How Does Your Money Talk to You?


How does your money talk to you? Bob Dylan says: "Money doesn't talk - it screams." Like sex in the 50s or family abuse secrets in the 70s, the subject of money is taboo.  Sshh... Don't talk about your money!!

We don't talk about how much money we make, whether we can pay our bills or not, about the financial stress or hardship we're experiencing. It's embarrassing and we think we're alone, but we're not. There's a saying from the field of psychology, that we're only as sick as the secrets we keep. Money is the last taboo and we need to share our money truths to feel better and move forward.

See if you relate to any of these thoughts or beliefs about money that Louse Hay discusses in her article, "Are You Friends With Your Money?"

* I can't save money

* I don't earn enough

* My credit rating is bad

* Why does everyone else have money?

* Bankruptcy is around the corner

Notice these are all fear based thoughts about money. Because of the economy there's been a considerable fear and negativity around our money. This is actually good if we take steps and not let the fear overwhelm our ability to take action, work diligently to be real about what's going on and take our power back.

The first step out of money fear is to break denial and tell the truth to yourself and your spouse. Make a list of all the money you owe and the money coming in. Create an action plan and look at your list every day while taking daily small incremental steps - pay $10.00 on PGE, talk to the bank, again, send out 10 resumes. Staying on track with an action plan will help you feel more in control.

Financial freedom takes work. You start where you are. It's ok. You're not alone. Tell the truth, make a list, create a plan, take daily small steps, stay conscious of your spending, and don't forget to dream and envision what you want. We need to focus more on where we're going than where we've been or what we've lost. The American Dream isn't dead, but it's been tarnished. It's up to us to shine it up again.

Cash Mobs & LookLocal: Have Fun & Do Good Locally

Cash mob’s are to generating cash for local businesses as flash mob was to spontaneous “planned” happenings at train stations, family parties, or events.  I first saw Cash Mob on Facebook and thought what an inspiring way to help locally owned businesses. 

The goal of Cash Mob is to encourage local shoppers to go to a small, locally owned businesses and spend $20.00 on a specific day. This creates cash flow for the local business, is FUN because you’re participating in something bigger than yourself and stimulates your local economy. Facebook your friends and target your favorite store!!

Two people are credited with starting Cash Mob’s. The originator was a blogger, Christopher Smith of New York in Aug 2011 and Andrew Samtoy, an attorney, independently started his own version in Nov of 2011. 

If you’re looking for a local Cash Mob business to support, Intrinsic Elements at 1214 J Street, downtown Modesto is hosting one on June 26th from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. No set amount to spend, just go in, meet the owners Susie & Michellen!!

Along the same “stimulate the economy” lines is the 3/50 Project or LookLocal. There are a number of Modesto businesses involved: The Green’s, Bonnie J’s, Intrinsic Elements, to name a few.  “If ½ the working population spent $50.00 a month three times at locally owned businesses, on a national level, 64 billion dollars would go back into the economy.” (from 350 Organization).

So, go have FUN and do GOOD!! 


“I’m Mad As Hell – About The Price of College”

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” is the famous quote from the 1976 movie "Network" starring Peter Finch. That phrase incited audiences to take action! Boy, do we need action now!!

Here's my question: What is it going to take for people to get angry enough to keep the pressure on our legislators about the ever increasing and inflationary price of college?

The New York Times had an article last weekend about college grads who have over $100,000 of debt, can’t find a job in their field and are working for $8.00 an hour with payments of $800.00 a month.  Do you know how long it will take that young person to pay off $100,000 debt? Right - basically forever.

And, of course, unlike working adults who get into too much debt, student loans can’t be defaulted on without serious consequences. So the trap has been set.  Are we as a nation deliberately handicapping our college students with overwhelming debt just like their parents were set up by credit card companies? We see how well the super consumerism backed of the 90s created bankruptcies in the millions, homes lost, savings devastated and lifestyles changed irrevocably. And, yes, being a Certified Money Coach and a therapist, I think personal responsibility is a must, but there's a responsibility that needs to be borne by the banking and financial institutions as well!

In order to maintain a middle class we have to keep public education available at reasonable rates. Pay particular attention to the privatizing of colleges which have astromonically escalated the cost of a college education!!  Enough – Get Angry and Take Constructive Action for your children and grandchildren now!! I'm curious what you think - how is the rising cost of a college education affecting your ability to send your children to college?

Reflections About The Economic Scale of Life

When did you first realize where you sit on the economic scale of life? For me it was in high school after my parents divorced. My newly single mother found a job as a photographer for Sears. There was no extra money; barely enough for rent, bills and food. There was certainly no extra money for clothes. But, instead of feeling defeated or giving up, I felt challenged. My early entrepreneurial spirit had me handwriting flyers to let people in the neighborhood know I could babysit. And, babysit I did. I also learned how to sew and made a few A-line mini-skirts - remember those? My favorite was a lime green and I wore it often.

Until my 30s I didn't think much about where my husband Dave and I were on the economic scale. I was getting my masters degree in psychology and Dave was running a technology business. We were at an event at my husband's partners' home and I noticed they had money. It's easier to accumulate more money when one comes from money. They'd been raised in an upper middle class environment. Her dad was Richard Lyng, who later became the Secretary of Agriculture under President Reagan. His dad was the CEO of a large hospital in town. My husbands partners were very nice, very low key people, but it made me uncomfortable to be around them. I started comparing what we had and what they had. I felt envious of the neighborhood where they lived. My feelings were not caused by what they were doing or not, it was all a reflection of my discomfort with my inner relationship with money. That discomfort I felt back then is part of the divide that happens between those that have more.  I saw the indicators of success - money, prestige, a fabulous home, etc., and wasn't sure how to attain those or even whether it was important. After all I was heading into the helping profession of counseling, a profession generally not "into" making money. So, I stopped thinking about all that money stuff. 

A few years ago I started getting a handle on finances. This year zoomed me into a new place when I went five month training program to become a Certified Money Coach. All the denial and avoidance around money came back to the surface. VERY uncomfortable looking at what's hidden from plain view.  Looking at my stuck money places, forgiving myself and my parents their financial inadequecies and growing my money self up was painful and incredible. I can't encourage you enough to really shine the light on your RELATIONSHIP with money - not just the budget or the in and out flow, but how you feel about money, what it means to you, what your money history or story is. If we want to achieve greater economic equality in this world, we have to transform our emotinal stuff around money - our attitudes, beliefs and convictions around what money really means. A powerful journey.

Greed & The Economic Crisis: Can Women Do It Better?

Could they do any worse? Most of us are rather clueless about what really happened to bring about the crash of 2008, but one thing is clear, while we are all in this mess together, we didn’t all put us in this jeopardy. Greed is the real problem. Yes, individual Americans have a part in creating this calamity. They borrowed more money than they should have. Credit was so easy to get and banks were so happy to push it. But, the real story is more disheartening than just the lack of individual responsibility.

This current economic roller coaster started with the deregulation of the banks in 1999 under President Clinton. This did two things. It unleashed the easy credit frenzy and banks could once again offer stocks for sale. In 1999 the Financial Services Modernization Act was passed which deregulated the old Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. That law was passed after the crash of 1929 to protect the public from banks. With deregulation,  banks were freed to unleash their greediness once again (hmm…. what we don’t learn from our past we are doomed to repeat). Deregulating the banks was like putting the wolf in charge of the chicken coop and expecting them to behave themselves.

The other greed factor and a “hidden cause of the current global financial crisis is that the people who saw it coming had more to gain from it by taking short positions (or by buying credit default insurance- in other words betting against America) than they did by trying to publicize the problem.” (Michael Lewis: Boomerang, 2011)

Here’s my question: If more women were in decision-making roles in Congress, banking institutions and large corporations, would this folly have happened?  One Icelandic woman, Halla Tomasdottir, noticed the financial crisis that was building in her country and quit her high-level position as the CEO for Kaupthing Bank in 2006. She didn’t like the way things were going. She started her own financial services business totally run by women. Her company is one of the few profitable financial businesses left in Iceland today. And, Bloomberg reported that while women make up only 3 % of hedge fund managers, their portfolios profited 55% more than men’s from 2000-2009. (Can Feminine Values Fix Finance?