Feel Like a Money Victim: Here's What To Do About It

Feel Like a Money Victim: Here's What To Do About It

Deborah Price, International Money Coach and author of Money Magic, says too many people feel like money victims right now. A victim is characterized by powerlessness, hopelessness, and blame which is often the result of a great loss. Americans have good reason to feel victimized - from job loss and downsizing to fear of losing a job if they don’t work unreasonable hours, to short sales and foreclosures - there’s a lot of economic pain to spread around. And, the emphasis is on fear, which is not a good place from which to problem solve.

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What Money Secrets Do You Keep from Your Spouse?

What Money Secrets Do You Keep from Your Spouse?

Shh.... Did you tell your spouse or partner how much you really spent for Christmas or shopping trips or even vacations? What would they say if they knew? What other money secrets do you keep? 

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Winter Money Blues? Zip Right Out of Them!

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!

Money & Happiness: Do You Deserve Both?

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.

Write Down: 

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)

Couples Money Talk: Why You React About Money & How to Stop

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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.

Money Doesn't Just Talk - It Screams

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“Money doesn’t just talk, it screams.”  Bob Dylan

Americans are waking up to the fact that the super-wealthy have been ripping off the other 99% of us.  Now that we’ve noticed, we’re pretty angry about it. Hence, all the Occupy Wall Street factions. Before this realization we were blaming ourselves for our money problems or in denial, or waiting for things to turn around. But there’s something about all those millions of folks losing their homes and jobs that has finally got our attention.

I don’t know if America is still the land of the free and home of the brave. But we certainly are an economically unequal society. Quite. According to the CIA reported in the NY Times, *“the U.S. is more unequal a society than Tunisia or Egypt.” Ow!

Did you know that the *400 wealthiest Americans have a combined net worth greater than the bottom 150 million Americans?  That from 2002 to 2007, 65% of the economic gains went to the richest 1%?

Financial stress is affecting 75% of Americans according to the American Psychology Association. But, inequality is not just stressful, it’s bad for business. A study shows that of 65 industrial nations, the less equal countries experience slower growth.* That’s us folks. From the 40s to the 70s equality and growth were strong in America. Since the 70s a downward spiral.

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I’m hopeful though. When Americans finally wake up – remember the 60s – we WAKE UP. It’s time to take the anger we’re experiencing at the banks and corporations and channel it into options for the greater food, and I don’t mean stock. Anger can fuel creativity, action and massive changes. After all, our collective scream got B of A’s attention.

(*NY Times, Oct 16, 2011, America’s Primal Scream)

Women: Are You a Compulsive Spender?

Are You a Compulsive Spender?    

Take this short quiz to see if you are a compulsive spender:

1) Do you shop, (in stores or on the net) to escape feeling stressed**, bored, lonely, empty, defeated, angry or scared?

2) After a setback or disappointment, does it feel like spending money will help you feel better? (It does, temporarily.)

3) Does your shopping or spending create conflicts for you, or between you and others?

4) When you shop or buy something, does your mood change?

5) Are you unable to enjoy your purchases because you feel guilty or bad?

If you answered YES to any of these you may be using money or shopping as a way to regulate your feelings or self-esteem.

First of all, good for you for taking time to get honest. Have you tried any of these to change your behavior? Promised to never overspend again to a spouse or yourself? Cut up your credit cards? One woman froze hers. That’s a pretty good in-between strategy and works similarly to not keeping sweets in the house when dieting. This slows down or creates a pause for that impulsive feeling of "gotta have it" and I mean right now!

But creating superficial limitations are bandaids on spending problems. The real solution comes from dealing with the feelings that are driving the behavior and by being willing to explore your relationship with money.

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Try this:  Next time you want to shop put the PAUSE BUTTON** into effect and check in with yourself before you go shopping. Ask: Am I stressed, bored, or anxious?  If so, about what?  Notice where the feelings are – belly, head, heart? Then take 10 deep breaths and with each exhale imagine breathing out the uncomfortable feelings, and decide if you want to shop or not, and try to stay conscious of how much your budget allows.  Next Step: Learn how your early money story helps to create your money mindset with a Free chapter from my eCourse: Prosperity Power and Peace Click Here

Financial Enlightenment: Creating Fulfillment with Your Money

"Never use money to measure wealth," is painted on the beautiful sign my sister Lane has in her yard. Lane is a talented, but "starving" artist who is in touch with her soul and with nature - whether bugs or animals and she allows her spirit to express delightfully in her jewelry and paintings. For the most part, she enjoys her life, limited means though she has.

Contrast Lane's world view with the person who works just to "make a living" or as author Vicki Robin of Your Money or Your Life says, "make a dying." I see the appeal of my sisters lifestyle. How many people end up in jobs or careers that they hate, but can't/won't admit it and do something different because the money is good. 

How do we measure wealth if not by money? Think about what wealth really means to you and how do we bring a more soulful relationship to our money? Originally money was a place holder or method of exchange that replaced bartering. Now as Deborah Price, author of Money Magic states, "we have given money such power that it permeates every part of our existence."

It's time to redefine what money means to us. We get so driven by making a living, or success that we lose sight of what's most important. I see this shift happening when for example, a friend lets go of overcommitments and focuses on her family and health instead. We need a new understanding of money that wakes us up to our deeper nature and connects us with our spiritual self. We need to respect money, but not make it our God because it's not money that's our problem but how we have defined it. Long ago we created this idea of money, but we have forgotten that. It's time to take our power back and create a new definition that utilizes our heart as well as our head. As we "deepen our relationship with our soul and bring it to bear on our relationship with money" we will experience the inner and outer abundance that is true wealth.

Money Lessons 101

What kind of financial education did you get as a child or young adult? For most of us, it's the school of hard knocks and we make lots of money mistakes by the time we're thirty or fifty. Those of us that are smart take a class or read a few books about money. But, reading a book or taking a class doesn't get at those unconscious or below the surface memories, that fuel our money problems. 

When we're children we observe what's happening in our families around money and make up stories to understand and make sense of what is going on around us. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to comprehend the world of money. The Iceberg theory states that 10% of our mind is conscious and the rest is subconscious or under the surface. When your money buttons get pushed and you react instantly - for example, when your wife comes home with a shopping bag from the mall, but hasn't paid the bills yet, that may plug into a childhood memory.

To understand more deeply your current relationship with money takes some exploration. Deborah Price, in her book Money Magic, describes the Mother/Father Mirror Exercise. She suggests you get into a relaxed, "stream of consciousness" state (sit quietly, take a few slow breaths, relax) and allow pictures or images to form of your parents or guardians. Start with your mother and as you get a clear image of her make a list of characterstics, energies or attitudes you attribute to her around money. Then do the same with your father.

Now, gently ask these questions:  Which parent do I most mirror in my relationship with money? What aspects do I consider positive or negative? Which characteristics do I embrace or appreciate?  The negative characteristics are often the unconscious money aspects we either deny or avoid. They're also the ones we tend to most react to in our partner. How can you allow this new awareness to help you in your current money situation? As we gain new insight it can soothe financial stress and lead us into transforming our patterns, habits and beliefs with money.  

Love or Hate Relationship with Money?

You may love the money in your life or hate it, but you are definitely in a relationship. Your relationship with your money could be healthy or unhealthy, conscious and involved or mostly ignored and avoided. Deborah Price says, “We have a relationship with anything we are connected to or dependent on.” Many of us don’t think about or evaluate our relationship with money though it touches our lives every single day. And, depending on how we treat our relationship with money, it can be our friend or foe because it mirrors back to us exactly what we put into the relationship. 

If you’re not sure what your relationship with money is try this short exercise:  Think about money and write down the first 5 words that come into your mind. As short as this list is, it will tell you something very quickly about whether the part of you that sits under the surface (your subconscious mind) views money as positive or negative. (And, it’s the subconscious mind that we need to understand because it often runs the money show especially in times of stress).

Let’s say the words were something like: scary, overwhelming, secretive, fun, never enough. I’m just making this up now, but if my relationship with money is influenced by this type of “shadow” energy which means what I really think that's under the surface, I may find myself going along just fine, not thinking much about money as long as things are stable. I also may spend money and keep it a secret from my partner because I don’t want them to get “mad” at me, or it’s my way of exerting some control with my husband. When a financial challenge comes along – blam – that feeling of overwhelm hits and I avoid dealing with the money problem, and we know how well that works, right?

So, now what? You may have a glimpse that there’s more to your relationship with money than just your paycheck or the bills you pay. Tune in tomorrow for how to understand your relationship with money by looking at your parents relationship with money. As Deborah Price says your ability to change your relationship with money lies in direct proportion to your level of consciousness or awareness about money. So, let's explore our money relationship.

 

 

 

Won't More Money Will Solve All My Problems?

"If I just had more money, my problems would be solved." According to Brad Klontz." (author of academic study, "Money Beliefs and Financial Behaviors: Development of the Klontz Money Script Inventory," published in The Journal of Financial Therapy) most Americans fall into this money belief pattern. Our self-worth and our net-worth are very intertwined in American culture and our money beliefs are for the most part unexplored and below the surface of awareness. Have you ever overreacted to a financial situation like your spouse asking you something about the household finances and wondered, "What just happened?" I know I have. That reaction is tied to your unexplored money beliefs, habits, attitudes and patterns.
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Is Shopping Till You Drop a Problem?

Ever shopped because you're stressed or anxious? To distract yourself from problems or after a fight with your spouse? Because you're bored, lonely? Do you shop every day? What would happened if you didn't? What do you imagine you're really going for when you shop? (What feeling are you trying to deal with, deny or fill?)
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