My 2018 Valentine’s Day Rant

It’s Valentine’s Day, so it’s time for my annual Valentine’s Day rant. I’m rerunning last year’s post, but just want to add a couple of thoughts. I despise this marketing manipulation day for so many reasons, but really hope to convince you, at the least, not to fall for the hype and spend money you may not be able to afford as the Valentine Svengali’s are hoping to persuade you to do.

If you MUST “celebrate,” consider sending a free e-card in lieu of enriching Hallmark or American Greetings, who are part of this $18 billion dollar industry, using a sub-text of guilt to draw you into their web of unnecessary spending.

One of my favorite words is “sheeple.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means docile, compliant, or easily influenced : people likened to sheep.

I don’t know if it’s “sheeple” complex driving this industry. Or guilt. Or an easy way to use money to show love. But you don’t need a specific day to remember to show those you love how much you care about them.

If you must engage in this nonsense because it matters to that most important person in your life, there are a million ways to express your love without giving in to the pressure to buy candy, jewelry, flowers, or cards … ways that will be far more meaningful and remembered more fondly. Here are a few examples:
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The Birth of Fearless Budgeting

Listen to this blog post: “I Can’t Stop Spending!” podcast, Episode 053.

I’ve decided to create a series of spending plan training podcasts because it feels like that is the most important information I can offer you right now. If you want help creating or maintaining a spending plan, this podcast series is for you. Even if you already have a spending plan, the training will be a helpful refresher and will likely provide you a with new perspectives and tips. It’s the exact same process I’ve successfully used with my one-on-one students for seven years. And there’s no charge for this podcast series.

The Birth of Fearless Budgeting

I decided to call my training podcast “Fearless Budgeting.” I wrestled with this name for months. As you may know, I despise the word budget, but I strongly believe in the act of allocating money to categories, which is the definition of budgeting. I’ll go into more detail about spending plans vs. budgets in a later episode. But “Fearless Budgeting” truly encapsulates my overriding approach … to gently take you by the hand and help you overcome your terror around facing the truth of your spending, which is a crucial first step in the process, and to ease you into a practice that will keep you clear around your money and engaged with your spending plan ongoing.

By the end of the series, you will have a spending plan foundation and you will know how to work with your spending plan ongoing. And, you can always arrange a one-on-one session with me if you need additional help. Just go to FearlessBudgeting.com/training for details.
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New Blog Post about My Bankruptcy Experience

My blog is now located on the “I Can’t Stop Spending!” website, where I also have a podcast.

You can sign up to get each new blog post by email (the sign-up form is located on the sidebar of the
I Can’t Stop Spending!” site).

Click here to read the post, “Bankruptcy: Panacea or Placebo?,” or listen to the podcast episode.

Ongoing, I’ll also be posting an inspirational reading from my book, “Getting Out from Going Under Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders.” In this post, it is September 24th: “Time.”

Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill

As I wrote a few weeks ago, my blog will now be located on the “I Can’t Stop Spending!” website, where I also have a podcast.

For awhile, I’ll post a link here as well when there is a new post. You can also sign up to get each new blog post by email (the sign-up form is located on the sidebar of the “I Can’t Stop Spending!” site).

Click here to read the post, “Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill,” or listen to the podcast episode.

Ongoing, I’ll also be posting an inspirational reading from my book, “Getting Out from Going Under Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders.” In this post, it is December 14th: “Avoiding Pain.”

New Blog Post & Podcast Episode Available: “Letter to a Suffering Friend”

As I wrote a few weeks ago, my blog will now be located on the “I Can’t Stop Spending!” website, where I also have a podcast.

For awhile, I’ll post a link here as well when there is a new post. You can also sign up to get each new blog post by email (the sign-up form is located on the sidebar of the “I Can’t Stop Spending!” site).

Click here to read the post, “Letter to a Suffering Friend,” or listen to the podcast episode.

Ongoing, I’ll also be posting an inspirational reading from my book, “Getting Out from Going Under Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders.” In this post, it is May 27: “The Enemy of Creativity.”

Feeling Your Feelings

Background image by Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Background image by Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Let Me Start with “Jane’s” Story

I want to tell you a story about a fictional person we’ll call Jane.

Jane goes to a job interview that she really wants. She’s already nervous about making a good impression. Unfortunately, she senses the interview goes poorly because it was quite short. When she leaves, she begins to ruminate on why it didn’t go well. She replays it over and over thinking about what she might have said or done differently. She starts beating herself up, telling herself she’s just a screw up and thinking about all the ways she failed. Now, her anxiety over this is ratcheting up.

As her vague discomfort becomes more pronounced, she is feeling more and more aware of the pressure building. But she keeps trying to shove it down or ignore it. Jane goes about her day, but on this subliminal level, she’s continuing to feed herself these negative messages.

When she comes home, as soon as she walks in the door, her husband greets her by asking her to give him a hand with something or other.

BOOM!

Seemingly out of nowhere, Jane starts screaming at him that he’s always wanting her to do something, that he doesn’t appreciate her, that she’s had a long day and why can’t he let her be! Now, she’s furious, adding to the pot she’s been stirring her misplaced anger at her husband .

She storms off into the bedroom, slamming the door.

Jane is also a compulsive spender.

When she’s finally alone, when she has nowhere else to turn, she feels desperate to make herself feel better, to purge this alien tormenting creature that has grown to monstrous proportions inside of her, now finally overcoming all her coping mechanisms. She can no longer ignore the simmering emotions that have burst into flames.
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Paradoxical Reactions & Preparing for the New Year

Click here to listen on our podcast site, “I Cant Stop Spending!”

godboxI have recently discovered that I am experiencing a paradoxical reaction to medication I’ve been taking for nearly a year. It is an antidepressant, but was prescribed to help my stomach pain and migraines. The most effective dose for me, which is higher than for others, also happens to make me incredibly sad and have a terribly short fuse. When I reduce the medicine even incrementally, I feel much better emotionally, but my other symptoms increase. That’s most certainly a paradoxical reaction because an anti-depressant is supposed to enhance your mood, not darken it!

So I am left with two choices, neither of which is completely satisfying; either of which will cause me to experience pain. My husband, too often the brunt of that short fuse, has a clear favorite. It’s my preference as well. But in making that decision, I am going to have to deal with the result of my choice.

I think this relates to how many people experience the holiday season. I’m recording this on Christmas Day, which, this year, is also the first day of Hanukkah. From Thanksgiving to January 1st, it’s supposed to be a jolly, happy, joyous time of year. TV ads and Hallmark-type shows pound that message into our heads.

But for many of us, for a wide variety of reasons, this is a season where we feel sad, demoralized, lonely, angry, and/or despondent.

Some have experienced the loss of a loved one during the year. Others may feel an increased yearning for a partner with whom to share the holidays. And still others may have grown up in dysfunctional homes and have negative memories that come flooding in during the season.

And for others, all is absolutely fine on the surface, but there is a just a palpable sadness around the holidays that we just can’t shake.

For compulsive spenders, the holidays may have given them a high, but they may be left feeling a letdown if they have gone to town buying lots and lots of gifts, because it’s now over.

Moving Forward

So what are we to do? One thing we must not do is to beat ourselves up for whatever feelings we have or tell ourselves that there is no reason to feel this way. We must recognize and acknowledge our pain.
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