The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment VIII Forget the Jones’

June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

8.)  Ignore the Jones

 Peer pressure is not simply a problem for kids.  Grown-ups also succumb to it. Be it in the brands they think they must own, or vacations or even how they invest their money.

 If you hang around people who have different values about money or who make considerably more money than you, you may feel upset about your life and chosen priorities; that shiny truck in your neighbor’s yard, the vacations . You really can’t know how much debt they have or the financial situation in their life simply based on external appearances.

 Do you remember the commercial  – Lending Tree-loan services company

Stanley Johnson, who brags about his big house, his new car and how “I even belong to the local golf club. How do I do it?” he continues with a big, dumb smile, “I’m in debt up to my eyeballs.” Lowering his voice, but still smiling, he adds, “I can barely pay my finance charges.” The smile doesn’t leave his face as he drives a riding lawn mower, saying, “Somebody help me.”…

Recognize the potentially bad influence others may have on your spending and your attitudes pertaining to your life and your satisfaction.

 But also consider this: You might be a stinky influence on others. You may spend a lot when others are trying to be more frugal. You may brag about how easy finances are for your family and what a great job you have when others are struggling. Do a little self-evaluation and recognize the potential trouble or unintended pain you may cause to those you love, chickadee.

 And recognize that the influence you have includes the messages you are sending to your kids. Study after study show that if you make shopping your hobby you will teach kids to spend more. How do you spend your time with those babies of yours…? Do you encourage the hobby of shopping in them?


The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment V

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

5.)  Don’t let others disrespect you – demand helpful advisors

 When you have an advisor you have a helper. My clients have ready access to all this information because I help them learn how to be in control of their money. From budgets to tougher emotional decisions, from names of great accountants to wonderful attorneys, whatever I can do is done for a bright and well-planned financial future.

 Do you know how many folks I work with who tell me that they have no idea what’s going on with their money because their present person doesn’t speak with language or they never see them.

 Don’t let advisors who are supposedly there to help, disrespect you instead. If you don’t know what the heck they are saying what are you doing business there? We are all different so there are CPAs, attorneys and financial advisors for every type of person. Advocate for yourself! Find the advisor that speaks to YOU! Insist on it!

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment III

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

3.)  Don’t disrespect yourself– stop thinking something’s wrong with you because you have trouble understanding money.

 As I said in my presentation, A Smart Girls Guide to Financial Bliss, you’ve got to love yourself, kids.  68% of people with high esteem are good at planning their day-to-day finances. By contrast, 70% of those with poor self-esteem don’t feel in control of their finances.  62% of people with high esteem have set themselves long-term financial goals.

Let me tell you how self-esteem helps in finance. You need to know that you are important enough to stand up for what you believe is needed even when you don’t feel technically capable about the details of the financial matters in your life.

Let me tell you about Beth and her story. Beth, not her real name, didn’t feel smart about her finances. So when she married, she gave the money reins to her new husband. His mandate was to direct all their money towards paying off his debt. Minimum payments were made on all her debt.  Beth voiced her concerns that this seemed wrong, not wise, unfair, but because she felt ‘stupid’ about money she’d acquiesce about this crazy inappropriate allocation of funds.

 Not surprisingly, they are divorcing, because there were problems in the relationship. If you doubt you’re smart, if you let yourself be bulldozed, if you know in your heart something isn’t right…it ISN’T.

 Most important priorities after having a budget: don’t add to debt; having retirement savings (particularly important for women for so many reasons in my book) plus emergency money.

 You don’t need to know these topics well enough to earn a Ph. D.  I am not an expert on topics at which you may excel. You probably don’t sew your own clothes, build and fix your computer and harvest all your food and fuel? No? So you don’t need to be the sole resource of financial information in your life. YOU need to know what you need to know and you need to know when you need help!

 But you DO have to make having a basic understanding  of your financial life a priority, as you are doing today – I mean you don’t have to be reading this blog. You could be doing other things like shopping!!!!

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