Archives for April 2017

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?