Your Style Evolution

You completed your closet cleanout. You considered your clothing needs and wants as you made your shopping list. You headed to your favorite stores, list in hand, and returned home with bags of items that fit your wardrobe words. Now what?

Fashion Show and Outfit Photos

After your shopping trip, it’s time for a fashion show! I try on all of my outfits for an audience of one: my husband (I know -- I’m lucky). As I sort through my purchases, I determine what I want to keep and what needs to be returned. 

Shopping Tip: In an effort to reduce decision fatigue while shopping, I like to shop at stores that have good return policies. I usually shop two or three times a year, and it’s hard to decide about everything on the spot. For instance, if I spend more than I planned on spending, I can sort it out at home and make some returns.  

Before I put my new pieces on my black velvet hangers, I put outfit options together and take photos of them. Although...

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Suzanne Sky, MTOM Is Now a Certified Financial Recovery™ Counselor!

I bring a wealth of experience to my coaching, which is grounded in 31 years as a Chinese medicine practitioner. My lifelong wellness journey began in the early 1970s when, as a 16-year-old, I awoke to new possibilities of consciousness and living. I soon became an herbal and nutritional consultant and have been involved with many aspects of the healing arts and consciousness studies ever since. 

In 2020, I closed my clinic to focus on life coaching, writing, and creating online courses. By this time, I had completed a one-year Wellness Coach certification and received certificates in Power of Embodied Transformation coach training, where I learned somatic practices, life coaching skills, trauma-informed coaching, and other skills that inform my practice.

I was originally introduced to the work of Karen McCall in 2011, and in June 2020, I had the fortunate opportunity to study with Karen, who is a pioneer in the money coaching field. In June 2021, I completed her powerful...

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Identifying Your Clothing Needs and Wants

Last week, we covered the beginning steps of your wardrobe refresh, including a thorough closet cleanout and the creation of your shopping list. Now, before you head to your favorite stores, we’ve got a bit more prep work to do! It’s time to divide your list into subcategories and identify your clothing needs and wants. 

Shopping List Subcategories

To start, take a look at your shopping list and sort your items into subcategories. Possible groups include:

  • Casual Clothes
  • Workout Clothes
  • Business Clothes
  • Lingerie
  • Pajamas + Nightgowns
  • Fancy Clothes
  • Date Night Outfits
  • Shoes + Boots
  • Handbags
  • Other Accessories

For MoneyGrit. users: I recommend that you personalize the subcategories under your main Clothing category. Name them based on items that resonate with you. Remember my gray fuzzy coat story? For many years, one of my subcategories was Warm Things. Additionally, there is a worksheet within MoneyGrit. titled Needs and Wants List.

Once your list is split into...

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How to Refresh Your Wardrobe

Over the past two weeks, we’ve done a deep dive into the importance of clothes and the deprivation that exists for many people. I’ve also shared my own story of clothing deprivation with you. Now, in the next post for my five-part series, I want to give you actionable steps to take to refresh your wardrobe.

Why Your Clothes Matter

Your clothes tell a story and can have a recognizable impact on your mood and emotions. Have you ever put on a new dress and instantly felt confident and beautiful? Or thrown on a t-shirt and pair of sweatpants and suddenly shifted from energized to exhausted? 

Your clothes also influence how others see you. The idea of fashion psychology supports the belief that your wardrobe can “influence everything from the outcome of a sports match (Hill and Barton, 2005) to an interviewer’s impression of your ability to perform effectively in a job position (Forsythe, 2006)” (source). Your clothing choices can distinguish you in a...

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Caroline Oldershaw Is Now a Certified Financial Recovery™ Counselor

I first met Caroline many years ago, just before I started the Financial Recovery Institute. Knowing of my work, a mutual friend connected us. Back then, Caroline was just beginning the financial recovery process.

In 2019, Caroline approached me about becoming a Certified Financial Recovery TM Counselor. It has been great to reconnect and watch her develop as she progressed through the program and her work with clients.

What made you want to move from personally living the financial recovery process to teaching others about it?

My own life has been transformed through financial recovery. But here’s the thing: It’s not just about money. Financial recovery is a paradox. On the one hand, money is tangible. Consequently, with new behavior and tools very real changes can and do occur: Getting out of debt. Meeting long-deferred needs on a material level. Perhaps earning more. Saving more. But intangible, emotional changes occur too.  Shifting from fear to calm from...

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My Story of Clothing Deprivation

Last week, we focused on the idea that many people struggle with clothing deprivation. We explored the possible causes as well as the impact it can have on your quality of life. This week, I want to share my own clothing story with you. Please note that parts of my experience may be triggering if you’d had your own encounters with abandonment and poverty.

My Childhood Experience With Clothing Deprivation

I had a Dickensian childhood. As a young girl, I was passed from relative to relative without any sense of structure or routine. I was also sick for years: I had polio during the polio epidemic and then kidney disease that resulted in the removal of one kidney and two surgeries on the other. It was during my extended hospital stay for polio that I first met my mother. 

When I left the hospital, I went to live with my father and stepmother in the projects in Sacramento. This time was the worst of my life. We were poor, and my stepmother was evil. The neglect and...

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The Impact of Clothing Deprivation

I have nothing to wear.

We’ve all been there, right? Surrounded by piles of tried-on-and-tossed-away outfits, we are no closer to walking out the door than we were 30 minutes ago. Plus, getting dressed — a necessary part of each day — has somehow morphed into an activity that negatively impacts our self-worth.  

Clothing deprivation is problematic for many people. Let’s first look at the three main causes:

  • Doing Without: Here, your wardrobe is not a priority and thus you are living without the basics.
  • Making Do: In this instance, as illustrated above, you attempt to fill your closet with pieces that fit your lifestyle and make you feel good, but, in one way or another, you miss the mark.
  • Overdoing: Here, you spend a lot of money to build your wardrobe, but you fail to focus on what you truly need. This approach can result in an overfilled closet and a pile of credit card debt

The Payoff for Clothing Deprivation 

Whether you have little...

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Debra Savage is now a Certified Financial Recovery℠ Counselor

It’s my honor to introduce you to Debra Savage, our newest Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!

Debra’s number ONE goal is to empower women to find their personal “Money Sweet Spot” in order to live the life they want while having financial freedom.

As a successful, and sometimes unsuccessful, business owner over the past 30+ years, she brings a diverse and seasoned background in the ups and downs surrounding money and finances. She understands that those “ups and downs” often feel more like a roller coaster ride than a merry-go-round.

Debra’s “never give up” philosophy and unwavering optimism blend with her easily approachable personality. Her coaching is strong, steady and direct, providing you with that much needed and respected mentorship, allowing you the time and space to get out of the Money Fog and into clarity. Her straight-forward, yet gentle and supportive, coaching sets the stage for dramatic change to your...

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The 10-Step Plan You Need to Have a Joyous Debt-Free Holiday

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...

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Money Moments - Dollars for Donuts. Discovering Your Money-Food Connection


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...

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