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.

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,


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.



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

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.



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

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