Year after year, people in the financial world have been saying, "Pay yourself first!" Well, I just didn't see the point. Being the kind of person who always needs to know "why" I should to do something - the reasoning behind the action - before I can bring myself to actually do it, I continually ignored this advice. Well, a few years back I got my answer to "Why should I pay myself first?" while watching a show Oprah did on becoming a millionaire. The dots connected, and here's the picture that formed...
When Debbie, one of my coaching clients, went in to work on Thursday morning, the last thing she expected was to be called in to her boss's office and reprimanded for something she didn't do. Instantly, she was consumed by feelings of agitation and worry over possibly being denied her upcoming promotion.
Every month, your bank account gets smaller, and you don't know where the money is going. You never seem to have enough to cover the bills, and there are more surprise expenses lurking around every corner. Are you frustrated, scared, and don't know where to turn for help? Do you need a miracle?
You can have one, and it is your power to give yourself. If there is one thing you could do right now that would drastically turn around your financial situation it is to make and follow a budget.
38 Miracles a Budget Can Do for You:
I decided to share some of my insights, tips, solutions, suggestions, and advice about money problems, being wealthy, and financial matters.
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If you have money problems, contact Vickie Champion for a complimentary life coaching and consulting session.
I have had the honor of filming several of my women coaching clients to get their thoughts on what they wish they knew in their 20’s about money including savings, spending, earning, budgeting and debt.
Participants in Part 1 are Connie Kadansky, Margaret Burnison, Jody Owen, Michelle Evard, Kimber Lambeth, Cindy Dillard, Diane Bolden, and JoAnne Musolf.
Contact Vickie Champion for a complimentary money coaching and consulting session.
I strongly believe the reason we are on earth is to learn how to love, and learning to love following a budget is one of them. Once I can get my clients excited about budgeting, their relationship with money changes drastically. I know mine did.
Here’s how one of my clients did it.
Other information about budgeting by Vickie Champion you might be interested in are:
If you had enough money, you’d feel better about yourself right? Not necessarily. Many times, I have found that my coaching clients use money to actually lower their self-esteem. It’s not often recognized as a tool we use to reflect the way we feel about ourselves.
You use money to lower your self-esteem…
- Keep increasing your debt.
- Spend money to relieve your guilty feelings.
- Forget to appreciate what you do have.
- Get angry with yourself over past financial mistakes.
People often ask me how I budget for those variable purchases that consistently come up. What I’m talking about is those items that are NOT due monthly but occasionally and the cost can vary. You know, the purchases we usually put on credit cards.
Some Examples of Unexpected Expenses Might be…
- Car maintenance
- Home repairs
- Pet grooming
Below is a video showing you how to make a spending plan to manage these easily.
Other information about budgeting by Vickie Champion you might be interested in are:
Do you get your bills and let them languish until they absolutely need to be paid? Well you certainly have plenty of company, but let me share why you may want to consider paying them as soon as possible. I learned the benefits when I began paying my bills within 48 hours of receiving them.
Some of the Advantages of Paying Bills as Soon as Possible…
Paying Bills Promptly…
- Eliminates overwhelm.
- Dispels the negative energy of unpaid bills.
- Changes our false belief that we have more money than we actually do.
Now that you know my story from the previous blog, The Story of Why I Started Offering Pay What you Can Afford, I will now give you the reasons why it fits me perfectly right now.
Here are 5 Good Reasons I Offer Pay What you Can Afford…
- It helps me keep “making a difference” and“doing the right thing” at a much higher priority than “making money.”
- It builds my faith that God is my source, not my clients.
It all began in the first month of 2009. You know, when everything seemed to be falling apart. More people were calling desperate for my business and life coaching services. The minute I told them my rates, it was like I was snatching their last bit of hope away.
At the same time, my current clients were sending in their payments later and later. And then every few days an individual coaching client had to either stretch out the sessions or discontinue for financial reasons. I was still a lot busier than most of my competitors, but I strongly believe when obstacles start popping up that it’s time to look at my business model and do some tweaking.
In one of A Course of Miracles booklets it says “No one should be turned away because he cannot pay.” Well, I’ve been skirting that sentence for years. So much for faith. I believed it was time to address it.
For a month, I agonized over different business strategies I could adopt to avoid what was inevitable. I solicited advice from several marketing consultants and, of course, my business coach. Against most of the advice, I decided to take a risk and began offering “pay what you can afford” small business coaching and life coaching sessions and workshops.
I started by notifying the clients who remained with me about the “pay what you can afford” and offered them the chance to switch. All the time hoping to God they wouldn’t. None of them did.
This was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. See the upcoming blog, 5 Reasons I Offer Pay What you Can Afford, to find out why.
If you’ve let the lack of funds stop you from hiring that much needed business coach or life coach, contact me for affordable coaching, Vickie Champion.
This short video tells a step-by-step story of the process of making payments in a good, successful, or poor way that doesn’t sabotage us. You will see how we pay bills has immediate effects.
Here’s what is thought about in this video…
I don’t FEEL overwhelmed when I pay each bill as it comes in…
… and it’s so nice not paying LATE fees!
I LOVE paying bills…
…ESPECIALLY to the Public Utility Company!
…I can’t imagine my life without ELECTRICITY!
In some small way, I FEEL like every bill I pay…
…HELPS the employees feed their families.
When I change my ATTITUDE about paying bills, it seems like I save more.
HINT: Positive thoughts help us to pay on time & remember to turn the lights off.
See my previous blog on:
This short video tells a step-by-step story of the process of making payments in a bad, unsuccessful, or poor way that sabotages us. How we pay bills has immediate effects.
Here’s what is thought about in this video…
“There’s never enough money!”
“I hope they don’t hit me with another late fee.”
“I hate paying bills…”
“…especially the Public Utility Company.”
“They keep raising the rates…”
“…so that the CEO can buy one more mansion.”
“How am I ever going to make ends meet?”
“This is making me sick! I’ll finish this later.”
HINT: Negative thoughts cause us to pay late and forget to turn the lights off.
See my upcoming blog on:
The Best Way to Pay Bills
Sometimes we think money can solve all our problems and using it to try to alleviate our guilty feelings is one of them.
Here’s Two Signs we Might be Using Money to Relieve Our Guilt…
1 Catch ourselves using words like “I need to”, “I should” I have to”, “I ought to,” and I’ve got to.”
Common Reasons we use money to Relieve GUILT:
- Buying flowers for your wife because you feel ashamed for cheating on her.
- Paying for a full-time companion for your elderly mother because you feel like a bad daughter for not wanting to visit her daily.
- Sending a Christmas card to someone because they sent you one instead of mailing it because you would have whether or not they sent you one.
- Giving to relatives who ask financial help because you feel guilty you have more money than them.
Feeling poorly about yourself? Like you could and should do better? Maybe it’s guilt. Guilt acts as a negative detour in your life, prohibiting you from taking care of yourself, being kind to yourself and pursuing your dreams, among other things.
Here are Nine Reasons my Life and Business Coaching Clients Give for Feeling Guilty…
2 Not doing it all, being the super mom or dad.
3 Getting divorced.
4 Ending a relationship.
5 Gaining weight.
6 Not caring for your elderly parents properly.
7 Cheating on your spouse.
Women collect, feed and refuse to let them go. Men? Not so much. I’m talking about reasons to feel guilty. Women are often serial guilt-hoarders. Storing so much guilt inside their bodies and lives and then when encouraged to release some of it, they decline. In all my years as a business and life coach, the number of women struggling daily with guilt issues far out number the men.
Popular Things Women Feel Guilty Over are…
1 Eating forbidden foods, you know, the ones full of sugar.
2 Balancing life as a working mom.
As a life coach for many years, it’s clear to me that there is a direct correlation between being overweight and having financial woes.
I’m going to tell you about Sandy, one of my money coaching success stories, to show you what I mean. Sandy came to me not because she needed more money but because she lived with a constant fear of losing what she had. This fear kept her in the habit of over saving.
As a business and life coach, a topic that comes up in coaching sessions is “when is it the right time to purchase an item.” Do we buy before we need it?
Buying Before we Need it
If we buy before we need it, there is a good chance we have a lack or fear mentality. An example of this would be a business buying a piece of equipment before offering the service to any of their clients. Or running to the grocery store and buying extra groceries for your visitors before finding out what they like to eat.
Maybe you have become really clear of the life you want for yourself and you are ready to take steps to make it happen. Or maybe you see how the life you have is eroding with each overdrawn account, lack of savings and by living paycheck to paycheck. Are you ready to get serious about ending your money problems?
Signs we’re ready to get answers and end our problems with money are when we are willing to…
1 Listen and learn from others how to get out of debt, save more, invest wisely, and earn more money.
Everywhere I go I run in to people rolling their eyes, unable to look me in the eye, and shrugging their shoulders, as if they know exactly what I’m talking about when I discuss our relationship with money.
A few years ago, The Arizona Republic (the biggest newspaper in the Phoenix metro area) did a page and a half article on me and my work. It was called “Help for the Financially Spent.” The article had illustrations, photos, testimonials, sidebars, and a quiz.
I was thinking the other day how easy it is to put money on a pedestal and treat it as the cure for any problem. If we had money, we think, we could achieve our dreams, mend our relationships, improve our appearance, and essentially get everything we always wanted.
Here's Some Symptoms We Worship Money...
- Make decisions based on how much money something costs or how much money it will make us.
- Put most, if not all, our attention on ways to get more of it.
- Set money goals -- how much we want and by what date.
Debt can be a vicious cycle. We start the debt cycle by finding a way to JUSTIFY adding on new debt. (See the previous blog to find out more details about What Causes a Debt Cycle?)
Here are 11 Symptoms You’re Stuck in a Debt Cycle…
- Have little or no savings, investments, or assets.
- Add new debt right after one debt is paid off.
- Have several credit cards.
- Borrow money to pay off credit cards.
- Put very little money down and set up a longer repayment period to reduce the monthly amount.
Debt can be a vicious cycle. We start the debt cycle by finding a way to JUSTIFY adding on new debt.
Ways we JUSTIFY Adding on New Debt-
1 To rectify our past mistakes.
(Example: You got in a fender bender by not paying attention and you need to fix your bumper.)
2 To reward ourselves.
(Example: You’ve lost weight so you deserve to buy a new outfit.)
3 To get rid of the old debt.
(Example: Taking out a second mortgage to pay off credit cards.)
I talked to two people this week who mentioned that they were tired of being nickel and dimed. This reminded me of a life coaching client I had years ago.
This hard-working mother of four children felt shame that she couldn’t give her children more. So we poured over her budget and I learned that every night she was buying fast food for dinner.
Clearly she was nickel and diming her money away. And the habit was costly in other ways. She was overweight and two of her children also were getting chubby. Easy fix, right? Tell the mother to stop the nightly drive-thru runs. But she worked long hours and coming home to cook – her least favorite thing to do –wasn’t likely something she would stick with very long.
When I was a kid, my folks gave me a weekly allowance. I had to make choices and save for what I really wanted. But when I turned 18, I decided that a weekly allowance was kid stuff and I didn't need it any longer. I was a grown up now and ready for what I thought was financial freedom. What a mistake! After years of constant financial troubles handling things the grown up way, I finally figured out weekly allowances aren't just for kids.
Here's what I NOW know about weekly allowances:
Why EVERYONE Needs a Weekly Allowance:
Do you know of someone who is…
- Having financial troubles
- Avoiding their money problems
- Having a hard time sleeping at night over money issues
- Struggling to figure out what to do next
- Feeling hopeless
Suggest a FREE coaching session with Vickie Champion.
Maybe you’ve heard how a life coach can help you achieve your goals. Or you might know someone who has used a life coach to help them through troubled times. It’s great there are life coaches to help those who need it, but you’re NOT one of them. You are HAPPY with the way things are.
Here are a Few of the Many Advantages of NOT Hiring a Life Coach-
- You can AVOID doing something about your problems, thinking day after day, “Tomorrow will be better.” Lately, I think most people who have money issues are doing this.
Is your financial situation getting worse by the day? Are you having a hard time finding a job because you aren’t willing to change careers or move to a different city? Is your business suffering because you don’t want to change the way you market or what products you’re selling?
I came to a crossroads several months ago.
Clients were starting to drop off faster than I added them, something I was not use too. The old standbys of networking and asking for referrals were not as effective as before. Other life coaches and business coaches began to buzz about getting clients off the internet.
Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” In other words, if money is the problem, throwing more money at it is not the solution. Another example is, we cannot get out of debt by taking on more loans. We’re just simply delaying the answer.
Not only is our economy changing at record speed, so is our way of thinking. As the world alters around us, out of necessity, so do our desires and the way we go about achieving them. As most everyone knows, the last few months have seen profound shifts in every aspect of our society from politics to finances and careers to technological advances. Because of this, our thought trends have taken off in a new direction.
Here are some of the most recent trends:
- Trying to live within your means
It’s one of those mysteries of life, a question everyone has asked in their adult life: “Where did all the money go?” Especially now with finances so tight, it seems your bank account is shrinking at an alarming rate.
And, as that balance gets smaller, the bills seem to come in faster and faster. You never have quite enough to cover everything, and then – WHAM! One of those surprise expenses hits you and sucks away all the savings you have left.
I have been working with my latest client, a newly single Mom. We have only had a couple of coaching sessions, but I already recognize symptoms of several of the most common money problems:
- Overspending money on her son to relieve her guilt over her deadbeat ex
- Knows what budgeting is all about but never took it seriously
- Has a hard time controlling her impulse spending
- Nickel and dimes her money away on quick fixes instead of saving up for what she really wants and needs
- Accepts financial help from her Mom, but feels lousy about it
It’s been a bad day. The kids were fighting and missed the bus, the car got dinged in the parking lot, the boss yelled at you for being late again, you realize you left your lunch on the counter, and just then your computer crashes. What else could go wrong? You need something to lift your spirits. Then, you see that just perfect… whatever… Out comes the credit card and IT is yours – ah! Now you feel better, right?
I just heard last week that confidence in the economy is at the lowest level it has ever been.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed an underlying fear that seems to be growing. We are being bombarded by the media, hearing the reports of lay offs, banks failing and stores going out of business (not to mention the entire auto-maker industry), streets with less consumer traffic, and retailers just aren’t as busy as they should be this time of year.
For decades, we Americans have focused on the basic belief that MORE = HAPPINESS. People everywhere say, “If we could only get more, we’d be so much happier. A bigger house, closets of designer clothes, dining out every night, and giving our kids everything we didn’t have. All these things would make life better, right? We’ll have the American dream!”
It didn’t work. The more we got, the more we wanted. We started buying based on the assumption that in the future, everything goes up. Real estate values grow, our incomes rise, the stock market steadily climbs, and we have an endless ability to get more credit when ever we want it.
As you probably read in my last post (if not, go to 5 Advantages of Blaming first), there are lots of advantages to laying the blame for our current economic collapse on everyone and everything from banks to people with bad credit to government to the neighbor's dog. But stop to consider - there are two sides to everything, and where there are advantages there are also disadvantages. Let's explore the downside to pointing an accusing finger at just about anyone we can think of...
Here are some disadvantages of blaming:
It camouflages our real problem, our personal relationship with money
It's easy to get caught up in the day to day drama of the current American economy and start pointing the finger. For instance, we could place blame the media for inciting so much fear, or we could blame the banks and other financial institutions for making so many bad credit loans. We could blame the bleeding-heart liberal democrats, or the ultra-conservative republicans, or whatever part of the federal government we are angry with! Better yet, we could blame the President for single handedly causing everything in every market everywhere in the world to collapse.
There is no doubt in my mind, we are going through the most challenging financial situation we have ever gone through in our lives and it’s not even close to the bottom.
The reason our financial situation will get a lot worse before it gets better is because we’re trying to solve it the wrong way. It’s not about money at all, the financial crisis is only the results of a belief most of us have that we gain at other people’s expense. Think about it – why are there so many reports of mortgages going into foreclosures and people being forced to declare Chapter 7? Everyone was looking for a short term gain. Lenders thought they could profit at other’s expense, and the lendees thought they could beat the system.
Welcome to the world of Vickie! As I have been watching the news, with the markets crashing and home foreclosures increasing and social security disappearing, I have also been watching levels of panic and confusion rising among the people around me. I’ve had a strong desire to reach out to as many people as I can and, using my knowledge and expertise, do my part to take the fear away through these changing times.