Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where Did All The Money Go?

I hear a lot of people saying they feel broke, they don't have enough money, they can't afford that right now, etc...

I'm wondering if they know where all their money is going? If they have taken ownership of their spending habits?

Money is always a sensitive subject with people so I don't want to my push myself on them with my thoughts and opinions but if they ever asked here are the questions I would ask them to think about.
  • How much money do you make each month?
  • How much money did you make over the last 8 months?
  • How much money do you spend each month?
  • How much money have you spent over the last 8 months?
  • What do you spend your money on?
Were you able to answer all those questions or find the answers to those questions? If so, great! If not, it is time to start looking at your finances. Wealthy and successful people know the answers to these questions. Struggling people usually do not.

The first step to getting out of debt and becoming financially independent is getting out of denial and facing your financial reality.

If you are interested in reaching financial independents here is the first step/challenge: track every penny you spend over the next 7 days.
  • Get a little notebook or create a spreadsheet in Excel.
  • Write down how much money you think you are spending each week
  • Start saving those receipts and tracking those expenses daily (without judgment).
  • After you do this let me know if you were spending more or less than you thought.
Did doing this exercise make you think more consciously about each purchase you made?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, questions or tips about facing finances.

Some things to think about (possible money drains).
On average...
A 12 pack of Coke costs $6.00 X 52 weeks = $312.00
Big Mac: $3.50 X 52 weeks = $182.00
Starbuck’s coffee: $3.00 X 365 days = $495.00
Credit Card interest average = 16% - 18%
Late Payment fees: $25.00+

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oprah's Soul Series

Have you seen Oprah's Soul Series?

I found some of the interviews very inspiring.

Visit Oprah's Soul Series site see the interviews.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Attention to Detail

How closely do you look at your credit card statements each month?

I comb through mine line by line every month and I often find unauthorized charges and mistakes. Usually little charges here and there... small mistakes that add up. I always take the time to call and get the charges corrected. This month, I'm thankful that I took the time to check my statement and balance my account. I found a charge of $295.00 that I did not make.

In August I stayed at a hotel in Orange County. The La Quinta Inn Costa Mesa. (By the way if you like to breathe don't stay there, it is located right on the 405 Freeway... literally.) You walk out the door of your room and your view is the freeway - the noise and the smog level are toxic. The service was great and the people were nice but the location is horrible!

Back to my credit card story... I paid for the hotel in advance via Travelocity. Everything went smoothly until now, when I opened my credit card statement. The La Quinta Inn charged me $295.00 on a random day during the middle of my stay. I called La Quinta they had no record of the charge and didn't know how to help me with the problem. I called my credit card company and they offered to reverse the charge and deal with La Quinta directly. My credit card company (United Visa - Chase Card Services) has great customer service. In the end after about an hour of phone calls, transfers and being put on hold I got my $295.00 back.

Just thought I'd share this story as a reminder to check and balance your credit card statements every month. You might be losing money you aren't even spending.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Could it be because you are surrounded by clutter?

I've been noticing lately when I visit friend's that their homes & offices are completely filled with clutter. People often ask me how I keep my house/office so clean. I tell them I get rid of stuff. It's a lot easier to clean when you aren't constantly picking up stuff. Some people I know have so much stuff their stuff doesn't even have a home. If they wanted to organize they wouldn't be able to because there would be no place to put their stuff

Take a look around your office. Do it. Right now. What do you see? Are there piles of paper everywhere? Are there things in your office that don't belong? If so, how about scheduling 15 minutes today to de-clutter your office. See how much you can do in 15 short minutes.

Rules for de-cluttering:
1. Set timer for 15 minutes (and don't give me the excuse that you do not have a timer. You can use this one: just reset the preferences to 15 minutes).
2. Stay in your office the whole 15 minutes. (I learned this trick from reading Elizabeth Hagen's book Organize With Confidence. She suggests anything that goes in another room to put in a pile to put away after the 15 minutes is up.
3. Toss/Recycle everything you do not need or love.
4. File any paper that needs to be filed.

Now that wasn't so bad was it?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Unplugging when you're "on" 24/7

This post was written by my awesome coach Lisa Hunter who has given me permission to reprint.

Extraordinary Women Dilemma: You're beating yourself up because you can't seem to turn off when it comes to your business. Whether you're excited about a new project and you're thinking about it while you're out having dinner with friends or you're trying to have the day off and your thoughts are dominated by the next thing that you need to do for your business, it's a strange mix of guilt, excitement, sometimes-worry and always a constant ants-in-your-pants feeling. You've tried "letting go", but that almost never works and then you just feel like an over-obsessed spaz.

What There Is For You To Know: The general sentiment for us passionately-driven entrepreneurial women is that we need to "balance" and tone down the obsession with our businesses. We hear it from friends, loved ones and we beat ourselves up for it. But here's the thing: being passionately-driven about your business is great for your business! It's when you come from a place of seeing that never-ending drive as "bad" and then trying to stop it, that you get into trouble.

You see, there is nothing wrong with you when you take a day off and you're not able to stop thinking about your business. It may not be the experience that you want to have, but you are not a workaholic or failing at balance. This is why when you say, "I've got to stop thinking about my business", it doesn't work. Because you actually can't stop that flow and you don't need to. In truth, it's a wonderful thing for your business that all this juice for it is pulsing through you.

It is nice, however, to be able to take a break from it! So here's how without having to stop the flow...

Think Like An Electrical Outlet: Picture a standard electrical outlet - the kind that has two places to plug stuff in and shows up in every room of just about every house ever made. Think about how there is always electrical current available in an outlet. It's present 24/7 and you can tap into it whenever you want by plugging something in.

As a passionately-driven entrepreneurial woman, your thoughts, "obsessions" and constant focus on your business are the same as the current in that electrical outlet - present and flowing all the time. It's on-tap juice for your business 24/7! But as go-getting women, we tend to naturally plug into that current all the time. The thing to remember is that, just as you do for your toaster or any other appliance, you can unplug from the current at will. The beauty of unplugging from the current is that you are not trying to stop the current and you're not feeling bad that the current is still flowing. You are allowing the current to keep doing it's thing AND you're unplugging so you can take a break.

Try It On The Fly: Experiment this week with unplugging from the constantly-flowing current of energy that you have for your business. When you're with your family or friends and your business is dominating your mind, rather than trying to stop this juicy flow of business energy, instead imagine yourself unplugging from it. Know that, while you're unplugged, the current is still there - full of energy and forward movement and ready to go once you decide to plug back in.

It's the trying to stop the flow of thoughts and energy for your business that gets you into trouble. And thinking there's something wrong with you for not being able to stop it. But you can't stop it because it's naturally "on" all the time! You can, however, unplug for stretches at a time. Play around with it and let me know how it goes...

* * * Go-getting women: Be sure to check out The go-getting entrepreneurial woman's essential 5-session series starting in October!