Let’s Talk Love & Money

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In honor of Valentines, we’re curious?:

  • Do you currently share your financial life with a partner?

  • Have you done so in the past or plan to in the future?

  • Does the idea of sharing your financial picture with a significant other frighten or delight you?

Personally we’re a fan of sharing your financial life with a trusted partner (keyword: trusted!), because just like the saying “two heads are better than one” so are two incomes.

With more money to save and invest, plus more ways to minimize your expenses (like sharing housing costs or those Netflix & Amazon accounts!), it’s possible to move faster towards financial freedom.

The financial transparency in my relationship has allowed for me and my boyfriend to become each other’s champions in a way I couldn’t have imagined before.

Interestingly, we have already switched places as being the higher income earner (a few times!) which we see as a win-win for the team.  

In gearing up to launch the ElleFactor, we didn’t just talk about my idea for the company ad nauseam, we put a financial plan in place to allow for my transition out of w-2 life.

Here’s a few things we did to prepare for my entrepreneurial journey to become a reality over the last year:

  1. EMERGENCY SAVINGS: Typically we only kept 4 month of fixed expenses in cash so the rest could go towards investments that were growing our wealth with compound interest, but we increased our cash reserves to be more conservative while I launch a startup.

  2. BACK UP EMERGENCY SAVINGS: We discussed which brokerage accounts would be earmarked as our secondary emergency fund if we needed access to more cash.

    • Note: This is why having non-taxed advantaged accounts are valuable. Unlike tax-advantaged accounts (ex. 401Ks & IRAs), you don't get penalized for taking your money out early (before age 59.5) when you need it! We learn about brokerage accounts and how to up your investing game in ElleFactor Circles too.

  3. BOUGHT A HOUSE: Not only did buying a personal residence lower our monthly living expenses by 22%, it also increased our net-worth while building up our overall portfolio in the real estate department.

    • Note: We also house hack by renting out a private downstairs space to a tenant that pays half our mortgage (Learn about House Hacking and building RE portfolios in an upcoming ElleFactor Circle).

  4. STOPPED EATING LUNCH OUT. We went on a year long ban to get better at meal planning and preparing home cooked meals. This allowed for leftovers to become our lunch and wasteful spending on lunches out daily to cease!

    • Note: This has also made us healthier!

  5. GOT REAL HONEST WITH EACH OTHER AND OURSELVES. In talking through ways to significantly reduce our expenses, we focused on cutting out the things that didn’t serve us and keeping things that did.

    • Note: We recognized that we love eating dinner out 2-3 times a week so we built this into the budget to keep from feeling deprived. Now, we opt for fast casual restaurants and stick to a per meal budget which usually means foregoing either the drinks or the apps!

Drink the Coffee, Not the Kool-Aid

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On Sunday we had our 2nd Coffee & Coin event in Austin - the monthly forum where women talk wealth!

The room was full of inspired conversation and honest thoughts around how to set up our financial lives for success even when we hit roadblocks along the way.

A fearless woman named Holli shared her entire money journey (including the real numbers!) to a room full of supportive strangers.

It reminded me of something I come back to over and over again - there is a palpable sense of empowermentstrength, and love, in a room full of women supporting each other.

Holli shared her first money memory of learning her family wasn’t financially responsible after her dad got caught stealing cable (and the cartoons got shut off!) to:

  • Putting herself through school

  • Overcoming rocky relationships

  • Dealing with financial emergencies (that 10k bunny bill, though!)

  • Becoming the first person in her immediate family to own a home

  • Overhauling her career from earning 30K to 130K

  • And saving six figures in 8 years

All of which are great reminders that one event doesn’t define you and there is still time to take ahold of your financial future not by waiting, but by acting.  

The best time to take control of your financial future is when it feels:

  • Unclear

  • Expensive

  • Out of control

  • Confusing

  • Scary

  • Hard to navigate, etc.

That’s why ElleFactor Circles exist. To give you a place to design your financial future with a group of women by your side and all the tools you need for you and your new money crew to gain financial clarity, purpose, security and freedom.

Today, Holli is looking at creative ways to invest her money thanks to her experience in an ElleFactor Circle where she was encouraged to think outside the box, inspired to get her goals outlined, and supported to put them into action.

February's Coffee & Coin with Holli

At the next installment of coffee & coin:

You’ll hear from Ladies Get Paid ATX’s committee co-lead, Holli. She’ll share her:

  • First Money Memory of learning her family was not well off financially

  • How she bought a house as a single woman

  • How she saved 6 figures for retirement

  • And what her exact numbers are from income to savings to investing

Holli is an inspiring woman who’s actively involved in the Austin arts & financial wellness scene. On Sunday, February 3rd 11-12:30pm, come listen to her financial journey while enjoying a free cup of ‘Jo at Greater Goods on the Eastside. RSVP before tickets sell out like last time!

I Moved for a Man and Found my Ladies

A year ago, I moved to Austin for a budding new relationship and a much needed lifestyle change after 8 years on the grind in NYC. After settling into my new man, apt and job, I realized I was missing a critical piece of the puzzle:

AN INCREDIBLE FEMALE FRIEND GROUP

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Ladies Get Paid was a group I’d been involved with in NYC, which had the noble mission of closing the gender wage gap. I’d been a salary negotiation coach for a few years at this point after getting myself a 25K raise, and figuring out how to apply that newfound knowledge to help other women do the same.

I’d hit it off with the LGP founders and they called pretty much as soon as I’d landed in Texas to ask if I’d launch the local chapter and be their salary negotiation instructor here. I was thrilled to be asked but immediately nervous to disappoint since I had zero network.

I went to work anyway, rallied a committee of three awesome women, and challenged us to be the best professional women’s network in Austin by year end. 11 events later--with support from local celebrities like Gay Gaddis and Wendy Davis--LGPatx has grown to over 1200 women!


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Helping women earn more money has been a very fulfilling part of my life. But ultimately, I started to see something I couldn’t unsee:

THE MORE WOMEN EARNED, THE MORE THEY SPENT


The extra money wasn’t being saved, invested or applied strategically in a way that could transform their financial futures. We were literally "working (too) hard for the money" to let it slip away so easily. I had to do something.

And so, ElleFactor Circles were born to help women figure out how to invest in themselves, the markets, and each other via solid financial knowledge, guidance and community.

I believe that, like Ladies Get Paid is working to close the wage gap, the ElleFactor will work to do the same for the investing gap (which can cost us upwards of $1M over our adult lives--no joke!).

If you’re ready to invest in your financial future in order to ensure your stability, security, clarity, and autonomy when it comes to your personal finances, this is your moment.

The best part? You don't have to do it alone. ElleFactor Circles are an in-person, dedicated and supportive way to start designing the future you really want using money as the tool.

To be considered for an ElleFactor Circle or to check whether you're ready to take control of your financial life, fill out the Money Fundamentals Questionnaireor learn more about the process.

Lauren shares her ElleFactor Experience

Why was this experience life-changing?

I talk with Lauren to discover what made her want to join an ElleFactor Circle in the first place and what’s changed in her life since joining. For starters, she’s:

  1. Recently accepted a new job with a 25% salary increase + negotiated for equity

  2. Saved $1,500 in less than 3 months with plans to have $8,000 in her emergency fund by March 2019

  3. Reopened a dormant brokerage account to start investing again

  4. Will be saving 20-25% of her income next year towards her value based goals

Lauren is a creative soul and spectacular woman. She was looking for motivation on how and where to take her financial life to the next level.

Having the support of the other women in the Circle is what she believed helped her get unstuck from a job she had on autopilot and a lifestyle that wasn’t advancing her financial future.