Money

Monsters Under the Bed…

Sheri here –

Do you remember the monster under the bed when you were growing up?  Or was it there for your kids.  Maybe it was in the closet.  It was scary and hard to sleep.

Of course, there was also the Cookie Monster…so between the Tickle Monster, the Cookie Monster and the Monsters under the bed, you could say we were raised on monsters!!

There are still some monsters lurking

What you say?  Which monsters??

Why the Money Monsters! It is the emotion around money, that is lurking like those monsters under the bed or in the closet.

The fears and negative messages about money seem to lurk under the bed and sometimes in the dark keep us awake at night with worry and fear.  Does this sound at all familiar?!

Life without the money monsters?

What would life be like if you were able to release the fear, feelings of scarcity or inadequacy?

Money is energy, yet all too often we approach it emotionally and act as if we are afraid it will attack us and drag us under like the monster in the pool or under the bed.

What would it be like to approach the day without the weight of the money monster baggage, giving you space to breath and the clarity to approach things with a great sense of peace and serenity around money?

Releasing the emotion around money

Consider becoming part of my challenge to release those money monsters.

I’m doing some market research for a project I’m working on – to help take the emotion out of money.  I would LOVE it, if you would share some of the monsters you have known (either personally or just heard about) in the Facebook group: “Money Talks with Sheri

Ok, no need to answer right now – unless you’d like to add to my list of money monsters or share an experience with a money monster. 

Ciao and hugs,

Sheri

P.S If you would like to talk about releasing the emotion around money book a call with me here!

Your Credit Score

Sheri here – 

In the last blog Your Credit Report Matters, we talked about your credit report, why it matters and how to get it. Your credit score is based on the information in that credit report.

Several things influence how good or poor your rating is.  Ok, it’s just a number, but, that number can cost you money!

What affects your credit score

The most common credit rating is a FICO score. FICO is an abbreviation for Fair Isaac Corporation, which was the first company to offer a credit-risk model with a score Wikipedia

What goes into that rating?

  • Your history of paying bills on time, which shows how responsible you are – counts for 35% of the rating.
  • How much you owe compared to the amount available to borrow, the higher the amount, the lower the score and vice versa – comprises 30%.
  • The age of your longest held credit account shows your stability with credit over time. The longer the time, the better it is – counts for 15%.
  • Have you recently opened new accounts, which may show a change in some of your credit habits – makes up 10%.
  • Finally, do you have a variety of debt, such as installment loans, credit cards, mortgage, student debt, etc., which shows how you handle different types of credit – comprises 10%

Within the rating process, these are all weighted and they all add up to give a picture of how credit worthy you are.

The higher the score, the less risk you are perceived to be.  The impact can be lower interest rates and the higher available credit that you may qualify to get.  A lower credit rating works in reverse and make the difference in getting or not getting a major loan or credit card.

Of course, if you never use credit for anything, you won’t have a credit rating.

Having no credit history might not make any difference unless you have any plans to buy a house or secure a business loan. For those reasons, you want to assure you have nurtured an excellent rating.

What does the number mean? 

Your credit rating is a number, if you are:

– Between 800 – 850 – Exceptional credit risk

– Between 740 – 799 – Very good credit risk

– Between 670 – 739 – Good credit risk

– Less than 669 – Fair to Risky credit risk

Your credit score can make a difference to the quality of your life, no matter your age or life circumstance.

Protect it, be responsible. It is easy to mess it up and a lengthy and painful process to repair it.

Fixing your credit score

Be careful of those who may tell you that they will “fix” (opens in a new tab)your credit rating for you. While it may seem to be a quick fix, in the long run, that effort may either make no difference or make things worse or cost you more money in the long run.

Fixing your credit score starts with understanding and addressing the underlying problems.

Know your money priorities, including setting aside money for contributions and investing.  Avoid using credit cards for everyday or impulsive purchases.  

Pay down your existing balances to less than 30% of the credit available.

Make your payments on time.

Use your credit wisely and it will serve you well.

Ciao,

Sheri

P.S. Drop a comment below and let me know what your money goals are and how I can help!

Your Credit Report Matters

Sheri here –

Your credit report can impact your personal and business existence.

Maybe one of your goals was getting a business loan.  An important element in getting a business loan is your personal credit rating.

Why? Because if your business doesn’t have a credit track record yet then it must rely upon your personal credit rating to secure a loan for your business.

This is a loan to your business, not to you and shouldn’t affect your credit, provided you have an established business entity. But before you sign the paperwork, check with your lender and accountant.

What does your credit rating look like?

Maybe you’ve had some frustrating encounters or disappointing situations when you were trying to buy something. Maybe it was an appliance, or a car or a house and you were told that your credit wasn’t approved, or the interest rate on your purchase was higher than expected or you needed to put more money down.

Maybe you wanted to get a business loan, but your personal credit rating didn’t support it.

Ok, you knew you had an issue; but didn’t think it was THAT bad, that it would affect you like that.  You were mystified as to why.

You might have some questions at this point:

Where did they get your credit information from?
– How can you get your hands on it to see the details for yourself?
– How do you fix it, if there are issues?
Why does my personal credit rating matter for a business loan?

Where does the information come from?

Your credit rating is based on information that the credit bureaus (credit reporting agencies) collect about you. They collect information on all consumers and report it individually in your credit report. There are three major credit bureaus or agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

The information that the credit agencies collect is used to prepare your credit score, your credit rating. 

How can you see the details for yourself?

The good news is that you can get a free copy of your credit information once a year from each of the three credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.

You may want to review your information more often than once a year.  You have several alternatives: 1) pay a service to that or 2 ) once every four months, order one of your three free reports, rotating the credit bureau you request it from.  That way you get a look see three times a year for free.

When was the last time you checked your credit report?

While the credit report doesn’t include your credit score, at least not for free, there are ways to get it.  Some credit cards will include the reporting of your credit score as one of the credit card’s benefits.

How do you fix any errors?

It is a good practice to check periodically to determine if there are any errors, then you can get it corrected before it affects a personal buying decision.

Check each of the credit bureaus websites, for the information on how you can correct errors that you identified.

If you found errors on one, then you may want to double check the others to assure that you are correcting everything. 

Why is this important?

Your credit rating influences not only getting credit, but the price you pay for credit, whether you are buying a house, a car, an appliance or even the interest rate on your current credit cards.  

Your rating could even make the difference in getting the apartment you are looking to rent or landing that great job you are interviewing for.

Women today, as compared to just a few decades ago, have the privilege of establishing credit in their own name, even if they are married and not currently working outside the home.

That is a great privilege because it gives you more power to leverage your earnings and your buying power.

With the privilege of having credit comes the responsibility to prudently use it and to protect the accuracy of your credit information.

An excellent credit rating is something to honor and to protect.

Ciao,

Sheri

P.S. Drop a comment below and let me know what your money goals are and how I can help!

Change Your Money Habits

Sheri here –

Would you like to change your money habits? The place to start might be remembering the money conversations that your parents had about money.  Maybe it was never discussed with you directly, but the evidence was everywhere.

Those comments: “We can’t afford that”, “What do you think, that money grows on trees?”, or maybe “You have to work hard to get money”.  I know I heard some of those continuously!

Then there was “we’ll just put that on the credit card, no problem”.  Maybe they never said that; but you say that EVERYTHING went on the credit card.  Then the bill came, and they were stressed out.  Or there were the arguments about “how could you have put that much on the credit card?”

Everywhere you looked, there was evidence.  No wonder your relationship with money is a bit strange?

Most of us didn’t receive guidance or training about money.  How to earn it, how to spend it or how to save it.  No wonder you are money challenged!

While you may have a difficult or an interesting relationship with money now, it is never too late to change it!

Set aside 10% of your income

Have it go into a separate bank account.  That way, you never see it – out of sight, out of mind.  What? Just take 10% out of the money I make right off the top?  Are you crazy?  I can’t afford to do that. 

Yes, you can.  It might not happen overnight, but, you will find ways to cut back on those expenses in order to set aside this 10%. Until it becomes a new habit.

This 10% that you are paying yourself goes toward building your emergency fund or your investment fund.

If you don’t take the 10% out first, it will never happen.  You will continue to be in the same spot you are in now, forever.

Spend Cash Only

When you spend cash, you are more resistant to spending money or spending money as lavishly.  You will think differently about spending money.

After all, when you have cash in your pocket, you feel as though you have money.  When the cash is gone, then you feel broke.

You will think twice, even three times about spending money, when you spend cash.  You might think about your purchase longer, spend less or not at all. 

When the cash is getting low, you will get creative in your ways of conserving money.  Maybe you start eating at home more, making only 1 stop a day for coffee instead of 2 – the list is endless.

If not cash, use your ATM card – the one that is just like cash – there is an end to the money and you can pay for it once (unlike a credit card)!

That will leave you with money toward the 10% you took out in #1 above. This too can become a new money habit.

Keep track of everything you are spending

Either write it down in a notebook, keep a log in a spreadsheet or use an app on your phone.

No matter what method you use, you will discover a lot about your spending habits.  You might even resist spending something because you know that you will need to be accountable for it.

In that discovery, you may find things that you can change that will allow you to cover that 10% you are setting aside.

Yes, this is a change in not only a relationship, your relationship with money, but a change in a habit.  Try the first one, then add another of these ideas.  It might take a few days or even weeks to get into doing this, to adjust. 

It might take a little longer, but as you persist, you will be successful. Your relationship will change and you will be richer.  Richer in a relationship with money and richer in your pocketbook.

Ciao and hugs,

Sheri

P.S. For other tips on money – for ways to cover that 10% you are paying yourself, download “101 Ways to Save Money”, just click here.

 

Trading Money for Time

Sheri here –

We hear a lot about trading time for money, but let’s talk about trading money for time!

The first subject, trading time for money, is generally about going to work for someone for a paycheck. 

Some of you work or have worked for a paycheck and may still be doing that.  Others have left (or never started) and are in business for yourself – as an entrepreneur or retired, living your dream life.  

You have more freedom in where and how you earn your money, but make no mistake, being an entrepreneur is work! 

Trade Money for Your Time

When you trade your money for your time –  you hire out a task.  You could hire out a task in your home or businessYou are not doing it, someone else is.  

You are then FREE to focus on something that brings you pleasure or to focus on that task only you can do.  

There is more to making your money work for you than paying off debt, saving it, or building a retirement fund – it is getting you time back.   Time to work your business and earn more than you would pay someone to do that delegable task or time to enjoy some “you” time.

The added bonus?!  You are employing someone – paying them money so they can further their personal financial picture.  This is a win-win, yes?

A couple of quick examples that come to mind: having someone clean your house, do your gardening or do your grocery shopping.  Yes, you pay and maybe pay a little extra than if you did it; but you have your time available to spend as you choose.

The Possibilities are Endless!

I recently traded money for time with a flu shot.  

For some reason, I COULD not find a place I could get the flu shot for free or under my insurance unless I went to my Doctor or I paid for it.

I didn’t like those choices; however, after going to three drug stores to get the same answer, I thought, I’ll just go to my Doctor.  

Well, that was a pain!  By the time I finally made an appointment with the Doctor’s office, I’d spent another 20 minutes.

That appointment was going to be a week away and then I’d have to go to the office, wait and drive home.  Probably another 2 hours of my time to get that done.

I felt I had spent enough time chasing after getting a flu shot.  I decided I’d just pay the fee.  

And I was happy to pay for it. Those 2 hours became mine, available for me to use for what was important to me, even if it was a nap!

Where in your life are you sub-optimizing your time?  Where can you find someone to do it for you, so you can focus on a higher value (to you) task?

In the comments below post your ideas on what tasks you can delegate to others.  And then what you would do with the time you bought back!

Ciao,

Sheri

For Fun and For FREE!

Sheri here –

Small money changes can add up to saving some serious money!

Last weekend, two of my girlfriends and I did the annual girls’ weekend to Laguna Beach.  It turned into a money success story!

We go to the Pageant of the Masters , stay overnight and then go to the Sawdust Festival the next day.

What on earth is that you ask?  Well, the Pageant of the Masters is a theatrical event where actors reinvent famous (and not so famous) paintings, movie posters, sculptures, lamps and other works of art which include people. 

Leveraging costumes, makeup, painted scenery and lighting, the life size replicas on stage are astonishing in the likeness to the artwork.

It is breathtaking!  You sit and stare through your binoculars at the works of art waiting for someone to breath, blink or move.  The actors are so good, that for the few minutes they are on stage in position you see them as still as statues.

A Girls’ Weekend FREE!

Before the show is a wonderful art show. These magnificent art pieces include paintings, sculptures, photos, glass work, fiber art and other beautiful pieces.

Since the three of us have been going for so many years, we generally look for our favorite artists to see their current offerings.

Then we enjoy a leisurely dinner before the show.

After all that excitement, we retired to a local inn, so we can get up early the next day for the Sawdust Festival, another wonderful Art Show.  Once again, we seek out our favorite artists and reminisce on the pieces that we have bought in the past.

So much fun spending a weekend with the girls – self-care at its best!!

But the best part: I had “saved” enough money using many of the simple money saving tips I’ve been sharing in the last couple of blogs (see here) to pay for the weekend – the entrance tickets, the meals, and the room.

Easily Save Some Serious Money!

While I didn’t save quite enough for my artistic purchases, I did pay cash for most of it! 

As I’ve mentioned, these tips can save you serious money – enough for a special girlfriends’ weekend!

Where can you convert money you are spending that is no longer serving you and turn it into savings? Whether you use it for a special event or add to your cash reserves…anything is possible!  Consider it a TREASURE hunt!

This week’s 5 hot tips:

1. This may border on the heretic; but, reconsider the brands you use for cosmetics, skin & hair care. Good quality and effective doesn’t mean most expensive!

2. Invite friends over for dinner instead of going out . Make it into a BBQ and/or potluck.

3. Are you using your gym membership enough to make it a worthwhile recurring expense? If no, discontinue it. Look at how much you have spent on the “maybe someday I’ll go” membership.

4. Call your credit card companies and ask for an interest rate reduction. If they say you aren’t eligible for a reduction, ask them what the requirements are. When you meet them, call back and ask again!

5. Summer is the time of lots of travel, including out-of-the-country travel. Use the local currency, it will be less costly than using dollars. Even though shops may accept dollars, you will pay more because they will use the most favorable conversion rate for them, not you!

I would LOVE to hear from you what is your favorite money saving tip?   Just drop it into the comments below!. 

Here is to your personal prosperity and abundance this week…talk with you soon!


Ciao,
Sheri

P.S. If you would like all the tips at once – you can get the “101 Ways to Save Money” here!

Rethink How You Spend Money

Sheri here –

In my last blog – Ch-Ch-Changes, I discussed spending cash (no credit cards) only. A MAJOR rethinking of how we spend money!

How is the journey going with you in spending cash only?  Did you try that?  Has it been bringing up old messages you thought were long gone?  Or have you been thinking twice about why you really would want to buy something or other possible trade offs?

Rethinking how we do things

Breaking old habits takes dedicated brainpower.  Interesting things come out of that effort including confronting old ways of thinking (maybe limiting beliefs) and the possibility of new freedoms!

I know it has been a mixed results journey for me – some of the things that I had to look twice at were the Nordstrom’s annual sale – oh, all those goodies!  Then thinking ahead to vacation and all the things I want to do. Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I’d not thought about things at this level, the level of tradeoffs (cash vs. credit) for a while – I’d gotten complacent.

There is absolutely nothing stopping us from doing it all, but maybe not all at once!  Take a little time for a reflection on trade offs to do it smartly and how you don’t need to pay for it again and again over time like you do when you put it on your credit card.

As life continues to unfold, are you looking at all the possibilities to go and do and be?

I know that I continue doing that and I’ve also been looking at all the amazing blessings that already exist in my life.  Like sharing with a friend like you how much I appreciate you.

Tips for saving money

Here are 9 tips from my 101 Ways to Save Money to get you started on your savings journey!

1. Do a thrift store crawl. You can find high quality, gently used clothes, especially in fancy neighborhoods. It can be both entertaining and fun, in addition to saving money!

2. Avoid shopping online or buying “stuff” just because it’s on sale; ask yourself if you really need it? My husband regularly tells me I’d save even more if I didn’t buy something just because it was on sale!

3. Occasionally, eat out at a less costly place, you might be surprised by a good meal at a lower price!

4. Look at all your magazine subscriptions – are you reading them? Do they bring you joy or are they just stacking up unread? If going unread, eliminate the subscription and buy an issue occasionally as a treat! This also counts as a green activity – less paper to throw away.

5. If you use a credit card, especially because you use it to get rewards (miles, cash, etc.) pay it off entirely monthly to avoid most service charges or interest.

6. Get your free annual credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus at www.AnnualCreditReport.com . Review them for any discrepancies and contact the bureaus to get those discrepancies resolved. These reports will let you know what might impact your credit and cost you in higher interest rates or denied credit.

7. Consider using a “no brand name” gas at a lower cost and similar quality. That $.10 or $.20 a gallon adds up!

8. Is it time to shop around for lower priced insurance or have you recently satisfied yourself that your coverage is both appropriate and cost effective?

9. Sell some of those things sitting around that you don’t use. Have a garage sale or sell them on eBay. Make some money and reduce clutter.

Oh my – that is a LOT to take in.  And it is a LOT of potential money savings.  And it is a lot of possible change, that might be the bigger challenge here to saving money. Perhaps we need to talk about managing and surviving change at another time.

Drop a comment below and let me know if the thought of money or just spending cash (even on your debit card) makes you break out in hives and how I can help!

Ciao and hugs,

Sheri

P.S. If you would like all the tips at once – you can get the “101 Ways to Save Money” here!

Ch-Ch-Changes

Hi, it’s been awhile since I published a blog.  Life and business have been busy and full.  In fact, the last blog you received was on my prior website.  If you haven’t checked out my new site, including the update pics, please do so here.

Many of you know me as the reinvention guide and coach focusing on supporting women during transitions and changes especially after significant, gut-wrenching loss.

But….what keeps coming up in my conversions with my clients and business acquaintances  is that M word.

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Take these steps towards your Reinvention!

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