With the tax deadline upon us, you’re probably in one of three states of mind:
Frozen and freaking out about how much money you owe (and probably filing an extension). Oh shit! I was supposed to save money?!
Brushing your shoulders off and basking in the nice little refund that just arrived in your bank account. Honey, let’s go to the Bahamas. My treat!
Feeling pretty even-keeled. No big refund or debt this year. Taxes! What’s all the fuss about?
Debt or no debt, this time of year forces us to take a hard look at where we’ve been spending our cash, open our eyes to the real deal numbers, and get our ducks in a row so that we can pay (or get paid by) Uncle Sam.
If you’re an entrepreneur like me, you know how especially stressful it is to assess what you earned, what you can write off, and what you saved (if anything!). But over the years, I’ve learned that tax-time finances are a direct reflection of who we were the previous year.
Were you making the big bucks and also spending big?
Were you getting your business off the ground and earning on the low end?
Or were you tucking away thousands in savings?
When you look back, perhaps you’re inspired to make some changes and get things in order. I certainly am. Each year, as I prepare for tax season, I see it as a ritual. I go through all of my expenses, review my entire financial ecosystem and generally have a couple of “come to Jesus moments” myself.
One of my key goals is to become highly organized with my finances as I build upon my financial independence, and save for my long term future and legacy.
Here’s a little inside peek into my plans.
Since my husband and I just bought a second home, I’m getting really granular in my expenses and budget. What are the needless expenses? Where am I leaving things on autopilot? (Hint: auto-subscriptions!) And even though I consider myself a successful entrepreneur, there are still ways I need to make myself more financially free. I don’t want to fall victim to the “more you have the more you need” syndrome so I stay mindful of my purchases while also always keeping a minimum of 3 months of expenses liquid in my bank account—something that saved my ass before.
Getting into the nitty gritty of finances isn’t necessarily fun, but it is necessary! As women, this is especially important. Why? It’s easy to give our power away if we’re not on top of our financial well-being. This has been the overarching achilles heel for us historically.
It’s worth asking yourself this question…
If your finances were a mirror of how you value yourself, how do you want your financial reflection to be more fully aligned with who you are?
Tax season is a great time to take responsibility and not just plan on how you’re going to spend your return. It’s also a time to look at how you’re showing up for your finances and how you can do better.
Here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Instead of getting caught up in the emotion taxes bring up for you, use it as a an opportunity to understand yourself better: How do you use money? How do you value it? How do you organize and take care of it? What is your relationship with it?
Step 2: Have compassion for your feelings and find a healthy way to express them. Money is personal. That said, finances can bring shit up. If you’re like me, you can use a healthy outlet for these emotions. Go for a run, talk a friend, or write it out. And forgive yourself if you need to.
Step 3: Commit to a new behavior around financial management. Pay closer attention to your income and expenses, issue 1099’s prior to the deadline, create a tax savings account, or save your tax refund instead of blowing it.
Step 4: Let it go. It’s just money—don’t get too caught up in it.
Now I’d love to hear from you. How would you describe your relationship with money? What would you like to transform about it? If you’ve changed something for the better, what did you do? Please share in the comments below!