Financial planning is not a female issue or male issue – it’s important for everyone trying to build a successful, financially secure future. Nonetheless, navigating the world of personal finance is a challenge for many Canadian women, and that puts their prospects for a financially secure future at risk.
This is not just speculation: a 2018 survey by research firm Leger found that 86% of Canadian women reported having at least one struggle related to their finances, while 38% reported knowing “very little” about finance and investment.
There are no quick fixes that will instantly solve the challenges that Canadian women face in managing their finances. However, there are steps that women can take to move in a positive direction. Approaching financial planning with mindfulness is a good place to start.
Seeing more clearly with mindfulness
Mindfulness is the idea of being fully present in the current moment while objectively analyzing and accepting your circumstances and emotions. In simpler terms, it’s about being open with yourself in acknowledging your current situation.
Why is mindfulness relevant for financial planning? Because it allows you to be honest regarding your financial situation so that you can work toward real solutions. It puts all your doubts, ambitions, values and fears on the table and encourages a frank discussion about where you’d like to go and how best to get there.
When you approach financial planning with a mindful perspective, you can pinpoint the issues that are most important to you, as well as the factors that may be holding you back. Identifying these things is necessary to empower you to make changes and move forward with financial strategies that will work for you.
To get started, focus on the following:
- Recognize your needs. Everyone has their own set of financial needs, so what are yours? Developing a clear understanding of your needs – and distinguishing these from your wants, hopes and dreams – will allow you to identify the resources required to live life on your terms, which you can then use to chart out a financial roadmap.
- Understand your motivations. What motivates your thinking and actions (or inaction) related to money? With a clear understanding of the underlying factors that cause you to spend recklessly or save enthusiastically, it’s easier to put in place financial strategies that will keep you on track toward your goals.
- Overcome your doubts and regrets. Do you ever feel embarrassed about previous financial mistakes or a perceived lack of knowledge when it comes to managing your money? You can’t undo events or decisions made in the past, but you can learn from them and move forward with greater confidence.
- Acknowledge your strengths and weakness. Do you excel at setting long-term goals and working toward them methodically? Or do you struggle to stay organized, sometimes losing important documents? Whatever your strengths and weaknesses, acknowledging them can help with designing and implementing more effective financial plans.
- Identify your risks. What are the risk factors that may jeopardize your financial well-being? In addition to risks unique to you, women in general can also face challenges such a longer average lifespan (i.e. you may need more money for a longer retirement) and a career interrupted by maternity leave (i.e. you may have less time to save for retirement).
- Stake out your values. What’s most important to you in life, and how does this influence your relationship with money? Having a clear understanding of your values will ensure that your financial planning takes them into account and will help you build a future where you can live according to your principles.
Securing your financial future
As our society continues to evolve, women are breaking down barriers established by the norms and practices of a bygone era – including taking more control of the financial decision-making for themselves and their families. However, we’re not there yet as Canadian women continue to face challenges in managing their financial lives.
With a mindful approach, you can make an objective assessment of the various worries, ambitions, hurdles and opportunities shaping your financial situation. And by being candid about these issues, you will be in a better position to plan your path forward.
At Rubach Wealth, we have experience guiding Canadian women through a mindful financial planning process resulting in plans that are tailored to their unique needs. To learn more about how we can help you build a financially secure future, contact us at (647) 349-7070.