Tools for Thriving

Sheri Here,

There are so many pieces to thriving well – health, relationships and finances.  The tools I want to focus on now are the money tools.

Budget Review

I was looking at my budget the other day and comparing it to last year at this time.  I’m spending more on certain things like food, utilities and credit card interest and a little less on gasoline.  I know I can manage well and thrive, because I have the tools.

What?! You don’t spend time look at your budget?  I’m stunned – just kidding!!  Many people are uncomfortable with money tools because they haven’t been taught how to use them.

Use the Right Tools

We need the right tools at the right time to help us make good decisions.  What are those money tools?  Don’t be put off by the list – I don’t use them all at the same time, but many of them work better together.  The tools I’m talking about are:

  • Daily logging of your expenditures – provides great insight into what you are spending and helps with information for the other tools. You can do this occasionally to get a good picture of your spending or do it all the time to stay within your income.
  • Budget – an overall guide, usually prepared for a monthly period. This includes what you have committed yourself to financially such as: Housing, food, transportation, clothing, entertainment, savings, credit card payments, etc. and what you have available to spend.  Sometimes seeing things in black and white is a good thing, especially if you are focused on saving for the future.
  • Cash Flow – this is like a budget, except it is usually for a longer time frame than a month. It gives you the picture of what periodic (such as quarterly or annually) financial commitments will require funding.This tool gives you a picture of what to expect.  It minimizes looking at your bank account and SURPRISE, your bank balance is significantly less than expected!Not all surprises are bad, some are great and add value to our lives.A cash flow picture is especially good for business owners; but also helpful, for your personal use.  You want to minimize the unexpected and maximize saving for investments for retirement.
  • Savings – the money you pay yourself first for either a rainy day, unexpected expense, such as a car or house repair; or that you set aside to invest. Some say savings are what’s left after the bills, I say, you pay yourself first, even if it is $10 a week or a $100 a month.If you don’t make savings a priority, it rarely happens.
  • Investments – These are financial instruments such as CDs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRA (Investment Retirement Account) or 401(k), etc. Things you put, or invest, the money you saved or large sums of money you receive, such as inheritances or bonuses.These are the type of items which you expect to grow for your future house, travel or retirement. Ideally, they will grow over time as a result of either an increase in value or the interest or dividends that you are paid.  It could be something as simple as a 401(k), an IRA where you save for retirement.While I won’t discuss the pros and cons of the different types of financial investments as it is beyond the scope of this newsletter but some financial investments are riskier than others and you could lose money. Unless you understand the financial instrument and its related risk, it is best to avoid it.Others are “safer” like a savings account with a fixed interest rate.  However, in times of high inflation your buying power may decline over time as prices increase.

Whether you use all of these or none of these is at your discretion, but knowledge is power.  In the case of the more risky instruments (something other than a savings account), it is advisable to work with a knowledgeable professional such as a Financial Advisor.

Mastery Takes Practice

I have used all of these tools at one time or another, not necessarily at the same time.  They take some practice to master and can feel overwhelming to start; but if you never start, you will never get to a destination of financial freedom.  These principles will help you manage the bumps in the road financially and they can be handy to minimize surprises.

Until the next time – lighten up and have some fun!



P.S. You can get my book Everything I Learned About Life I Learned on Vacation here.

Gratitude Changes Everything

Gratitude Changes Everything

Here it is November, the month dedicated to Gratitude.  Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratitude changes everything.

What a lovely quality to possess or to have as a recognition practice in your life.

Gratitude Practice Growing Up

Growing up I don’t remember this practice being taught at home or in the spiritual institutions I attended. Maybe I just missed it.

Yes, occasionally we’d get the “eat up and be grateful you have food on the table” speech from our parents, but not a consistent ritual of gratitude recognition.

I didn’t encounter that practice until my 40’s, when I was complaining to a friend, and she started saying I should write a gratitude list of all the things I was grateful for during a day. But at a minimum, write at least three things down.

Gratitude Changes Everything

That was hard for me at first because I couldn’t think of the blessings in my life, although they were abundant. The more I worked on this writing as a daily practice, the more I discovered the abundance that surrounded me. I softened and so did my attitude. Gratitude changes everything.

A few years later, I was given a copy of Simple Abundance – A Day Book of Comfort and Joywritten by Sarah Ban Breathnach. In this lovely daily reader book, she talks extensively about gratitude and how a daily written list will change your life. It changed mine. This book is a gem of simple practices that help us realign our thinking and with that our lives.

At the time I started my written gratitude list, I needed some changes in thinking and the book was also extremely helpful in that regard, but especially around gratitude.

This simple practice has changed my perspective and my thinking over the years and with it, my life. It has been a contributor to the more positive outlook I now have in general toward life.

A Brief History of Gratitude

Gratitude is a concept or principle that every major religion embraces – one of the few things that they agree upon.

Even the Romans in the B.C. years recognized it. Cicero, a lawyer, writer and orator of those times said, “Gratitude is not the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Gratitude has a rich history. As it is one of my favorite topics, I’ve written a couple of other blogs on the topic if you are interested: Gratitude – A Solution for Chaos and Celebrating Gratitude and a Challenge.

Do you have a gratitude practice, where you write daily, in the morning or in the evening, 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for? Leave a comment and let me know, let me know how it has affected your life.

Around Town

If you missed the last 3 Keys to Radically Transform Your Life and Finances, I’ve scheduled another on November 29, 2022, at 2pm PT. You can register here.

You can buy my book Everything I Learned About Life I Learned on Vacation here.



The Five People Who Surround You

Sheri here –

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker said “you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with”.  I’m not certain how I feel about that.  First, I don’t feel average, I choose to believe I am special – because I am ME.

What about you?  Does this resonate?  Were you uncomfortable when Jim Rohn implied you were average?  Or are you the one with a rich full life, the envy of your friends?

Why Are the People Surrounding Me So Important?

They allow me into their life, to cherish the special times, even the moments we spend together, to celebrate their victories, to learn from their experiences and to support them in times of loss. In return, they do the same for me.

We are all better for these types of relationships.  These rich relationships reflect the abundance in our lives because of the people around us.  And it isn’t necessarily limited to five people.

When I started looking around to see who I did spend my time with, I realized that the marvelous group had gotten smaller.  Smaller through attrition, some of those long-time great folks were starting to move onto the great beyond.

My heart is sad for their going, and my life is bigger for the knowing.

Expand Your Definition of Abundance

Abundance, prosperity and wealth come in more forms than just money; relationships are one of them.  Consider expanding your definition of abundance and your feeling of wealth!

While you are expanding your definition of abundance and wealth, use the following tips to start saving money.

  1. Sign up for all the loyalty programs (airline, hotel, and car) that are available to you.  These may be sources of free airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals.
  2. Instead of buying a new car, buy a pre-owned 2- or 3-year-old car.  The biggest drop in value happens during the first year (ok when you drive it off the lot).  Let someone else pay the higher price.
  3. Know your credit card due dates and make payments prior to those dates to avoid late fees.  If the due date is a problem, request a change in date.  Many times, the credit card company is willing to accommodate your needs.
  4. Reconsider, even stop completely, grocery and meal delivery services – avoid the delivery and tip fees.
  5. Do you need a new purse or briefcase (yes, some people still use them)?  Buy a higher quality bag and keep it longer, which will lower the cost in the long run.  Shop the thrift stores or discount apps to find a “gently” used high quality bag that meets your needs for a fraction of the price.

Until the next time – enjoy the prosperity and the feeling of abundance in all areas of your life.


P.S. If you want immediate access to  “101 Ways to Save Money” just click here to download!


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