Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Thinking and Doing

Have you ever started a project then found out you were missing a key piece of information, a required tool, or important ingredient? Typically when you set out to build something you organize your plans, set aside the time, gather your materials and with eager anticipation you begin. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when you reach for something you’re sure you have, or that you know was working a minute ago – and – at the moment you’re ready to move forward – nothing. It won’t start, it’s missing, it just can’t be found.

Financially, this situation can occur in many ways, often when you’re looking for a receipt to return something to the store or at tax time. It might also show up when you’re sure you transferred money, paid a bill or sent a notice to change something in your financial portfolio, and based on your belief that that transaction had been completed, you set out to do something else only to discover that there wasn’t sufficient funds, or the bill didn’t get paid and you were charged fees, or your transaction wasn’t completed.

Whatever the situation is, the result is lost time, lost money, lost opportunity and stress. Unfortunately, these situations occur regularly and because our lives are bombarded with increasing amounts of information and ‘to do’s’ the day-to-day stress of handling even basic financial transactions can leave you overwhelmed, exhausted and intimidated to take on anything different.

Think about it: finding someone to talk to, making an appointment, completing the paperwork, filing the paperwork, getting set up to access, monitor and track the new account, strategy, or system, making sure there is proper paper and electronic bookkeeping for tax purposes, passwords, yearly accounting, perhaps record keeping for estate purposes, plus ongoing marketing information that comes in the statements and by email, and making sure you have proper security because it seems that someone, somehow will find a way to try to defraud you of your identity and your money. All this and that doesn’t include the overwhelming volume of choices to make in the first place

Let me tell you a story before you jump to conclusions that this message is just going to be another one of those pieces of information strategically designed to add to your stress, or full of empty promises.

A few weeks ago the newly launched MoneyMinding Foundation finally has its online programs ready to go live. Maybe you were one of the people who got excited about our mVillage and Project M home study program. Well, it turns out we (and about a dozen other companies) fell through a ‘corporate crack’ with 2 of the companies who were key ‘ingredients’ to our launch suddenly not supporting each other. We are a start up non-profit so didn’t have a lot of options except to find other solutions. Unfortunately those solutions don’t happen over night. This means our program launch has been more or less ‘on hold’ while we respond to your questions by email and phone and set up new systems.

All this is an important principle that has been put into practice during these past few weeks. That principle involves both thinking and doing. Actually, it’s more accurate to say it involves ‘not thinking’, and doing because of the significant connection between our thoughts and our actions which ultimately determine our outcome. This is likely not new information for anyone reading today, but perhaps the concept of ‘not thinking’ might be.

Our situation occurred after plans and strategies and resources were put in place and tested. This is different, than jumping out of the gate before preparing. Sometimes moving forward happens before all the specific plans and strategies are in place and that is part of the overall plan. Sometimes certain pieces are required and you will put a lot of time and energy and money into getting them ready before you move forward. Having a plan and rolling it out, to come up against an unexpected ‘curve ball’ is one thing. Not having a plan or strategy and jumping ahead and running into unexpected challenges is another thing. The latter situation will likely require you to go back to planning and strategizing. The former requires faith, patience and perseverance.

When you’re hit with a ‘curve ball’ in your plans, especially when you’re already cramming a lot of activity into a short period of time and you have expectations for a certain result to happen a certain way, at a certain time, your stress response is triggered by your thoughts being upset at the unexpected ‘problem’ that has to be resolved. The natural instinct is to immediately turn our thoughts towards finding a solution. When this happens it creates a distraction from all the enthusiasm, peace, hope, and enjoyment that the original plan or activity held.

This diversion away from the excitement will unfortunately create a pattern of thought that determines a pattern of behaviour and ultimately the results we experience. The original positive experience has now been turned into a problem solving process where we are taken out of the good while you work to regain control of the situation. The problem with problem solving like this is that ultimately you are constantly thinking while under stress which means that the solutions you come up with will be influenced by your need to remove the stress and regain control, not necessarily to achieve the original outcome.

Back to my story: our situation had obvious financial consequences in terms of time and money. The immediate response is to ‘solve the problem fast’. However, that thought process led to a full array of possibilities each with a variety of consequences and outcomes. This in turn led to overwhelm, which led to a state best described as analysis paralysis. I’m sure you know what I mean: too many options, not enough time, big consequences of making a “wrong” choice.

The answer ultimately is to STOP, breathe, pray, write, and wait, yet keep moving. The ultimate solution is to do what you can, when you can, with what you can – essentially to stop thinking, yet keep doing. Because the process of pushing through and searching endlessly for a ‘quick fix’ to get you back on track to get the results means you’re reinforcing thought patterns that ultimately are not conducive to experiencing those results we’re all looking for – financial or otherwise.

With all this actually still going on in the life of The MoneyMinding Foundation, I thought it valuable to share the situation with you. This is a real life situation that will show up in one way or another for all of us that can easily send us into a downward spiral of stress and keep us stuck if we don’t STOP the cycle of trying to control all the circumstances instead of staying calm and staying the course.

The Still Small Voice for Success

 He [The Lord] says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

What is it about an image of beautiful scenery that inspires us to feel calm and serene?  In the brief moment that we glance at the image we can imagine the calm and peacefulness of the moment.  If we pause long enough we might even be able to imagine the ripple of the waves, the tenderness of a soft breeze, the warmth of the sun, the vividness of the colours, and the fresh smell of the clean air.

There is a longing that is ignited in our spirit when we see these images that for most of us are rare experiences in our day-to-day reality.  For some high performing people these moments might be almost non-existent.   On a daily basis we are flooded with responsibilities that occupy our thoughts and fuel our activity.  When we do find a few minutes to relax, there is the sound of the street, the humming of electrical appliances, and the constant interruption of some sort of electronic device:  phone, email, text, radio, TV…

What’s upsetting most about the stress of modern day living is that our new reality of electronic communication is training us to have short attention spans and to be dependent on the constant input.  Many people actually find it difficult to ‘unplug’ even for a few minutes.

Often the first activity of the day morning is to check a phone or computer to see who has said what throughout the night.  And from this moment on, throughout the day the phone and computer are constantly being monitored for incoming communication.

This morning, in the span of an hour, I found myself looking at my phone for new messages several times just because it was there.  It has become a habit, that even when the buzz of a new message isn’t interrupting my thoughts its actually programmed into my thinking to check to see what’s waiting for me.   And I know I’m not alone!

As a society, our modern conveniences are actually making it difficult to concentrate.  They are shortening our attention span and interrupting our creativity.  Overall, we are not just losing our serenity; we are changing our ability to think.  I’m reminded of a profound comment a few years ago when my family billeted a few children from Africa.  The instructions to host families were that there was to be no television or electronics for the visiting children because those devices would have a negative impact on their creativity and talent.  Whoa.  Wait a second.  What about our own children then?  What about us adults who are so caught up in communicating online that we are burning ourselves out with the constant multi-tasking and constant recovery from the barrage of interruptions?

Even as I write this message I have the periphery of emails coming into my inbox flashing on my screen (yes, I could turn it off, I just forgot because I’m used to communicating electronically throughout the day).  On top of what we can visually see visually see on our computer screens there is also the pixilation of our screen as a whole that is a constant moving image.  We just don’t consciously see it, but our brains are required to process and interpret this movement.

What does all this have to do with success?  Perhaps it’s obvious to you, as it’s becoming more obvious to me in recent months and years, but sometimes we need to be reminded and certainly we can all benefit by educating our young people on the stress of constant ‘noise’, input, and electronic communication.

God created us to connect to Him:  the all mighty, all knowing, all powerful.  Our modern society is becoming more and more distanced from His Holy Spirit.  We are also becoming more and more distanced from the powers even of our own thinking, let alone His.  We are becoming like waves tossed in the ocean; fallen leaves gathering together in piles that initially are fun, but which over time end up composting from the elements.  We’re all doing it and we’re barely recognizing the ‘death’ it’s causing in our peace and ultimately in our success.

The calling from a beautiful scenery picture that speaks to your spirit is likely screaming at you to slow down and be still.  God promises to provide for ALL our needs.  But we have to stop to listen to him.  The serenity we crave will enable us to hear God speak to us in a way that will guide our thoughts, which will guide our words, our actions, and our results.  What provides this peace in our spirits and souls?  The kind we sense when we gaze longingly at these beautiful images? If you look long enough you’ll find that this kind of peace doesn’t come from financial success, or the satisfaction of a good workout, healthy meal, or job well done, or even the connection to your friends and family.  You find peace in your soul because you have been still long enough to ‘hear’ God speak to you in way that means something to you personally in whatever situation or circumstance you find yourself in.  And all the other things:  finances, health, relationships, success, etc. are the results God says will follow. (Mat 6:33, Luke 12:31 and more)

Because money seems to be as important as oxygen for survival in modern day living, and because money is a tool that can provide us with experiences that provide us with peace, joy, and serenity we naturally experience financial rewards as success and peacefulness.  But it’s important that we put all this into perspective and recognize that we have to interrupt the ‘busyness’ and constant stimulation in order to experience God’s peace long enough to actually let Him guide us in the areas of success that are important for each of us individually.

The peace we all desire will be reflected differently in each of our lives:  relationally, physically, financially, and emotionally.  I, for one, am aware of the stress caused by the day-to-day barrage of interruptions and its overall negative impact on the peace in my life in ALL of these areas.  It’s the spiritual success that will provide this peace that will ultimately provide the success in the other areas also, but with the peace in whatever your current situation is, ultimately it won’t even matter – how ironic is that!?

I know in my own life and for many others, that some of these modern day communication methods have programmed my own thinking so it’s much harder to enjoy downtime during hours that have conventionally been recognized as ‘work hours’.  As I write this I challenge you, I am also challenging myself, to identify the ‘noise’ in your life and to recognize its addictive power over your peace.  Then, armed with this insight ask the Lord to help you to break free from the addiction to begin to experience more of the stillness He wants us to have so he can speak into our lives.  This way He can guide us to the success He has planned for each of us in a way that will bring glory to Him in the process.

The Eye of the Storm

Money has a way of stirring up a hurricane in our lives.  Whether something happens from a an unexpected event or whether it’s a decision that needs to be made about buying, borrowing, or investing, on a day-to-day basis, money affects EVERY area of our life.

Navigating the real-life challenges and day-to-day money decisions in your life requires a certain amount of knowledge, skill and confidence depending on the situation.  Applying all three of these areas at the right time and in the right way is a process and also requires faith.  It’s all these things working together that can create the calm in the midst of some of the biggest financial storms.

Money isn’t just technical know how.  Whether we like it or not, throughout the ages money has power and is a very emotional, controversial subject.  Bringing God, Money and Real Life together is equally as controversial and emotional but also provides a foundation for God’s blessings for powerful results beyond what we could potentially ask or imagine on our own.   

Beginning Friday, September 7th from noon 1:00 pacific time for 4 weeks during the season of transition from the relaxing, bright sunshine of summer, to the cooler, busier days of fall, I invite you to join me on a journey through the storm to discover and apply God’s wisdom to real-life money decision making today.

The program includes 4 live and recorded Teleseminar lessons and weekly homework so that by the end of September you will have fresh new insights about integrating God’s word and real-life money knowledge for earning, managing and maintaining wealth today.  The objective is to discover and apply the learning so that by the end of the month you will have new knowledge, new skills, and an action plan for you to incorporate this information into your own life.

Plus, if you’re a financial professional or counsellor who works with people and their money, you will have new tools, strategies and resources to help others navigate turbulent money situations.

Registration is $99 here, or in keeping with the principles of giving and sharing, you can also make a donation of any amount here in order to participate.

If you register and pay in full before the end of day Friday, August 31st you will also receive access to the full original MoneyMinding Makeover course valued at $250.  This program has produced worldwide testimonials because it provides simple, sequential steps of short information pages, followed by the exercises, templates, questionaires and specifics needed to implement the information into your life.  It is timeless, generic, powerful information that is not and has not been taught in school or by mainstreem financial educators!

If you’re not sure you can make all the sessions live, that’s ok.  You’ll have access to all the recordings and materials and an opportunity to interact and ask questions with the group regardless.  And if you still have questions or are not sure if this is the right program for you, call me directly at 250-592-0457 pacific time.

Blessings,

Tracy

PS – There is so much unsettling financial news today.  Now we also have hurricane Isaac occupying the news and adding to the unsettling financial news.  Thousands of years ago, Abraham trusted God with a very unsettling situation and acted in faith with preparing to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  No doubt there was great turmoil throughout this interaction before God stepped in and provided the sacrificial lamb instead of Isaac.  Today I pray for the families affected by hurricane Isaac and I pray that there is no financial hurricane causing turmoil in your life, or if there is, that you are able to weather the storm and find the peace that surpasses understanding in the eye of the storm.

Why does it seem so difficult to apply financial knowledge to get real results?

I’d like to invite you to join me in September for and exploration of God, Money and Real Life.  If the bible has so much to say about how to manage our money and there seems to be such a growing volume of people offering financial education, why do the studies also show that there is also a growing number of people struggling financially?

  • Could it by that there is a resistance to the information?
  • Could it be that vast numbers of people deny that additional financial information is important or could make a difference?
  • Could it be that the personal application of the information isn’t understood?
  • Could it be that many people just assume they already know how what to do to manage their money and make good financial decisions based on what they’ve done or learned in the past?
  • Could it be that much of the information being taught today is still only half the story?

Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that money, and in particular God and Money together, are:

  • Essential topics today
  • Controversial topics today
  • Require a fresh new look in order to create the paradigm shift so many people desperately need in their lives as it relates to money today.

I invite you to join me on a 4 week journey beginning Friday, September 7th at noon pacific to discover and apply some of God’s foundational principles of money as it relates to real life today.  The objective isn’t just more knowledge.  The objective is application, which means getting results.  And I promise you that with God’s blessing, it has the potential to provide the missing link between His living word about money, and your own life situation.

What qualifies me to teach about God, Money and Real Life?  For over 20 years I’ve been working in financial services; over 15 years ago God gave me insights to a missing link between financial information and the real-life application of that information; and his purpose for my life to share this information has taken me on a journey that sometimes feels like Joseph’s journey during the period of time from the pit to Pharaoh’s Palace:  a persevering spirit guided by the Lord.

We’ll cover:

  • Where to start?
  • What are your money goals (and why)?
  • How do you get from where you are to where God wants you to go?
  • Our financial systems are more complicated today than thousands of years ago, what do you need today to apply real life      with God’s plan for you and your money?

Here’s how it works:

1.  Register today by either:

a)  ordering online here, or

b)  making a donation here, or

c)  contacting me directly to make arrangements
2.  Before the program begins on September 7th, I will send you online access.  Depending on the total number of registered, we will either meet for our weekly sessions by phone, or by online video access.

3.  Each week we’ll meet as a group for the lessons and discussion, and each week I’ll provide you with follow up materials and ‘homework’.

4.  If you aren’t able to make a session, or if you’re away, that’s ok, because all the weekly sessions and follow up materials will be archived and available online.  The online access will also include an opportunity for you to share thoughts ideas and questions and to communicate with others in the program if you chose.

Hope you can make it and looking forward to sharing more with you.

~ Tracy

PS – If you’re just not sure, then please visit www.deathbymoney.com to order your copy of my new book, The Death by Money Report, to get the background information and to find out why this message so important today!

God, Money and Real Life

God says “But forget all that was in the past — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18,19

Because, “The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22

The Past:

In 1997 while still practicing as a top investment advisor for one of Canada’s largest investment firms, I began developing the concepts that have formed the basis of the MoneyMinding programs and materials.  In 1999, God revealed himself in a dramatic way by sending an angel to our 3 year old daughter.  In 2001, both my husband and I accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour and He has lead us on an amazing journey with some real-life challenges ever since.

This journey has so far included some of life’s biggest stressors:  a tax re-assessment and bankruptcy, a sudden close family member death, close family member cancer, another close family member messy divorce with kids involved, multiple moves, and a seemingly endless list of every day challenges with bills, cars, kids, family, etc. etc.

In 2005, we had an initial exciting financial revival after a few rough years, with a new home and successful business launch only to be met with challenges that grew out of trusting some people who had their own agenda including attempting securities fraud with my company, MoneyMinding.

There comes a point in life when you know that the Lord has plans for your life, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11) and that His grace is (and always has been) sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) to provide the courage to glorify Him through my life. (Philippians 1:20)

The Present:

The intersection of knowledge and faith came together to save my / our life in 2011.  The Holy Spirit spoke loud and clear that I was not to continue with the consultant’s plan to provide funding for the company in the public market the way he had been setting it up.  Everyone on the team was encouraging me to continue because the process had taken over a year longer than expected and money was scarce at best, and stress levels were off the chart.  The overall theme was to ‘get the money’ and get missing information later.  The process was halted and the team perceived that I had sabotaged everyone’s financial windfall.  In reality several months later, I did get the answers to the questions that had been mounting.  The funding ‘scheme’ was confirmed to be illegal and I was being set up to be responsible for the illegal activity.

Thank you Lord, for intervening when knowledge left questions and man was misleading me.

My husband, daughter and I were left with no money, minimal income, a mountain of debt, an entire mountain range of corporate administrative clean up, and no expertise or resources to carry on and re-build.  Yet the Lord has been faithful and has provided strength, money, people, encouragement and wisdom to maintain our bills, home, credit, marriage, and our health.

Surviving a devastating financial upheaval takes courage, it takes wisdom, and it takes God’s love to hold you through the long days of hard work and tough decisions.  Sometimes its only because He’s there that getting out of bed in the morning is even possible.

The Future:

My prayer is that you do not have to experience a major financial stress anywhere close to this.  Unfortunately, as I have written about in my new book, The Death by Money Report, the reality is that most people will experience some sort of financial uncertainty and struggle during their lifetime.  It could be from job loss, health issues, death, divorce, business failure, investment loss, accumulated debt, or a seeming inability to earn enough money to live the life you once hoped to be able to live.

Seven years after starting the company and marketing the information corporately, the Holy Spirit is prompting me to share the biblical principles that have combined with my technical expertise to help others navigate the world of personal finance today.  He is indeed doing a ‘new thing’ (Isaiah 43:18,19) and there is ‘no sorrow’ or ‘painful toil’ for it (Proverbs 10:22).  The principles have always been the foundation of the MoneyMinding programs; however, I have only recently started sharing with the body of Christ, the biblical integration.

Beginning September 7th, at noon Pacific, I invite you to join me for a 4 week journey:  God, Money, and Real Life.  I’ll share principles, strategies and action plans you can put into practice to experience the Holy Spirit’s power working in your finances and your life today.   God says, He can do ‘immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20).  I encourage you to join me to experience fresh insights from His living word and from the voice of experience, and expertise.  My desire is that you will be able to apply these concepts to your own situation to realize results you didn’t before think were possible!

The program is $99 for the four, 1 hour live and recorded audio sessions plus ‘homework’.  But, in keeping with God’s principles for prosperity, you can also make donations of any amount that will fit with your current situation.  If you aren’t able to attend the live sessions, that’s ok too, they will be recorded and you can still participate on your own time, including being able to ask questions and share your results.

Order here

Donate here

When your order and / or donation has been received you will receive information within 24 – 48 hours with further details and welcome instructions!

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you and to experiencing the Lord’s work in and through all of us as we journey forward together!

Abundant blessings,

Tracy

PS – This program is the first of many ‘new things’ as I also prepare to share the creative financial planning strategies and support from my long time friend and greatly admired financial advisor, Dan Loney (www.loneyfinancial.com).  He and I have discussed co-authoring a book on debt for almost 10 years now; I have come close to working with him several times in the past; and look forward to helping him expand his biblical program on financial management called, The Joseph Principle.  I will be continuing to support the portfolio of MoneyMinding content, programs, resources and materials including mVillage membership with live mentorship.  These are central resources for you to get personal and anonymous information and support and where new information is made available to members 24/7.

Debt Won’t Sabotage Your Retirement (and our economy), but how you view it will.

In the past few days I’ve received a few related articles on the impact of debt on retirement and the stress it causes.  Here are a couple of the recent ones:  Majority of Retirees Carry Debt and Boomers will Retire in Debt.

Before I carry on though, it’s important that you understand that this discussion is not to be interpreted as advocating reckless spending.  I have to begin with this disclaimer because money and debt have such strong connections to negative emotions that it’s critical to pre-empt any mention of anything slightly unconventional with the caveat that there are proper strategies for all of this and that money isn’t something that most adults received a foundation of knowledge in.  Dealing with financial matters requires good communication with financial professionals, but professionals are not money counsellors, or teachers, and most of this isn’t part of the standard financial curriculum in any case. You need to do your part in understanding your options and work with professionals to implement the plans!

What is so upsetting about this emphasis on debt reduction in favour of asset accumulation is the seemingly absent recognition that consumer spending and consumer confidence fuel our economy.  The continuous emphasis on ‘get out of debt’ so you can save a big pot of gold so then you’ll have more money to spend is only a half truth.

We actually don’t need savings – we need an ongoing source of income to provide for our basic lifestyle needs and other opportunities and emergencies that come up along the way.  The fuel for spending is income.  Income can be generated in many ways, yet the conventionally accepted view is that income is a more or less static variable in the financial planning process and that providing for financial needs after work will come from selling off assets (the accumulated pot of gold).

I am not aware of anything more stressful and unsettling than to life day in and day out with a nagging voice of doubt that maybe you shouldn’t be spending money on this or that because you have to get rid of the debt and add to your savings.

This commonly accepted view not only creates uncertainty, it also creates an environment where the scarcity mentality it feeds is prone to inappropriate financial decisions, bad investmenst, and isn’t generous towards others and social causes.

The lessons we’re teaching our young people who are watching their ‘retiring parents’ is that its perhaps better to not even ‘try’ to do something significant because the cost to get there is going to be too high and they ‘won’t be able to afford it’.  (check out the CBC report on ‘Olympic Dreams and Olympic Debt’).  Instead of pursuing worthwhile dreams, many people simply resort to a life of silent bitterness or resentment where they slowly become more and more self-centred and fearful of running out of money and not being able to support themselves.

This self-centredness becomes a distraction for a whole range of social issues because people go looking for an outlet – hmm, look at how sex has become so commonly accepted in mainstream media.  People look for a way to manifest their desires somehow. Unfortunately, we are fed a constant stream of enticing images and messages about how to fuel some sort of desire we might have forgotten about or not realized we had with some kind of material good.  Of course, the fulfilment of desires through possessions has an economic advantage to the business selling the goods and on some level will fulfil needs and desires of the person purchasing so there is certainly some benefit to the marketing information – until, however, the reality sets in and guilt and fear occupy thoughts with no end in sight other than further denial.  It’s a cycle that isn’t good for the individual, for the family, for our communities and for our entire economy.

So what’s the answer if it’s not go ‘cut back spending, to get out of debt, and to save a bigger pot of gold for the fairyland called retirement’? 

The answer actually isn’t rocket science but seems to be a huge struggle for many people because they have grown up in this culture of self-centred financial support which focuses on getting a good education so you can get a good job, then learn to manage your money on your own once you’ve got the job.

It seems that conventional teaching has completely left out the fuel for the entire plan which is the creation of income.   There are many many ways to create sustainable incomes besides a job or two or three.  It doesn’t take a big pot of gold for you to be able to retire and create more income from your investments, it takes independent thinking that knows the difference between earning less than you spend, and spending less than you earn.  It also takes financial confidence to know how to maximize the effectiveness of your finances so you are ‘leveraging’ all your assets including access to credit, to create sustainable income that creates wealth that creates further income and so and so on.

We have to realize that getting out of debt by cutting back spending will actually reduce our freedoms, lower our standard of living and NOT provide the peace of mind or independent thinking that will assist in creating the extra funds for the additional spending money you’re looking for to satisfy your personal interests, desires and higher causes.

Remember, I didn’t say to continue to spend recklessly and to hold on to high interest non-deductible debt or to just spend on selfish desires.  I’m saying that the way to win the war on debt and to create financial independence that will enable you to choose to leave work if you want (ie enable you to retire) is to learn how to earn sustainable income, to manage that income and all your other financial resources effectively (not just by looking at interest rates and rates of returns), so you can maintain your personal economy, while also helping others and ultimately our entire society!

To find out more about how a $10 solution can save your financial life, visit www.deathbymoney.com to order The Death by Money Report.  To Read my specific responses to these and other similar media articles become an mVillage member to read and respond and comment on this important issue.  To find out about live, personal and one-on-one MoneyMinding Mentoring please contact me directly at tracy@moneyminding.com to see if this exciting new concept is right for you!

 

Money Lessons For and From Our Kids

Our daughter, Jordyn Piercy, has qualified to compete at the Youth National Track and Field Championships again this year. Last year she qualified to compete during the same week that I halted the fraud from being carried out in my business. That was obviously a very dramatic financial experience. (You can read more about it in The Death by Money Report at www.deathbymoney.com because it was the non-conventional money teaching of MoneyMinding and the values approach to financial decision making that ultimately saved my / our life and is the basis of this message).

The financial nightmare, didn’t stop Jordyn from being able to fly across the country to compete. Jordyn’s attitude of success combined with my finance background turned the difficult financial situation into, ‘how can we make this work?’ and she earned $1625 in 3 weeks! ($125 more than the required budget). She reached her goal with the help of family and friends who sponsored her with cash donations, hired her to do some work, gave her bottles in a bottle drive, and other creative ideas. Here’s the link to her blog post about this process last year.

Unfortunately what we’ve discovered since then is that there are many, many talented young people who don’t get the opportunity to experience success in their field at higher levels of competition because of the financial burdens required to get there. (Here’s a CBC report on the financial realities of Olympic Athletes)

High level competitions, not only cost money, they will also, often be last minute which often requires even more expenses and challenges. In track and field, for example, you never know until a few weeks ahead of a championship meet if you will qualify to compete, or whether you will be selected to be part of a government sponsored team. This means that many families are forced to make last minute financial decisions about whether their kids will be able to compete at these higher level events. This situation is repeated in just about any sport and the huge gap between recreational sports and the level where they become eligible for professional sponsorship or government funding is daunting. Yet, bridging the gap is the key to success and where the biggest life lessons are learned.   This financial responsibility on the families leaves many (if not most) families with 2 choices: debt financing, or drop out.

This year, Jordyn and a few other athletes from lower Vancouver Island have teamed up to do some fundraising to help pay for travel costs for themselves and their coach to attend the Legion Youth National’s in Prince Edward Island (about as far away on the continent as you can get!).

The group is providing a sponsorship advertising opportunity for local businesses who would like community recognition for supporting local athletes. They have booked a full page ad in the local Times Colonist newspaper. The ads are $250 each with is the same as a regular ad of the same price, but the layout provides high visibility for maximum exposure as well as the strong community connection. If you are interested and able to support these 7 athletes please call me at 250-592-047 or email tracy@moneyminding.com right away since there’s a very short turn around time.

Additionally, my company, MoneyMinding, is building e a community initiative as a called Shoes to Success (Steps to Helping Others Experience Success). You can view the initial information on the program at www.shoes2success.com and make a donation of any amount there if you like. 100% of funds donated through the SHOES program at this time will be directed towards the athletes first, then towards launching this program for others to benefit from.

Finally, Jordyn is requesting personal support from friends, family and others and is accepting donations of any amount or sponsorship through her website at www.jordynpiercy.com.

She, along with the other young people she trains with, has demonstrated that its not just persistence that pays off, it’s living and experiencing success every day. I / we are so impressed with the kids who know that they might not always win, but that showing up day after day after day after day is what it takes to stay encouraged despite disappointments, injuries, social invitations and temptations, and other family and school commitments. Training and competing at higher levels provides young people with the experiences that will carry them through many different life circumstances. These young people are certainly an inspiration for others to reach and work towards something worthwhile.

The financial lessons from these young people are that our adult limited reality doesn’t have to create a barrier for them to expect to experience greatness. The financial lessons for these young people are the value of asking ‘how’ and to not let potential financial limitations limit their potential success. There is always a way when you’re committed.

I am sooooo proud to be part of this amazing group of kids and their families who are working together to make things happen for themselves and for others. I thank them for their commitment and I thank you on behalf of everyone for your support. Stay tuned for the updates on the road to Nationals 2012!!

 

Useful or Useless Debt – new MoneyMinding Minute

Debt isn’t good or bad.  It just is.  And when you learn to understand its capacity to either increase or decrease your financial well-being you will understand that it can be an incredibly powerful wealth building tool.  The flip side of that of course, is that it can also work the opposite and negatively impact your ability to earn, manage and maintain wealth.  You can watch the latest MoneyMinding video here

 

Why Envelope Budgets Don’t Work

In years of studying and working with the application of real-life financial strategies for success, the envelope concept of budgeting has got to be the single worst commonly accepted strategy for successful money management I’ve ever seen.

Is there anyone who hasn’t heard that crash diets don’t work?  The reason crash diets don’t work is that the concept is to deny and sacrifice desires.  This idea forces you to start thinking of chocolate cake and other fatty, yummy foods and of course, what you focus on becomes the ultimate motivator.  For a short period of time a restricted diet can appear to accomplish the desired goal, but what’s not commonly recognized is the long term negative impact that the diet does to someone emotionally.  From they moment they deviate from their diet, their brain adopts a guilty conscience and inflicts a barrage of negative self-talk about how they have failed and they can’t follow through and they’ll ‘never’ be able to lose weight, etc. etc.

The concept of an envelope budget starts by taking your income and allocating it according to personal expense items.  The amount for each pre-determined category, such as food, entertainment, automobile, etc. is then subtracted from the income and placed in an envelope or other safe place.  Whenever you have a need to purchase something from that category, you simply go to the envelope to take the required cash.  Immediately you are putting yourself in a place of judging your desires from a critical perspective.

It is definitely important to evaluate your spending to make sure your expenses are aligned with your values and desires, but the restricted budget forces you to start with what you have and make sure you stay within that ‘box’ in order to manage your money on a day-to-day basis.  Yes, systems are critical to have, but we are adults and should be looking at our finances like businesses rather than children who need a curfew.

This envelope budget concept is even worse than the crash diet because during the period of time that you are trying to follow the envelope strategy every time the reach into an envelope for money, you end up calculating how much money is left to be sure you don’t run out.  The concept is essentially reinforcing that money is a scarce resource and that if you’re not careful and watch your pennies you’re going to run out.

When you constantly reinforce scarcity and fear and restriction on a day-to-day basis, you are also sacrificing confidence.  When you take this insecurity to a larger scale financial situation, like investment planning, it’s easy to see why people are hesitant to decisions.  They are fearful of losing money because they have been taught and reinforced on a regular basis that they had ‘better be careful, it’s all they money they have, and they can’t afford to lose it.’

The lack of financial confidence for the average family is of epidemic proportion.  And, we just seem to accept that these ‘in the box’ restricted, scarcity, fear based strategies are somehow going to help create a confident, competent consumer?

There is a huge piece of the puzzle that seems to be pushed under the carpet and not emphasized.  The missing piece is that budgets are ‘planned expenditures and a program for financing them.’  This means that you start with how much money you plan to spend, not how much you currently earn.  When you do this, you start asking yourself how you’re going to earn the money to pay for your desired spending.  This will automatically turn a budget into something more dynamic instead of something that looks like money coming into a funnel and running out the other end.  The true function of a budget is manage cash flow, which means you’re looking at money coming in and going out on a regular basis.  Sure, the spending is allocated into different categories, but it’s not restricted when you adopt a balanced approach to earning and spending.  This approach recognizes that the advice of ‘just spend less than you earn’ is the equivalent of trying to force a crash diet for money.  If you want more immediate, empowering and sustainable results you are far better off with a mindset of ‘earn more than you spend.’

…and for more on this make sure you read The Death by Money Report available at www.deathbymoney.com

Simplify and complete and the rewards of giant check marks on the seemingly endless list of to-do’s.

I’m sooooo grateful for the support of my amazing husband for his prompting and encouragement and help with this (and obviously many others too)!

Focus on the finished work and it will provide peace of mind and results you didn't think possible!

For years – yes years – there has been a task allocated to administration that has been cluttering up my peace of mind.  Tonight we sat down and looked at how long it would take to complete and what exactly was involved so we could get the help necessary to get the job done.  Well, several hours later, we had enjoyed some quality time together including some nice chardonnay and the result is that a huge volume of material that has been sitting in mVillage (the MoneyMinding Membership community) that wasn’t easily searchable now is!  This is still just the beginning of information that is currently available, just not picked up by the ‘search’ function.  Well, for mVillage members, you can select your financial area of interest in the ‘search bar’ and all this content and waaaaay more is summarized for you.In one evening we were able to enjoy quality time together AND provide huge value to our subscribers.  If you’re currently an mVillage member, then I encourage you to enjoy the ease of use you now have in accessing this valuable information.  And, if you’re not already a member, then the easiest way to get started is with The Death by Money Report available at http://www.deathbymoney.com/.  When you order the report you receive 30 days of unlimited mVillage access that is normally $19 a month.You can access this information easier now AND you can ask questions and comment on the information with your anonymous login!  That means you don’t have to be intimidated by asking a question you think maybe you already should know the answer to.  Remember the only bad question is the one not asked!   Enjoy!  And, hopefully some of this will also help you create some giant ‘check marks’ in your life as well as help you get financial results you didn’t know were possible!

Uncovering Potentially Misleading Financial Advice – Overview
IMMEDIATE RELIEF FOR FINANCIAL STRESS
HEALTHY ECONOMICS
THESIMPLE WAY  TO INCREASE YOUR RETURN
Solving the Mysterious Case of Illusive Income
WHY GETTING OUT OF DEBT IS NOT ENOUGH
KEY STEPS IN PREPARING FOR RETIREMENT
Why We Need to Love Insurance
Who’s Fault is it Anyways?
Owning Your First Home
Managing Conflict of Interest in Financial Services
Narrow-minded View of Financial Literacy will Create More   Problems than Solution
Is Lack of Financial Education Costing You?
Regulate or Educate?
The Real Reason “Not Spending” Doesn’t Work
What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?
Why Cutting Back Your Spending Will Lead to Failure
Confessions of a Shopaholic: Reviews Miss theOpportunity
Misconceptions   About Multi-Millionaires and Their Money
Obama’s   Paradigm Shift Won’t come from Old Teaching
Reasoned   Responses to Radical Money Situations
What is   ‘Risk Tolerance’ Really?
The   Richness of Giving
Are You   Up or Down?
When   Conventional Advice on Money Won’t Do
Financial   Turmoil ~ Doing the Right Thing for You
Navigating   the Early Days of Credit
How to   Turn Money Worry into Success
What   Will You Splurge On?
Money –   Taboo Topic or Compelling Conversation?
The   Many Meanings of D.E.B.T.
The   Enjoyable Road to Debt Freedom
Money   Management is More than
The   Entitlement Epidemic: Eroding Our Financial Future
Saving   Money Will Keep You Broke
Buying   A Car: A Personal Story of Lessons Learned
3   Simple Principles of Financial Decision Making
How to   Get Out of Debt and Save Money at the Same Time
How to   Stay Calm When Your Money is at Stake
5   Simple Changes You Should Make to Your Money Priorities
The   Missing Piece in Financial Planning for Advisors
The   Missing Piece in Financial Planning for Clients
What is   Your Professional Title?
Treasure   Hunting
Your   Clients’ Financial Comfort Zone
Accepting   Financial Advice
A Built   In Negative Return: Secure Investments?
A   Guaranteed Investment
How to   Save for Retirement While Still Enjoying Today
A New   Definition of Retirement
Financial   Advisor or Scam Artist?
Grandma’s   Lessons in Financial Management
How Are   Your Spending Habits?
How   Giving Has Blessed Our Life
How to   Build, Manage, Maintain Wealth
How to   Buy Your Dream Home
How to   Make Financial Decisions
How to   Retire When You Want with the Money You Want
Lucky   Financial Planning
My   Portfolio is Down – What Now?
No More   Restricted Spending
Special   Financial Strategies for the Younger Generation
The   Lure of Low Interest Rates
Treat   Yourself to a $1000 SpendingSpree
What is   the Price of your Lifestyle
What   Really Happens When Rates Go Up?
What   Type of Life Insurance is the Best?
Who’s   Minding Your Money?
Is   Insurance an Investment or Expense?
Confirming   What You Understand