10 Ways to Build a Great Relationship With Your Money

  1.  Treat it like an employee.  Know where it is at all times.  Know when it comes in (and how much) and when and where it is going when it goes out.  All to often money troubles originate with poor spending tracking habits.
  2. Know it’s role.  Money’s purpose is not just instant gratification.  It is to help you create the life that you want now, later and all the stops along the way.
  3. Set reasonable goals.  Goal setting gets talked about so much people tend to tune it out but for your money to do it’s best work for you, you have to set some goals for its use.  Remember that anything is possible if you make it reasonable.    You can’t get $10,000 in a year but in five years that’s saving $167 a month.  Can’t quite get there?  Stretch it out to six or seven years.
  4. Remember a spending plan is a plan – it’s not carved on a stone tablet never to change for all eternity.  It’s what you intend do do with your money that month.  But guess what!  Shit happens.  When shit happens and you need to adjust your spending, just remember it’s a finite pot of money and if you see you’ll overspend in one category, you need to cut back in another.  It’s not a huge deal – roll on.  Make a note of what happened, learn from it.  Move on.
  5. Whatever it takes, take care of yourself.  Remember that the best things in life aren’t necessarily expensive.  Indulge in a nice tea for unwinding at the end of the day or a pack of your favorite chocolate. Nothing makes a plan harder to stick with than feeling deprived.
  6. Words matter.  I teach my clients to say “Spending Plan” not “Budget”.  Budgets conjure images of ramen and bologna diets, no life and no fun.  Budgets make you feel poor.  Having a plan is proactive and sends your psyche a message that you are in charge of your money.  Money is not in charge of you.
  7. Remember you work too hard to buy junk.  One $50 tool that lasts forever is a better bargain than six $10 tools that don’t hold up.  The cheapest isn’t always the best.  Research your purchases ahead of time rather than buying on impulse.
  8. Apps!  Apps are good.  I hate to admit that I only recently discovered Wal-Mart’s app but thanks to the Pricegrabber feature, I’ve gotten $4.50 back in just four receipts that literally took seconds to scan.  Target’s Cartwheel and Retail Me Not have saved me a bunch also.  Especially when shopping online.  Apps are also helpful for tracking the performance of your spending plan.  I’ve used Mint for many, many years but there are a lot of them.  More information on that in a future post – promise!
  9. When you look back at your favorite memories, I’ll bet none of them are connected to spending money.  They’re trips to the park with your kids (or your friends as a kid), good times with friends, memories made with family.  Remember that when you’re making your plans.  Great things do not cost money.  They take time.
  10. Speaking of time, give your time instead of your money to the organizations you’d like to support.  Volunteer at your church, your kids’ school, the local homeless shelter, animal shelter or soup kitchen.  The need is as great for willing hands as it is for working dollars.

So tell me – did I miss anything?  Is there a tip you’d share that has helped your relationship with your money?

Beating the Beast One Project At A Time

First off:  What’s the Beast?  The Beast is that one THING that is holding you back.  It might be fear, it might be motivation but whatever it is, if it’s holding you back, you’re letting it win.

Second, I want you to think of a few ideas for taming that beast.  What helps you regain your focus when it’s waning?  A walk?  A phone call to a friend?  A nice cup of tea?    If you’re letting the Beast win, it’s time to go do that thing, right now.  Go.

Something that helps me is taking a few moments to create.  I’ll admit it.  I like making things, taking pictures – you name it – and it all helps me put my brain back together.  Over the past few months, my brain has not been together.  In fact, it’s been very apart.  But it’s coming back together and I took some time to check something off my Pinterest boards and solve a storage problem.



Frame – mine is 11×14 and was $5 at Goodwill because I let them”round up”.

Paint – 97 cents

Sponges to apply paint – also 97 cents

Fat Quarter of fabric – you guessed it! 97 cents

Roll of Cork – $4.99 minus 40% off (remember if you like craft stores and have a smart phone, you always have a coupon) so $2.99

You will have extra fabric and extra cork.

Supplies out of my inventory:  Glue, double sided tape and a scissor.


photo 1


This is the entire set of supplies.  Sadly, I forgot the before I painted the frame photo.  I didn’t try to put a full coat of paint on the frame, just brushed it lightly and evenly with an antique gold acrylic paint so it looks kind of burnished.

photo 3

I used the backing of the frame to measure the size of cork needed.  Traced it with a pen and cut it.  Then I liberally glued the back of the frame and put the cork down.  Give it a few minutes (5-10) to dry.

photo 4


I measured the fabric the same way I measured the cork, traced it and cut it to fit.  I wanted to retain the option to change the fabric if it faded or I got tired of it so I used double sided tape to attach it to the cork.

photo 5And Voila!  It is finished, hanging in my bathroom and holding my go-t0 jewelry at the ready.  I picked up Corsage pins but any type of straight pins would work.  Also, cleared my head, cleared a little clutter and added something pretty to my space.




What to do when you feel like a big fat lie…

Somewhere between 3 and 5 people regularly read this blog mostly because I’ve been so inconsistent with updates.  I’m sorry.  I love you all and I do hope to provide good stuff you can use when you stop by or hit up your reader or however you access my stuff.  But lately, I have felt like a hypocrite.  Who am I to advise you on living your life when I don’t have my shit together?

I’m not sure how far back to go with this tale of woe, it could be five years or just one.  I think I’ll go with one.  A year ago today, I filed a Hostile Work Environment complaint against the Federal Government Agency that I worked for, particularly my supervisor.  That led down a path where I was fired for doing so, the EEO complaint resolution process was a big, fat joke, my character was defamed and many, many laws were broken or skirted by my old boss, her boss and so many other people that I lack the energy for rage and resentment.  I know right from right and I know wrong from wrong.  This was all wrong.

As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I believe so strongly in treating people the way I’d like to be treated.  I have never been accused of treating anyone like shit and yet…  Perhaps these are lessons I must learn to truly help others?  I don’t know.

So the months following August 17, 2012 were pretty shitty.    I focused on moving forward.  I started a DBA program.  I got a different job.  Unfortunately the job required establishing a satellite operating base in the Twin Cities.  On the day I was to start this new job, I had my first uveitis flare in about three years.  It hasn’t stopped since.  Chronic disease is incredibly depressing.  Shots in your eyes to treat it aren’t fun and neither is chemotherapy.

Next up, our son is facing felony charges.  Serious felony charges.  As in a maximum of 43 years.  Because he’s an idiot.  13 year olds are off limits bro.  Period.  Now you have to own it.  Given the roller coaster we’ve ridden with him for the past five years, I’m pretty worn out there too.

So my goal here is to help you simplify your life.  Raise your kids well, master some helpful household tasks, cook the way you want to.  Manage your money and manage your life.  And I have felt like I’m failing at that.  I feel like a big fat lie.

So what do you do?

1.  Focus.  Focus on what is good around you.  No matter how dark most things seem, goodness is there.  For me, sometimes it’s just this face:



2.  Relish the good things.  The Army is big on Resilience right now and they call it “Hunting the Good Stuff”.  When you’re strung out and nothing seems real, realize that lots of things are real.  Stop, smell the flowers.  Throw a dinner party.  Light your backyard bonfire and press pause on the bullshit switch.

3.  Invest.  Dig deep and invest in your own happiness.  If you are enveloped in fear and worry, it is not good for you and makes you no good to anyone else either.  You KNOW this.  Meditate, take walks, do a bit of yoga.  Your mind, body and spirit will be eternally grateful.  You’re never too busy to take 20 minutes for yourself.

4.  Break it down.  What pieces do you need to fix?  What pieces, when you let go of the emotion attached, don’t matter?  If they don’t matter, let them go.  Focus on what you can fix.  For me, that’s my physical and mental well-being.  It’s maintaining healthy boundaries.  Remembering that sometimes, what’s best and what’s easiest aren’t the same and doing the right things, not the easy things.

5.  Mix it up.  Go for a short term fix while working on long-term fixes.  I’m not talking about comfort food or comfort booze, here.  I’m talking about a  walk, a manicure, a cup of coffee with a friend while you work on the big stuff.

6.  Ask for help.  I’d been keeping so much stuff I needed to “publish” inside that it literally became painful.  Physically and emotionally it was more than I could handle.  So I talked.  I talked to my husband.  I talked to my doctor (I feel very guilty about the condition I was in that day) and I will be talking with a therapist.  I will continue working on my Courageous Life Coaching program and I will get through this.

Depression is a liar.  Anxiety is a thief.  Bullshit is bullshit.  Push it all away and move forward.  I’ve got your back.

Who am I? Who’re you?

DSC_0006-001At this very moment, I am a wife, mother, sister, friend, cousin, aunt, niece, Financial Coach and aspiring personal coach.  My overarching goal in life is to define and live it on my terms in ways that align with my values and to help others do the same.  Whoa.

What are my values?  Above all, I value connection and collaboration.  Like it or not, each of us is part of an interconnected fabric involving all of the people, places and things in this world.  As creatures among those atop the food chain, we have tremendous power. With tremendous power, to paraphrase, comes tremendous responsibility.  We owe it to the other fibers of our fabric to be respectful and careful with our interactions with them.  I don’t mean careful as in cautious, I mean careful as “care full” full of care.  Considerate of the potential impact of our words and actions on those creatures and elements around us.    That means we do good where we can, when we can and in whatever ways we can.

For those of the Christian faith, and I’m just not sure right now but I believe this, take the words of Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  No matter how important society sees you, you’re just another part of the world with an obligation to sustain the resources we currently enjoy for our successors.  If you cannot do good, at least do no harm.   It’s a simple concept and the core of my self.

How does this value fit into my roles:

As a Family Member:  I do my very best to let my family know how much I love them every single day.  I show my children that love doesn’t mean lenient, it means teaching lessons, sharing my core value of treating others the way I want to be treated.  Whether they treat me that way or not, I treat them the way I’d like.  If the interactions continue to be negative, it’s okay – even healthy – to cut ties and establish distance.  It is my sincere hope that my love for my family is reflected in everything I do with and for them, every day.

As a Coach:  If I’m your coach, we’re a team.  We will work together as long as it takes to move from whatever place you are in to whatever place you want to be.    The key point is that you’re the driver.  I’m just helping you draw and read the map.  And I know you’re a great driver so I’ll help you see that too.

Sharing what I have is integral to me.  I’ve been blessed with a fantastic husband and some awesome kids.  We have learned a lot of life and money lessons the hard way.  It hasn’t been easy for the last 20 years but it has been worth every second.  And I now know things that can help you sidestep some of the problems that tripped us up along the way.

I am thankful for the blessings that come when my path crosses others and we can walk together for awhile.    Join me?  Leave a comment telling me “Who are you?” or write it up in your own blog and leave  me a link.

Make today Amazing!



Learning to Roll…

Sorry for the start-stops. For the past month, my body has provided me with some challenges. Not insurmountable, but significant and in a steady stream. We’ll be back on track in a day or so. Watch for some exciting and FREE workshops and discussions about maximizing your satisfaction with life.