Have the last three holiday seasons felt more like the Nightmare Before Christmas than ‘Twas the Night before Christmas?
Does the thought of celebrating the holidays without family and friends cast a shadow over what is supposed to be the "hap-happiest time of the year?"
For many people, the holiday season is a mad rush of spending too much time, too much energy, and too much money.
This year's uncertainty has only added to the pressure we feel.
In this blog post, you'll learn how to examine your feelings and beliefs about the season and the impact they have on your behavior. By the end, you’ll have the tools to build the holiday of your dreams while remaining debt-free, so that you can welcome the new year in financial peace.
I recommend taking some time to fill out the questions below. It's not easy work, but it just may be the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season.
#1. Take Stock of How Holiday Spending Makes You Feel
The holidays are a time...
When I started Financial Recovery in 1988, I knew my focus would be in creating a holistic approach to overcoming self-defeating money behaviors. Using my MoneyMinderOnline spending plan, I encouraged clients to keep track EVERYTHING so they could get grounded in their numbers and begin to make meaningful change.
One of the categories we tracked, of course, was food—and for many of us, it’s a category that’s loaded with complicated emotions.
You get out what you put into a Spending Plan, so I encourage clients to track in great detail in this area—down to dividing spending out by sub-category, like groceries, breakfast out, lunch out, dinner out, fast food, takeout, coffee/tea/snacks, etc.
Clients inevitably looked shocked when I would ask them to track their money in such great detail, but I knew if I stuck with it, they’d gain insights that would move them forward on their journey.
My favorite food-money connection came from a woman who I was working...
It’s my honor to introduce you to Colleen Bertolino, our newest Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!
I interviewed Colleen to learn more about her experience becoming and passion for being a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor through the Financial Recovery Institute.
Why did you become a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor?
My passion for helping those with financial hardship stems from my deeply personal experiences working with families and individuals struggling with substance, behavior, and mental health disorders. While educating and supporting families with recovery, I discovered a significant need for financial restoration. I witnessed clients selling homes, claiming bankruptcy, and draining savings and retirement funds, all to pay for their loved one’s treatment. I felt called to bridge the gap from financial despair to financial wellness. My life’s purpose is to serve, guiding clients toward greater health and happiness--mentally, emotionally,...
In a therapy session several years ago, I was talking about my childhood. I described the instability of my early years as I was passed from one temporary home to another. I recalled the lack of warmth and comfort I felt, which I didn’t even realize I’d been missing until later. By the time I was 6, a kidney disease diagnosis left my living in a hospital for months at a time. I had few visitors and ached with loneliness, enduring several surgeries and the removal of one kidney. Once I was finally out of the woods with my kidney disease, I was diagnosed with polio.
My therapist sat silently for a moment after I recalled my story. Then he said something that’s stuck with me for years: “I knew you had grit.”
Hearing him put my resilience into words made me feel appreciated, and seen. It felt like a true reflection of my journey.
Years later, I discovered Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. In an...
It is my honor and pleasure to introduce you to Dana Conley, our newest Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!
Dana brings a wealth of education and training to the Financial Recovery process. As a Life Transformation Coach for 15 years, Dana has inspired and supported hundreds of individuals in private sessions, classes, and workshops to develop mindfulness, master their mindset, and manifest their dreams. Her background and experience in holistic healing, teaching, and coaching perfectly complements the Financial Recovery process and gives her clients a variety of tools to heal their relationship with money and create a richer life.
Dana is a life-long learner that loves to educate and empower others through stories. I asked her to share a bit about herself and part of her own money story to illustrate her unique approach to her Financial Recovery practice.
MY FINANCIAL RECOVERY JOURNEY
Like most people, my journey to becoming a Financial Recovery Counselor was a long and winding...
During our Monthly Money Monday Show on April 6, 2020, the women and men of our community came together to talk about the uncertainty of what we’re facing during this time of crisis.
We shared our stories and I shared some of my tips and thoughts about navigating truly tough times.
Joining us on this recording of our show are Wendy Wright, Financial Therapist (and Certified Financial Recovery Counselor) and Dana Conley, Financial Recovery Counselor (known as the “Queen of Calm”) sharing with us how we can stay centered and not panic as we face potential health and financial insecurity.
If you’re worried, losing sleep and stressed you will want to take the time to spend 40 minutes with us. I know there is something valuable you will be able to take away.
To take advantage of our new weekly helping sessions you can join Monthly Money Monday here-- Monthly Money Monday. I’d love for you to join us right away.
It’s my honor to introduce a newly certified Financial Recovery Counselor.
Because she’s also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wendy sits at a unique intersection of offering her clients both therapy and financial counseling. She’s one of very few people who qualify as a Financial Therapist.
I interviewed Wendy to hear more about her experience becoming a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor.
Financial therapy addresses our emotions around money.
Whether people realize it or not, money isn’t simply a tool we use to buy groceries and own a home. It tends to be a controversial topic of conversation and an emotionally-charged aspect of our lives. Research has shown...
When you think of love, do you think of couples holding hands, romantic songs, or candlelit dinners? I bet you don't think of money problems, stress, and anxiety!
When people are knee-deep in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, or not feeling in control of their finances, they experience shame, fear, anxiety, guilt...But one of the feelings we often forget about is loneliness.
I remember when I came to this realization—it was a Saturday morning in San Francisco many years ago. I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe alone, drinking my latte and reading the SF Chronicle. I was watching couples and groups of people together talking, laughing, and really enjoying themselves.
I really felt my sense of longing deeply then, and I knew that it was time to address this NEED now. By this time, I was focusing on my financial issues, but without even realizing it, I had cut myself off from everyone in the process.
I knew it was time for me to do something about this—I had contact...
Backyard BBQs, picnics at the lake, long awaited vacations to theme parks, beaches, or faraway places—these are our summer rituals and we deserve every minute of fun in the sun and relaxation.
And it seems opportunities to spend are everywhere. Souvenirs, food, new luggage or beach towels. Don’t forget the plane tickets or gas for the car or RV. Have you ever started your day with plenty of cash in your wallet for these kinds of things only to find by night that you can’t remember where it all went?
Maybe, like the majority of us these days, you prefer plastic over cash. Have you ever checked your bank balance thinking you had a certain amount waiting for you only to be disheartened by your low account balance? You’re not alone.
Here’s a sad but true fact; Most people cannot account for how they spend their money. We live in a financial fog, disconnected from the real numbers and unable to understand our own actions.
What’s needed is a way to stay...
As Tax Day approaches, couples may be feeling more financial fear than ever. Yet, money problems present an opportunity for couples to draw closer together, rather than tearing them apart.
“The notion that money is the #1 reason people get divorced is absolutely false. “It may be the symptom of problems in the relationship, but it is not the cause.”
Money often becomes the currency of emotion in a relationship. In this economic environment, romantic partners may be using money as a substitute for addressing common areas of relationship challenges, including:
Anger: There can be danger in anger. If one person in the relationship does not feel their needs are important, or feels they are not being met, they may use money to express anger. Resulting behaviors can include overspending, or closing the purse strings so the other spouse has no money to spend.
Neglect: When someone feels neglected physically or emotionally by their partner, they may use shopping as a form...