A New Year is all about looking to the future. The part of the future that worries most of us – especially in these tough economic times – is our personal finances. How do people who seem to have this under control, manage it?
It’s because they take themselves out of the present, at least where their money is concerned. They “think like a man” – even if they’re women; they rethink their resumes; and they look for ways to pad their bank balances on a monthly basis.
The “thinking like a man” is a result of surveys taken on how men and women view money differently. It turns out that the top response for women, vis-a-vis their personal finances, was how to save it: a penny here, a dollar there. Men were most concerned about how to get it – as in, more of it: will I get a 2% raise, or a bonus, this month?
One interviewer concluded that women’s biggest financial mistake was not being as upfront as men in asking for more money. This timidity may be rooted in self-esteem issues: maybe some women don’t think of themselves as worthy of a raise. But when it comes to finances, which are central to everyday life, it’s time to give yourself a mental pep talk.
If you’re looking for a job, make sure your resume is not so much a summary of past accomplishments as a glowing report on how your presence made life better for your previous employers. And work the numbers! List the percentages on how you improved sales or efficiency. Or how much money your working there saved them.
If you already have a job, sit down and make a list of all those ways you improve your company’s performance or bottom line or both. Take the list and your firm belief in yourself and march into your boss’s office, and make your case for a raise. Even if they can’t give it to you at that moment, you’ve planted the seed; when the time comes for doling out extra money, you could find yourself at the head of the list.
Looking to the future is more than just paying attention to your current salary, though. While waiting for that raise, consider finding another way to add to your monthly income. First, decide on what increase you want to work toward – say, an extra $500 – then start scouring online job sites for part-time work.
These could be something as mundane as courier for a copier business (dropping off and picking up old and new copiers pays up to $20 an hour). Once you’ve learned how to handle something small, go back with the new addition to your resume and find another “small job” that pays a little more.
Call it “forward thinking”; call it “thinking like a man”. Once you’ve changed your perspective to thinking of your own value, by asking for a raise, rewriting your resume, and picking up extra cash from part-time work, you will find your personal finances secure.