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Why You Should Be Grateful for Stressful Moments

It’s that special time of year again when our lives are filled with ideas of love and joy, and the very real holiday stress that is added to our daily struggles. If you are feeling overwhelmed this holiday season by the daunting challenges you face, it may be time to change your perspective and start to consider that these are really lessons waiting to be learned. Acknowledging your difficulties with gratitude can help you transform them into opportunities to grow and make your journey easier.

Let’s face it, most people don’t get an even break in this life. But for those who are inquisitive and have an inkling of self-awareness, trying to find the balance in their daily routines, or even believing that they deserve to be happy, can sometimes feel like pushing a sofa down a football field — without casters.

Read more: Why You Should Be Grateful for Stressful Moments

How To Regain Control Of Your Financial Debt

Are you a high earner, but still live paycheck to paycheck? Do people call you an overachiever, always pushing boundaries to get one more thing done? Can falling asleep sometimes feel like a war zone of worry, keeping you questioning your decisions during the day? Is the voice in your head relentless with criticism when you feel as if you’ve taken the wrong road?                                    

If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone. According to the Federal Reserve’s General Social Survey, fifty-four percent of women have little to no money left over after paying bills, and nearly two-thirds of American women from ages 40-79 have already dealt with a major financial crisis — such as job loss, death of a spouse, a serious illness — that drained financial assets. With the national average household debt at $54,000, it’s a problem affecting women of all income levels.

So how can you stop your rising debt from turning you into just another one of these statistics? In order to break the cycle of overspending once and for all, you need to learn how to find and weed out the root cause.

Read more: How To Regain Control Of Your Financial Debt

The Drive for PERFECTION is an Endless Journey

"Being out of control with my money makes me feel as if I am not enough...the implications that I am worthless because I cannot get out of debt."

I often receive e-mails from people from around the world telling me of their financial struggles.

With their permission, I am going to share some of their e-mails with you as a learning tool. 

“I make a lot of money, by some people’s standard, but I live paycheck to paycheck and feel as if I live on the edge of financial ruin.

My husband and I argue about money and it always comes down to control and touches off feelings of shame for me, feelings of inadequacies for him. But, we never use those words.

Read more: The Drive for PERFECTION is an Endless Journey

Don't Let Debt Define Who You Are

A few weeks ago, I took a call from a woman who was concerned that her bankruptcy would turn off any man she dated, thus creating a “no-fly zone” in her chances of remarrying.

Her second marriage had lasted 11 years and she ran a successful company during that time. Since she bore much of the financial burden, when the company eventually went under, she felt like somehow all of that personal success got reduced. She felt that her declaring bankruptcy negated the achievement of having built from scratch a once-profitable, 25-employee company. Ouch!

Read more: Don't Let Debt Define Who You Are

8 Easy Tips for Raising Financially Responsible Kids

Every summer a good friend of mine goes to Martha's Vineyard for an annual family gathering. Over the course of two weeks, dozens of first-generation cousins, uncles, and aunts, ranging in age from 8 to 89, show up to participate in the bonding experience. They sail, put on a talent show, make pies, and have swimming competitions, barbecues, cocktail parties, and blueberry-picking contests.

You’d almost envision a page from a Ralph Lauren ad, showing generations all well dressed in their wrinkled linen shorts, with windblown hair and a seemingly carefree lifestyle.

What this vacation snapshot doesn't reveal is the financial stress some of them are hiding from everyone but their children.

Read more: 8 Easy Tips for Raising Financially Responsible Kids

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)

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

What Causes You To Be Unhappy?

Feeling Out Of Control

What does how we live say about who we are? Chaos breeds confusion, lack of focus and pain. Read on.

Putting Things Off

All too often people put their own needs behind those they care for to their detriment as well as those they love. Read on.

Not Feeling Deserving

Do you need someone to tell you you’re worth it? Let me be the one to say it loud and clear: you deserve a healthy happy life. Read on.

 

Anger

For many, it’s easier to hide their true feelings than to admit they are sad, miserable and lonely. But hiding your true needs prevents you from the life you desire. You can fix this. Read on.

Holding Onto Shame

Ask yourself: On a scale of 1-100% how good are you at keeping your word to those you love and to yourself? You’d be surprised at how core this issue is to your happiness. Read on.

How You Get In Your Own Way

Self-sabotage is a sneaky way we prevent ourselves from reaching our dreams. How are you interfering with your own desires without even knowing it? Read on.