Tag Archives: Money

To Do or Not To Do

When it comes to the question of merging your money, it can get hairy.

There’s a lot at a stake.  For your money and your relationship.

Should you combine your finances or keep them separate?

In today’s video, I’ll help you identify the red flags to watch for as you navigate the best the path for you and your relationship.

Whether you’re just getting ready to say I do, or celebrating years of marriage, take a minute to check in and see if your solution really is the best for you.

Bottom line, every couple is different.  Focus on the goal of creating intimacy and engagement with your money and your partner. You can always adjust and renegotiate.

In the comments below share what solution works for you and your partner, what challenges you’ve faced when it comes to merging money and how you’ve overcome it.

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The myth of earning more

I’m a research junkie.

Image By: AMagill

I love looking at numbers and identifying trends.

Particularly around other people’s behaviors.

While I was researching google search terms on the topic of money, I stumbled upon something that stopped me in my tracks.

Something that made me rethink everything about the way I talk about money.

It turns out people really want to get rich.  In fact, 7.4 million people searched the term ‘get rich’.

The way I see it there’s two primary ways we can make that happen:

1. Earn more money

2. Spend less money

And if google is any indication, people clearly prefer option 1.

Earning money beats out spending less on google searches by nearly a 9:1 ratio (2.7 million searches compared to 301,000).

I get it, earning more seems like a magic bullet solution.

It’s easy to think that once you make six figures, richness will just automatically happen.

But it’s not always the right solution.

Making money isn’t synonymous with getting rich.  Far from it.

In fact, one survey by Thomas J. Stanley, found many high-income earners are actually less efficient at becoming millionaires than their moderate income counterparts.

Once people start making more money, they have a tendency to spend more money. They live in more expensive homes in pricier neighborhoods and increase their lifestyles to match their incomes.

If you want to really create wealth, you have to be willing to look at both sides of the coin.

Think about it:

  • How much money were you making 5 years ago?
  • Has your income increased?
  • Has your net worth increased?
  • Has it increased by the same percentage as your income?
  • Do you know what your net worth is?

Most people don’t.

I used to be one of them.  In fact, I’m a perfect example of the earn more myth.

As recently as a few years back, I was making six figures and was far from rich.

I had no idea what my net worth was.

I knew exactly how much money I made, but I had no idea how much I spent.

If income was the solution to wealth, I would have nailed it.

But as I found, creating wealth took more than a high income.

It took consciousness.

It took awareness.

It took understanding.

And it took spending less than I earned.

If Google has it right and we really want to get rich, we have to be willing to look beyond earning.  Earning is only half of the equation.

Share our comments below.  

I’m curious: what do you think about the google earn more, spend less discrepancy? 

How are you creating wealth?  What’s had the greatest affect your bottom-line?

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Getting Paid

When you own a business or do work for someone else – getting paid is a pretty important part of the deal.

After all, you are in business to make money.

So what do you do when a client just won’t pay their bill?

Before you come down on the client, take a few minutes to look at your payment process.

The most common reason for not getting paid, is not being clear up front about your expectation for payment.

Check in.

  • Do you provide prospective clients with clear, written communication around your payment process BEFORE you start working for them?  Why/Why not?
  • Do you require some type of payment in advance?  Why/Why not?

Be brutally honest – what’s stopping you from spelling it out?

Asking for money is a sure fire way to bring up your fears about being good enough, being successful or just plain getting the business.

And those fears aren’t going to make asking for money easy. Bring them to light now, question them and empower yourself to put the right process in place from the get-go.

Once you’ve done the hard work of looking at how and why you’re current process is working, then it’s time to tackle this specific client.

Decide how much time you’re willing to invest in recouping the money.  Decide how you want to feel about this specific circumstance and decide what action you’re willing to take.

From that place, send the No BS email.

It goes like this:

“I require payment for X service in X amount by X date.  If there’s anything else you need from me to make this happen, I need to know immediately so I can provide that to you.”

If you’ve decided to pursue the payment further, you’ll want to add that to the end.

“If payment is not received by X date, my next step is X.”

Keep it clear, specific and to the point. No explaining.  No emotion.  Just the facts.

In the comments below tell me what systems you have to ensure payment from clients and how you’ve handled non-payment in the past.

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

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Why do you want to be rich?

Why do you want to be rich?

If you want more money, it’s one of the single most important questions you can ask.

Why.

Why do you want more money?

It requires you to get really honest with yourself.

To examine your values.  To determine what’s important.

To understand why you care about money in the first place.

The second most important question to ask is: what does being rich mean to you?

How do you define rich?  What does rich look like?

The answers to these questions will be different for everyone.

And answering them will provide two distinct benefits:

1.  You’ll start consciously thinking about your money.

2. You’ll  supercharge your goals.

Check out the video for a quick tip to figure out the real reason you want money.  It’s a great way to get past the surface reasons to discover the real reasons why.

 

In the comments below, share your why.  What’s the #1 reason you want to be rich?

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

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Avoiding Feelings

I used to be a world class emotion avoider.  When it came to my feelings, I gold medaled in not feeling them.

I was a bona-fide pro.

Simply knowing that my shopping was driven by a desire to avoid a feeling was not enough for me to change.

I wasn’t motivated by a goal of not shopping.  Or spending less.

In truth, those goals were hollow. They didn’t matter.

What did matter was the idea of creating wealth.  The idea of enjoying my lifestyle while reaching my long-term financial goals.

What mattered even more, was the idea that I could consistently feel better. Feel good.  Feel happy.

Not pretend happy.

Really happy.

And I could use my relationship with money to help me get there.

This meant not sugar coating my feelings (that was just another form of denial).

This meant not shopping when I wanted to feel better.

And most of all it meant no longer hiding from and avoiding those pesky feelings.

It meant exploring those feelings.  Diving into what was causing them.

I discovered that feelings are a gift.

An invitation to explore my mind.  An opportunity to uncover my beliefs.

The worst thing they can ever do is create a feeling.

The best thing they can do is to help me change my thinking and my life.

When I changed my thinking I started to change my feelings, for real.

I consistently started to feel better, no shopping necessary.

When I felt better, I created better results.  For myself and my money.

Leave your comments and insights below.

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

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Making Peace with Target

Do you shop at Target? Or Nordstrom or Banana Republic?

Not just occasionally, I’m talking at least a few times a week?

I mean, they have pretty cool stuff, right?

I’ve so been there.

My husband used to say, what exactly do we buy at Target? We seem to go there A LOT. (By we, he really meant me).

Eventually I learned the problem wasn’t about Target.

Target was simply a symptom of a bigger challenge.

The real issue was understanding why I felt compelled to spend so much money on stuff that wasn’t bring value into my life.

Target made it easy for me to disengage.

To use shopping to feel better about life for a few minutes a day.

To get lost in all the cool stuff and forget about my problems.

But  I knew I could do better than Target.  For my money, and myself.

So I took a hard look at my money.

What I saw wasn’t pretty.

Nearly all of my net worth was comprised of my 401k.

Which doesn’t sound so bad.

Until I realized I was putting 10% of my salary in my 401k and that 10% made up  up 90% of my net worth.

What exactly was I doing with the other 90%?

That’s not a simple question to answer.

On the surface I was just shopping.

Buying clothes.  And decorations for the house.

And whatever else I wanted.

Except I didn’t really want any of it.

What I really wanted was to be liked.

To be admired for my style.

To be loved.

To be happy.

And Target just couldn’t get the job done.

No matter how much I spent.

So I had to make peace with myself.

I had to discover what I really wanted.

I had to learn who I was without wearing a new outfit.

And that was hard.

It still is hard.

I’m learning to connect with myself.  Sometimes I don’t like what I see.

Sometimes it just plain sucks.

And it’s rewarding.

I’m constantly learning and growing.

I’ve learned I really don’t like Target clothes that much.

I’ve learned that I’m uncomfortable sitting still.

I’ve learned that intimacy and connection make me more uncomfortable than sitting still.

And I really want those things anyways.

I’ve learned that I’m not always comfortable letting people see me.

But I want to let them see me anyway.

I want to see me.

And when I started to see me and let the world in on what I was seeing, a funny thing happened.

Target lost its luster.

It wasn’t the joy factory I’d made it out be.

But I was.

 

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When to Quit Your Job

You’ve found your passion.

You’re ready to follow your dreams.

But should you quit your job?

Well it depends.

Do you hate your current job?  Are you worried about how to support yourself financially?  Are you excited about the new venture primarily because of all the money you might make?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to stick it out with your current gig a little longer.

The best way to get killer results in your next venture is to make the decision to jump when you already feel abundant, peaceful and excited.

If you’re worried, frustrated or annoyed the actions you take will likely cause more worry, frustration and annoyance down the line – no matter how passionate you are about the venture.

The good news is, you can follow your dreams while your at your current job.

Those two things are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, working at your current job may help you launch your venture to even more success.

I always say, “be passionate enough about this dream to deliver pizza.”

I’d love your feedback on the topic.  Specifically, if you’ve made the jump, how did you know it was time.  If you’re still on the fence, what’s keeping you there?

Leave your answers to these questions along with your comments and insights below. 

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

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Can you afford it?

You really want to buy something, sign up for a class, go on a trip, and the numbers don’t support it.

It’s a drag to think you really want something and then tell yourself you can’t afford it.

So stop lying to yourself.

When you make up your mind that you want something, there’s almost always a way to get it. You could sell everything you own, you could work two additional jobs, you could cash out your 401k.

But you’re not.

There’s a reason you’re choosing not to afford it.

The only reason you ever want to buy something is because you think buying it will make you feel a certain way.

  • You think participating in a class will make you feel confident or connected.
  • You think a new pair of shoes will make you feel sexy.
  • You think going to Greece will make you feel relaxed and free.

And it might.  But you don’t have to buy those things to get those feelings.

The same is true when you choose not to afford something.

The only reason you ever choose not to buy something is because you think having something else will make you feel better.

  • You think paying off your bills will make you feel responsible.
  • You think having money in your savings account will make you feel secure.
  • You think not working a second job will make you feel free.

And it might.  But it’s possible to buy the item you want and still get those feelings.

The only way to really know if you can afford something is to know what you value and why.

What do you value most: the item or what you’ll get by not buying it?

If something is important to you, stop telling yourself you can’t have it.  Instead, brainstorm creative ways you could choose to afford it. Check in and see if you’re willing to do those things and understand why/why not?

Affordability isn’t just about dollars and cents.  It’s about value. And you always get to choose what you value.

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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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

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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