Archives for April 2017

I am Horrible with Money

“Be thankful for what you have. If you concentrate 
on what you don’t have, you will never,
ever have enough!”
-Oprah
 
 
It was the first thing she said to me, “I am horrible with money!”
Not an uncommon thing for me to hear. People are uncomfortable with the topic. Especially when they realize that I help people with

their blocks, blind spots, and beliefs around it — that and clutter clearing.

If the word money doesn’t set off negative, self-deprecating chatter in their heads, then most assuredly the word clutter does the trick.
I do “get it.” Most of us, me included, have felt that way at one time or another — if not most of the time. We go to bed with that haranguing thought, toss and turn with it, and wake up with the same ole’ nasty thing still churning in our heads.
Both clutter and money do have that affect on us — they have a certain buzz about them.
They are a hot button that most of us would rather not touch. Like a hot stove, with the burner on high.
We wouldn’t walk away from a hot stove, however, and leave the burner on — not knowingly that is.
Yet, we do that all the time with money and clutter. We somehow convince ourselves it is far better, or easier, to walk away and pretend that somehow, all on its own, it will work out just fine.
No need to disturb the flow of life. Leave things as they are.
 

Except, the flow of life isn’t working anymore. It’s getting harder and harder to ignore those piles as they get higher and bigger.

And, it’s not just piles of clutter but also of bills, unhandled money issues, growing credit card debt, and overspending.
Many of my clients are surprised when they learn there is a deep connection between clutter and money. Struggle with one, and most likely, you struggle with the other.
 
Clear out clutter, and often money settles down, too.
A client and I, that’s where we began …. Her major issue, as she shared with me in her first session, was her cost of living. It was higher than what she made — and it was growing.
She had no idea how to stop the bleeding, to stop the enormous outflow of money being spent. It all felt important to her — each area of spending was necessary. Nothing, in her awareness could be cut.
 
So, we began with her things. 
I had her describe her office, her home office specifically (she also had one in a formal office environment). The description was like most home offices.
Name an item, and it was in there. Clothing. Household goods. Memorabilia. Papers and documents — current paperwork, as well

as, piles that had not been handled, filed, or tossed. Paid and unpaid bills. Decorative items — some office related, but most not. Mismatched furniture. Junk from the rest of the house that had no home and landed in the office.

Her office was no different. 
As we talked about it, she got antsy to dive in and begin — to purge and tidy it up. It became obvious to her that the energy was stuck and stagnant in there. It was keeping her stuck as well. She admitted she seldom, if ever worked in there, even though she worked out of her home several days a week.
Which then begs us to ask … What is it that has us hang onto things that no longer serve us? Why is it we feel the need to crowd our homes, and our lives, with more and more?
What is the motivation that pushes us to continue to buy and accumulate, even when we have plenty?
 
The answer is more simple than you might think.
In this world with immediate access to an abundance of products and services, more than any one person could buy in several lifetimes, we feel the push to buy more and more.
 
We have become consumers.
And, as consumers, we have come to hold sacred the belief that more is better.
More would fill us up. More would finally make us feel we are enough. More would make us wealthy and abundant — in our own eyes, as well as in others.
A bigger car, home, or wardrobe would solve everything and finally make us happy.
And yet, more does not make us happy. More is temporary, the joy of the thing is fleeting. Then, we are driven to buy even more to fill the emptiness we feel inside.
That is the crux of the issue. It is the major “why do I do this” behind all the accumulated stuff, unpaid bills, soaring credit card debt, and overspending.
I’d like to suggest an alternative. How about we shake off the consumer title and the driving force of buy, buy, buy, more, more, more? How about the next time you feel that urge, you take a good, hard look around you and appreciate what you already have.
 
Recognize that you have enough and you are enough — Just the way you are! You don’t need anything else.
And, as to my client, she did purge her office. She also got rid of a lot of stuff around her house.
As she purged and released, she recognized how much money had been spent on things that no longer gave her pleasure or

were useful. Many of those things, even brand new, were seldom if ever used. There they sat, gathering dust and adding to the piles.

She found that the simple act of clearing clutter — keeping only that which gave her joy — shifted her money life miraculously. It changed how she viewed spending and gave her the opportunity to actually enjoy and appreciate what she already had.
No need to add more. No need for a heavy, restrictive budget, either. 
Funny how that happens — the money settles down, right along with it. Release in one area and the other comes along for the ride.
 
Joan Silva
Intuitive Financial Counselor
& Guideatude Coach
Where there is darkness, I help bring light!
Helping Hand

Clutter clearing is a daunting task. The stuff suddenly takes on a life of its own. It grows and grows with no end in sight. And…

There are steps you can take, wise ones, which will help you clear away the piles and excess. Don’t go it alone … Let me guide you in the most useful steps to take, specific to you. The steps that help you let go, purge, and keep only that which brings you joy.
I’d love to guide and support you. Email me if you want that help.
(Oh, and don’t forget, it does shift your money life, too!)

I Pay Cash for Everything!

“”Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, 
but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
-Ogden Nash
” 
 

The minute you decide to make changes in your life, your inner voices will start to chatter.

Old ways of thinking are not easy to shift. Your ego and subconscious seriously fear danger.

It’s their job to keep you safe and they will do whatever it takes to insure that safety.
Yes! Let me repeat myself so it sinks in — your subconscious will do whatever it takes to stop you.
You might be surprised what shows up that stops you. Or, at a minimum, what makes you pause and wonder, “Is this the right thing to do? Maybe I need to rethink this!
I guarantee you’ll most likely see it as a coincidence or bad timing. You’ll convince yourself that one thing has nothing to do with the other. You will miss the connection between the decision to change and the outcome, the thing that showed up to stop you.
I would like to encourage you, instead, to pay attention to those times when the voice in your head wants to label something as a problem or the wrong way to go. Recognize it for what it is, which is, the old way, the old you that wants to keep you stuck and prevent you from moving forward.
This is especially common in money matters.
Let’s use an example, one that many of my clients have struggled with and tripped upon (not to mention, so have I!). The use of credit.
Recently, a long standing client, decided she was done using credit to buy things. She shared with me that credit card debt was sucking the life force right out of her! It kept her awake and sleepless at night and made her feel guilty spending any money at all. And yet, her credit card balances grew, and grew.
Enough, already, she proclaimed! I’m done using credit!
Together we worked out a plan for her to stop using it, to spend only using cash, and to live within her means.

Her first big step, after making this decision, was to cut up all her cards. A frightening step, one that takes a big deep breath.

She was ready — we had discussed this many times in sessions — what approach and practical steps she would need to take to stop using credit.
But, then, all the logical excuses and rational reasons started to bubble up. Not to mention some unexpected expenses she had not planned for.
Her subconscious / ego was on high alert. It was doing its job!
 
It rushed to rescue her.
STOP! It screamed, Are you crazy?! You need credit for a good credit score! What if you have an emergency, you don’t have enough money saved for that? And, what about all those nice things you love to buy? You won’t be able to have them now!
DANGER! it warned. You aren’t safe without that safety netYou must keep the cards and just not use them.
Then it happened — The dreaded expense for which there was no money to cover. Her mind raced on how to solve it and went immediately to using credit as the answer.
But, this time, she was ready. She had her trusty mantra, and a strong resolution to stick to her guns. She repeated her mantra…
“I use cash for everything!”
And, bang, she held to her promise to herself. She didn’t use credit to pay for this expense — a big one by the way. And fascinatingly enough, the money to pay for it showed up.
She, like many others I have worked with, finally recognized that credit was NOT her safety net. In fact, it was just another prison to overcome.
Notice what stops you … None of it is true. When that chatter begins, remember my clients mantra — “I use cash for everything!”
 
What mantra are you going to use to remind you of the promise you made to yourself? It’s like a handy string on your finger, nudging you to stay firm and stick to your guns.

Oh, and by the way, you can live without credit cards. I’ve done so for years. You don’t need credit, no matter what your ego says!

Want to know how I did it? How others are doing it? Just ask me.

Have You Ever Been Fooled?

“Dinna laugh, dinna smile. 

Hunt the gowk (foolish person) another mile.” 

April Fool’s Message – Scotland

I have never been one who enjoys practical jokes. It feels cruel and hurtful to the one in which the joke is played. But, then, I have always been a sensitive sort, taking people at their word — believing what they said hook, line and sinker.

The embarrassment that follows, when I’ve been deceived or tricked, is deep and shameful. Only made worse when I’m told that it was just a joke, don’t take it so seriously.

It often makes me wonder, To who, exactly, was it meant to be funny? It does seem to be solely for the joy, entertainment, or benefit of the one doing the telling.

But then, there is even a day, April Fool’s Day, specifically for the playing of practical jokes and the spreading of hoaxes. A day of harmless pranks. A day of games, amusements and silliness.

Certainly, a day that was perfect for two friends of ours who are known for pranking each other. April Fool’s was meant for them!

I remember the year in which one of them managed to sneak into the other’s yard at night time. He set up the entire patio to look like an old bus station terminal.

Well worn metal chairs all hooked together. Dead palm trees in big pots. A mat laid under to look like bus terminal cement floors. Paper bus schedules in a rickety display rack. And, a row of metal lockers meant for travelers belongings.

Yes, the whole works — all that was missing were the waiting passengers. What a surprise to open his curtains in the morning and find that!

I must admit, that was funny, to this day the visual makes me chuckle. But, then, it wasn’t my backyard and I didn’t have to haul away the stuff!

Harmless enough, you say? No adverse effects, law’s broken, people hurt, or misinformation spread.

But, what about when the ruse, prank, fake story, or hoax isn’t so harmless? What then?

Here are a few to consider. Are they harmless or helpful? Are they entertaining or is the joke on you?

–> The constant and daily bombardment of advertising or marketing meant to get you to buy — maybe even to your financial detriment. Billboards. Signage. Commercials. Magazine ads. Online promotion. Social media. Inserts. Mailers. Labels. Products mentioned in novels. Infomercials. To name but a few!

–> The ambiguous or false promises made by retailers. Many of them sang in delightful jingles or played out with slapstick, memorable humor. Or, serious side effects downplayed by showing you images of beautiful, sexy people riding bikes, splashing in the ocean, and hugging each other.

–> Long, complicated legal contracts that would take a Harvard graduate to decipher and understand. How often have you actually read, and comprehended, the tall stack of documents you signed at a house closing?

–> The disclosure statements for credit cards.  Long, boring, and purposely printed in light gray, tiny print — the lingo used is painfully confusing and often dry as dirt to read. Other than a few financial types in this world, the terms are seldom understood by the thousands of everyday consumers who use them.

And, speaking of warnings and disclosures, did you notice they are always strategically placed at the end, after you have already decided, YES, I want it. They know the deal is sealed and nothing is going to change your mind. Much like warning labels on cigarettes, you’ve already decided to smoke. The warning has little, to no, impact.

Much like being told it was just a joke, don’t take it so seriously! 

Ever ask yourself, “To who, exactly, was this meant to benefit? Who does this actually protect?” Would it surprise you to know the one it protects is not you?

Just like practical jokes, meant for the benefit of the teller.

And, in this I have no sense of humor. I have seen too many pranked into a hurtful place, including myself.

Isn’t it time we ask, before we buy, agree, or sign that contract … Is this harmless or helpful? For who does this truly benefit?

Is this a joke, ruse, prank, or fake news meant to make me part with my dollars?