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How to Be Sure Wedding Bliss Does Not Become a Financial Miss, Part 2

In my last blog post, I was talking about how the wedding industry likes to take unsuspecting brides and grooms for a ride and leave them with a hefty bill. Meg Schneider, author of Budget Weddings for Dummies, says “We have been conditioned since we were little children to go for the fairy tale and this is what the wedding industry is selling us. We buy from an emotional state rather than a rational state.” And that’s where they get us! While we believe we make decisions based on logic, in fact as humans we make buying decisions based on emotions and back them up with logic. This is when we are vulnerable to overspending. We get preyed on when we are vulnerable. Think about it: most smart, capable, hard-working women wouldn’t think to spend $3,000 on an outfit they would wear multiple times. Heck, that’s too expensive! Yet they succumb […]

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How to Be Sure Wedding Bliss Does Not Become a Financial Miss, Part 1

Things were off to a slow start in the fall for one main, glorious reason… I got engaged in September! While the engagement is great news, wedding planning is more time consuming than I thought it would be. It took me almost a month to find a venue that met my criteria and didn’t gouge my pocketbook. You see, as soon as you add the word “wedding” to anything, it appears the industry has creative license to jack up prices by 50-100% or more as compared to a similar non-wedding expense. Brides and grooms are held hostage for wanting their dream event, all in the name of profit. I have quickly discovered two most important keys to ensuring the budget is not blown for a wedding or any other potentially expensive purchase: 1- creating an overall budget to begin with (and sticking to it), and 2- being flexible in most cases. That’s […]

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How shopping on your birthday can be good AND bad

I splurged. Yep, just because I run a website about taking control of money doesn’t mean I don’t have human moments. In fact, if you know my back story, you probably wouldn’t be surprised that I could be prone to relapses. Except this wasn’t a relapse; I splurged within my budget. And I am using this story on how, with my money system, you can splurge AND stay in control of your money. Here’s the story. It’s my birthday. I walked to the hair salon and got my hair cut as planned. On my way back, I popped into Godiva chocolates. I remembered an email about free chocolate for my bday, so I went in to inquire. Next I was getting the free chocolate and started to choose some lovely truffles and chocolate covered strawberries because I also got a small birthday discount. Instead of going to the sale items, […]

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Do you control money, or does it control you? It used to control me…

I was someone who was born without the “saver” gene (just like 98% of us!). I spent years living pay to pay, always with good intentions, but never feeling like I was getting ahead. As my income grew, so did my financial obligations… nagging credit card debt, lines of credit, and student debt. My credit score was decent, but I was always a bit stretched. Intellectually, I knew what to do. Spend less, save more, be smarter with money and invest. I read several books on the subject. I would do well for a while, and then I’d be back where I started. It was like trying to lose the same 20 lbs. over, and over, and over again! I often scratched my head at what I was doing wrong; I mean, I rarely frequented expensive restaurants, my social expenses were reasonable, I wasn’t a clothes hound (but I did buy stuff), […]

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Avoiding the New Year Financial Hangover

When you’re broke, January can be a crappy time of year. This is when you sober up from both the parties and the December shopping haze. You’re counting the days until when you will cringe and reluctantly open your credit card statements. Not only will see you see all of the gifts you overspent on, but the “gifts” to you from Santa as well. Guess what? You forgot to mention to your irrationally exuberant shopping-happy self that Santa doesn’t pay for any of them… you do. You’re mentally calculating (and underestimating) how many paychecks it will take to cover these purchases… ignoring the fact you already carry a hefty balance on the card. January is also the time you force yourself to think back to your resolutions… to get your money in order, to stop spending like you’re in a coma, to be more responsible… behaving financially like an adult. […]

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Why Willpower Does Not Work When it Comes to Money (or Anything)

The money gurus will tell you that being in control of your money is a matter of willpower. I say phooey! Using willpower makes managing your money neither easy nor palatable. The reason they count on willpower is because they haven’t (and/or they can’t) give you a proper money management system with established controls. What’s a control? Controls are used everywhere… in business, in security, in our laws, on our roadways, etc. A control is a procedure that is implemented to either encourage or discourage a certain type of behaviour. Think of using a security card to enter an office. That is an example of a control which discourages unauthorized access. Here is the example of a control for entering a flat-fee parking lot. Some parking lot controls impose restrictions to direct you into a certain kind of behaviour (i.e. keeping the entrance barrier down, limiting access to the lot and […]

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Finding Money to Jumpstart or Up-Level Your Business

If you are thinking of starting a business or trying to grow an existing small business, you almost certainly will need money, which can come from one or several different sources. Depending on timing, your circumstances and the opportunities available to you, not all sources may be appropriate for your business. Money infusions can come in many forms: debt, grants, savings, income from another source, sale of assets, business income, and equity. The first five can be used for both getting a business off the ground or taking your business to the next level. Business income and equity are usually reserved for established businesses, since it’s hard to sell equity in an idea only, without a proven track record of performance or a tangible sample of potential. For the latter, think of the first major financial investments in Facebook. Although the company had yet to earn revenues, there was sufficient proof of potential […]

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What is Your Money Blindness?

Why is it vital to work on your relationship with money in order to achieve your goals? And why is looking into your past important? It’s because you are unable to truly embrace the present or the future if your hands (or bank accounts) are taken up with carrying the past. Do you have moments of money blindness? Money blindness is a term used in gambling circles; it’s when your perception of the value of money varies, sometimes drastically, depending on the situation. So, whereas $200 in your wallet may be a noticeable amount of money to you and you are careful spending it, you may not even give a second thought to spending $200 in a particular boutique, restaurant or bar, or when shopping online. Money blindness can be triggered in different areas. For some it could be in their social spending, for others it’s their image and clothing, or grocery shopping. Maybe […]

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Traditional Financial Advice Ignores Important Parts of Your Financial Success

One thing that I’ve observed through my adult life is traditional financial advice ignores the most important parts of your financial success: your beliefs and emotions about money. Many people have financial baggage — an accumulation of unwanted financial issues brought on by years of unaddressed subconscious beliefs, and the subsequent negative emotions that well up whenever they are faced with a financial challenge. How many people does this affect? Year after year, the American Psychological Association releases findings that for about 76% surveyed, money is the number one stressor… ranking higher than work, health, or children. That’s THREE out of every FOUR people surveyed! This is a serious issue. And it’s no doubt with the economic turmoil happening all over the world the last few years, the statistics would be similar in other industrialized countries across the globe. While the statistics are high, there’s one thing to remember: you are not alone […]

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The Richer Sex as Breadwinners… But What About Women’s Overall Financial Health?

TIME recently featured the cover story by Liza Mundy called The Richer Sex: Women are overtaking men as America’s breadwinners. Why that’s good for everyone. The crux of the article is that “in 2009 (the most recent year U.S. Bureau of Labor stats are available), nearly 4 in 10 working wives out-earned their husbands — an increase of over 50% from 20 years before.” The trend is predicted to keep growing. I am not one to buy magazines, but this was too intriguing to resist. I found the article enlightening, and even highlighted passages. But my post focuses more on articles and blog posts commenting on the TIME article, notably Daily Worth’s commentary The Female Financial Paradox; they noticed the author missed the powerful story within this trend: “Female breadwinners may be on the rise, but women are not poised to become “The Richer $ex,” as TIME’s cover boasts. Far too […]

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