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3 Steps to Reclaiming Your Money Power

Standing in your power with money is both an art and a science.

What do I mean by that exactly?  Well, it’s a science in the sense that there is a method to the madness, a systematic way to manage your money that will keep you well-informed and ahead of the proverbial 8-ball.  However, standing in your power with money is also an art because beyond the systematic processes of money management it’s also about how you energetically put yourself out into the world when it comes to money.

Let me explain a little further.  When I think of people who are powerful with their money, I think of people who have lots of “money mojo” – they set boundaries, they stand up for themselves with class and grace, and they are not afraid to handle what needs to be handled when it comes to financial matters.  However, many people don’t have solid “money mojo” because they don’t even realize that they are often giving away their money power.

So how do people give away their money power? It happens in 5 key ways, mainly because people are:

  • Afraid of conflict;
  • Afraid of facing responsibility and being a financial “grown-up”;
  • Afraid of what others will think (embarrassed that people will talk about them or that people will be angry with them);
  • Afraid of looking like/being a failure (usually further aggravated by comparing oneself to others);
  • Afraid of disempowering someone else (i.e. with their success, etc.).

Do any of these ways resonate with you? Could you be paving a more powerful path to financial freedom just by plugging up one of these power leaks in your life?

Claiming your money power starts with one thing – a commitment to understanding where you’re giving away your power so that you can then understand where you would like to set a new standard in your financial life.  A bit of a heads-up and warning here though as often when people shift to a new standard of power with money, it can (and has often been known to) cause an unpleasant reaction in others as you shift toward that new standard.  You change the dance steps in an old routine that someone else is comfortable with (and where they can potentially take advantage of you), and they tend to get a little testy!

Start with these 3 steps to take back your money power today:

  1. Identify your money power leaks – This may be the toughest step of all of them and that is to honestly own up to those situations where you give away your power with money!  Review the 5 ways noted above that most people give away their power with money, and see which one of the five is most applicable to you (hint: it’s usually the one where you read it and want to immediately pretend you didn’t see it J ).  It might be ugly at first, however try to have compassion for yourself that you’re doing your best to be honest and step forward to improve your financial future.  It may also be helpful to review the list with a loved one that you trust; often we can’t see for ourselves what others more easily and objectively can see.
  2. Decide what boundaries you will put in place going forward – Usually when money power leaks exist, it has a lot to do with boundaries that have either lapsed or were never there in the first place.  It’s time to strengthen the boundaries around your power leak, so brainstorm on what boundary you will put into place to prevent any future leaks.
  3. Take action immediately – Now that you’ve identified what you’d like to work on, and you’re clear about the boundaries you’re putting in place, it’s time to be proactive.  Complete the following sentence, “The action I will take is _______ by _____ (set a date within a reasonably short timeframe).” It doesn’t have to be a big step; it can be a very basic step that’s intended to get you moving forward.  If you’d like extra credit, come up with several steps that will get you blasting through to setting a new standard for yourself in no time!

It takes practice and courage to claim your money power, and at first it can feel really uncomfortable.  Also, as you’re figuring out where you’re not being powerful with your money, there can be a tendency to feel ashamed or embarrassed.  Do yourself a favor and don’t stay at the “pity party” long though, ok?  Envision each situation as a gift that is sent to teach you something about yourself and your life and work through the issues one step at a time to stand in your full money power!

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3 Steps to Eliminate and Steer Clear of Debt

The energy of debt can be overwhelming, and it can be smothering. Many of my clients say to me “I don’t understand how this happened. How did it get this bad? I have no idea how to fix this.” I hear it all the time.

Feeling this way can often lead to a disastrous next step – sticking your head in the sand and trying to hide from your debt. Understanding where you are now is the only way I know to help you plan your way out of that crappy and suffocating feeling.

Look, I completely get it. As a business owner, for the first time in my adult life I have credit card debt which essentially represents investments I’ve made in the business and in myself. While I know that the investments I’ve made are very much worth it and are intended to fuel the growth of my business, debt can still feel very yucky (a very technical term, of course).

When you have large amounts of consumer debt (i.e. credit cards, car loans, and using home equity lines to finance personal endeavors) it’s like riding a roller coaster. You’re energetically all over the place – up, down, up, down, sideways – never really knowing how to get off the ride that you never intended to stay on permanently. Somewhere along the ride you lost track of the debt and you’re afraid to acknowledge what could be a scary number.

So my question for you is this – are you brave enough to ride the debt roller coaster to the end and get off the ride once and for all? If the answer is yes, keep reading for 3 key steps to eliminating debt forever.

Step #1: Write it all down – Yup, that’s right. The first step is the hardest when it comes to debt. It’s time to write down all of your debt balances so that you can acknowledge your truth. A lot of times people feel sick to their stomachs at the thought of doing this, however in the end it’s often not as bad as people thought it would be. Without acknowledging where things stand currently, it will be very difficult to find a way out…you might end up digging a hole to China when you wanted to dig a hole to Russia instead (metaphorically speaking, of course!).

When you’re writing things down, make sure you include all of the debt details. You’ll want current balances, interest rates, due dates (of monthly payments), and minimum payments required for each piece of debt. A best practice would be to to write down all of your debt just to be able to see it all in one place (i.e. including longer term debt like your mortgage and student loans), however for purposes of getting rid of debt with draining energy we’re primarily going to focus on how to eliminate consumer debt (i.e. credit cards, car loans, home equity lines used for personal purposes, etc.)

Step #2: Assess your savings – You might be saying to yourself, “what does my savings balance have to do with debt anyway?” The answer? EVERYTHING. A healthy savings account is the key to getting out of debt and stepping off of the debt roller coaster once and for all. Let me explain.

Life happens, and unexpected expenses pop up. It can’t be avoided. Therefore, when you’re prepared (with a savings account) you can absorb them easily. Without a savings account, you’ll pay down your debt for a while until the next unexpected expense arises and you’re stuck to put it on a credit card again which increases your balance that you’ve been diligently working to pay down. And you feel defeated…UGH.

How do you avoid this feeling? If you don’t have savings or if you have only a small amount of savings, target saving at least one month’s worth of expenses. This may feel counterintuitive to save while you have debt to pay down (that is likely costing you money via interest), but trust me – I’ve seen it work time and time again and having a savings account helps you to absorb future unexpected expenses so you can stay the course with paying down your debt.

Step #3: Plan your way out of debt – This last and final step is critical in getting out of debt. Without a good plan, most people just throw money after their debt haphazardly much like you would throw wet spaghetti against the wall and it would stick anywhere it felt like it (on the kitchen cabinet, on the floor, perhaps even on someone standing nearby)! It would be completely random where it landed, instead of it being strategically stuck (or in the case of debt, applied to a random balance).

Ask yourself these key questions: 1) how much extra money beyond the minimum payments can you afford to dedicate toward paying down debt? and 2) what are the priority pieces of debt to pay down first? In terms of what pieces of debt to consider as “priority” consider the following:

  • Are there smaller debt balances where you would feel accomplished if they were paid off?
  • What are the interest rates – is there one piece of debt that is costing you a lot more?
  • Which piece(s) of debt is causing you the most angst and you would feel a sense of relief if it was eliminated (i.e. debt to family, debt from an emotional/triggering event, etc.)?

After you’ve answered these 2 key questions for yourself, make a conscious decision as to which one piece of debt you’ll apply the extra funds to, and pay the minimums on all the rest until you eliminate the first piece of debt. Then, go through the process again until all debt has been paid off.

While these 3 steps may not be easy, if you take one step at a time you can significantly alter the dampened energy that you may be feeling about your debt. Handling your debt will allow you to step powerfully into a role as a financially authentic individual and be in charge of your financial life…one step at a time!

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Kicking Financial Clutter to the Curb

Every year when we turn the page of the calendar for the New Year to start I am struck with an overwhelming “urge to purge” any clutter in my life and organize.  I’m happy to say that I’ve already tackled my closet and also some of my kitchen drawers (where I found about 1,000 random pens, pencils and paper clips strewn about amongst other random things!).

But what about financial clutter? How do you start to de-clutter your financial life?

Simply decide to start somewhere.  Yup, that’s it – just decide and start doing things little bit by little bit.

Here are a few questions that I ask my clients to help them start to decrease the amount of financial clutter in their lives:

Do you have financial clutter in your mind?

Financial clutter isn’t just stuff that you can physically see.  It can also show up in how you think about money.  When it comes to money, what does your energy feel like? Is it full of upset, resentment, anger, guilt, fear or tightness or is it full of happiness, gratitude, positivity and abundance?  Most people I meet live a life where their energy and attitudes about money aren’t all that helpful (i.e. guilt, fear, etc.) instead of living a life where they have more positive attitudes about money.  The Law of Attraction essentially says that you’ll attract more of whatever you’re currently feeling – so if you’re feeling negatively about money you’ll get more of that and if you’re feeling positively about money you’ll get more of that.  Which would you rather feel right now? Decide to think (and act) positively regarding money and you’ll likely see improvements in your financial life pretty quickly.

Do you have financial clutter in your day-to-day living?

Day-to-day financial clutter takes many forms such as bills and receipt clutter, loose money or change, or my personal favorite “Ugly Wallet Syndrome.”  You know, where you can barely close your wallet there’s so much jammed in it?!?  If you’ve got financial receipts and change all over the place, how much respect are you showing your money?  Pick yourself up a clean new wallet or a small zip-top bag to keep your receipts organized, and you’re well on your way to cutting through this type of clutter.

Do you have financial clutter in your personal relationships?

Ask yourself, does anyone owe you money that you haven’t followed up on in a while?  Do you have any uncomfortable situations regarding someone else around money (hint: most people do)?  Many people are afraid to confront financial situations such as this because it has the potential to create conflict with loved ones.  However, if you don’t take the step to empower yourself and be proactive, you’re potentially sending the message that money doesn’t matter to you (even if it does).

These 3 areas of financial clutter are a great place to begin to determine where financial clutter might be holding you back.  With a few simple questions you can start kicking your financial clutter to the curb one step at a time.  As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day and clearing financial clutter takes time too!

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