by Alexandra Pauline - February 20, 2012
Take Your Finances from Fragile to Fabulous
Wondering what could possibly equal the excitement of Missoni at Target? Yes - tax season is almost here!
Ok… tax time gets a bad rap. But since we want to look at your bank account as being half full - rather than half empty - here are some things you can do to make tax season (a least a little bit) more tantalizing!
While you're busy preparing your tax returns, your recent financial history is staring you right in the face! Instead of freaking out, open your eyes and take an honest look at your year. Did you reach your money goals? Or did another year of potential savings slip you by?
According to Lois P. Frankel, author of Nice Girls Don't Get Rich, "Women have a very complex relationship with money…we don't think accumulated wealth is important. And what you focus on is what you get." So, whether it's starting a small CD or paying off your student loans, setting a financial goal is key when it comes to financial independence.
Maybe you're tempted to invest your tax refund in the market - but afraid to pull the trigger? Ginita Wall, CPA and co-author of It's More Than Your Money - It's Your Life! said, "While men procrastinate because they have something they'd rather be doing, women tend to put off investing because they are afraid of making a mistake." Don't let being a perfectionist get the best of you! Instead, start off with small amounts of money and invest in the products you and your friends use. Another good tactic is talking to your employer about their options as many companies offer stock options upon hiring.
Get Out Of Your Financial Comfort Zone
Investing your tax refund is an excellent way to start saving. And if you're already in the habit of saving your refund, this year consider mixing up the types of investments you make! Diversified savings portfolio are typically the strongest (even if they're teeny tiny).
If you put all your money into your kids' college fund - and ignore your personal IRA - your financial status will likely remain stagnant. "The reason more women are not financial successes is they don't want to be uncomfortable. Any time we do something we're not used to doing - asking for a raise, buying some stock - it feels uncomfortable." It might feel risky at first, but try saving towards different things every month, or rotating between saving for yourself and saving for your kids every other month to help round out your overall financial future.
Become a Risk Taker!
From accepting a new position to figuring out where to purchase your first home, making money is all about risk. Don't fear it, EMBRACE IT! The easiest way to make a change is to educate yourself. After tackling your taxes, vow to learn one new thing about where you can invest your money every day, and evaluate whether you can work these new ideas into your financial outline. As Wall points out, "If you're investing in guaranteed income funds, you're not even going to keep up with inflation and taxes." Learning more about what you can do to diversify your savings and investments a crucial step towards taking charge of your financial future!
When it comes to married couples, most women handle the day-to-day finances and leave the future planning to their husbands, according to Bankrate.com. This is a huge mistake! If you're in a relationship, make sure that you know all of the accounts where your money is stashed, how much money is coming in, and where all of your money is going. Tax time is the perfect time to sit down with your honey to get specific about your collective goals and stay fully involved in the family finances.
Our favorite thing about Tax Time? It's a second chance to make a New Year's resolution. Even if you haven't exactly stuck to the financial resolutions you made January 1st, the government is giving you another chance to start the year - at least your financial year - off right!
Read more at Fabandfru.com