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Tag Archives: Acheiving

Money: 10 things every woman should know

imageRecently a new college grad asked me if I had any advice on “getting rich”.

First thought, getting rich, seriously?  What does “rich” even mean anymore?

Second thought, getting rich has never been a goal of mine.  My goal has been to be financially secure enough that I can make life choices based on my values.

Then I thought, there are many things wise women have shared with me that changed my view of money and forever changed my life for the better.  So I will change the question and answer…

What should every woman know about money:

1. Money is a tool (it is not inherently good or bad).

2. Know yourself and make choices based on your values.

3. Every loan or credit card purchase has to be paid back, ensure you only borrow for investments in your future (useful degree, affordable house, etc. not  clothing-vacations-cars).

4. Live below your means (starting out this might even mean roommates, a bike instead of car, used furniture, learning to cook cheaply).

5. Let others pay the retail price (ebay, consignment, craigslist are your friends, even today my designer wardrobe is mostly ebay.  I will not pay $500 for my DVF dresses when I can buy them with no sign of wear on Ebay for $100).

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6. Save first.  From my first paycheck out of school I maxed my 401k contribution.  I also set up direct deposit for my savings (which is how I bought my first house at 22).  The trick is, if you never see the money, you can’t spend it.  My budget (house payment, car choice, entertainment budget) is based on the post-savings income.

7. Don’t waste money on taxes.  Max your401k, look into a Roth IRA, Flex Spending Account (FSA), donate items and keep the receipt.

8. Read the fine print. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, always read the fine print before signing something with a financial component.

9. Don’t procrastinate.  Too often procrastination costs us money.  Read the fine print, know the deadlines and take action well ahead of time (to allow for errors and delays).  Keeping one calendar and to-do list helps.

10. Don’t rely on someone else to meet your financial goals.  You need to know your financial picture whether on your own, married, or with billionaire parents.   There is no knight in shining armor to rush in and save you financially.        Knowing what is happening with your finances and making decisions puts you in position to use money as tool and not be caught surprised down the road.

So none of my advice is flashy or ground-breaking.  It doesn’t have to be, money is in reality pretty simple and I love simple.

 

Not letting go

 

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The previous post regarding letting go of relationships that no longer serve your life, led to some reader questions centered around the energy interactions of marriage/long term relationships.

When evaluating marriage and other long term relationships, it is important to look at the long term trajectory of the relationship and to be serious about changing dynamics that do not work before deciding to let go of the relationship altogether.

Pain is present in all relationships.  We are all flawed, those closest to us know our flaws intimately.  Often, they are hurt by our flaws, as we are hurt by theirs. Growth as a partner comes when we decide to respect our partner and ourselves even through the pain inflicted.  Not by martyering oneself, but by choosing our reactions.

I grew up in a fiery household, conflict often resulted in tears and raised voices.  I now choose to pause before reacting, take a moment before response and remember that I am speaking with someone who loves and respects me.  It is amazing the results of that little change.

Relationships are transformative and offer continued opportunity for growth.  The intimate nature of marriage and long term relationships allows us to focus on intentionally changing ways of being that no longer serve us.  There is often a good reason criticism from our partner hurts, a reason it is our achilles heel.  Often, they are the very things that bother us about ourselves.

As described in detail here (cultivating intuition), I believe we keep repeating lessons until we master them.  I would like to keep making the changes needed to move onto the next lesson.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self.” -Aldous Huxley
Share what has helped you in changing relationship dynamics.

Letting go

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A glorious week spent with beloved friends, (skiing, eating sushi, drinking Mexican mules, and watching our little ones play together) has left me in a loving mood.  I am reminded of an important life lesson that is not often mentioned, letting go.

There is room in my life to spend a week with these beloved people because I have consistently let go of relationships that no longer fit my life.

Every interaction affects us energetically.  We walk away either depressed, unchanged or elevated. Multiply these energy exchanges over the course of a relationship and you can imagine the affect your relationships have on your life path.

So, choose, make a conscious decision on who you spend your life with.  Be aware of the energy you give out in your relationships. Be prepared to end (or limit) time with people who no longer fit where you are in your life.

This also goes for actions. Life is short.  Everything counter to your purpose takes away from what you can accomplish, learn, and create.

 

Cultivating Intuition

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As a child I grew increasingly frustrated that there were so many competing rules in life.  I thought there had to be one ultimate Truth regarding how to live.  Shouldn’t we all be taught it and live accordingly?!

A lifetime of experiences has tempered that frustration. Thankfully.

I now believe we each have our own path and what is right for me in this moment, may simply not work for you.  I hope to share tools and insights I have been given that have helped me carve my path in the hopes it may help you (or allow you to share something different that works for you).

The last post focused on imagining the life you want to live.  To move from the imaging phase to the enacting phase, something is needed to guide actions and thereby create change in your life.  The most direct way I have found to enact intentional change is to cultivate intuition.

From Merriam-Webster:

Intuition: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence : a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why: something that is known or understood without proof or evidence:  quick and ready insight

The quicker we grasp the right action and respond, the quicker we can move on to the next lesson or stage of our path through life.  Some of us will spend a lifetime reliving the same lesson.   I hope to remain open, learn from my experiences and cultivate the changes I intuitively know I need to make.

One of the great tools I have found in ultivating intuition is explained by Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way.  She calls this tool “Morning Pages”.   Essentially, one writes free-flow of conscience (no self-editing, no expectation to ever share the words with anyone).  Why I believe they work in creating change? It gets annoying to hear yourself say the same things every day.  At some point, you decide to change the script and change is born. Here’s how to do them:

  • Begin with a blank notebook or journal and a new easy-to-write-with pen
  • Upon waking (this is the best time to do this, however if you cannot possibly do this, take your first opportunity), set a timer for 15 minutes and begin writing
  • Do not edit your work (I even ignore punctuation as it slows down the stream of consciousness flow of thought to paper)
  • Do not lift the pen from paper until the timer goes off
  • Do not read your work
  • Repeat each day
  • For more insightful tools check out Ms. Cameron’s book (and accompanying workbook), it is truly one of the best books I have come across for awakening your creative self and unlocking your intuition)

Talk back!  Do you have a strong intuition?  Do you listen to it? What has happened when you don’t?  How has incorporating Morning Pages changed you, your life? Do you feel differently?  Do you see your life differently?

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