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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There was an interesting article in the NZ Herald on Sunday.

This is my take on the subject!http://https://vimeo.com/124811703

I’d love your comments on this. Do you use credit cards so that you can get air points or other rewards?

Often, when talking to people about the work I do, I tell them that I help people clear their credit card debt once and for all and never have to use a credit card again. For many that sounds like the definition of impossible! They have cleared their debt before, often many times, and know that it just goes back up again.
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Then, when I tell them about the process I use and explain that, if possible, I will get them to commit to not using their credit card at all until I see them next time, I see the horrified looks and panic setting in!

The reason for this is that, like so many people, their credit card is their security blanket! It’s what stands between them and financial disaster if the car breaks down, the child needs orthodontic work, the dog needs surgery, Christmas arrives, someone has a birthday, friends ask them out for dinner, they need a holiday etc etc! It is where they go for “money” when all else fails. I know this, I have done this, more times than I care to remember, but I also knows that it doesn’t work and only makes the situation worse.

I am not going to go into all the other reasons people use credit cards, like air points etc and the reasons why it is better and cheaper to use debit cards or better still cash! Today I am just talking about using them as your back up plan! I have been a bit facetious above with the “emergencies” people use their credit cards for, but I have either given them myself or heard them, and more, many times when people have told me that they only use them for emergencies.

Now, if you are reading this and thinking “but I do only use them for emergencies and then immediately pay them off in full” then fine. Whilst I do think that there is a better way, this message is not primarily for you, but read on because you might be interested in how you could do it differently.

I then go on to explain how I help them save their way out of debt, once and for all!  Doesn’t that sound good? Too good to be true? Not at all. If you follow the method which I teach you, which was developed by Karen McCall of the Financial Recovery Institute, that is exactly what you can do. I never ask people to cut up their credit cards, nor put them in a container of water in the freezer, I just ask them to trust the process, which has worked for thousands and thousands of people, and not use their credit cards until they see me again. As Karen says, “ if you want to get out of a hole, first you must stop digging”!

The other key steps are to pay the minimum on your credit card each month whilst building up a savings account, which we call a Periodic Savings account. Now I can hear all of you with financial backgrounds or those who pay off your credit cards in full every month, exclaiming that this will cost extra because of the interest. Yes, you are right but if you are someone who constantly uses your credit card and can never manage to always pay if off in full every month, then, trust me, this is a much cheaper way in the long run. Remember I teach you how to pay if off, in full, once and for all and to never have credit card debt ever again.

That’s because the Periodic Savings account becomes your security blanket; it’s where you go to get the money to pay the dentist, the vet, the restaurant, the holiday and Christmas! Using a formula I teach you, you can plan for all these and more, and know that you will always have the money available to cover all these events, without having to bring out the credit card. Once this is functioning well we also start another account which we call a “Safety Net” account and here you provide for coverage of all your expenses if you were to have an interruption in income.

So, if you would like to learn how to save your way out of debt, once and for all, use one of the methods below to contact me and we can have a coffee and discuss it further, to see if I can help you.

I’d love your comments about all of this and feel free to share it with your friends either by email or socially below.

Have a great week everyone and give it a try… Can you manage to not use your credit card for the next week?

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

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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I hope you all know that whilst I have the knowledge and expertise to help others sort out their money  woes, I’m not perfect and can still make silly mistakes and mess up myself occasionally!!

This has not been a great week. We have been having the building and windows cleaned and what was supposed to be for one day is now into it’s third! Windows and blinds closed for two days was bad enough but the water blaster nearly did me in! So far today, whilst I still know they’re here (I can hear them on the roof!) at least so far, and cross my fingers, we are being spared the water blaster!!

Then this morning, first at about 6:30 and then an hour later, we had fire alarms. Both seemed to be false alarms and we were quickly allowed back into the building but I still walked down 7 flights of stairs twice!

Then I noticed that $187.03 had come out of my account. Nothing was due, all AP‘s had gone out of my account so I was concerned and rang the bank. To my query on who, I got the answer “Ancestry.co.uk”. I had been trapped by this last year (read slow learner!) when, at the end of my free trial, it automatically renewed for a year! I clearly wasn’t paying as much attention then as I was today and by the time I contacted them it was too late to get a refund! I thought that I might use it, so didn’t cancel it then and of course it has never entered my head since! Not until it auto renewed again! This time I rang them in time at least, and will get the full refund thankfully!

Learnings:-

  1. When they say the  windows are going to be washed, this is not a quiet activity here, so make sure not to plan appointments nor schedule cold calling by phone! An out of office day is much more appropriate!
  2. When considering going into an apartment consider fire alarms. In public buildings they do make you evacuate!
  3. When considering going into an apartment consider fire alarms and remember that if you are on the 7th floor and there is an alarm you will have to walk down 7 flights of stairs! Even worse, if the lift breaks down you will need to go up 7 flights!!
  4. Make sure you read the small print. If a membership, or free trial, will autorenew either cancel it immediately or make sure you put an alarm in your diary/calendar/phone to cancel before the autorenewal date!

OK, I feel better now, so off to enjoy the rest of my week…