Women in Business: What are your money excuses? There are reasons why you don't have the money you'd really like to have. Do you treat money with the respect it deserves?Read More
If you’re a woman you’ve probably read “Fifty Shades of Grey” and have been talking about it with your friends. But I bet you haven’t talked about Fifty Shades of Green – a more important (but less lustful) topic to your bottom line than the characters of Christian Grey or Anastasia Steele could ever be.Read More
Shh.... Did you tell your spouse or partner how much you really spent for Christmas or shopping trips or even vacations? What would they say if they knew? What other money secrets do you keep?Read More
Your brain on money. We women in business love to believe that our logical brain is in charge when it comes to making decisions about money. If we're not in stress or fight or flight, this is true. But, when stressed, it's the emotional brain that's running the show. The research of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, shows that even people with no trauma history, but who are undergoingespecially strong emotional stimulation, we shift into the right-brain (emotional) processing which shuts off logic.Read More
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.
Losing weight and keeping it off has always been tough. But bad spending habits can be just as challenging and destructive. Now there are Apps like Urge or Make a Habit, Break a Habit (see below) to make it easier to stay on track with behavior changes.
What kind of bad money habits do you have? Are you an unconscious spender or compulsive shopper? Do you go to the mall and two hours later have bags of purchases and you can't remember what exactly you paid for them? Are you a secret shopper? And, I don’t mean the kind that’s hired by Safeway to check up on their customer service. I mean do you sneak your purchases home when your husband is busy and hide them so you don’t feel guilty, or get grilled? Do you struggle to maintain a budget or is budget a word you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with?
Changing our habits is not for the weak willed. We need help. Like poor spending habits, food, weight and exercise habits have been particularly tough to change long term. But Behavorial Modification programs are getting positive attention again and are based on making small incremental changes that build progress over time. You may be surprised to know that Weight Watchers is basically a behavorial modification program and it’s one of the most effective.
For those of you that have a money problem there are apps like Lose It, or Make a Habit, Break a Habit which lets users choose the behavior they’d like to change, like shopping less, or Urge, which “prompts users to hold off on impulse purchases to hit budgeting goals.”
These Apps are exciting, cool and they work because they improve on the principles of good ol’ 12 Step Programs – support, feedback, slow steady changes and the good feelings that come with healthy change. (The Perfected Self by David H Freedman, The Atlantic June 2012)
Nice Girls Don't Get Rich author Lois Frankel, Ph.D (a rich woman in more ways than one) says that many of the characteristics that make women uniquely feminine are the very same behaviors that prevent them from becoming financially independent. What does she mean by that?
Women are socialized to be the caretakers and still today more women go into the helping professions than men, which don't pay as well as other professions. Ms. Frankel says she spent "the first half her adult life believing that doing good and doing well were mutually exclusive."
Take a look at this "nice girl" programming and see what you think:
* Money is power, and most little girls are not taught to be powerful - they're taught to be "nice."
Money is power and women are taught to be nice, not powerful. Really. Think about that. From the time we're little girls we're taught to think about others and to override our own feelings for the sake of someone else's. Boys are taught to win and compete and they feel very comfortable with that. Personally, I believe we women can be powerful AND nice.
In order to get your Money House in Order first identify one or two mistakes you've been making with money. Here are a few to pick from. Try to be objective and don't blame yourself. The powerful stance is to take responsibility, learn from our mistakes and make new decisions to take new action this coming year.
Mistakes Women Make with Money:
1) Spend Unconsciously: Piddle money away on things like Starbucks, another pair of shoes, fast food.
Money House in Order Power Tip: Get a small notebook or on a SmartPhone use the Note function and track every single expenditure over the next 30 days. Eye-opening.
2) Take Care of Others Before Take Care of Self Financially: How many times have you (to be nice) given money to your adult children, boyfriends, partners, parents, people in need rather than save more of it for your future?
Money House in Order Power Tip: Consider that most women don't have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, especially single women. Give, but give consciously and sometimes giving to adult children is financial enabling and hurts rather than truly helps.
3) Overspend or Overshop to Cope with Anxiety, Stress or Just Because: Women waste so much money on things they don't need. "A need is replacing something that's worn out. A want is everything else." ( Peggy Gardiner, Professional Organizer) It's fun to shop. I get it. But, stay conscious of the immediate pleasure vs. how your money needs to work for you over the long term.
Money House in Order Power Tip: If you tend to shop when feeling anxious or stressed take a PAUSE to think rather than shop out of habit. During this pause take 10 breaths. Ask yourself - what do I really need? Time, relaxation, listening to, fun, pleasure? What are other ways I can satisfiy this? How much can I really afford to spend? What's the most powerful thing I can do with this money?
Here's to you getting your money house in order and as a result feeling and being more powerful with your financial choices. Remember, you can be nice and powerful.
Big Girl ACTION:
1) For fun, take the Money Type Quiz to find out whether you’re a Warrior Money Type – focused and disciplined or possibly a Fool – happy-go-lucky, not necessarily good at paying the bills. Lynn offers a FREE 15 minute results phone consult.
Overspending and Overeating: Can you ever get enough? No, not to "make you happy, except temporarily." Did you overspend or overeat during the Holidays? More than usual? Are you not surprised to learn that these two behaviors often go together in the same female? “Compulsive shopping or spending can be a seasonal balm for the depression, anxiety and lonelineness during the December holiday season.”(Professor Ruth Engs, RN, EdD, Indiana University)
We may laugh at the term Shopoholics, and it was treated lightly in the movie by the same name. But overspending, like overeating, can be as serious a problem as any of the “isms” such as alcoholism. How much is enough when it comes to spending and eating and what exactly are we trying to accomplish with our indulgences? Pick your answer: To be social, to have fun, to avoid or distract ourselves from uncomfortable feelings, to feel better? The first two choices can be guilt free, the third one gets us in trouble because it works only temporarily. Then? We compulsively repeat the behavior, hoping to feel better, or to get high, to avoid all those uncomfortable feelings that come up in life.
Gently ask yourself these questions. They’re meant to help you understand more about your eating and spending:
Did you throw all rules for how much to eat or a spending budget out the window and really overindulge? If so, are you feeling guilt or remorse? Or wondering how to get back on track? Do you have other ways to soothe uncomfortable feelings that don’t have a downside – such as exercise, talking to a friend who’ll tell you the truth, journaling, yoga, a coach or counselor?
Overeating and overspending are behaviors that often go together. Here are suggestions to start the New Year off right, get back on track and have a more conscious Holiday season in 2012:
1) Gently take responsibility for the overindulgences: Tally up the weight gain and amount of money owed.
2) Make a realistic plan – A) How much weight am I going to lose by what date? 1 pound a week is realistic – avoid drastic diet loss programs – they don’t work long term. B) What amount of money can I put toward paying off my credit cards each month? C) How will I hold myself accountable? For weight – have an accountability partner, join Weight Watchers or Food Addicts Anonymous? For debt – take a financial awareness course like Dave Ramsey, or speak with a money coach (like myself).
3) Understand that the drivers of compulsivity are often feelings. Feelings of anxiety, depression, STRESS that are normal parts of life. Learn to go into those feelings safely, preferably daily. An easy to use guide is TARA (Touch, Accept, Release, Action) available as a FREE download at www.coachingmodesto.com on right side of page. (from Intentional JOY: How to Turn Stress, Fear & Addiction into Freedom 2009)