Stress and Money

Poor Elaine. We’ve all been there, amiright?

I have a sneaky suspicion you may be there right now.

Living paycheck to days before the next paycheck, having no savings, no emergency fund, your credit is shot. I’ve been there.

I had dream boards with all of these out-of-reach desires staring me in the face everyday. I even wrote myself a check for $1 million dollars. The future date on that I put on that check expired 3 years ago. I’ve even switched banks since then. And yet, still not a millionaire.

Even though I may not be a millionaire yet… I learn from millionaires what I needed to do where I was in order to create that path to becoming a millionaire. Far from just having the right mindset, daily affirmations, dream or vision boards, was developing the actual habits I needed to create to see the physical fruition.

Stress.

I was completely stressed out about money, finances, and my credit. My credit report once filled with negative remarks, delinquent accounts, closed accounts, mountains of student loan debt yet. My BSBA//Business Marketing was being put to work as a Content Manager at the age of 37 for a marketing agency at a lousy $13 per hour. As a single mother with two teenage boys and a darling little girl, this wasn’t going to cut it.

I was renting a small two bedroom apartment living paycheck to just days before the next paycheck. I dreamed of owning a home. I was seeing my friends from school who had been in their careers 15 or so years, happily married, children younger than mine, and homeowners, who take annual family vacations and spend the weekends on their boats. The “comparison-itis” was killing me. I was so focused on the lack of what I didn’t have that I had let it dictate and get the better of me.

I kept pushing myself in the corporate world. I felt like loser, I felt worthless. I was competing in the mans game and was up against some of the most ignorant men on this planet. No offence to the great men that are out there. While I was running circles around them, they fired back with words I will never forget. They would brain-wash female employees into thinking that they were “doing them a favor letting them work there” and that they “would NEVER make it in this industry.”

Let’s take a look at some numbers…

College educated women who desire and deserve to work in the upper-management or executive leadership roles tend to approach their goal right around the time they want to start their families according to Tiffany Dufu, author of Drop the Ball. She goes on to report that women make up 53% of corporate entry-level positions, but only 14% in the executive levels. Nearly 95% of male executives are married with children. All of this math and statistics tell us that 7% of corporate executive women are married and less than 4% are married with children.

This is a huge problem. Why are these women opting out, or not being allowed or limited to meet diversity laws (in some companies)?

Kate Northrup, author of Do Less, makes a point by suggesting the expectation that working less than 55 hours a week, bragging about not taking vacations, and answering email at 3 in the morning is not only demeaning to anyone’s quality of life regardless of gender, but is expected. As Northrup goes on to report, we should not have to do those things to prove our value.

From my own personal experience, I can say this with absolute certainty – the gas-lighting in the corporate world is real. They can’t tell you to do those things, but they damn sure expect it or you will be put on the chopping block for under-producing, or better-yet – insubordination. They find their ways.

I know plenty of stay-at-home-moms who desire to return to work once their children are old enough. Oftentimes, when they do reach the pentacle of their career, they are slighted by changes in infrastructure, technology, competing with a younger generation, even younger bosses.

That stress factor alone is enough to drive someone insane! And the money, whether it’s good or below par, doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t managed in a healthy way. When we are stressed we tend to manage our money, along with other aspects of our lives, in unhealthy ways as well.

Emotional spending, buying outside of necessity for guilty pleasures, buying things before paying bills. You somehow justify that letting this or that bill go for as long as possible because you want to feel the dopamine of buying your own guilty pleasures isn’t healthy. That bill keeps you up at night. It stares you in the face when you look at your mail. It haunts you when they call your phone asking where their money is. It hits your credit and your score takes a plunge.

People lose their homes and cars over this every single day. It’s NOT okay! We have to train the brain to enjoy the dopamine from paying your bills and saving money. We can set milestones and reward systems along the way, so maybe when you hit $1,000 in your savings, you can buy yourself something special. You can do the same when you get to $2,500 and $5,000.

As Dave Ramsey says, you have to protect your four walls first and in this order-

Food
Utilities
Shelter
Transportation

With that said, you’re going to have to start a budget. Be watching out for my upcoming budgeting workshop to help you come up with creative ways to save money and pay bills on time. Let’s get you stress free! Now, back to stress.

It is scientifically proven that stress depletes our bodies of nutrients, like magnesium, for example. We can choose to either fight or take flight. The patterns I have been seeing in the most successful women in their fields is taking flight.

They say… fuck that shit, I’m out and start their own business or join an MLM. We see it. We get annoyed by it, but we don’t see the picture behind it. I think if we really knew and understood the reasoning behind it, we could appreciate the hustle a little more. Some succeed, many fail. Failure is okay. It’s a teaching lesson that opens us up to what we are destined to do.

I left the marketing agency and started my own. When I did that, I not only made more money, but was highly successful. I learned something along the way that opened my eyes to a whole new world to owning a business.

There was an in-between. Miserable at my J. O. B. I fixed my credit. Raised my score by 200 points. Saved $8,000 and bought my first home. I closed 1 month before my 38th birthday! It only took me 15 months, making $13 an hour, and sticking to a doable budget that led me to where I am today. It wasn’t until about 3 months after buying my home that I opened my marketing agency.

I have taught many other women to fix their credit and buy a home all while I was running marketing agency, and it gave me a great feeling inside. I was doing something out of love instead of just know-how. I know marketing inside and out, but I was losing passion for it. I was gaining weight, losing hair, my sleep sucked, I was working around the clock. It no longer served me in a way it had done before. I actually started to hate it.

I chose to opt-out.

I decided to create a whole new system and my health is thanking me for it. I wish the corporate world would recognize the there is a better way of doing things.