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Helps You, Friends & Family

  • The Urge to Help
    Part of what makes us human is the wonderful urge to help others of the species when they experience difficulty. All we have to do is look at the outpouring of money to other countries – to people we’ve never met-when they experience floods and earthquakes. This is a wonderful human quality. We just need to balance it with a bit of cynicism. Here’s an example. There was a recent article about an older gentleman who was scammed out of $10,000. He met a stranger at a gas station, just chatting. Great. No problem with being social. The stranger then… Continue reading The Urge to Help
  • The Power of Power
    Even most people who do not stay abreast of the investment industry will have heard of Bernie Madoff. He was the CEO of a company that scammed millions from wealthy investors and celebrities. How did that happen? Never underestimate the power of “missing out on a good thing”. We all fall into it at some level. When your child says “everyone at school is getting those running shoes” it usually really means just one or two friends who are in your child’s direct peer group. It becomes a fixation, and they want them too….or what will happen? Will they be… Continue reading The Power of Power
  • Are You Spending, and Eating, on Automatic Pilot?
    We all use the feeling or intuitive side of our brain more often than the thinking side of our brain. We get breakfast, ship the kids off to school, drive to work, fetch coffee, say good morning…all largely on auto-pilot. Mindless Eating If you think about it, we also eat that way. Brian Wansink, PhD just wrote a great book called Mindless Eating. He and his team ran many tests on the public to learn how people behave when they eat. We rely a lot on visual cues, such as the size of the plate. We automatically fill our plate… Continue reading Are You Spending, and Eating, on Automatic Pilot?
  • Saving Money & The Marshmallow Test – Would You Pass?
    Dr. Walter Mischel, PhD, conducted a test with 4-year old children in the 1960’s. The children were offered a marshmallow sitting in front of them. If they waited and didn’t eat it, they would receive two marshmallows instead. It’s a fun exercise all about self-control – regulating emotions and behaviors. Dr. Mischel is still following those same children, and can verify that those who waited were more likely to finish college, earn higher incomes, and be less overweight. Dr. Mischel does not suggest that we always wait for the two marshmallows. He states it is all about having choices, and… Continue reading Saving Money & The Marshmallow Test – Would You Pass?
  • Scams & Mind Games Parting You and Your Money
    ‘Tis the season to be…Scammed. I’ve had two in the last 2 weeks, and you really need to be on your toes to catch them. The Time Warner magazine renewal is especially obtuse these days. You certainly wouldn’t call it customer friendly or brand building! I had 4 magazines for 1 year free as the result of another promotion. Then of course the renewal fees kicked in without any notice, on my credit card. They’re hoping the Status Quo Bias will take effect and I’ll do nothing, yielding revenue for them. The Word Dance Well, I called. There is a… Continue reading Scams & Mind Games Parting You and Your Money
  • How to Manage Your Money Buckets & Behaviors
    In our last blog we talked about mental accounting – how we separate our money into buckets in our minds. If we were all completely rational about it, generally speaking we would look at what we earn on our savings, what we pay on our debt, how our taxes are affected, and pay off our most expensive debt as the number one priority. Why? Because at the end of the day, your assets are your assets, wherever they are. And you want to maximize your savings by decreasing what you pay to anyone else. But… Your Brain Gets in the… Continue reading How to Manage Your Money Buckets & Behaviors
  • Dividing Your Money into Buckets – Good or Bad?
    We all do it. We divide our money into buckets, physically or mentally for special purposes. There are buckets that are specifically defined by a financial structure, such as a mortgage or a 529 college savings fund. And then there are the other buckets that we mentally create to help drive our own behaviors. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it’s bad. What do you do, and is it helping or hindering your saving efforts? Buckets for Dreams We might have a vacation fund, and an emergency fund for unexpected bills that life throws our way. Sometimes, if… Continue reading Dividing Your Money into Buckets – Good or Bad?
  • Catch the Scam – Use Your Thinking & Feeling Brains
    I received a letter in the mail from US Airlines suggesting I’d won 2 round-trip airline tickets. The letter just didn’t feel right according to the Feeling side of my brain – the side we use for most of the day on auto-pilot. And, my brain was right. But I didn’t figure out exactly why until I engaged the Thinking, or analytical side of my brain. What was Wrong 1) US Airlines does not exist. US Airways does.2) There was no street address or web address on the letterhead.3) Weasel words like “qualified” versus “won” and “Certain restrictions apply” were… Continue reading Catch the Scam – Use Your Thinking & Feeling Brains
  • Why You Avoid Money Decisions
    Not deciding – is making a decision -to do nothing. Sometimes it is because we have way too many choices. According to Statista we have 8,970 mutual funds from which to choose. It can be overwhelming! Sometimes we fear we’ll regret the choice we made. This is called Regret Aversion and is a common human trait. If we don’t decide, it has been shown we will have less regret than actually making a decision that turns out badly. This is because we hold ourselves accountable for making a decision, and feel uncomfortable facing the music. If we don’t make a… Continue reading Why You Avoid Money Decisions
  • You Spend More on Accessories When Purchased with a Big Item
    We are likely to spend more money for accessories when purchased with an expensive item like a new dress, sofa, or car than if we purchased them alone. Here’s why, and how you can save money by avoiding it. My husband and I bought a new living room sofa that was a fair amount of money. With the sofa automatically came 3 pillows “included in the price”. Well these pillows cost us about $150 each, which is a lot of money (as I reflect on this after the fact). We fell into a mindset called “anchoring”. Our brains were focused… Continue reading You Spend More on Accessories When Purchased with a Big Item
  • Save Money – Choose Your Shopping Buddy Wisely
    If we have a choice of companionship when it’s time to go shopping, we often choose friends with a like-minded attitude if we’re not with family. Women are encouraged to shop together for good reason – they’re unstoppable. Women take pride in carefully selecting goods and comparing. It can be a social occasion and emotional support to ensure just the right choices are made. Just like men are historically the “providers”, women are anthropologically the “nurturers and nesters”. Never shop with a like-minded friend if you’re trying to save money. Good Friends: If you’re with someone completely compatible, you’ll shop… Continue reading Save Money – Choose Your Shopping Buddy Wisely
  • Should You Let Men Grocery Shop?
    In this new evolved world with women and men working, traditional ‘home’ duties are shared with both partners. Men have learned to express themselves through cooking, which is great for all of us who never quite enjoyed the chore. But should they do the grocery shopping for the household? Not if you want to manage your money according to Paco Underhill, who has created the science of watching and analyzing people’s shopping behaviors! In the supermarket you can watch men exhibit the “carefree abandon and restless lack of discipline for which the gender is known.” This quotation comes from his… Continue reading Should You Let Men Grocery Shop?
  • Higher Prices Mean Higher Quality – Or Do They?
    We often have sayings, biases, and assumptions that are built and reinforced over time. For example, we often assume that a higher price means higher quality. We also assume that most people are sensible and will figure out a cheap scam so if a product is priced incorrectly, it won’t last long. But is this always true? Sometimes we can be fooled by the context around something, rather than trusting our seasoned experience tasting, smelling, seeing and feeling. Here’s an example taken from Paco Underhill’s book “Why we Buy: The Science of Shopping”. Paco is talking about merchandising – how… Continue reading Higher Prices Mean Higher Quality – Or Do They?
  • How Your Feeling Brain Buys the Wrong Investments –Part 2
    Even if you just buy company stock or mutual funds in your 401(k), you are still considered an investor, and this blog is for you. In our last blog, we talked about the “feeling” brain and the “thinking” brain. We run on our Feeling brain most of the day until we kick in our Thinking brain for analytical decision making. Quite often, we pick stocks and mutual funds based on our Feeling brain, without even knowing it. Here’s how. Buy High and Sell Low – Never?Logically, we would all agree that Buying High and Selling Low is a good way… Continue reading How Your Feeling Brain Buys the Wrong Investments –Part 2
  • How Your Feeling Brain Blows Your Budget – Part 1
    Jason Zweig does a great job of explaining the two sides of our brain in Your Money & Your Brain. We have the “thinking” or Reflective side; and we have the “feeling” or Reflexive side. Our Reflexive side is used more often daily – it is our automatic pilot, or intuition. The reflexive, feeling brain knows your everyday life patterns – what to expect in typical traffic, flow at the coffee shop, etc. And when it sees a SALE sign, it can stop you in your tracks because it is a change. Your Feeling Brain Likes SalesYour “feeling” brain focuses… Continue reading How Your Feeling Brain Blows Your Budget – Part 1
  • Expecting Money is better than Receiving Money
    Yes, believe it or not. Our brains get more excited about the money we expect to get – from a bonus, a lottery, a promotion – than when we actually receive it. How many times do you spend that expected reward in your head? A little goes here, a little goes there, some goes in the savings account – until we’ve probably spent it 2 or 3 times in our mind. The anticipation builds and it feels good. Money is a RewardPeter Kirsch, a neuroscientist states that the association between money and reward is very strong. And rewards stimulate us… Continue reading Expecting Money is better than Receiving Money
  • 6 Questions to Stop a Shopaholic Part 5
    These tips are taken from “To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Over Shop and How to Stop” by April Lane Benson, PhD (2008) as published in Adrian Furnham’s most recent book “The New Psychology of Money”. The trick to changing a behavior is to understand why you are doing it, notice when you are doing it, and change the behavior. This is easier said than done of course! April Lane Benson prescribes a journal to track thoughts and behaviors to help us realize when and why we are behaving a certain way. She also has 6 shopping questions:… Continue reading 6 Questions to Stop a Shopaholic Part 5
  • The Shopaholic and The Fallout Part 4
    This is Part 4 of Fighting the Shopaholic in You. Eventually, regardless of our reason for shopping ‘til we drop time and time again, we are forced to face the clean up. The emotional aftermath. The financial mess. Call it what you will. Here are some examples of situations that eventually catch up with a shopaholic. Overspending on Credit Cards.For those shopaholics who have not yet inherited millions of dollars, they may often overspend on credit cards. It may start with pushing one credit card to the limit, and then over that limit. Then when payment is due, sometimes only… Continue reading The Shopaholic and The Fallout Part 4
  • Untitled
    In Parts 1 & 2 we covered some obvious signs of shopaholism, as well as some of the basic reasons. In this blog we dive a bit deeper into the key drivers of the behavior. Find out if one of the triggers outlined below is driving you to shop ‘til you drop! Triggers are an event, situation or feeling that encourage an individual to behave a certain way. Triggers are developed over time in our minds based on past experiences and associations. We all have some! One of the differences between a shopaholic and an average purchaser is the frequency… Continue reading Untitled
  • The Shopaholic – Do You Shop for Need or Desire? Part 2
    In Part 1 of this blog series, we identified some key warning signs for Shopaholism. Now we examine the different emotions that drive compulsive buying, as well as the biology and genetics that may drive us to the extreme. Impulse disorders such as gambling, alcoholism, and binge eating have a genetic component. Compulsive buying is another impulse disorder. This does not mean that individuals will actually develop this disorder if parents have genetically have experienced it, but there is a component of possibility. In addition, there is the biological tendency to succumb to the Dopamine Rush. This is a natural… Continue reading The Shopaholic – Do You Shop for Need or Desire? Part 2
  • The Shopaholic – Are You One? Part 1
    It seems like there is tremendous wealth all over the world doesn’t there? We are hit with TV shows highlighting millionaires and all their toys; rich “Housewives” of whatever major city, and HGTV with their international home buyers. These shows become the standard – it seems everyone has wealth and toys everywhere so why shouldn’t we? This perception of great wealth and materialism can attack our self-esteem when we aren’t those people. There is a lot of pressure to feel included – to keep up with the Joneses so we too feel, and look like, we’re successful in the world.… Continue reading The Shopaholic – Are You One? Part 1
  • Your Rational Decisions – Aren’t. Part 3
    I’ve been talking about the shortcuts your brain makes when coming to a decision. It carries on a conversation with itself reviewing all the memories, facts and emotions possibly related to the item in front of you. Here is how branding will get you to spend money based on these Somatic Markers. Being a good Mom …or just Shampoo?Let’s take Johnson’s Baby shampoo. It’s been around for ages and stays true to its brand image. The color is a rich gold associated with warmth and comfort, like a hug for your baby. It is translucent – a sign of honesty… Continue reading Your Rational Decisions – Aren’t. Part 3
  • Your Rational Decisions – Aren’t. Part 2
    The typical every day purchase decision is made in seconds. As we stare at a shelf, we may think we’re sizing up ingredients and price, but our mind is doing so much more. It’s having a conversation with itself about a lifetime of facts, emotions and memories you have collected that pertain to the item at hand. Kind of amazing isn’t it? This is how your brain uses mental shortcuts to help you make a decision. Brain Shortcuts at WorkHere’s an example. I hated oatmeal, but knew it was good for my cholesterol, and would fill me until lunch. I’m… Continue reading Your Rational Decisions – Aren’t. Part 2
  • Your Rational Decisions – Aren’t. Part 1
    When I was transferred from Canada to the U.S., I loved exploring my new neighborhood and settling in. Until it came to shopping for food. One would think that because the two countries are neighbors and we eat, consume and dress so similarly, that it would be an easy transition. Well, it was definitely easier than moving to China or Japan, but not as easy as one would think. When a Brand Means Nothing to YouThe first time I went grocery shopping, I couldn’t identify with 50% of the brands. When I read the name I drew a mental and… Continue reading Your Rational Decisions – Aren’t. Part 1
  • How Mirror Neurons Can Part You and Your Money
    Mirror Neurons are a scientific way of saying that when we see a beautiful model wearing a great outfit in Vogue magazine, we want to buy it because we project how beautiful we will look and feel wearing that outfit. Basically, we envision ourselves as a mirror image of the model. This method of marketing is well, everywhere. Sometimes it’s hard not to walk by a store or put down the magazine and move on. Not every brand will appeal to you this way. The company selling the outfit targets certain people with specific desires, tastes, and values. If a… Continue reading How Mirror Neurons Can Part You and Your Money
  • Liberate Yourself – Re-Framing your Money Behavior for Success
    I decided to start running after years of hiking and working out in a gym. And let’s be clear – I hate running. But there comes a time in life when you need to be able to exercise wherever you are to wear off those calories. I worked my way up to 5 minutes, then 8 minutes. I sort of figured that’s how I’d have to work into this new activity. Then a friend, who is a strong runner, said one thing to me: “If you can do 10 minutes you can do 20. If you can do ½ hour… Continue reading Liberate Yourself – Re-Framing your Money Behavior for Success
  • My Father In-Law is the Richest Man I Know
    My Father was equally as rich. What do they have in common you might ask? They are/were content to live within their means, on their own terms, happily. I found the NY Times Article: Definition of Riches Changes with Income interesting. It got me thinking because I bet some people will read this and decide what their savings target should be based on the income range they fall into. There is some validity to the wisdom of crowds – in this case, a number of people in your salary range contributed their thoughts to the average number in this survey.… Continue reading My Father In-Law is the Richest Man I Know
  • Words of Wisdom from the Fashion Industry
    When I think of the Fashion Industry, wisdom is not what first comes to mind. I think of beauty, trends, and heels so high you can’t walk in them. From a more behavioral aspect, I think of how the industry can play havoc with one’s self-esteem, and our pocket books. However, I came across an article in the New York Times today: “Rules of Style, Collected Wisdom from this Year’s Crop of Fashion-Industry Graduation Speakers”. Two successful fashion mentors had words of wisdom one can apply to managing our finances. Tory Burch at Babson College“We may live in an age… Continue reading Words of Wisdom from the Fashion Industry
  • Living in the Perfect Holiday Picture
    We’ve all seen the commercials and the magazines depicting the Perfect Holiday. The perfect place settings and wonderful home surroundings ensure that smiling kids and grandparents are having the time of their life. Without the celebratory trappings, the Holiday just won’t be right. Or will it? Already we can see matching plates, glasses, napkins, table clothes, lanterns, pillows, cushions…. You name it – all in good old red, white and blue for July 4th. The color and décor, arranged just so, promise the perfect day. A new barbecue might be in order to help Dad flip burgers, hot dogs, and… Continue reading Living in the Perfect Holiday Picture
  • More Money May Not be the Answer
    I started equestrian lessons about 3 years ago because I love horses and had dreamed of doing this most of my life. Aside from landing in the dust a couple of times, and being stuck on a stubborn horse facing into the corner of the barn, I also learned about some more bad money behaviors. They’re being shared with you, so that none of you fall into the same trap. The father of a young woman at the barn lost his job. His salary was 7 figures. She had her own horse, received lessons, and also went to private school.… Continue reading More Money May Not be the Answer
  • The New Definition of Need
    If we think back a few centuries, the word Need had pretty specific connotations. People needed a cow for milk. Farmers needed a good growth season to survive. And kids needed a bath once a week. They didn’t need matching dishes, or anything beyond a dirt floor. Wow have we changed. As a society, we now operate more on a self-actualized plane of thought. I don’t want to diminish the number of starving families and children in North America, however if we look at our advertising, television, and merchandising, we’re into a whole different realm. Black is the new White.… Continue reading The New Definition of Need
  • Ever Been Arrested By the Fashion Police?
    As a marketer, I spend hours reflecting on how the fashion industry so masterfully molds our minds to think we always need to be wearing the latest trend. They introduce a new dress length, or new colors, or wider pants each season. Have you ever been arrested by the fashion police for not wearing the latest fashion, or, for wearing white shoes before June? Me neither. As a matter of fact, I still have all of my friends too. They haven’t left me because I wasn’t wearing the latest of anything or everything. So why are we compelled to go… Continue reading Ever Been Arrested By the Fashion Police?
  • If The World Stopped, How Important Would All of Your Appointments Be?
    It might be fair to say that if some major tragedy hit us, a lot of our everyday activities would pale in comparison. They would lose priority, and relevance. After September 11, 2001 I was shut out of my office on Wall Street for 3 weeks. Upon return, everything on my desk just didn’t seem important any more. And yet, we are stressed to meet all of these appointments/meetings daily. Sometimes we’re marching to someone else’s agenda, not our own. Not always our own priorities, but we give them that status. So if we’d wipe everything off our calendar in… Continue reading If The World Stopped, How Important Would All of Your Appointments Be?
  • Since When is Saving Money Rational?
    Budgeting is so rational. You merely have to calculate how much you want to have at retirement, look at the number of working years, and save a certain amount per year. Voila! Financial brochures make it look so darned simple – you must be the only one not doing it. Unfortunately, life, and the human psyche, get in the way. Most people blow their budget at some time – or all of the time. These last few years has taught us we need to save a bit more, and live a little more simply. But the budget behaviors that work for… Continue reading Since When is Saving Money Rational?
  • A Matter of Trust…
    A Matter of Trust is a theme we will revisit over and over again, because it is part of the core of human nature. We all want to trust each other – help each other – get along. If we couldn’t trust people to stop at red lights, how could our traffic operate at all? Trust is a fine balance. There is blind trust, and there is wise trust. Here is an example. A lovely woman recently lost her husband. He managed all household affairs, not just money. She had not developed any kind of money behavior over the years,… Continue reading A Matter of Trust…
  • Your Money Neuro Track
    I’ve been a fan of Neuroscience for a few years now. It not only appeals to my inner geek, but it assists me in being the best coach possible for my clients. Did you know that our Amygdala, that has served us well since the dawn of time when it helped us decide on fight or flight, now doesn’t serve us quite so well?  Very simplistically, if we are bitten by a dog while talking about money, our Amygdala may decide that money is pretty scary.  When we hear the word, it will tell us to RUN. Neuron Paths In… Continue reading Your Money Neuro Track
  • Willful Money Blindness & Social Pressures
    “Surely, consumers argue, tanning salons wouldn’t be allowed if they were harmful – would they?”  This is an example of social validation that Margaret Heffernan covers in her book Willful Blindness.  Even though both The U.S Department of Health and Human Service, plus the International Agency for Research on Cancer both state that tanning beds have known carcinogens people continue to use them. Nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the U.S. annually. A tan still represents leisure and wealth in North America to many people. So people put themselves in harm’s way by using tanning beds or laying outside all summer,… Continue reading Willful Money Blindness & Social Pressures
  • The Raw Effect Of Money Secrets On Love & Marriage
    Many couples don’t want to talk about money. The reasons run from “It will ruin the romance” to “I don’t want to rock the boat”. Love and marriage are perceived as pure, hopeful, and precious – and money is often considered dirty, callous, or controversial. Here is why this thinking is completely wrong, and how your love is already in trouble if you think this way. What is Love? Why do We Marry? When we love, we value a partner’s strengths and see how they complement our lives. We also see our partner’s vulnerabilities, and love them even more. Many… Continue reading The Raw Effect Of Money Secrets On Love & Marriage
  • Saving: 3 Reasons It Won’t Be Deprivation
    Many of us think saving means deprivation, so we balk or rebel. For most of you, I can guarantee it won’t be deprivation. How can I be so sure you ask? It’s because of these 3 reasons: Auto-Pilot Expenses That No Longer Serve You Over our lifetime, we build spending patterns. They often form during milestones like our first job with real money, marriage, birth of a child. These auto-pilot behaviors can hang on too long, so you end up spending subconsciously in ways or on things you no longer use, and on brands that don’t align with your values. The “I… Continue reading Saving: 3 Reasons It Won’t Be Deprivation
  • Pregnant Women are Money Gold Mines
    Wow!  Out of all the things women think about when they’re pregnant, have you ever considered yourself to be a money target for retailers? Here’s why they target women & money, and how to stay grounded with disciplined money behaviors during this new phase of life. It’s hard enough to manage money throughout our busy, disruptive, exhausting days.  And good money habits might be anchored by other behaviors.  You might pay bills during Sunday morning coffee, or on pay day right before bed.  But what happens when your whole world changes? Willpower is a Hard-to-Find-Commodity In Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, he… Continue reading Pregnant Women are Money Gold Mines
  • Not Saving? Not Your Fault – Blame Subconscious Money Attitudes
    We all have money attitudes of one nature or another. You may have heard your parents say over and over “don’t ask for things; you should be grateful for what you get”. Guilty words like this may discourage you from ever seeking a promotion at work.   Or “if you are a good person and do what’s right, money will take care of itself”. Sometimes care givers dangerously assume that somehow their money challenges will work out because they have given so much to the world.  Often sayings like these were meant to apply to a particular situation, but they become ingrained… Continue reading Not Saving? Not Your Fault – Blame Subconscious Money Attitudes
  • The Dirt on Building Good Money Habits
    The Chief Scientist of the Rodale Institute, Dr. Kristine Nichols recently lectured on the importance of our country’s soil, and how its structure is breaking down.  In a few decades we may be unable to grow food on many farms in this country. Apparently soil has a structure to it, including microbes that all work together. When disrupted, soil loses potency and effectiveness.  Dr. Nichols talked about dust bowls we experience in the mid-west now, that are similar to the 1930’s. She talked about flooding on farmland – not due to significant rainfall, but due to the lack of structure in the soil so… Continue reading The Dirt on Building Good Money Habits
  • Losing Money? : The $100,000 Noose Around Your Neck
    I just finished reading Rich Dad Poor Dad. And I enjoyed the contrarian viewpoint on money and what it should mean.  The suggestion that a house is a liability rather than an asset is thought provoking. Is a house just our emotion conquering our logical brain? Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, sums up assets and liabilities as follows.  Assets should generate cash for you. Liabilities take your hard earned cash and don’t work for you at all. You in reality work for them. Traditionally, we have looked at our homes as an asset for both monetary and emotional reasons.… Continue reading Losing Money? : The $100,000 Noose Around Your Neck
  • Is Your Money Mindset No Longer Serving You?
    The word Mantra comes from the Hindu and Buddhist religions, representing a repetitive chant of word or phrase. For those of us in the North American culture, the use of mantra loosely refers to a set of beliefs or phrase tied to motivation. It’s our mindset.I interviewed a client a number of months ago, and it became clear she was strongly driven by “productivity”.  Productivity is a very North American word – something that our culture values. “Time is Money” comes to mind immediately.  However, sometimes a productivity mantra is too narrow. Here is an example of how my client’s… Continue reading Is Your Money Mindset No Longer Serving You?
  • Is Greed a Sign of Selfishness, or the Broken Trust of a Child?
    We all have money beliefs, formed during childhood.  We didn’t choose them. They just grew as we processed, experienced, and observed our small world. Often, they came from our parents, or a close role model. We may have adopted similar beliefs, or rebelled.  So here we are today, with our money beliefs. Greed Greedy people exist, and some of us associate money with the word.  This is a money belief, and can influence our behavior toward money.  We may not want to talk about it, because we may appear greedy. We may think that if we want or need more… Continue reading Is Greed a Sign of Selfishness, or the Broken Trust of a Child?
  • I Know I Need to Save Money! Why Can’t I Just DO It?
    If saving money were easy we’d all be doing it. And frankly, about 50% of the Boomer population hasn’t saved much at all. If you wish you were saving more, you belong to a VERY BIG club of like-minded people. That doesn’t mean we should let ourselves off the hook – we do need to plan for the future. But here’s why it’s so very hard. The Best Laid Plans…. Think of how often we visit our banker, talk to our investment advisor, or just sit down and assess our finances. Once a year? Once a month? Once a week… Continue reading I Know I Need to Save Money! Why Can’t I Just DO It?
  • How Fear Clouds Reality
    My clients are terrific. They are all unique with their own special gifts and ways of looking at the world. I learn something from each of them. And yet, the way they feel when they first come to me is so incredibly heartbreaking….and unnecessary.It takes incredible courage to admit that their financial situation isn’t where they’d like it to be, and to bear their souls about the inner most secrets of their financial lives. Just that alone is enough for me to want to wrap my arms around them and protect them from further hurt. Facades Fool BUT, here is… Continue reading How Fear Clouds Reality
  • Help Loved Ones by Putting Money Self-care on Your List
    Sometimes my clients move appointments further out this time of year. When the sun is shining, barbecues are scheduled, and summer camp is around the corner, life is a flurry of activity. There is hope and warmth and fun. Money has traditionally been last on their list, falling behind TV re-reruns and cleaning out the garage. Any reason is valid to avoid the shame, fear, or embarrassment that arises around money. We choose to live with the underlying hum of money anxiety rather than confront it in the open.  But what if we’re harming more than just ourselves? Would you… Continue reading Help Loved Ones by Putting Money Self-care on Your List
  • Have You Had….THE MONEY TALK?
    You know, where you sit down with your other half and bare all, or tell them that their money habits are driving you CRAZY?  Maybe one of you is a Saver, and the other a Spender.  The Saver thinks the Spender is out of control, while the Spender thinks the Saver is a tightwad. You sort of skirt the money talk to avoid confrontation and keep peace in the marriage. There’s only one problem. You touch money just about every day. If issues don’t get resolved they fester, and erode trust or patience. There is a better way! Merging Your… Continue reading Have You Had….THE MONEY TALK?
  • Have You Done the CVS Money Run with Her?
    Thanks to my colleague Tod for this title and question that prompted my thinking.  Tod has been dating a woman for about a year, and his friends inquired whether Tod had “done the CVS run with her yet?”  Tod sought clarification.  Apparently, it is a wonder that a woman can spend $200 in CVS in just minutes, and fit it all easily into her purse.  As a woman, this does not surprise me at all.  So why does it surprise men? Women Buy Most Family Items CVS major categories are beauty products, self-care, greeting cards, vitamins, over the counter medications,… Continue reading Have You Done the CVS Money Run with Her?
  • Financial Health or Financial Wealth?
    I’m ashamed to say that the first time I read the phrase Financial Health I actually read it as Financial Wealth.  That’s what 30 years of conditioning will do – train you to default to the same nomenclature and assumptions we toss around daily. In my mind, Financial Health as a target is so superior to Financial Wealth, and here’s why.  Financial Wealth has been defined over and over.  We have defined categories for millionaires, multi-millionaires, the +$500,000 category, etc.  These categories are talked about daily, and have become mainstream goals. Many people aspire to the almighty MILLION.   Shake Up… Continue reading Financial Health or Financial Wealth?
  • Final 5 Money Behaviors– Do You Rate This Well With Your Own Cash?
    As mentioned in my last blog, these behaviors come from Sarah Fallaw of Data Points. She created a Household Cash Job Description, which is a simple, brilliant way of defining specific money behaviors so we can stay focused on what counts.  Financial literacy is part of it, but not all of it, which explains why many people in financial services don’t manage their money particularly well either. Ever heard of the man who makes $2 million a year and wants to retire by 35? He has one small challenge – he spends $3 million a year. Yep. Believe it. We… Continue reading Final 5 Money Behaviors– Do You Rate This Well With Your Own Cash?
  • Enough Money: A State of Mind or Fact?
    People often use the phrase “If I could just make enough money life would be better”.  It’s a myth for most of us other than those who spend every penny on food and rent to survive. Why? Because this is a money attitude, not a money fact.  And money attitudes stay with us until we experience a life-changing event that changes our perspective, or we deliberately work on changing that belief.  Andrew Caspersen, Wall Street millionaire demonstrates the point. The Millionaire Who Doesn’t Have Enough Most of us are capable of saving within whatever income we make. But it’s natural to subconsciously slip into… Continue reading Enough Money: A State of Mind or Fact?
  • Do You Use Money or Does It Use You?
    Carl Richards is a Financial Planner in Utah and is also known as Sketch Guy, a regular contributor in Business Day.  His February 2015 article Rethinking Money, Not as Good or Bad but as a Tool in Business Day really caught my eye.  The reason? He changed his way of thinking about money. And he’s hit the mark. Money is tied to emotional baggage – status, guilt, dreams, worry, you name it.  We develop attitudes and emotions toward it throughout our lives, and we’re all different.  This emotional baggage affects our behaviors and decisions, and sometimes even rules our lives. As Carl… Continue reading Do You Use Money or Does It Use You?
  • Do You Trade Happiness for Money? Maybe a Little?
    My colleague, Stacey Francis is CEO & President of Francis Financial.  She is also Founder of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit organization that spreads free financial information to women.  As with many of us who are in the money business, we have stories that drove us here.  These stories are personal and emotional. Here is Stacey’s: This video is courtesy of Nice Shoes, sharing a snapshot of Stacey and her personal motivation to help women. Click Reebok Below. When Money Wins Stacey’s grandmother stayed in an abusive relationship because she didn’t have enough money to survive alone. This reason still exists today – people who… Continue reading Do You Trade Happiness for Money? Maybe a Little?
  • Do You Plan your Money like You Plan a Vacation?
    We’re going on vacation. Let’s pack.  > Where you ask? Why does it matter?  Oh I see.  You want to know what to pack.  Well, it’s very warm there…. > Hotel or Tent? Hiking or Pool side?  Um, a wonderful hotel with sports and a pool. Why?  You’ll bring your pretty sandals and dinner dresses but not your big hiking boots.  Got it. > Is it a domestic or foreign trip?  Oh yeah, good question. We’re going to South America. Why?  We’ll need foreign currency and passports. Right – good reminder.  > How long are we staying?  Well, I guess… Continue reading Do You Plan your Money like You Plan a Vacation?
  • Do You Have Successful Money-Life Balance?
    Money-Life Balance means taking money off a pedestal, and putting your happiness on it.  It means fulfilling your life, instead of pursuing the almighty dollar.   It means spending enough to enjoy life today, and saving enough to enjoy life tomorrow. So, what does money life balance look like? Since it is different for each of us, how do we begin to think about that balance for ourselves? Our Head Our head is the logical side of money. It’s where we build our personal and business goals for life.  Our head helps us keep “our eye on the prize” – what we spend… Continue reading Do You Have Successful Money-Life Balance?
  • Divorce Series Part 4: Start 3 Months BEFORE You Start the Divorce Process
    If you decide to initiate the divorce process, take the time to research all your finances thoroughly. Once your intent to divorce is verbalized, the emotional roller coaster begins. Hopefully it doesn’t include the hiding of assets or deceitful misrepresentation.  Even if you don’t understand what you’re looking at, finding information can be very helpful for you.  Your lawyer and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst will know what to do with it all.  See a basic divorce preparation checklist below: 3 Years Tax of Returns. They show income from assets that exist, capital gains/losses on assets sold, brokerage fees deducted on portfolios,… Continue reading Divorce Series Part 4: Start 3 Months BEFORE You Start the Divorce Process
  • Divorce Series Part 3: The 3 Biggest Financial Mistakes You Can Make
    The list of potential financial mistakes made while divorcing can be extensive. It is an exhausting, emotional time for everyone. Every money decision is emotional to begin with, and this stress just adds to the mix.  Divorce and finances can become complicated and dividing assets can be complex, which is why the finance industry CDFA © designation exists. Long ago, lawyers used to divide assets on a spreadsheet. But as finances grow in complexity, it is important to talk with your accountant on how to prepare for divorce financially and to have a CDFA do the work for you. Here are 3 of… Continue reading Divorce Series Part 3: The 3 Biggest Financial Mistakes You Can Make
  • Divorce Series Part 2: How Can a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Help You?
    A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA©) is an industry designated financial expert on helping divorcing couples understand how the financial decisions they make could impact their future. A CDFA is part of the divorce team. Think of the lawyer as the strategist – they are experts on the law and hired to represent your overall interest when it comes to child custody and financial matters.  The CDFA supports the lawyer by helping you understand where you spend your money today, how it will change when you separate, and how it could further change in the future. We: Work with you to collect… Continue reading Divorce Series Part 2: How Can a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Help You?
  • Divorce Series Part 1: Choosing the Style that Fits You
    In order to be the best Money Coach possible to my clients, a well-rounded understanding of all milestones you might face is crucial. I’m pleased to say I’m now a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and I am going to share some of the basics to help you start on the right foot if you are wondering how to divorce. Divorce is devastating. Despite the fact that only 5% of divorces are litigated (IDFA), emotions can run high. And the fear of living on less than the combined household income has its own set of challenges. Money decisions are emotional on… Continue reading Divorce Series Part 1: Choosing the Style that Fits You
  • Dishing on Couple’s Money with Mrs. & Mr. Tomato
    Thanks to Cheryl and Stu Benton for willingly ‘baring all’ on their money beliefs, and how they found common ground as a couple. Here is their story. If you’ve ever talked with Cheryl, her intelligence is evident. She had the guts to build an ad agency which was purchased by a larger company, and then started The Three Tomatoes. Women listened and her newsletter “The Three Tomatoes” continues to grow. Cheryl grew up in a fun family. Sometimes the family had a little money, sometimes a lot. They were taught to live life to the fullest. Cheryl developed optimism toward… Continue reading Dishing on Couple’s Money with Mrs. & Mr. Tomato
  • Cash in the High Stakes Moment
    My husband commented that I should check my tires since one in particular seemed a little deflated.  I never look at my tires -never thought to – unless of course one goes flat on the way to a really important meeting while I’m in my best suit. Then I’d notice. The mundane chore was fit into my schedule a week later when I got around to it.  The exercise shocked me.  If You Don’t Look, You Don’t See Visually assessing my car before I get into it was never a discipline I’d learned.  All my tires were below the desired… Continue reading Cash in the High Stakes Moment
  • Build Tiny Money Habits to Achieve Big Success
    Professor B.J. Fogg has a fun approach to changing habits. He has a program called Tiny Habits, and the concept is a simple way to ease you into new money habits.  This blog includes excerpts from an article on B.J. Fogg in Success.com. B.J. Fogg’s concept of Tiny Habits basically teaches you to break down your BIG Goal into tiny little actions that will build toward the big one.  For example, let’s say you’re not great at paying your bills on time, and you incur interest charges because life just gets too busy.  So your BIG GOAL would be to pay… Continue reading Build Tiny Money Habits to Achieve Big Success
  • Behavior Change at Lululemon – Just in Time
    It took the Lululemon sales consultant AND my husband to talk me out of a money behavior that was so very hard for me to resist. And I sought their help to do it. Our money beliefs can be pretty hard-wired.  Whether we are a spender or a saver; we value status or find money a distasteful subject – these attitudes formed starting in childhood.  It’s hard to break our natural inclinations; but we can change the behaviors that result from our beliefs, and achieve behavior change. I needed a new pair of workout tights for the gym.  My husband gave… Continue reading Behavior Change at Lululemon – Just in Time
  • Are You Tying the Knot for the Second (or third) Time?
    “I wish I discussed finances before I got married last time.” Sound familiar? Did you know past statistics have shown that in the U.S. approximately 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce?* Not surprisingly, a major cause of divorce in marriages is money. *  You’ve found that special someone (again) but, you’re still trying to figure out how you talk about the “M” word without ruining the romance. You know it’s smart to work together, but where do you start? Building a solid foundation of communication and partnership around managing your money… Continue reading Are You Tying the Knot for the Second (or third) Time?
  • Are You in the Right Tribe? 3 Key Indicators
    “Tribe” is a new word, and a very old word. It’s used a lot in the women’s networking world – “finding your tribe”. This blog came to me after finding my own networking tribe after a 2-year search. I’m also reminded of how I am surrounded by my true tribe in life, which keeps me happy and grounded. Here are three indicators to help you identify if you’re in the right tribe for you, and what it means to your spending. Tribalism If we go back to ancient tribalism, it was a way to survive by being surrounded and supported… Continue reading Are You in the Right Tribe? 3 Key Indicators
  • Are You a Rainy Day Saver? This Video Will Tell You
    Understanding how you think about money can help you identify your behaviors in real time…and change them on-the-spot.  If you believe you can change your own spending habits, then this video may be powerful enough to get you there.  Are you a Rainy Day Saver? If so, you’ve got some great behaviors..and some that could get you into trouble. If you’re not a Rainy Day Saver, stay tuned for other profiles and share this with someone who might be. It’s only about 3 minutes. Thanks for listening ! A Rainy Day Saver Money Profile Sounds Something Like This Carrie Rattle is… Continue reading Are You a Rainy Day Saver? This Video Will Tell You
  • Are We Too Spoiled to Save Money?
    Meet Allan Liwanag, Twitter handle @PracticalSaver living in the state of Maryland. Allan has graciously allowed me to interview him about his money beliefs and behaviors.  Allan is an avid saver but he didn’t come by it naturally. Here is his story. Allan is a husband and father of one child. He and his wife are committed to having her stay at home with their little one for now.  So he is the chief bread winner. His family is very important to him, and they weave a common thread through many of his thoughts. He seems very grounded in what truly matters… Continue reading Are We Too Spoiled to Save Money?
  • Are We Too Spoiled to Save Money?
    Meet Allan Liwanag, Twitter handle @PracticalSaver living in the state of Maryland. Allan has graciously allowed me to interview him about his money beliefs and behaviors.  Allan is an avid saver but he didn’t come by it naturally. Here is his story. Allan is a husband and father of one child. He and his wife are committed to having her stay at home with their little one for now.  So he is the chief bread winner. His family is very important to him, and they weave a common thread through many of his thoughts. He seems very grounded in what truly matters… Continue reading Are We Too Spoiled to Save Money?
  • 8 Questions Defining Money Obsession
    Obsession is typically a negative word in our society.  And if an obsession is taken too far, like stalking or gambling to an extreme, it can be bad.  But money obsession can yield positive results if balanced with a real grounding in the important things in life.  If you or someone you know is obsessed with money, you like to learn about managing it well, and may be more likely to have an emergency fund and retirement savings in place.   Are you obsessed with money?  I you answer YES to most of these questions*, you likely are. 1. I put… Continue reading 8 Questions Defining Money Obsession
  • 7 Signs You are in Financial Denial
    Our guest blogger is Eric Dammann, clinical psychologist and financial coach in NYC.  Financial denial can be so harmful to my clients. It works in the background, and often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. What is denial? It’s a defense mechanism we use to protect ourselves from unpleasant emotions and thoughts. Defense mechanisms are not only important to our emotional survival, but necessary.  With all of the disturbing news coming at us every day (climate change, global economic crises, terrorism), we need a defense to fight the overwhelming chaos of the world. The challenge is when defense mechanisms become… Continue reading 7 Signs You are in Financial Denial
  • 6 Tips to Confront Your Money Fear
    Fear is uncomfortable, and unwelcome in our lives. Centuries ago it kept us alive. Now, it’s more about emotional failure or social exposure. How then do we overcome a fear, and face our current situation head-on? Introducing Jenny Powers, the bubbly, energetic and successful creator of Running with Heels, a women’s networking group in NYC. While in Vegas vacationing with her family, Jenny had the opportunity to go zip-lining.  It was on Jenny’s bucket list – the same list many of us have – adventure, making peace with those we love, and conquering something we’ve always been afraid to tackle. … Continue reading 6 Tips to Confront Your Money Fear
  • 6 Steps to Healthy Spending. And Forget About a Budget.
    This is THE YEAR you want to get on top of your cash. GREAT! The worst thing you can do is start with a budget. What? Really? Why? (and secretly, you’re probably thinking Yay!!). Money is not logical. Money is fraught with emotion.  And if you force yourself to do something you “should” be doing, you will find some zillion reasons not to do it. Then you’ll feel bad because you “should” be doing it but aren’t, and you’ll start judging yourself, and then feel like a failure.  You’ll quit. To successfully change your money behaviors, you want them to stick.… Continue reading 6 Steps to Healthy Spending. And Forget About a Budget.
  • 5 Tips to Fight Tax Return Money Euphoria
    We all know the feeling – when we’re getting a tax return and we feel, well, rich. Not rich like a millionaire, but richer than we were yesterday. It’s like gold falling from heaven. And then it starts. The “what can I use this money for” dreams begin. And believe it or not, we probably dream spending 4 or 5 times the value of our refund. This is money euphoria. Nothing is Free Some of us treat a refund like “free money” or “new found money”.  In reality, it comes from our hard-earned cash, and from over paying taxes. It… Continue reading 5 Tips to Fight Tax Return Money Euphoria
  • 5 Things You Should Know about Money Management Behavior
    INTRODUCTION: Your “how to” blog post should teach the reader how to do something by breaking it down into a series of steps. Begin your blog post by explaining what problem you are going to solve through your explanation and be sure to include any relevant keywords. Add in a personal story to establish your credibility on this topic. And make sure to end your blog post with a summary of what your reader will gain by following your lead. Need some inspiration? Check out these “How-To” examples from the HubSpot blog: How to Write a Blog Post: A Simple Formula to Follow … Continue reading 5 Things You Should Know about Money Management Behavior
  • 5 Good Cash Behaviors – How do You Rate?
    Sarah Fallaw is CEO of Data Points, and also the daughter of Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door. I’m a fan of hers, and I have lived my life by that book. For anyone who has worked in a company where you have a job description, Sarah has come up with a brilliant, simple job description for managing our every day cash.  5 Good Household Cash Behaviors Social Indifference: The more you care about what people think of you, and the more time you spend on Facebook/Instagram etc. getting “likes”, the more you will spend cash based on peer pressure. HOW… Continue reading 5 Good Cash Behaviors – How do You Rate?
  • 4 Ways to Take Control of Your Over Shopping NOW
    Do you impulsively shop…a lot? Do you use it for self-soothing, escape, or quality time with someone? The reason why you over shop is unique to you. How it impacts your life as you spiral out of control falls into several patterns that look like this: Financial Devastation You may or may not be in serious debt. If you’re in debt, the interest on that debt is compounding at an alarming rate. Just take a look at your credit card statement. There is a box required by law that shows you how many years it will take to pay off… Continue reading 4 Ways to Take Control of Your Over Shopping NOW
  • Are You Committing Financial Infidelity? You May be Surprised
    Infidelity is a sizzling topic, and Financial Infidelity is new on the scenes. According to the research Financial Infidelity in Couple Relationships 2018 by Jeanfreau, Noguchi, Mong and Stadthagen, 27% of people admit to keeping a secret from their partner but 53% do keep a secret from their partner. Are they lying? OR, is what they’re doing just not considered infidelity in their minds? How Does it Start Well, couples are more likely to marry someone with different attitudes toward money – opposites attract after all. Let’s say you date someone who wines and dines you, which makes you feel special because you wouldn’t treat yourself… Continue reading Are You Committing Financial Infidelity? You May be Surprised
  • Use Your Mind to Increase Savings by 73%
    Have you ever really, really wanted something but then sloughed it off because the likelihood of saving the money to achieve it was super low? You may have just thrown away the possible.  How could I know this? For two reasons: research and client experience. In a recent interview with Jill Cornfield of NBC Universal, we discussed this very topic. She also quoted Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist who contributes good work to our growing field. His research on the topic is called The Sentimental Savings Study and addresses the proof behind increasing savings 73%.  The research highlights 3 particular modules that… Continue reading Use Your Mind to Increase Savings by 73%
  • 4 Things to Honestly Talk About Before You Buy a Home Together
    “No surprises” is the mantra I highly recommend for any two people wanting to buy a home together. It may be your next home after outgrowing the one you’re in. It might be your first home now that you’re newly married. Maybe you’re just trying out this couple thing and are willing to share an asset. Regardless, when it comes to getting a mortgage, here are 4 things that even married couples are sometimes surprised about – when it’s almost too late. Talking Money Makes You Vulnerable If you aren’t sure your finances are in a good place, it’s better… Continue reading 4 Things to Honestly Talk About Before You Buy a Home Together
  • 4 Steps to Build Better Money Habits
    In our last blog, we talked about changing subconscious habits instead of using pure willpower to save money. It takes desire and focus to change, but once the new habit is on automatic pilot, it takes less effort than sheer will power. A habit loop is comprised of a Trigger, Action and Reward. (1) Charles Duhigg, author of a very interesting book called The Power of Habit, provides the following framework for reshaping bad habits. In our last blog we suggested you analyze your morning coffee habit to get a feel for the process. Our example has been placed in Duhigg’s framework: 1. Identify… Continue reading 4 Steps to Build Better Money Habits
  • 3 Tips for the Super Mom Brain & Money Talk
    We all know a woman’s brain works differently from a man’s. Did you know a woman’s brain goes into superior overdrive once she becomes a Mom?  With this kind of computer power – women can tackle, learn and succeed with anything around money talk.  We just need to deliver the information and discussions differently. Here’s some quick knowledge on how powerful the female brain can be.   The Female Brain: Has 4x the connections between left and right brains than a man Can think rationally & emotionally at the same time Thinks at 30,000 feet about implications to the future, society,… Continue reading 3 Tips for the Super Mom Brain & Money Talk
  • 3 Simple Behaviors to Take the Pain out of Tax Season
    Yep, it’s that season again.  And it’s stressful.  Often the paperwork is more daunting than the actual check we may have to write; and psychologically the agitation we imagine is often much greater than reality.  It’s natural to bristle at “administrivia” and avoid submitting our taxes until the very last minute.  So before you read further, STOP.  Once you read the next sentence you’ll be tempted to move on. Remember the pain you just felt, or are still feeling about your taxes?   Prepare to change your behaviors for the future. Here are some tips NOW to make next year easier.  I. The File Folder I’ve… Continue reading 3 Simple Behaviors to Take the Pain out of Tax Season
  • 3 Dangers when Talking Money to Your Banker
    Some of my friends and colleagues are bankers. Are they knowledgeable and operate with integrity? Absolutely. But first and foremost, they’re human too. Bankers should be more knowledgeable about their business than the average bear. However, they have money emotion and needs like the rest of us, which means they may not be putting you first – and they may not even know it. Regardless of what they say or offer, we need to do our due diligence and be sure what they offer is right for us. Blindly believing them makes us complicit in our own demise. Here are… Continue reading 3 Dangers when Talking Money to Your Banker
  • 2 Reasons Gift Cards Destroy Your Spending Plan
    Gift Cards are free money aren’t they? They’re the easy yet thoughtful gift that burns a hole in our wallet until we use it.  After all, if we didn’t use it, it would be like flushing money down the toilet.  But sometimes Gift Cards aren’t really a gift.  Sometimes they become an anchor that encourages us to spend a lot more than we can afford. Gift Cards Help You Save – Or Not My friend and I went to a fabulous networking event at a pricey store in Manhattan. We paid a $40 entrance fee and much to our delight,… Continue reading 2 Reasons Gift Cards Destroy Your Spending Plan
  • 4 Ways to Take Control of Your Shopping Life NOW
    4 Ways to Take Control of Your Shopping Life NOW The reason why you overshop is unique to you. How it impacts your life as you spiral out of control falls into several patterns that look like this: Financial Devastation You may or may not be in serious debt. If you’re in debt, the interest on that debt is compounding at an alarming rate. Just take a look at your credit card statement. There is a box on there required by law to show you how many years it will take to pay off your balance if you pay the… Continue reading 4 Ways to Take Control of Your Shopping Life NOW
  • DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST THESE BLACK FRIDAY WORD TRIGGERS
    DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST THESE BLACK FRIDAY WORD TRIGGERS This year, our Master Money Coach, Carrie Rattle, MBA, CDFA wrote our traditional Black Friday blog post. Carrie is available for individual coaching and guided self-help coaching. I was reading a catalog yesterday to find a window blind. One summary describing a certain blind and curtains read this way: “This window was desperately needing some color and attention”.  DESPERATELY – as in urgent, and life-threatening.  It is fair to say that a window undressed will never be a desperate situation, and yet the description can trigger an immediate need in some of… Continue reading DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST THESE BLACK FRIDAY WORD TRIGGERS
  • Behavioral Addiction Recovery: A Guide for Families, Friends, Colleagues, and Roommates
    We were recently introduced to an excellent article, Behavioral Addiction Recovery: A Guide for Families, Friends, Colleagues, and Roommates. What defines a behavioral addiction, how one develops, and how to support a loved one in recovery from a behavioral addiction are all covered in the piece. You can access the full guide here: onlinepsych.pepperdine.edu/blog/behavioral-addiction-recovery-tips/ *OnlinePsychology@Pepperdine, the Online Master of Psychology program from Pepperdine University   Warm regards, April Lane Benson, Ph.D. Founder, Stopping Overshopping, LLC
  • How to Keep Black Friday from Becoming Red Saturday
    How to Keep Black Friday from Becoming Red Saturday This year we’re taking a different approach to connecting with you about holiday shopping and spending. Rather than write holiday blogposts, we’re holding several Facebook live events that we hope will feel like holiday experience gifts to each of you. As soon as those are scheduled, we’ll be sending out the details. By the time Thanksgiving arrives one week from today, many of us will be in significant danger of overshopping as a response to the stress, anxiety and, all too often, despair, that the holiday can evoke. If you’re reading… Continue reading How to Keep Black Friday from Becoming Red Saturday
  • I Got One Hand in My Pocket and a Mind Free of Worry
    I Got One Hand in My Pocket and a Mind Free of Worry   We learned about the possibility of offering a guided self-help tool from our Program Manager, Steven Rubin, MSW, who used a tool on Mentegram and found it quite helpful.  This is his report: “You may be wondering how an app can possibly help you stop overshopping and overspending. I was pondering a similar question when I first downloaded Mentegram to address my anxiety and depression. I was skeptical. Yet, it was instrumental in helping me to: 1.Become aware of my automatic and distorted thoughts. 2.Witness the… Continue reading I Got One Hand in My Pocket and a Mind Free of Worry
  • How to Resist the Perfect Storm of August Overshopping Triggers
    How to Resist the Perfect Storm of August Overshopping Triggers The end of summer can be one of the most challenging times of the year for overshoppers. Three compelling sources: end of summer sales, back-to-school deals, and the new fall fashions all come together at the same time to create the “perfect storm” for compulsive buying chaos. A few years summers ago, I did a teleseminar with Debbie Roes, who wrote the blog, Recovering Shopaholic: Trade Your Full Closet for a Full Life. On the call, we discussed the three most common mistakes people make as a result of this seasonal… Continue reading How to Resist the Perfect Storm of August Overshopping Triggers
  • The Genie Has Arrived: Stop Overshopping Now
    The Genie Has Arrived: Stop Overshopping Now Last week actor Cheryl Stern and I spent an hour together. Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, we talked about her overshopping story and how it became the subject of her one woman musical Shoes and Baggage, returning to New York for a limited run later this month. The two of us got a little silly when instead of typing “it’s going onsale,” for her answer to the question, “What if I wait?,” about the proposed purchased of a bathing suit, Cheryl had typed “I’m going insane.” I hope Freud would have had a wonderful laugh over… Continue reading The Genie Has Arrived: Stop Overshopping Now
  • Can Time Away Promote Shopping Self-Awareness?
    A vacation and time away with family can be an inadvertent opportunity for self-awareness, self-discovery, and reflection.  Recently, our friend and guest blogger Toni Marie took a long anticipated family vacation.  With humor and heart, she chronicles the triumphs and challenges of being on a family vacation during which strong urges to shop and buy surfaced often. After spending her second day repeatedly distracted by the thought of Vince Camuto sandals and how to resist the urge to buy them, she mused, “Wouldn’t it be better to own less but really love what I’m wearing? This “AHA” moment as she… Continue reading Can Time Away Promote Shopping Self-Awareness?
  • Sale Brain: How to rewire yours
    Sale Brain: How to Rewire Yours Don’t let discounts blind you to hard numbers. We have become obsessed with the word, “sale.” Dictionary.com, that 21st century OED we don’t have to find on the shelf, defines sale as a noun, with three related shades of meaning. Sale refers to: the act of selling. a quantity sold. opportunity to sell Steven, our Program Manager, and I are scratching our heads as we write this. That’s certainly not how either of us would define the word “sale.”  However, the more we researched it, the clearer it got. Sale, defined as a period during which a retailer sells… Continue reading Sale Brain: How to rewire yours
  • Fabric from Food Waste? No Need to Scrap Fashion
      Fabric from Food Waste? No Need to Scrap Fashion From dissolving thread, fabric made from food waste to clothes made from algae, the winners of this year’s Global Change Award are trying to plot a new way forward for a fashion industry that’s been too focused on disposable clothing. These innovative, out-of-the-box alternatives to disposable clothing are made entirely with sustainable materials. Both literally and figuratively, they’re reweaving the warp and woof of fashion, in the process nudging us toward safeguarding our planet and our living conditions. Fashion Revolution, a nearly five year old non-profit that arose from the… Continue reading Fabric from Food Waste? No Need to Scrap Fashion
  • Can Confessions Be Funny? What One Overshopper Has to Say
    You may remember these two recent blog posts, an overshopper named Lynn. Believe it or Not, It’s True: Nordstrom and I Are Through (Part I) and Believe it or Not, It’s True: Nordstrom and I Are Through (Part II) These posts are what she wrote for the dialogue exercise, a part of our program where you construct a dialogue between yourself and something that’s central to your overshopping.  In Lynn’s case it was her Nordstrom credit card. Lynn is back with an additional post, this time something she wrote for a humor writing class,   All humor aside, she’s someone who keeps… Continue reading Can Confessions Be Funny? What One Overshopper Has to Say
  • The “Smiled Upon” Addiction: An article from Glamour Magazine
    “If someone tells you,  you have a problem, cut them off. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.”  Thus begins Glamour magazine’s recent article, 10 things you only know if you’re addicted to sale shopping. Brashly glamorizing addiction to sale shopping, one subcategory of shopping addiction, this piece ranks a close second to the Barney’s ad from well over a decade ago, imploring readers to take their emotional baggage, fill it with mood enhancing bargains, and get in touch their “inner shopper.”  These are the messages that trivialize and perpetuate the “smiled upon addiction.” The article lists… Continue reading The “Smiled Upon” Addiction: An article from Glamour Magazine
  • Unbelievable, but it’s true, Nordstrom and I are Through: Part II
    Part II   Lynn, an active, involved stay-at-home mother of four, is a client of mine who initially came to see me five years ago because of a long history of overshopping and overspending, mounting debt, and the stress on her marriage that this had caused.  During the six months we worked together, she made a great deal of headway. By the time we stopped working together, all her debt had been paid off, she had come clean to her husband and she was feeling confident that her shopping and spending problems were well under control. I received a call… Continue reading Unbelievable, but it’s true, Nordstrom and I are Through: Part II
  • Experience Gifts Trump Stuff Every Time: Read What Actor Cheryl Stern Has to Say
    We’re delighted to share a guest post to share with you from the wonderful Cheryl Stern. Broadway veteran actress and Jonathan Larson Award-winning writer, Cheryl just received critical acclaim Off-Broadway for her new solo show, Shoes and Baggage, with music by Tom Kochan. Cheryl’s Broadway credits include the 2010 Tony Award Winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles, starring Kelsey Grammer, The Women with Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Tilly and Kristen Johnston, (Roundabout; filmed for PBS) and Laughing Room Only. Cheryl was also featured in Fiorello at Encores/NY City Center and in Candide at NY City Opera.   Cheryl says: After sharing an… Continue reading Experience Gifts Trump Stuff Every Time: Read What Actor Cheryl Stern Has to Say

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