Why do we make our financial life so difficult when it doesn’t have to be? One reason is that we want to feel better right now and our consumer culture loves to prime the “I work so hard, I deserve something” pump. Feeling stressed, unhappy, dissatisfied? Buy something – that’ll make everything better - temporarily... Except that after the initial glow wears off – usually by the time you get home – remorse or guilt set in, along with the now monthly payment that goes on and on. Yow.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
Taxes and stress go together like death and taxes. No wonder we get stressed and put off the pain as long as possible. Stress amps up our fight/flight alarm system. Breathing – even 5 or 6 breaths stimulates the relaxation response and both systems can’t be active at the same time.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.
More Money Will Make You How Much Happier? There is so much pressure in our society to always go after MORE, more, more money. Addictive, anyone?
But, research shows that after someone’s earning $75,000 a year, more money, even a lot more, doesn’t make them any happier. Well, a little bit happier – about 9% happier.
So, if it’s not true that MORE money will make you happier, what is the truth? According to Happy Money authors Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton, (two Harvard professors), there are 3 keys to being happier with your money:
1) Buy experiences vs. stuff. When students were asked to think about 4 material purchases and 4 experiential purchases and to draw circles and place those circles around a larger circle called SELF - depending on how closely linked each purchase was to their sense of self, the experiential purchases won hands down as being more important.
2) Make it a treat & SAVE money. If you go to Starbucks every day and spend $5.00 it’s expensive and it’s less of a treat than 1x a week. Try this: Try limiting your visits to 3x a week or 1x a week for that special latte. and drink regular coffee the other days. I tell my 5 year old granddaughter Shelby that she can have 2 Hershey kisses after her nap – she looks forward to those and enjoys them thoroughly and rarely asks for more. Treats have Value. Bonus: How much $$ can you SAVE a week with just that simple adjustment?
3) Buy Time: One stressed, over-working mother of two children, hamsters and hubby bought a Roomba to help with housework. The $300.00 purchase saved this household time in cleaning and stress.
Time Affluence: Everyone feels overly busy and you may be shocked, as I was, to hear this bit of research, but the time crunch is due in good part to financial prosperity. In general America is wealthier now than 50 years ago. “Wealthier individuals spend more of their time on higher stress activities shopping, working and commuting."
”TIME SCARCITY”: increases the value of what’s perceived as scarce: As incomes rise, time seems more valuable!!
The authors recommend not using money to get more time, but to value happier time as an end in itself. Switch the focus from making more money to having more time. Ah...feel better?
Looking at my money could be fun? Ugh is what most of us think. Money is one of those subjects we try to avoid. After all it's uncomfortable to think about how much we owe, or how little our next pay check will be. But avoidance doesn't solve our money challenges and believe me, both personally and as a Certified Money Coach, we ALL have money challenges. This is why it makes good sense to have expert help for women in business.
It doesn't have to be scary learning about our relationship with money. It can be FUN to look at our strengths and challenges by getting to know our Money Types.
For example: Are you the type who is happy-go-lucky most of the time, but avoidant when it comes to money? You may be an Innocent. Or, are you financially successful, goal driven but a bit of a rescuer? Ah...The focused Warrior is a great worker to have on your side. Or, perhaps you know someone who is self-sacrificing, long-suffering and may give money but with strings attached? I relate to part of this archetype which is the Martyr who also tends to overwork. The clue for me that I'm slipping into my Martyr is feeling resentful. Then I know to pay attention and take a break
By taking the quick and easy Money Type Quiz you'll discover which of the 8 money or archetypes are showing up in your relationship with money. Oh, you didn't know you have a relationship with money? Well, we do and money affects everything in our lives. David Krueger, author of The Secret Language of Money says, "Money is more than just money. It's about everything. Everything we eat, drink, fear and buy; everything."
What we don't know that we don't know about money we can get us into trouble - think credit card debt, foreclosures, short-sales. Knowledge about how we think, feel and behave with money helps to keep us safe, plan for our future, have fun and create financial freedom as we feel more in control of our money.
Take the Complimentary Money Quiz and receive a FREE 15 minute phone or Skype Consult with Lynn personally to go over the results. I guarantee you'll learn something important about you and your money!!
(*Money Types by Deborah Price - The Money Coaching Institute and used with permission)
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)
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.
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)
What’s the top reason for divorce? Money problems. And, money stress, is the number 1 stressor for 80% of Americans. Symptoms include:
Headaches, depression, heart attacks, muscle tension and back pain and ulcers and digestive problems. Notfun.
But what exactly is stressing you about your money situation? Pick your top stressor: Debt, lack of income, not saving enough, fights with your partner, just not knowing where to begin?
Tip 1: Talk About Money
Especially for women, talking about what’s really going on lightens the load and makes you realize you’re not alone. As I give presentations about money to women in business I hear over and over about the struggles with money. Until we talk about what’s going on we FEEL we’re the only one. Find a friend or family member to confide in. If there isn’t one available, I offer a FREE 15 minute consult (LINK HERE209 492-8745 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stress Busting Breakthrough Tip:
Tip 2: BREATHE I know, I know. Breathing won’t CHANGE your money situation, but when the body relaxes the mind relaxes and solutions become more clear.
Here’s How: Exhale first. Breathe in the to the count of 6, hold for a moment and exhale to the count of 6. Take 10 breaths at least 3 x a day. I’ve taught breathing as stress reduction for over 20 years and it’s the #1 most effective tip. It’s FREE, can be done anytime, anywhere.
Tip 3: Create a Plan: You have to start somewhere. Get the bill folder out, the credit card slips. Tally up what you owe. Now you know. It may not be pretty, but not knowing often creates more anxiety. Next step? Figure out what you can pay weekly or monthly – better to pay something than nothing. LearnVest.com is a terrific website for financial help. Feel a little better?