Five Sensible Steps for Taking Control of your Finances
By Katana Abbott
One day it hits you like a rock. Youre knee-deep in financial quicksand with no savior in sight. Maybe it comes as a declined credit card purchase, or a minimum payment higher than your bank balance. Maybe its just the realization that you really are mortal and will need funds to support you when your working days are over. The bad news is youve got to dig out of the hole before you can build for the future. The good news is that with commitment and time, you can gain control of your finances.
Start with these five sensible steps:
- Pay yourself first
- Start a cash reserve fund with the intent of building it over time to at least three months worth of fixed expenses rent or mortgage payments, utilities, auto payments, credit cards, food, and gasoline. Start today, even if you can only save $10 a week in the beginning.
- If your employer offers a retirement plan, enroll immediately. Since women outlive men and often take time out of the workforce to care for both children and aging parents, it is important for women to save more than men.
- 2. Respect Money and Control your Debt
- Pay your bills on time, and pay off your credit card every month, if you can. If you are in debt and able to make only minimum payments, stop spending and get help immediately.
- Buy a small journal and document every penny you spend for one week to identify your “spending leaks. Typically, leaks are things like late fees, movie rentals, overpriced coffee, fast food, and anything else you dont need for survival. These are the dollars you will use to begin paying off your debt and building a cash reserve.
- Saving $4/day at age 20 at 10% could potentially build to $1,000,000 by age 65. Wait until youre 30 and you will need to save $11/day. At 40, youre up to $30/day and by age 50 its $95. So get serious and start now!
- 3. Assess your job or career path
- How is your income affecting your life and your finances?
- Are you passionate about your work, or is it “just a job? Would you still do it if you won the Lottery, or had a magic wand? If not, then why are you still doing it?
- Are you utilizing your unique talents and skills?
- Are you earning what you are worth?
- Stretch take charge of your career, and youll take charge of your income.
- Create a game plan
- Write down your goals for the next 12 months.
- Make your goals clear, measurable, and time-specific so you can track your success.
- Tape the list to your mirror, on your refrigerator, or on your bedroom wall, where you can read them and focus on them every day. We really do attract the things on which we focus, so keep your focus on what you want in your life!
- 5. Find support and hold yourself accountable
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
- Hire and meet regularly with a financial planner.
- Find a life coach or mentor.
- Read self improvement books and learn how to be smart about money.
- Get help on the internet with a virtual community or forum group.
- Take a tele-class or seminar focused on money, career or starting a business.
Money and financial growth consciousness doesnt come in flash. It may take months maybe even years to gain total control of your finances. But if you consistently follow these steps, that day will come. And when it does, celebrate!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Katana Abbott is currently writing, “Secrets from a Midlife Millionaire Create Your Perfect Life. After a 20-year career, she left her $100 million investment management and financial planning practice to follow her dream of helping women find their passion, be financially aware and prepared, have access to the right resources and meet some of the top business-building experts in the country. Visit www.smartwomenscoaching.com to sign up for her free 7-part audio mini course, “Your Perfect Life Focus and to access her other programs!
After every phone call, I felt challenged yet inspired and much more confident about achieving what I wanted most in my professional life. Katana has been a true blessing in my life and business. Thank you for that Katana!“
After every phone call, I felt challenged yet inspired and much more confident about achieving what I wanted most in my professional life. Katana has been a true blessing in my life and business. Thank you for that Katana!“
"It's been about seven months since i completed both the Get Clarity Now and Money Drama Breakthrough courses and..
I can honestly say that I use the tools from both everyday. I'm saving money, paying off debt and most importantly, not creating new debt. While I still hit bumps in the road, I don't get completely derailed. I know what I need to do when money doesn't seem to be flowing and I can refer back to my notes, journaling and workbooks to see where I might be getting stuck. Awareness is the key. Just knowing my personal money story and where it came from puts me in control. There are many awesome women in this program who are willing and able to extend a helping hand if you are having trouble getting started."
The short-term goal was easy to pinpoint, but as a recent college graduate, I struggled with the long-term goal. As the months went by, Katana's natural entrepreneurial expertise and innate passion for success rubbed off on me, and she helped me develop a blue print of how to one day run my own social media consulting firm. I've recently had the honor of being accepted into American University's Master's Program in Public Communication, and I know much of this acceptance was thanks to my Smart Women's Coaching experience and Katana's recommendation letter. She is a caring mentor, a savvy businesswoman nd, most importantly, a powerful communicator. I have already recommended her as a Life Coach to a friend of mine who is publishing her first book. Katana changes lives!"
"Katana started our coaching session by genuinely and intimately sharing personal stories that were similar to mine, which established my trust in her experiential wisdom and made her easily relatable. Then, she was able to quickly dive into the heart of my challenge, which was a dysfunctional relationship with money that began in childhood.
Thirty minutes came up quickly, but Katana generously continued to coach me past my time until I had experienced some financial freedom. Her suggestions for and referrals to Steve G. Jones’ hypnotherapy method and the Gestalt therapy method for forgiveness were right on. Katana is operating from high-level character, integrity, and personal success, and I would definitely recommend her for prosperity coaching."
Bonnie Taub, Marketing Expert
"My Confidence has improved...
Before working with Katana I felt unmotivated and confused as to where to start. I felt a major resistance both mentally and physically about the steps I was asked to incorporate into my life. I knew what Katana said was true deep in my soul but I resisted doing them because staying stuck in my usual ways was safer.
I now see how important a spiritual practice is for my soul and the real origin of who I am. The more I shift to Love and out of Ego I feel more calm and grounded in my power. My confidence has improved and it feels easier to talk honestly to people about what I do as a Nurse and Health Coach."
Lola Dyer, Nurse, Health Coach
Katana showed me how to delegate so many of the tasks I was doing myself that allowed me to free myself up for 'revenue-generating' activities. She linked me with partners to assist me in reaching more customers and helped me to take my marketing into the 21st century.
I have completely redesigned my website and my web hits are up 25%. I am less stressed than I was and able to accomplish more each day."
You made it easy and safe to talk about things that I rarely speak to anyone about. You gave me insights into my own behaviors, from a soul vantage point, with which I think I will be able to move ahead in new and positive ways. You offered both practical recommendations and genuine encouragement. I actually feel lighter and more empowered from our conversation – as well as authentically supported. I'm most grateful.”
Her ability to listen and comprehend was amazing. And so much good has occurred for me as a result of working with her.
I would recommend Katana to anyone who asked me about whether she was worth her weight in gold – certainly, from me, that answer would be a resounding YES!”
Katana Abbott stood out from two days of varied speakers as my favorite person with a style that I want to model myself after. Katana was open, positive, engaging with her audience. She was friendly with her body language and gestures. She was appropriately emotional while telling her rich story which she tied to her workshop lessons. She is colorful, encouraging and relevant to her participants. The attention was on the right subject - the message as told by Katana! Sign me up if she is speaking!"
We were able to identify and eliminate several of the roadblocks preventing me from moving to the next level in my business. Katana’s creative ideas and knowledge of the financial planning industry combine to make her an invaluable resource. I look forward to continuing with Katana on this road to personal and professional growth with her as my guide. She has the total package of coaching resources and experience to help me realize my greatest potential."
"Working with Katana and her team has helped me create a secure future and peace of mind. I am now more confident and am free to enjoy the second half of my life.
After my husband died unexpectedly, I was very overwhelmed with my finances and had no idea how to recreate the lifestyle and income I had been used to without running out of money. In addition, there were so many different statements and accounts, that it was almost impossible to see what I really had and how it all fit together."
Katana really cares about you and your business and, she will work with you until you get the “aha’s” that will make the BIG difference in your business and with your money. She has decades of financial experience and she is outstanding in helping her clients move forward in having their money dreams come true. “
I do use the tools, especially the expenses/income sheets and try to simplify my life. I listen to your shows and discover every time new things, positive approaches."
I walked away from the call with specific actions in mind as a result of the brainstorming and suggestions from Katana and her team.
I love having the power of multiple brains to come up with innovative ideas for growing my business!"
Not only because of what she knows, but because of how she cares. It is a rare combination to find a business executive with extensive knowledge supported by a winning track record, but even more unusual to know, this is a person you can easily work with and trust to have your best interest at heart. Attitude and authenticity is not something you can learn in graduate school, you either have it, or you don't. Katana Abbott is a one-of-a-kind combination of brains, beauty and brilliance. Highest recommendation."
“Working with you has been eye opening and soul opening.
During our time together, I was able to identify and release my limiting beliefs. In addition I moved confidently through the mediation of my divorce and gained clarity in my life and finances as an artist, entrepreneur and a philanthropist.
What we accomplished together is mind blowing. I couldn’t get over the “before and after” lists. You are incredible and I am greatful for all of your patience and guidance. Thank you for everything…. WOW!”
Tara Dixon, artist and owner of Gratitude Designs WWW. Gratitudedesigns.com
Her laser focus helped me discover what my core disempowering beliefs around money are. As well as help me discover what my core way of dealing with money has been in my life.
She was spot on in her assessment and she gave me more clarity of focus. Now I can pay attention to and notice when I am coming from a disempowering belief and then choose differently (than I have in the past). I highly recommend her services and cannot wait for her new course coming soon. Thank you Katana for helping me step into my new power with money!!"
With the tools and exercises, plus the rituals and meditations, I am so much more positive and hopeful, and have already started to see momentum from the changes.”
My work with her was an important first step in changing my relationship with money. I now have a better understanding about: (1) the places and behaviors that keep me financially stuck and (2) a realistic path to creating greater prosperity and peace of mind."
Recently I spoke with Katana about where I am in my journey to rediscover money and its true purpose. I was getting a little scattered and falling back into old patterns and after talking with Katana I realized that all any of us has to do is, "to change the way we look at things, and the things we look at change." (Dr. Wayne Dyer). Katana facilitates this process quickly and with compassion. I don't know what I would do without her guidance."
Her generosity of time, energy and materials has been such a blessing. Her enthusiasm and belief in me has been very motivating. As a counsellor, I’m used to being the one in the supporting role. It has been nice to be on the receiving end and to be the one being supported for a change.
Thank you Katana! You are wonderful coach and mentor. Your love and light shines bright."
Her energy, generous heart, and spirit are one of a kind! The programs she offers are always top notch and she is a cutting edge entrepreneur that wants to see women succeed. Every time I talk with Katana, I come away with totally new and helpful information and I am so excited about her newest program and can't wait to get started. I also attended her Costa Rica Yoga Retreat and it was a life changing event for me and I had one of the greatest times of my life! So many thrilling and exciting experiences and the camaraderie of the other group members was awesome".
Katana Abbott gives very real, hands on, practical advice for creating both prosperity and wealth. She gets to the root of your problems and develops strategies quickly, effectively and affordably. The real beauty is that she helps you transform using her personal experiences, wisdom and genuine compassion and passion for empowering women, so that you never feel ashamed or awkward for being open and truthful, even if you are in a financial or professional mess! If you are looking for a prosperity coach to put you on the right track, hire Katana Abbot today! "
"If you are ready to quickly and effectively leave disempowering beliefs behind, a private Money Personality Breakthrough Session with Katana is a must. Katana quickly honed in and helped me clear a key residual belief that was still showing up and blocking my potential.
Although I had previously worked on this issue with other capable professionals, Katana accurately pinpointed some remnants of my false belief that were directly tied to my relationship with money. We were able to move through and release it once and for all. This session was worth every penny and more. Amazing!"
"The gift of wisdom, insight and inspiration!
"I had a great call with Katana. I was up nice and early eagerly looking forward to the time we had scheduled. Katana was really lovely and has enjoyed a world of personal experiences that she has navigated through that has ultimately led her to be able to help her clients in very effective ways.
I really enjoyed the discussions we had around my own beliefs about money. Katana has provided me with some excellent tools and "homework" which has made me value money so much more and as a result, attract more of it into my life. I am very excited to work with Katana further."
My relationship with money and my relationship with my Mother. In our first session, we identified my "Security" money personality. Katana skillfully led me to the early childhood experience with my Mother which was the root cause of my belief in scarcity, that what I have could be taken from me at any moment. I felt where this experience resided in my body, and I released it.
Katana provided tools for working through this experience in the following days, and we created powerful new affirmations to pave the way for a new much more positive experience with money.
I didn't lose any sleep over the fiscal cliff scare. I have a newfound sense of security, regardless of external circumstances. I have begun to spend money differently, choosing things that really feed my soul.
I am SO glad that I signed up for Katana's coaching program...and this is only the beginning!"
Katana has such a gift of clarity. An ability to cut through and focus on tangible steps. I have a few directions I could take and needed someone as a sounding board - her insights were helpful. As a result of our talk, I've narrowed my scope and feeling much more focused. Thanks Katana! for that and more..."
Her passion and ability to see through situations, then having the courage to say what she sees is why I love and admire her. Her tenacity of belief in attracting amazing things into her life has helped me believe those things can happen to me. Her quality of having wings is remarkable, but her ability to give others wings is truly her crowning glory.
Her greatest gift to me is that she encouraged me to never settle, to always believe that I am destined for greatness. She truly is an encouraging, dynamic, and caring individual who is making a difference with her life, and every life she touches.”
Katana helped me tune into my inner little girl who was very uncomfortable with "standing out among the crowd and shinning in her brilliance." I felt embarrassed at the beginning of our session, to admit I felt depressed, stuck and uninspired. I felt I should know how to do this myself, by now, with all the tools I have and know.I appreciate Katana's insight, gentleness and understanding as she helped me release this deep, deep resistance and block. I have my clarity and inspiration back!
Thank you, Katana!"
My first consultation went very well. I am pleasantly surprised at the insights that Katana shared with me. As a women in my mid 50's I am behind the 8 Ball in planning for my retirement. Katana shared a plan to get me where I want to be in order to retire in security and comfort. The session gave me hope. I am looking forward to my next session."
This work for me is the final piece (and peace) of the puzzle. Clarity of my long held beliefs which serve or don’t serve me allows me to only carry forward that which leads to my growth. Incredible work can be done with Katana if you’re willing to show up and allow her to use her experience, tools, wisdom and intellect. From chaos to clarity is exactly what happened for me. Thank you Katana – I’m thrilled with what we did (and will continue to do) together!"
Working with Katana has been invaluable for my finances and my business.
As my first financial advisor she set me on a path to financial independence, allowing me to retire early from teaching and pursue my dream of being an author.
Since my retirement, I have published two books and become a professional speaker. In the process, Katana has continued to support me by providing valuable connections and other innovative resources.
Thank you very much Katana!"
Pierette Domenica Simpson, Author and Speaker
As a Vision Coach with Smart Women's Coaching she coaches you through a process that allows you to do your greatest life work while creating tremendous wealth. Having a steep financial background coupled with a vision to help others "see" what gifts they have, Katana will change your life and unlock the secrets of successful high earners.”
Last May I went to a health coaching event where they dove into money issues, including giving us a page with about 10 items we could circle if they triggered us. I circled quite a few of them back then and I was in tears more than once that weekend - very emotional. I am VERY happy to report that I just got back from the same event (held for the fall), and I was totally cool! I did not circle even ONE item on the list! I could tell that I have had a real shift - I think partly because of focusing on the attitudes of wealth and going through the money drama exercises - especially the Expense Tracker - love that Expense Tracker! So thanks Katana and Michelle!"
"Katana knows how to design a network of services that can help anyone wanting to launch a soul centered business that will work for you, rather than you working for the business.
Smart women use a coach to guide them through any business transition. Let Katana be yours”.
Kimberly Brenner Life & Love Coach
It isn’t just a 6-bullet process. The exercises are very rich and filled with deep questions, … it has given me clarity on several things I have been trying to figure out in my business and life. I have done a lot of questioning and taken a lot of courses in my life, but MJ and Katana have done a beautiful job presenting this information, including exercises that were incredibly important for me in order to move forward in a bigger way.”
As a contributing author, I am pleased to learn about each in the book. I recently listened to your teleseminar with Ruth. Fabulous and Genuine!
I wish you much success."
" I received a triple return on my investment with you.
I’m so grateful for our time together. As a result of your very diverse expertise, in just one week I received the tools necessary to take my insurance and financial service agency to the next level. After implementing these strategies I closed two cases with a total commission of $8000 in 7 weeks with much more to come over the next several months.
In addition, we are making progress toward our big goal of Chairman's Circle (only the top 1% of agents ever qualify for this). It's the closest we've come to reaching this goal at this point in the year! Because of these tools and your support, I feel more confident about working with clients who previously intimidated me. Most importantly, I am now working at a whole new level and transforming the lives of my clients and my team members. This is priceless! Thank you, Katana."
Erin Lewis, Insurance Agent, Founder, Women's Institute of Leadership
She is creative and is intent on bringing about change.I was introduced to Katana through a mutual friend of ours and I think highly of her abilities. She has developed a talented team to create a novel program that empowers women. I think she would make a wonderful coach!!!”
Within a week of starting my coaching with her, tragedy struck my life and my life fell apart. Katana unlike any other coach kept reaching out to me and telling me that she was there for me, I was a mess, but she kept trying to reach out. Once she did, I was able, through her care and guidance, see that the tragedy was a door opening ..I had not even considered its significance until she held my hand like a wonderful friend and helped me see that the career that I was considering was bigger then I could have ever imagined.
Sometimes you just don't know how much you really know until a helpful loving and caring friend, ie coach, helps you see what you could not see on your own. She helped me awaken to my own brilliance! Thank you so much Katana!"
Talking to Katana on my first call with her was just amazing. I had listened to Smart Women Talk Radio for over a year but finally made the decision to make contact. I am at a stage in my journey where I have decided how to re-invent my life and where I want to go. Speaking with Katana helped make things clearer for me and I truly felt that she is the Mentor I need to embark down this new part of my journey. I am really looking forward to working with her.."
She has taken my small ideas and turned them into huge concepts that I can build my business on. When I feel overwhelmed at what I need to do she is there breaking it down into manageable steps for me. I always feel motivated at the end of our sessions because she inspires me to move forward with my dream and there’s real excitement in her voice when I succeed. Her coaching has been game changing for me. I’m not sure I would be this close to my dream if I didn’t have her. She’s behind me, next to me, and in front of me paving the way. Thank you Katana!"
I had committed to writing a chapter for book titled Helping Others to Succeed and was really getting "cold feet"--about writing, and putting myself "out there." I even confessed to her that it was such a challenge filled with anxiety that I was willing to forfeit my investment rather than go forward. Her solution was to interview me and to record and transcribe the call. Needless to say, it worked, and the book is now at the printer. This is just one example of Katana's ability to inspire coaching clients to step outside their comfort zones and achieve."