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!!







You know the one… You’ve been invited to a wedding, birthday party, company dinner, or in fact just about anything… and the first words out of your mouth are…”But, I’ve got nothing to wear!”

Now, that is patently not true, because:

a) you have not spent the whole of your life in bed, naked, and hiding under the covers nor

b) walking around in public naked. This is not acceptable behaviour in most modern societies and you would probably have been arrested or taken to see a doctor!

What you really mean is: I don’t know what to wear, or, I don’t want to wear what I have, and this seems like a justifiable excuse to buy something new!


It is not a disaster for the following reasons:-


  1.  Firstly, the definition of disaster from is: a calamitous event, especially one occurring suddenly and causing great loss of life, damage, or hardship, as a flood, airplane crash, or business failure. No mention of not having anything to wear!
  2. At most functions you attend, you are not the centre of attention…( unless of course, it’s your wedding)…and very few people will notice what you are wearing. (NB If it is your wedding, that is a justifiable excuse to buy something new. I am assuming that you will have been planning it for some time and have the savings to go out and buy it!)
  3. The occasion is not a fashion show …well not usually anyway…and almost always, it is about people celebrating the occasion. That means that you have been invited for your company not your clothes! Therefore, “that old thing” is probably going to be perfectly suitable.
  4. Unless you are the Queen, or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, chances are that nobody will realise that you have worn the outfits in your wardrobe before! People are just not that observant. More importantly they are pleased to see you, not your clothes.


Of course, if you have planned to buy a new outfit, because you truly need it ,and not just want it, it is lovely to be able to wear something new to a special occasion. We all love that.

However, if it is not in your plan, especially if you are trying to stop overspending or reduce your debt, an invitation to an occasion does not justify buying something new to wear.  Remember it is about the people and the celebration, so “that old thing” will be just perfect.

Tell us about any creative ideas you have, that gets around this common situation.



From my last post you have seen I recommend that, unless you pay your cards off in full each and every month, you use debit cards.

Now that’s all very fine but, what if you already have a credit card, or cards, which have balances on them which you can’t pay off in full. What do you do then?

The first thing I recommend is,  stop using your credit cards immediately. There is a saying which is very pertinent here:

” If you want to get yourself out of a hole, first you have to stop digging”.

In other words, you can’t hope to get your credit cards paid off, whilst you are still using them and increasing your debt. Once you stop using them, the amount you pay off them then actually starts to make a difference. How you go about paying them off was the topic of another post of mine Essentially I recommend that you pay the minimum off them, until you have savings that will cover all periodic expenses you have, or will have. As I say it is the subject of another post!

For those of you who are now saying ” This doesn’t help me, because I have to use my credit card just to buy my groceries or kids’ clothes”

OK, what I suggest for you is that at the beginning of each month, you sit down and draw up a spending plan for the month ahead. Now if you are really serious about paying off your credit card(s) for good, this plan should address all the real needs of your family, namely, shelter, food and essential clothing, but not include wants eg new flat screen TV etc!! Once you have this drawn up, if there is a gap between the money you bring in and the money required to fulfill those needs, that is the amount you may put on your credit card. This amount is planned, which is the key word. This does not mean that you can see a dress that you just love and buy it with your credit card. The dress is not a need, and it’s purchase is not planned. You would also benefit from seeking the assistance of a Financial Recovery℠ Counsellor. You will find a list of them here:-

Do you draw up a spending plan or budget at the beginning of every month? Do you stick to it? I’d love to hear your experiences.

Often my clients admit to me that they feel ashamed that they are in debt, and not able to manage their money as well as they think they should. I can really empathise with them as I know that was how I felt too.

In all other aspects of my life (well most of them anyway LOL!) I was successful and competent. My overspending and chronic debting were my “dirty little secrets”, which I hid, or tried to, from everyone. I was very ashamed that I couldn’t control my spending as well as I controlled other aspects of my life. I was intelligent and could write fantastic budgets – I just couldn’t keep to them.

I now know that having money problems or issues with money behaviours, such as chronic debting and overspending, has no regard for gender, race or income level. Nor are they an indicator of intelligence.

Almost always they are a way of coping with some emotional factor or other. In my case, I was using buying myself stuff, as a way of caring for myself!

Faulty thinking that surely was, getting myself into debt over and over again was only harming me. Despite causing me loss of sleep and enormous angst, I just couldn’t see it and repeated my excuses like mantras to soothe me, as I spent. “I need this” “I deserve this, I work hard” ” I’m not responsible for anyone else so I can just spend it” (Sadly, I didn’t realise I wasn’t looking after me either!) “No-one else will buy it for me so I’m just going to do it!”  I knew them all!

It wasn’t until I found  the Financial Recovery℠ Institute and completed my Money Minder® Autobiography that I  had some “aha” moments and began my recovery journey!

If you recognise your story in any of this ask for help sooner, rather than later.You will then be proud of yourself, not ashamed!

Does any of this resonate with you, either for yourself or a loved one? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

I have been a bit under the weather for the past couple of weeks and really have been unable to do very much at all.

It has been incredibly frustrating, because I had so much planned for that time, and now am not sure when I’ll get it all done.

However, the one thing I did do, was keep track of my spending, which as a former overspender is very important. It was pretty boring spending too! Doctors, xrays and food pretty much did it. For one who used to love to buy shoes and jewellery , (my favourite compulsive shopping items) it was pretty unexciting.

I am proud that I didn’t buy myself a treat, (because I deserved it) because I was feeling so lousy! The “I deserve it” used to be a pretty common excuse for my shopping addiction.

So, I remain on track with my spending and know just where my money has gone – and believe me a lot of it has gone – because I’ve been tracking it in my MoneyMinderR.

Now what’s left is for me to get back on track with my work. This has been a good start!

Recovery …part 2!

October 12, 2009

OK, this has all been much harder than I imagined. Both the blogging and the recovery.

My hip has been much more painful than I thought and being on crutches is a pain… literally and figuratively! Therefore, the desire/commitment to blog has been somewhat hard to come by, but, yesterday I turned a corner (I’m not sure it’s the corner but it was definitely one!) I drove to the coffee shop by myself and had much less pain. This has continued today well, the latter anyway, so hopefully it’s now onwards and upwards.

I am drafting a blog on compulsive spending which, hopefully, I’ll post in the next day or two. So until then….