It's not always about making more money. Try thinking about what money you have differently to feel Happier!Read More
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
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
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?
How did this Money Coach save $14,000 in one day while on vacation? Sound like a miracle? Well, it sorta was. My husband, Dave and I were on vacation in sunny Escondido at the Lawrence Welk Resort - yes, you heard that right. Lawrence Welk of 60s TV & bubble fame has built a money making resort about 40 minutes north of San Diego. Why did we drive 7 hours to stay there? Because it's child friendly and our grandchildren are joining us so that we can make good on our Christmas present to them - a trip to the San Diego Zoo.
But, let me get back to the big money we saved today. For two full day Zoo passes worth $88.00 we, in a moment of weakness, insanity, fill in the blank, decided it was worth it to attend a - you guessed it -a 90 minute TimeSHARE Presentation. Three hours later, though a bit financially stressed, we walked out as rich as when we met our lovely saleswoman Lynne, a therapist soul-sister, who did everything in her sweet power to convince us that it was "nothing" to add to our 2 timeshares, or trade them in on the NEW even better development of the Lawrence Welk resort - all for only $14,000.
By the time we'd been there nearly 3 hours, we almost caved - we were wearing out and wearing down and the last deal, the smallest deal, the best trading deal was starting to sound good. (Our math also showed us that the 3 hours we'd sat patiently while Lynne very sweetly described all the glories of ownership was worth between $600.00 - 800.00 of our time by our hourly rates - somehow this helped direct us back to sanity.) As we began to weaken we thought if we just signed the deal we'd get out of there. Dave and I had a private conference and did the figures again and in our regained frugal sanity realized we can do a lot with the $14,000 it would have cost for a week a year timeshare - we can remodel our bathroom, we can upgrade to a larger unit when we go to Mexico and we go every year (of course we already have a TimeShare - doesn't everyone?)
As Dave and I escaped from the Time Share building, we laughed in relief - we'd just saved $14,000 and we got those $88.00 Zoo Tickets. Here are quick rules on how to keep your money in your pocket if you attend one of these presentations: Smile, nod, be polite, firmly grip your partners hand and give each other the NO, don't you dare say yes grip as needed, keep smiling and as they present their last option, say please give us a couple minutes and then a sweet, clear and firm NO when the sales person returns. Yes there is disappointment - I hate to say no to a sales person - but your money will be in tact. Enjoy!!
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.