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….

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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!

Are you still using?

March 20, 2014

I hope Cyclone Lusi didn’t do too much damage where you are (if you’re in NZ or the Pacific Islands). I had a wonderful weekend with 3 of my greatest friends staying for the weekend! Such wonderful fun, with lots of good food and wine thrown in for good measure! 1912198_519433521498949_479782641_n

As you know I am a great advocate of using debit cards, not credit cards and it was great to see that NZ is listening!  Statistics for card use in February in NZ showed that 54.1% of it was on debit cards with the remainder on credit cards. That was on 108 million transactions worth an average of $53!! I still find those numbers mind boggling, don’t you?

“The value of electronic card spending on retail rose 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted $.58 billion in February, according to Statistics New Zealand.” (NZ Herald, March 11, 2014)

Are you still using a credit card or debit card?  Go to my Facebook page ( see the link below) and answer the poll. Get your friends and and family to participate too.

Have a great week  and as always I value your feedback.

Lululemon

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 http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ 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.

2215145_blogTwo weeks today ( here in NZ anyway!) we will probably have eaten or be eating our Christmas dinner and the shopping and hurly burly will be a distant memory….hopefully anyway!

Everything you read at the moment is reflecting on the life and death of Nelson Mandela. He was a wonderful man and one of my personal heroes. I remember having an interview at Bayer for a promotion sometime in the mid 80’s and being asked about someone I admired. I said Nelson Mandela. I was challenged on this because he was in prison and was often called a terrorist. (He was only taken off the US’s list of terrorists in 2008!) I’m not sure what my words were but I can remember my passion in delivering my defense of my choice!

I am a passionate rugby fan but my first ever protest march was in Christchurch in 1981, against the Springbok tour. I didn’t watch rugby at all for several years after that!

I am sad at his passing but very glad and grateful for his life and example. I cannot believe that I would have shown the same spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation if I had been imprisoned for 28 years!

Now  to the 12 shopping days left before Christmas! In my MMM of November 11, I gave you some tips about shopping for Christmas. If you haven’t finished your shopping, and I hope you have, relook at them.

This is a very stressful time and it is important to make plans for what you are going to buy and for whom and, of course, where and when! If you can, try and shop in the morning whilst you are freshest and the day is cooler. It tends to be less busy too. Also the earlier you shop on the 12 days the better. The closer to Christmas, the busier it is, the more tired and stressed you are and therefore more likely to spend more money just to be able to cross that person and gift off the list!

As always, I advise that you shop with cash. Debit or EFTpos cards are good alternative options. The reason for this is that you can only spend the money you have and have to stop when you run out! Not only do credit cards allow you to spend money that you don’t have, but research has shown, as I’ve mentioned before, that you spend 20% more when using a credit card as opposed to debit cards! If your spending plan allows for eg $400 for gifts and you spend 20% more, that is an extra $80. I’m sure, like me, there is a lot you would rather do with that $80.

Also try and keep yourself in the moment ie concentrate on what you are doing rather than thinking about all the other things that are on your list to do. It is safer. Yesterday, I wasn’t doing that and was crossing the road when cars started tooting their horns at me. It wasn’t the buzzer for me to cross but rather the other side one! Could have been messy!

Also by being in the now, you tend to be much more effective and things get completed more quickly!

Have a great week everybody and be kind to yourself! It is stressful and the more you can do to reduce that, the better for everyone. Stressed people can be rather cranky!

 

 

 

5158257_mLast week I entitled my MMM (Monday Money Motivator) – It’s not too late!

In it I gave you some tips on Christmas and holiday spending. I had some very favourable comments so it did seem to strike a chord with you.

 

In some ways “it’s not too late” could be the title for this week’s MMM too!

 

Two recent pieces of news attracted my attention.

  1. That credit card spending was going up … “Actual retail sales on electronic cards were up 7 percent to $6 billion in October from the same month a year earlier.” http://bit.ly/1iXID9F
  2.  There is a prediction that interest rates will rise http://bit.ly/1cgzkzg. Many commentators predict that this could be as high as 2%.

I must state again that I am not a financial advisor, but am talking about this because these two factors together could make huge a huge impact on people’s spending plans.

 

In the second article …“Mortgage broker Geoff Bawden calculates for every $100,000 borrowed, a 1% rise will add $64 to a weekly mortgage payment. “ It also said that the average mortgage in Auckland was $400,00, so for that “average” mortgage that would mean an additional $256 a WEEK that you would have to find. Monthly that would be $1109! That is for an increase of 1% … double that for 2%!! $2218. That is a lot of money to find in most of the spending plans ( budgets) I see.

 

I don’t bring these to your attention to scare you, but rather to persuade you to act now, especially if you are affected by both pieces ie you are using credit cards more than you did last year (especially if you are not able to pay them off every month) and your mortgage repayments may significantly increase next year.

 

Take these steps:-

  1. Stop using your credit cards now!! Revert to cash or debit/eftpos cards. Research shows that your spending on credit cards is likely to be about 20% more than it would on debit cards and that number is even higher when compared to cash! Then work very hard to get them paid off ASAP. If mortgage rates rise you can guarantee that so will the interest rates on credit cards!
  2. Relook at your spending plan for Christmas and the holidays and reduce the spending where possible.
  3. Get help now. Don’t leave it until you are in trouble; do what you can to prevent it happening. Remember that I offer a free chat over coffee. If time and or location make that impossible we can always have a virtual chat by phone of Skype!

Whatever you do, take action now and get yourself better prepared for what could come in the New Year! If the interest rates don’t rise think how much you could pay off your principal instead!!

 

I hope I haven’t put too much of a dampener on your Monday, but just know I am doing it with your best interests in mind! Please don’t bury your head in the sand; it will be that much easier if you act now!! You will feel much better if you are proactive.

If you have  a mortgage are you making any plans on how you might manage the increased interests rates? Is your mortgage on a fixed interest rate? Please share your thoughts below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.