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...
Lessons From Tammy: What Goal Might You Achieve if You Did What She Did?

Lessons From Tammy: What Goal Might You Achieve if You Did What She Did?

Imagine: You’re a college graduate. You’ve been working for 15 years. In other words, you are a full-fledged adult with grown-up responsibilities. But you have this dream; it’s one you’ve had for a very long time; and to pursue it, you have to go back to college…for six more years! Would you do it? Would you leave the security of your current work and steady income to become a full-time student (again) in order to pursue a life-long dream? A lot of people talk about the dreams they have, but never follow-thru on them. They never see their dreams materialize, in part, because “transitioning into a new career/lifestyle/life stage” is too daunting. Not to mention potentially unsettling financially, as well. Tammy felt daunted and unsure, too. But she reached a point where she couldn’t let this stop her. She had a dream and gosh darn it, she was ready to make it happen. It’s never too late to start anew This past May Tammy graduated with a degree in her dream profession (yay!).  She has a job, doing satisfying work alongside people she likes and admires (yay, yay and yay!) Career, lifestyle, life stage re-boot: √. Financial reboot: not so fast! Even before returning to school, Tammy admits that the condition of her finances weren’t in the best of shape. Her challenges were not unlike perhaps the ones you have as well: not saving enough; investing blindly; not having a strategy or a system; not being a planner when it came to her money. And because she wasn’t in dire straits, she had grown comfortable with being in what...
The 6 Non-Financial Skills You Need to Give Your Money Clarity

The 6 Non-Financial Skills You Need to Give Your Money Clarity

From a big picture standpoint, are you very clear about what you want in life and what you want your future to look and feel like? But, is what you need to do next whether that is tomorrow, next week, next month or next year a bit fuzzy? When it comes to your immediate next choices and steps to make it all happen – especially as it pertains to the role of money – do you feel like you’re driving in dense fog? If so, you’re not alone. My clients and prospects never come to me and say, “Jacquette, I don’t know what I want.” Their big picture is crystal clear and they have no problem articulating that vision. The challenge is the 200 feet directly in front of them. That part of their journey is often foggy, ambiguous and sometimes scary as heck! This confusion and uncertainty about the initial choices you need to make or first steps you need to take tend to rear its head in a variety of ways. But the end result is always the same: conflicting thoughts and actions that impede your growth and hamper your success. For example… You are clear that you want to save more, but vague in declaring how much you want to save, why and by when. You are clear that you want to reduce or eliminate your debt, but have limited awareness of your debt profile (total amount; amount by type; interest rate, etc.) You are clear that your investments need some TLC, but continue to postpone making any specific changes because while doing so may be...
Smart Money Moves Aren’t Really Complicated

Smart Money Moves Aren’t Really Complicated

I have Google Alerts on almost every aspect of personal finance (PF). So on a weekly basis a lot of PF articles and blogs posts come across my screen. Some are written by experts sharing their money management perspective and tips; others, by non-experts sharing the lessons learned from their personal financial journey. As I read a blog post this afternoon, my response was, “Ugh, this is so obvious!” After rolling my eyes, I refocused on the page and scanned the piece hoping the writer would tell me something I didn’t know or provide me with a new way of looking at what I already believe I know. No. Such. Luck. This is not a tirade against the author. In fact, her tips were excellent and someone will read her piece and get immense value from the advice she shared. My sentiment is more a reflection on the industry. It is one that I know can you help you achieve your life and financial goals and dreams and solve some of your problems; one that I love; and one whose good intentions get overshadowed by inundating you with personal finance information that is as dry as hell! Because it’s easier. It’s far easier to tell you, “save more, invest better, spend less, earn more,” in a hundred different ways than it is to challenge you to go deep and tap into the “why” behind the financial choices you make and actions you take. It’s far easier to get you to pay attention to the part of the equation that contributes the least to your financial success. Despite research that proves...
Get Unstuck: Have a Close Encounter with Your Money Baggage

Get Unstuck: Have a Close Encounter with Your Money Baggage

Everyone has money baggage in some way, shape or form. And, the influences are many – family, friends, colleagues, society at large, consequences of past choices, etc. Typically, your awareness of your money baggage largely lies dormant until something happens. Usually something big. Like a marriage. Or, a divorce. Or, a lay off. Or, buying a home. Or, the birth of a child. Or, starting a business. Or, trying to figure out why you don’t feel comfortable raising your prices. Examples are aplenty. But one of the things these events all have in common is that you are often thrust into a situation that simultaneously triggers a financial fear that directly challenges a financial aspiration. Now, the cat’s – aka your money baggage – is outta the bag. Your money “stuff” has been brought to the surface. And you realize it’s keeping you from moving forward with financial goals more clear, confident and in control. So, you take action. Yet, something is not working. Probably because you’re making a common mistake: Most people focus on the transactional side of money – what they do with it – when they’ve decided it’s time to do something about their baggage. If that’s you, STOP! Money baggage is just as much about what you do with money as who you are with money. For greater financial success and more sustainable results, it is beneficial to also invest the time to explore who you are with money. It’s not woo-woo…it’s smart and strategic. It’s how you turn worry into action. It’s how you turn preparedness into sustainable results. It’s how you answer the...

The Financial Choice That’s Most Important When You’ve Been Laid Off

Yesterday, a friend shared that she was laid off this week. Three weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal laid off approximately 100 staff – many of whom were personal finance journalists. Hmm… Recently, Microsoft announced it was laying off 7,800 additional (!) jobs. Layoffs are typically associated with tough economic times. But, our economy is steady! Even with this week’s weird concatenation of events (Greece’s debt crisis, China’s market meldown, and the NYSE’s three hour tech-outage), the U.S economy continues to grow – albeit slowly. And the “market” as measured by these key indices – Dow Jones Industrial Average; S&P 500; and Nasdaq – rallied to end the week in positive territory and not too far from their 52-week high. The reasons for the layoffs are as varied as the firms conducting them. For some, it is purely expense containment and reduction; for others, it is triggered by a needed shift in the company’s business and business model. Regardless of the reason, there is a person and family emotionally and financially affected by this decision to reduce staff. There is a person who now needs to work on plan B for their career and mostly likely their personal finances, too. Is this you? Have you recently been laid off? If so, you may feel tentative, anxious, short on confidence and may be even a little guilty. If this is a repeat layoff, the emotional scar of multiple layoffs may run deep. And you might be freaking out, mad that you have to start over (again) and wondering, “How am I going to bounce-back this time?” or “When will I...