Why men find women sexy, who can manage a budget. Budgeting is not sexy at all. Some may even consider budgeting boring. We men and women are different beasts. Women are the nurturers and men the hunters and gathers. We have different interest. What women find enjoyable, some men think is dull and boring. Have you heard the gents complaining about waiting while their partner is trying on clothes, and why does it take so long? To the extent, that some shopping centres are thinking up ways to keep men entertained as they know it will bring in more women shoppers. And what men prioritise, we women can find tedious and time-consuming? I know a man that had to organise his family holiday around a Tuesday night table tennis game because he had played 96 games in a row and wanted to get to ‘100’. They left for their holiday on a Wednesday morning and returned the following Tuesday morning, with enough time contingency for a delayed flight. Because l don’t want you to worry, he made his game and reached his 100th game.
At Divorce Angel, when talking to our clients, the different sexes seem to show a pattern. Our research and findings have highlighted two areas men and women think differently about when going through a separation and divorce. Women’s greatest struggles are related to the children, and we often hear comments like, ‘He is trying to take the children’. And for men, it is about money. I overheard a comment while having drinks the other night. There was a group of guys supporting their mate who was having relationship problems, with them saying ‘All she wants is your money’. These similar conversations occur throughout most relationship breakups. But if we look back at history, we were all brought up to believe women are the nurtures- being children and the men hunters and gather – being money.
So, why men find women sexy who can manage a budget? Simple, men worry about money. They go out and (hunt and gather) to get paid and don’t want to see it misused, they want every bit of value out of that hard earned dollar. Think back centuries ago when men would bring back the animal which would be used for everything from food, to clothing and blankets. Today, their masculine brain still thinks the same. Whether they are in construction or IT, men still see going to work as a form of protection and security. It pays the bills, it feeds the family and keeps them warm.
Now, please don’t think l am sexist in any way, and l am far from a kept women. I am just explaining this in simple terms.
Bringing this conversation back into the 21st century, we women work as hard as men, some would say harder. Does this sound familiar, working full time and then coming home to look after a family? A single woman in control of her finances is my hero! And it all starts with knowing your numbers. The power and control that comes from knowing your budget can make all the difference to how you live. Being in control of a budget can make the difference between having a secure future or finding yourself in debt. Having money is empowering. Having money gives you choices. Having money gives you freedom. So if you think doing a budget is boring, a waste of time, and there’s no need to do it. I suggest you think again, because knowing at your fingertips your cash position, at any given time, allows you to think differently.
‘Having money is empowering. Having money gives you choices. Having money gives you freedom’.
Developing a money mindset allows you to think more about investments rather than instant gratifications. It becomes second nature and rather than spending money on THINGS that can give you regret straight after you’ve purchased them, you live within your means and don’t rack up unnecessary debt.
So I’m not going to tell you in this blog how to do a budget, because I’ve already done a blog before on that, click this link to access it. And there are so many ways to do a budget, check out Google or like me start with an excel spreadsheet. But her is the thing; a budget can make all the difference. Not only to how you spend money, but how you attract your next partner. That’s right! I am going to tell you the difference it made to me. Being in control of my money, and knowing how much I could spend and I couldn’t spend, was simply the most empowering decision I ever made. You know why….. it is all about control. Control of my money put control back into my life.
After 22 years of marriage, I found myself having to make my own decisions. Shitting myself and being excited at the same time. No longer having to get another opinion or consent as to where money was being spent. Being a single, newly separated or divorced women, it was my job to know and my responsibility to keep control of my budget. There’s nothing worse than laying in bed at night wondering how you’re going to pay the next bill. Where the rent money is going to come from or how you are going to buy the shoes for the kids? All of those things keeping you up at night.
But when you have a budget, that is in control, and you have rainy day money put aside, I can’t tell you the strength a single woman or man gets from that knowledge. I may make this all sound easy; it is anything but. However, taking control of your money takes time and effort. And you had better start today!
So if you think budgets aren’t sexy, I’d suggest you think again. The power of controlling your life and knowing you have financial security allows you to walk with your head held high. A swagger in your step and an air of self-assurance. Every man and women in the room will be attracted to your poise and self-confidence wondering why you move light on your feet. Then, when he learns you don’t want him for his money. You don’t need him to carry your grocery bags or pay your bills, what is left. It all comes down to satisfaction, ladies. And if he isn’t satisfying your needs, then kick him to the kerb, because you are self-sufficient and in control.
About the Author:
Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’ Tanya provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict that sees you achieving your most financially beneficial outcome possible, now and for the future.
Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home. If you need help and support in this area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice.
She is also the author of ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. If you are looking to prevent any mistakes and save money this book is a must. Purchase your copy here
When you’re single everyone wants to know the secret key to survival. It is even more important when you are going through a separation or divorce. I hate to spill the beans so early, but the answer is simple…..MONEY. And being across your budget, knowing where your money is being spent and how much is coming in each week.
If you are not mathematically-minded that’s okay; you need to simplify your life and your spending, bringing everything back to basics. It is critical that you know how much money is coming in and how much money is going out, making sure funds are left over. It is just a simple math equation. But to get to the answer you need to do a deep dive into your living expenses, and that’s what we’re here to do.
Over the recent weeks, several of our clients have struggled with their financial situation. Simple not understanding the importance of a budget and given it is the end of the financial year, it is a great time to review your spending. Starting this year with a fresh outlook and a plan to get back in the black. It is paramount that your budgets are updated and reviewed if you are separated or are going through a divorce. You can no longer live as you did before. It is also critical to your emotional health at such a stressful time that you have a clear understanding of where your money is going. So, it’s not just about the money; it’s also about the other factors that come into play and making sure that you feel secure. And security comes from knowing that you have enough money to cover your debts and hopefully a little spare.
Ignoring your financial circumstances is the silliest thing you can do. What you need to do is address the issue straight on, and to do that you have to have a clear idea of how much debt you are in and how much money you are bringing in each week. Putting your head in the sand and ignoring your position will only make everything worse. And emotionally that is the last thing you need to deal with. But so often finances can be the breaking point when you are dealing with all other kinds of emotional stresses. People think they will leave this till last as they feel there are other more important issues to deal with and they simply don’t have the strength to deal with their money concerns.
‘So obviously if your debt outweighs your income, then you’re in trouble, and the longer this continues, the greater the problem becomes.’
Now, this can be scary, but they say most growth happens in the face of fear. And l can attest to this. If you know, for instance, that your debt is far more than your income, it’s time to put the brakes on right now. If you can’t do this alone, then seek out a professional. Sometimes just talking to an expert about the state of your budget can make all the difference because you may not be able to see the quick fixes. And l promise there are always quick fixes. You can also locate tools online that can be used and apps that will help you keep track of your expenses and understand where all your money is being spent. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard, ‘I have no idea where my money is going?’
‘You may have heard this all before but be, please don’t ignore the significance of a budget’.
There is no doubt that initially, addressing your spending behaviours can be hard. In my instance, I used to spend money because it made me feel better. Rather than thinking about the unhappiness, I was living. I would go out and shop for gifts for other people, including myself to try and address the unhappiness that I felt inside my relationship. It also got me out of the house while l ignored the loneliness l felt. Looking back if l stopped ignoring my situation, I could have saved a fortune.
Today, however, my outlook on money is completely different, and I only spend cash on assets that are acquiring in value. It could be that my mental clarity and direction in life has changed. I no longer find it enjoyable to go and spend hours in a shopping centre. Because I don’t have a purpose and a reason to be there or trying to fill a void by buying things that might make me feel better. If only for a short period. It is so much easier looking in the rear-view mirror, but all I was doing was perpetuating my problems rather than addressing them in the first place.
So, no more ignoring your spending, let’s get this under control:
‘Fixing your life doesn’t just mean leaving an unhappy relationship or the shock of being told you are no longer loved. The approach to happiness is holistic and must address every part, so don’t underestimate the power of controlling all areas including finances.’
Step One: ( A position – Income)
Step two is looking at your income and the total of your funds. Here we are talking about income from your job, child support, tax A and B, spousal maintenance or any other including rental income. You may also get a regular bonus or commission from your job. Add this all up. Now you can tackle this one of two ways. Divided by 12 and get a monthly average, or if you want to be more actuate you can do it as per your monthly totals.
Step Two. ( B position – Expenditure)
The first action is to look at where all your money is going. I want you to do a spreadsheet looking back over the last 12 months. Look at where all of your money has gone—so using actual figures. Look at amenities, such as gas, electricity and water. Add each bill up for the last 12 months. Once added together, with a yearly total for each area divided by 12. (So let’s talk about the gas bill. You’re going to add up the last six gas bills because you get them bi-monthly. Then divide by 12 because there are 12 months, and you’re going to get a monthly figure. This is the total amount you have spent in the last year on gas.)You will do the same thing for electricity and water. Then move on to other expenses such as the internet, vehicle costs, mortgage payments/rent, and so on. Dividing all yearly totals by 12 to get a monthly totally.
Then tackle your food bill. This area has a lot of wastage. Think of the amount of take away coffees and lunches you may buy in a week and times by 52. The total may shock you. Your weekly grocery bill and that sneaky fast food a few times a week. Go over your credit card statement or your debit card and have a look back at actual figures.
Also, review such things as presents. Work out how much you spend every Christmas, how much you spend on birthday presents, how much you spend on Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and presents throughout the year for friends and family. Add that all together and you get a total and divide that by 12.
If you had a credit card, with an outstanding balance, I want you to use the credit card limit for this exercise. For example; let’s say your credit card has a $10,000 limit, but you have $8,400.00 outstanding. I want you to times that credit card limit of $10,000 by 3%. ($10,000 by 3% is $300 or $5,000 by 3% if that is your limit being $150). Now use that 3% figure in your budget. $300 per month is the figure that I want you to use in your monthly. You also need to include any mortgages, car or personal loan repayments at today’s repayment amounts.
‘All of a sudden you have a clear picture of where all your money is going. With calculations done you now have your debt position or expenditure’.
We now have an A position and have just completed your B position.
A position – income
B position – expenditure
Now that magic number, drum roll, please! We are going to work out your C position. Either a negative cash flow or a positive surplus. Let’s take A – B = C
All of a sudden reality hits and for some it may be hard. If you have a negative surplus, straight away you need to stop what you’re doing and address this problem because it will only compound month after month. If you have a positive position, I want you to make sure that it is at least 10% of your wage. This 10% is your rainy day money.
There is a possibility that you are still shaking after finding out your financial truth and feeling a little sick in the stomach. But this is a step in the right direction and kudos to you. Now to address this moving forward, I’ve had many clients who have done some completely outside-the-square thinking. Which has benefitted their bottom line.
They’ve sold unwanted clothing on eBay.
I had a client that went through their partner’s garage and took everything that had a price on it back to Bunnings. They ended up getting $10,000—or just under $10,000—in credit notes back from Bunnings.
Selling unwanted furniture, goods, clothes, shoes, camping gear that you haven’t used for years that you can put on your local Facebook group and buy swap and sell.
Renting out your spare room. (One client pays back her monthly mortgage this way)
Selling your hobbies at markets or online.
Sell your car if you work inner city and use public transport or shared vehicles.
There are apps where you can rent out your car to people who don’t have a vehicle.
Get paid to do market research. ( A client of mine get roughly $400 A month)
Become a Customer service rep. ( check this out online for after-hours work).
Baked goods or cater for additional income.
Consider house sitting or moving in with a family member and renting out your home.
Cleaning services or repair person in your spare time.
Write people’s CV and charge them.
Ask for a raise.
‘Every little bit adds up.’
With your extra money consider paying down the debt with the highest interest rate first. (This is normally a credit card facility). It is the accrued interest that is keeping your poor. So get a handle on it. Cut up the card if you must but don’t spend another cent unless you can afford it and it is not credit.
The next part of this is to go back over your providers and see if you can get a better deal. Ring your gas supplier, and ask for a cheaper rate or move somewhere else. This hard work will all pay off.
Now attached to this blog I’ve added a budget template. I want you to download and use it, and get this under control. Security is knowing you can pay your bills. Ultimately one of the strongest positions that you can have as a single person. As part of our 5 Steps to a Seamless Divorce, the area of finances is key to a positive outcome and future. We spend time and effort on this because no good comes from ignoring this area of your life. Empowerment comes from investment and investment cant happen if you live outside your limits.
Like anything we do in life, information is key to success and l plan on giving you the keys to saving money at this critical time. In this blog, l will explain the five areas that can save you money during a divorce. Some are mistakes, and they can be easily preventable, and the others cost-saving measures. Depending on your highest values, will depend on the direction you take to achieve the outcome you want. When l went through my divorce l learnt a lot about highest values and how to align them with my new life. It meant rearranging mine to meet new expectations and putting money at the top of my list. I don’t mean before family, but money certainly changed from something l never really worried about, to something that kept me up at night. Money gives security and all l wanted was to feel safe and secure again.