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  • Writer's pictureMarie H.

10 Tips for Managing Money - Joie de Vivre, A Healthy Dose of Reality, and the Power to Choose

Awaiting a wind-kissed flurry of cupids to deliver my perfect husband to me. To be chosen with intention and to begin our tribe of life and love was what I was expecting. We would quietly and thoughtfully tuck away funds to build our future together and grow our influence and dreams as partners. Some of us are more poetic than others, I guess. Alternatively, others are a bit more realistic with the world in early adulthood.

Stopped dead in my tracks, I was diagnosed with malignant thyroid cancer in my early twenties. To say it was a shock was an understatement. I underwent a full thyroidectomy and radiation. My world started to move in slow motion with impending dread. Surprisingly my dreams became more vivid and manifesting my ideas grew more powerful. The notice of a “clean bill of health” from the doctor was just the beginning of my foundation of strength. Although I’ve always been a brave and adventurous soul, this was when I started living out what I later would define as a bucket list. No one was going to tell me that I couldn’t do something or didn’t have the means. For years, I was hellbent on living a life with no regrets and manifesting dreams. Deep down, I questioned whether I would even live past 35 or 40 with the recurrence of cancer.

I would say my search to be “chosen” widened and I was resiliently hopeful about romance and love. I was optimistic about correcting financial neglect in the future, knowing that right around the corner I would become complete. I was of the subconscious mindset that budget planning was for those that believed they were limited in their current state and didn’t believe in the potential of life. I believed I was almost there and everything else would catch up.

A couple of lovely but failed relationships later, I swallowed a bitter dose of reality. I wasn’t dying, oh, and my finances were kind of struggling. This girl from Oshkosh, WI lived in Chicago, New York, and briefly in Capetown, South Africa, and Miami. She flew on a private jet on safari, photo shoots in NYC, and worked in ancient art galleries in Chicago and New York. This girl from Oshkosh with a relatively fancy life, was living check to check with no financial plan. I was living the joie de vivre, checking off the amazement, and eating it up like candy.

Flash forward several chapters to now. I am in a place of consistency and a different kind of intention, fully utilizing my education and qualifying for some comfort and ease in my forties. Finally. My finances have come full circle. I educate myself and review what matters most to my daughter and I as I build our financial freedom after a season of deep struggle, devastation, and introspection. Life is good. I have love and creativity at my fingertips. I envision and dream, and budget in a way to sustain us and develop plans for wealth in our future. A future that I acknowledge as mine.

Here are 10 tips that resonate with me as I research managing money and my journey towards security and building opportunities for growth:

  1. Untracked money is a fool’s game.

  2. Mistaking financial knowledge for mastery is dangerous. Do your research. Ask experts.

  3. Understand what your “number” is. The amount to satisfy your ultimate lifestyle goals.

  4. Invest in yourself with assets that grow tax free like a 401k/retirement fund or education savings account.

  5. Build and segregate multiple income streams.

  6. Comparative wealth is a losers game. The truth is, you have no idea how others got into their current situation, so comparing your life to theirs at the surface level is not healthy.

  7. Failing to follow a plan leaves wealth up to chance. Know your vehicles to get there. Become a student of wealth. If you are financing your lifestyle, you can’t afford it.

  8. Teach children about money management.

  9. Real Estate - Buy to sell. You can buy and hold but have an exit strategy if you need it (i.e. renting out your property).

  10. Periodically take money off the table and put it in safe places. (Money market account, S&P)

These days I understand the power of doing the choosing and not waiting to be chosen. I have the freedom to not self-sabotage our future as a family by living in the moment. I am inspired to rise above average and educate myself on new opportunities.

The adventurous, brave, and dreamy spirit hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s being reallocated with intention. Choosing or not, I still want to be swept off my feet, but the rest I won’t leave to chance.

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