There's not a better way to ring in the new year than setting your intentions for the next year and in this case the next decade. We turned to our team of Ambassadors & Athletes to help us create Sister Sage, a weekly roundup of advice and insights into what we learned in the past decade (because no one wants to go through that shit again.) In our first week, we're looking at our relationship with money.
Stacey Kennedy @snowboardbums: Understand investing. So many women I know either rely on men to deal with their investments or simply don't invest. I was terrified of investing until my 30s, but basic investing is incredibly easy and there's a wealth of information out there to simplify things. Taking control of your investments and finances can have a huge impact even on a relatively small salary.
Britt Kasco @britt.mich / @origintravels: Understanding debt as an investment instrument, and de-stigmatizing it. This is a pretty widely accepted concept when it comes to student loans, but is viewed as "risky" and "irresponsible" when applied to investing in yourself in other ways. In my experience, I felt heavily judged when I took on debt to start my business; so much so that I internalized feelings of regret and inaptitude, like debt made all of my accomplishments "less-than" and made me doubt all of the sweat and smarts that I put into risk analysis. Having access to credit, calculating risk, and investing in myself empowered me to refine my business to point of attracting critical angel investment in less than two years after I launched it. All debt is risky, and if you are looking into it make sure you are aware of the terms and can assess your ability to pay it back. Ultimately, not all debt is good debt. But not all debt is bad debt. Not all debt is a bad idea.
Erica Mazzarelli @ericamazzzz: Don't be afraid to ask for a raise. I'm a new grad physical therapist and I'm just starting out, but I also have a LOT of debt. After a few months at this job, I've been feeling like the compensation doesn't reflect the amount of work I've been putting in (we see a lot of patients/day). However, I like my job and the people I work with, I feel like I'm valued, and I'm also not in a position to look for a job with higher pay as I don't have enough experience yet. Recently, I had a talk with my boss and laid everything out: I'm trying to save for a house, student loans are a big hit each month, and I feel like I'm a big asset to the clinic. Luckily he's a super supportive boss and agreed to the raise. I've always been really nervous to have talks like these to my bosses in the past, but I've also always regretted asking for a raise when I should have. It doesn't hurt to ask and the worst that can happen is you get a no, but the best that can happen is you get compensated and feel valued for the work you do!
Ryan Michelle Scavo @ryoutside: Never compromise on your values when weighing potential income/monetary opportunity vs. the things you ground yourself in. The places, people and experiences you can be your best self in/around take precedence over any amount of money you could possibly make in exchange for leaving that behind.
Ally Dykman @ally.dykman: I was talking to some of my friends the other day about credit cards and I was shocked to find most of them just had debit cards or a basic credit card their banks gave them. Their cards were giving them almost no return on spending. To put it in perspective I just opened a venture card and if I spent a certain amount within 3 months I got 50,000 points which converts to about $600. Get a card that works for you whether that's travel, eating out, shopping, or all of the above!
Rachel Shannon @raquelshannon: You make some and you lose some, don't let it control your life. Find a balance of being financially responsible and treating yourself.
Lynne Schmidt @lynn_e_schmidt: Money shouldn't dictate every aspect of our lives. Yes - we need it to survive, but if we're not happy where we are, are we really living?
Pia Yarnell @_pia.camille_: The first priority is meeting basic needs for yourself and your family. The second priority is happiness. That may mean an aggressive career and long hours so you can retire early or it may mean allowing yourself more time on a daily basis to spend with people you love. It’s different for everyone and there is no right or wrong way.
Coral Taylor @c_ros: Negotiate for the pay you want, the raises you want, and give the decision-makers the tools to make their decision easier - show them why you're worth that pay. If you work for yourself, set a rate that is actually worth your time. Easy to say, hard to do. But worth it.