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FINANCIAL ARTICLES



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Women - Making Money
By Joan Perry

Three women were sitting around a table commiserating - one said, 'I really - I mean really - want to go to that great seminar program - how can I afford it?'

If you are short of cash for your investments - in your educational plans, investment accounts, spending plans or money to give away - what do you do? Or, if you unfortunately need to pay off credit card or other debts - how do you do it? - you ask. Try this approach.

Get started by thinking about how you can generate more money through "creative" sources where you know that you can do something that other people will find valuable. Begin by asking the questions: How can you add more value where you work so that people will want to pay you more? What skills, talents, and resources do you have to supplement what you're already doing to increase your income? How can you think creatively about your situation so both you and others will benefit from your energy?

Maybe it's simply a matter of taking a good, hard look at your work environment, finding something that could be done better, and volunteering to handle it. Then, once you've demonstrated your added value, ask to be remunerated for it. Or you might consider starting a home business or expanding the services that your business offers. If you "noodle" this-let it roll around in your mind for a while-you'll come up with something unique to you-that can engage your spirit and passion because it's something that you create. There are two ways to enable cash coming to you: one is to 'create' something that can be marketed and the other is to 'buy' something that is already a means of cash flow. Here we are talking about 'creating' new sources of cash flow to land in your checking account - and be available for your investment opportunities.

A woman named Jane, for example, came to see me one day. We talked at length about her lifestyle and where her money was going. Jane works for a software company and decided she could easily start a newsletter that would educate and help people using her company's software; she would provide a real benefit for which she could be paid.

Then there's Lori, who found that by simply taking long walks along the beach during low tide, she could collect sea glass-broken bits of glass from bottles, glasses, and other objects that have been transformed by the sea and sand into smooth, translucent, frosty, colored "gems"-and recycle it into beautiful jewelry. With some investment for silver wire, she's fashioned one-of-a-kind earrings, pendants, bracelets, and brooches that fetch from $10 to $150. She's attracted a group of steady customers who look forward to buying her crafts at holidays to give as gifts. The money Lori makes from her jewelry designs is earmarked for her wealth building plans and goes directly to enhancing her financial future.

And Linda, who owns a cooking school, decided she could increase her income by selling spices, bowls, platters, pots, pans, place mats, and napkins at her school. Linda's students now happily buy flavored olive oils, herbes de Provence, and garlic presses from her so that they can create the delicious dishes she teaches them to cook.

What can you do to spice up your life for yourself and others? Opportunities for internet businesses, pet sitting and other creative thinking - can blossom into part-time extra money or full-time cash producing plans - and supplement your immediate cash requests, relieve your financial worry, or get big - and create your wealth.

Here is how it can go - it's an epiphany of sorts. There was Maggie who for several months had gone to her employer to borrow against her next paycheck so that she could cover existing bills. Her boss handed out the cash and suffered the bookkeeping complications to oblige Maggie. But the last time Maggie made the request, she had a harsh awakening when her boss said 'no'. I couldn't believe it!" Maggie said. 'She told me, if you ever expect to get yourself out of your money problems, you're going to have to learn how to manage your money and use your creative talents. Stop buying junk and start saving. And stop drawing from your future paychecks to float yourself. It was like a good, swift kick in the butt, and maybe that's just what I needed!', Maggie recited. So Maggie began seriously considering what she was doing and began to see the challenge and to plan to address it.

If you feel confused about this step - it's a good thing. It means that your brain is considering something new and it's not yet fully integrated into your thinking. You are asking - what can I do and how can I do it? Learn to love the questions. So let's work on that.

Make an inventory of the things that you like to do - for me it's writing - what is it for you? Maggie and I talked about her skills and talents to see where she could turn some of her creative juices into income. I discovered that Maggie often does the mounting and framing at the photographer's studio where she works. Maggie is very good at these tasks, so good that I encouraged her to call around and offer her services to others. This way, she'll have a second job where she can dedicate the cash flow to be a ladder for her to climb out of the well of debt she has stumbled into. It's a way for Maggie to add more income producing 'legs' to her life - and to regain the sense of control that spending and ballooning debt have stolen from her - because her new conviction is to be free of the credit card bind.

How can you add more value to your life? How can you re-channel your resources to make your energy and your money work for you?

Take a look at what happens when you suddenly get a $10,000 bonus or raise, or a $10,000 inheritance from a favorite grandparent, aunt, or uncle. Do you invest all or some of the money? If you don't, you're not alone, because not many people do. Some take that bundle and indulge in the dream vacation that's haunted them for years. Others add a wing to their house or buy a new home entertainment center. Unfortunately, none of these things will give you a cash flow in your future. But if you're like most people, you spread out the extra money over the year: You buy a nice Bordeaux or Barolo instead of the Gallo jug; you stop wearing L'eggs and start sporting Donna Karan; you go to more movies; you eat in nicer restaurants, and do it more often. Before the year ends, you've blown ten thousand bucks on a hundred small treats. You say, "I have no money. Where did it go? - how come I don't have cash sitting in my checking account for the important stuff?"

Once you get that extra income, bonus, raise, inheritance, or cash from your creative business, consider what importance you attach to it so that it can make a difference in your life. Here's an alternative to consider. See what happens if you splurge a mere $2,500 for a few bottles of nice wine, several new outfits, and a short holiday and invest the remaining $7,500 in a way that will create more cash for your future. This could be in your investment account or business - something that will work for you.

With your own creativity you can run your life like a business, by creating your 'value' and earning a profit at the end of the year. When you do this - you'll be generating cash for your spending plans. Cash flow comes from employing your creative thinking and offering it so that you can be paid - and then you will have cash for your educational plans, spending plans and future financial well-being. And best of all - you'll have a good feeling about your money and your talents.

Joan Perry
President/CEO of Take Charge Financial!
Joan's Blog and http://www.takechargefinancial.com

Joan Perry has developed her expertise over twenty-five years, beginning as an Investment Banker working on Wall Street and continuing as a Money Manager and Owner of a Securities Brokerage Firm. As President of Take Charge Financial!™, Joan initially founded one of the first female-owned Municipal Investment Banking firms in the United States known as Perry Investments Inc. in 1985, which then began retail and brokerage services to individuals in the mid-90s. She has in-depth trading and market experience from managing institutional and retail investment dollars in the securities markets, and throughout her career has managed billions of dollars in the bond, stock and options markets. Joan combined her personal and professional background in her book A GIRL NEEDS CASH© published by Random House in 2000 - a story of money in women's lives and the transition to taking charge of it. She received her MBA from Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and undergraduate degree from Denison University. She was the founding President of the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club and currently the Co-Chair of the Los Gatos, CA 'Jazz on the Plazz' Summer Concert Series.

Share your comments and questions with us at Joan's Blog -- and see us on the web at http://www.takechargefinancial.com

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