Category Archives: Financial Reality

Financial forgiveness

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The finance industry has been inundated with talk of forgiveness lately. Student loans are being forgiven. Big banks are being bailed out. And Wall Street has seen a good amount government support these past few years. All around us, people – from the little guy to the biggest business – are experiencing financial forgiveness.

But what about you? Sure, you’re probably not going to get a bail out any time soon. And your relationship with Sallie Mae has serious mileage left before your student loan is forgiven. Long-term financial forgiveness is one thing, but the type of forgiveness I’m referring to is much more dyer in your day-to-day life.

Picture this.

Monday morning. You’re zipping through the house making sure the kids are up and moving, clothes are clean, the dog is walked and food is ready for breakfast. Then, it’s off to drop the kids off at their respective schools before you make the trek to start your work day.

In the midst of the chaos you eschew breakfast, grab coffee on the way to the office and choose to go out to lunch instead of making one at home. After a long day of work (with a few breaks for some online shopping), you’re too tired to cook so you pick up the kids and order take-out for dinner.

Sound familiar?

We’re a busy bunch, and it’s very difficult to find the time to make it all work and stay sane. So when we check our bank balances after the bills are paid, the kids are squared away and we’ve done our daily spending, we’re a little embarrassed that the account is so low. We know that it was our actions that led us to this point, but we’re still upset with ourselves. We’re smarter than this, right? But month-after-month, we find ourselves in this same situation.

I talk a lot about being conscious of what you’re doing with your money each day. After all, going after your ideal life is a lot tougher when you don’t know exactly where your current one resides. So when you go through your current financial situation and uncover what your real financial habits are, don’t bury those negative emotions; bring them to the surface and let them heal naturally.

Don’t judge your choices; remember, you are human and you make mistakes. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed; we’ve all had moments of excess. Instead of making changes from a place of shame, blame, judgment or guilt, come from a place of forgiveness.

Action step

As we’re inundated with messages of big bank bailouts and student loan forgiveness, it’s time to start forgiving ourselves for our financial mishaps – those out of our control and those within our own grasps. Start practicing financial forgiveness in your own life. Stop looking at your big picture as one financial failure after another and choose instead to view it as lessons learned.

This week, focus on financial forgiveness. Don’t beat yourself up over that spending spree. Instead, forgive yourself and come up with a better financial plan for your fun money. Financial healing and financial forgiveness go hand-in-hand; forgive yourself for your mistakes and the healing will soon follow.

Four things you can do right now to save more money

By | Advice from Julie Murphy Casserly, Blog, Financial Intentions, Financial Reality | No Comments

Gas prices are again on the rise, and that can cause some financial stress. Instead of letting the rising cost worry you, create the space in pocket book to make it work. I always say that it’s either your time or your money. When money gets crunched, you may just need to spend a few extra minutes each day to stay on your financial plan. Here are a few things you can do right now to save money. Read More

Five good things that came out of the recession

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December 2010 marks the three-year anniversary of the Great Recession. We’ve spent the past three years hearing so many stories about what went wrong. People got laid off unexpectedly, couldn’t find another job, and ended up losing their homes. And others had to go from a typical middle-class income to unemployment literally overnight.

What we overlooked, however, are the positives that came out of this rough economic time. Here are five good things that came out of the Great Recession.

People learned how (and why) to save

With the threat of being laid off at any time looming, people stopped spending freely and started tracking where their money was going. Families started cooking more instead of eating out, and some even started growing food in their backyard to cut grocery costs. Another change brought on by the recession? People cut up their credit cards and worked on a cash-only policy. They also added more to their retirement savings and started itemizing their deductable tax expenses (http://goo.gl/6xH3D).

Creativity flourished…

While consumers were forced to make cuts, companies had to think of more creative ways to market their products and services. Since sales are harder to get and budgets are slashed sometimes by 50% or more, workers had to get to their bottom-line more creatively than ever before. (http://goo.gl/ft9z5) And this went beyond the workplace. Slashed personal budgets meant keeping refurbishing older clothes, doing home renovations by hand and getting creative in the kitchen.

…As well as small businesses

Did you know that college students can rent textbooks now instead of buying them? Where was that when I was in school! Websites offering this are everywhere, and a lot of students are taking advantage of it. Other businesses are profiting from the recession as well. Pawn shops and thrift stores are “reporting higher volumes of business and even a broadening of their customer bases.” (http://goo.gl/TuaWb).

People began to pursue their true passions

A while back, I read an article about a man who got laid off from a management job. Instead of searching for another similar position, temping or getting part-time work, he decided to intern for a politician. At 42, he was the oldest intern in the building. I found this so inspiring. He turned his recession layoff into an exciting opportunity for himself. And there are thousands of others who took the same path that he did.

We started to value what’s truly important

And it’s not money or a bunch of stuff, either. Your health, your family, and your children – they’re all priceless. And the recession reminded us of that. Sure, less money meant more stress. But it also meant more time with your kids, and pursing that career you always wanted to but never got around to. This recession forced us to re-evaluate our relationship with money, and that newfound stability has set a great foundation for the future.

Tags: recession, great recession, the great recession, recession anniversary, Julie Murphy Casserly, unemployment, saving money, emotion behind the money, emotion and money