How Taking Control of Your Finances Can Empower You (and Not in the Way You Think)

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What began as a movement circulating in the wellness sphere has transformed into a straight-up necessity in basically every aspect of life. And no, we’re not talking about avocados.

Taking control of your finances has worked its way up the ranks and is joining your morning yoga and afternoon matcha as an integrated part of your wellness lifestyle—and not just in terms of the workplace, but as a way to open up options and boost confidence in general. 

Claire Wasserman, CEO and Founder of Ladies Get Paid, a professional development site for women, makes the whole wonder-woman-who-does-it-all vibe look easy. But, believe it or not, she wasn't born with a knack for handling her finances—she did her research, sought advice, and now hosts open conversations on the topic. That is, in 19 cities across the country, speaking to nearly 5,000 women last year alone. 

“I’m really encouraged to see that this conversation is becoming [more open] and women are unashamed to publicly declare their ambitions both for their career—and their wallet," she adds. “Money is power. It’s freedom, it’s value, it's opportunity,  it’s worth.” 

Scroll down to find out why taking control of your finances can help you feel empowered—and Wasserman's advice on how to do it.

financial freedom

How a financial plan can give you freedom

We get it: The idea of asking for raises, bonuses, and promotions can be uncomfortable. But why is it so hard? The root of this uneasiness usually stems from uncertainty of the outcome—but once you climb that mountain, the financial confidence can be invaluable.

"You can take risks in your career if you can afford to," says Wasserman. "When we teach our salary negotiation class, we acknowledge that the people who have the ability to walk away are those who have a financial plan. It would be remiss of us to not teach career development without financial development."

Like Wasserman, you might not have been born a financial guru with a magical sense of how to sort your money, you simply (and by simply we mean, awesomely) have a dream that you're sprinting after. In other words, it's okay to not know how to do it all. "I get help from the experts," Wasserman says. "I admitted my own financial knowledge gap and now [turn to resources] to help me both unpack my relationship with money, but also institute real strategies and tools to get me where I want to be." 

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Photo: Stocksy/Lauren Naefe

How to apply your healthy financial mindset moving forward

Now that you know how amazing it can feel to take control over your financial future—like finishing your first half-marathon amazing—it's time to, you know, do it.  Wasserman relates the process to getting in shape: "You have to work on it every day and from all aspects." 

"My biggest suggestion would be to really dig into how much you’re spending," Wasserman says. She recommends brainstorming other ways to shore up your savings: Finding the right credit card, budgeting, or instituting a trusty automatic deposit to your savings account.

In the end, it all goes back to self empowerment. "To me, financial wellness feeds into overall wellness: it means you’re in tune with yourself, and have set goals that you’re consistently working towards so that you're thriving, not just surviving."

Sponsored by Citi

Top Photo: Stocksy/Daxiao Productions

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