Do You Know the Two Things That Make Every Money Experience Startling Similar?

Do You Know the Two Things That Make Every Money Experience Startling Similar?

Despite doing everything “right,” have you ever felt like sheesh just wasn’t working out they way you wanted? An unpleasant business experience left me feeling like this, recently. And if you’ve heard of or have first-hand knowledge of the stereotypical car buying experience, you know of what I speak. To say I was pissed off is an understatement. I was beyond livid. So much so that I went to a “place” I rarely go: In my head, I wondered if I was being taken advantage of and, if true, I was curious to know if it was because I am unmarried. I stewed over this for days. Even though I knew I’d never know the answers to these ephemeral questions and, most importantly, that the situation would soon be resolved and I’d get what I want. So why was I so upset? Because my feelings were hurt. (I know, sounds so dramatic for a business deal, right?!) Bear with me, though… How often do you focus more on your feelings about a situation than you do the facts of it? Exactly! I ask because the three things that rankled my feathers in this business transaction are probably the same that tend to rankle you when it comes to your experiences with money. From a feelings standpoint, I was miffed. We had a communication breakdown; I couldn’t control the actions or the timing thereof of the other party; and I didn’t feel they were courteous. I was annoyed because, in the world according to me, I was right and they were wrong. Hmm… Money is emotional As a culture, we...
The Unusual Truth About Goal Setting in Today’s Financial World

The Unusual Truth About Goal Setting in Today’s Financial World

While it is true that goal setting takes place year-round, at this time of year, especially, it’s top of mind for most everyone. The excitement of the new year spills over into your desire for fresh starts and new beginnings – personally, professionally, financially. Like others have been, I’m on your screen chiming in with my perspective on how to avoid the “January effect.” I don’t want you to start off strong and then lose steam before you even reach the end of the month. My solution to this dilemma is to get you to go from being a good goal setter to being a great goal achiever. Because I want you to start strong, and I want you to finish strong, too. (In fact, I’m hosting a free webinar about what it takes to do this on Tuesday, January 19th at 8pm ET.) One of the reasons I want you to adopt this approach to your goals is because today’s financial world calls for it. The traditional approach to goal setting worked just fine in the old financial model. You know, the one that is more reflective of your parents and/or grandparents way of living, working and managing money. The one where you likely worked for the same company for 25-years or more; the one where someone else primarily took the lead with managing your money (especially your retirement funds via pension plans and defined-benefit plans); the one where you had a relationship with your local bank and banker; the one where you had limited choice when it came to financial services and products, and having a money...
Movies Have Much in Common With Living Your Life

Movies Have Much in Common With Living Your Life

Tonight is the 73rd Annual Golden Globes. As I write this post, many in Hollywood are getting all dolled up to celebrate the movies that were released in 2015. As you may know, a lot goes into making a movie – whether it does well at the box office or not; whether it is critically-acclaimed or not. And, all movies have the same starting point: they began in someone’s imagination. There’s the idea for the movie. There’s the writing of the script. There’s getting the script sold. There’s story-boarding the script – or creating short scenes. There’s hiring a director, producer, cinematographer, composer, etc. There’s casting the movie, scouting a filming location (or several), and such. There’s designing the sets and costumes. There’s….so much that happens behind-the-scenes that influences what is seen. Movies don’t get made without the involvement of many people knowing what role they play in the bigger scheme of things, and showing up to execute on their role. As a result, the people walking the red carpet tonight do so a) because of the team effort behind their project, and b) as confirmation of all that happened leading up to the completion of it. The making of a movie…the making of a life This evening’s Golden Globes got me to thinking about you and your plans for 2016. Here’s why: Movies don’t get made without these two words – “And, action!” Said every day, several times a day. The actions taken stem from someone… having a vision creating a plan to implement that vision using tools that map the plan to the vision knowing what actions...
What if Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions Weren’t About the Future?

What if Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions Weren’t About the Future?

Did you just do a double-take? Are you wondering if the headline contains a typo? Given that it’s the top of the year and you’re likely laser-focused on what you want to be different (better, perhaps?) in the days, weeks, and months ahead, it may seem preposterous of me to suggest that goals and resolutions aren’t about the future. After all, what’s the purpose of setting goals and declaring New Year’s resolutions if not to make tomorrow different than today and yesterday? Yes, for a myriad of reasons having goals is important: Goals ensure you don’t live passively – choosing to let life happen to you, rather than you planning what happens Goals prompt you to articulate and crystallize the desires you hold in your head and heart Goals inspire forward movement Goals help you plan for what you want and prepare for the unexpected Goals encourage focus so that saying “yes/no” to opportunities and distractions is less emotional and more strategic Goals hold you accountable for your choices Goals give your days, weeks, and months a sense of purpose Goals provide metrics for you to track and measure But let’s face it, the above (albeit short) list doesn’t contain anything you don’t already know about the power of having goals. However, what you may not have heard before is this: Goals aren’t about the future. Based upon the barrage of goal-centric messages you receive, especially during this time of year, you’d be hard pressed to believe otherwise. And, I suspect your approach to goal-setting reflects such; whether your goal is to lose weight, save more money, get out...
Are You Setting Goals for 2016? Here’s Why You May Not Want To

Are You Setting Goals for 2016? Here’s Why You May Not Want To

Did complete your End-of-Year Financial Assessment? If so, what’s good? What did you learn from your self-assessment; what do you want to be different in 2016; what do you need to be different in order to step up and take your financial management to the next level? I’d love to know. If you completed the assessment, you know that on page eight I ask you to list the first three goals that come to mind. As you might imagine, I am an avid goal-setter. I’m this way for myself, and I’m a huge advocate of it for my clients. But unless you’ve worked with me, what you may not know is this: I don’t believe goal-setting is enough. Goal setting is certainly better than the practice of simply dreaming and wishing. But if you really want to rock it out in life (and who doesn’t!), what you need to do is invest in your goals! Does the suggestion to “invest” in your goals strike you as odd? It shouldn’t. Especially when you take into account neuroscience research about how the brain works. In a piece Ray Williams wrote for Psychology Today, he states, “The brain is wired to seek rewards and avoid pain and discomfort, including fear.” Hmm…in other words, your mind is resistant to the changes you often mentally, emotionally, and maybe even physically must go through to bring about the changes you want. This explains the limitations of goal setting. And hence my suggestion to adopt a different approach to your goals — to invest in them instead. For many, goal setting stops after you’ve written down...
Financial Management: Plug the Leaks; Identify the Opportunities

Financial Management: Plug the Leaks; Identify the Opportunities

Here’s what happened when I offered the people on my email list an opportunity to have a FREE End-of-Year Financial Assessment… First, I got confirmation of what I know to be true about money, but I suspect we all forget from time-to-time: money is never just about money! Sure, I had lovely conversations with people about money. But, really, the crux of each call was about what matters most to them, and focused on HOW to use money as a tool to help them achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. Second, I noticed that saving was a challenge for most. But not for the reasons you might expect. 75% of the people with whom I talked didn’t meet their 2015 savings goals. For some, the reason was purely economic – like living paycheck-to-paycheck or being unemployed or under-earning. But for others, it was largely due to one thing: lack of specificity. There’s a difference between saying, “I want to save more,” and saying, “I want to save $(fill in the blank) within the next 90-days or 12-months.” The former is abstract; the latter is concrete; the difference is measurable! Here’s the link to download the template of questions I used with everyone to go through their end-of-year assessment. From their answers, I was able to identify at least one (1) financial leak, one (1) financial opportunity and one (1) action step they can take to address their finances – now or in the New Year. I wonder what you’ll discover from answering the very same questions; what will you notice afterward that you didn’t previously as it pertains to...
Giving Thanks for You

Giving Thanks for You

Thank you. Not the perfunctory expression of gratitude. I’m talking about the drop to my knees – I am aware that I’m not entitled to your attention – kind of thanks. Backstory: I have been hoping (praying earnestly, in fact) for something. I woke up this morning to an email saying it was approved. I muttered a “Thank you, God,” and immediately moved on to the next email in my inbox. Then, I caught and said to myself, “Really, Jacquette?! You’re going to be that casual about something significant – that you know is really a big deal? Really, gurl?” (I also heard my mother giving me a talking to.) I got out of bed. Got on my knees and gave thanks the way I was taught to give thanks! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.) – bar none, my favorite holiday. And Saturday is my birthday. Yippee! So, it really is the season of giving thanks for me. There is so much for me to be grateful for and that includes your presence. Your choice to be a part of my online life and to allow me to be a part of yours means the world to me. It truly is a privilege to have a platform like this to share what I find fascinating about money and the myriad ways in which it impacts almost every area of your life. It is a blessing to play a small role in what shapes your behavior and habits with money so you can make better, smarter choices. I am having a blast exploring the human dimensions of money...
Procrastination: One of the Biggest Risks to Your Financial Future

Procrastination: One of the Biggest Risks to Your Financial Future

In the field of psychological science, procrastination is defined as, “the voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we’ll suffer as a result.” During the 2015 open enrollment, have you taken the time to review your 401(k)? If not, why not? Are you procrastinating? If so, do your reasons have anything to do with feeling like you don’t have the time and/or knowledge? Stop holding yourself back Whenever a client tells me, “I’m really busy…” or “I haven’t had a chance to do X (usually an assignment I’ve given them),” I know what is holding them back, and it’s not associated with time in the way they think. For them, if they can’t start and finish a task all at once, then it’s not worth doing until they can. Unfortunately, they are operating with an all-or-nothing mindset. Any chance “all-or-nothing” is the approach you’re taking with your 401(k) during this open enrollment season? “Lack” of time is one symptom of procrastination. And so are apathy and overwhelm. Apathy that stems from finding all this investment stuff boring and maybe difficult. Overwhelm that stems from not knowing what to do, when and how. Any one of these factors alone can often be the cause of inaction. Combine any of them and you have the perfect recipe for inertia. Could the by-products of apathy and overwhelm be why you aren’t proactively managing your 401(k)? This coming Wednesday, November 11th at 8pm, I can help you with the issue of time and knowledge. Join me for a FREE webinar – 401(k) Mutual Funds: How to...
Does Creating a Financial Plan Feel Too Grown-up?

Does Creating a Financial Plan Feel Too Grown-up?

Confession: I wasn’t always a member of the “strategy” choir. I was more in the camp of “not having a plan is a plan.” Sure, I was goal-driven and action-oriented, but all with the mindset that “it’ll all work out.” Having a formal plan and strategy felt too constraining for my free spirit. Eventually, I learned that creativity actually thrives with a degree of constraint. You may not be a self-described free spirit. But I bet there’s some aspect of your financial life that you resist planning and creating a strategy for. And, I want you to know I TOTALLY get it!! However, combating this resistance is necessary. Especially if you want to experience sustainable success (not to be confused with a straight trajectory, by the way). This is precisely why I’m such an advocate for having a financial plan and strategy – it’s the combination that gives your money direction. It’s how you “tell” your money what it is you want it to do for you and when. It’s also precisely why at this time of year (open enrollment) I make a clarion call to remind you to pay attention to your 401(k). From what I’ve observed, this is the area of your financial life that tends to be on the back burner and gets the least amount of love from you. Think about it: When was the last time you really thought about your 401(k)? Was it when you first joined your employer and made your mutual fund selections? Was it when you read last week’s post about the perils of operating on automatic pilot? Was it...
The Dark Side of Managing Your Personal Finances Probably Isn’t What You Think

The Dark Side of Managing Your Personal Finances Probably Isn’t What You Think

About ten years ago, David Bach wrote the national best-seller, “The Automatic Millionaire.” His message: pay yourself first and make it automatic. Today, the idea of financial automation may not seem revolutionary. But, you have to consider the times of when his book was published (2005) and the fast pace with which innovations have unfolded in the personal finance industry. For example: The first ATM may have made its debut in 1969, but they didn’t become ubiquitous until the 1990s. Online banking began at the dawn of the 21st century; now it, too, is ubiquitous. Mobile banking started gaining traction in 2008. But its rise since has been meteoric. According to the “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services Study – 2015,” published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 39% of smartphone owners access financial information and conduct financial business via their mobile devices – up from 33% in 2013 and 29% in 2012. With these innovations, almost every aspect of managing your personal finances can be automated and documented. But here’s what I find fascinating about all of this: The innovators have more insight into your behavior and habits with money than you do! While you chew on that for a moment, let me provide three (3) examples for your consideration. Example #1 You turn on the switch to save, pay your bills and invest automatically. Convenient and time saving, right? Often, this convenience quickly and almost imperceptibly slips into complacency. Automating these “mundane” financial tasks supposedly frees you up to concentrate on the big picture. However, when you don’t download and review your statements it’s...