Master The Language of Love & Money[x] Close
Master The Language of Love & Money
Talking About Money Can Be Awkward. Managing it Together Can be Hard. It Doesn't Have to Be.
If money were just about money and love was all you ever needed, couples wouldn’t avoid talking about money. And they certainly wouldn’t find managing + merging their finances so challenging. Right?
But, alas, the majority of couples find talking about money awkward and managing + merging their finances hard. It’s what typically happens when couples bump up against the intersection of love + money. Can you relate?
Beyond The Numbers[x] Close
Beyond The Numbers
Get clarity, assurance, & a customized plan for your finances (and your life).
Get smarter with your money using our three-phase/five-step process!
1. Discover - deep dive into exploring your money story + habits: tools used questionnaire & banking|investment|credit card statements
2. Prepare baseline assessment: tools used - mind-map
3. Create initial strategy & outline implementation recommendations (over 2 calls)
4. Develop systems & financial organization structure
5. Present "final" plan & follow-up/review strategy and process
Beyond the Numbers is a three-month commitment and includes:
1. Six (6) sessions, scheduled on a bi-weekly frequency
2. All sessions are 60-minutes; held over the phone (or via Skype), and recorded
3. Email support during our 90-day engagement
When we're done, you'll know "how to do it right" - because you'll have insight, assurance, know-how and know-when via a customized strategic action plan.
Financial Jam Session[x] Close
Financial Jam Session
Get clarity, assurance, & a customized plan for your finances (and your life)
Get smarter with your money using our three-phase/five-step process!
1. Discover - deep dive into exploring your money story + habits: tools used - questionnaire & banking|investment|credit card statements
2. Prepare baseline assesment: tools used - mind-map
3. Create initial strategy & outline implementation recommendations
4. Develop systems & finanical organization structure
5. Present "final" plan & follow-up/review strategy and process
Financial Jam Session includes:
1. Two (2) sessions; one for 60-minutes, the other for 30-minutes
2. Each session is held over the phone (or via Skype), and recorded
3. Email support for 30-days
When we're done, you'll know "how to do it right" - because you'll have insight, assurance, know-how and know-when via a customized strategic action plan.
Out Of The Red, Back To Black
Debt Management Program[x] Close
Out Of The Red, Back To Black
What Would it Feel Like to Handle Your Debt With Ease...Again?
While you crave the day when you can claim, "I am debt-free!" - again. But in the meantime, you'd settle for being able to handle your debt month-to-month with ease. Regardless of the type of debt you have. Regardless of whether your debt is 4-, 5-, or 6-figures. Regardless of whether it'll take two years or twenty to payoff.
That is the goal Out of the Red, Back to Black - an online, self-study course. It's designed to shift the locus of control from debt controlling how you experience life to YOU controlling how you experience debt!
Through a 4-part process you’ll discover why debt management is not just a numbers game. You’ll discover why it’s also important to understand your money mindset. The money + mindset combo is what will help you manage your debt so that it isn’t all-consuming – sucking the life out of your life!
Goals. They can be pretty darn demanding, right? Especially your financial ones.
- Needing a plan of action in order to come to fruition.
- Requiring you to have a community of like-minded people behind you. You know, like in the think-and-grow-rich kinda of way that says (loosely) your wealth will be the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- Requiring you to have a co-pilot – an accountability partner that, at times, has higher expectations for your success than you do for yourself.
- Demanding you use a cross-section of resources that:
- address the myriad dimensions of money;
- increase your motivation to do more of what’s right for you and less of what isn’t;
- don’t just increase your awareness of financial how-tos, but enhance your knowledge and understanding of how you experience money, too.
This is where the Financial Intimacy Lounge Membership comes into your financial picture.
I’ve been working on the revamp of this for awhile now (and hinting at it, too!), and I am really, really excited about it. Here are a few reasons why:
- It contains all the elements for creating and refining your financial goals, along with a framework for a master plan that make all the ways money intersects with your life do so as seamlessly as possible.
- It’s been designed for independent thinkers whom understand that unbiased advice doesn’t mean undirected. Who get that questions like, “Am I doing it right?” or “What am I missing?” are actually good to have – they keep you on your toes and prompt you to challenge the status quo.
- It’s been created for savvy people who want to be engaged in a conversation about how to best manage all the dimensions of money – not talked at. You know what I mean?
- It makes pleasure a key factor of interacting with ALL aspects of your money. Since it is something you need and use everyday, in every way, why not – right?
The Financial Intimacy Lounge Membership is what the future of DIY personal finance looks like, in my opinion. If financial coaching + training got together with financial planning and had an awesome baby, this would be it!
Ready to join us? Click here now.
Well, not literally. But metaphorically, it does.
I’ll explain in a minute. First, some context.
I’ve spent the last several weeks exploring the delusion of hard work (as a constant state of being) and how it affects your finances.
Selfishly, I wanted to dive more deeply into the whole work-n-money paradigm. In light of my own evolution in this area, I wanted to counter the notion that working harder and struggle and success are inevitable cousins. Instead, I wanted to invite more ease into my business and life – along with more money.
Turns out, my personal quest was a mirror for what many of my coaching clients (and blog readers) are dealing with, too. Or, is it the reverse?
A Rabbit-hole of a Different Kind
Old-school programming about work, about money, and about the dynamic relationship between work and money, are so ingrained that you and I barely even recognize what we’ve embraced as “gospel.” Therefore, we don’t recognize the ways in which we are stuck – blindly making choices that actually don’t serve us in the best of ways.
Since working hard(er) tends to go hand-hand with our glorification of busyness, it seems only fitting to wind down this series discussing the exact opposite of this mindset and approach. It’s time to introduce the next layer in what is truly an on-going conversation.
Hence, this question: Could a slower pace and more quiet mind positively impact the way you manage your money?
And the reason the interplay between meditation and money is the focus for this month’s Financial Intimacy Hour. (Not registered? Click here. It’s tonight – Wednesday, 3/26 at 8pm EDT.)
Let’s face it, money can be stressful at times!
What that stress looks like differs depending upon whether the issue is related to earning it, having it, managing it, or sharing it. And each day, you have a multitude of decisions to make in any or all of these areas.
This brings me to the dance I referenced.
What typically happens when you feel stressed about money? I’m going to bet you shift into the “I need to do more (fill in the blank)” mode. How right am I?
Activity or movement of any sort seems more logical than just passively sitting by and doing nothing to alter your circumstances. (And to be clear you don’t have to be broke and in debt to feel stressed about what you’re doing or not with your money…just saying!)
But what if you and I have it all wrong here?
When the financial pressure is on…when your financial stress is at its highest, what if the act of becoming still (which is often perceived as “doing nothing”) was precisely what you needed to do next? What if it turns out that your wisest choices stem from this place?
So, How Do You Dance?
The “to-do vs. to-be” dance is a delicate tango.
Ultimately, you need to take action, but the difference lays with how you dance. From my own experience, I can attest to the fact that whenever I lead with to-do (which is usually based on fear), stuff becomes an even hotter mess!
On the flip side, when I lead with to-be – however unnatural and uncomfortable it may feel – the better the outcome AND the better I feel about the outcome.
To-do vs. to-be is all about attitude, mindset, and intention and whether you’re in the front being pushed by or in the front leading. This is why I am TOTALLY fascinated with how the practice of meditation can help you and me make smarter money decisions.
Could meditation hold the key for you to experience (even more) financial success than you have to date – because it plants you more firmly in the front as the leader of your money?
Let’s explore the interplay between meditation + money together. Let’s unpack whether it can positively impact the way you manage your money.
And don’t worry…while we are diving into nebulous territory, my guest, Kandace Simmons, and I will make certain you have clear, concrete and practical takeaways that you can implement immediately should you so choose to!
p.s. would you like to help me spread the word? Awesome (and thank you)! Please share this link:
Next week I’m hosting a free workshop – “Stage Your Own Financial Makeover: You Can’t Work 24/7/365, But Your Money Sure Can!”
I’m going to give you specific steps you can implement immediately to begin the shift from you working harder for your money than it is working for you. Click here to register.
But before we get to the to-dos, it’s helpful to know the what-not-to-dos.
You might be unwittingly making four common mistakes not realizing just how much they are actually blocking you from what you want. And in this case, that’s experiencing what it feels like to work less yet have more of what you most desire be it time, freedom, choices or something else – without sabotaging your current or future financial health and well-being.
You are too conservative.
I’m not talking about politics here. But I am referring to how you approach investing.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is being too risk-averse.
Especially when it comes to the stock market investing, because you fear potentially losing your investment principle you confine your investment selections – in part or entirely – to what will generate income. As a result, you to tend to exclude investment options that will grow by appreciation.
You believe this is safer. But the problem here is that the income earned doesn’t often out-pace inflation.
Gone are the days when an online savings account generated 3.75%! (Gosh, remember when ING Direct first hit the market?!)
If you want your money to work harder for you, you must expand your definition of risk beyond what you may potentially lose today. You have to also consider the opportunity cost of what you might lose in the future.
Be smart about it, but don’t be afraid to be a tad-bit more aggressive with your investment strategy.
You don’t have a money management system.
You either don’t have a system for making your financial decisions, or you have one but you don’t follow it consistently. For example, you don’t have a checklist or use tools or a particular method for:
- tracking your spending (and this is not to be confused with budgets!)
- making your investment buy, sell and re-balance decisions
- managing your cash and creating spending and debt management policies
When you lack a system and structure, you’re probably missing costly financial leaks and dismissing lucrative financial opportunities.
For your money to work harder for you, it needs structure.
A system provides that structure and it ensures you’re operating proactively and strategically with your money. Instead of making financial decisions that are mostly “shoot-from-the-hip” tactical and reactive. Continue Reading…
Last week’s post about the delusion of hard work really struck a cord.
Some comments were simple and direct – “This was written for me.”
Others took a more anthropological stance, and talked about how the North American immigrant experience, history of slavery and Industrial Revolution affect our present day concept of hard work.
The above, along with the other responses I received, are deep and personal.
I also think they represent an undercurrent playing out in many work environments – a desire for a different way of living and being.
Please, Please, Set Me Free
As I said (here), the problem with deeply-rooted beliefs and long-standing examples that laud hard work and struggle over ease is that you end up working harder for your money than it does for you.
And since there are people whom have flipped the script and the switch on this paradigm, wouldn’t it be really, really cool if you, too, were living a life where your money worked harder for you than you for it…all the time?!
- Can you imagine really living life on your terms and having control over your time and your lifestyle – instead of wishing it were so.
- Can you imagine working in Corporate America but setting a new standard for what it means to be a “hard worker” and committed team-mate? Or, if you own a business, can you imagine actually running it instead of it running you. In other words, can you imagine taking time to think and be creative instead of being in a constant state of doing and reaction?
- Can you imagine what it’d feel like to really work less yet have more (fill in the blank of what matters to you) and know that this decision isn’t sabotaging your current or future financial health and well-being?
Not only can I imagine this for you, I can imagine it for myself. But first, you and I have to make a few changes. Here’s what I mean…
Work Harder; Get Less?
If there was a poster child for ‘the delusion of hard work,’ it certainly would have been me. One of my first coaches, Mark Monchek, helped me see this with a simple, but piercing question: “Why are you trying to force this?” He was referring to my effort to grow my investment management business when it was my financial education practice that was thriving with little effort.
For a bit of context: I had a blast traveling across the country delivering custom-designed and non-traditional financial education experiences for corporations and associations. But back then, I looked at that work as something I did to supplement my revenue from working as a money manager.
Even though I LOVED the work, I didn’t initially take what I did in this education realm seriously because it was “easy” for me. Plus, my ego was really digging being able to say, “I’m a money manager.” That all changed when I realized 80% of my revenue was actually coming from the financial education side of my business.
My awareness may have changed somewhat instantaneously; it certainly was the reason I eventually closed down my money management practice. But it’s taken my mindset a little longer to catch up.
When your desire for a different way of living and being is greater than your current reality, you know you’re ready to have your money work harder for you than you are of it. However, readiness is one thing. Making it happen is quite another, and it requires a few changes:
- You’ll have to adjust your mindset and alter a habit or two or three…
- You’ll have to change your approach to work and to money
- You’ll likely have to “see” yourself with new eyes - letting go of your “old” identity in order to welcome in a new one.
The shift in you having a say in how you work, when you work and on what, and in you defining the success thereof has been simmering for awhile. But the Great Recession became a poignant pivot point – prompting everyone to pay a wee-bit more attention and realize that you really are responsible for your career and your financial success.
Some people excel in this awareness; others become frozen by the responsibility of it.
Truth is, it takes courage to flip the script and the switch on ‘hard work’ and embrace a new work-and-money paradigm: to really take the bull by the horn and live life on your own terms. But the benefits of having your money work harder for you are immeasurable.
That’s why I’m excited to tell you about a virtual workshop I’m hosting – Wednesday, March 19th at 8pm EDT – “Stage Your Own Financial Makeover: You Can’t Work 24/7/365, But Your Money Sure Can!”
You’ll be able to register soon. In the meantime, save the date and let me know in the comments section your answer to this question: What would be different about your life if your money worked harder for you than you of it?
I bet like me you were told (and continue to hear) that to get ahead or to reach the next level you have to work hard.
Work harder, and you’ll accomplish more; work harder, and you’ll be better; work harder, and you’ll get the results you want.
Our culture has such a reverence for hard work; we make it seem as if all you have to do to be guaranteed success and wealth is: work hard(er).
The Delusion of Hard Work
Though worn as a badge of honor by many, ‘hard work’ is such a loaded phrase. And usually what comes with it is the expectation of long hours and weekends and minimal “me” time – which is regularly associated with success, which is frequently linked to earning a lot of money.
But as you know – maybe even from personal experience – there are a lot of people who work hard yet feel short changed when it comes to success and wealth.
On the off-chance you and I are not operating with the same definition of ‘hard work,’ let me be clear: I am not talking about hard work that comes from challenging yourself to reach beyond your limits – that expands your confidence because you overcame a difficult task or met a monumental milestone.
When I talk about the delusion of hard work, I’m speaking of ‘hard work’ as a constant state of being that lauds struggle and dismisses ease.
When struggle trumps ease, all hell breaks loose – if not immediately, then eventually. And as a result, you tend to:
- Conflate the relationship between time and money with the relationship between time and work. They are NOT one-in-the-same and your income doesn’t have to be proportional to your investment of time.
- Conflate ‘hard work’ with focused-effort, discipline, consistency, practice, and a willingness to experiment.
- Assume there’s something wrong if what you’re doing doesn’t always require ‘hard work’ and it isn’t experienced as difficult. This way of being can become so “natural” for you that it extends beyond your work to include your personal relationships and how you relate to and manage your money, as well!
All this presents a conundrum for successful, financially-aware people like you – particularly if you’ve been operating under the spell of what I call the traditional, old-way of thinking about ‘hard work’.
Literally, you tend to work harder for your money than it does for you. Metaphorically, you work harder for your money than it does for you because you don’t have fun managing all aspects of it; so you’re likely to pay less attention to the parts you don’t like.
Another problem: You’re more likely to resist and close your eyes to new information, especially if it contradicts the reality you want to keep or are simply comfortable keeping.
Hard Work: Redefined
It is true: Work is an important element to your success – financial or otherwise. But if we look at ‘work,’ and the results thereof, as a derivative of focused-effort, discipline, consistency, practice, and a willingness to experiment, then the big question becomes: Are you doing what matters when it matters?
Of course, this presupposes you KNOW what matters and when it needs to get done!
Let me know by leaving a comment!
Today, I finally submitted my tax paperwork to my CPA. You might think I’m ahead of the game; actually, I’m cutting it close. My tax filing deadline is March 15th and Allen prefers to get my documentation by January 31st (clearly I missed that boat!).
In years past, whenever the process of getting my materials together was a bear, it was totally my fault. It was because I let receipts pile up and procrastinated getting them entered into Quicken, and/or I waited until the last minute to reconcile banking and credit card statements.
2013 was different. I was on top of things and a little ahead of myself…I even thought I’d actually make Allen’s deadline for once.
It stopped working
There isn’t a Mac version of Quicken Deluxe – the financial software program I’ve been using since 1995. So ever since I became a “Mac girl” in 2008, I’ve been running this Windows-based software on my MacBook Pro via a virtualization platform that purports to seamlessly run Windows-based applications on Mac OS.
Initially, this workaround worked lovely. Lately though, it’s been downright awful. I never know if I’m going to crash and have to reboot both operating systems or if a task is going to take me 30-minutes or 3 hours. This is probably why I haven’t been as disciplined with following my own financial systems + processes. The experience of doing what was once easy now sucks!
Square Pegs Don’t Really Like Round Holes
Here are five (5) ways I’ve paid for this inefficiency. And, I bet somewhere in your life you’re making the same mistake as me – forcing a fit that just isn’t working anymore (assuming it ever did). As such, you’re probably paying a price in similar ways, too: Continue Reading…
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day…Happy V-Day!
Last week, I shared how I thought the holiday wasn’t just for expressing love for and to another person. With this question – “How in love with your life are you right now?” – I was encouraging you to think about this day differently than you may have previously. I suggested it was an opportunity to also express love and gratitude to and for life. And, I gave you some questions to ponder.
As I have been working through those same questions, one word keeps surfacing: vulnerable.
Merriam-Webster defines vulnerable as “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded, or open to attack or damage.”
Yikes! None of that sounds pleasant. No wonder we have a hard time being vulnerable with each other.
But it’s good for you
Yet, if you think about the richest, closest relationships you have – the ones where you feel the deepest connection – I bet there’s one thing these relationships all have in common: mutual vulnerability.
In these relationships there’s open (even if tentative at times) communication whereby you share and disclose things you’d never open up for discussion with others.
And when it comes to love and money, there’s just no escaping the necessity for vulnerability.
It’s all about exposing the good, bad, and ugly. Or, as my friend and colleague Manisha Thakor would say, it’s about “getting financially naked.” Continue Reading…
A funny thing happened to me during my shift at the Park Slope Food Coop this past weekend.
Backstory: In coop lingo, I work checkout. This role serves the same function as in a regular grocery story except members pack their own bags; I just scan the items and process the payment method. For me, it’s the perfect assignment: It engages my curiosity about people, in general, and their choices, in particular.
Peacock Feathers & ATM Receipts…Oh My
Before I can begin scanning anyone’s items, I first need to scan their coop card or a slip of paper with their member number. Instead of the card or this slip of paper, the gentleman I was “checking” out inadvertently gave me his ATM receipt. After a chuckle, he gave me what I needed and I “checked” him out. But as he was boxing up his groceries he said, “You didn’t catch it. I was trying to show you my networth…”
I laughed so loud that my good friend and shift-mate standing at the register next to mine gave me a quizzical look. When he left and I told her what happened and what he said, her comment was, “Oh, he’s smooth.” That made me laugh even more because I TOTALLY missed his signal. And the imagery that eventually came to mind was of a peacock fanning out his feathers.
As you know, a peacock shows his feathers to capture the attention of a peahen. And his bright, colorful feathers are a big deal — they are what a peahen uses to determine if he’s a suitable mate for her.
When a peacock opens his feathers, it’s not just a mating call. Because the feathers are heavy and require effort to care for them, the peacock is letting the peahen also know he’s attentive and strong — he’s saying, in essence, “Choose me. I’m better than the other males.”
In other words, the peacock is strutting his stuff! Are you?
Unpacking a Gesture
I don’t know if the coop guy was really serious or if he just chose a fun way to play off an innocent mistake of sharing his ATM receipt. I do know his gesture provides SOOOO much for you and I to talk about. It’s like opening a pandora’s box for juicy conversations about love, money, values, priorities, etc. which are all “mating calls” in their own right.
And where there is a conversation to be had, there is an opportunity for exploration about human nature, interaction, and connection. Especially as it pertains to the upcoming holiday we celebrate next week that you either love to love or love to hate.
Whether you’re coupled up or single and loving it or single and wanting to be in a relationship, join me in using this Valentine’s Day to strut your stuff…a little differently. Here’s what I mean and what I’d love for you to consider:
- What are you doing to get and give attention (beyond just this day)?
- Are you getting your needs met? Are you meeting the needs of others?
- What are you communicating clearly and directly; what are you hoping someone “gets;” what do you think someone is hoping you “get;” what are you asking for; what’s being asked of you; what’s being implied or assumed?
- How are you doing the “dance” between vulnerability and guardedness – in any area of your life – not just money?
- Where is there comfort; where is there discomfort (again, in any area of your life – not just related to money)?
You see, peafowls, in the world according to Jacquette, Valentine’s Day is not just for expressing your love for and to another person. I believe it’s a chance for you and me to express our love and gratitude to and for life.
Like, really, how in love with your life are you right now?
Are you fanning your feathers at life letting it know that you’re ready, strong, willing, and able? Are you saying to life, “Choose me?” And, in turn, are you responding to the opportunities that are akin to life saying, “I’ve chosen you?”
Peafowls, it’s time to strut your stuff!
p.s. and if you need some help strutting your love + money stuff, register for the next Master the Language of Love + Money program.
Later tonight I’m hosting the first Financial Intimacy Hour of the year. My guest is Ali Shapiro, a client-described Swiss Army knife of wellness.
I’m excited to introduce you to her because she fuses together the tools of a nutritionist, trainer and psychologist. A perfect combination given the topic we’re tackling – the complicated and curious connection between emotional eating and impulse buying.
Of the top-ten New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 “lose weight” was #1 and “spend less, save more” was #3, according to the University of Scranton – Journal of Clinical Psychology. So, we’re talking about dieting and budgeting because there’s a high chance you made a food or money related resolution.
And there’s an even greater chance that 29 days into the new year, your enthusiasm, energy, and resolve have begun to fade. Not exactly the result you were intending, eh?
Where did your vigor go? Have you slipped or are you slipping because: Continue Reading…
I read Sam Polk’s recent op-ed in the New York Times with great interest.
His account of life as a former hedge fund manager and story of addiction are riveting. And although very personal, he effectively uses his words to raise some universal, multi-layered questions about money, wealth, and our collective relationship to both.
In the days since the publication of “For the Love of Money,” I’ve had a chance to hear an interview of Mr. Polk on NPRs “The Takeaway” and read others’ reaction to his piece.
That’s when the emotion (dare I say, anger) set in.
Not Everyone on Wall Street is a Greedy Villain…or Spiritually Lost
While I’ve never worked as a trader, I’ve only ever worked in this space we call “Wall Street.” I know people making the salaries he describes in his piece. The ones I know well; the ones with whom I’ve shared holidays are not like the empty souls he described. They are generous, considerate and very philanthropic.
Painting this broad-brush stroke is one sentiment that didn’t sit well with me.
When are we going to elevate the conversation beyond “us” vs. “them” or “Main Street” vs. “Wall Street”?
Until Mr. Polk’s article, I had never heard the term “wealth addiction.” The parallels he draws between it and other addictions are fascinating and I’d like to learn more. But here’s where he introduced another sentiment that didn’t jive with me, and that is this notion that money makes you something or someone you aren’t. Nah…money just amplifies who you are at your core.
If you’re not a humble person; if you feel entitled and are self-absorbed, selfish, greedy, and inconsiderate when you have money, you’re likely to be the same without it! You’re just a broke jerk, instead of a rich one.
Wrong Focus Leads to Missed Lesson
The statement in Mr. Polk’s article that was the most vulnerable for him to share, in my opinion, took my breath away: “…Because of how smart and successful I was, it was someone else’s job to make me happy.”
It also happens to be the third thing that rankled my feathers.
I wasn’t upset with what he said. Rather, I was pissed that folks – as best I could tell from the comments and the questions asked of him on-air – were too eager to play up the whole, “love of money is the root of all evil” angle of his experience.
They didn’t read between the lines and, therefore, totally missed a key message from Mr. Polk’s story: what goes awry when you abdicate your power.
As soon as you begin thinking along the lines of ‘it is someone or something else’s job to make you (happy, complete, or fill in the blank)‘ – baby, you’ve entered dangerous territory.
My coaching clients hear it from me all the time, “outsource, but don’t abdicate.” Usually, I am saying this in response to a particular task they aren’t doing, but should, or a decision they need to make but would prefer someone else did it for them instead.
Abdication (of any sort) can sabotage your success – financial or otherwise.
Sam Polk first abdicated his power to drugs and alcohol and then to money. The accounting of his experience serves as yet another reminder of what happens when your self-identity and self-worth are wrapped up in external factors. Likewise, his story reminds us that whether it pertains to your money or your happiness, whenever you defer that responsibility to someone else (or something else), as if you don’t play a role at all, you’re screwed!
Don’t be screwed.
p.s. our next virtual event is Wednesday, January 29th at 8pm ET – “Food & Money: What Every Dieter & Budgeter Get Wrong, But Need to Get Right. Mark your calendars now – registration form is forthcoming.