The most common financial mistakes

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If a random person were to take a look at my list of New Year’s resolutions for 2023, they’d probably say I set the most uncommon resolution ever. Where some resolution lists might consist of working out more consistently, eating more fruits and vegetables, getting better sleep, traveling more, or even drastic life changes like getting engaged or getting a new job, my resolution list features one goal: Find out what This is what is going on with my personal finances. From creating an emergency fund to investing to pay down debt, I want to learn it all — and while unappealing, I know I’m not the only one with financial self-care at the top of my aspirations for 2023 (hello, recession!).

Enter: Tori Dunlap, personal finance expert, founder of Her First $100K, and author financial feminism. This week on The Everygirl Podcast, we sat down with Tori to discuss all things personal finance, and she shared her amazing insights into what it really means to change your relationship with money for the better. Whether you’re embarking on a new financial self-care journey this January, or just curious about new personal finance hacks, Tori has a wealth of knowledge (pun intended). Read about three common personal finance pitfalls that women say hit them most often, and how to avoid them. Then check out this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast for more.

1. Process the numbers before looking at your financial mindset

Tory found that although many clients were initially excited to learn about budgeting, investing, and paying down debt, that enthusiasm waned over time if they didn’t take a long, hard look at their relationships with money. “I’ve come to realize that even if it’s very uncomfortable, you can’t be good with money—you can’t develop a good, healthy relationship with money for the rest of your life—until you start to understand the kind of emotional and psychological cut-offs you face,” Tory said. One of the journaling exercises Tory recommends before Diving into the numbers is about reflecting on your first financial memory, and thinking about how that memory affects your financial habits today.Exercises like this can set you up for success on your financial journey before you even create a budget.

2. Overthinking financial decisions, or having “analysis paralysis”

Have you ever had a moment where you know you want to cook a healthy meal at home, but are so indecisive about what to cook that you end up laying out pizza at 9pm? If the answer is yes, then you are familiar with the feeling of analytical paralysis, which Tory says is a very common financial hold-up that gets in the way of achieving our personal financial goals. Many people stress too much and for too long about finding better A high-yield savings account for their emergency fund, and better investment plan, or better Credit card. In fact, just starting to save, invest, or build credit is far more important to financial growth than finding the best options. Tori’s advice is just to get started as soon as possible. Know that the differences between many of these accounts or plans are subtle, and the best thing you can do for yourself is pick one up and run it.

3. Subject to investment phobia

If you’re anything like me, hearing the word “investment” might send a shiver down your spine as you experience terrifying flashbacks to your seventh-grade math class when everyone but you understood the unit of the stock market. However, as Tory points out, real-life investing has nothing to fear. In fact, it is a very useful tool for financial self-care. Imagine yourself at retirement age: when you’re 65, what would you like to be like? What do you want to spend your days doing? According to Tori, investing (especially through a 401K or Roth IRA) is the same thing as taking good care of your 65-year-old version. “You do it for you, and you end up spending that money,” Tory says on The Everygirl Podcast. “It’s a 65-year-old to finish off a Sauvignon Blanc with lunch.”

Avoiding the paralyzing terror about investing might mean thinking a little harder about why investing is good for you in the long run, and why setting aside that money in the moment would be worth it. Some heavy lifting in 2023 with investment can make all the difference in 2043, 2053 or 2063.

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