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Money Monday

Getting Organized

It’s easy to blame money disorganization on being busy or not having the right system.

The truth is, disorganization is usually about something deeper.  

It’s a symptom of avoidance. Avoidance often comes from fear.

Unless you address WHY you are disorganized with your money, no system will cure the problem.

When the mind is scared, it goes into fight or flight.  You don’t have to be attacked by a bear or face ruin to activate this response. Subtle emotions are powerful triggers. Being unsettled, worried, stressed or unsure can initiate fight of flight.

Take a moment and consider where you might be avoiding your money:

  • Are you procrastinating paying bills? Is there one bill you keep forgetting?
  • Are you avoiding balancing your checkbook?
  • Do you keep forgetting to cancel that subscription you never use and are still being charged for?

These are all symptoms of disorganization that indicate an avoidance problem.

Want to clean it up?

  • Embrace some element of unpredictability with your money.  Your financial life is always changing. That’s not something to be scared of.  You can handle whatever comes your way.
  • Spend some time giving yourself credit.   Write down a list of all the reasons you can handle whatever happens.  You’re smart. You have skills and contacts.  You know how manage your money.  Gather as much evidence as possible.
  • Use fight or flight to your advantage.  When you believe you can handle what you see, that you can face any challenge in style, you’ll be more likely to face your money head on.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

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Money Monday – Job Uncertainty

Uncertainty can be a b*tch. Especially when it comes to things like work and money.

You’re humming along, everything is fine. Out of the blue, uncertainty rolls in.

Your company gets bought out, layoffs are announced, you loose a big client.

The job, the numbers and the life stop telling you the story you want to hear.  You panic.

At least I did.  

Which it turns out is perfectly normal.  The brain is hard wired with a desire to control the future.  

When things are humming along, it’s easy to believe you’re in control and the brain is more or less content thinking it’s steering the ship.

Then you hit an iceberg, wake up to the reality that life is unpredictable, and all of a sudden you feel like you’ve lost control.

The good news is, your brain doesn’t care if you actually have control, it only cares that it feels like it’s in control.

So how can you feel in control right now?

Remember you can always control your thoughts.

Some of my go to thoughts during times of uncertainty:

  • I’m always in control of me.
  • I’ll figure it out when I get there.  There’s always a solution.
  • I’ve made it this far.  I must be doing something right.
  • Either way, I’m all in.  I’m diving into the unpredictability and I am going to enjoy the ride.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

 

 

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Money Monday – Sell or Hold?

Have you ever been in the midst of making a financial decision and felt stuck.

You arrive on a decision only to second guess yourself just a few minutes later.  You run the numbers over and over and still don’t feel 100% confident in the decision?

I know I have.  Sometimes what looks great on paper, the story the numbers seem to tell, feels different when you go to pull the trigger.

What might be happening is an ownership bias. 



When you own something, you like it more, just because you own it.  Seriously.

This can make it especially tricky when it comes time to make a decision around selling something.  Maybe you’re committed to paying off debt and selling the boat seems like a good way to go.  Or maybe you’re getting ready to buy a bigger house and trying to decide to sell or hold onto the smaller one.  

Because you own the item, your mind will likely value the item more than the markets or the financials do.

So how do you get around this?

First – be honest with yourself.  Do you actually own the item? If you have a loan against the item, it’s not yours, it’s the banks. Being honest about that can help reduce the ownership bias.  

Then ask yourself these questions:

1. Given your current goals and finances, would you go out and buy the item again today?  If not, what’s really holding you back from selling it?

2. What do you think it means if you sell the item?

3. What do you think it means if you don’t sell the item?

These questions will help you get some perspective on what you are trying to gain, besides money, by holding or selling.  They will help you see where you’re looking at the numbers and where your ownership bias is showing up.

I’d love to hear your experiences with ownership bias and how you moved past it.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!


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Money Monday – Unexpected Bills

You’re chugging along, making progress toward your financial goals and then seemingly out of nowhere you’re hit with a big fat bill that isn’t in the budget.

Or maybe it’s just a series of small bills that seem to come out of the woodwork just when you feel like you’re starting to make real progress.

Unexpected things do happen.

When unexpected things happen regularly they can no longer be considered unexpected.

If you’re consistently running short at the end of the month, or writing a check that’s just not in the budget it’s important to take the time to figure out what’s really going on with your money.

In my own life, I noticed I had a tendency to significantly underestimate my monthly expenses.

I’d decide once and for all I was going to be responsible and quickly pay off my debt. The faster the better. So I’d sit down and create a budget that I thought would propel me quickly toward my financial goals. It looked great on paper.

I’d make a huge payment on my student loan debt and then I’d freak out that I had no money left when it was time to buy groceries and pay my monthly bills.

I was so disconnected from my money and spending that I had no idea what it actually cost me to live every month.


When I finally took the time to look at what was happening with my money it was easy to see why it felt like things were always sneaking up on me.

I’d been drastically underestimating my expenditures.

Once I knew what I was spending, It was much easier for me to make choices about where I was willing to make sacrifices and where I wasn’t. I was able to create a debt payoff plan and cut down on the unexpected by leaving room for all of my monthly expenditures.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

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Money Monday – Unexpected Cash

Unexpected money can create unexpected dilemmas.

You get money you’re not expecting. A bonus check. Money from selling something on Craigslist. Cash from winning a contest.  Or maybe you just found some money in the street.

And the money feels different. Like it doesn’t count.

It’s fun money.  Spending money. Bonus money.  And it feels powerful.

By changing the way I framed certain types of money, I treated it differently.  I used it as a reward. To make me feel good.  To treat myself.

And then I felt bad. Like I wasted it.  Didn’t put it to good use.  Didn’t do the right thing.

I’d get regular bonus checks and it would feel like a whole world of choices opened up. I could pay off bills, go on vacation or update my wardrobe. Every choice symbolized something deeper.  I could be responsible, be adventurous or look chic enough that everyone would like me.

The meanings I attached to the money made it hard to decide what to actually do with the money.

So how do you decide what do with unexpected cash?

Step 1: Take the unexpected money off the table.  Decide what your short term and long term financial priorities are.  Understand how you want your money to work for you in the bigger picture and why.

Step 2: Get clear on how you want to feel about the money. What feeling are you hoping the money can buy?  Be honest and put it on the table.

Step 3: Remember you can get the feeling you want, regardless of how you spend the money. Get the feeling you want first and then make the decision.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

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Money Monday – Budgets

I have a confession. I used to hate the word budget. I tried to avoid it at all costs.

It made me feel restricted and deprived. Here were the numbers, on paper, telling me all the things I couldn’t have.

Until I realized, I had it all wrong.

For the first time in a long time, I am choosing to follow a budget.

In a prior life this would have been unimaginable and it would have felt awful.

Now it excites me. I feel like a kid in a candy store.

I have a budget I love.

It’s helping me get really clear about what I want.

It’s helping me create intimacy with myself and my money.

It’s helping me be really conscious about what I”m doing with my money.

It’s helping me keep the big picture in mind.

It’s helping me see I don’t need to spend money to feel good.

I’ve realized budgets aren’t about what you can’t have.

They are 100% about what you can have.

They are about owning your choices.  For your money and your life.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

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Money Monday – Emotional Spending

We love to spend money. It makes us feel good.  It provides a rush.  It even releases dopamine, the feel good chemical, in the brain.

There’s nothing wrong with spending money.

But when you use money as a band-aid for dealing with your emotions, it’s easy to get carried away.

If we feel unloved, we  shop.  If we feel lonely, we take a friend out to dinner.  If we feel bored, we spend money on activities we think will cure the problem.

We spend, spend, spend.  We end up emotionally bankrupt and feeling overwhelmed financially.  When you use money to solve your problems, you end up creating bigger problems and doing nothing about what’s causing the feelings in the first place.

So how do you know if you’re spending because you have a true want or need or if you’re trying to spend yourself into feeling better.

I’ve put together some questions you can use to check in before you spend the money.

Question 1: What do you think it will mean if you don’t buy the item? 

This question is so important because we often spend money to avoid looking cheap.  Especially at our friends candle parties and when the sales people are so sweet we don’t want to let them down.

Question 2: Why do you want the item & how do you think you will feel if you buy the item?

The only reason we ever want something is because we think it will make us feel better.  While you might get a temporary boost from shopping, you can never shop your way into happiness.  Trust me, I’ve tried it.

Question 3: Are you in a hurry?

Hurry is a great clue that you need to check in with yourself.  If you truly want something, most likely it will be there tomorrow. If you can’t wait, ask yourself why.  Get honest.  Slow down.  Check in.

Question 4: Will this item take my closer to or further from my financial goals?

Our minds are not designed to focus on the long term.  The brain loves instant gratification.  Having near term financial goals that you can check in with while you’re spending can help.  This question is designed to help you remember that there is a biger picture.

Bottom line: If you’re in a hurry to buy the jeans, the car, the couch, the watch, the vacation, the eye cream, the dinner for all your friends and you think buying it will help you feel confident, free, cozy, rich, connected, pretty, liked or any other emotion, you’re likely engaging in emotional spending.

Any lift you get in how you feel will be temporary and when it’s gone you’ll still be stuck with the bill.  There are better ways to feel better that cost a lot less money.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

 

 

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Money Monday – Improve your Money Relationship

Improve your Relationship with Money – Today

We all have a relationship with money.  For most of us, this relationship is less than ideal.  Let’s face it, relationships with money can be tricky.  So what can you do about it?

You know how they say honesty and communication is the key to a successful relationship?

It’s true with money too. The single greatest thing you can do to start improving your relationship with money is to start telling the truth and seeing what’s happening with your money.

The only way to be 100% honest when it comes to money is to look at the data.  What are the REAL results you’re getting with your money?

This can be a scary process.  It often brings up feelings of not being good enough and not having enough.  It can bring up fear of how to manage it and overwhelm that it’s all to much.

We often think telling little lies or not seeing the numbers will FEEL better than telling the truth.  It won’t. The truth always feels better. It gives you your power!

To avoid feelings of stress and overwhelm every time you sit down to look at the numbers, it’s important to remember this is just about the numbers. It isn’t about you being responsible or irresponsible.  Good or bad.  It’s just about you seeing the facts.

To get you started, I’m including a worksheet designed to help  you put all your numbers in one place.

Remember, no judgment.  Numbers are neutral.  Once you know where you are, you can better design a route to get where you want to go.

Where’s the Money Worksheet.

Where’s the Money

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

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Money Monday: Understanding Your Relationship

Understanding Your Relationship with Money

If you were going to describe your current relationship with money in one word, what would it be?

Not sure?  The key to understanding your relationship is identifying what’s happening every time you interact with money.

Are you happy when you spend money?  Stressed?  Worried?  Unsure?

What about when you make money?  Or win it?  Or find it?  Are you excited?  Frustrated?  Annoyed?

If you try and look at the relationship by lumping all your interactions together, you won’t get any clear insight.  Let’s face it, different transactions with money FEEL different, independent of the dollar amount. The only way to get clarity is to take the time to analyze how you are feeling EACH time you interact with money.

Looking at the daily relationship is the only way to really understand why you’re spending what you’re spending,  earning what you’re earning and getting your current results.

Challenge yourself to record each of your money transactions for the next 7 days.  Record the transaction, the dollar amount, how you felt during the transaction and your overall thoughts about the transaction.

What do you notice?  Are there any trends?  Where are you feeling crappy with your money?  This single exercise will give you more insight into your money relationship than anything else you can do.

Give it a try and report back with what you find. In the meantime, I’d love to hear the one word you would use to describe your current relationship with money.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

 

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Money Monday: How to Ask, Part 2

How to Ask for Money, Part 2

Part 1 of this series was all about getting clear on WHY you were uncomfortable, your value and expectation.  Doing the work around those issues will make asking for money much easier.

That being said, I get it.  It’s still nice to know WHAT to say and HOW to say it.

Asking for Money in 4 simple steps:

1. Summarize your value (not sure what your value is, go back to part 1).

2. Check in.  See what the other person is thinking.  If they agree with your value proposition or express interest in your offering, move forward.

3. Make the ask!  Keep it simple & clear.  Stick to the facts.

4. Stop!  Wait & listen.  Silence is golden. Let the other person tell you what they are thinking before you assume to know.

 

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me any questions you have on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

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