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.

Financial Clarity!

January 10, 2015

I’ve just been asked what one word I would use to describe my business and what I do.

After some good searching I ended up with CLARITY, because that is what you get when you work with me.

You get clarity around your money numbers, clarity about how to deal with money “emergencies” and real money emergencies. You have more clarity around your money behaviours and why you do what you do. You also have clarity around the healthier ways you can deal with some of these behaviours.

With all this CLARITY comes peace of mind; the unknown is always more scary than knowing even the worst scenario. The clarity allows you to formulate plans, which again gives you peace of mind about the future. Together all of these reduce your stress levels, reduce arguments with your partner and allow you to sleep better at night, because you are no longer lying awake trying to work out how you are going to get out of the mess you’re in!!

I called my business Financial Clarity, because that is what I got when I underwent Money Coaching myself. The benefits above are just some of the ones I experience because of the CLARITY I gained!

Contact me by email, if you would like to explore some more about gaining some financial clarity yourself!

Abundance and Gratitude!

February 27, 2014

Last night when I was ironing I came up with a great (I thought) topic for this week’s Money Motivator. Did I write it down? Did I heck as like, as they say on Coronation St!! Do I remember it this morning? Of course not! I know that it was a slightly different angle  than usual but exactly what I don’t know! Since I had that significant birthday a week or so ago I get a bit anxious now when my memory fails me, I have to say.

Anyway, two of the “themes” that have been cropping up a lot this year for me have been gratitude and abundance. I guess it’s not unsurprising that they come up together so often, in that, in general, our lives are very abundant and therefore we have a lot to be grateful for. But let’s go back a bit and look particularly at abundance.

In the Oxford English dictionaries (online) there are several definitions but the one most closely linked to money (my topic after all) is this:

“plentifulness of the good things of life; prosperity”

Whilst this, it would seem, is indicative of material wealth, I prefer to look at it in terms of the really “good” things in life ie the things that money can’t buy. The things we should really be grateful for, the things that most of us have in abundance regardless of our financial situation. The things that can really make us happy even if we are not wealthy in the material sense.

For me some of those things are: Love and friendship, my health, the beauty that surrounds me, the relative affluence of the society we live in (although I truly believe that we must do something about child poverty) the availability of fresh food and clean water to drink, the clean air we breathe. In many ways the list is endless.

In turn this list contains the things in my life which I am most grateful for, and apart from food, they are mostly things that do not cost me anything.
I believe that it is really important to remember those things and be truly grateful for them.

They are what we forget about when we are buying more stuff,  or lusting over material things in our quest to be happy. I am not sure what kind of reception you would have received if you had tried to tell me this when I was at the peak of my shopping powers, but I still, more than ever, needed that lesson.

What are you grateful for? What do you have in abundance? Please let me know.

Slide1This is one of the most common questions I get asked and I have pretty strong guidelines I suggest people follow if they are considering this.

So today I have put up a video where I discuss this issue, why you might do it, when it might be appropriate and the pros and cons of the decision.

Take a look and let me know what you think or any comments you might have below.


Happy Monday and most of all, Happy New Year!!

I hope that you have had a relaxing break or, if you’ve worked through, that it hasn’t been too busy. I am assuming that many of you, like me, will start their new working year today. I’ll have to admit that getting up this morning, I did have a rather wistful thought about my friends who are teachers and still have some time to enjoy our summer weather!

I am excited about the New Year though and really looking forward to meeting and working with more wonderful women this year, to say nothing of the occasional wonderful man!

The New Year is often when we resolve to make improvements in some area(s) of our life. According to the most common resolutions for this year are:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Getting organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Staying fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

Any of those resonate with you? Apart from number 7, because I did that nearly 20 years ago, I could live with most of these!

I also think that the Lululemon manifesto (picture above) gives pretty good guidance for life in general and contains good tenets to live by.
This time of year is a great time to review your 2013 achievements, pat yourself on the back and celebrate your successes. Then look at what didn’t work so well and what you can do to improve in those areas this year. Were your goals, or resolutions, too optimistic or did you, like so many others, make them and then forget them?
There is a great deal of literature about successful setting; just Google it and see!

General points of agreement seem to be:-

  • They must motivate you
  • They must be SMART ( Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound)
  • Write them down
  • Make an action plan
  • Stick with it!

I also think that sharing them with someone else, who is supportive of you, really helps too. This can be a friend, partner or spouse, or a coach or mentor. Someone that you can turn to when the going gets tough, who can motivate you and remind you of why you wanted to do this in the first place! Even highly successful athletes have coaches; watch the Heineken Open starting today here in Auckland or the Australian Open starting soon (both tennis tournaments), if you want proof of that!

Part of the success of having a coach is that we often feel more committed to something if we have to be accountable to someone else! It shouldn’t be; but human nature being what it is, it seems to be so. We very easily let ourselves off the hook, but when we have to “report” to someone else we are more likely to stay motivated and on track. Some good examples are not only the sporting examples but also programmes such as Weight Watchers, where the thought of the weekly weigh in, in front of others, can be highly motivating when tempted with some edible delight!! The same applies to having a personal trainer at the gym. For me it always seemed easier to go to the gym than face my trainer and admit I didn’t go!!

So it can be if “spending less, saving more” or “paying off my credit cards” is amongst your resolutions or goals this year. Working with a Money Coach or accountability partner can keep you motivated, on track and educate you about the pitfalls and tips and tricks to be successful. They can also be your cheerleader or advocate, when times are tough. You are not on the path alone. If you or someone you know has these or something similar as your resolutions or goals, hit the button below and we can organize a time to have coffee (I pay!) and a strategy discussion on how you might go about being successful. ( if you are out of Auckland we can do this virtually)
Have a wonderful week everyone and I hope that 2014 will be a happy, healthy and successful year for you and yours.

Here comes Christmas!!

November 12, 2013

Christmas is on its way! I saw photos on a friend’s Facebook page of turning the Christmas Lights on in Regent St London and I notice that I am having more discussions around arrangements etc so it must be creeping up!

So I thought I 588485_blogwould share a couple of tips with you whilst you still have time to implement them!

  • Work out what you are going to buy, for whom, before you leave home.  This means less shopping time, but more importantly, it reduces the risk of buying something on impulse.  Use the internet to come up with ideas, not the shopping malls.  Also, decide how much you will spend on each person and then just take that amount of money, in cash, with you.  If you overspend on one person, you will need to adjust for the others still on the list.
  • Discuss with your family ways of reducing those you buy for.  Some examples of how to do this which work well: Draw names out of the hat, one for everybody and then set a dollar limit.  Eg:  you get Granddad and the limit is $50.  So you buy one present (for Granddad) and spend no more than $50.  If you can afford it, increase the amount to say $200 and then everyone gets one very good present, but you are still putting a limit on how much you spend.
  • Only buy for the children under teenage years. (Can be up to any age)
  • Agree not to buy presents at all and just enjoy the family time.
  • Be creative.  My Mum made the best shortbread so she used to make a batch for all of her friends and family.  Frame a photo or make a photobook.  Grandparents love anything their grandchildren make.  Their first (or maybe second!) attempt at becoming the next Picasso, their hand or footprints on paper, books or calendars of photos of them.  You don’t have to limit these to just the grandparents, other family love them too.

Remember:  no one expects, and nor would they want, you to get into financial difficulty buying them presents.
I am in the throes of proof reading my e-book on Money Management tips, which contains these tips and more, so will let you know when it is available.

How do you spend Christmas and the Holidays? I’d love to hear any cost reduction practices your family has adopted, so share them below.

This time last week we were all gripped by the race for the America’s Cup and still, in the main, pretty confident that Dean Barker and his team would be bringing the Auld Mug home.

Sadly that was not to be, and a lot of Team NZ, including Dean Barker, arrived home this morning, without it.

I have been very open on Facebook about how proud of the team I was. Nothing has changed. My post last Thursday was:-

Emirates Team New Zealand hold your heads up high guys, you have done NZ proud. You have given your all and today left it on the water. You were beaten by a faster boat. It will hurt but we still have your backs and are so very proud of you all.

I still, strongly, feel that.

So now the discussion has turned to two main questions.
Did we get value for our (taxpayer)dollars?
Should we invest in challenging for the Cup again?
My answer is yes to both.

Sir Stephen Tindall, the founder of The Warehouse, commissioned Ernst and Young (I think), to analyse the first question. Their report showed that the Government’s return was met in PAYE and GST payments alone. Sir Stephen was also a large sponsor of Team NZ.

So that is the money part of it. In purely monetary terms the sponsorhip of Team NZ gave an adequate return on investment.

As important, if not more so, was the effect on the mood of the nation. This of course, is much harder to measure and I don’t know if anyone has tried. So I’ll give my opinion.

It was an enormous success. If you just look at the numbers at Shed 10 every day of that last week, you can see how “on board” we all were. I know I was glued to my TV every morning from about 8 o’clock, until racing was finished or abandoned for the day!

Yet again NZ showed, and we were very proud of them for doing so, how we continue to punch above our weight, in many areas of the global sporting arena. Not for us the billions that could be invested, and were, by Larry Ellison and Oracle. We certainly had our international corporate sponsorship, but not to the same level, and certainly not at the intimate level, that Team USA was.

I sometimes watch a CNN show by Piers Morgan. The one I watched last night (recorded earlier in the week) included a segment about Team USA and their record winning “come from behind” win. The bit that really made me laugh was when Piers Morgan said that he thought that the elephant in the room topic, just how many Americans were on Team USA, should be addressed! They initially gave rather obtuse answers but finally had to admit that there was only one! NZ, on the other hand, was sailed by an all Kiwi crew.

Some time ago I used this graphic as my Monday Money Motivator. I think it bears repeating, in light of this.What money can buy

I think that to answer the second question, this concept should also be born in mind. It is not always about the money and the softer, emotional, aspects should also be considered. Pride in our country, should be additional motivation to be the best we can be, personally and as a nation.

So, take a bow Emirates Team NZ, you were fantastic ambassadors for NZ, and I for one am grateful and very proud of you.

Good morning and happy Monday,

Here’s hoping today is the day we bring the Auld mug home! Sorry for my friends who are not in NZ, but we have been on high alert for winning the America’s Cup for days and days.

However, it’s not that winning that I am talking about, it’s Lotto. The Powerball has jackpotted again and will be worth $30,000,000, this Saturday to the lucky winner(s)! But are they really lucky?

I’m sure that many of you, like me, will have dreamed of winning Lotto and what we would do with it. New home, cars, help out the family and travel are all popular daydreams. We get quite giddy with anticipation.

Then it’s drawn and yet again our hopes are doused and we go back to the reality of our lives.

Having never won Lotto, I really don’t have any idea what it would feel like to win $30 million or even smaller amounts, but I can imagine it gives greater clarity to those dreams as well as excitement, shock etc! I wonder if it also causes anyone to worry or be anxious about what it really means to their futures. It should.

On average about 90% of lottery winners are broke within 5 years. It seemed like that money would last forever, but they kept dipping into it and then one day there was no longer anything left to dip into! So what to do?

An article in the New York Times suggests that you need to put something between you and stupid!

My suggestion is that you really need to get sound advice, before you do anything at all. By that I mean, investment advice from a certified financial planner, include your accountant if you have one and also get some emotional/psychological support. This win would make an enormous impact on your life emotionally and it is smart to be ready for that.

I, like other Financial Recovery counsellors, am qualified to assist people who come into sudden wealth. Whilst I have written about lottery winners here, sudden wealth can include divorce settlements and inheritance. You might think that neither would happen to you and, if they did, it wouldn’t be worth worrying about. Everything is relative and if you have a sudden injection of cash as above, or even if you sell property, the temptation to just take out a “little bit” can be huge. Those “little bits” add up and before you know it there is a big hole in your cash.

This will be a bit late this morning as I took a break for the first race! It’s not over yet and we will have to have race two this morning as well! The nerves!

Have a great week everyone and I do hope that one of you is lucky on Saturday night! Just be smart if it’s you!

Go Team NZ and get this job done!!

This is today’s Monday Money Motivator. Enjoy and have a great week.