Financial Wellness

Is Money Your Drug of Choice?

How often do we use money like Novocain, spending freely to numb the pain in our lives or the pressures at work? But instead of making things better, it just gets us deeper into trouble.

Yet we justify our shopping sprees with thoughts like, “I’m going through a divorce. I deserve this,” or “I hate my job. At least I can enjoy my life.”

What gets us into trouble isn’t the spending, but our self-deception. It’s called denial. And denial can generate considerable debt.

Getting out of denial is a prerequisite for prosperity. Credit card debt is insidious, but not insurmountable.

Making minimum payments can take 30 years or more to pay off (because 75 percent of what you pay goes toward the accumulating interest).

The Secret to Financial Success…in Only Five Words

One day, I was glancing at the Wall Street Journal, when 5 words leapt off the page—”The survival of the focused.

I knew those five words carried a powerful message. A message High Earners understand very well. But one Underearners have failed to grasp.

Financial Success belongs to the focused.

Without focus, it’s easy to get sidetracked by multiple distractions fighting for your attention. But with focus, conflicting objectives cease to control you, making it easier (and less stressful) to take decisive action without second guessing.

A Sure-Fire Way to Increase Your Self Worth

I always asked High Earners: “Are you doing what you’re doing for the money?” No, they insisted, quite vehemently. They were driven by the  passion, by the challenge, by the recognition. But not money.

Yet, in the next breath, they all said the same thing. “But I damn well want to be well compensated…because I know I’m worth it!”

Where did their strong sense of self-worth come from, I initially wondered? As a chronic underearner, I wanted what they had. The answer soon became stunningly clear.

They had a simple strategy. Whenever they were asked to do something, whenever an opportunity arose, if their reaction wasn’t a strong ‘Hell Yes!’ it was clearly a “Hell No!”

These women each told me that, initially, they were afraid to speak up and tell the truth. But they forced themselves to ask for what they wanted, just as they said ‘no’ to what they didn’t want.

This simple (but scary) act was the secret to their financial success. Here’s why:

  • Asking for more is an act of self-love.
  • Saying no is a statement of self-respect.
  • Refusing to settle is a show of self-esteem.
  • And walking away is a sign of self-trust.

Whenever you stand up for what you want, whenever you refuse to take less than you deserve, your life will begin to change, sometimes dramatically.

You’ll also notice a shift in how you feel about yourself. Speaking up becomes not something you should do, but something you have to do – because you know in your heart you’re worth it.

Where do you need to start speaking up? Tell me about it in the comments below.

How much Risk Can You Handle?

With soaring inflation soaring and turbulent markets, it’s a good time to discuss an important conceptRisk tolerance.

You’ve probably heard those words bandied about when talk turns to investing. But do you know what they mean?

Risk tolerance is generally defined as the ability to stomach large swings in the value of your investment portfolio.  The market, by nature, is very volatile. It’s vital to understand your level of tolerance for risk in order to make prudent decisions.

Here are 3 factors to help you figure out how much risk you can tolerate:

The first factor is time. When will you need the money? Generally, you can take a lot more risk if you’ve got 10-years or more. Money you need in the next 3-5 years should be in cash. You don’t want to be forced to sell if the market is down.

The second factor is cash reservesHow much cash do you have on hand? If all your money is fully invested, with no extra cash to cover unexpected expenses, that would be a problem. Either you must sell at a loss or go into debt.

The third factor is sleep. How much volatility can you stand before you start stressing out, unable to sleep at night? We all know what happens if we don’t get enough shut-eye. Everything suffers!

Those factors are crucial considerations. But keep in mind. Your biggest risk is not protecting yourself against inflation.

Stuffing your entire savings under the mattress is like living in a house full of termites. Even if nothing seems awry, you’ll doubtlessly be dealing with costly damages down the line.

What do you feel your risk tolerance is? Has it changed in the current market situation? Tell me what you think below.

Consciousness Raising While Holiday Shopping

Tis the season to be spending. But splurging on presents is like binging at the buffet. Fun at first, but afterwards, you feel awful!

Let me suggest a simple tip to control your spending, without turning into a tightwad: Track your expenses.

Every time you buy anything—a gift, a latte or a mani/pedi—jot down the item and the amount…at the time of purchase. Otherwise, receipts pile up and it feels overwhelming.

Believe me, tracking is not just for those with limited means. Tracking is a powerful consciousness raising, potentially life changing tool. It reveals a lot more than where you can shave and save.

Professionally Successful – Financially Strapped! Oh My!

On the outside, she had it all together. A successful entrepreneur who made loads of money, dressed exquisitely, and lived in luxury.

But every morning she woke up feeling like “there’s ground glass in my gut.” Under her polished veneer, she was drowning in debt.

“I am making good money, but I have nothing to show for it,“ she told me. “I’m broke but nobody knows it.”

Our successful entrepreneur represents a raging epidemic—people who are professionally successful but financially strapped.

Most experts advocate budgeting as the best solution. But she had tried repeatedly to follow a budget, only to fail miserably.

The truth is, will power alone is never enough to stop compulsive behaviors. Because money isn’t the problem, but a symptom of something deeper.

Overcoming Financial Paralysis

I was newly divorced, raising 3 daughters, when I got tax bills for over $1m. My ex was responsible, but he left the country…leaving me with very little in the bank. My father refused to lend me the money. I was angry and terrified. I had no choice. I had to get smart about money.

I tried going to classes, reading books, but nothing made sense. I felt immobilized. Nowhere in those books or classes could I find a solution for my paralysis. Until I took matters in my own hands.

I stopped focusing on the practical mechanics of money and started plumbing the deepest recesses of my psyche. Writing in my journal proved profoundly revealing.

I became aware of a familiar voice that kept telling me how stupid I was. Instead of ignoring it or letting it hold sway, as I always did, I began a dialogue with that voice, asking it where it came from and what it wanted.

I immediately heard my father telling me, often and in no uncertain terms, that managing money was a man’s job. As a woman, I did not have what it took to deal with finances.

So of course, I was terrified that if I tried to take charge, I’d botch things badly, blow it all.

Becoming a Woman of Influence

At last. We have cause to celebrate. A major shift has been occurring in women’s relationship with money since the 2008 financial crisis.

As a result of that crisis—according to an Allianz Study, Women, Wealth, and Power—a new demographic is emerging, Women of Influence. These women aren’t necessarily high earners, or even gainfully employed, though many are.

What sets them apart is that they’re financially knowledgeable, Allianz reports, “more confident in their ability to spend, save, invest wisely than the average woman,”

And these Women of Influence are becoming global change makers, claiming their power, owning their greatness.

The Secret to Investing Wisely–Understand the Investment Pyramid

Let me introduce you to the Investment Pyramid. Understanding this pyramid was a game changer for me.

Decades ago, a wealthy family friend urged me to invest in a Limited Partnership, calling it a “an exciting opportunity.”

I didn’t know that a Limited Partnership was illiquid and I couldn’t sell my shares, even as I watched the company go bust.

When I told my accountant this story, he drew a triangle, divided it into 4 levels, explaining this represented the whole world of investing. My mistake was starting at the top.

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Wealth Building Made Simple…Very, Very Simple!

You’d love to be wealthy, right? But then immediately reject the idea as ridiculous. Let me assure you, creating wealth’s a lot simpler than you think. And you don’t need a lot of money to start.

What you do need is enough discipline to obey The 3 Rules of Wealth:

1. Spend Less—never spend money you don’t have. If you can’t pay off your credit cards in full each month, stop using them.

2. Save More—pay yourself first. Ideally, 10% of your income goes straight into savings. But $10 a month is totally fine. The idea is to get in the habit of saving.

3. Invest Wisely—put at least a portion of your money into assets will grow faster than inflation and taxes take it away, like stocks, bonds and real estate.

All 3 are critical. But Investing Wisely is how wealth is created. It’s also the rule that stymies most people.

Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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