Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Archive for August, 2011

Tips for the Emotional Spender!

Emotional spending has two basic components. One is when
you spend money on things that are not needed or really wanted.  The second is when you spend money because you
are unhappy or stressed out. Uncontrolled emotional spending can lead to
financial ruin.  To make better financial
decisions, it is important to understand and manage our emotions.       

Emotional triggers come from external and internal sources.  External influences like advertisers spend
millions of dollars appealing to your emotions so you will buy their products.  Manufacturers have influenced our society by
promoting holidays and all kinds of reasons to spend money.  Holidays like Valentine’s Day (to prove you
love someone), Easter, Christmas and even back to school have become commercialized
for big sales days.  Today more women
work outside the home and we are made to feel like we must compensate for not
being there.  So we buy our children
things.  These factors increase emotional
spending by making us feel ‘bad’ if we don’t.  

We can limit advertisers influence on our spending.  Here are a few things you can do:

a.      
Stay out of the Malls

b.     
Opt out of credit card offers  

c.      
Sign up for the Do Not Mail Registry 

d.     
Install an ad blocker on the computer

e.      
Unsubscribe to emails from stores and catalog mailings

f.      
Block TV sites like QVC, the Shopping Channel, etc…

  Internal factors and tips for women who are
spending emotionally.

1.  Self
esteem issues- not feeling special.
 When you don’t get the respect and
recognition from others you feel you deserve, you decide to give it to yourself
by shopping.  When you take care of everyone
else and don’t take care of yourself on a regular basis, you then feel like you need to do something for yourself even if the item purchased
is not needed. 

Tips – Get in touch with your feelings.  Just before you spend money ask yourself; Am
I feeling less than?  Often women don’t
ask for what they need from others. 
Getting better communication skills and managing your environment will
give you a sense of control and power.  When
we have control we become powerful and will make good decisions in our lives
and our finances. 

2. Stress-
We all react to stress differently. 
The brain and our hormones play a big part in how we feel and react
to stress. There are actual changes in the brain that occur when we spend
money. The elation we may get from shopping only provides temporary relief
to stress. We must deal with the cause of the stress and find other ways
to deal with your emotions.  Do a
check up from the neck up! 

Tips    Understand
how you react to stress personally.  Try
replacing spending money with other things you like to do.  Exercising, dancing and spending time with a
friend or family.  Do things that don’t
cost money. Go to a park. There are plenty of free resources.  Seek them out!  Watch out for emotional triggers. Ask
yourself, am I angry? Stressed?  Lonely? If
so handle that emotion before spending money!

3.  Buying
on impulse
. 
You go in the store for one thing and then purchase five other
things.  These impulses can wreck a
budget if you’re not careful.  Rationalization
is part of impulse buying.  You tell
yourself “If I don’t buy it now I will not get the opportunity again”. Purchasing
things that you know you can’t afford. 
The use of credit cards allows this reasoning to flourish.  

Tips – Go to stores with a list.  Stick to it! 
Take a friend with you who will hold you accountable for what you say
you are going spend.  Make a decision to
give yourself at least 24 hours from the point of looking to the point of
buying.  Leave credit cards home and
carry only the cash you mean to spend.

Have a budget and follow it.  Budget for
necessary expenditures and a little emotional spending. If you can’t
afford it, don’t buy it! You don’t want to incur excess debt. Keep track of
your spending.  $1 here and there adds
up.  Too many small bills can go
fast.  Did you ever notice what happens
when you break a $20?

I want women to live
smarter not harder. Emotions influence the way women spend money. By taking
control of your environment and your feelings you can pay your bills and exercise
power over your finances.  With this
information we will create a better future for ourselves and our children.  It’s all about financial intelligence and being
powerful women.

                                                           
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What’s going on with your money?

With all this talk about the impending national debt
default, it brings up so many financial questions in our own lives.  Our personal finances are reflected in the
way our cities, states, federal and countries operate theirs.  We’re spending too much, saving too little,
giving away money without regard to its return. Our personal finances are in
disarray. We feel like we’re working for nothing, living from paycheck to
paycheck and robbing Peter to pay Paul. 
Our children are coming back home sometimes because they can’t make it.  What are we to do?  We all need to look at the future as well as
the present when we organize our finances.

As a coach, I want to help people get their
personal finances organized and profitable. Having your finances together will
relieve stress, enhance relationships with our spouses, children, and friends
and help create purpose in our careers.  Many
great changes in history have started from ground up! Why can’t our
finances?  Let’s look at some ways we can
start to recapture our sanity in relationship to our money.

There is no shame in not having a lot of money. When you carry the
shame it zaps your energy. Makes you feel like depressed.  Makes you want to spend money like you
perceive others do without consequence.  This then becomes a vicious cycle. 
I’m a sucker for a sale. But do I need it or do I just want
it?

Most baby boomers grew up knowing their parents may not have been able to “give” them everything. So what we did was PLAN on taking care of ourselves. We knew there may be no help around.

Part of a plan is to
  1. Create a Livable budget.
    Livable is the key. Don’t be so strict you can’t follow it.
  2. Distinguish between ‘needs’
    and ‘wants’.  Sprinkle your budget
    with reasonable wants. 
  3. Track your spending.  You would be amazed at how much money is
    ‘wasted’.  Those cups of coffee and
    bagels everyday can add up.

There are many other things we can do which I will cover in
future blogs. What makes your budget “Livable?”

Are you an emotional spender?

How do you spend your money? 
Are you a penny pincher?  Free
spirit?  Both?  Most of us are a combination of the two.  Today’s society has promoted an” I want it
now” attitude.  Credit cards are at the
base of that attitude.  The average
American household with at least one credit card has nearly $10,700 in credit
card debt.   Cities, states and even countries are going
broke because they haven’t managed their finances.  By being able to buy what you can’t afford,
we feed the ability to not pay attention to the money we spend.  If we are not paying attention mentally then
we will be lead by our emotions.   Who is an “emotional “spender?  Basically it’s the person who is spending
money impulsively on things they don’t necessarily want or need.

 Here are 3 things
that an emotional shopper might say:

1.       I
don’t have time to look for sales.  I shop
for convenience

2.       I
have to have it!  I deserve it because…

3.       Its
Christmas (Valentine’s Day
etc) and I have to provide gifts like everyone else does.   If not, I will be a “bad” parent, friend or
family member.

Loving yourself is the emotion you need to hold on to.  Spending money carelessly is actually is
selfish.  How? You might say but I’m
buying FOR someone else!  Not myself.  I’m giving to others so how could I be
selfish?  Well if you don’t have the money
you are spending, you are not thinking of your future and maybe putting it in jeopardy
by putting yourself in debt.  You are important in this equation.

If you want to have enough money to do what you really
need and want you have to exercise discipline.  Ask yourself – Do I (or my family/ friend) need this
thing I’m going to buy or do they just want it?  Do I have the money (best way is cash) to
purchase it or am I setting myself back trying to please someone else?

Since women take a prominent role in teaching the next
generation and we are naturally somewhat emotional at times, we need to THINK
about our money not FEEL  our purchases.  The benefit of managing your money is that
you will get what you need and want and we
will help the next generation reach prosperity.

Have you made a purchase that was based on emotion that you
later thought about and regretted?  
Share your experiences so we can helpeach other.

How to vacation on a shoestring budget!

Summer is here! Kids are out of school.  Everyone loves to get away from the day to
day drudgery and stress.  When we think
about getting away we usually think about the Caribbean, Europe
or someplace exotic.  Then we look at our
pockets and get “depressed”.  So what can
we do?  Is the “good life” only for the
rich and famous?  NO!  Not if you make a few modifications in your
mind, your pockets and your expectations.

            First let’s
look at the purpose of a vacation.  The #1
reason is to get away and relax.  #2 is having
fun with friends and family and #3 is exploring new adventures while expanding
your view of the world by seeing something new.  So why do we need to go far away?  Look in your own backyard!  Like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, “There’s no
place like home!”

Where ever you live there is something to see! I am in New York. I often speak
to a lot of New Yorkers who have not seen the many wonders of this city.  How about you? Every city has history, old
neighborhoods, all types of museums etc. State parks are a hidden treasure.
They have camping areas and some have free activities for kids and adults.  Tap into your local Department of
Tourism.  You’d be surprised at the gems
around you.    

            Here are
the top 3 ways to have a vacation on a modest budget.

  1. Plan
    for it!  Most banks and credit
    unions offer vacation clubs.  You
    can put a few dollars away each paycheck and get a lump sum in time to
    plan (and pay for) your vacation.
  2. Look
    for discounts! Many places offer discounts if you are traveling off
    season. Websites like Kayak.com offer comparisons of websites offering
    deals on hotel rooms, rental cars and packages. Check with your job. Many
    offer corporate discounts on car rentals, theme parks, city sites etc. Organizations
    like AAA and AARP offer discounts on the same even though you have to join
    and pay an annual fee.
  3. Drive!
    Save the cost of airline, train or bus tickets and put the money in your
    gas tank.  Especially if you are
    traveling with more than 2. If you do drive, a little preparation goes
    along way.
    1. Get
      your car checked by a mechanic. 
      Oil changes, wheel alignments, proper tire inflation etc will help
      in fuel efficiency and safety.
    2. Drive
      at a constant speed. Use your cruise control. Gas is wasted with Herky
      Jerky driving!
    3. Plan
      your route!  In the age of the GPS
      we tend to forget about maps. Carry one with you in the car.  I have been on the dirt road that leads
      to nowhere following my GPS.

These are just a few suggestions.  What were your best “bargain” vacations?  Share your thoughts. Enjoy the summer!