Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sexy Broads Talking Cash

Last night I played hooky from putting kids to bed (Thank you, spouse!) to participate in a fun event with just "the girls." I was asked by Laura Nickerson, BroadTopicsRadio host, to join her and three of her buddies to chat about money. Their show was called, "Let's Get Fiscal" and as their intro music died down they were all singing it to the tune of Olivia Newton Johns hit! LOL! Anyhow, they asked me some really fun questions like:

How do women save money in this economy? Do women have the wrong perception about money? Do I have to give up my favorite brands? Is "The Bean" a good purchase? LOL! Okay, we really did have too much fun. I took some notes while on the show and here is the executive summary and at the bottom of this page I have the link so you can listen to the full two hours at your convenience.

What are some practical ways for women to save money?

The beauty of personal finance management is that there are thousands of ways to save money in little baby steps on a daily basis. These baby steps add up to $1,000s in the course of a year. Here are a few examples with some numbers about how these little tiny steps can save you money and cost you very little in the way of time.

  • Invest in a Rubber Spatula. Sounds silly but this little kitchen aid can save you money. Now I realize not everyone cooks pancakes for their family, but I have this breakfast about twice a week. I use a spatula to scrape out the bowl and that gives me one additional full sized pancake each time I make them. If you do the math this equates to 104 pancakes a year! It costs me $2.24 to make a double batch of pancakes which works out to about 20 pancakes. This makes each pancake worth 11 cents. Thus the amount of money I save each year by scraping a batter bowl equals (ta da, drum roll please!) $11.44 a year! That's JUST on pancakes, what about all the peanut butter, jelly, ketchup, honey, mustard and other sticky items that are used in a home? All for an initial investment of 99 cents!

  • Examine Your Use of Disposable Products. I know I've blogged on this point before. (Please refer to my other blog posts of Step 6 to Abundance parts 1 and 2 for additional help here!) If you look just a paper towel use you'll see a huge change in your expenses by using cloth products. Again let's do some quick, simple arithmetic for this: Let's say you use 4 rolls of paper towels a week. They cost you $2.50 a roll. This comes out to around $10 a week or $520 a year that you are paying just for paper towels. I had a lady who switched to using linen towels (it cost her $12.64 for 20) and she bought herself a dishwasher! Now look at how much you go through in terms of paper napkins, plates, cups and plastic ware. It is very sobering how much money you may be, literally, throwing away.
How should women change their perception of money?

I really want women to lose their fear of money. There is a lot of fear about their inadequacy in taking charge of investing and saving money. They are usually okay with handling the checkbook or working the ATM machine (LOL!) but when you start discussing long term savings, investing and 529 plans (college savings plans) you will see their eyes glaze over and they start to hyperventilate!

Also, I want them to learn to allow themselves to become rich. And I DON'T mean comfortably well off, I want them to be able to say to themselves, "I want to be rolling-in-the-dough RICH!" The challenge is they have emotional barriers to this statement. Here are some of the excuses I have heard from my clients in regards to how they view "rich" people:
  • Rich people hurt others to get the money they had
  • You can't be nice and be rich
  • I'll become corrupt if I'm rich
  • People will come after me for my money
  • People will no longer see me, they'll just see me as a bank
These statements will keep you from becoming the wealth magnet you truly are. Work through these emotions and realize that these fears are unfounded. It is very easy to be extremely wealthy and not show it. Just read The Millionaire Next Door, to find out how! LOL.

Lose your fear of money by:
  • Make a conscious decision today to become "Rich!" Now, look in the mirror and say to yourself, "I am going to be Rich!" This may take a bit to say it with true passion.
  • Define exactly the lifestyle you want to have when you're wealthy. What will you do? What service will you render society? Will you start a non-profit that does good works or will you donate to causes you are passionate about?
  • Visualize and write down exactly the type of Millionaire you will be. How you will look. How you will act. How you will serve humanity...break the box and show the world a kind, feminine, strong, courageous Millionaire that loves life and is making the world a better place one person at a time.
Thanks to Laura, Stacy, Joan, and Megan for a wonderful show. It was a pleasure speaking with you and your listeners.

If you wish to hear BroadTopicsRadio follow the link.

I wish you abundance!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm Not a Bank! Why am I treated like an ATM?

This is an email I received the other day from a client:

"Dear Janine:
What do you do when you have grown children who always ask you for money to help them. I know they do not bring home enough money to pay everything. However, they haven't went on a budget as I have wanted them to do either. I feel guilty and angry when they ask me and expect me to support them or pay their electric bill etc. I have bought cars paid bills and now my savings is depleted. Not that it was a lot to begin with but I was saving. I have been very blessed and have just recieved another increase in a new job and a promotion. Am I being selfish? or have I been so blessed in order to help when they need it?"

Well, my first reaction to this question was, "Stop!"

Okay, let's get real here. First off, you're not selfish for wanting to keep the money you have worked so hard to save. You're not being a bad parent for wanting your grown children to learn financial savvy behaviors. This may sound cruel, but I recommend that the next time you are asked to pay off a bill that you hand them a personal finance book and say,

"Here you go, honey. This is the best way for you to get what you want out of life."

There will be tears, there will be wailing, whining and guilt trips offered. Ignore them. In the book, "The Millionaire Next Door" the authors devote an entire chapter on how the wealthy prevent economic welfare expectations from their offspring. It is a tough love, but it is necessary if we want our kids to learn the true ways of financial independence and that means learning the behaviors of saving money and debt-free living. One of the basic financial laws is NOT, "Thou shalt go to they parents for cash when in need!"

Harsh, yes. Will it make your children stronger, most definitely. Prepare for the onslaught with Tissues and a fresh copy of any of the following books below:

The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach
Financial Peace, David Ramsey
Debt-Proof Living, Mary Hunt

Or you can make me the "bad guy" and hand them my book, Ditching Debt: 3 Simple Steps for Financial Stress Relief.

The biggest thing right now is you have to take care of yourself and build your savings account back up. If your kids holler at you or try to send you on a guilt cruise, just remind them that one day you may need to be in an assisted living home, did they want to pay for that or would they prefer that you move into their place? Ouch. Sorry, but I have a bit of a twisted side to me.

Good Luck!