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 & Retiree's: Become A “Boomerpreneur”

Women in Business - are you bored with your current job or career? Have you been downsized or let go? Are you trying to figure out your next step and aren't sure how to capitalize on your skills, talents and abilities?

Or are you in or near retirement and looking to increase retirement income or start a new chapter as a “boomerpreneur." “Americans 55-64 have launched more businesses than any other age group during the past decade, closely followed by those 45 to 54, reports the Kauffman Foundation.”*

The great thing about starting your own business is that you won’t get fired or downsized. But you must have the focus, discipline and persistence to make it through the first couple of vulnerable years. (More than 50% of businesses don’t and usually because of poor planning or under capitalization.)

Here are key questions to ask yourself and elements to keep in mind when starting your own business:

* Are you a risk taker?

* Do you enjoy uncertainty?

* Are you competitive?

* Really important: Have you maintained your drive as you age?

Other questions to answer:  How will you fund your business – get a loan, borrow money from your home, obtain a partner?   

Women forty and above have the wisdom and life experience to be able to hone in on your passions, skills and talents. In most economic down cycles lots of new businesses emerge. There's lots of help available from business associations, the Chamber of Commerce and local colleges.  It's a great time to stretch into a new venture as a "Boomerpreneur."  Just make sure you ground your dreams with a business plan and action steps and strategies and realistic expectations.  (* Money Magazine, “How to be a Boomerpreneur”– May 2012)