The Money Story: A Journey of Awareness

The Money Story: A Journey of Awareness

Have you ever thought about writing your autobiography? Chances are, it sounds daunting! To recapture your life and all that’s happened may take quite a bit of time and energy. Who would you write it this for? Documenting your life experiences would be an interesting read for your family and could serve to pass down some wisdom you have gleaned through your lifetime.

Your Money Story is a piece of each chapter of your life. It is uniquely yours, as there are no two stories that are identical. Although writing your story may feel as daunting as an autobiography, it can be broken down into specific chapters, that when pieced together, can impart some important clues around how your beliefs are driving your emotions around money. Even more interesting, how these are affecting your behavior with money.

Having written my own Money Story, I can attest to many “aha moments” that have given me insight into “why I do what I do” with money. As I have been working on my story for several years, I have learned that by documenting each chapter I have been peeling back layers of messages and emotions that hadn’t been leading to the behavior I knew I wanted to embrace.

We’ve all been given sage advice as to the best ways to manage our money, such as “spend less than you make,” or “pay off your credit card every month.” But turning this guidance into action steps is a struggle for many of us. In my past, I would beat myself up for the decisions I made, because I knew better…

I knew that spending more than I was making wouldn’t turn out well. I knew that my increasing credit card debt was going to lead to more worry, stress, and guilt. I kept asking myself, “what’s wrong with you?”

As it turns out, nothing was wrong with me! The unhealthy money habits were a result of a disconnect I had with my money story: mixed messaging, misguided perceptions, anger, and fear around money made for a perfect blend of a looming disaster. I hit rock bottom twenty- five years ago. I was broke and broken-not able to muster up the energy to tackle the enormity of my situation.  The isolation was the frosting on the cake of my situation and carried my mindset to an all-time low.

It wasn’t until I started digging deep into my story that I could start my own journey to financial confidence. By unraveling my perceptions, and getting curious about my emotions I began to understand my behavior with money. Little by little I began making different types of decisions that were based on the emotional outcome I so desired, using that emotion as a guidepost in my everyday spending decisions. I was in the early stages of changing my goal from paying off a HUGE amount of debt to making decisions that would result in building my confidence.

I have written my Money Story! Each time I reflect on it I have new insights to incorporate into the story, leveraging my awareness of some behavioral blind spots, or messaging that can linger for decades.  The transformation that I have experienced is a big part of why I founded my financial coaching business. I believe that everyone deserves clarity around their money behavior that can lead to a life of stress- free money management. Using our money story as a tool to build awareness, along with a plan to leverage the numbers we are working with can lead to a truly holistic approach to money management.

Brad Klontz, author of “Mind Over Money,” and founder of Yourmentalwealth.com, states, “Recognizing that our financial habits make sense given our history and the beliefs we internalized about money allows us to reflect on our financial mistakes with compassion and grace.”

By authoring your money story, you will triumph over the habits that are holding you back from reaching your financial goals, and give yourself the compassion and grace that will allow you to get un-stuck. Get ready for the next chapter of your Money Story to finally be told from the perspective of confidence!

A Guide to Getting the Best Facilitators for Your Retreat

A Guide to Getting the Best Facilitators for Your Retreat

Planning a retreat can be a daunting task! There is a myriad of details to map out, including the theme for the retreat, the venue, the schedule, and marketing. Whew!

Once these particulars of your retreat are taken care of, it’s time to select a facilitator-the person who will represent your company’s values and make certain that the attendees get the most out of their experience.

Facilitators become “the face” of a single session or group of sessions, and have a major impact on the success of your retreat. So, how do you find the best candidates for such a big role?

DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

In selecting a facilitator there are some key factors to consider:

Experience

Have they done this type of work previously? Facilitating is a unique skill that involves leading a group of people around a specific topic. The person in this role should feel comfortable in front of the number of people attending. The larger the group, the more experience may be warranted in making your selection.

Subject matter

Does the potential candidate have any experience leading discussions about the content of the session? Choosing someone who understands your topic or theme may need less training than other potential facilitators.

Your audience

Can the facilitator create a rapport with your attendees? Selecting someone who can easily establish trust and relate with the participants will be a key factor in making sure the retreat is a success!

Skill Level

The person in this role should have some key proficiencies in facilitation:

Time Management

Making sure your group is working through the agenda in a timely fashion.

Neutrality

An experienced facilitator will understand the importance of remaining impartial while leading a session or group. This allows the participants to be more open to sharing.

Communication

There are several key skills that should be considered:

  1. Can they express the key talking points eloquently?
      • Do they have Active Listening Skills? These include the ability to paraphrase and ask relevant questions to the audience.
      • Can they read the body language of the audience?
        • Can they recognize when there may be a need for an unscheduled break?
        • Is there a need to include someone who appears to be feeling left out? Or is there someone who is dominating a conversation?
        • How would they handle conflict within a discussion?

There is certainly a lot to consider when selecting the facilitator for your upcoming retreat. Their role is significant and can elevate your retreat to creating an uplifting experience for your attendees. By doing your research, vetting the right candidate you can rest assured that your event will be a success.

Today’s Author: Jane Helm is the Principal of Money Mentor Group. As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives. She is a Partner Coach with the Wholistic Coaching Coalition and co-founded the Build Your Own Business networking group. Jane can be reached via email at jane@moneymentorgroup.com

 

 

The Urgency of An Emergency

The Urgency of An Emergency

Start Boosting Your Savings Now!

We’ve all heard the saying. “a penny saved is a penny earned,” but why aren’t we able to save more? The reasons (or excuses) can be varied-some of us are overextended, meaning we are paying out more than we are taking in; for others, it may be a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and for others, it may not seem important.

According to a recent Vanguard study, a majority of Americans have less than $5,000 in their emergency fund. My recent experience with an unforeseen injury proved to me that we all need to bump up our own savings rate. My injury has cost me dearly, both physically, emotionally and FISCALLY! When totaling up the money that I have spent on deductibles and co-pays, I can share that I have spent over three times the five-thousand-dollar figure! One injury, one unforeseen emergency can easily derail a savings fund!

Here are some tips to boost your savings account that center around your everyday habits:

  1. Set a savings goal. How much do you need to cover an unforeseen emergency? A suggested initial amount is the total of three months of all of your fixed expenses. These expenses include the “must haves:” your rent or mortgage, auto loans, utilities, food, and your current financial obligations. Keep your emergency savings in a separate savings account so you can track your progress and earmark it for emergency use only
  2. Bring your lunch to work instead of eating out: The cost to make your lunch is approximately $2.00 vs. the $7.00 for the average lunch eating out. The saving s of $5.00 every weekday is $25.00 a week or $100.00 a month!
  3. Brew your own cup of coffee to go rather than buying t on the way to work. If you spend a minimal amount of $2.00 each workday on your cup of joe, you are out $10.00. By incorporating this new habit, you can put away $40.00 a month!
  4. Take time to evaluate your cell phone plan: are you paying for data that you’re not using? It makes sense to review your minutes and data and lower the plan limits if possible.
  5. If you are trying to pay off credit card debt, incorporate a strategy and stick to it! There are several strategies that can help you pay off your debt: The “Ladder Strategy”, the “Snowball Strategy”, and the “Emotional Trigger Strategy.” Decide which strategy best suits your needs and plan to incorporate this into your monthly budget.
  6. Review your cable bill! How much are you paying to watch TV? Consider a lower cost streaming service to save hundreds over a year!
  7. Go back and review your spending on eating out. How much have you spent in the past month eating out because you were too tired, overwhelmed or just didn’t feel like cooking dinner? Try cutting this amount in half!
  8. Our spending on food also includes grocery shopping. This is a part of the budget that can always use some tweaking! I suggest creating a meal plan before you go to the grocery store: plot out five meals at a time. Then, write down all of the ingredients you will need for those meals. This will eliminate multiple trips to the store, where you may find yourself buying more than you anticipated. To maximize this step, make a map of your grocery store and then make your list accordingly. No more wandering down aisles that you don’t need to visit-this will save you time and money!
  9. How many emails are you getting daily from retailers? You probably signed up for an initial discount offer and now your inbox is full of daily special sales! Each one of these is designed to tempt you to part with your money-simply unsubscribe!
  10. Marie Kondo (“The Art of Tidying Up”) has started a movement of purging our homes! Look around your home-what are you not using? Consider selling items to raise some extra cash!
  11. Here is one of my favorite tips: SAVE YOUR CHANGE! I have been doing this for years! The little amounts you are putting away can definitely add up! Every year, my vacation spending money has been funded by this habit! 

These tips can be easily incorporated into your daily life and will allow you to begin the habit of saving more for your emergency fund. Knowing that you can cover unexpected expenses is a foundational step in building financial confidence!

Today’s Author: Jane Helm is the Principal of Money Mentor Group. As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives. She is a Partner Coach with the Wholistic Coaching Coalition and co-founded the Build Your Own Business networking group. Jane can be reached via email at jane@moneymentorgroup.com

The Power of Group Coaching

The Power of Group Coaching

Brené Brown says “True belonging doesn’t require that we change who we are; it requires that we be who we are.”

Group coaching allows you to be who you are in a group of like-minded people–the ones who are faced with similar challenges and goals. As a participant, you become part of a dynamic form of learning, where you will help others while receiving the support and encouragement from professional coaches and your fellow group members.

Here are some of the powerful benefits of group coaching:

  1. Shared wisdom: Group coaching provides an opportunity to discuss your dreams and goals with similar people and share ideas. It also provides an opportunity to learn from the insights and contributions of others. The learning that occurs in a group from listening to other members’ stories, ideas and concerns provide an insightful mirror for your growth.
  2. Accountability: Group coaching brings an element of accountability to others. This is an awesome motivator when you come to each session to discuss your progress and achievement of goals and the barriers to achievement with others who are empathetic and supportive. You receive constructive feedback from multiple sources, which enriches your own development. Group coaching holds you accountable while still giving you time and space to reflect.
  3. Opportunity to build authentic friendships: Group coaching allows you to make new connections and form authentic friendships with others. It gives you an opportunity, and confidence to explore ways to enrich personal connections. It enhances your own compassion, empathy. By listening to others’ stories, you gain an understanding of your own unique story.
  4. Increase your motivation: This type of coaching is a great motivator. Women often feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Knowing you have the support from other participants as well as from professional coaches will offer the encouragement you need. It builds confidence, and motivates you to keep going with reaching your goals!
  5. Finding your Tribe: By getting to know other group members on a personal level and developing trust with them, you will belong to a group, growing your network of relationships that enrich your life. This type of bonding amongst group members who offer mutual support can act as a powerful catalyst for change.
  6. Affordability: maybe private coaching is out of your financial comfort zone. Group coaching is an affordable option, where you will experience the power of coaching at a fraction of the cost!

At Wholistic Woman Retreats, we like to meet you where you are and offer you opportunities for personal and professional growth. We hope you will consider our group coaching offers as an opportunity to enhance your life while forming new relationships with like-minded women.

As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives.

Fiscal Self-Care

Fiscal Self-Care

Self-care can be described as incorporating practices that increase our mental, physical and spiritual wellness. It’s about taking time to reflect on the parts of your life that leave you feeling drained or overwhelmed, and taking action steps to lower your stress and increase your well-being.

Practicing self-care can often take a back seat to the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. We can forget how important it is to make sure we nurture ourselves so that we can show up as our best selves for those that are counting on us-as the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup!”

Financial self-care is no different! By taking a few steps you can begin to re-nourish your perspective about your money mindset and increase your overall sense of wellness.

Here are some steps you can take to begin the practice of self-care with your finances:

  • Take some quiet time to reflect on your short-and long-term goals. How are your financial decisions supporting these goals? How can you change your approach to making financial decisions to facilitate these goals?
  • Try using new self-talk about your approach to money: stifle that inner critic!
  • Instead of saying, “I am bad with money,” try saying, “I am learning more about how to manage my money.”
  • Rather than “I can’t afford it,” try saying,” This is not in my current spending plan.”
  • Replace, “I’ll never be able to (go on vacation, get out of debt, purchase a home) with, “I am learning to make financial decisions the will help me reach my financial goals.”
  • Make a Money Journal: this can help serve as a place to dream and reflect on the positive steps you are taking in increasing your financial wellness!
    • Use one section for your goals and dreams. Use pictures that will give you a visual reminder of what you want your money to do for you!
    • Label another section for tracking your financial decisions. Pay close attention to how you were feeling when you made those decisions! Were you spending extra to make up for some negative emotion that you were experiencing? What did you purchase? How much did this cost you fiscally and emotionally?
    • Make a section for giving yourself an “Atta Girl” moments: have you decided not to spend and actually put that money into a savings account? Make sure you give yourself recognition for taking a step towards your savings goals. Give yourself some gold stars!
  • Reward Yourself! We have all been conditioned to be rewarded for doing something well. I am a strong believer in rewards! Find ways of rewarding yourself without sabotaging your budget or your goals! Make a list of affordable rewards so that you (and your family) can feel rewarded without derailing the positive steps you have been taking with your money.

Self-care is vital to a holistic approach to our lives! Financial self-care will enhance all areas of your life mind, body, and spirit! By incorporating these tips, you will feel an increased sense of optimism about your future, and new-found confidence in your financial wellbeing!