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But How Do I Manage My Money?

budgeting building wealth financialliteracy investing learnaboutmoney Feb 08, 2023

A question that often comes up with women I speak with is “But how?!”. I’m all too familiar with this question, as I used to ask it A LOT and it kept me stuck for a long time.

Asking questions and being curious is a wonderful thing. We discover so much through curiosity. However, they have to be questions that bring you closer to what you want, not keep you in a perpetual circle of asking the same question and expecting a different answer.

Of course we all want to know HOW to do something, but almost always you need to START doing something in order to figure this out. Then you need to have faith that you will figure out the next step, then the next, then the next, and so on.

If you wait until you have ALL the answers and a crystal clear path of exactly what you need to do, then you’ll never start. Why is that? Because of a beautiful thing called GROWTH! As we are curious we learn things, and as we learn we evolve, and as we evolve we grow. So, the questions that you would ask now are very different from the questions that you would have asked 10 years ago. Life is a great teacher.

This is what life has taught me! You need to just dive in, have a go and see what works.

I often hear the analogy in marketing – “it’s like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks”. Well, sometimes it actually is. There are strategies and techniques that work for one person but not another. Multiple reasons are behind things – perhaps your messaging isn’t quite right, or the career you’re pursuing isn’t actually right for you. It depends.

On that note, here are four common “but how?” questions I’m asked, and some real answers to help give you a guide on what next step you feel is right for you.


This comes down to the lifestyle that you want (here is a link to my Lifestyle Visioning meditation to help you with this), both now and in retirement. There is no point sacrificing your youth for a future in retirement. There is a way to plan for both!

So, depending on what your lifestyle vision is, here are some ideas:

  • Ask for a pay rise (research what other companies are paying)
  • Upskill (get work to pay for it, if you can) and start to move upwards
  • Coach people in a skill that you have
  • Start a side hustle
  • Invest for dividends / distributions.

As you can imagine, there is quite a bit in each of these and more “but how?” questions (do you see how circular that question can become?), which is why it comes back to what is right for you and your life.


In short, start small!

Once again, there are additional factors here – your personality, risk profile, age, time until retirement, what level of liquidity you need, the kind of retirement you want (which impacts how much money you will need when you retire to experience a certain lifestyle).

Ultimately, investing is about risk, and spreading this risk through what is called a “diversified portfolio”. Basically it means not putting all your financial eggs in one basket, so if one type of asset goes up and another goes down, you haven’t lost everything.

Here are a few ways you can get started with investing:

  • Invest within your super account
  • Begin micro-investing (here is a link to my free guide)
  • Research low cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) - Money Magazine publishes an annual list of the best performing ETFs from last year.

Before diving into investing, definitely read reputable publications (like Money Magazine) and look into a good Financial Advisor.


YOU DON'T! Let me clarify:

  • Budgets are restrictive and take a lot of work and willpower to maintain
  • Figure out the % of your income for each "bucket" of expenses - e.g. Bills & debt; Emergencies; Investing; Kids' future; Saving for a new car...
  • Automate the saving (into high-interest bank accounts) and investing %s.

Life isn’t about constantly watching your cents and denying yourself the things that you enjoy. There is moderation and balance, for sure, but if you constantly deny yourself things, you’ll bust out and your willpower will not be strong enough to stop you.

Again, this is why it’s important to realise what lifestyle you want, and then to build your money life around that. Do you want to go on an overseas holiday every 2 years? Then put a percentage of your income every month into a dedicated bank account to save for those holidays.

Ask yourself if you really need or want something before buying it. Sometimes spending is purely a habit that is masking something else that we are avoiding.

So, it often isn’t about budgeting at all, but recognising there is a need inside you that isn’t being fulfilled. Start to focus on THAT, and the need for a budget diminishes.


You take it one step at a time. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon – one to be enjoyed and savoured. Gratitude and appreciation for what you have will help you focus on the right things. Rather than focusing on all the things you want to change – which can be overwhelming.

So, when your list feels overwhelming:

  • Write down your TOP 3 steps/actions
  • Focus on the 1st action and do ONE thing a day to progress this action
  • At the end of each day, review the step you took, and write down your next thing to do the following day
  • Repeat this process and then continue with 3 more steps.

We all have an inner knowing about what we want and should do. However, trusting our intuition is not something we’re taught or encouraged to do, so there are “experts” who have all the answers.

The only expert on you is YOU!

Tap into your inner self and write down (using pen and paper preferably – no typing) what you want to improve in your life the most. If money can influence this (and it usually can, as money is a powerful tool that helps us live the life we want), then add to what you’ve written what money steps you need to take, and things you need to change in order to make this improvement.

Money is unemotional. It feels emotional, because it is tied to something that we want, and “want” is emotional. However, money itself is either paper, coins or numbers on a screen.

Tap into the desire and emotion behind the money and then you can start to truly answer your “but how?” questions.