This month our inboxes are overloaded with motivational messages, pinging at you like a hyperactive personal trainer: Lose weight! Get fit! Stop smoking! Start training! Write that book! Sort out your money! I'm advocating a calmer, gentler approach to achieving your financial goals; scaling down intentions to a manageable level. If you set yourself up to succeed, you'll be rewarded with an upward spiral of belief and trust in yourself.
The process of divorce or separation forces you to make big financial decisions at a time of intense emotional upheaval. There is an urgent need for clarity, understanding and clear planning to ensure those decisions are made well, as they could have a big impact on your future.
The financial side of divorce can be a daunting process, especially as many of us struggle to understand where our money goes at the best of times. There may be financial issues – such as pensions, investments, debts or a family business – that you have never really understood, and now decisions need to be made about how to share these. Even apparently straightforward questions, such as ‘how much do you need to live on?’ are complex when on the cusp of a big life change.
Financial coaching provides support and guidance in understanding money, and so can be particularly helpful for navigating the financial aspects of divorce and facilitating discussions between couples.
Happy International Women's Day!
I'm getting really excited about taking part in the WOW Festival this weekend. I'll be there 3-4pm on Friday as part of a panel discussing risk, exposure and resilience. And also delivering a worksop 'Getting Personal with Finance' 3-4pm on Saturday, where I'll be taking women through the 7 Laws of Sheconomics and answering audience questions.
Passes for the festival are now sold out, but come and see me if you're there! @WOWtweetUK #WOWLDN
I was interviewed by a journalist recently who wanted to write an article about ‘financial therapy’ - a combination of financial advice and therapy for unhelpful money behaviours - that is currently popular in the US.
The article - Do you need financial therapy? – was published by The Guardian this week. While I don’t describe myself as a therapist, my work often involves helping clients address the emotions they experience surrounding the subject of money and helping shift unconscious patterns of behaviour around money.
As well as interviewing me about my work, we did some work on the journalist’s relationship with money so that she could experience what I do. She’d never before given much thought to her relationship with money.
What was revealing was that she can get herself out of trouble but can’t maintain that forward momentum once it no longer feels like a problem. We did an exercise where I got her to personify her relationship with money, and what came to her was ambivalence, disinterest and discomfort about engaging with money. We realised that her focus was on survival: getting through the month, paying off debts, but not on thriving.
The words ‘money’ and ‘worries’ go together so often they can seem inseparable. For many people, their relationship with money is fraught with anxiety. In Sheconomics we talk about ‘Money Anxiety Disorder’ (MAD) – a fixation with money worries and a persistent sensation of simply not having enough. I also come across something I call ‘net worth anxiety’ – where people assess themselves at a certain stage of life and compare themselves to friends or colleagues or to their own expectations, and feel that they’ve fallen behind.
Money worries can leave you trapped in a relentless cycle of anxiety.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Ambrose Redmoon.
I was just standing in a queue in a newsagent where the guy in front of me was buying a lottery ticket, reflecting on a conversation I had this morning with a client. He was telling me about a book called 'The Big Leap' where the author, Gay Hendricks, talks about how fear and excitement create the same sensations in our body, but that we try to get rid of the feeling of fear by holding our breath. Excitement can also turn into fear by holding our breath - just think 'rollercoaster rides'!
Instead, he suggests, that...
Behavioural economics explores why people sometimes make irrational decisions. Laurie's TED Talk shows how monkeys make the same mistakes as we do when it comes to money.
Read on for some other interesting TED talks on the topic of our relationship with money...
I've had an exciting few months, which has caused me to be relatively quiet on the Wise Monkey social media front for a while. I took a bit of time out from tweeting and facebooking to take stock and plan my next direction. Some recent tasks and events - updating my website, creating a new video to succinctly explain what I do, regulatory issues and preparing a one-minute speech as well as a teleseminar - have required me to assess what I do and why, and to distill the essence of my work.
I’m still buzzing from the Financial Life Planning conference, which took place in London at the end of January. The minute I walked into the conference room it felt like a family gathering. There was a sense of familiarity, warmth and openness there, and I felt a sense of belonging that’s not usual in the world of financial services!
I was also excited about having a chance to participate in a panel discussion covering how I’ve integrated Life Planning into my work ...
Suddenly it’s December again and Christmas is coming hurtling towards us in a blur of sparkly lights and parties and last minute shopping, making excessive demands on our budgets. That’s how it often feels – to have come suddenly at us, even though December follows November each and every year.
One of my clients, Anna, is taking Advanced Driving lessons and her instructor had said that the most common word in accident reports was ‘suddenly’: ‘suddenly the van came hurtling round the corner’; ‘the car ahead braked suddenly’. Anna was learning that Advanced driving skills are all about anticipation - looking well ahead, adjusting your behaviour to ensure a smooth ride. Things rarely happen ‘suddenly’ if you’re anticipating well. She realised that ...
After two years of fun writing, we're excited to say that Sheconomics, is finally on the bookshelves! We were lucky enough to get a double page spread in The Times about the book, written by Carol Midgley.
If you don't subscribe to The Times you won't be able to read the article in full, so here it is...