Cash Flow is King(and Queen!) for small businesses. We all know that having regular net profits is essential for a business to keep running. However many small business owners overlook the dangers of debt until it is too late! Debt creates personal and business risk. I know this firsthand, as the business debt I carried for many years kept me from investing in business growth, and destabilized my household. When there are economic downturns, personal transitions, or challenges in your business, debt payments can take over your cash flow and reduce it to a trickle. It is very painful to have to keep making payments when your income is down and you have no cash in the bank. And all businesses experience cycles of ups and downs in gross income. So what can we do?
Having a pro-active strategy to use cash to start and grow your business is the answer. Even large businesses such as Apple, Amazon, and Bed Bath & Beyond all grew and operate debt-free! The key is to start small, with a product or service that you know will be profitable. You then grow the income from that product or service as fast as the market will allow, or "organically". Keeping business expenses low and putting some money from the business aside for taxes & retained earnings ensures you have stability for any fluctuations in the market. Then you also have the ability to invest in business expansions with cash. Cash in the bank will make you feel like a King or Queen in your business, empowered and wealthy!
Here are some basic tips if you are starting a business, or have a successful business and want to create better cash flow.
1. SAVE UP FIRST. To get your business started or to make improvements in a current business, save up cash first. 60% of small businesses start with less than $5000 cash. Whether you are investing in a prototype product, or getting your first business cards & office supplies, use the leverage of your day job, or current source of income, to get things up and running. This step requires patience, and resourcefulness, but it sets you up for a lifetime of wealth in your business.
2. PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Use the "Baby Steps" of Wealth-Building** to begin to build some retained earnings for emergencies, market fluctuations, and business expansion. Set aside a percentage of your net profits for: 1)Baby Step 1, $1000 in business savings, 2)Baby Step 2, paying off all business debt using the debt snowball, and 3)Baby Step 3, 3-6 months operating expenses in savings. Once you complete Baby Steps 1-3, you can move on to Baby Steps 4-6, serious wealth-building for household & business. **For more info on the Baby Steps, see the blog posts below.
3. GROW PROFIT FIRST. Look at your business and determine which products/services are profitable, and which are not. Remember, net profit is gross income minus business expenses. Spend most of your energy growing those aspects that are profitable. Profit will feed your family, grow your retained earnings, and fund investments. A hobby will not. Decide if you want to continue the "non-profitable" aspects as a hobby/ministry or if you want to cut them out completely.
Now you are the Queen or King of Cash Flow! You should have regular income coming in from your business, money in business savings, and no business debt whatsoever! Your cash flow is regular, and you have reserves. When an emergency comes you are prepared. When the market fluctuates, you are prepared. When your personal life requires attention you are prepared. Your business is funding personal and business investments. You are becoming wealthy. Congratulations! How does it feel? I can bet you've got incredible peace of mind. When you reach this point in your business let us know! We'd love to celebrate with you!
Yes, that is a picture of my car back end taped together with guerilla tape! No, it does not look good. My liftback opener part broke a month ago. Any other time in my life, I would have been so embarassed at how this looked. I would have rushed out and spent the $500 to have my tailgate part fixed at the dealer. However, since I have been on a Total Money Makeover, now I am willing to look bad for a while if it means maintaining my nest egg. So I decided to cashflow Christmas and a computer repair in December, and put this car repair in January's budget. Got the part used for $200 and I am going to install it myself!
The whole point of my story is that "keeping up with the Joneses" and trying to look good can actually keep us from achieving our financial goals. We can spend beyond our means just trying to impress other people. Other people don't usually really care, and this puts a neediness in our spirit, an unwillingness to be content with what is. When we are always striving to please others, we are not content. So dropping the need to please helps us feel better, AND it helps us save money.
Sometimes we can even make big sacrifices in our desire to look good in order to hit our goals faster! Another thing that helped me pay off $20,000 in debt and save an extra $20,000 in 2 years was deciding to have a roommate. Would I rather have my townhouse apartment for myself and my children alone? Yes absolutely! But does having a roommate help me save $ faster? Yes! Thus the decision was made.
What are your financial goals? Perhaps you'd like to have extra in the bank as a cushion for peace of mind? Want to pay off debt? Build some wealth for your retirement? Whatever your goals may be, take a look at your lifestyle. Where could you sacrifice temporarily to amp up your cash? Here are some ways people have been willing to "look bad" in the short-term so their bank accounts can look good in the long-term!
1. Driving a beater car. Dave Ramsey often talks about how he drove a beater when he was getting out of debt, and it helped his family dig themselves out of a financial mess. He recommends a safe, reliable car, that is UGLY. That will do the job.
2. Having a roommate or cheap housing. Many people pay way too much for their housing. The recommended amount is 25% of your take-home pay. If your rent/mortgage is more than that, or if you want to accelerate saving, you may want to consider taking on a boarder. One great benefit of a roommate is they can help feed the cat when you are gone.
3. Wearing your old clothes until they wear out. Most of us(except my 11 year old son who has grown 3 sizes in one year!) have plenty of clothing in our closets. Why shop for the latest fashions when you can shop in your own closet? Of course get what is necessary. But adding a new pair of earrings or scarf can jazz up old clothes anytime.
4. Using older electronic devices, including phones. Do you really NEED an iphone 7? When we think about it, all of our cell phone and digital entertainment devices are wants, not needs. So what if your phone doesn't have the latest bells and whistles? If it works, it works.
5. Taking your lunch to work and making your own coffee at home. Aah...leftovers! I used to hate them, and I have grown to love them. They are actually delicious! Especially when they come with the taste of success! And don't get me started on how much money giving up my latte habit has saved me! Cha-ching!
What ways have you been willing to "look bad" in order to get financial traction? Let us know what has worked for you! And remember, when you are not driven by the desire to please others all the time, you actually have true contentment. You can be grateful for what you have right now. And as you grow into more prosperity, that contentment goes with you. Then you have spiritual, as well as material, wealth.
"No one ever became poor by giving." ~Mike Todd
So the holidays are upon us! Hopefully we planned ahead in our budget for them. But statistically speaking, most of us didn't. So what do we do with Hanukkah & Christmas coming up and the consumer swirl all around us? If you are trying to keep up with the Joneses in your entertaining and gift giving, you may abandon your financial goals and end up back in debt. If you don't do anything, your kids will cry their little eyes out. So you gotta do something.
Here are some tips from my personal and professional experience making and managing money at Christmas. These tips are geared toward your particular Baby Step, or in other words, "how much real money you have". And remember, you are never too poor to give. Through all the steps it is recommended that you give 10% of your net income to your place of spiritual inspiration or charitable works. Tithing helps you stay connected with what has heart and meaning, creates contentment, and gives a sense of overall abundance. And most people can live off 90% of their income. If you can't, you are not a good money manager!
1. Baby Step 1: If you are working on getting your starter emergency fund together that means you have some debt to pay off and are just beginning your journey with wealth-building. You hopefully have woken up to the dangers of credit cards and would like to have real cash savings in the bank for emergencies, big purchases like houses & cars, and retirement.
At this stage of the game, it is best to keep your gift-giving & entertaining to a minimum. Explain to your family and friends that you are turning your financial life around, and would love to give everyone a thoughtful homemade gift. For kids that require a store bought game or toy, just give one decent-sized gift, and find bargains for the rest. Find free things to do like attending holiday tree lighting displays or school winter concerts. Potlucks are a great way to entertain without giving up your goal to save that $1000. Find contentment in the little things: homemade cookies, children singing, a walk in the crisp winter air.
2. Baby Step 2: Congrats! You have $1000 in the bank and are now intensely working on paying off your debt. This is serious stuff. To stay gazelle intense you are cutting expenses like crazy, working all kinds of extra jobs, and doing a monthly budget. Your kids have learned a new word, "NO", and are hopefully doing chores to help out around the house and earn their own spending money.
When you are getting out of debt, continue on the "free" train! Free entertainment, inexpensive gifts, and potluck meals will support you in continuing to throw all extra money at the debt. You will probably spend something on your kids. That is fine. But enlist them in the adventure. Explain "we are getting out of debt as a family, and we all are working together so Christmas will be simple this year". You can make homemade gifts together: simple bath salts or homemade vinegars are easy and don't cost a lot. Doing a service project together can make things extra meaningful too, like serving a meal to homeless or giving to your local food bank.
3. Baby Step 3 & 3b: Allright, you are out of debt! Woohoo! Now that you no longer have any debt payments it will be tempting to start to ramp up your lifestyle with all your extra cash. But don't stop your gazelle intensity: keep going to save up 3-6 months of expenses in savings. This step makes sure that you are prepared for most of life's common challenges, such as a job loss, vehicle replacement, or medical event. And then Baby Step 3b is to save a down payment for a home purchase.
While in Baby Step 3 & 3b, you probably will be able to spend a little more on the holidays than you did before. Since you are now a pro at budgeting, you may even have a Christmas fund saved up. But don't go crazy! Be sure you are still saving $ toward your e-fund or down payment, in addition to funding Christmas. I found a balance in this step by giving a blend of homemade AND store bought gifts, and enjoying entertainment that was both free AND paid for. Drawing names for adult gifts works in some families. If you want to give to co-workers and friends, a card and a little treat are just fine.
Baby Steps 4, 5 & 6: Fantastic! You are in the serious wealth-building phase now. You have your foundation of your emergency fund and home under you, and are now saving 15% for retirement, saving for your kids' college, and paying off your home early with any extra money. These steps are done all at the same time, and usually take the longest of all the steps.
During this phase, you will want to be more generous. You will definitely have a Christmas savings fund, and be adding to it throughout the year. That Thanksgiving "Oh my God Christmas is in 4 weeks!" panic will be a thing of the past. Continue to get good bargains with items for your loved ones on sale, and lean towards what they truly want, rather than the latest and flashiest. A great rule of thumb is: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Some holiday travel can be budgeted in here, as long as you are continuing your Baby Steps 4, 5 & 6.
Baby Step 7: WOW! You have made it to the final step! Your kids college is paid for, your home is paid for, now all there is to do is continue funding retirement to the maximum you can now that you do not have any payments. This is the time to build wealth, and be outrageously generous!
At this point, the holidays may be a time when you can afford to take a big family trip to Hawaii, a cruise with your sweetheart, or gift all the kids or grandkids with a larger ticket item. Feel free to splurge, you've earned it! Don't forget the heart of the matter by supporting the church and charities that are most meaningful to you. When you are in this step you can begin doing some serious philanthropy. Give bigger than your usual tithe and see how good it feels! Practice random acts of kindness by giving a $100 tip to a waitress just for fun, or paying a single mom's light bill for a year. Don't forget to enjoy those little things: homemade cookies, a beautifully lit tree, or a walk in the crisp winter air. But know you can afford some big things too, and that is ok.
Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy your gift-giving and entertaining at every Baby Step! My hope is that we all learn contentment through this process, so we can enjoy the meaning o the season no matter what is going on with our money. Cheers!
Congrats! When you get to Baby Step 3 you have $1000 in the bank and are completely debt free! Now it's time to start upping your net worth. But hold on! Before you start throwing all your money at investments, it's time to finish Baby Step 3, which is to put 3-6 month of expenses in savings. Okay, this is not as sexy or exciting as the previous 2 baby steps, but it is important.
Baby Step 3b is like insurance. It keeps you from going into debt ever again by providing a safety net for many common emergencies that can come up over a 10 year period: needing to replace a vehicle, temporary loss of a job, medical challenges, or fulfilling the deductible on home insurance for repairs. And I can tell you as a working single mom, this step is a game changer! It means you sleep so much better at night, knowing you have $10,000 in the bank. Whew! I used to pray my way out of emergencies, but no amount of positive thinking ever took away the stress have no emergency fund caused. Now that I have that money in the bank, not only do I sleep better, emergencies seem to happen less often! And when they do, they are merely an inconvenience, not a huge source of stress.
The average 4 person household needs about $10,000 to cover 3-6 months of expenses. Now this is expenses, what you require to keep your household afloat. It does not refer to monthly income, or "fun" spending. It is bare bones expenses. If you make $4000 a month but can run your household(mortgage, transportation, food & utilities) with about $2000 a month, then that is what you should save.
Should I save 3 months or 6 months? It depends. If you have a two income household, an extremely secure job(like with the government), you could lean toward 3 months. If you are a one income household, self-employed, or simply want to feel more secure, you should lean toward the 6 month rule. Among spouses, whoever wants the 6 month emergency fund wins! Helping that person feel more secure is worth it.
To work on saving your emergency fund, you use the same tools that I have taught you before: cut lifestyle in order to reduce expenses, work extra, sell things to up income. Continue to do your monthly budget and stay on track with knowing your ins and outs! The average person saves 3-6 months of expenses in 6 months. I did it in 3. The place to keep your emergency fund is in a place where it is liquid and accessible, like a simple Money Market account at your bank or credit union.
If you do not own a home yet, and would like to own one, saving the money for a down payment is considered Baby Step 3b. It is recommended to save between 10 and 20% down on a home for which the monthly payment is no more than 25% your take home pay. This gives you a good start on a home mortgage while still having money left over to do the later wealth building steps in Baby Steps 4, 5 & 6. A 15 year fixed rate mortgage will protect you from market fluctuations in interest, and make it easier to pay your home off early in Baby Step 5. If you are applying for a mortgage without a credit score, it is recommended you have a 20% down payment. It is very possible to do this with a company like Churchill Mortgage that does traditional underwriting, but the requirements are a bit stricter.
So that's Baby Step 3 & 3b! Please let us know how YOUR baby steps are going below, we look forward to supporting YOU to dump debt and build wealth!
Why is coaching so valuable? How can it help me? Is it worth the cost? As a Master Financial Coach I know that coaching works. Besides coaching hundreds of people over the last 10 years I myself have been coached by several people who help push me, help me achieve more, help me improve my relationships, and help me win with money. My recent stint of being coached by Dave Ramsey's team helped me pay off $20,000 in debt and save an extra $15,000 in a year and a half! In my coaching practiceI have helped others to grow their businesses, improve relationships, and yes, win with money! I personally love giving and receiving coaching, but for many folks this process is new. Why hire a coach?
1. Coaching helps you define your goals. Many people are under such day-to-day money stress that they don't dream anymore. It's hard to look up towards the future when you're looking down at a pile of bills! Coaches help you to begin to dream again, to envision what your life could be like when your money is handled. What do you see for yourself and your family? Would you like tropical vacations? To purchase a nicer home? Have the freedom to do work you love? Have a retirement full of choices and opportunities? Talking with a coach inspires hope.
2. Coaching gets you in action toward your goals. Filling out the net worth sheet, and monthly budget, with your coach, is like a basic action step that gets you out of the "money fog", and into clarity on what needs to be done. A coach helps you get the numbers in front of you, and then helps you brainstorm opportunities to increase your wealth. Oftentimes the solutions are obvious: cut housing costs that are 50% of your income, or apply for a raise when you have been at a job 3 years with no increase. However, a coach can oftentimes help you see things you have overlooked: places in your budget where you can cut costs, or unexpected income sources and places to move money around so that it meets your goals faster. Coaches also help teach the give/save/spend money method, which creates overall life balance through meaningful giving, saving some money for the future, and spending wisely.
3. Coaching can save your marriage! Money fights and money problems are the #1 cause of divorce in North America! Don't be a statistic. Talking with a coach often helps both partners to feel understood, and to diffuse emotional tension that has been building up over money. Coaches can also help couples get on the same page with their goals and dreams, so there is unity. Once couples unite, figuring out the strategy and action items to get there is often easy. And a coach can help facilitate actions to take, and help the couple stay accountable to their goals with regular budgeting and follow-up. The cost of financial coaching is comparable to a standard therapy session. In my opinion coaching is uniquely valuable for couples tackling financial issues, because you get emotional support as well as tactical money strategy in one session.
Some people say, "oh, I can't afford coaching". If you are struggling with money, I say you can't afford not to hire a coach! Most people can cut their cable bill and afford coaching. Before I found Dave Ramsey's method and turned my life around, I wasted so much money on emotional spending. A few hundred dollars spent on financial coaching earlier in the game would have saved me thousands! How much is it costing you to put off getting your money handled?
To inquire about coaching, please visit our private coaching page here.
The Debt Snowball~this is it, folks! Baby Step 2, the "heart" of the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps to building wealth! This is where you find out how serious you are about managing money for the most benefit. Truth is, in our debt-happy culture, this step represents a major change in attitude, lifestyle, and heart. This is where the rubber meets the road. Are you going to change?
I found once I committed to it, this step was the easiest step of all so far. I became "gazelle intense"(like the gazelle running for its life from the cheetah!) and totally changed my lifestyle in order to focus on paying off debt. This single-pointed focus gave me the ability to just throw ALL extra money at the credit cards and loans. I had about $20,000 in consumer debt: credit cards, old phone bills, and my car loan, and I paid it all off in about 6 months.
How did I do this as a single mother? Well, there are 4 things I did that I would recommend to others. Like Dave says, it's not rocket science, but it does require that you change the way you have been operating so far.
1. Spend less money. If you have been living beyond your means on credit cards, loans, and so on, that means there is more spending going on than receiving. Simply reducing the outgo will stop the bleeding. I cut my lifestyle drastically: from renting out a room in my townhouse apartment to couponing and meal planning instead of eating out. I said "no" to my kids a lot, and we found lots of fun free things to do, like going to the park, playing board games, and playing music together. I also reduced my expenses for work, and was more strategic about which activities in my business were profitable, and which simply weren't worth continuing.
2. Make more money. You can also up the income side of the equation! I hustled with my coaching & music business to get more clients, and signed up for as many added hours at my side job at a housewares store as I could! This was the hardest part~I felt like I was working ALL the time, and I was tired. But I could see my debt numbers going down, and that was a huge motivator. I also applied some savings toward the debt, so that gave me a big boost in the beginning of the journey. I sold furniture and household items on craigslist and facebook. I made a goal at the beginning of each month to earn $3-400 miscellaneous income, and achieved it most months!
3. Do a monthly budget! This is a key step: track all ins and outs of your money, and have a plan for where each dollar is going to go before the month begins. I found doing the budget was incredibly empowering for me. In the past I considered it constricting, but now I see it is a tool that helps me get to where I want to go. The budget also helps put each of your expenses into perspective. Dave Ramsey and many financial coaches recommend you keep housing 25-33% of your take-home pay. When I saw my housing costs were 50% of my income, I rented out a room in order to create more margin for paying off debt.
4. Be grateful for what you have. Learning to be content with one's current lifestyle is key. When you give up trying to impress others, life is so much easier! Good homecooked food, a comfortable bed, and quality family time are priceless, and not that expensive to acquire. I found I could be pretty happy without a fancy house, designer clothes, or expensive travel. This created a sense of freedom, and the ability to focus on my own goals without worrying what others were doing. Stop "keeping up with the Joneses". The Joneses are most likely broke and deeply in debt!
When I paid off the last debt in September 2015, I did a "YES" day for my kids to celebrate! They got to choose what they wanted to do and eat all day, and got a spending allowance for treats. And then I took them out for dinner! How are you going to celebrate when you become debt-free? If I can do this as a working single mom, so can you!
In Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps to wealth building, the first step is called Baby Step 1: Save $1000 fast in a starter emergency fund. As a single mother, I can tell you, this step saved my life, and got me on the road to turning my financial life around. You see, I had always made good money. But I blew most of it. At the height of my career I had been making $100,000 a year, but had so much debt and out of control expenses after my divorce that my dream of purchasing a home for myself and my children was out of reach. This was a wake-up call for me: I made too much money to be so broke!
I decided to follow the Baby Steps, which help you build wealth by dumping debt and increasing savings. Baby Step 1 is to save $1000 fast. This breaks the debt cycle by giving you a buffer between you and life. Any new emergencies are paid out of this fund instead of using a credit card. This $1000 is insurance. It should be kept in a place where it is liquid and easily available, like a simple savings account, or cash at home. If you make less than $20,000 a year Dave recommends you save just $500 for Baby Step 1.
There are lots of ways to save $1000 fast. Have a garage sale, or sell something on craigslist/facebook/ebay. Cut back on discretionary spending like eating out or traveling for a month or two. Take on an extra side job, or work overtime at your current job. I had some money in savings, so I simply took my savings down to $1000 and then threw the rest of the savings at my debt, which is Baby Step 2~coming soon in the next blog!
In the past, I always used to "outearn my stupidity", as Dave talks about. I knew I could always make money to cover expenses and unexpected costs, but it kept me constantly scrambling, and on edge emotionally. Baby Step 1 changed all that. Once I had $1000 in the bank that was untouchable for anything but emergencies I slept better at night. There is such a deep peace that comes from knowing you have a backup. While I was getting out of debt I had to use the emergency fund 3 times for car repairs of about $300 each. This was easy and peaceful, without the stress and worry I experienced before. What a relief! I simply paid the bill out of the fund, and then replenished my emergency fund with my monthly income.
How can you free up $1000 fast for your Baby Step 1? I guarantee it, this one step will change your life! It will take you from feeling out of control financially to having actual peace in the realm of money. It is a game-changer. And hopefully it will inspire you to go on to Baby Step 2, and knock out all of your debt except your home!
If you are a single mom, I know the burden of being the only breadwinner weighs heavily on your shoulders. Unless you receive a huge amount of child support, most single moms have to make things work on one income, often an income that is significantly less than that of their male counterparts. Ugh. It is stressful enough raising kids alone! And to have to do the money thing alone sucks as well. No question.
What can you do? As a working single mom myself, I know what it is like to feel despair, rage, and fear about my money. I have been downright terrified. And yet, through steady practice of these 4 things, I have managed to build my business, claw my way out of $20,000 in debt, and build a good nest egg. The days of feeling close to living on the edge are over. I still don't live extravagantly, but we live and eat very well, are able to take vacations now, and can actually plan for big goals like home ownership and a rich retirement. Life is good! Here's what I've learned:
1. First things first. Get a job. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many single moms I meet do not have much income beyond state assistance or child support, and are living so close to the edge that they cannot begin to dream of the future. Steady income brings stability to your situation, and self-esteem. Even if you have to pay for some childcare, move closer to family, be creative with arranging playdates, or work at home with the little ones, working is empowering. A woman who works is a woman who has choices! When I moved to a new town, and my business took a hit, I also got a side job. That extra $500 a month helped tremendously as I was rebuilding self-employment.
If you are making a decent income, but still have little margin in your budget, you might consider going back to school, or doing some strategic planning to up your career track. One of my money mentors Mikelann Valterra of The Women's Earning Institute says if you are a consultant or contractor and have not raised your rates in 2 years, you need to! Your working also demonstrates work ethic for your children. I put my kids to work, and pay them "commissions" instead of an allowance. Working gets you out of the "poor me" victim mentality, and into action towards a future.
2. Give some money away. This may seem strange, since the first tip is to make money. Why give some away? Wouldn't that take food out of my kids' mouths, you might wonder? Well, I'm not talking about giving it all away, just 10%. My coach Toni Stone taught me the practice of tithing, or giving 10% of income, to your local church and place of spiritual inspiration. This keeps you on a path with your higher power, and helps you know you are always guided. I have been a tither for 10 years, and I have found it increases my trust and my faith tremendously! Miracles, bonuses, and blessings seem to show up more often in my life. And really, 10% is not a big deal. If you can't live on 90% of your income, you are not a good money manager anyway.
3. Which leads us to tip #3: Spend wisely. This means, spend according to your means, not the way you wish you were living, or the way you lived when you were married. This one was pretty brutal for me, and I did a lot of "emotional" spending. You know, the spending where you are exhausted from working so hard and you buy that $100 dress because you feel you "deserve" it, or you buy $800 of food at the fancy gourmet store, because you are too tired to bargain shop. Eventually I learned the magic of budgeting, and also to release my grief in healthy ways, so I didn't need to shop addictively. So find healthy outlets for your feelings, and do a written budget every month. A good start for your first budget is to focus on the 4 walls: food, housing, transportation and utilities. Once those are covered, you can add in your giving, saving, debt repayment, and personal spending. For more info on spending wisely, check out my blog below, The Budget Is Your Friend.
4. And finally: Save some money. Saving can be short term or long term, but most importantly, it helps protect you. For me the most revolutionary thing was to build an emergency fund. It has given me the most amazing peace of mind, and ability to cover unexpected expenses without stress. Not only have I been able to cover random car repairs with ease, but I find emergencies actually happen less often! So put a percentage of your income in savings. 10% is a good place to start, though you may want to up that over time as you are building your nest egg for yourself and your children's future. If you have debt, Dave Ramsey recommends you start with a "starter" emergency fund of $500-$1000, and then attack the debt til you get rid of it. Later you can build a "fully funded" emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses in savings.
I promise you, if you do these 4 things consistently over time: work, give, spend, and save in balance, you will go from stressed to blessed. We single moms do a huge job, we deserve lots of help and praise. Please let me know what kind of money stress YOU might be dealing with, and ask any questions you might have. I'm here for you!
What does it mean to be sovereign? The "sovereign" in old europe was the king or queen of the realm. Guess what? I am the sovereign, the queen, of my life. I like that word better than "single mother", which conjures up pictures of a broken down, put-upon, victim.
The word sovereign is powerful. It implies a life in which we are in charge, successfully managing our world with dignity, and yes, may I say, majesty. Woot woot! Much better. It even includes the possibility of a partner, but without losing one's power..
Who knew I would be embracing this sovereign woman life 5 years ago?
When I was married with 2 incomes, living in a 4 bedroom house on 8 acres with a gorgeous home studio, I thought I was the queen. I thought I had it made. I did create some beautiful things: my 2 incredible children, and a thriving personal growth business. Those things were good. I was becoming a leader, learning to support others, and make a good income.
But under the surface, and all my physical things, I was also suffering. I was married to a narcissist who had to look good at all costs~now I see I attracted him because I was a narcissist too, highly invested in appearances and looking good. I had my own dependency and debt issues I was dealing with, and was afraid to leave him, lest I lose all my golden treasures. I put up with verbal abuse because I didn't want to take on more responsibility.
I didn't want to change.
Ultimately, though, my inner desire for growth won out. Through the help of a powerful sovereign woman: my coach, and my spiritual community, I finally got the courage to get a divorce, move to a new town, and start from scratch as a working single mom. I did lose many of my golden treasures, as I fumbled my way along learning how to do the single mom thing. I spent more money than was wise for my situation. I often felt bereft, lost and alone.
And then I found the most golden treasure of all: my sovereignty.
I discovered I could live, and thrive, on my own. I found a way to say "no" to emotional spending, and spending money just to "look good". I found new friends who valued spiritual and emotional health as much as physical things. Now, besides God of course, I am in charge of this earthly realm. I pay the bills, I manage the household. I only allow positive people in my home. I do work I enjoy, and my kids are happy. I love living in an apartment because it is so easy to take care of, and the return on investment is very high! My net worth is increasing by leaps and bounds so we will buy a home again...on my terms.
If you are a single parent, I congratulate you! Your sovereign status reigns. And if you are partnered, I invite you to consider a sovereign life, where you are a skillful manager of what is required. Don't stay with your partner because you fear making it on your own, or you fear losing your creature comforts.. Stay with them out of the pure joy of being together!
This is just the beginning.....watch and wait, see what we create.
Kathy Kali is a sovereign woman, small business owner and mom of 2.
She has a one-eared cat, loves to dance, and is dating the guy who lives next door.