Your TangotwitterThumbtackPinterestFacebook

Are Your Finances as Fabulous as Your Shoes?

 Carrie Bradshaw had it right — shoes are a girl’s best friends!

There are so many reasons that we attach so much emotional value to our shoe purchases. After all, our shoes never judge us, they don’t abandon us if we move up a skirt size, and they never leave the seat up or dishes in the sink. Reliable as they are, they will always be there when we need them: wellies for rain, sneakers for kickboxing, flats for dating a short guy, and espadrilles for the Hamptons.

Something about each different style seems to capture the attitude we want to silently proclaim to the world on any given day. If we’re trying for a conservative look, the penny loafers come out, but it’s time for the flirty heels when we’re trying to look sexy. When it’s time to enjoy a little “me” time, only the comfiest bunny slippers will do. Most importantly, wearing the right pair of shoes can make us smile and bring a little pep back to our step, even on the dreariest days.

It’s no wonder it’s so often easier to talk about our shoes than our money.

Read more: Are Your Finances as Fabulous as Your Shoes?

Why You Shouldn’t Pay Off Your Debt (Entirely)

When I was a mortgage broker in 2005, it was a common practice to bundle homeowners’ debts into their refinance or their purchase. The rationalization was that a person could start fresh, with zero unsecured debt, and stay that way. Some of the lenders even made that a criteria in providing the loan to the homeowner.

Ten years earlier, I had done exactly that when I purchased my first home.

I thought it was a cool idea and loved the sensation of feeling debt-free (except for my mortgage payment). I felt unburdened and proud of myself. I had worked hard building my construction business so that I could afford the home’s down payment and monthly obligations from then on.

But it never dawned on me that my credit card debt was a sign of living beyond my means.

It never occurred to me that my small savings account, with irregular contributions, was a clue to a bigger problem. 

It never entered my mind that I was in denial about how I mismanaged my finances.

I had what could be called voluntary blindness.

Read more: Why You Shouldn’t Pay Off Your Debt (Entirely)

Check in Time for Your New Year's Resolutions (Part II)

Last week I re-connected with my niece with whom I haven’t spoken with for 20 years.

It’s a long story.

It is amazing to re-establish a relationship with someone who was such a big piece of my life when we were both younger.

Her life took some bizarre turns, and my life really came together to bring me closer to my authentic self, a place of healing she has yet to experience.

It is a gift to both of us. She now gets a chance to make different choices that she never knew existed nor had the option to exercise.

What prevented her from feeling whole?

What messages did she glean from her early years, that ended up in a two year prison sentence as an adult?

Read more: Check in Time for Your New Year's Resolutions (Part II)

Less Money Doesn’t Have to Mean More Problems

We have been living in a financially insecure economy for over seven years. Some of the stress from that has seeped into our relationships, which has led to a rise in divorces. Seventy percent of married couples fight about money, which is more than they fight about household chores, kids, and who left the toilet seat up.

Ironically, for some couples, these fights are actually a great chance to address some larger issues that they are facing. Here are eight actions you can take to save your marriage from becoming another statistic.

Read more: Less Money Doesn’t Have to Mean More Problems

Check in Time for Your New Year's Resolutions

We are on the crest of the start of summer.

Six months ago many people made resolutions to make their lives better in the coming 12 months. Some promised to lose weight, save money, spend more time with their kids, work fewer hours but, in general, the source was the same: the desire for change.

So, for all of you who made such declarations, I am asking for accountability: How is it going?

I took a small poll…10 people who I knew made such a promise in January. 8 of them pretty much said the same thing: “ I was really good for a few months, but things came up that threw me off my path…”

Keeping our personal commitments is very challenging, especially when we are not clear with ourselves; What are we doing, what are we thinking or feeling?
Is what is in front of us going to be good for us, or put us in peril?
Are we about to do something that will cause us to lose our self-respect or increase our trust in ourselves?

Read more: Check in Time for Your New Year's Resolutions

Don’t Let Financial Shame Hurt Your Relationships

Money conversations can bring up a wheelbarrow of issues, including shame, fear, and isolation — the trifecta of emotions. For “Susan,” these hidden feelings were beginning to wear on her relationship with her partner because she was never fully present in the moments they shared. The shame and fear of being in debt were taking control of her life.    

She pulled away from her spouse, avoiding certain conversations and situations that might expose her secret. Then the little lies started. When asked how she was, she would answer “fine,” even as her stomach was churning because her student loans were overdue.  

The secrets also began to affect Susan’s relationships with her siblings, parents, and friends. She had moved past the place where her debt was simply an issue of spending more than she earned. The shame was keeping her in a vicious cycle of debt and isolation.  

Read more: Don’t Let Financial Shame Hurt Your Relationships

3 Tips for Making Good Use of Your Dead-End Job

Do you get the Sunday afternoon blues? Do you start thinking about the next day with a sinking feeling? Do you rationalize that what you do for a living enables you to have a certain lifestyle? Do you wish for a change but are lost as to what would make you happy and fulfilled? Take heart: 70 percent of Americans feel detached from their jobs.

What stands in the way of getting what you want?

Do you sabotage your performance at work, or do you sabotage your chances of being happy, because you are afraid of declaring your real feelings?

Are you playing it safe, hiding in a dead-end job because you are afraid of getting too much attention and you want to stay below the radar? Does getting pushed out of your comfort zone make you freeze?

Do you meet women who seem confident, assured, and at ease and wish you could feel the same?  

Read more: 3 Tips for Making Good Use of Your Dead-End Job

To learn how you can work directly with Pegi Burdick, The Financial Whisperer®, click here.