Epilogue: Action Steps

Now that you're finished reading Mom's Got Money, my greatest hope is that you're fired up and ready to take action. If you don't know where to start, I've included action steps for each chapter here. Good luck on your journey to becoming a boss with your money. You've got this!

You can find these action steps and other free downloads to help you on your money journey at www.momsgotmoney.com.

Action Steps

  • Chapter 1: Shifting to a Boss Mindset
    • Take the time for self‐reflection and acknowledge your money fears and worries. Commit to developing a boss mindset and learning all you can about your finances.
    • Practice replacing thoughts of overwhelm with empowering ones using the chart in Chapter 1.
  • Chapter 2: How to Determine Your Household Net Worth
    • Find out your household net worth using the examples in Chapter 2 as a formula.
    • Analyze where you stand and start to formulate a plan to raise your net worth in the future.
  • Chapter 3: The Family Budget Meeting
    • Write down your biggest goals and dreams for the future. If you have a partner you will be budgeting with, have them do the same.
    • Review spending from previous months to find out your budget categories.
    • Find out your exact household take‐home pay.
    • Set the date for a family budget meeting.
    • Write your budget, allocating your income to all the various budget categories you have.
    • If you don't have enough income to cover all your budget categories, discuss ways you will cut back and earn more.
    • If you have excess income after allocating your money to your budget categories, discuss how you will use it toward savings goals and investing.
  • Chapter 4: How to Manage Your Household Cash Flow and Start Saving
    • Review the three budget anchors: house, cars, and food.
    • Take action if you find you need to reduce one of your budget anchors, like downgrading your car, downsizing your home, or starting a meal plan.
    • Start to shift your bills to a one‐month‐ahead system using the ROADSS formula outlined in this chapter.
    • Once you are one month ahead, automate your bills to free up your mental space.
  • Chapter 5: How to Increase and Maintain Your Credit Score
    • Pull your credit report for free at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
    • Look for mistakes on your credit report. If you find them, dispute them.
    • Look for adverse accounts on your credit report. If you see some, make sure they're yours and if they are, call the number listed next to the account to work out a plan to get those accounts current. (Never give a collector access to your checking account. Instead, work out a payment plan or a lower, lump sum payment agreement. Have them send you the agreement in writing.)
    • If you have credit card debt, work hard to get that balance under 30% usage (and eventually to 0% usage).
    • Strive to pay your bills on time every time.
    • Sign up for free credit monitoring at a website like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma.
    • Continue to monitor your score, pay bills on time, and pay down debt. Stay informed and vigilant. Empower yourself to raise and maintain your score with positive habits.
    • Most importantly, remember that a credit score is just a number, and it says nothing about you or the person you are.
  • Chapter 6: How to Negotiate, Earn Extra Money, and Start Investing
    • Do some self‐reflection to identify how you actually feel about money and wealth. What's stopping you from becoming wealthy? What are some positive things you'd be able to do if you had more money?
    • Practice negotiating by calling your service providers and asking them to lower your bills.
    • Spend time thinking of ways to earn more. For example, set up a meeting with your boss at work to discuss what you can do to earn a raise in the future. Consider starting a side hustle or a business. Remind yourself regularly about your value in this world.
    • Read an introductory investing book. Learn about the stock market. Start with a simple, straightforward investment like buying an index fund and build your confidence from there. Remind yourself there's nothing harder than raising kids. Investing is simple compared to motherhood.
    • If you have a financial advisor, make sure they are a fiduciary. Ask all your questions, even the ones you feel silly asking. Take a seat at the table, and don't stop trying until you understand how to invest and why it's important for your future.
    • Refer to the Old Thoughts/New Thoughts chart in this chapter any time you need help reframing your money thoughts.
  • Chapter 7: Protect Your Family with Emergency Funds and Insurance
    • Start your emergency fund today in a separate account.
    • If you have high‐interest debt, like credit card debt, start with an emergency fund equal to one month of expenses. Then, kill your credit card debt, and go back to filling up the fund to six‐plus months.
    • If you have no debt or low‐interest debt like student loans or a mortgage, build your emergency fund to six‐plus months of expenses.
    • Buy term life insurance, not whole life or any other kind. Insurance is insurance, not an investment account.
    • Get a will.
    • Create an emergency binder.
  • Chapter 8: The Childcare versus Career Dilemma
    • If you are working and considering becoming a stay‐at‐home mom, know all of your numbers, especially your gross income and the total value of your benefits. Then, compare that to the cost of childcare and make your decision.
    • If you're a stay‐at‐home mom considering going to work part‐time or full‐time, run childcare cost numbers. Additionally, don't forget to consider a potential increase in the amount of money you'll spend on outsourcing food, after school responsibilities, and more.
    • When running the numbers in either scenario, think ahead to when your children are older and interested in extracurricular activities. Depending on your involvement in them, extracurriculars can get very expensive quickly.
  • Chapter 9: Finances in Your Relationships
    • Be vulnerable with those closest to you about your money dreams and your money concerns, even if it means you might potentially lose them along the way. Vulnerability gives you power and has the potential to deepen your relationships.
    • If you think you might be a victim of financial abuse, seek immediate help from a licensed counselor.
    • Refer to the list of questions in this chapter for couples and answer them together.
    • Research options for saving for college, like ESAs and 529 plans. Be open with your child about what you can contribute.
  • Chapter 10: The Art and Joy of Giving
    • Take $20 out of the ATM and put it in a separate spot in your wallet. Look for opportunities to give on a small scale.
    • Research charities on Charity Navigator to find one that fits your interests.
    • Encourage your children to split their money into spend, save, and give categories.
    • Research donor‐advised funds to see if opening one would fit in with your tax planning and philanthropy goals.
    • Be generous with yourself. Give yourself time to learn. Be your own cheerleader along your money journey because you are a boss deserving of a beautiful, financially secure life.
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