Queen of Your Finances: Money Management 101

Queen of Your Finances: Money Management 101

“The art of living easily as to money is to pitch your scale of living one degree below your means.” – Sir Henry Taylor

Managing your money is a big task, and if you’ve been in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, chances are that it might feel pretty overwhelming – especially when you’ve dealt with financial abuse.

What is Financial Abuse? 

Financial abuse is tactic used by a narcissist in which they use money to control and or manipulate you. This might mean the narcissist is restricting you from accessing family money, or it could mean they’re forcing you to provide all of the money by refusing to work.

Some narcissists are extravagant and excessive in their spending, even when they can’t afford it. They’ll ruin your credit without a second thought. Others seem to be overly frugal and might even prevent you from purchasing basic necessities, such as clothing, food, and hygiene products for yourself and your kids. And there are those who deny their family any luxuries and even some necessities, while they might have everything they want and more. In some cases, financial abuse might look like the narcissist spending all of the money they make and requiring you to support the family on your own.

Alternatively, the narcissist might cause you to be unable to work for a number of reasons. Financial abuse might also involve blatant lying about, theft of, and/or hiding of family money, among other forms of manipulation and control.

How do you manage your money after financial abuse?

Whether we like it or not, if you want to get by in this world, managing your money something you have to do. It can be too painful for some narcissistic abuse survivors, so some of us tend to avoid it altogether. But for those of us who want to fully reclaim our lives, the reward far outweighs the trouble and is well worth it.

The good news? Once you get your arms around it, you should only need to spend a few minutes managing your money each week. Even better: it’s as easy as controlling the money you’ve already got.

How to Take Control of Your Finances

What-Makes-A-Woman-Money-Smart-297x600

Here’s what you need to make sure that you have control over your financial situation. Here are some valuable budgeting techniques to guide you in your expenses and income.

Pay Your Utilities on Time

The first thing you want to do is make sure that you pay for your utilities on time and in full every month. Don’t wait until it’s too late to pay them.

Rebuilding Credit with Credit Cards

The second thing you need to do consider the number of credit cards you have. Most credit repair agencies suggest that you have a mix of at least six credit accounts. Be careful to avoid excessive interest, and do your best to avoid using credit to pay for things you can’t afford. Ideally, make small purchases that you can quickly pay off. This will raise your credit score pretty quickly. You can also consider starting with a secured credit card if your credit has been ruined.

Consolidation Loans Might Help

The third thing you should do if your bills have gotten the best of you is to consolidate them into a single loan. This will enable you to pay them off over time without getting slammed with high-interest rates.

Just be careful that you’re dealing with a legitimate loan agency if you go this route. Google the company and read consumer reviews. Remember that knowledge is always power, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Read your loan paperwork carefully before signing. Don’t let desperation cause you to jump before understanding what you’re getting yourself into.

Establish a Working Budget for Yourself

Finally, establish a budget for yourself. This seems difficult and that’s why most people don’t do it. And because people don’t have a budget they find themselves in financial straits.

The easiest way to establish a budget is to take a draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On the left, write down your after-tax household income. Be sure to write down the after-tax amount as you want to measure available income only. After all, you don’t get to spend the before-tax amount, right?

In the right column, list an average of each monthly bill. But you should also include your typical spending habits as well, like eating out, or impulse shopping. Don’t forget to include paying off your credit card as part of the bills!

Now that you have a list of income and expenses, see if there’s a way to increase your income, or reduce your expenses. Usually, you’ll find a way to do a little to both.

While it seems so simplistic, so few people do it. And yet, creating a budget and sticking to it often separates successful people from everyone else. What’s stopping you from doing it right now?

What do you think? Share your feelings, ideas, and thoughts in the comments section, below.

Related Resources on Financial Abuse in Toxic Relationships

Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: Discover Abundance by Being Open to New Opportunities

Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: Discover Abundance by Being Open to New Opportunities

Blue butterflysmallAn important aspect of self-development is the ability to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. You might be wondering what opportunities you have. It’s nice to know that your life is full of unknown gems waiting to be discovered!

Try these methods to ensure you’re open to new opportunities:

  1. Recognize that you have opportunities all around you. The first step is to believe the current people, places, and situations you’re involved with may lead to something bigger.
  • If you engage in “limiting thinking,” it’s difficult for you to notice the opportunities around you. You’ll open yourself up to new things if you can broaden your thinking.
  1. Get acquainted with new people. Whenever you meet someone, get to know them. It’s good to have another business connection to network with or personal contact to develop a friendship with. These associations can blossom into opportunities you hadn’t considered.
  • Maybe your new colleague’s brother owns a business that you’d like to reach out to. Or a new neighbor does marathons and you’re interested in running.
  1. Discard the limiting thinking pattern. Many of us adopt a style of thinking like, “This is all I’ll ever have and I’ve got to make do with it.” How does this type of thinking affect your life and your ability to notice new opportunities?
  • When you limit your thoughts, you may be passing up fabulous love, career, and monetary riches.
  • Make a conscious decision to curb the limiting thinking. The next best thing might be just around the corner.
  1. Avoid running from challenging projects at work. You might be thinking, “There’s no way I want to get involved in this project.” Yet, those who take on those types of work tasks learn so much and are given even better opportunities in the future.
  • You can develop a reputation as the “go-to person” and advance your career.
  1. Voluntarily step in to fill voids. Maybe there’s something that needs to be done at work, but others balk at it. Perhaps they think the project sounds boring or that the task is monotonous.
  • For example, maybe no one wants to write the job descriptions for your department. Everyone thinks it sounds useless, but your boss wants it to be completed. Step up and get it done.
  • Another example might be that your neighborhood wants to turn a piece of land into a small park, but nobody is interested in making it happen. Take the lead and contact your city council to initiate the project.
  • When you step in to fill voids, others notice your efforts and you develop some new skills. Plus, some of these tasks can serve as resume builders.

Your life is filled with an unknown brilliance that you probably haven’t tapped into yet. Put these strategies into action today. Be ready and willing to notice and take advantage of all opportunities presented to you. A life filled with abundance is waiting for you!

Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: Discover Abundance by Being Open to New Opportunities

What to Wear to Workout and Where to Get It Cheap (TODAY ONLY!)

Home remedies for weight lossThe fact is that getting in shape is just less of a hassle if you’re wearing the right clothing and gear. With so many online resources, you can now find almost any type of clothing for fitness and exercise, running, playing sports games, etc.

Many of these items can be found online at a sports shopping mall in a variety of brand names such as NBA, NFL, NASCAR and NCAA, and at a reasonable price. Here’s a quick guide to sports apparel, and how to choose the clothing and accessories that are right for you.

 48 Hour Sale! Take 15% Off Orders of $75+ at JoesNewBalanceOutlet.com! Ends 1/22

Apparel for Playing Sports (Sports Jerseys-Apparel, etc.)

When ordering items such as sports jerseys or other apparel for yourself or your team, keep in mind that the fit should be comfortable and the materials should be flexible. During any active game such as football, basketball, soccer, hockey, baseball, etc., there will be lots of arm and leg movement. Be sure to order the appropriate sizes and allow for a little moving room. Don’t order items too big because the clothing could be a hindrance if it’s too baggy. Spandex materials are usually popular choices for these types of sports.

Shop New Women’s Yoga & Fitness Gear + Free Shipping & Returns at Lifeisgood.com.

Track and Running Shoes

If you’re involved in track at school or in the professional realm, the main focus should be on your running shoes. Choose shoes that fit snug, but comfortably. The shoes should not slide on your heel, nor should they hurt your toes after wearing them for an hour or two. Be sure the shoes provide adequate support for your heels and arches. Also, buy running shoes that feel lightweight on your feet while running. Check to make sure the shoes have good treads on the bottom. Your running shoes should be a help, not a hindrance.

Fitness Training and Gym Workouts

At the gym, or during fitness training, buy sports clothing according to the type of exercises you will perform. For instance, wear pants that fit snugly around the legs if doing leg exercises, especially on an exercise bike or similar equipment. Loose-fitting pants could get caught in the machinery and cause injury.

An exclusive promotion: 20% Off Site Wide with the promo code AUSDAY.

For aerobic-style fitness training, wear leotards with leggings, bike shorts and a jog top. Or, wear a snug-fitting t-shirt with boxer-style shorts. Don’t wear clothing that’s baggy, as it will hinder your body’s movement. For shoes, wear aerobic shoes if possible, but avoid running shoes with heavy treads.

Sports Swimwear

If swimming in competitions, choose a bathing suit that promotes speed and smooth swimming. There are special types of swimsuits that have “vertical line” designs in the material to channel water away from the body. Competition swimwear should be slick, comfortable, and allow for easy body movement.

To find these types of unique sportswear items used to be difficult – especially for those living in a small town with limited retailers. But nowadays, you can shop for all types of sports clothing and fitness apparel from your own home computer any time of the day or week.

Shop Clearance: Save up to 40% Off Select Items for Men, Women, Girls and Boys + Free Shipping & Returns at Lifeisgood.com! Enjoy 15% off your next purchase with us, just for signing up for our newsletter!

Online sports shopping malls offer all types of sports clothing, fitness wear, athletic supplies, sporting goods-sports equipment, sports memorabilia, and more. And, you can usually get a great price for these items online. Use the tips above to dress for sports success!

Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: Discover Abundance by Being Open to New Opportunities

5 Life Lessons From Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students...“I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” ~Warren Buffett

You might be wondering what super-investor Warren Buffett can teach you about life. You might be thinking that he knows a lot about money, but that has little to do with being an expert on life. You might be surprised.

Warren is famous for his simple lifestyle and love of his work.

Let these lessons in life be a guide for contentment in your own life:

1. Focus on what you love. Warren has a nice, but modest home, and drives a $40,000 car. He could own the most expensive home and cars in the world but he doesn’t. He drinks Coke, buys what he likes, and enjoys a relatively simple life.

* Enjoy your life and the things you have. Avoid being concerned about what everyone else has or about what you could have. It’s more satisfying to own one perfect painting than to own 10 that don’t thrill you. Seek out the things you love and avoid wasting your time on the rest.

2. Quality is more important than quantity. You only need to make a few good decisions to be incredibly successful. Warren Buffett has hundreds of billions of dollars to invest for himself and others, yet he frequently only owns 20 or so stocks. Be picky. Be happy with a smaller quantity.

* Warren has a very famous line that basically states, “Your financial wealth would be much greater if you could only make 20 investments in your lifetime. You would make sure they were great if you had only 20 chances.”

3. Do what you love. Warren has said that the most important part of success and contentment is doing what you love every day. That’s why he’s never stopped investing and making money. If you’re spending your time doing what you love, you continue doing the same thing regardless of how much money you have.

* You might not enjoy the career you have right now. But are you doing anything to change that? Do you have a plan? Imagine how much more content you would be if you enjoyed going into work each day.

4. Mind your own business. You needn’t be concerned with what the competition is doing. Avoid being influenced by everyone else. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll simply be average. Avoid comparing yourself to everyone else. Follow your own intuition.

* Most of us are overly concerned with others. We’re worried about how we compare. We’re worried about their opinions of us. They’re probably thinking the same things. Get yourself out of that loop and do your own thing.

5. Stick to your talents. Warren is famous for shunning high-tech investments, even when they were practically a sure thing. He has stated that he simply doesn’t understand them well enough to invest in them. Stay in your areas of strength. You don’t need to do everything. Focus on what you know well.

* We usually enjoy doing the things that showcase our strengths. That’s human nature. It also makes life easier. Work on your weaknesses, but leverage your strengths.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, anyone could be content with $50 billion.” But that’s not true. Studies have shown that happiness and income are only correlated to $75,000. Above that income level, happiness does not increase.

Super wealthy people became wealthy largely because they were content living a particular way. You can be just as content, even if you never amass a mega-fortune.

Aim to increase the amount of contentment in your life. It might not be an issue of money, possessions, or the other things that most people think lead to contentment.

 

Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: Discover Abundance by Being Open to New Opportunities

Fix Your Finances: Ideas for Rebuilding Credit

“Remember that credit is money.” ~Benjamin Franklin

There are several ways that we can rebuild credit when you’ve had tough times. Financial abuse is real for narcissistic abuse victims! No one should judge you. But if you are tired of collectors hounding you, or if you are frustrated that no one will loan you money because you never had credit, it is time to learn how to build your credit. First, and foremost, never purchase items you do not need. If you ‘want’, do not let your wants wear you down and get you deeper in debt. If you are searching to build credit and have no history at all, make sure you have your priorities in order.

Bad Credit? Tips for Building Credit

So, you got yourself in a little trouble. Whatever the reason your credit’s bad, I’m not judging you. We’ve all been there–but we are here to fix this problem, not talk about how terrible it is, so let’s do this.

What are my rights when it comes to credit scores?

Your rights, as they apply to your credit and according to the FTC, are as follows.

  • You’re entitled to a free credit report if a company takes “adverse action” against you, like denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment.
  • You have to ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice includes the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company.
  • You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
  • Each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — is required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, if you ask for it. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228. You may order reports from each of the three credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can stagger your requests throughout the year.
  • It doesn’t cost anything to dispute mistakes or outdated items on your credit report. Both the credit reporting company and the information provider (the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.
  • To take advantage of all your rights, contact both the credit reporting company and the information provider.

The Ups and Downs of your Credit Rating

More Tips for Bad Credit Repair After Narcissistic Abuse

  • There are systematic guides at your local library that will teach you, as a debtor, how to write letters to creditors.
  • Don’t be afraid to call a creditor and explain your situation. Even if you have ignored their calls for months, they will work with you in most cases. Communication will make you feel better and will help your creditor to understand your situation. While it may not immediately solve your credit problems, it is definitely a step on the road to recovery.
  • Any documents that pertain to your credit history should be stored in a safe area. If you send letters to your creditors keep a copy of each letter sent and store it in a safe area.
  • If you notice any errors on your bills or credit, reports make sure that you contact the appropriate professionals and dispute the charges immediately. Once you have disputed the charges with the sources you will then contact your card provider and let them know what occurred.
  • If you are lucky enough to have a credit card with bad credit, please don’t use the card to repay your debts and then meet the monthly installments on the credit card each month. That would mean getting out of debt while going in debt deeper–how sensible is that? It might seem like the only solution when all else false, but credit cards have interest rates so the bills each month on the card will increase.
Fix Your Finances: Building New Credit and Better Spending Habits

Fix Your Finances: Building New Credit and Better Spending Habits

Repairing your credit means getting rid of the negative credit report information and catching up on your overdue bills. This could raise your credit score but might not be enough to make you credit worthy again. However, to raise your credit score high enough to entitle you to a loan, you have to rebuild your credit. Doing so would only prove that you have the capability to handle credit responsibility.

It might be tough to get started, but once you achieve that momentum you need, you will be sashaying toward a good credit score. You can always begin by developing better credit habits.

Using a credit card is one way you can work toward building your credit.

Tips for Using Your Credit Card Wisely

You’ve got to start with healthy spending habits if you’re going to get your financial situation in order.

  1. Don’t use your credit card to make your everyday purchases,  such as food, gas and clothing. Use your debit card or pay cash.
  2. When you can afford to, pay more than the minimum required payment. If you make minimum payments each month, you’ll end up paying significantly more over time in interest.
  3. Don’t buy things you can’t afford. Living off “borrowed money” will keep you in debt forever.
  4. Buy things you need rather than things you want. Save up and pay cash for things you want.
  5. If you can’t make a payment in time, let the creditor know immediately–ideally before the due date. Most creditors offer assistance or will allow you to delay a payment if you just communicate with them.
  6. Don’t exceed your credit limit. Ideally, you should keep your debt level at 30 percent or less of your credit limit. Your credit score is impacted by the quantity of debt you have, but you also must have SOME debt. Keeping your balances low is the smart way to go here.

Pin It on Pinterest