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
What do women in business consider their biggest money challenge? As a Certified Money Coach, I conducted a survey last week to get feedback on that money question and others. In response to: “What’s your greatest challenge with money”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
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.Read More
Failure isn't failure if we learn from it. Just between you and me, I've had many failures in my life. If you're a woman in business you've had your share also!
Here are 3 Tips to Turn Failure into Success: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.
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.
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.
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)
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!