Are you turned off by the idea of a 'budget'? I know I am... and I know most of my clients are too. It may sound like the same medicine, just wrapped up in a fancy bottle, but a Spending Plan is philosophically very different. Let me explain...
Money touches every aspect of our lives. It is usually involved, to some degree, in helping us create a life that is meaningful. Being intentional - and conscious - about where your money WILL be spent becomes a powerful exercise in reclaiming some say.
Too often - and despite our very best intentions - we find ourselves at the end of the month (or year!) wondering: where did all that money go? (a worthy question, but one that can also keep you stuck in shame, blame, frustration, and guilt).
Instead, try a new approach. It is the 1st the month, a perfect time for a fresh start!
Sit with your calendar and a piece of paper. After you pay your bills and address all the static expenses, look beyond to what will be happening AND what you...
You know when time feels surreal? When you wake up in the day you have anticipated for so long - perhaps with excitement, sadness, or dread. And then there it is. The Day.
Today I woke up and took my oldest daughter to school for the last day of her senior year. I have been preparing myself on many levels - but when it finally arrived, preparation seemed irrelevant. I found myself choking on tears as I turned the corner. I know logically it isn't any real end... she is still living with us, she will still come home this fall, and we leave for a 3 week trip to Europe together in just a couple weeks. But it is an ending.
I took her out for breakfast - something we rarely do. We talked about college, how she wants to approach it, what inspires her. It was dreamy in every way. The me of 10 years ago would have been anxious to spend money this way - fearing it would mean we couldn't buy a tank of gas. It is why I recently added a category in my own spending plan for 'one on one time...
I am writing checks for my own stack of tax payments. Perhaps you aren’t the procrastinator I am (but if you are, cheers!).
I also helped my daughter file her very first return this year. I explained all the parts - familiarizing her with all the pages, the lingo, and what she was paying for...
I am writing this for you - for her - ( for me….)
Taxes trigger “Loss Aversion Bias”. It is painful. We feel something is being taken from us. (and arguably, something is).
There are two sides to everything, though - nothing is either good or bad. It is always degrees of both.
(I know….but bear with me).
So let’s reframe taxes (and at least for this exercise, sidestep the current state of our country, it’s...
I have been waiting for this day for months - about 16 of them to be precise! Life has a way of unfolding organically, and I am learning to trust this and calm the part of me that quite honestly prefers The Plan. The straight line. And the checked-off-to-do-list. But trusting my process has brought to life something far greater than I had originally envisioned.
16 months ago I had blocked off time to record what would be an online version of the work I facilitate. My girls would be with their grandparents - I would have the entire week to focus on what I had already scripted to record.
But that morning was November 9th, 2016. The world felt upside down. As hard as I tried to resume, I couldn't. I made the difficult decision to wait. 3 months later I went on a solo retreat to the Oregon Coast. What I needed more than anything was the space to hear myself think. To listen to my heart. To understand what I was really trying to say and share through my work.
I walked in the forest and...
The more I work with clients, the more I recognize how much our bodies need to integrate prosperity.
I have had clients get nauseous when we talk about a big leap - it might be asking for a raise, raising their fees, even having savings to begin experiencing financial security.
I have had clients yawn, fidget, get up and pace, or even want to leave my office (thankfully they stay!). It isn't always physical - sometimes a client will unconsciously spend everything they had intended to save. Or find other brilliantly creative ways to sabotage themselves - to stay safe.
We want this leap - we know in our hearts it is the right direction, we know in our minds this is the next step.
And yet - it is unconsciously terrifying. It is activating our nervous system. Our protection from danger. We would rather remain safe in the discomfort of the...
Tis the season of giving gifts, no matter your tradition. I am not sure if it is just my own evolution, or if there is a collective shift towards simplifying this aspect of the holiday season. I do know that it is refreshing.
Spending money on gifts made me extremely anxious years ago, in part because we didn't have much to spend, but more importantly because there was no plan and it felt out of control - for years now we have approached things from a completely different perspective. I am relaxed, intentional, and enjoy giving gifts like this little boy in this ad from the UK.
You see, a little goes a really long way. It is the spirit of the gift, more than the amount spent.
I love giving gifts that are some combination of utility + luxury. The everyday essentials kicked up a few notches - a daily reminder to enjoy the little things just a bit more, to find beauty in daily living. This is an experience of wealth that can come well before you have millions in...
This time of year we are often pulled by our emotions and veer off our intended course. Having a solid spending plan makes all the difference - and prevents a spending hang-over, or a credit card bill from surprising you in January.
What is a spending plan? Well - it is a map and a guide. You make one before you set out so you don't get lost.
Your PLAN could have the following categories:
Decorations - Tree, Candles, Wreaths, Lights, etc.
Holiday Meals & Entertainment - Pay particular attention if you are hosting, or attending lots of parties where you will bring wine or gifts for the host
Gifts - Write down the names of the people you give gifts to
Santa (if it applies)
Pet Gifts (I know... but for some people this adds up :-)
End of Year Tips (housecleaner, hairdresser, doorman, etc.)
Next to these categories you will put an amount you plan to spend. The hardest part, and the part we often resist,...
I chose to have my children at the 'young' age of 24. It was motherhood that called to me before a career. I was fortunate to be able to follow my desire to stay at home with my growing babies - and we made many financial sacrifices to make this a priority. Yet I wasn't done growing and expanding myself. I felt myself become restless within my mothering role, yet also experienced a very real inner conflict and tension about what that would mean for my family. I was just as committed to my role of being a mother.
Along the path to this work I am currently engaged in, I struggled with the tension, the questioning, the doubt, the fear, and especially the financial pressure as I tried to 'figure it out!' It felt lonely and overwhelming. It was a common issue among my peers, but there was little guidance or the kind of support I was craving.
Perhaps you - or someone close to you - have a different experience balancing motherhood and your...
It is the final stretch before our tax deadline... this may cause all kinds of reactions. In my world, it is an opportunity to respond to whatever the result may be from a grounded stance.
What does a 'grounded' response to taxes look like? Glad you asked! Check out my suggestions below. I actually think this can be helpful in many situations, not just with taxes. As the unexpected bill, or windfall, can often trigger impulsive actions that look like a crazy ball bounced in a small room.
To your thoughtful relationship with money - taxes included!
Staying Grounded - Responding Mindfully to a Tax Bill or Tax Refund
(written with the extremes in mind, but helpful for a 'tax event' of any size)
The very first step is to plant your feet and find centering with your breath.
After a few inhales, and exhales, notice your level of activation - this can be excitement or anxiety - but give it a number on a scale of zero to five.
Have you ever found yourself in a room filled with people who seem to have more money than you? You learn that the person you are talking to just moved into a new house (or insert any desired thing), while you feel stuck paying off your credit cards - though the balances are where they were last year. You feel a tidal wave of shame take over, followed by some pretty harsh self talk.
What about the friend - or public figure - who talks about how making money is so fun and easy! You find yourself collapsing inside, wondering why it is so incredibly hard for you to just make ends meet! You have been stuck in the same place for years, and your envy of them is growing into an unflattering form of resentment.
Or the conversations where you feel superior - even if you may not want to admit it - because you are a better person than 'those people' who are making, or spending, a 'ridiculous' amount of money. You, at least, are on moral high ground (even if not...