The answer c9814708_san be, I believe, both.

For me, and many people like me, shopping certainly had many of the elements of addiction.

I would obsess about buying something. I would seek out opportunities to go shopping although I knew it was damaging my relationships and credit rating. I’d often have trouble stopping and would feel restless and irritable or even depressed, when I stopped or hadn’t been shopping in a while. I denied I had any problems with money and was never open about my purchases regarding price or quantity. I would also be out of control sometimes e.g. buying 2 pairs of shoes when I only needed one or none at all!! One of my clients told me of going into a shop to buy a white t-shirt and coming out a short time later with many t-shirts of assorted colors!

These are all common characteristics of addictive behaviors as described here http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/hints/addictiveb.html .

So, I now readily admit, I had a spending or shopping addiction for many years.

For me shopping was not the cure. It was merely a temporary patch or plaster over some wounds, namely my low self esteem.

Buying stuff made me feel better about myself and more worthy of others’ love and attention, in the moment.

It was temporary at best.

Many people who use shopping, or spending money, as a salve for their wounds report having feelings of remorse and even self loathing afterwards. They regret that they have again succumbed to the seduction of shopping. Their self esteem is hit again as, once more, they have broken the promise they made to themselves to stop using their credit card.

Just as alcoholics wake up the next day and regret last night and vow to, this time, never drink again, so does the shopaholic regret the shopping and vow to never do it again. They promise that they will pay off their credit cards and never use them again.

I would, secretly, make statements like that all the time and then further knock my self esteem by not keeping my promise to myself. I couldn’t be relied on, even by me.

Now what about the other part of the equation…that retail therapy is a cure?

For many people an afternoon of shopping is a very enjoyable way to spend time, either with friends, or alone. The buzz and visual stimulus of the shops and malls make them feel uplifted and brighter. It elevates their mood.

One of the questions I ask people when they start working with me is about their attitudes to shopping. If they describe shopping as a hobby it does raise a red flag for me.

Does it mean they are addicted? Not always.

However, it is worth remembering that shops and shopping malls are in business to sell stuff and make a profit. If you are spending lots of time there, the chances are you are going to spend more money than you intend and often, than you can afford.

So if, for you, the occasional outing to the shops lifts your mood and makes you happy then by all means go for it, at least occasionally. We are meant to be happy.

If, on the other hand you find yourself spending more time or money than you intended when you go shopping maybe it is time to evaluate these trips and find other less expensive hobbies or ways of making you feel better or relieve the boredom.

If you found yourself being a bit alarmed or all too agreeable, when you read the first part of this article contact me and set up a clarity/strategy call with me and we can talk about. You can schedule it here :-http://www.financialclarity.co.nz/schedule-session.html

4532597_sOver the past week I have participated in a business challenge.

It was challenging, I’ll admit. For one thing it had me video myself dancing. Unless I’ve had several drinks I am very late to any dance floor!!

But better than that;( although to be fair bettering me having to dance wasn’t that hard!) it gave me huge insights and aha moments. One of them was about my own underearning.

I am sharing it here:-

I’m Jill Porter, the money coach who helps women, in particular, sort out their money shit and I am over being only partly, and erratically, visible.

I’ve had this business for more than 6 years now but really only stepped into it, if still only gradually, this year!  I am now ploughing forward.

Before, I would get the business to a certain level and then something would stop me, and the business progress. Genuine stuff like my Mum dying and having major surgery; but I let them derail me. Over and over.

It was more comfortable to be a victim of my circumstances than to stand up and own my past, and claim my future.

I felt even more uncomfortable than I do dancing and that’s saying something! (Unless of course, the party has been going for a while and I am well lubricated!!)

I was happy to claim that I was an overspender; there was something kind of cute about being a shopaholic or succumbing to some retail therapy!  I was much less keen to admit that now I was also an underearner.

I had sorted out some of my money shit but more had reared up.

It was shit scary!! Why?

What would people think?

Would people still like me?

Would it scare potential clients off?

How could everyone else do it but not me?

I can do lots of scary stuff. I had repeated major surgeries and faced them with courage and used my awesome resilience to recover and come back better than before.

I came out at 52 and told my 90+ year old mother…and that got the heart rate up I tell you…as well as my friends and family. Mostly it was incredibly positive and I was so glad that I had.

So now I been brave and admitted this, not only to myself, but also to you.

With the other brave stuff I could see myself as a bit of a hero. This is trickier. I feel vulnerable and maybe some of those fears may come to pass. I know I will cope with them, if they do. I know I am strong and resilient.

Why do I want to?

I want a successful business. I want a profitable business.

I want to prove the nay sayers wrong!

I am also passionate about children and really want to make a difference for children living in poverty. First in my city Auckland, but then to spread that help as far as it will go.

But way more than any of that I really want to help more people sort out their money shit.

I know how stressful it can be.

How much sleep you lose worrying about money.

How many arguments it causes with your partner.

How it robs you of the enjoyment you should be getting out of life.

How it robs you of your self esteem and causes you shame.

How it costs you some of the opportunities you are given.

So, I really want to support women as they traverse this tricky path and help them find some shorter routes and, if possible, avoid the really hard yards.

To help them reduce their stress, recover their restful sleep and help to make them happy and joyful again.

If any of this resonates with you click this link and book a free strategy/clarity session with me by clicking the link below and we can have a chat.

http://www.financialclarity.co.nz/schedule-session.html

When I was at primary school, maybe about 8 or 9, I always wanted these Clarks sandals like everyone else had!

Clark's sandals

Mum would never agree. For some inexplicable, or maybe not understood, reason she would never buy them for me.

She always insisted, and bought me these and they were always red! I hated them.

Jellies

Now history has shown that I was something of a fashion trail blazer in the1960’s by wearing jellies! I’m sure that idea never entered Jeannie’s (Mum’s) mind and it doesn’t matter, I still hate them.

I use this story to illustrate a point.

When I was in the midst of my overspending and chronic debting I thought I was on my own because everyone else could manage their money. I hid my shameful secret pretty well; or at least I thought I did. Just as I didn’t want to stand out with my jellies, nor did I want to stand out with my inability to manage my money.

Now, not everyone was wearing Clark’s sandals at school, probably just the girls I considered cool or in!

Like that, I now know that not everyone manages their money well either!

I’m generally considered smarter than your average bear and I couldn’t! I’ve had many clients who were seen as very successful, and in many ways were, but their finances were in a mess. They weren’t all overspenders like me but their money situation was chaotic.

Admitting that I needed help really changed the situation for me and finding that I wasn’t alone made all the difference.

If you know deep in your heart that you could be doing a better job with money then get in touch and we can have a complimentary strategy session to see how you could be doing better. Click on this link to my website and contact me today…I’d love to chat and I know you will feel better after we do.

I have just written a post on my Facebook page about one of the most common questions I am asked:-

“Should I consolidate my debt?”

20111702_sBefore I give an answer, I always ask if they are still using credit cards and if they are, are they paying them off in full every month. If they are then debt consolidation can be useful. It makes payment easier, just a single payment for all of the different debts you have eg. credit card(s), store cards, personal loans etc and it is often a much lower interest rate than credit and store cards.

If however, they tell me that they are still using credit cards I strongly advise that they don’t go for debt consolidation.

Why? It is all too tempting. Suddenly, all your credit cards are paid off and all that wonderful credit is available to you again and you are still in the habit of using it. The first time you tell yourself “I need a new dress, pair of shoes (fill in the blank………) you’ll be reaching for the credit card! In an earlier post of mine http://bit.ly/1IuNvVj I discussed the difference between needs and wants and the impact, not knowing the difference, can have.

I wish I’d had that advice a long time ago. I had a very friendly bank manager and I was always consolidating my debt, only to go back in a month or two to do it again!! The only people who benefitted by this apart from the bank, was the guy who was always coming to put a value on my home so that I could borrow against it. By the time I sold it  and paid off all my debt ( the ultimate debt consolidation) there wasn’t much equity in my property.

So if you are thinking of consolidating your debt, make sure you are not increasing it before you do. This means for most people, stopping using your credit cards first.

If you want to get out of a hole, first you have to stop digging! So it is with debt. If you want to get out of debt, first you have to stop incurring it.

href=”https://jillporter.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/12637931_s.jpg”>Shame

It’s been a funny few days.

I have had some great responses to telling my back story.

The odd questioning ones as well.

Why would I tell this?

Maybe I should have made it more positive? Maybe it would be off putting if someone was wanting to work with me, if they knew I didn’t have it all sorted out?

None of them were doubts I hadn’t had myself, trust me. However, I take heart from Brene Brown’s quote : “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.”

My purpose in telling my story is not only owning it myself but also, hopefully, providing encouragement to others who may be thinking that they are walking this path on their own. They are not.

I am on that path too and I meet people all the time, who are on their own version of this journey.

In our society, money is not talked about unless it is bragging about how much you have! Most people don’t do that. My mother went to her grave at 93, not ever knowing how much my father earned!!

Things have changed from then but it is still considered shameful to be in debt, to have to borrow money and god forbid to go bankrupt. (At the same time as we are bombarded with advertisements to buy, buy, buy! And to get this credit card and be jetting off on overseas holidays etc, etc,etc.)

I know how lonely it can feel to have these issues and feel that you are all alone. How scary it is. How alienating it feels. Just how fucking ghastly it feels!!

I hope by being honest about my path I can help someone else not feel so alone and to feel braver about reaching out for help, or just to tell someone else, so that it doesn’t feel so lonely and scary.

Another Brene Brown quote helps too:- “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

Moving weekend!

May 3, 2015

I love all the opportunities house sitting gives me but moving days suck!!

I have downsized incredibly and have wonderful friends who store some of my possessions but I still have way too much stuff to move!!!

On the positive side moving it regularly makes it so much easier to get rid of! Why move something you haven’t worn/used for a year! Get rid of it and lighten the load..literally and figuratively! It makes more room to focus on what is really important.

What could you get rid of/sell/donate that would lighten your load and declutter your life?

As I warned in my last two posts I will hopefully entertain you with some of the antics of the wonderful animals I care for!

Today it’s Biddy’s turn. She is an elderly lady. Well sometimes! Other times she’s a mischievous teenager! Typical cat right?

In some ways but Biddy has her extraordinary talents.

1. She loves cold tea. Out of my cup! The only reason she only likes cold is because I won’t let her near the hot!

2. She plays the piano! Not all the time, just when she feels that she is not getting the attention she deserves, like at 4am this morning! Needless to say it worked.

3. She gets up on the roof and can’t get down and has to be let in via an upstairs window. Not occasionally but often!

Have a great weekend everybody.

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