Where’s Your Money, Honey? How To Manage Money Wisely & Set Yourself Up For Financial Success

(aka: Set Yourself Up for Financial Success)

Show me a woman who rarely pays attention to her money – perhaps she shops all the time, is often late paying bills or quickly racking up debt, and shivers at the word “budget” – and I’ll show you someone who is constantly getting what I call “money wake-up calls.”

She doesn’t realize she’s maxed out her credit card until it’s too late, debt collectors are calling her day and night, or she realizes that there’s no way she can take the trip she’s been dreaming about. Her life is filled with stress and anxiety.

In other words, her money is doing whatever it can to get her attention.

And if there’s one thing I know for sure: money wants to be paid attention to.

My good friend and Certified Financial Planner, Brittney Castro, is the Founder of Financially Wise Women and is dedicated to helping women get clarity around their money so that they can live successful and fulfilling lives. Britt and I have had many conversations on how to have a healthy relationship with your money, and I’d like to share a few of her important steps with you.

With just a little over a week left in the year, now is the perfect time to do some planning and visioning for 2013. Whether you’re running a business or just want to get a handle on your personal finances, here are three things you can do right now:

1. Identify Your Money Values – If you want to find more happiness and fulfillment in life, you have to be clear on your values (i.e. health, freedom, love, family, security, etc.), then spend in alignment with those values. When you’re crystal clear on your money values, you can begin spending accordingly (and consciously!)

Action Step: Start by asking yourself this question: What does money mean to me?

Then ask yourself the same question, except replace the word “money” with your answer to the first question. Do this until you cannot come up with any more money values. Here’s an example:

  • What does money mean to me? Security
  • What does security mean to me? Freedom to do what I want
  • What does freedom mean to me? More time to give back to others
  • What does giving back mean to me? Making a difference in the world

Once you’ve completed the exercise, post your money values somewhere you can see them every day.

2. Get Conscious About Your Spending – Be honest, do you really know where your money is going? Do you have a system for keeping track of the flow of money in and out of your life? Most people have too much month left at the end of their money. “Unconscious spending” is always bad news for your financial health.

The opposite of unconscious spending is mindful spending. It means that you spend in alignment with those things that bring you the most joy and satisfaction in life – your money values. When you learn to stay in the moment with your money and keep track of your spending, you’ll be much better at figuring out if your purchases are mindful or not.

Action Step: Carry a small notebook and write down all of your purchases (cash, check and credit card) for the next 90 days. Then use an expense tracker (a simple Excel sheet with your spending categories will do just fine) to keep track of your spending habits each month. This will allow you to see if you are actually spending in alignment with your highest values. It’s also a great tool for practicing conscious spending.

 3.  Write Your One-Year Vision for Your Life (click here to download the Shebrand One Year Life Vision exercise) – Unless you know what’s really important to you, how do you know where to spend your time and money? If you don’t have clarity around your values and passions, how can you expect to have a happy, fulfilled 2013? In order to really master your money, you first have to identify what you want out of life. Then and only then will you be able to spend wisely, consciously and in alignment with your values.

Action Step: When you create a vision for the life you want, it pulls you forward into your future. Intention and creative vision are very powerful forces. Write out your one year vision in the present tense, as if it’s exactly one year from today. It’s December 31, 2013, and you are looking back on everything that has happened in the past year and writing about how amazing it is. Your vision should be bold, positive and in the first person.

Once you’ve written your One Year Life Vision (click here to download the SheBrand One Year Life Vision exercise), pull out three significant money goals – those that are most in alignment with your money values – and write them down. Put them in a place where you will see them every day.

Now ask yourself, what baby steps could I take each day/week/month to fulfilling these three goals for 2013? Write down your answers and schedule accordingly in your calendar.

Many people talk about making changes or doing things differently, but very few take action. As the saying goes, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

If you want a different relationship with your money than the one you currently have, then it’s time to take different actions. Start with these three steps and master your money in 2013.

Bonus: I recently featured Britt on a SheBrand Superstar call, “How to Master Your Money in 2013.” You can listen to and download the recording for free at https://shebrand.com/brittneycastro/.


©2012 Liz Dennery Sanders


  1. I attempted to download the One Year Life Vision exercise, but was led to a page where their was “nothing found.” Snowed in today on Boxing Day and thought this would be fun to do!

    • Liz Dennery Sanders says

      Hi Jami,
      I’m so sorry there was a problem downloading the One Year Life Vision exercise. Would you please email us at info@shebrand.com, and we’ll send you the pdf directly.
      Many thanks and all the best,
      liz xo

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