Think Like a Woman … Manage Your Money Like a Man

How to Unleash Your Inner “Alpha Female”
If you’ve ever found yourself in the same position as Clark or LaMarr—unable to negotiate on your own behalf or assert yourself financially—it’s time to tap into your inner alpha female and meet the challenges head-on.

Here are five ways to accomplish that goal:

Don’t be afraid of being labeled as aggressive or a “bitch” when it comes to financial negotiations and decisions. Whether dealing with a spouse, a financial planner, or an overzealous car salesman, women are quick to back down, follow the advice of others, and make money-related decisions that aren’t always in their own best interest. Dawnna St. Louis, a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida-based professional speaker, presentation coach, and author, wants women to unleash their inner “alpha female” personalities and to worry less about what people think of  them. “Being bold, audacious, and unapologetic about what you want doesn’t make you a bitch,” says St. Louis. “It makes you a woman who makes sure she gets what she wants.”

To become that woman, St. Louis says the first step is to remove the emotion and any personal words such as, “You want,” “I need,” or “It’s for me.” Negotiations are not personal, she says, and should remain focused on the service or product in question. Negotiating a contract or salary and up against resistance? Use phrases such as, “Let’s talk about the value that your company will get from the services and how we can negotiate a mutually beneficial contract,” or “I’m very interested in this position and obviously your company is very interested in me; let’s discuss an agreement and the appropriate salary for this position.”

Be sure to point out the value that the firm will be getting in return for the desired salary level by discussing your experience, education, past accomplishments, and other highlights. “Remember that if you’ve made it to the point where you are negotiating salary, the employer wants you,” says St. Louis. “Use that to your advantage.”

Come to the table having done your homework, whether you are buying a car, negotiating a salary, or hiring a contractor. Women can enhance their financial status by simply saving money through smarter negotiations. Buying vehicles, saving for retirement, or negotiating with home remodeling contractors doesn’t have to be daunting if you come into the situation prepared and educated, says Robin Young, a certified financial planner and president of Women Behaving Wealthy in New York.

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