Women in Business: What’s Your Greatest Money Challenge?

Women in Business: What’s Your Greatest Money Challenge?

What do women in business consider their biggest money challenge?  As a Certified Money Coach, I conducted a survey last week to get feedback on that money question and others. In response to:  “What’s your greatest challenge with money”

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How Does Your Money Talk to You?

 

How does your money talk to you? Bob Dylan says: "Money doesn't talk - it screams." Like sex in the 50s or family abuse secrets in the 70s, the subject of money is taboo.  Sshh... Don't talk about your money!!

We don't talk about how much money we make, whether we can pay our bills or not, about the financial stress or hardship we're experiencing. It's embarrassing and we think we're alone, but we're not. There's a saying from the field of psychology, that we're only as sick as the secrets we keep. Money is the last taboo and we need to share our money truths to feel better and move forward.

See if you relate to any of these thoughts or beliefs about money that Louse Hay discusses in her article, "Are You Friends With Your Money?"

* I can't save money

* I don't earn enough

* My credit rating is bad

* Why does everyone else have money?

* Bankruptcy is around the corner

Notice these are all fear based thoughts about money. Because of the economy there's been a considerable fear and negativity around our money. This is actually good if we take steps and not let the fear overwhelm our ability to take action, work diligently to be real about what's going on and take our power back.

The first step out of money fear is to break denial and tell the truth to yourself and your spouse. Make a list of all the money you owe and the money coming in. Create an action plan and look at your list every day while taking daily small incremental steps - pay $10.00 on PGE, talk to the bank, again, send out 10 resumes. Staying on track with an action plan will help you feel more in control.

Financial freedom takes work. You start where you are. It's ok. You're not alone. Tell the truth, make a list, create a plan, take daily small steps, stay conscious of your spending, and don't forget to dream and envision what you want. We need to focus more on where we're going than where we've been or what we've lost. The American Dream isn't dead, but it's been tarnished. It's up to us to shine it up again.

Is The Middle Class Going, Going, Gone?

Is the middle class of old going, going, gone? Yes and the sooner we take our heads out of the sand of denial, the sooner we can strategize and create positive job solutions.

Here are economic facts of the last 40 years:

In previous recessions (2001, 1990-1991, 1981-1982, 1973-1975) mid pay jobs rebounded each time, but the net effect was still lost midpay jobs with each recovery.

In the recovery of 2001 there was a 5% net loss of midpay jobs, in 1990-91 a 20% netloss of midpay jobs, in 1981 32% net loss. In other words with each recession the recovery of midpay jobs has declined. The net effect is that the middle class has lost ground with each recession and recovery period. “Half of the 7.5 million jobs lost during the recession were in industries that pay middle-class wages, ranging form $38,000 to $68,000. But only 2% of the 3.5 million jobs gained since the recession ended July 2009 are in midpay industries.* Mid-wage jobs were 60% of recession losses but only 22% of recovery growth.

What about the poor? How do two working adults make enough money for rent, food and basic necessities on a $7.25 an hour minimum wage? They don’t. In California, the miniminum wage is $8.50 an hour.  If the minimum wage was pegged to inflation over the past 40 years, the federal standard would be $10.58 an hour.*  Still not much to build a better life on.

Who or what is to blame? It's more complex than this answer, but technology is the major culprit, though of course the housing market and banking excesses share the blame. Though we love our technology, it is the main problem in terms of recapturing lost mid wage jobs because robots, software and newer and better apps do jobs faster, cheaper and more productively than humans can. Companies understandably go for increased productivity and earnings and cheap, effecient labor. 

What's the solution?  First of all, letting go of the dream that things will go back to the way they were. Forget it. Let's move on. Then, we need our best, most creative economists, along with folks from the middle class and poor to brain storm short and long term solutions to job creation because, believe me, we are all in this economic soup together. If the middle class and poor continue to lose ground that affects all of our standard of living. We can create job solutions. We must start now and we can't leave that to Washington alone. (*“The Great Reset, Recession, technology kill middle-class jobs,” Modesto Bee January 27, 2013, ** Michelle Singletary, Mod Bee 1-27-2013) 

Money & Happiness: Do You Deserve Both?

Do you suffer from “Happychondria*,” or the fear of being happy.  What about “moneychondria” or the fear of having  money?  I think it’s safe to say many of us have both of those fears though we would deny it’s so because those beliefs often sit below our conscious thoughts. However you’ll see the evidence of those fears if some of these conditions exist: 

(Circle all that apply for you) 

* You spend more than you make,

* You “debt,” or consistently run up credit card debt,

*  You under-earn or

*  Over-service clients (a condition that many self-employed do). 

*  You give your money away (to children and other “needy” folks and don’t keep enough for yourself) – a money mistake women often make

*  You’re not planning or saving for the future

*  You make plenty of money, but feel out of control because you don’t manage it

Let’s take a look at how much money it takes for Happiness.  Here’s a question I like to ask audience members when I give talks such as Power Up Your Money, Power UP your Life:

How much money does the average American say they need to be happy?

Pick one - Multiple Choice

1)    $100,000 annual income

2)    $50,000 annual income

3)    $1 million annual income

4)    $75,000 annual income

If you picked D you win the prize.  Research shows that $75,000 is the income most Americans currently feel is enough for a decent standard of living.

But, how much money is enough for you to be happy?  Not your parents, neighbors, siblings, friends?  But just you, my friend.

Write Down: 

1)    My current annual income is $________________.

2)    In order to insure happiness and contentment financially with no more money problems and worries, my annual income would need to be $______________________.  (*from David Krueger’s The Secret Language of Money.)

For most of you the 2nd number will be about twice the size of the first.  While we all want to have goals, what happens when we reach those goals?  Most people set a NEW number that is – yes – you guessed it – about twice the size of the previous.  When is what we’re making enough?  When do we decide to stop chasing MORE and be happy with what we have?  We all deserve to have enough money and happiness and when we become conscious of what's getting in the way we are able to create that for ourselves.

As a Certified Money Coach I offer a FREE 15 minute Strategy Session for any money situation you’re struggling with. Email me at lynntelfordsahl@gmail or call (209) 492-8745.  

(*from Happiness Now by Robert Holden, Ph.D - highly recommend this book)

How Much Money Is Enough for Peace?

A friend of mine has a saying, “If you want to know what you believe, look at what you’re experiencing.” So true. But many of us don’t want to look at what we believe or how we behave with money because we’re afraid of what we might find. And, we often don’t have a safe way of doing so. That’s where money coaching is helpful.

What we believe affects how much money we make, manage or or build for the future. For example, the overspender justifies her purchases with excuses - “Well, I’m not spending that much, I only shop at the dollar store.” The avoider doesn’t look at his bank account balance, or save for retirement because it’s too far away to feel real.

Our core money beliefs are ingrained deeply within. We have  we’ve stopped asking WHY we need to work so hard or acquire money.  But what money means to us is a key question to understand. Kansas State University and the Klontz Consulting Group show that How much money is enough for you? That’s a question I ask when giving presentations and the answer tends to be twice what they’re currently earning. When they reach that next goal? The new goal is – you see where we’re going here – twice again.

Take the Quiz by clicking on this link and find out if the beliefs that run your money bus are: Money Worship, Money Vigilance, Money Avoidance, or Money Status and you’ll find there are recommended steps to deal with each type.  Then call or email me and we’ll talk about the results in a 15 minute complimentary conversation. 

 

Poor Money Attitudes: How to Retrain Your Money Brain

My Money Attitude for much of my adult life was avoidance. Except for paying the bills and talking to our financial advisor once a year, I didn’t think about money much. I worked as an addiction specialist for over 20 years and was more focused on helping than how much money was coming in. Then I started a coaching practice, my husband will be retiring, and last year I became Certified as a Money Coach. Now, I’m VERY interested to know more about money and how I and others, think about, manage and especially mismanage their money. 

Here's a Quick Money Assessment:

Is your current attitude about your money more based on fear or peaceful?

Fear  ___ Peaceful  ___

Do you feel in control of your money? Y  N

Or out of control, overwhelmed?  Y N 

Do you actively manage your money on a daily or frequent basis  ? Y N

Do you avoid checking your balance? Y N  

If you’re 35 or older, are you actively saving towards retirement?  Y N

What I hear when I talk with clients is that our attitudes about money are all over the board – from total avoidance to obsessive worry.  Neither effective strategies for feeling good about our money or helping it grow.

I also notice that people are rather clueless about how to manage the money available. I was and who can blame us? What money management practices did your parents teach you? There are folks may look really good from the outside – nice house, car, pretty clothes, upscale lifestyle. But because I’m a Money Coach I see what goes on behind their financial doors – not so functional.  No judgment or blame – they’re doing what they believe they need to do to feel good about themselves.

Steve Repak’s new book: “Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money,” suggests that retraining the mind is essential to changing your money habits and that it’s never too late. First he says you have to commit to wanting things to change, to be different.  So true, as the addiction author Ernie Larsen said, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” Repak suggests starting with small changes –  instead of going out to lunch every day (can save 150.00 a month easy there) pack a lunch. Commit to reducing debt one card at a time. (Nothing new there.) And, this is my encouragement – stay focused on your financial goals, which means you need to have some to begin with. A good first step is to know where you’re at – income, expenses, bills, needs and wants.

Women in Business: Are you a Financial Innocent? April is Financial Literacy Month

relaxed-woman.jpg

April is Financial Literacy month – time to pull your head out of the sand and plunge into learning about your relationship with Money. Not just the numbers – how much you make or what you spend - butwhat goes on with your thinking and your feelings about money.

Inside you is the answer to why you keep repeating the same old money mistakes over and over again. Here are some money mistakes women make: Overspending, Not paying your bills on time even though you have the money, Financially enabling others and not taking care of yourself, or a big one for women in business; Not charging enough!!

You may be like I used to be: I hated thinking about money. But, I had an awakening when I went through the training to become a Certified Money Coach.*  I found out exactly why I had the challenges with money I’d had since young adulthood. Yes, it did have to do with the way my parents handled their money. Not their fault, their parents had influenced them as well, and I was still responsible for the choices I made. But once I connected the dots and became conscious, I was able to make better financial decisions and to create less stress and more financial peace. That’s huge!! .  (*Certified through Deborah Price & The Money Coaching Institute)  Next time: Find out What The Money Types Mean and how each type shows up in your Money Life.

Resuscitate the American Dream with Hope, Change & Personal Responsibility

Resuscitate the American Dream with hope, change and personal responsibility says Suze Orman in her newest book, The Money Class. The American Dream our parents embraced was one of living BELOW their means. This is a lesson we lost track of in the obsession for MORE that advertisers promoted and we indebted ourselves to (in oh so many Visa and MasterCard ways).

We need to not only rescue the American Dream as Suze says, but resuscitate it with the old virtues of hard work and sacrifice. Boring, and so not exciting as the lifestyles of the Kardashian's or Jersey Shores, but realistic.

Suze says, and I agree, that we must move beyond materialism – an empty value if there ever was one – to authentic happiness. But we Americans are programmed to believe that more money equals happiness. This is an illusion that lottery winners, for example, often realize too late. (Most are bankrupt or broke within 5 years)

I have a two-part question I ask at Money Workshops and trainings that comes from David Krueger’s book The Secret Language of Money.

1)    My current annual income is $__________________.

2)    In order to insure happiness and contentment financially, with no more money problems and worries, my annual income would need to be ______________________.

Most people answer #2 as being about twice the amount of #1. For example if #1 = $50,000, then to insure happiness I’d need to make $100,000. But once a financial goal is reached, what do we do? Set another goal and it’s often about twice the size of the first. When do we get to be happy and have financial peace?  

Let's create a new American Dream by educating ourselves about money and prioritizing what is most important and what we value. And, by the way,  a 2010 survey Suze cites by Charles Schwab & Co. says 75% of respondents understand that to create a new American dream, it takes hope, change and personal responsibility!!  That's true financial peace.

Won't More Money Will Solve All My Problems?

"If I just had more money, my problems would be solved." According to Brad Klontz." (author of academic study, "Money Beliefs and Financial Behaviors: Development of the Klontz Money Script Inventory," published in The Journal of Financial Therapy) most Americans fall into this money belief pattern. Our self-worth and our net-worth are very intertwined in American culture and our money beliefs are for the most part unexplored and below the surface of awareness. Have you ever overreacted to a financial situation like your spouse asking you something about the household finances and wondered, "What just happened?" I know I have. That reaction is tied to your unexplored money beliefs, habits, attitudes and patterns.
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