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…
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 recently conducted a survey (click here if you’d like to weigh-in), and one respondent said this, “I like earning [money], but don’t care much for managing, investing, budgeting, etc.”
Too bad this isn’t an uncommon sentiment.
Too bad it’s becoming a more costly one to have.
Last Friday, I appeared on HLN to talk about the consumer impact of Target’s data breach. The retailer was back in the news because earlier that day, they announced that the number of consumers affected jumped to 70 million – up from the initial reporting of 40 million.
By the time the evening news rolled around, consumers’ sense of safety would be jolted once more. Target’s number had morphed to 110 million! And as if that wasn’t enough, the tony retailer Neiman Marcus released a statement that, it, too, experienced a security breach of customer data during the 2013 holiday season.
The *Real* Wake-up Call
It’s easy to watch the news or read the papers and focus on the hackers. After all the rising number and sophistication of these cyber crimes are scaaary!
It’s easy to view this is as a call-to-action for retailers and financial institutions. No doubt, they do need to up their game and get better at working together to improve what they do to protect our financial and personal data. Especially when so much of what they collect is used by them to evaluate your creditworthiness and mine. And let’s not forget the bottom-line: the costs associated with these breaches will eventually trickle down to you and me in terms of higher cost of goods.
But the real wake-up call is for you and me as consumers – especially if you’re a consumer who suffers from a consistent dose of financial apathy.
You might not geek out about the numbers like I do. You might not enjoy digging “behind” the numbers for the story about what’s really going on. But these recent breaches are a reminder that it doesn’t matter if you find managing your money boring, or uninteresting, or down-right unpleasant…
YOU can’t afford not to care about the aspects of managing your money you don’t like.
Making the shift from financial apathy to being fully engaged doesn’t have to be burdensome. Here are a few easy habits to make it so:
- Use the mobile banking feature for your banking accounts and check your balances and transactions
- Set up daily email alerts on your banking accounts to notify you when your balance goes beneath a certain amount and/or when a transaction above a certain threshold hits your account
- Check your credit cards to confirm the transactions shown are yours
And as soon as you finish reading this, head to www.annualcreditreport.com to pull your credit report to review and confirm the accuracy of what’s reported.
The unfortunate reality is that the recent breaches will likely become more frequent, not less. And the hackers are betting on you and me to be complacent when it comes to our money management and monitoring.
Don’t you think there’s too much at stake to let that happen? I do.
p.s. would you join a membership program that fuses together financial coaching, training, and planning? Click here to let me know.
It’s the top of the New Year. By the way, if you missed my holiday message – Happy New Year!
At this time, you and I are bombarded with messages about resolutions and goal setting. (And yes, irony of ironies, I’m weighing in on the conversation.) The flood of emails and news reports also probably means that, like me, you’re coming face to face with a few repeat offenders – aka, those goals that show up year after year!
You work and work and work on the goal and yet you’re not able to claim victory and say, “Yes! I achieved XYZ.” Or, you haven’t made the sort of progress that makes you proud – feeling all tingly inside for a job well done.
What a sucky way to kick-off the New Year, right?!
I can write about this, because I can relate to it. And this got me to wondering…perhaps I am going about some of my goals the wrong way. You might be, too.
Maybe the goals that keep showing up over and over are inviting us to dig deeper and we keep missing the clues. What do you think?
Some would say the holidays are the absolute worst time to discuss money.
This is actually the best time, if you do it right. And by right, I mean make it fun and meaningful.
That’s why I asked: Do you like to play (money) games?
But first things first: whether it’s between couples or family members or good friends, talking about money can be awkward at times. There’s no skirting that. So, it’s time to embrace a little bit of awkwardness.
A game with some mystery can help you with that!
The format for this game was inspired by a friend and her description of what her family did during the Thanksgiving holiday around the theme of gratitude. As for the questions – that’s all me.
Before we get to the questions, here’s what you’ll need and the instructions for playing…
What you’ll need for the game
- TV = off
- Music of choice = on
- Empty punch bowl (a large envelope or box will do, too)
- 3×5 Index cards (or copy/printer paper torn in quarters)
How to Play
- Each person is to answer EACH question on a separate index card or paper. Once you’ve answered the question, fold the card (or paper) in half, and place it in the bowl (or envelope or box) – unsigned! (This is where the mystery comes into play – pun intended). Continue Reading…
When this post is published there will be 22 days left until 12/31/2013. That means you have a mere three weeks to manage the “big” collision – the one that surfaces around this time of year. The one that usually sparks some degree of self-reflection because you’re evaluating your performance; planning for new beginnings; and managing the emotions that kick in due to the festivities and obligations of the holiday season.
It’s an amazing three-some.
Back in August, I wrote about the problem of solving the wrong problem. When this happens, not only do you tend to misuse your financial capital, but you also typically misuse your time, energy, and other ‘soft’ resources as well.
But here’s the real problem…you rarely realize you’re making this mistake until a considerable amount of time has passed. And, just as it pays to know you are solving the right problem, it also pays to get the order right.
Getting the order wrong can also cause you to misuse your resources of people, time, money, and effort.
The order to which I refer comes from a popular mantra espoused in the self-help and personal transformation arenas.
It’s called the ‘Be-Do-Have’ paradigm.
Most of us tend to focus on the ‘have’ part of this equation, usually followed by the word “enough.” This can look like any number of things; for example, have you caught yourself musing over… Continue Reading…
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. – one of my favorite holidays! And I’m doubly-excited because it falls on my birthday this year…yippee!!
As I think of Thanksgiving and my birthday, I am reminded to pause, reflect and really acknowledge all that I am grateful for.
I am also reminded of the equation that matters most, in my opinion:
R > E where “R” stands for “relationships” and “E” stands for “everything else” – literally!
Without relationships, it all falls apart because relationships are where it all begins – personally, professionally and, yes, even financially. As we slow down (even if just slightly) to unplug and spend time with family and friends, I want you to know how important our relationship is to me. Continue Reading…
One of the things I love about my work is that I get to be part of the lives of a diverse group of people. With them, I co-create practical, sustainable solutions that shape how money impacts their lives – today and in the future.
Each person – whether a client; book, blog, or magazine reader; social media follower; or TV viewer – comes to the table with their own unique circumstances, questions, concerns, challenges, goals, and dreams.
Despite this diversity, there’s one thing they seem to have in common: they all suffer from what I call the knowledge trap – aka…
…they think they know what they have.
Like them, you probably think you know what you have, too!
I say “think” because it’s not that you are completely in the dark. You’re just are not aware of a “small” but extremely important detail. It’s a very innocent mistake, one that is obscured by what you do know and the fact that for the most part you’re likely doing all the “right” things. Continue Reading…
Much of what I do involves working with people pondering a decision. The root of which either affects their finances or is affected by them. In other words, we pretty much end up talking about and strategizing on almost everything concerning life!
“I have six figures sitting in a savings account earning a measly .015%; what should I do?
“I need to invest; I have money to invest; I just don’t know where to begin and I don’t trust the stock market?
“I’m lucky because I make more than enough, but I have poor savings habits.”
“I need to get out of debt!”
“How do I determine how much to save if we’re planning to buy a house, or start a family, or start a business, or….?”
“I’m getting a divorce and have to start over…and he managed all our finances…”
What’s Different is Actually the Same
The decisions they are looking to make and the questions they are contemplating are varied. But when they come to me with these and other questions like these, they are yearning for the same thing: information. And even though they don’t say it specifically, they also want assurance said information will help them make the right decision. Continue Reading…
If I’ve pegged you correctly, you’re freaking out just a wee-bit. It’s September, which got here a tad too quickly, and that means there are just four months left for you to accomplish the goals you intended to achieve by December 31st.
Unless you hang with a bunch of coaches or consultants, you’re probably not sitting around, sipping your favorite beverage, and saying, “I need to work on my vision to meet this year’s goals.”
It’s more like, “Time is flying; I still have a lot to do; and I need help with X…or I need to get better at Y, if…”
And one of the first places you’ve probably turned to look for that assistance is your smartphone.
If so, you know you have access to what feels like a gazillion apps. According to Google, there are approximately 900,000 iOS apps and 850,000 Android apps.
As you know, some of these are purely for entertainment; while others are designed to help you manage some aspect of your life – say tracking your money, setting and managing goals, tracking how much time you meditate, managing your fitness routine, etc.
With so many (and counting), there is an app for almost every need or want you may have – personally and professionally. Continue Reading…