What are 3 reasons it's expensive to be poor? I have to go back into time to explain this. When I was first working as an office worker in the Central Valley of California in the 70s, I made $10.00 - $12.00 per hour. That's about what starting office workers make today. Shocking? Thirty years have gone by and the cost of living? Well, you know. I wouldn’t have considered myself poor at that time, but today, at those wages I would be.Read More
How do you shift from stressing about money to gratitude, JOY and freedom? That may sound impossible, but it's not. It just takes time, energy and of course: FOCUS.
If you're feeling unhappy about your money situation and there may be very good reason - a job loss, divorce, downsizing, overwhelming debt, finally let your house go into foreclosure, it may sound impossible to feel you'll ever be ok again.
But, you can be and the answer is part perspiration and part inspiration.
Step 1: Let's tackle the fear first:
1) Write down all the money fears you have on a piece of paper that you'll throw away. Go on - do it and do it now.
2) Feel the fear - I know this ain't fun, but "feel it to heal it" is a truism and it only lasts a minute. Notice where you most feel the energy of the fear in your body. Rate the fear on a scale of 0-10 with 10 the worst. Breathe into your body for a few minutes feeling it with the in breath and releasing the fear with the exhale. Rerate the charge of the anxiety on a scale of 0-10 again. Better? Little shift? Repeat until the number down enough to feel relief.
3) Now, if you're ready, ask - what's the blessing of this situation or money fear that I'm having? As soon as we gain perspective because we're not so caught up in the emotion, we can THINK better and be aware of any blessings. When we're deeply IN the emotion we can't think.
4) If you can't go there yet, it's ok. Think about and FIND at least 3 things in your life you can be grateful for right now - List them, feel the gratitude and imagine you have a REMOTE control in your hand that you can dial the number up to increase the FEELING of gratitude in your body and mind. Raise the number as much as you'd like. Repeat this process until you feel complete - may take a few days to weeks. We're all different in terms of how willing we are to let go of the past. When you're ready go back to Step 3 and find the blessing of the money challenge.
Step 2: You know how you read in Oprah Magazine and many other places, about how important it is to be GRATEFUL? Do you know why? Fear and stress lower our energy, depress us and disempower our ability to focus on what we want to create in our lives. Gratitude, love, happiness increase our energy state and therefore increase our ability to see possibilities, focus on what we'd like to have more of in our lives and very important - REFOCUS when we lose our momentum and or stuff happens - and we all know stuff happens to all of us.
A very simple formula is to write down 3 different things you're grateful for every day. I like to do so at the end of the day. Writing it down cements it into your subconscious and then you take those positive feelings into sleep where your subconscious works with it to help you create more of what you want.
If you get stuck on the fear and this is like any CHANGE process - it takes time to RETRAIN the brain (our most powerful instrument) say the words out loud: CANCEL CANCEL and then think about the opposite of the problem you were thinking about. For example: I don't know how I'll make payroll. CANCEL CANCEL and think or say: I know I'll find a way to make the rent. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Your subconscious will start looking for solutions.
Resources about this subject: FREE Monthly Webinar: December's 3 Keys to Turn Holiday Stress into Peace/3-keys-to-holiday-peace Lynn's Money Coaching Programs, Wayne Dyer: Wishes Fulfilled, (CD with James Twyman excellent meditation), Esther Hicks material, Jack Canfield or Mark Victor Hanson.
Money Stress: #1 Source of Stress for 75% of Americans?
True, according to the American Psychological Association. I talk to people every week in the Central Valley of California that are losing their homes, are upside down with their mortgages, have been "downsized," lost their jobs, filed bankruptcy and are in desperate financial struggle. Many are blaming themselves for their financial problems and feel guilty and ashamed as if it's all their fault. That's not the whole picture. (Footnote: Originally written in 2009 and the home market is improving, but there are still many homeowners holding on to homes and struggling financially, or trying to modify homeloans and financial stress is still #1)
While it's true we are ultimately responsible for the good and bad choices we make about money, it's also true that it's hard to make good decisions about money when we get bad information or are poorly trained in money matters. We Americans should be paying attention to the fact that the financial institutions have made a LOT of money in the last couple of years. We need to hold ourselves AND these institutions accountable.
2 Keys to Create a Healthier Relationshio with Money:
1) Raise Your Money Consciousness and assess where you're at by asking these questions:
* Do you avoid the topic of $ or obsess about it or alternate between the two extremes?
* Can you talk about $ with your partner? If not, what's uncomfortable?
* What's your greatest fear about money?
2) Finish Your Unfinished $ Business:
When I was a girl I asked my Dad something about my parents finances and he told me it was none of my "blankety, blank business." That told me money was a scary subject and better left alone. It took me a long time to discover that memory and to realize that avoiding the topic of money made things worse.
Think about and journal: What's my earliest money memory? What's my greatest money fear? How do these positive or negative memories show themselves in my life today?
As we individually work to heal our relationship with money, hold ourselves and our financial institutions accountable, we will shift from being so STRESSED about money and be more confident with our $ decisions.
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)
Winter Money Blues? Zip Right Out of Them! Whether you're business women, or stay at home moms, it's the third dreary, cold, gray week of January. Christmas bills are coming in, the budget was blown, the spending high of December long forgotten and tax time is right around the corner. No wonder January is the longest month of the year.
Remember, we nearly always survive January anyway, but here's how to speed up the financial peace process.
1) Give yourself 1 hour or 1 day (depending on your needs) to REALLY feel the sadness, depression, angst of your situation. Moan, groan, complain, vent, cry, yell. Go into it and when that allotted time is complete - move on.
2) Financially Assess where you're at: Pull your ostrich head out of wherever it's been and take stock. Look at all the bills, count up the money owed, make a list of what's due, when.
3) Make decisions. You've got the list of money coming in and bills due. What's the loudest bill? What can you pay on it. Go down the list. Prioritize.
4) Send the payments. No matter how few or how small, actually sending the payments out feels good.
5) Congratulate yourself - Ta-Dah. "I did it." Call a friend and share. Feel good about the progress rather than always striving for perfection. There now - it's nearly February!
As a woman in business, who is also a Certified Money Coach, I know what it's like to struggle with money and how good it feels to take charge. Financial peace and health come with focus, prioritizing and persistence. Here's to you!
Mini Money History of Lynn:
My husband Dave would try to talk to me about the bills, or credit card charges, or really ANYTHING to do with money and I had one of two reactions – I’d burst into tears or get angry. Neither reaction led to resolving the issue and left both of us frustrated, hurt and confused. If you’re in a relationship, I can bet reactions to money have happened in your household.
How is it that two perfectly reasonable people can turn into screaming or crying messes when the subject of money comes up? Hint – think about how your parents were with money. In my household, money was a constant source of fighting because there wasn’t enough and because my parents didn’t know HOW to talk, about their feelings and needs in a constructive way. They also didn’t know how to plan or budget their $$.
Here’s part of the answer: It’s the invisible mom and dad in our heads.
Let’s imagine the man in the couple had a father that worked really hard during the week and blew his pay-check on the weekend. Our husband marries a woman whose parents carefully managed every dollar, and were a little skimpy with their children’s wants. Now, this happily married young couple, after a few months of wedded bliss, start having money problems. He feels she’s too restrictive, she feels he’s not careful enough.And, they have no clue as to what’s driving those feelings, but it’s the hidden feelings that cause the reactions.
How to Stop Reacting and Start Communicating: As a money coach I take couples through a process that allows them to safely talk about their specific money challenges, identify where the buttons were installed – it is our childhood or past relationships*– and have ground rules for how to talk about their feelings and needs.
For example, in my relationship today, I can say to Dave, “Honey, I’m feeling anxious about our retirement needs. Can we sit down and go over exactly what savings we have and our projected expenses?” (This is a question I could never have asked a few years ago!!)
Feel assured that with coaching, guidelines and a safe environment it becomes exciting to talk about money as a couple and it brings closeness, understanding and proactive planning. Request your FREE 15 Minute Money Strategy Session Today.