do I start?

Ask An Expert

Ask an Expert – How do I budget? Where do I start?

Jason Conger Financial Advisor
Answered By

Linda Lingo

Money Coach


How do I budget? Where do I start?


Most of us have tried budgeting not once but many times during our lifetime.


We probably didn’t use a budgeting or tracking system that meshed with our personality. One size doesn’t fit all! In fact, there are many ways to track your expenses and more than one way to budget! Everyone has their own individual way of tracking expenses and budgeting and that’s why it’s so important to know yourself.

Are you a pen and paper gal, a spreadsheet nerd, or do you like using apps? There’s a method for everyone, and sometimes it just takes experimenting to find the right one for you. So how do you get started?

Step one is to track your expenses. Make it simple by spending a couple of minutes each day recording where you spend your money (this includes cash, too). Keep all of your receipts to make this easier. It’s important to track your expenses so you know where you are spending your money, on what categories.

Step two is to develop a budget. Once you have “data” you can make changes like saving more or paying off debt. When reviewing your expenses, ask yourself, “Did I spend more than I made or less than I made?” And the good news is, there’s more than one budget hack!

This is where you get to pick the one that works best for you:

1) Backwards Budget

2) Zero-Sum Budget

3) 50/30/20 Budget.

Whichever budget you choose, sticking to it is enormously satisfying. Telling your money where to go each month gives you feelings of control, power and independence. All the good stuff. 

Everyone has their own individual way of tracking expenses and budgeting and that’s why it’s so important to know yourself.


We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless

Beginning a Budget


Beginning a Budget

You’ve committed to setting a budget. Good for you! The trouble is, making that decision leads to a long, difficult list of other questions. What am I spending? What’s my real income? What are my goals? Most important of them all: Where the heck do I start?

Crafting a sensible budget that fits your needs requires a little legwork. Here’s a helpful list of questions to ask as you begin your journey. Follow this guide and you’ll be headed down the road to better financial health no matter what your goal is.

How are you going to keep track?

To be successful, you need a process of accountability and consistency. Figure out what computer programs you’ll use to assist in tracking your dollars. I recommend You Need a Budget. There’s a $6.99 monthly fee, but the comprehensive suite of budgeting tools is powerful and fairly easy to navigate. Mint is popular and free but with fewer bells and whistles. I highly recommend Trim, an free tool that watches your accounts and alerts you to issues. With a little research, you might find another that works for you.

Why do you want a budget?

Determining your motivation informs the decisions you make. Looking to bolster your retirement funds? Concerned about overspending in certain areas? Thinking of upgrading your house? Dying to take a vacation? Itching to travel or backpack across Europe? Getting married? Starting a family? There’s no wrong answer. There might even be more than one. You just need to figure out what you are driving towards to make sure you get to the destination.

What are your necessary expenses?

It’s likely you’ll be able to come up with these easily. This list includes mortgage or rent, credit card bills, groceries, insurance and car payment.

What are your irregular expenses?

Even mindful money people tend to forget certain expenditures. How much do you really spend on Starbucks? Do you go to the movies more than you realize? A quick peek at your online bank and credit card statements can be eye-opening. Go through them with a fine-toothed comb to get a strong handle on where your budget can budge and where it can’t.

What’s your total income?

You’ll never be certain about how much you’re making until you take stock. Include your wages, but don’t leave out investment income, child support or alimony, and anywhere else you are earning money (dog walking, a side gig or that illegal poker night you are running).

To be successful, you need a process of accountability and consistency.

What are your financial goals?

This step takes the first question on this list and expands upon it. For example, you want to retire when you reach 65. Or, you’d like to set sail on that dream cruise two years for now. Take your motivations, and turn them into goals by making them specific. For some helpful perspective, check out this piece on SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goal setting.

What are the numbers?

Time to drill down and determine how much you need to reach your goals. Say, how much will you need to save to retire comfortably? How much is your ideal house likely to cost? Or, what will tuition be at your kid’s chosen school when it’s time to enroll?

Do you need to talk?

If you’re the sole member of your household, there’s less need for a conversation. If you’re married, or living with kids or other family, it’s time to chat. The conversation topic: spending to reach your goals. Make sure everyone knows where to pull in the reins on those irregular expenses and determine together what is unnecessary. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have that Starbucks or new purse, but determine what is more important and worth giving up to reach that bigger goal. Further, ensure no one makes a big spend unless they check with others in the house.

What kind of budgeting approach is best?

There are many different tracks to take when working towards a budget. For example, the zero-sum philosophy dictates every dollar you take in has a home. That means whether you’re spending it on expenses, savings or discretionary stuff, you know where it’s going. A similar approach is 50/30/20–50% toward needs, 30% for things you want, and 20% to savings.

No matter what your approach, you will need to evaluate your regular and irregular expenses and make some choices.

Once you’ve answered all of the above questions, it’s time to take action and enter the numbers. Budgeting isn’t by any means an easy process. It is, though, but necessary to achieve your dreams. Need a hand? Contact Purse Strings–we’d be happy to connect you with a Purse Strings Approved Professional who is an expert at walking women like you through the process.

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless