I read somewhere that if you could achieve your financial goals by simply putting your money away in the bank you wouldn’t need a plan.
That’s silly to me. That’s like saying as long as you have gas in a car you don’t need directions to drive to a place you’ve never been to before.
Yet, this way of thinking represents a common mindset when it comes to managing money and preparing a financial plan. And, in my opinion, it is why so many people don’t get as much as they could from their money.
Today is the last day of Financial Planning Week – the 13th Annual one no less! Granted, this factoid may not make your heart stir and go pitter-patter. But, I thought today would be as good a time as any to share what I believe financial planning is really all about. I suspect if more people adopted this perspective, more people would get excited about preparing and editing a financial plan. Imagine that!
Besides b.o.r.i.n.g., what usually comes to mind when you hear or read the words “financial planning?”
In no particular order, I bet you think about some if not all of what’s listed below:
- Your lifestyle
- Your career and current & future earnings
- Children and their education
- Parents and their well-being
- Your own well-being
You may even wonder if and at what point the help of a financial professional makes sense.
I also bet for each of the above bullet-points (and others I may have overlooked), your focus has been on the numbers – the numbers you know and the numbers you forecast. It all comes back to the numbers because the presence or absence of money is what typically drives your decisions.
Financial Planning: The Movie?
But what if instead of looking at financial planning as an exercise in making the numbers work, you thought of financial planning as the telling of a story through a collection of vignettes? Vignettes that when woven together resemble a long-format television series, with many seasons, about your life – the one you have and the one you want.
Not only are you the star of the series, but you also play the role of producer, writer and director. And you become a quadruple threat for the small screen the likes of George Clooney for the big screen. Much more exciting, right?!
You may be rolling your eyes right about now. But hear me out…
There are a number of benefits to viewing financial planning through the lens of making a critically-acclaimed and successful series. To start, you begin to recognize that even if everyone follows the exact same steps (think of all the long- format shows on HBO), the results won’t be precisely the same.
Thus, the reason I say financial planning isn’t supposed to mean the same thing to everyone.
By thinking “story” over the numbers, you’re invited to connect the dots that represent the pieces of your life in a more profound way. The result: You have to bridge the gap between your vision for the future and your present-day reality and consider the tools, resources, and people that will help you close the gap between here and there. That includes:
- Using money as a tool, but not the only tool!
- Remembering that emotions are not black-n-white. And neither are numbers. True, the numbers may be negative or positive, but the “story” behind the numbers is rarely as black-n-white as you might think (or wish).
- Viewing financial planning as less about planning for retirement and more about planning out your entire lifestyle cycle (the on you have, the one you want, and the one that will help you bridge the gap).
- Embracing ambiguity and the practice of scenario planning via story-boarding.
- Using scenario planning to help you identify the likely obstacles you’ll encounter and manage the ones you’ll actually face.
- Learning to objectively observe your patterns, habits, and anomalies.
- Learning to objectively see the relationship you have with money, and how and where you need to work on it.
- Remembering you never do it alone.
There’s a term in the film industry called the “cutting room floor.” It pertains to what’s been omitted from the final footage. The way I connect this to financial planning is how the results you see reflects a lot of the intangible choices and decisions you’ve made but others can’t “see.”
If you’re like most people I know and clients (before they became clients), you’re really much more interested in being with family and friends; focusing on your career; and enjoying your leisure time and a lot less interested in managing your money and creating a financial plan. As a result, you either don’t have a plan or you have a one that was haphazardly put together and may not be current.
However, when you don’t have a plan (or a current one), you don’t know what you need to do consistently and you don’t know when and where you need to evolve in order to achieve your financial goals.
So, in honor of financial planning week, I ask: do you have a viable and or current financial plan? If not, what are you waiting for? And, how might thinking of it as a tool for making a critically-acclaimed and successful long-running series about your life help you get started?
On this beautiful Saturday afternoon, you and your friends may not be lounging about, sipping a cool, refreshing beverage and talking about “identities” and “emotional intelligence” and “financial intimacy.” But the truth is every financial and career choice you make is a reflection of how you see yourself and your degree of self-awareness.
So is how you define and experience the American Dream.
If you were with us on Wednesday for the in-person presentation of this month’s Financial Intimacy Hour, you know we had a phenomenal time. If you weren’t and you’re curious about what you missed, click here to grab the replay.
Leading up to the “American Dream? Rethinking Race, Gender and Financial Success,” I wrote several posts talking about trends impacting our economic and employment landscapes. Trends that will certainly affect you and your livelihood if they haven’t already.
- I shared stats like 4.4 years; 42 million people; $12 trillion; and the “browning” of America. Combined, these data points tell an intriguing story about where we are in our cultural, economic, and employment history.
- I talked about why bridging emotional intelligence and financial intimacy is a must-have if you want to effectively and proactively manage your career and your finances.
What I didn’t reveal here as clearly as I did that night was why I felt this conversation was an important one to have – right now.
As you probably know, I am an observer. Noticing patterns that others miss or discount is one of my strengths.
And a pattern that caught my attention can be summed up with these five words, “When things get back to…”
It feels like I’m hearing this sentiment more and more, especially from some clients and prospects who lost a job, significant money, or both as a result of the 2008 crash and the Great Recession that followed. And…they still haven’t recovered (or not as completely as they’d hoped.)
Their longing to get back to the way things were is deep. Understandably, yet still unfortunate, the desire to get back to the comfort and safety they once felt is so strong, they are missing the signals that indicate a new reality has formed, a new normal is afoot.
They are stuck in a time warp and not adjusting too well – emotionally, psychically or financially.
As someone shared with me, the aftermath of 2008 felt like a game of “musical chairs and when the music stopped I didn’t have a place to sit.”
What a perfect metaphor for what so many (perhaps even you?) are experiencing. If you ever played musical chairs, you know it sucks when the music stops, the seats are all gone and there’s no room for you in the circle. And this is precisely why I wanted to talk about the American Dream in the context of race, gender and financial success.
I wanted to explore how the above-mentioned trends reflect your identity through the prism of your personal finances and the American Dream. Especially if you feel slightly uprooted.
How do you see yourself; how do you want others to see you; and how does the reality of where you are today relative to where you’d thought you’d be compare? If the mirror is reflecting back anything other than what excites you and has you wishing things were as they used to be, click here to grab the replay of “American Dream? Rethinking Race, Gender and Financial Success.”
My conversation with Dr. Atira Charles will not only increase your emotional and financial self-awareness, but you’ll also have specifics steps to help you shift from longing for how things were to being excited about what is and can be. And because the principles we share are universal, you’ll get something from this even if what has you feeling a bit nostalgic has absolutely nothing to do with money or your career.
Enjoy…and then let me know of a major takeaway!
I’m gearing up for tonight’s Financial Intimacy Hour with my guest Lori Anne Douglass, Esq. We’re tackling that topic I talked about last week – the one most would prefer to avoid.
I addressed how estate planning isn’t just for the rich or just about death, and how it is really an act of love. If you missed that post, click here.
As timing would have it, on the day I published that piece I had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. In the process of catching up, I, naturally, invited her to join us tonight. And, she – a single mother, homeowner, and business owner – shared she didn’t have a Will.
My reaction: GASP!
Her response: “Why do I need a Will; won’t everything automatically go to my son?”
She’s not alone in this sentiment. According to a new Rocket Lawyer-Harris survey, 64% of Americans don’t have a Will.
But, ironically, not having one isn’t really the biggest mistake my friend is making (and many others like her): ONLY having a Will is!
At a minimum, there are three other documents that you need in addition to your Will. This is an oft overlooked misstep.
And so is having an outdated plan.
Depending upon what source you reference, the number of people without an estate plan ranges from 50%-70%. But perhaps you fall in the 30%-50% range of people who actually DO have one. If true…
…is the plan you have the one you want to have?
Both Paul Walker and Philip Seymour Hoffman had estate plans created – in 2001 and 2004, respectively. However, their tragic and untimely deaths put this common estate planning blunder of not having a current plan front-and-center for a number of “costly mistakes” articles.
Above, I’ve just shared two obvious and not so obvious estate planning mistakes. During my conversation with Lori Anne tonight, we’ll flush out a few more. Of course, along with what to do instead and why these actions are important.
Admittedly, I have no clue what in the world “conscious uncoupling” means, but I do understand the need for having a conscious approach to estate planning.
- It’s how you organize your personal + financial affairs.
- It’s how you address the mistakes you know you’re making AND become of aware of the mistakes you don’t realize you are.
- It’s how we each contribute to the dismantling of the misconception that the estate planning process is only for a certain few or relevant to a narrow set of circumstances.
- It’s how you ensure you don’t fall prey to the “someday, one-day” mentality that can grip you and lull you into procrastination mode until it’s too late to be thoughtful, intentional, and strategic.
- It’s how you get to know yourself even more intimately. Estate planning invites you to ask yourself some probing questions and take stock about what and who is most important to you. (See, I told you it was about love – and that includes self-love!)
- It’s how you put on your big girl or big boy pants and take the reins to control how you experience life and money – and not just sit on the sidelines “taking” whatever comes your way. I realize you may not take a passive approach in other areas of your life, but for some, money makes them a little gun-shy. If this is you, let’s stop this pattern now, shall we?
Thinking of estate planning as an act of love isn’t a matter of semantics for me. Nor is looking at it as a testament of self-love. I truly believe this and want others to hop on the bandwagon with me. And that includes YOU!
I am SO excited for tonight, and if you haven’t registered I hope you’ll accept my invitation to join Lori Anne Douglass, Esq. and me at 8pm EDT for this month’s Financial Intimacy Hour.
I promise it’ll be a lively experience. And, I promise you’ll know more at the end of 60-minutes than you did at the beginning.
Estate Planning: It’s Not Just for the Rich; It’s Not Just About Death; It’s About Love & It’s for You!
Whew…you read pass the looong headline line!
Estate planning. It’s often considered boring, scary, the “thing” to avoid, or just perceived to “not be for me.”
So, that you’ve read this far is a win. And, I’m glad.
Because it’s time for us to have “that” delicate conversation, and in the process bust some estate planning myths and make certain you have some important facts.
Diss the myths
Estate planning isn’t just for the rich. If you have $2 dollars to rub together, you need an estate plan.
Estate planning isn’t just about death. Although that can clearly be what triggers the fulfillment of your wishes. But so can a prolonged illness that leaves you less-able or disabled.
Estate planning is hard.Yes, it isn’t emotionally easy. It is uncomfortable, asks you to wrestle with all sorts of fears, and “forces” you to confront mortality, less-ability, and disability – including your own – in ways that often surprise you.
But what I’ve come to understand and personally embrace is that estate planning is really an act of love.
It’s how you have the last word – your way. It’s how you express your love to those near and dear. It’s how you control what happens to the possessions that are important to you and how you share the money you leave behind – even if it is just $2! It’s also how you control the quality of your care if you experience a prolonged illness. Viewed in this light and estate planning becomes a no-brainer.
Know the facts
However, let’s face it: estate planning can also be downright confusing!
Heck, I work in financial services and learned things I didn’t know I didn’t know as my mother and I put together our family’s estate plan.
This is one of the many reasons, I’m excited about the focus of April’s Financial Intimacy Hour. Register here.
My guest is Lori Anne Douglass, Esq. – partner at Moses & Singer and head of the firm’s Trust and Estates group and Matrimonial and Family Practice. I couldn’t think of a better person to help us push through the emotional blocks of estate planning and help you and me get our heads out of the proverbial sand, take action and be powerful in a realm that can often render us feeble if caught off-guard or ill-prepared.
Yes, we’ll cover the basics and make sure you’re prepared with definitions of key terms.
But lest you think this is going to be a “traditional” estate planning conversation – think again.
First, there’s Lori Anne’s personality. “Boring” is just not a word you’d associate with her. That’s just not how she rolls. You’ll see But here’s a clue: she’s working on a book, “How to Raise a Child You Love With a Person You Hate.”
Second, we’re going to tackle this 21st century style. Meaning: deal with modern-family dynamics of estate planning courtesy of modern-day realities. Like:
- 40.8 percent of children are now born to a single parent;
- Over 50 percent of U.S. households are now headed by a single individual;
- Non-traditional partnerships are increasing in number;
- Marriages involving a non-U.S. citizen are increasing;
- 16.1 percent of U.S. households are now multi-generational, almost as high as in 1940;
- 78 percent of middle-aged adults believe that they’ll be responsible for caring for an aging family member.
The above stats are an abbreviated list of factors courtesy of research from the Pew Research Center.
Add to this the Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and the fact that estate planning is critical for and affects women more profoundly then men, you see we have the makings for a full-bodied, colorful, and creative conversation about life.
And, more specifically, how to use a tool that can ensure you have the last word (literally and figuratively) – your way.
Join Lori Anne Douglass and me next Wednesday, 30 April at 8pm EDT for this month’s Financial Intimacy Hour.
Let us help you push through the unease if that’s your issue, or lack of awareness if that’s your challenge, and help you address the financial + legal matters that constitute estate planning.
We want to make sure you have what you need to do estate planning right, have peace of mind, and show your love.
Do you know what a chief financial officer (CFO) does? Here’s why I ask:
No one – and I do mean no one – has ever said to me, “Jacquette, I want you to teach me how to be a better chief financial officer (CFO).”
You as CFO is not an option – it’s a must!
I don’t just say this because I’m a financial geek and I want you to become one, too.
I say it because “you as CFO” is a financial reality that I believe:
- You may be resisting and ignoring – thinking it’s a fad or the latest marketing hype by the financial services industry.
- You might misunderstand – thinking the responsibilities of the CFO role are all about crunching numbers.
- You may be minimizing – thinking the need to don your CFO hat is not really necessary. After all, the economy and employment landscape will eventually get back to the way things were pre-2008 (or the Great Recession), right?!
When the job you have isn’t the one you want
Do-it-yourself personal finance is nothing new. Truth is, you’ve been doing some aspects of this ever since the very first time you got an allowance or got paid for your very first job.
However, the new economy, which makes entrepreneurs of us all, calls for a more expanded vision of what do-it-yourself personal finance looks like in terms of the actions you take, decisions you make, and your level of engagement.
- That means being a financial leader in ways you may not have envisioned.
- That means being more proactive and less passive.
- That means looking beyond the numbers and being more curious about the story the numbers are telling.
- That means performing some analysis; doing some forecasting; creating some reports, etc.
- That means having a process to turn information into insight and using said to formulate a strategy.
- That means recognizing that you don’t really manage money as much as you manage your choices.
- That means recognizing that money isn’t one-dimensional – even though we all tend to talk about it as if it is.
- That means making time to manage your money.
- That means being accountable for your decisions, but not feeling like you need to make them alone.
- That means recognizing that there are few money choices you can make that don’t affect all aspects of your life…and vice versa.
- That means embracing a role you didn’t expect to have.
CFO of You, Inc.
I know, I know — it sucks when the job you have isn’t the one you want. Or, when you feel ill-prepared for the task at hand.
You knew adulthood came with the responsibility of managing your money and your financial choices. But to this degree…hmmm???
Nope. You as CFO is not a fad and it’s not marketing hype; it’s your new reality.
Just consider the plethora of consumer-based online tools and applications and websites geared toward helping you connect with and leverage your financial power.
Crunching numbers is one aspect of what a chief financial officer does. But so is being creative and anticipating the future you want and the future that might be, along with planning for multiple outcomes.
“Jacquette was able to help me look past the basic dollars and cents, to see the thought patterns that were driving my spending choices. The tailored financial action plan she delivered was realistic and easy to follow, moving me towards my goals.” Aduke Thelwell
Would you like to experience results similar to Aduke’s? Would you like support managing your CFO role fully and more completely? Become a member of the Financial Intimacy Lounge. The Charter Member rate of $47 a month expires on April 30th.
Helping you don your CFO hat with greater confidence is one of the ways I can help you get more from your money and for your life. Working with you inside the membership is one of the ways I can make your CFO role less overwhelming and a heck of a ot more fun!
If you’re a gardener, you wouldn’t dare pull your fruit, vegetables, or flowers before they were ripe or ready to bloom, right?
In a similar way, if you want to get pregnant, you’d want to do everything possible to ensure you’re healthy and able to carry the baby full term, right?
Good and necessary things happen in the “dark and quiet” time of incubation – whether you’re talking about growing food, flowers, or babies. Or, ideas. Or, money.
The Power of Analogy
It’s Springtime, and you’re likely to start seeing a plethora of garden-and-money analogies…it’s the perfect season for said! And I’m hopping on the bandwagon, too.
Last month, I was a featured speaker in a virtual summit hosted by Robin LaCross. It was called “Raising Empowered Daughters – Sowing the Seeds for Healthy Body Image, Sexuality, and Relationships.” Next week, I will be a featured guest in Xandra O’Neill’s summit – “Creating Fertile Ground – How to Boost Fertility, Overcome Fear, and Trust the Journey to Motherhood.”
As far as I know, Robin and Xandra do not know each other (although they probably should!). But I found two things interesting about their events. First, the intentional use of “gardening” language as a metaphor for the goal of their events. Second, the foresight to include a conversation about money in the overall dialogue.
Pause for a moment. Think about your money decisions AND your actions.
Now think about what happens in a garden.
Does Your Financial Garden Need Some TLC?
In no particular order, here are eleven (11) words/phrases that come to mind when I think about gardening literally (and metaphorically) along with suggestions for how to use these words to give your financial garden some tender loving care:
Seeds – All growth begins with a seed.
What financial seeds are you planting? How are you defining “seeds”?
Soil – Seeds need fertile soil in order to thrive.
Is your financial soil fertile or barren; how do you assess your soil’s abundance or lack thereof?
Nurturing – All soil requires attention. It comes in the form of proper light, watering, and turning the soil, to name a few.
Very broadly, there are only four things you can do with your money: earn it, save it, invest it, and spend it. Of course, if you dig deeper there are nuances within these categories – what nuances are saying, “Knock, knock”?
Trust – While all soil requires attention, sometimes that attention takes the form of purposeful non-action – aka leaving it alone and letting whatever you’ve planted do its thing.
How purposeful are you with both what you do, as well as what you don’t do, when it comes to your money? Are your actions systematized or haphazard and reactionary? How well do you trust in yourself (for making the decision) and in the process (for the results)?
Get your hands dirty – Granted, you probably wear protective gloves whilst gardening, but you still have to get your hands in there – to dig, turn, pat.
In similar fashion, you have to “get in it” when it comes to your money. I say it often and I won’t stop: abdicating is not a viable option.
Surrender + Patience – Control what you can as best you can, then you must surrender to nature and have patience and let Her do her thang.
Same applies to money. Do your job and let money do it’s job, but be clear about the job you want it to do for you.
Vision – Usually when you plant a garden, you have in your mind’s eye what the garden will look like in full bloom. This vision influences where/how you plant your seeds.
Far too often people are haphazard with how and where they plant their financial seeds – don’t be one of those people.
Time – It takes time for the invisible to transform into the visible.
In similar fashion, it takes time for a financial mustard seed to morph into a financial oak tree.
Pruning – Cutting away the weeds and removing what is dead is necessary for the overall health of your garden.
When it comes to your money, do you know what’s preventing your money from working as hard for you as it possibly can? Do you know what your financial weeds and leaks look like? Do you have the strength and patience to prune them away?
Acceptance – All that you plant won’t make it. And that’s okay. It’s what you prepare for.
Make your financial decisions knowing that not every one you make will be “right.” The goal is to be right more often than not!
In case you’re wondering, no I didn’t forget my math skills. The eleventh slot is an invitation: What comes to mind for you when you think about gardening and connect it to money?
Thinking of the myriad choices you make regarding your money in the context of a financial garden is a perfect metaphor!
In fact, it’s a wonderful way to manage your expectations about what happens and when – because you can’t rush healthy growth. Likewise, the garden framework provides your money with some structure + direction (because like a child) it needs discipline to grow properly.
One of the many conclusions I’ve come to about managing money is that it is a lot less about moving the dollars & cents.
It’s a lot more about managing who you are becoming as you move those dollars & cents.
Coming Full Circle
To bring this back to the beginning…
I think it was absolutely brilliant of Robin and Xandra to use gardening terminology as a way for talking about matters important to parents and parents-to-be. It’s a great technique that creates just enough distance between the subject and the subject matter for maximum learning and enhanced ahas!
Plus, how freaking awesome to acknowledge the key and critical role of money in almost every goal and aspect of life – including raising healthy daughters and creating a fertile ground for pregnancy.
To grab a copy of the summit, which includes the replay recording of my conversation with Robin LaCross, click here. To join my “Couples, baby…oh yeah, money!” conversation with Xandra O’Neill on April 9th, click here.
p.s. in case you missed my earlier invitation, it’s time for the quarterly Financial Open House. Later tonight – 8pm EDT – is when you get to ask questions and I get to provide answers! Register here.
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:
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.