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

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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.

Today’s post is a guest post from Kristy Liner. She has got some very pertinent advice for you, if you are tempted by the ease of online shopping. Thanks Kristy.

Stop Clicking, and Read! Avoiding Online Impulse Buying
Most of us love shopping, and online shopping is even better. You can shop in your pyjamas, with curlers in your hair, while you watch TV, and cook dinner. However, the online shopping generation has made it a bit too easy to spend our hard earned cash online. Now, impulse buyers don’t even have to leave their homes to spend money that they should probably hang on to. I’m sure we’re all very responsible shoppers who know nothing about impulse buying, right? Yea, well, consider the following steps to help stop online impulse buying, just in case you have a “friend” who could use the help.

Set a Time Rule
Whether you give yourself one hour or 30 days, set a standard for yourself. When you find something you want, wait for your decided amount of time before buying it. Put it in your “wish list” rather than your cart. If after that one week or 12 days, you still want or need it, then you can buy it. Often times, you will forget about it, and if you do, you didn’t need to buy it in the first place.

Don’t Make it Easy
Don’t store your credit card information on online sites. Before you can make a purchase, make sure you’ll have to dig out your credit card and enter the information. Sometimes this can deter you from going through the trouble to make the purchase. If that’s all it takes to change your mind, you definitely don’t need the item.

Research
Set another rule for yourself. Take the dollar amount of an item and spend that many minutes researching the item and pricing of the item. If you want to buy a $150 pair of shoes, you must first spend two and a half hours researching the shoes and where to get the best deal. If the time spent researching isn’t worth it, neither is the purchase. If it is worth it, chances are by the time you’re finished researching, you will have found the item at a rock-bottom price.

Don’t Drink and Shop
There’s no better way to set yourself up for buyer’s remorse than by shopping while intoxicated. Consider some of the other decisions you won’t let yourself make when you’ve been drinking and ask yourself if spending money is any less important. If you absolutely must surf the web after a few drinks, save your wants to a wish list to reconsider at a later, more sober time.

Don’t Tempt Yourself
Unsubscribe to daily deal mailing lists. A sale in your inbox is hard to ignore sometimes. However, if you aren’t subscribed to their mailing list, you’ll be none the wiser. Retailers set these email messages up to lure you to their site. They make you desire a product you never knew you needed and then make you feel like this is the only time you will ever buy it at this discounted, low price. If today is the only day you can get 30 percent off of something, that doesn’t mean you need it. Save yourself some money and unsubscribe now.

While online shopping is a definite no-hassle way to purchase the things we need at low prices, taking advantage of the accessibility is a bad idea. Not only will you spend money you wouldn’t normally spend, but you’ll buy things you don’t even need. Take these steps to deter yourself from falling into the trap and save money today.

Kristy Liner enjoys writing about tips for saving money at http://creditscore.net.
Image credit: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo

This is a very interesting study showing that a drug used for treating the symptoms of Alzheimers disease, memantine, has been found to reduce impulsive thoughts and spending in 8 compulsive buyers.

Obviously, before it can be approved for the treatment of compulsive shopping, it has to be tested against a placebo in much larger clinical trials.

via Alzheimer’s Drug Curbs Compulsive Buying in Shopaholics – ABC News.

I’m not sure that everybody, who is a compulsive shopper or overspender, needs to be treated with drugs, but certainly those at the more serious end  need help.

In another article discussing the same study, the author discusses the case of Star Thompson,who spends £1000 a week on clothes. This despite the fact that she already has wardrobes full of unworn clothes, including 200 bras and 15 pairs of £250 Ugg boots!!

The author, Dominique Jackson of the Mail Online, states:- “The sooner the Thompsons, and the rest of society, recognise that shopping in this way and on this scale constitutes a serious psychological problem, the sooner the sufferers will get the help they so clearly need.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2151580/Our-culture-consumption-glorifies-compulsive-shopping-It-time-treat-shopaholic-like-addict.html#ixzz1wPqqEWXk

I couldn’t agree more with Dominique Jackson. What do you think of treating compulsive shopping with medications? Is it a worthy use of health dollars? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Footnote: Memantine is certainly not available on the Pharmaceutical schedule in NZ. I am not sure if it is available for private purchase.

 

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 Dictionary.com 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.

 

 

Have you ever opened your credit card bill and been absolutely shocked at how much it is? Worse still, have you ever been too scared to open it, knowing you were going to be shocked? How about going into your wallet and going “where did that $100/$200/$300 etc go?  We call this being in the “money fog”! Essentially not having any clue how much money we are spending or have spent.

The money fog is almost always worse when we’re using credit cards, because the spending is often unconscious. In other words, you don’t really have to think about it, you just hand over your card without even considering what the balance already is. Provided you’re not at your limit you can easily do a day of retail therapy, or compulsive shopping, without giving the total amount spent another thought! You can just shop until you drop! Whilst you can also be in the money fog when using cash or debit cards, reality is closer at hand! You will either run out of money, need another trip to the money machine, or your debit card or EFT POS card will be rejected. Your spending therefore has to be, if not completely , at least partially, conscious.

Conscious spending is being aware of, not only how much you’re spending, but also being aware of what you’re buying! Do you really need it, or have you just seen it and want it, RIGHT NOW?

I know that when I was at the peak of my overspending, I could have a day out shopping without giving a thought to how much it was costing, or if I really needed what I was buying. As I was a very regular Internet banker ( I had to be, to keep juggling my money!) my shocks at how much I’d spent came pretty early on!  The unneeded purchases were often obvious very early on too! I might have “needed” a painting but did I need ten?

As the reasons you overspend, or shop compulsively, are many and, often, complex there isn’t a quick cure. However, if you only use cash or debit cards, the harm you can do is minimised. The other key is tracking your spending, that is, write every single cent you spend down.

If you are concerned about your spending or any of this, please seek help. The Financial Recovery℠ Institute has a list of counselors http://www.financialrecovery.com/?p=find-by-area. If you cannot find one in your area I, and a lot of my colleagues, offer counseling by phone or via Skype.

Do you have a story of being too scared to open your credit card bill? Please share it with us below in the comments section.

For a few weeks now I have been watching an ANZ bank ad on television, and questioning it.

You know the one with the young woman and the bubbles above her head… which say ” I deserve a little splurge”, “I’ll buy myself an early birthday present” “It won’t be on sale for ever” and “I’ve had a couple of hard weeks”.This is a link to the web version. https://comms.anz.co.nz/serioussaver.html?pid=mkt-pbr-ad-hp-jan12-serioussaver

This bit I really get. I used to use variations of each and every one of those statements, as justifications for my overspending and putting more “stuff” on my credit cards.  I knew a whole lot more I can tell you. So too do my clients now, those who are overspenders and/or chronic debtors! They know these excuses and variations of them eg. “I should be getting a bonus next month” ” I need this as I haven’t got anything to wear to Jo’s party, Sue’s wedding…” or whatever.

They are all examples of justifications or excuses for spending money when, on some level, we know that we shouldn’t, we know we can’t afford to and/or we know that other people probably wouldn’t be doing it if they were in the same place as us, financially that is.

The bit I don’t get is, that the person using those excuses would be drawn away from their overspending habits, by a savings account with a good interest rate and some other positive benefits.

Maybe some would see the error of their ways and start saving instead of spending, but I know I wouldn’t have  and nor would most of my clients. The reality is, that if you are an overspender or chronic debtor and using those justifications for your spending, in almost all cases you are struggling to pay your bills and debts and there is little money left over to save, if any.

The ANZ ad says ‘Saying no to temptation has never been so satisfying”. They may well be right; saving instead of spending is very satisfying. I just need a lot more convincing that the young woman in the ad, if she is using all those excuses for her spending, will be tempted by the prospect of saving and earning “up to” 4.5% interest. Taken altogether, those excuses spell to me a problem with overspending, which is not insignificant and requires some expert assistance.

I would be interested to hear your comments.