Holiday Planning Starts NOW

Holiday Planning Starts NOW!

Sheri here –

Did you realize that it is the beginning of October?  I sorta just got that message – duh! October is the beginning of the holiday season!  Oh my goodness, 2021 is just around the corner (THANK GOODNESS, a BIG sigh of relief).

Did you ever notice how once October starts, it seems like the year is over before you know it we are singing “Auld Lang Syne” for New Years!?

Or at least that’s what prior seasonal routines have indicated!!

Yet, these last months are to be savored, the holidays enjoyed – maybe in a new way.

It’s Time to Start Holiday Planning

Many businesses will start their 2021 planning right now, at this time of year, in the Fourth Quarter.

Maybe we need to adopt that thought for our personal lives for the Fourth Quarter – the Holiday Season.

While we have “normal” Seasonal Routines from prior years, maybe this is the year that we do it differently – rather than letting the holidays happen to us, we direct how it goes!

I started to see some people decorating their homes for Halloween the last weekend in September – it wasn’t even October yet!

What if, you take a few minutes and plan the rest of this Season.  That you made decisions about how the old routines, the old traditions might be different – might be new this year.

Certainly, travel and in person contact has been reoriented with physical distancing.  Money might be another subject that needs to be addressed earlier – the budget (oops is that a bad word in your mind?) for the holidays need to be re-examined.

What Is Important This Time of Year?

How do you make it special for your family?  How do you plan to get together with friends?  Ok, maybe you don’t want to think about it now; but, there will probably be differences.

OK, I get it, maybe you just don’t want to think about it – maybe this is a year that some people won’t be present for one reason or another.

This could be an opportunity to really look at your holiday traditions and choose what will make this year’s holidays special.  You can have a wonderful end to 2020 with some fore thought and creativity.

Take out a calendar and block some time for yourself, for a bit of planning by yourself, with your friends and your family.  What are some of the things that you want to assure stand out as special?  While this year they might be different, maybe even some aspects  are virtual.  A little planning now will help reduce both the anxiety level and the stress level for you and those around you.

By starting now, at the beginning of October, you can create a very special holiday season for you, your family and friends.  May it be filled with love, joy and happiness.

One of the things that always seems to loom large is the expectation of decorations, gifts, and entertainment – SPENDING!   In my “It’s October – the Start of the Holidays”  post last year, I included five Holiday Money Planning Tips that are still applicable this year.  Check it out here!

Have you started to think about any of the seasonal routines – the year end holidays?  What are you thinking – would you share some of your thoughts?  Leave a comment below.



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!

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,


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.


Holidays – Happy or Sad?

Sheri here –

Thanksgiving is when we get to spend time with friends and family and enjoy wonderful food.  This is also a time we reminisce about the old times.

Some of those old times may not be so great.  We tend to have high expectations of how the holidays should be.

Yet, life happens, and it has no regard for the holidays.

Sad Memories Maybe Part of the Holidays

You may, like me, have some sad memories of things that happened at this time of year.  My Dad passed away about ten years ago at the end of October and that holiday season was overshadowed by the missing of a loved one.

Yet, the rest of the family was together, and we did laugh and giggle about some of the previous times.

You too might have had something similar, a loved one ill or facing a serious situation.  

This time of year may evoke those sad memories.  Yet, we don’t need to be overwhelmed by them.  Rather, we can use this time of year as an opportunity to cherish the good memories with those no longer with us.

We can cherish the old times and also create new traditions, spend time with the rest of the family, invite friends, have an orphan Thanksgiving or join some new friends to do something different.

As I’ve mentioned before, during this season of Thanksgiving, spend some time at dinner and focus on the good stuff.  Share the things in your life that you are grateful for, the blessings.  Feel the glow of good feelings as you enjoy the good food.

When we focus on the blessings in our life, we fill our life with love, happiness and hope.  What a great gift (and it’s free!!).

Maybe spend a little time after dinner watching football and reading the Black Friday ads.

Black Friday Money Saving Tips

To help with the Black Friday adventures, here are a couple more tips to go easy on your pocketbook:

  1. Spend time with the Black Friday ads, make your choices and be intentional about your purchases.
  2. Eat before you go shopping, so you aren’t hungry and possibly make poor decisions.
  3. Be kind to those around you who are also in the store, bring your holiday cheerful self.

Just as an added refresher, here are the Black Friday shopping tips from last week:

  1. Decide on your budget before you start and stick to it!
  2. Spend cash or use your debit card and avoid building credit card debt.
  3. Make a list of what you are looking for and the people you are shopping for.

Want more money saving tips?  Check out my “101 Ways to Saving Money” – just click here.

Have a wonderful time with family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving.



Make a List and Check it Twice

Create a Holiday Shopping Plan

Sheri here –

Thanksgiving is just around the corner; but overshadowing it are the holiday shopping ads AND the big kick off: BLACK FRIDAY.

Traditionally, the retailers make about 40% of their sales in the last couple of months of the year.  And Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days in the brick and mortar stores and online.

EVERYONE rolls out their best deals.  

Some stores will open late on Thanksgiving afternoon and you can shop online anytime.  That can be a blessing or a curse.

As you may know, I worked in the retail industry for a long time – in a Corporate Finance Organization and the holiday sales were nurtured.  The numbers were closely watched, starting on Black Friday through the after Christmas Sales.

If you are a business owner, you probably already have a holiday sales plans in place to entice your customers to grace your business with some of the money they will spend this year.

Right after Black Friday is Cyber Monday, where the online shopping sales abound. 

Frankly, it can all be quite overwhelming!

Create your holiday shopping plan

Now, is the time for you to plan your holiday shopping strategy.  Use Black Friday and Cyber Monday to YOUR advantage.  That’s right PLAN is the operative word.  Create your plan to harvest the best bargains you can, preserve your sanity and nurture your pocketbook.

You might want to use a gift budget worksheet to help plan both your giving your holiday entertainment plans. 

Money strategies for Black Friday

Here are a couple of quick ideas to help you do a little advanced planning for Black Friday.

  1. Decide on your budget before you start and stick to it!
  2. Spend cash or use your debit card and avoid building credit card debt.
  3. Make a list of what you are looking for and the people you are shopping for.

Have a great week!



P.S. If you’d like more tips for saving money, download my free eBook “101 Ways to Save Money”. Just click this link.

The Magic of Giving

Sheri here –

When you give of your time and money, do you give with a generosity of heart, a generosity of spirit?  Or are there times when you feel that you are being coerced or guilted into giving and it is done in anger or resentment?

When you give with a generosity of spirit do you notice a difference in your attitude and how you feel?

When you give with an expectation of a particular result – are you satisfied with the eventual outcome?  Or are you left empty and still wanting?

I LOVE when I can give of my time and money with a generosity of spirit to a passion project.  I feel filled up and things seems to work so smoothly.

The Law of Giving

In Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams”, he talks about The Law of Giving.  

He says that “…giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe.  And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”

He goes on to say: “The gifts of caring, attention, affection, appreciation, and love are some of the most precious gifts you can give, and they don’t cost you anything.  

“When you meet someone, you can silently send them a blessing, wishing them happiness, joy and laughter.  This kind of silent giving is very powerful.”

Before more and more of the “suggestions for giving” start to bombard us, consider what your passion projects are and how you can best give with a generosity of spirit.  

Share your favorite projects for giving in the comments below!

Giving and Money Saving Opportunities

This week’s money tips are focused on giving opportunities:

  1. Visit the shops that benefit hospitals or other charitable organization, including the Goodwill and Salvation Army, as you look for gifts or other items.  You may find classic pieces for less AND help worthy causes.
  2. Use some of your giving money to fulfill the wish list of a needy child or an older adult on a limited income.

May you have a week filled with love and blessings.



P.S: Get your free copy of “101 Ways to Save Money”, just click this link.

Pause Before You Buy

Sheri here –

Have you ever found yourself caught up in the moment and pushing forward with something that you thought was going to be a really, really good deal. Then just when you were going to say YES! You paused to think about it and realized No, No, No. What was I thinking???

Of course, “they” say, that if seems to good to be true, it probably is!!

I recently had an experience where I thought I needed a new computer; the reason was ALMOST in the category of buying a new car cuz the ashtray was full and I don’t smoke.

I was negotiating a PC purchase. Yes, I admit it, I’ve been a PC Gal since the earlydays of computers. The days of the big floppy disks. Oh, but I date myself.

Buying from the manufacturer with special “referral” pricing from an organization I belonged to, just HAD to be a good deal, right? I was assured I was getting the best deal that they had to offer. (Ding, ding, ding – how many red flags went off for you here??)

Comparison Shopping

But after looking at the price, I thought wait, is it REALLY a good deal. It was time to stop and do some comparison shopping.

One might ask, why didn’t I do comparison shopping first? Good question!

Comparison shopping and shopping are just so easy today. Almost too easy.

Sure enough, the deal wasn’t as good as I’d been led to believe. The excitement of a shiny new object was fortunately overruled by good sense.

This time, I escaped a bad and expensive, impulsive decision.  This was followed by still deeper thought about whether this purchase was necessary.  That answer was no.

Sometimes the negotiating and the buying just seem like fun, even if it isn’t a good decision.  Pausing saved the day!

Have you found yourself in that same situation – caught up in the heat of the moment, wanting that shiny new something?  Thinking that you’d just die if you didn’t get. And then you pause, you said wait, let me think this through?

Would you share your experiences and your shopping stories?  Those times that you almost bought something but decided to wait and saved yourself a LOT of money.  

Share your favorite negotiation tips in the comments below.

A Few Money Saving Tips

  1. Be specific and know what you want before you start shopping. 
  2. Avoid impulse buying or retail therapy.
  3. Do your research, your comparison shopping, especially on a large purchase, so that you recognize a good deal.
  4. Make a list of people or items you are shopping for and stick to your list.
  5. Think about what you are buying and why, is it necessary or the right gift for that person on your list.

Find these tips helpful? Then you might want to download my free ebook “101 Ways to Save Money” – just click here to download!

Have a great week!



P.S. Would enjoy hearing your stories of shopping experiences gone awry, post in the comments below, just to know I’m not alone….

October Starts the Holiday Seaso

It’s October, the Start of the Holidays

Sheri here –

What was your first thought when you really, really looked at the calendar and it sunk it that “It is October!”?

Did you think: “No way.  How did that happen? It absolutely, positively can not be.  Only yesterday it was New Years, no Valentine’s Day, no, no, no.”


“You know what that means don’t you – tomorrow the year is over.”

Well, it certainly seems like it happens that fast.


Are you more laid back, along the lines: “Hmmm, I guess it really is October.”

The days and years seem to be going faster and faster.

I’m more in the first category, the, really, it can’t be October already category.

Ready, Set, GO!

That means it is time to start bracing for the HOLIDAYS – both your finances and your calendar.  The planning window may have already closed!

Let me ask you: Are you 1) ignoring the holidays, hoping they will go away; 2) thinking about how you will manage the time and cost; 3) already behind; or 4) “I got this!”? Drop a comment below with your answer!

Halloween decorations are already popping up around town.  The kids are getting excited about what they are going to wear, and the festivities devoted to scary pleasures and sugary treats.

Then its November.  While we spend portions of November planning Thanksgiving dinner, everywhere you look are reminders that the December holidays are just around the corner.

But to me, November is a time of reflection, a time of gratitude and a time of giving thanks for all the blessings in life.  How about you?

In many ways, these next months stretch our pocketbooks, our patience and our time more than any other period during the year.

Now might be a good time to grab your calendar and a piece of paper and make a time and money plan, if you haven’t already mapped it out.  Ok, so, there are only a few weeks left; but maybe, you are still in time to save a bit of your sanity!

Holiday Money Planning Tips

To help you get started, here are 5 holiday money planning tips:

  1. Make a holiday budget and STICK to it.
  2. Consider giving gifts only to the children in the family, including the extending family.
  3. Reduce the number of gifts that you buy per family member.
  4. DIY (Do It Yourself) and make your gifts. Make it a family fun project.
  5. Give precious memories for gifts; e.g. a photo book or a personal poem for a special person.

Do you have a favorite money saving tip or two for the holidays?

May you have a magnificent week, even if you are as stunned as I am that it is October!

Ciao and hugs,


P.S.  If you need help planning your holiday strategy and want to talk schedule a call with me here!

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