Parenting In A Brave New World
In 2004, we moved to the great unknown of Boise, Idaho, the week of spring break. Our daughter was only in first grade. Wow, that seems like both yesterday and a million years ago, at the same time.
It was an exciting and intimidating time. My husband went off to work that following Monday, where he had been working for the past 7 weeks, while I drove my daughter to her first day of school. She settled into the desk in her new classroom. So, I slowly dragged my feet out the door. Boy, what a lonely feeling. (more…)
But, it was all planned out…
The mission was going according to plan.
You had it all worked out. Chores: done. Errands: done. Dinner plans: done.
You are ready for a day of shopping with your precious daughter. A girl date. What could be better than mother-daughter bonding, right? (more…)
Fake News Can Make You Crazy
We’ve all heard it, usually making fun, “If it’s on the internet, it must be true!” We laugh because we know that there are people who are not, shall we say, as skeptical as perhaps they should be of what they read online.
Last time we looked at how we can sometimes fall into that trap, even though we are usually skeptical. What gets us in trouble? Memes. You know those images that include words of wisdom? They’re often really, really funny. My favorites use pictures from hugely popular movies. Like the one picturing Boromir, from The Fellowship of the Ring, saying “One does not simply walk…” (which he does in the movie) “into Costco without buying a 70” TV” (which, of course, he doesn’t say in the movie).
We laugh because if we’ve been to Costco, we get the joke. It is hard not to come out of there with things we didn’t have on our list. So before we move on, let’s redeploy Boromir’s famous line: “One does not simply walk into…Costco without bringing a list.” (more…)
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions
A few months ago a representative from a local organization called me. She was very interested in having me perform for one of their events. She expressed how she was touched by my story in a recent edition of Christian Living Magazine. Our conversation ended with her wishing “Blessings!” upon me. Little did I know what road those good intentions would take me on. Watch your words got real. (more…)
Fear Of Debt? Crawl Before You Walk
It’s simple enough and requires no math skill. Spend more money than you make. You go into debt.
That was true for us, as we revealed in part one of this series. In retrospect, there really was no way to avoid that unpleasant money outcome, given our meager income versus the cost-of-living challenges we faced. Consequently, as soon as we could we sought out greater income opportunities. Things got better.
As we saw last time, having loads of money doesn’t mean you will feel secure. Kara and Ron taught me that, as a financial planner.
Many people around the world, especially in America, had been living very high until the Great Recession hit. Things were pretty good. Money was moving easily. Account values and home prices were rising quickly. The expectation of that continuing may have actually set us up for the crash.
Life is what happens after you make plans.
But that assumes that there was a plan. Many people, around 2007, didn’t have any plan. They were winging it. Things felt good. And making a plan felt like work. Even unnecessary. They found out the hard way that not having a plan feels terrible and creates much more work, headaches, and heartache.
5 Steps to Emotional Recovery
So, what does it mean and how do you “prepare for rain” in your life? Prepare For Rain is a place where people get “unstuck,” start growing again, and renew their dreams and passions. To do that, you must take these five key steps:
- Recognize that you need “rain” in your life. Because of the Great Recession, that’s not so hard these days. Of course, we’re not talking about physical rain. Too many people are stuck in the mindset and expectation of scarcity, rather than abundance, even with money. “Rain” here means renewal, restoration, maybe even rebirth.
- Honestly reflect on where you are right now. Is your work satisfying to you? Sure, it’s important to have income, but are you trading your time for too little money? Is there something else you could do to supplement your income? A part-time job? Better yet, a home-based business that involves something you love…something you are gifted at?
- Get serious about your debt/income ratio. I’m all in favor of not having debt. But I don’t advocate people get out of debt as fast as they can—as many financial experts do. Don’t get me wrong. I am totally on board with the concept and the goal of becoming debt-free. The problem isn’t with the concept. It’s with people’s money habits. Many behaviors need to change, simultaneously, to achieve a “no-debt” status. Debt isn’t evil. It makes economies run and allows companies to expand, which includes hiring more people. The critical issue is how expensive is the debt: how much does it actually cost to buy the money. As an advisor—and then a leader of advisors—I saw many people work very hard at paying off their debt, using every spare dollar to do so. Often, I was advising and helping them to do so. While their goal was admirable, when life threw them a curve some stopped trying. Because every dollar had gone to debt-reduction, no money went to savings [not what I recommended]. So, what happened when life threw them a curve? They went back into debt to deal with the challenge. For some, this became a rinse & repeat cycle. They felt defeated. Therefore, I advocate that you continue building a savings account even while paying down the debt because it’s proactive and responsible.
- Re-engage your dreams. Chances are high that you put them on a shelf some time ago. Maybe a very long time ago. Why? Because you needed to work? OK, but why does it have to be one or the other? If you’ve always wanted to be a writer, then write. Get up a little earlier every day for a month…and write. See how you feel a month from now! You’ll feel awesome. Maybe you’ll have something to publish. Same thing for painting, music, poetry, whatever. It’s your dream. No one else can bring it to life besides you.
- Give back. Our perspective about things gets very skewed when we’re in our own little bubble. Volunteer somewhere. Lots of organizations need help, so find one that engages your passions.
Engage here. Does any of this resonate with you? Someone you care about? Have you downloaded our free guide yet?
photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc