Questions About Money, Savings, Investments & Debt

How do I stop impulse spending?

Set yourself a budget. Do various tricks like giving your credit cards to a trusted friend to take care of for you. Once a member of my accounting staff gave me hers and I remember hiding them in a jigsaw puzzle box where they remained happily and unused for more than a year. I’ve heard tales of people freezing their credit cards which means  you have to defrost them before you can use them. That can slow down  your spending!

Another way is to write down what you want to buy in a little book and not buy it for 7 days or 31 days or whatever breathing space you decide upon as your new “rule”. If you still want it then, you can have it. Is your house full of clutter? Do you use and love everything you’ve bought on impulse? Clear the house of it to boot fairs, ebay and charity shops and create space and money to use for another better purpose.

Stuff doesn’t ultimately make us happy. Learn to say no to yourself. Leave the facility to pay for things at home, and just go out with what you need for the day, mainly your travel costs and enough to pay for what you intend to buy today. Be thoughtful. Think of the planet. Align yourself with any more thoughtful motivation like saving for something useful or more important or more valuable/significant to you personally. See how long you can go without spending anything at all, just running down supplies you already have in your kitchen cupboards and in your bathroom cabinet and wardrobe.

As a single parent to 2 teens, 98% of arguments revolve around money. What can I do about that?

Since they are now quite grown up, I don’t see any reason why your teens should continue to be protected from the financial realities of life. They are also old enough to earn for at least part of whatever they want. There’s things its fair and reasonable for them to expect from you as their parent parent – a home, food on the table, clothes, their education needs and birthdays and Christmases. Anything over and above that is something they might save their birthday and Xmas money from grandparents for and top that up with part-time holiday jobs around their studies. It’s time to educate them about what’s important in life and how to resist both marketing and peer pressure. Your job to educate them about what’s really important in this life. They will thank you for it, though probably not now!

How can you accumulate more, without burnout?

Why do you even want to accumulate MORE? Does your household need more? What for? Same questions about where you put your own emphasis on what’s important, what spending choices you make. Do you have enough? Content yourself with enough and be grateful for what you have and start to see things change.

In regard to avoiding burnout, this is about working smarter. Look at your money-earning activities now and see what brings in the best return on your time/work. Do more of that and less of the other. Book yourself into my online diary if you want me to help you work out what that is. JudithMorgan.com/Abundance. There’s only so much one human being can do so you need to work out how to use that time which is available to you as profitably as possible. Monitor income for a month or more and see what work led directly to that according to the 80/20 rule. Stop everything else unnecessary. Focus!

Should you tap into your financial reservoir to have fun or live within your means?

Living within your means is what I call living in financial integrity. Build fun into that budget.  What sort of fun are you talking about? What’s really fun for you? Would I blow all my life savings on a wonderful holiday? Probably not but I don’t rule it out! I think it should be possible to budget for fun and have a financial reservoir – my recommendation would be to keep the two separate if possible.

How to research if my current Life Assurance is providing good value for money going forwards?

Why have you got Life Assurance at all? Do you have dependants you will worry about after your death? Why? Is the value of everything else you will leave behind not sufficient to look after their needs? To my mind LA is a terrible waste of money. You might be better putting it into a savings account and then later using that money to make investments or learning how to become your own insurer. Insurance is a very negative industry which preys on our fears to sell us policies in return for premiums. Some lateral thinking might reveal that either you don’t need it, you are mollycoddling your dependants unnecessarily or giving away your power to the insurance industry. Do please contact me privately if I haven’t allowed for your personal circumstances. If you are determined to stick with it you may need either an IFA (beware, this is how they sell, based on your fears) or check it out in the Sunday Papers financial sections and on websites such as MoneySavingExpert.com. How much are your premiums and could you create a better ROI for yourself and your loved ones which wouldn’t depend upon you DYING?

Are there any decent instant access savings accounts to be had that you know of?

Again empower yourself. You will never regret any time you invest in wising up about money. No-one cares about your money as much as you do. Sunday Papers financial section, MoneySavingExpert.com and you can search on your own unique criteria – how much, what access, ISA or not ISA etc.

Best place to invest money?

This is very subjective and individual to you. What are you investing for? What’s your risk profile? How much have you got? There is no one best place to invest money, only your best place. Happy to talk more privately if you book yourself in for an Abundance call.

How to be consistent in management?

How and why are you sabotaging yourself now? Why do you manage it sometimes and not other times? Are your financial goals sexy and compelling enough? If not – rewrite them! You’ve got to know your own personal reasons for doing what you are doing or not doing. Money is only an energy. It will flow into and out of your life. More will come to those who demonstrate they know how to look after it carefully and prosperously for their own good and for the good of others. Do you lack consistency only in the financial area of your life – or does this impact all of your life or the majority of it? What’s that all about then? What’s important to you? Focus on that first and find out where money fits in. Enjoy it. Be abundant with it. Have it flow into your life easily by removing your blockages and barriers. Perhaps some navel-gazing to be done here and then the appropriate personal development or spiritual work which the research points to?

How can I keep hold of it?

Why are you letting it go? How is it disappearing out of your life? What is your resistance to keeping it? What meaning are you attributing to it so you feel you would be better of without it?

What is the biggest mistake for most people about managing their $?

I don’t know, what’s your biggest mistake? Yours is yours and mine is mine. Mine (since you ask) is only being interested in big money not small money. Looking after the small money which is mostly what we all have until we learn better is very important practice for knowing how to look after the bigger money once it shows up in your life. I would guess that failing to budget or pay due attention to one’s money for fears around lack, not wanting to examine that. But you can see from the range of questions that there’s plenty of diversity here about how we all feel differently towards money.

How can I manage my money better when my partner refuses to be responsible with money and refuses to budget?

There is a way, fortunately. You draw up the budget and make sure that both of you contribute either equally or in proportion to your earnings to the joint account from which those payments are made. Then have a separate account each into which you have your respective personal allocation for fun and personal spending on whatever you like, no questions asked or accountability required. When it’s gone, it’s gone, just like a child’s pocket money. Make sure that no credit cards are available to the financially irresponsible partner beyond a certain level as ultimately debt run up in one partner’s name may become a liability of your marriage at the debt of separation, an inevitability unless you can get this sorted between the two of you.  It may even impact you sooner if unsecured debt is unpaid and a creditor may threaten your marital home or joint assets for example. T. Harv Eker’s book Secrets of The Millionaire Mind has a piece about this, specifically for married people and partners.

How would you manage your money if you are in debt?

I would plan to be out of it a.s.a.p. whilst at the same time as having a life. Mary Hunt’s Debt Proof Living book explains why you are in debt and teaches you the lessons so you don’t get out and then simply slide back into debt again. Her website DebtProofLiving.com has rapid debt repayment calculators which show you how to repay in the fastest and/or cheapest ways and how to accelerate repayment and how much interest you can save by doing it her way. T. Harv Eker’s book referred to above also has a plan for how to get out of debt while having a life too, even saving and investing alongside debt repayment. They all offer human solutions.  If your debts are really bad or insurmountable, you might consider a debt management plan or contact me for other creative solutions.

With gratitude to Sue Okell and her clients at LifeChangeSecrets.com who submitted these questions. More to follow!

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