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.

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Ok so here is Part 2!

If you didn’t see part 1 yesterday, here is the link:

https://jillporter.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/changing-up-the-back-story/

Having got myself back on track following Mum’s death I then had to take another break whilst I had surgery on my hip. I was on crutches for 6 weeks and sore and tired, so not much work got done!

Now I am not going to bore you with all the details but during the next 4 years  I had another 4 lots of surgery! Most of them quite big surgeries and requiring significant recovery time. Between each one, my business would grow again and be on the brink of becoming successful and bang, another surgery, and back down it would go.

Bugger! But great excuses for absolving me of any kind of blame or responsibility, right?

Wrong!

Now I needed all of those surgeries but on some level I needed the hiccough they brought to my business success too.

I’ve done quite a lot of exploration of this over the years but as many of you reading this will know, I’m not much into woo-woo stuff, so I also rejected any idea that I may have had a part to play in any of this.

Recently, I’ve come to accept that I surely did. Law of attraction! On some level I am still a bit skeptical about the role of the Law of Attraction when it comes to needing surgery or for that matter getting other physical illnesses. The traditional medicine which I have known and practiced as a nurse for so long, still has me pretty firmly in it’s grip!

However, what I have come to accept in the past few months, was how my surgeries allowed me to play the victim, not be responsible for my business success, or lack thereof, and to just coast along with it, blaming my “bad luck” for the lack of momentum.

What I had unwittingly done, was go from overspender to underearner..the flip side of the same coin!

The end result is the same. I end up in debt and never have any money…initially from spending it all and more, and more recently, from not earning it!

What have been the effects of all this?

My relationship ended. I may have stopped overspending but now I didn’t have any money at all and that still put the relationship in precarious territory and F left. We remain great friends still.

I moved into an apartment but for the first time in my life couldn’t pay the rent, moved out and went housesitting. I actually love doing this. I stay in some fabulous homes and look after some amazing animals and have wonderful experiences. I hate moving though and living out of a suitcase can get pretty tedious!

When I moved into an inner city apartment I sold my car and walked everywhere. I haven’t been able to replace it.

I have had to borrow money from friends and family. This has strained some treasured relationships.

For some months I was on a WINZ accommodation supplement.

My pride has taken some massive hits.

But, I now know and believe that I truly have something to offer so many people.The lessons I have learned about our relationships with money are too valuable not to be shared. The work I do is important and who could be more qualified to do it! I am taking responsibility for that. There are people out there who need me.

Now that I have spilled all that ( whew!!) I intend that this blog will be a way to chronicle my journey and adventures along the way, whilst also giving some personal finance tips and information. You will also meet some of the funny and sweet animals I look after, and see some of the wonderful views I enjoy.

I hope that it will sometimes be funny, it may be irreverent, could well be opinionated on other subjects other than the one at hand but I hope it will be enjoyable. Please interact with me. I love hearing from you and love suggestions and comments….positive or negative. Until later….

OK, I am changing things up in here!

For a few years I have been posting irregularly in here, usually about money and money behaviours. It’s been OK but it was a bit boring( actually often a lot boring!!) and I’m not into boring and nor do I lead a boring life.

Sooooooo….. I have decided to change it around and I am going to post more regularly just on what’s happening in my life. It won’t be on all of it, I promise!! I will still focus on money in many ways but it will be more centred on my ongoing relationship with money and where that has led me and the adventures I have along the way.

It may not be pretty, it may not be well punctuated and it may not use correct grammar all the time, but it will be real. It may well contain some of my opinions on other stuff too…so look out!

A catch up first..

As many of you know, for a lot of years I was an overspender (aka shopaholic) and a chronic debtor. I always had credit card debt apart from a few weeks when I had, yet again, managed to pay them off, vowing to never use them again…until I did! Every. Time!

I was living in the USA ( my home is New Zealand) and met a new partner.. A quick explanation here. I usually use “they gave me an ultimatum” but in the interests of really telling it as it is, it was really she gave me an ultimatum. I warned you that my life isn’t boring …I came out as a lesbian at 52 and F was my first female partner! Using “they” has given me a few laughs though! eg a male CEO saying ” so all you needed was a good man!” As if!!!

Anyway, F gave me an ultimatum: either get help for my spending and behaviour around money, or we were through.

So, I found a counsellor and began Financial Recovery counselling. It was a gamechanger! I stopped using my credit cards immediately and began tracking what I was spending. Did I become a penny pincher? No, but did I plan my spending and then  track what I spent? Hell yeah!!

Things were trucking along pretty well…until the company was restructured and my position was eliminated.

Back to NZ I came with F relocating with me. The only problem was I didn’t have a job as I had become too senior (and too expensive) for the local subsidiary. I’d had my fill of corporate life anyway and decided to strike out on my own and Financial Clarity was born. I would help people, women in particular, who had issues around money like I did.

It wasn’t an overnight success..far from it but I began to attract clients and I was able to help them change their relationship to their money. It had hiccoughs along the way and lots of them.

My Mum got ill and died aged 93. I was delighted that self employment allowed me the freedom to spend some very valuable weeks with her before then though. My wonderful Mum’s death derailed me than I thought it would. I thought I was pretty accepting of the inevitable with her age and failing health.

On many levels I was but I missed her more than I thought possible and still do.

Look for part two of the catch up tomorrow!

Is today your day?

April 8, 2014

lotto numbersThis week’s Money Motivator I wrote on the potentially negative effects of selling Lotto at the checkout in supermarkets. I don’t think it is a good idea. It puts the temptation of acting on magical thinking too close for comfort. What do you think?

In Financial Recovery we use several terms to describe money behaviour. One, which I have used before is the money fog, where people ignore the signs of their precarious financial situation. Not opening mail, not knowing what their credit card balances are and how much interest they are paying, are all examples of money fog!

Another one is “magical thinking”. Essentially this is when we expect a miracle to get us out of the mess we are in. With money and debt, examples are a knight in shining armour racing in on his trusty steed and rescuing us, winning the lottery or getting an unexpected inheritance! All, we know are pretty unlikely to happen!

Therefore, like others, I was concerned with the news that Countdown supermarkets will have Lotto outlets right at the checkouts. Likewise the news that Lotto tickets will be able to be bought with credit cards!

TV3 had an item about this at the weekend. The CEO of the Mad Butcher, Michael Morton said that “ “A jackpot weekend can take up to 8 or 9 percent of (sic) our total weeks’ sales, and on a Saturday with a big jackpot it can be up to 15 percent of a loss of sales,”

Darryl Evans of the Mangere Budgeting Services Trust, said that on the Monday after a big jackpot they have a big increase in the number of people requesting food parcels.

A lot has been made in the media about the ease of purchasing leading to an increase in gambling. This is not my area of expertise so I cannot comment. However, what I do know, is that people who have a spending addiction, together with those who have substantial debt including, but not limited to, credit card debt, will be enticed by the power of their magical thinking into spending more than they can afford on Lotto. They believe that winning Lotto would solve all their problems and spending their last cent, or going deeper into debt, on tickets is worth it because they WILL win and therefore, on Monday, they will be able to repay it!

Now, I think most of us have dreamed of winning Lotto and what we would do with it when we do, but the difference is that the people I am talking about, see it as a realistic strategy for getting them out of the hole they’re in! Then come Saturday night, Sunday morning or whenever they check their tickets, they are overwhelmed with the disappointment of their strategy not working. Not only did they not win but now they have less money to buy the essentials or, worse still, are deeper in debt. This impacts their relationships, their mental health and can take food from their family’s table.

I know this because it was part of my magical thinking! I would buy a ticket religiously every weekend, believing(!) that this was my time and here was the solution, only to be bitterly disappointed on Sunday or Monday when I checked the ticket(s)!! My spending on this never went beyond $25 each week, but I am aware of people spending hundreds of dollars on Lotto, money they cannot afford.

It is also interesting to note that Countdown report an 8% increase in sales of Lotto when they trialled selling them at checkout as opposed to separate booths! They also get 7% of the profit from Lotto sales; they know it works!

If this is your thinking and behaviour, or you know someone who has these beliefs, get in touch and we can have a chat about strategies to use to avoid such spending and creating more successful strategies.

Getting to today! My story

February 4, 2014

Another of the most common questions I get asked is how did I get to be doing what I do! This up close and personal video tells most of the story.

 

Can you identify with my story?Let me know in the comments below or if you would like to do that in person click on this link and request a strategy session with me. It’s free and if you’re in Auckland I will meet you for coffee and I even buy the coffee! I can’t say fairer than that!!

 

Hugs

 

 

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about money? Does it interfere with your work life?
 
A recent arti12637931_scle in US News cited a study by McGraw Hill Federal Credit Union, which showed that in a survey of more than 1000 people, 36% of them said that they spent at least two hours a day either worrying about their finances or handling them. “…another study, “Stressed at Work,” from Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, an employee-assistance program provider, that suggests almost half of workers are so stressed out that it interferes with their ability to get their jobs done. About 44 percent of male respondents and 49 percent of female respondents said they had “difficulty concentrating” as a result of “personal problems and stress.” Meanwhile, Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report finds that 7 in 10 workers are not engaged with their work.”
 
If you are an employer this must make scary reading!
 
I was interested in the article, because I have been approached recently by an employer seeking assistance for one of their staff, who had a significant amount of debt and was very worried about it. It was agreed that they would pay for their employee to see me. We have met several times and have made some plans for dealing with their situation, which has eased her anxiety considerably. Even if she wasn’t worrying about her money situation at work ( and I’m certain she was!) she was losing sleep over it. This alone would have reduced her effectiveness at work.
 
So her company paying for her work with me will, I’m sure, be very cost effective. As well as improving her productivity it will also increase her company loyalty, because she appreciates how they have supported her personally.
 
Many companies now subsidise gym memberships; a good case can be made for also providing access to financial education and support. I have done several talks for companies to provide this. I am very happy to do it for your company as well; just give me a call.
 
As promised a couple of weeks ago now, here is the link to request my article “How to get through Christmas and the Holidays without blowing out the credit cards!” Simply click on the Christmas tree. You will also be sent a Holiday planner from Karen McCall of the Financial Recovery Institute along with the spreadsheet to go with it.

Have a great week.
 

Sally Feinerman

Have you ever wondered just what a Money Coach does? If you have, well you are certainly not on your own! It is the number 1 question I get asked! Here comes an explanation:

Recently one of my clients, the inspirational Sally Feinerman, from www.fitnessfix.co.nz, made me a very generous offer. I could blog about her journey to financial clarity and simply having a better grasp on her finances, both personal and financial.

This is the first part of that story.

JP :- So Sally, can you tell me what drew you to seeking my help with your finances?

SF:- “Well I’m very goal driven and I wanted to be really clear about my finances so that I could set some goals. I had some debt with an overdraft, which I wanted to pay off. I also wanted to get my credit card bill under control. Basically, you actually helped me pay it off altogether. Also I went from having three credit cards to just one. I now only use it for my business. This has been so fantastic. My spending is now much more in the moment, rather than retrospective. Now, I am much more conscious of what I am spending and whether or not I can afford something. Before I just put it on the credit card and dealt with it later. So the really great thing is, that now it looks as though I will have all my debt paid off this year, which is just fantastic! It also looks as though I will be able to start saving this year and have a safety net, which is just awesome. So I just feel that I will be really on top of my finances and knowing exactly where I’m sitting. I think that the discipline of going online and updating my MoneyMinder, every day just shows me visually what I’m spending and that really helps me as well. Also with my spending plan, when I do spend money I don’t feel guilty about it. I had planned to buy that and the money has already been allocated for it and is sitting there ready. Rather than if you don’t know what you are spending then you always feel kind of guilty about spending.

JP:- also, equally, even if you did spend on something that you hadn’t planned it has a great mechanism, which allows you to go back and revise the plan to account for that purchase and still stay within the plan and not go into debt.

SF:- Yes, I find that when I have done my spending plan, I know that if I stick to it , this is where I’ll be at the end of the month. If I don’t spend it all I can also see how that will make me better off.

JP:- Do you update your spending plan most days?

SF:- Yes, I do. At the beginning I did a 30 day challenge where I had to do 5 things for 30 days and 1 of them was my MoneyMinder. So that got me into a really good habit of doing it everyday. I like to get up and just do it in the morning. I also find if I do it everyday it takes no time at all to do. We’ve just been away for a long weekend, with out internet access, so it took me a bit longer this morning!

JP:- In Financial Recovery we talk a lot about conscious spending and many of my clients say that the thing they most value about the process is how aware of their spending they’ve become. Did you find this?

SF:-Yes absolutely. We find we are making different choices too. We have just been away for a long weekend  road trip and instead of eating out all the time we made lots of our own food and had picnics etc. We just loved it. It saved us money, but also we were enjoying nature and could stop and eat where and when we liked.

JP:- we use the term “spending plan” rather than “budget” as it tends to have a more positive connotation. Just as in Weightwatchers – they use food plan rather than diet for the same reason. When I was at the peak of my overspending, if anyone mentioned that I should be on  a budget, I heard deprivation. That I was going to have stuff taken away from me. Since I have been on the Financial Recovery programme I don’t feel that, as I can choose to spend my money on anything I want. It’s my choice. As Mikelann Valtera says “you can have anything you want but not everything you want”, but it’s your choice! Did you have any sense of being  deprived when you started on this programme?

SF:- In the beginning, to be perfectly honest, I probably did, but I think now we do need to question what we spend. We have become such a consumer society that when you look at life more holistically as well and get back to grassroots you don’t need half of the stuff you go and buy and so I have to say that I don’t now and it is more rewarding now to look forward and see where I’m going rather than to look back and think about what I might be missing out on.

JP:- Fantastic. It is really key to have some mechanism that draws you away from the negative behaviour. It is great when, like you, people can have goals and focus on the positive even if it is further in the future, rather than the deprivation.

SF:-If you can get yourself into, or see yourself getting into, the positive that is really good. If you have done all the planning and tracking and can see your progress you can see where you are going and be looking forward to that.

JP:- The other thing which is very linked to that is..well I’ll give you a hypothetical situation. What if you were walking along somewhere and you saw a really nice top or dress or pants that you really liked, but you had not planned to buy any clothes this month? Can you tell me how you might deal with that situation? Or how it might be different from how it would have been before?

SF:- Well, before I probably would have just got them anyway, if I really liked them. Now I would have to justify them to myself, that I could afford them or that I had them on my plan. If they weren’t on the plan then I wouldn’t get them.

JP:- that’s very good. Don’t let me put words into your mouth here, but before might you have just got them and put the expenditure onto your credit card if you couldn’t afford them at the time?

SF:- Yes, absolutely.

JP:- You said at the beginning that you are only using one credit card now. Has that made a real difference?

SF:- absolutely. I think that just knowing what I spend every day rather than just spending and then dreading the credit card bill coming in at the end of the month and then going “Oh my God, look how much money I spent last month!” Knowing that I’ve got to pay it and sort of being in fear of that bill coming in. Now that only one bill comes in a month and I know what I have spent because I have recorded it all, it’s never a shock.

JP:- Thanks for that Sally. I think that next time we should talk about how you now deal with things that come outside the normal monthly expenditure. I know, for example, that you have recently had a big overseas holiday. It will be really interesting to find out how you handled that and if it was any different from how you would have done it before.

Thanks, Sally, this has been really great. It will be useful for others who might be wondering how the process of working with me goes and if it’s for them.