Money Talk

October 11, 2017

Show Me the Money! How to Negotiate

Did you know that women themselves contribute to the wage gap?

The reason is very few NEGOTIATE their salary.

This occurs from our first job all the way through our career.  Most women are unwilling to advocate for themselves, it makes them uncomfortable.  In fact only 16% of women negotiate during ANY salary discussion.  We leave approximately ONE HALF MILLION dollars ($500,000.00) on the table over the life of our career by not negotiating our salary!  However, studies have shown we are great at advocating for someone else! So how do we learn to advocate for ourselves like we do for others?

Here are some tips to get you comfortable when the time comes to ask for what you are worth:

  • PREPARE – know how much money you want and why
  • RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS – we often minimize our skills
  • COMMUNICATE COMPETENCY – express this in ways that your competency/skills will help the company
  • PRACTICE – we all know we should do this, but getting those words to role off your tongue in a confident manner is important

Taking personal responsibility of knowing what you are worth and understanding WHO you are as a leader are important pieces for negotiating your salary.  We take pride in showing you how to take that responsibility.

January 27, 2016

Weak leaders try to use money as a motivator

Managers tend to use compensation as a crutch. After all, it is far easier to design an incentive system that will do management’s work than it is to articulate a direction persuasively, develop agreement about goals and problems, and confront difficulties when they arise.

– Michael Beer, Harvard professor of business administration, researcher, and author of papers and books on organization change

leadershipHistorically leadership success has been associated with money and power. For decades now there has been a disconnect to what motivates individuals. Managers consistently list money as the number one factor, and yet for the employee, the number one factor is interesting, challenging, or meaningful work, recognition and appreciation, a sense of accomplishment, growth opportunities, and the like. I’m not saying money is not important, it may just not be the motivator to excel.

So how do you become a strong leader?

Leadership success starts with figuring out what matters most to you and then doing something to advance that goal every day. It’s about focusing on what you are creating and making sure that it represents your leadership style and the outcomes you seek.

Leaders define success so that it’s based on the opportunities and advancements they create for others and not just themselves. Successful leadership is something that happens organically when a leader focuses on the true impact of her actions.

Unfortunately, most leaders prefer to just be what others want them to be, rather than doing the harder work of setting goals for themselves. That is why there are so many leaders that are financially well-off but aren’t connected with those around them. Their identity is their company and their title; they focus only on recognition, salary and bonuses. While these leaders claim to understand the bigger picture, they don’t see what matters most – the people that have made them successful.

A true leader must be mindful of her personal and spiritual goals as well as her professional goals, and take care that her decisions at work reflect not just the kind of money she wants to earn, but the kind of person she wants to be.

What kind of leader are YOU?

December 2, 2015

Women are DIFFERENT

Women are DIFFERENT when it comes to finances. We need to understand and be COMFORTABLE with MONEY. This will result in becoming better leaders.

I am going to share a couple statistics and why this is so important.

Comfortable With Money

  1. 90% of us will manage our own finances due to death or divorce of a spouse
  2. Statistically, we live longer than men, but have smaller nest eggs.

You say – “OK great – thanks for sharing, but what can we do?”
Understand your finances. Know how the money comes in and where it goes out. Get involved.

  • Make sure you have credit in your name ONLY – a credit card will work. Trying to establish credit once something happens is tough – there is no record of “just you” unless you’ve done this.
  • Know where the money is – how it comes in, where it goes out
  • Know who owns what and who gets it when someone doesn’t come back for one reason or another

The reason we have smaller nest eggs are various.

  • We are in and out of the workforce, usually as caregivers, so contributions to 401(k)s and Social Security can be inconsistent and don’t build up as much as our male counterparts.
  • We still get paid less than our male counterparts.
  • We take lesser paying jobs like teachers and administrators for one reason or another.
  • We tend to be more conservative in how we invest.

Some of the above reasons are out of our control, but here are some actions to take:

  • We can learn to be more assertive and negotiate pay or a raise or “toot our own horn”, all which traditionally women have been taught not to do.
  • Get advice and knowledge about investing – it will help you be more confident and maybe help you take a bit higher risk
  • Take risks and go for leadership roles!
November 18, 2015

The American Dream – Asset or Liability?

Ah – the American Dream – own your own home!  We’ve all heard this – it’s been programmed into our heads.  “When you rent – you’re throwing money down the drain, you can’t take a tax deduction for the mortgage interest”.  Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, takes a total opposite view.  He believes a house is a liability unless it is bringing in income.  But I challenge both- is it true?

If you’ve been following me long enough, you know how much I dislike “cookie-cutter” solutions.  Well, the American Dream of owning a home is a “cookie-cutter” belief to me, as well as the piece of advice to “pay off your mortgage as soon as you can” AND what Robert Kiyosaki believes.
WHY,  YOU ASK?

usa realty concept

EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT

A home can be an asset or liability not only FINANCIALLY but EMOTIONALLY.  It doesn’t always come down to dollars and cents.  Consider the following situations – is it an asset or a liability?

  • It is bringing in income – you have a rental home
  • You are in some type of transition – divorce, relocating, retiring – or just not sure of any of the above
  • You have a young family and need a stable place to raise your kids
  • You plan on living there for a long time (paid off or not)
  • You have the nicest house in the neighborhood and the company in town that employs 50% of the population is closing it’s doors
  • You need some cash flow, you want to use the equity in your home to refinance

See what I mean?  Can you say a definitive YES or NO to any of these situations?  Do you know all the details behind each situation?

 

 

October 14, 2015

It’s Not My Job

To be a true LEADER, you want to lead by example. When you know what your employee benefits are AND understand them – that is a sign of YOUR
personal empowerment. What a better way to demonstrate your leadership?

leadbyExampleWhen I mention the topic of company benefits, many say “It’s not my job – that’s Human Resources job”. Yes, Human Resources still plays a huge part in explaining company benefits, but when you become a resource, leadership is demonstrated. An added benefit it that you, personally, won’t experience too many surprises if the “what if’s” happen!

With open enrollment typically happening this time of year, here are some main items to become knowledgeable about:

  • Health Insurance
    • Who is covered?
    • What is covered?
    • Is mental/behavioral health covered?
    • How much is the premium?
    • How much is the deductible?
    • Is there a copay?
    • If you “opt out”, can you get back in the group plan?
  • Maternity Leave
    • Is there a policy/ what is it?
    • Is adoption leave included?
  • Long and short term disability
    • KNOW what the difference is
    • What percentage of my pay do I get for long term disability and how long does it last?
    • Does the company pay for the disability insurance or do I?
    • If the company pays for it, can I purchase more myself?
  • Life Insurance
    • Is it offered/what type?
    • Can I get coverage for my family?
  • Retirement
    • What type? (401(k), 403(b), SEP, SIMPLE, for example)
    • Is there a company match, if so, how much?
    • Is there a ROTH provision?

Depending on the company, some other benefits may include a Health Savings Account (HSA), Long Term Care Insurance, Identity Theft, Legal Plans, and Retirement Planning.

Look for more info to come (I could write whole articles on each one of these topics). This is a good place to start. Go ahead – print this out and take it to your HR person, get answers and LEAD BY EXAMPLE!

September 9, 2015

The Bottom Line

In-surveys-25-times-moreThe bottom line of business is to make money, yet so many don’t want to talk about M.O.N.E.Y. To be an effective leader, understanding MONEY is as important as communication skills. Think about how money is intertwined in everything you do.

Knowing your value/your salary/negotiating for a raise

Too many times women don’t appreciate the value they bring to the table and fail to negotiate their salary when they first start a job, let alone negotiate for raises as they progress in their career. When you KNOW your value, you become stronger.

Do your homework.

  • Research what the current salary is for your type of position on a regular basis
  • Know the financial goals of the company and how you play a part in reaching those goals
  • Keep ongoing, good records of your accomplishments and how they help the company reach its goals – DON’T wait until it is review time

Understand the culture of the company
Some company cultures have open job posting/salary ranges; others keep it all a secret (a personal pet peeve of mine). Know how job positions are filled and work the system, be proactive.

  • Know if you have to be in a certain position for a specific time before looking to move
  • Ask what the salary range is for a particular position if it is not listed
  • Ask what the expectations are to achieve the highest salary
  • Talk with people who currently hold a similar position and how they see their role in achieving the company’s goals – is it a fit for you?

Know your strengths
I realized after a number of years, that I morphed jobs so that they fit my strengths and built my career AND my salary.

Rarely did I leave a job the same as when I came into it. If you are a true leader, you will do the same. By knowing your strengths, you leverage your worth. You’ll know you did a good job when you leave and it takes two or three people to do the same job you did

We’ll talk more about how understanding MONEY is such an important piece of being a leader in future blogs!

March 4, 2015

Using your power…

As women, we hold a lot of power that we forget that we have.  It’s the power of the purse.  Women make more than 80% of all purchasing decisions.  That is a lot of financial power.  But we don’t use it as wisely as we could.  So, here is one way that we could start to use it a little more wisely.  NAtop_50FE has just come out with its annual list of the top 50 Companies for Executive Women.  These are companies that ” work hard to nurture corporate cultures that welcome and celebrate women at the executive level.”

Check out the list.  You can find it on the Working Mother website.  You can even sort it by state.  As you are deciding where to invest, where to shop, even where to make your next job move, remember this list.  And remember the power that you have.  And flex your muscles!!

 

December 7, 2014

Why Women Are Different

I am revisiting the whole reason I started doing what I do now. Women are DIFFERENT when it comes to finances. All the stereotypes that are out there can be basically done away with. These are facts – with women being 51% of the population in the U.S. – this needs to be addressed.

Why Women Are DifferentI am going to share a couple statistics and why this is so important.

  1. 90% of us will manage our own finances due to death or divorce of a spouse
  2. Statistically, we live longer than men, but have smaller nest eggs.

You say – “OK great – thanks for sharing, but what can we do?”

 
Understand your finances. Know how the money come in and where it goes out. Get involved.

  • Make sure you have credit in your name ONLY – a credit card will work. Trying to establish credit once something happens is tough – there is no record of “just you” unless you’ve done this.
  • Know where the money is – how it comes in, where it goes out
  • Know who owns what and who gets it when someone doesn’t come back for one reason or another

The reason we have smaller nest eggs are various.

  • We are in and out of the workforce, usually as caregivers, so contributions to 401(k)s and Social Security can be inconsistent and don’t build up as much as our male counterparts.
  • We still get paid less than our male counterparts.
  • We take lesser paying jobs like teachers and administrators for one reason or another.
  • We tend to be more conservative in how we invest.

Some of the above reasons are out of our control, but here are some actions to take

  • we can learn to be more assertive and negotiate pay or a raise or “toot our own horn”, all which traditionally women have been taught not to do.
  • Get advice and knowledge about investing – it will help you be more confident and maybe help you take a bit higher risk.

I work with many couples. It is usually the woman who comes to me first in these cases. Once the woman feels comfortable asking her spouse the questions I coach her on, they end up coming as a couple. I think this happens because most spouses want to take care of each other – they just don’t take the time or know how.

If this is you and your spouse – give me a call or email (Contact details are in the side bar).

November 19, 2012

People who have a financial plan are more confident

More and more people are delaying retirement, concerned about having enough money now and in the future. But guess what? Studies have shown no matter what your income level, having a financial plan builds more confidence about your financial future. Those that have taken the time to look at their finances report more success managing money, saving and investing. When low income families have a financial plan, they are more likely to pay their credit cards in full and avoid debt.

November 8, 2012

Are you heading for your fiscal cliff?

It may be time for a money makeover. Because too often, women fail to put themselves in the driver’s seat of their own financial lives. No matter how little or how much you have to work with, Deb Schmitz shows you how to get wherever you want to go, financially speaking, in style.

Just like you update your wardrobe, you need to look at your financial closet and check the contents for keeping and protecting what you have, as well as seeing that your money will get you where you want to go.
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