Put on your money mask before helping others with theirs…

Many of us women feel obliged to help others.  Even when we are struggling, we still feel the need to lend a financial helping hand to family and friends.  We end up denying ourselves financial oxygen when we can’t pay our bills. To paraphrase every pre-flight announcement, “Put on your money mask first before helping others with theirs”.

It is time for women to stop being the “bank of last resort” especially when we haven’t got our own finances sorted out.  This is why it is important to have a “spending plan”.

A spending plan allows you to allocate your money within the already identified PEN categories.  In its basic form it looks something like this:

Income – PEN expenses = Money you can lend to others

Included in your PEN expenses should be investments and savings in addition to any big ticket item you are saving up for.  When you write down your obligations and allocate your income to properly cover them, you know whether you are in a position to help and you can say “no” without guilt if you can’t help. You need to have your money mask in place before you start helping others.

This is especially true for those of us with cultural and societal pressures that force us to spend beyond our means. The thing is if we don’t have enough “money oxygen” to survive ourselves, how can we help others?

This act of financial self-care is not selfishness, it’s life and freedom.  If you can’t breathe, you’re no good to anyone…

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