Monthly Archives: December 2013

5 reasons why you don’t raise the alarm

You’ve seen him or her.  You know them well.  That colleague or friend from work or church or your local neighbourhood.  They live from hand to mouth, bills up to the gills and yet always goes out every weekend or spends on expensive clothes, bags or electronic gadgets, getting deeper and deeper into debt.

You know it won’t last, they know it won’t last, you really care for them as your friend or relative, so why don’t you say anything to them about their spending habits? They seem to be crying out for someone to help, so why not you?

Research from Georgetown University noted there are five reasons that can  stop people speaking up or acting on their concerns:

1. You don’t notice that something is wrong: Every one has 20-20 vision in hindsight.  Often we get angry or bemused when we hear about apparently obvious self-destructive financial behaviour. During the years before the recession, many people “normalised” the view that spending on credit without thinking about repayments or the future was the usual thing to do.  If everyone is doing it and this information conflicts with our preferred version of reality,  we often tell ourselves that there is a  reasonable explanation for this financial spending, and that everything is fine. Or, we adjust our version of reality.

2. ‘It’s not my problem…’ – The bystander effect: The research found that the more people there are that see something wrong, the less likely it is that someone will say something. This sounds a bit back to front, but the argument is that there is a lower feeling of responsibility if many people can se what is going on, and can make you feel uncertainty about taking action.

3. The person reacts badly/ doesn’t like to hear unpleasant messages

Maybe your friend has a hot temper, or is quite insecure or you have heard  stories when other people have tried to speak with him/ her – your friend just shoots the messenger.

4. You think nothing will happen if you raise concerns

As a result you may think that even if you are able to successfully tell your friend how concerned you are, little will be done about it.

5. You think the result will be more negative than positive 

Or worse, you may be less inclined to talk through your concerns if  they also have quite high status in your group of friends.  They may have the power to retaliate and turn others against your.

You have to believe that your action can really improve and help the situation of your friend, make a reasonable assessment of what is the core problem.

A good colleague is prepared to call your friend to account, help them see how their behaviour is damaging their present, and their future. and support them to work to a more healthy relationship with their money.

More about this and the cycle of the New Year Resolutions next time.

Until then…

Have a lovely New Year and let us know what issues you would like us to cover in 2014!

Onwards and Upwards!

Advertisements

3 signs you’re heading for a financial meltdown (and how to avoid it): Part 2

In Part 1, posted earlier, we noted that everybody, especially women, has an important role to play in creating a foundation of good money management through using the simple skills and practical tips from life –  this is as much a  priority in your business or at your work.

This can sometimes means taking a hard look at the relationships that hold you back and cost you in terms of time and effort as well as money… and then tackling them. Thinking about who you usually interact with and share your plans with, here are 3 more signs that you are heading for a financial meltdown

1. You continue to keep company with the same people who make you lose focus and stifle your energy: Most people know someone who seems to pour cold water on every plan and financial goal you have; being around them makes the environment toxic and impossible.

2. You try to get them to see why achieving your financial goals is important to you, but it is impossible to get them to understand Pointing out that these people are detracting from your progress won’t get you anywhere,  — odds are, they don’t even see a problem and actually think they are experts at helping you.

3.No matter what you suggest, they know better and tell you that you are foolish not to follow their advice: They may either suggest lots of ideas or actively discourage your saving or spending plans, egging you on towards your financial meltdown.  Then when you fail to achieve your goal, they quickly turn round and say smugly “Didn’t I tell you that you wouldn’t reach your goal?!”

Let’s look at how to handle detractors and impossible people in the final part of this blog. How you choose to react to these people will determine your success in achieving your financial goals.

Here are 5 tips to help  navigate and overcome interactions with  these sorts of friends, co-workers or relatives so that you keep focussed on your financial goals.

1. Acknowledge that these people exist, and accept that dealing with them will be difficult. When detractors come into your life, their first step is to try to control your choices.  So your first step is to face reality: if you think you might be dealing with an impossible person who detracts from your financial dreams, you’re probably right.

Acknowledging this will make sure you have the best approach to handling the negativity that they will throw in your direction.

2. Do not feel you need to defend your financial plans:  You have shown them your ideas and financial plans but they think you should do something different and then get angry when you do not change your plans to match their ideas.

In their minds, you are doing it all wrong and nothing you can say is going to make them understand that you actually know what financial goals will work best for you. Relax, and don’t feel that you need to justify or defend your savings and spending plans.  Keep on top of your Spending Plan Journal and ignore the negative comments.

3. Do not let them convince you to allow your short term financial goals to slip: Detractors will often badger you or say things like “you should take things easy… don’t plan too far ahead, you never know what will happen” and will go on and on until they get on your very last nerve.

Keep focussed and calm, especially if you are in a relationship with this person.  Your financial goals may be challenging some of the short term fun and spending they usually enjoy and they will want to do anything they can to return things to the way they were.  Keep focus and achieve your daily, weekly and monthly activities towards your financial goal.

4. Do not get emotional, keep a positive attitude to help maintain your self-esteem. If you have regular dealings with someone who always pours cold water on your financial goals and is dismissive of your plans to be financial free when you share them with friends or family, always be proactive and keep positive thoughts in mind to maintain positive self esteem.

Remind yourself that this person’s opinion is not necessarily right or accurate. and dismiss them. It is not their opinions that count towards your success, it is your constant regular actions towards your goals that will confirm and prove the truth of your financial plans.

5. Consider ‘parting ways’ with friends or family that are negative towards you achieving your financial goals:. At some point you may need to put either some physical space or some ‘head’ space between you and negative people. Whether they are a friend, a family member, a parent, the time to make that break will eventually manifest.

Maintaining your goals whilst battling in a relationship where an impossible person is doing everything to thwart your success is and uphill battle.  Keeping focus on achieving your success is hard enough without running a gauntlet of negativity.  Move away, and stay away from these so called ‘friends’ and ‘well wishers’.

Do you have a story about how you have dealt with someone who was negative about your financial goals?  Please share by writing adding your comments or sharing the thoughts that struck you as you read this blog – comments are always most welcomed and thanks for following!

Onwards and upwards!

Sorority Membership Entry Criteria (P31 Sorority)

Image Pi Tau Omicron Sorority held its first end of year event on Saturday evening, 14 December 2013 at the fabulous Malmaison Hotel in London and chose as the 2014 vision: ‘Value in Myself, Value in Service’.

With guest speakers from healthcare, investment banking and global professional financial services firms the evening was as stimulating as it was enjoyable.

For more information see the Sorority Info page here

Beyond Black Friday: 5 tips for staying in the black…

“Definitions of Black Friday

1. On 24 September 1869, US financial markets crashed following a failed attempt by traders to corner the gold market. This led to a depression.

2. In a more general sense, is used to represent a Friday in which a public disaster or calamity occurs.

3. More recently, the term Black Friday has been used by retailers in the United States (and is growing in usage by retailers in the UK as well) as a positive. It represents the starting day for End of Year and Christmas shopping. This is usually after the Thanksgiving Holiday season in the United States in which retailers make enough sales to forecast that their annual results and profits are positive ie in “the black.”

Corporate Finance Consultant, DHUA Ltd

Planning and shopping for festive season does not mean you need to go into the red..

Planning and shopping for festive season does not mean you need to go into the red..

Isn’t it interesting to see how the term Black Friday has been turned from a negative to a positive?

In the United States it has long been used as encouragement for retailers who see their huge sales as customers stock up on gifts, food and other entertainment ahead of the End of Year and Christmas holiday season.

We tend to ask: ‘Well, if the retailers are ‘in the black’ then customers help them get there by running around getting more at risk of going ‘into the red’ by over spending, maxing out the credit cards or buying masses of stuff on Storecards?

Remember, the turkey is just for Christmas, that store/credit card bill and loans will all last a lot longer and cost a lot more.

Some tips for enjoying the festive season without giving your financial spending plans indigestion:

  1. Why not wait until after the festive season to pick up bargains in the New Year Sales
  2. Only buy what you need, not what you want (or everything you see), for the festivities
  3. More and more people are trying their hands at hand-crafted gifts.  If you have a talent and passion for this, why not start now and create unique gifts instead of mass produced, shop-bought items?
  4. Bulk purchase retailers can offer bargains – buying in bulk with other shoppers in your family/ friendship circles can really cut down the cost of individual items
  5. Discount stores offer great purchases at great prices and are always worth a look

Whatever you choose to do keep your head around all this Black Friday buzz and plan for a wonderful festive season!

Onwards and upwards

3 signs you’re heading for a financial meltdown: Part 1

Thank you again for following this blog. We post every week (usually on a Tuesday) and .. if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do!

As we come to the close of another year, and the world gets into the swing of end of year celebrations, it’s time to reflect on what’s facing your finances as we head towards 2014.

It’s clear that we will need to continue to need to balance the challenge of efficiently managing your day to day finances with the same or better effectiveness and also have an external focus on helping to create the wealth and savings you and your loved ones need to prosper.

If you were born in the 60’s or 70’s a recent study indicates that, unless you are due to get an inheritance, you will probably be ‘poorer’ than your parent’s generation because the cost of living is going up faster than salaries and other income.

Affordable and sensible finance plans must therefore be your new reality. If you are going to have any chance of re-balancing your books, plans to adjust by becoming more proactive with your financial plans and ‘doing more with less’ (or ‘doing less for less’) – is the only way to get fit for the financial future.  It will also mean you start to focus on how to achieve what you need and start to get what you want along your wealth cycle journey.

At the latest P31 Sorority meeting, members discussed and shared  the three main issues women (and men) often fail to deal with to make sure they can avoid the road to financial meltdown:

  • You don’t Set a Priority – insufficient attention is often paid to deciding in an objective and critical way what you really should be in the business of doing – your purpose.  When you fail to do this, you risk gathering a legacy of activities that are not relevant to your current needs or where you want to go in life.
  • You don’t measure and celebrate your Progress – unlike in  work or diets, often we do not set out progress measures in a well developed way.  This leads to focussing on vey high level outcomes than can often look daunting and unachievable. Rather, pick a few specific areas that show an understanding of what financial activity or objectives you are trying to achieve, and that will function as your programme of how you will do it.  Commit to regular and objective review of your progress and ask for help if needed.  Joining a group of likeminded people like the P31 Sorority can boost your success rate.
  • You don’t align your financial goals to the rest of your life goals  – regardless of your financial status at the moment, your  capacity to connect your financial strategy and execute it is often limited if it is not matched to the other goals you have in life.  This mis-match creates a a confused approach to your money, or worse,  you tend to have high aversion to risk,  a reluctance to drive forward any wide-ranging changes you may need in your life, and risk a life of unmet expectations in your  financial and personal relationships as well as in service to your local community.

As noted in earlier blogs, everyone, but women in particular, have an important role to play in creating a foundation of good money management through using the simple skills and practical tips from life –  this is as much a  priority for your business or employed life as it is for your personal goals and relationships.

All of this also needs to be achieved while improving your quality of life and living standards.

This can sometimes means taking a hard look at the relationships that hold you back and cost you in terms of time and effort as well as money… and then tackling them.

We’ll look at how to handle these impossible people in the final part of this blog later this month.  But whilst you are waiting why not add a comment or thought that has struck you when you read this blog – comments are always most welcomed and thanks for following this blog

Until later then, onwards and upwards!

Handling Your Money: Are You Really Walking the Talk?

Image

Over the last few months we’ve offered an independent survey for church members to volunteer and respond to five simple questions.  These questions ask how aware you are about your current financial status and circumstances.

The results (above) make for interesting reading…..

Over half of the people who took part in the survey so far say then have a pretty good handle on their finances.  That’s great!

However, in the sessions and discussions that followed, many admitted to struggling with making the next step ie to ‘access the power’ through effective planning so that they can achieve their financial goals.  That’s the real challenge…

Attend one of the FREE Access the Power (ATP)  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars – These lay-member led, bible-based seminars are held in local churches as part of the Financial Stewardship for members. These seminars  support church groups and have been annually since 2004.  Most seminars are run from April – December.  The first quarter of the year is used for workshops and practical support sessions for members new to the programmes.

If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, show this blog to your Stewardship Co-ordinator and ask him/ her to arrange a session for your church group within your Stewardship Day programme this year.

“SMARTER Finance”  sessions are open to all participating church members in any Seventh-day Adventist church group in the UK.  A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.

For more information or to arrange a programme at your local church click here – (this will take you to the feedback form on this blog)

KNOWLEDGE IS NOTHING WITHOUT WISDOM…

The book of Proverbs is a fantastic way for you to start gaining some of the basic understanding of how successful people approach managing credit, business, wealth and finances. One chapter a day and you have covered the whole book in a month!  It’s never too late to start now.

For ladies in the UK, see our blogs on Proverbs 31 for secrets on successful living , business and financial success.  And see the Sorority created just for you, by women just like you PI TAU OMICRON (Π Τ Ο).

For ΠΤΟ sisterhood eligibility criteria click here.

We’ll continue to update and share the overall survey results right here in this blog.

In the meantime, why not share your own tips on your experiences in moving your financial goals forward.

Onwards and upwards!