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Archive of ‘Financially Fearless’ category

The Dangers of Waiting for the Perfect Opportunity

I am guilty of sometimes believing that life will suddenly be amazing when that perfect opportunity arises. This is quite simply NOT the truth. In my experience, yes, if a big opportunity/relationship/windfall/dream client comes my way it’s exciting, though I’m still going to be the same person at the end of the day. So it’s important to really love who you are before opportunities come up… otherwise nothing will really change, and you’ll feel even worse as you thought that the opportunity was going to change the game for you.  As I am currently in the ‘wait patiently’ process on a couple of interesting opportunities, this realization dawned on me and has inspired me to really focus on being the person I want to be, BEFORE the right yes happens.

I’ve been fortunate to have quite a few dreams come true at a young age. From producing a show for the Oprah Winfrey Network to being in a great relationship to reaching a financial goal to becoming a full-time entrepreneur – I’ve had some really magical things happen. And yet, when I reflect on them I don’t recall a ‘magic’ switch that flipped where all stress dissolved and I skipped merrily into the sunset!

This year has taught me there is no quick fix or ‘big break’ solution. Life is a process. And it’s what’s happening in between the Instagram-worthy moments that bring the richness and joy to our lives. Life is not all about the achievements, it’s about who you become while trying to achieve.

If the following ‘dangers’ ring true to you… keep reading for how I’m focusing on enjoy the process.

The Dangers of Waiting for the Perfect Opportunity:

  1. You don’t enjoy where you are.
  2. You’re not present with the people in your life (because you’re thinking about something else)
  3. You become negative and jaded.
  4. You don’t appreciate what you have.
  5. PURE MISERY.

So how do you break through this hamster wheel experience?

  1. Focus on what’s working. It occurred to me recently that despite being stressed out about ‘what’s next,’ I had unconsciously got into the best shape of my life. I do Krav Maga (Israeli martial arts) which has been a newfound passion. Once I realized that, ‘Hey, something IS working in life,’ I also decided to sign up for a 30-day trial of Moksha Yoga (aka hot yoga) to help build on my fitness (both mental and physical). If you are feeling blue or stressed out, going for a walk, a run, or trying a new sport can give you temporary relief from your mind. Once you have that break, it can help you focus again on the positive.
  2. When you feel the impulse to try something new… do it! How often do you get a gut feeling about an opportunity or reaching out to a person, but stuff it down because your negative thoughts get in the way. The way I want to go into each day, is if I get an impulse to reach out to someone or connect with a possible client or new opportunity (and it feels like fun… not a burden), I do it. Fun will never let you down.

  3. Rap music. Rap music encourages the underdog in me. When I hear the right song at the right time, I can shift from sadness to getting my fighting spirit back. Perhaps for you it’s metal or Beethoven or Beyonce that helps you break out of the loop of misery and back into the game of life.

  4. Talking to friends or family or a trusted coach. Life is not meant to be experienced alone. If you are spiraling into a dark place, it is a sign of strength to ask for help. There’s a quote often used in AA that ‘your best thinking got you here.’ Yes, it’s a quote often associated with addiction, though if you look around your current life (and you’re not happy) it’s important to take responsibility for the life experience you’ve created. Your decisions got you to where you are today. The great thing is that people are more open than ever to sharing how they overcame challenges in their lives (from financial despair to heartbreak) so there is definitely a book or blog that can teach you how to overcome your current challenge. (Or who knows… you may need to write the book!)

  5. No expectations. This is a really liberating feeling. How often do we go into meetings, relationships or anticipating an opportunity and have SUPER high expectations. We also seem to set really high expectations for ourselves every day. And if we can’t achieve them… it starts to defeat us. I’m going into a new week letting go of expecting anything from anyone. I will note that this is progressive thinking to do everything with a beginner’s mind. Perhaps try it with one area of your life to start (the easiest one) and slowly over time (if it works for you) let go of expectations.

 

 

If you are currently waiting for that perfect opportunity, I encourage you to let it go and focus on doing your best every day. Some days you’re going to feel like an absolute rockstar and other days you’re going to want to hide, but the bottom line is that you’re here for a reason and wherever you are in your relationships, career and finances… is okay. Start with appreciating where you are, and slowly build from there.

On My Own

I’ve had to make some very difficult life decisions in the past few weeks. Now that I’ve had time to sit and let the dust settle I now need to straighten out some things.

Firstly, I need to move.

I hate moving. It is seriously the worst. You have to look for apartments, call the landlords, go and check them out, schmooze the landlords, complete a crap-ton of paperwork, spend oodles of moolah, and then pack your whole life up and then immediately unpack it.

In short, it’s an ordeal.

Secondly, I need to sort out OSAP.

Right now I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with my monthly payments. I’m going to have to call and discuss either a possible payment plan or defer my payments. I’m definitely not looking forward to that phone call.

Thirdly, I have to get on top of my bills.

Right now I’m managing, but I recently had to pay an ungodly sum and it hit me pretty hard. I need to look at my finances good and hard. It’s time to trim the fat and get everything into order.

Fourth on the list of things to conquer is my health and wellness.

I’m not one to hustle to the doctor/dentist when stuff starts to go squiffy, but now that I’ve reached full-blown adult territory I need to start making a conscious effort to keep myself in tip-top condition. That means making actual appointments to see these professionals on the reg so I don’t end up falling apart one day. I’m going to have to start saving (since I don’t have benefits) so I can afford to see these doctors. Woo hoo. Let the good times roll.

Though my list has only four things to complete, many will not be solved overnight. Stuff like this takes time, effort and persistence. The reason I’m writing them down and sharing the with the interwebs is so I can actually hold myself accountable. I’ve put this out into the world, now I’ve gotta do it.

Wish me luck!

-Karyn

Travel Bug? My Top 4 Sites to Help You Travel Faster + Cheaper!

If life is gettin’ ya down, sometimes there’s nothing better than gettin’ the hell outta dodge. This is also known as jumping on a plane, train or automobile. Travelling is a fantastic way to get your spark back and marvel at life again.

I’ve travelled more this year than any other year of my life. I assumed that when I became a full-time entrepreneur that everything would slow down quite a bit this year. Though for some reason it picked up. It started with a six-city tour of the USA with a client, then LA for an event, Mexico for a speaking gig (with a detour to Miami), New York City for a program launch, Kenya for my sista’s wedding celebration, Italy simply for fun and getting refreshed, and I’m heading to Vermont this week for my good friend’s wedding.

PHEW!

I’m not a first class traveller (yet), so it’s been a lot of hacking together travel plans in order to save some dough.

Today, I’d love to share with you a few of my go-to sites for finding travel deals.

  1. Hipmunk. Hipmunk is a fun startup (co-created by the founder of Reddit) that is like your free personal travel agent. Hipmunk is like the travel agent for the millennial generation. Definitely check it out to try to find deals on flights!
  2. Wanderio. Wanderio helps you compare and book flights, trains, buses, and transfers in more than 100 countries. I found it to be extra helpful in Europe. I also just used it for hacking together my travel plans in Vermont!
  3. Rome2Rio. Rome2Rio is an Australian company that helps you discover how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus or automobile. This company was so helpful when I was in Italy in helping us find a niche bus that took us from Rome to Rosetto de Abruzzo.
  4. Airbnb.com. Airbnb has officially gone mainstream. Airbnb allows you to book homes from hosts in 191+ countries and experience the country like you live there. I have used Airbnb more than 10 times in different cities and countries around the world. My experience has been 98 percent flawless. If you’re on the fence about booking, be sure to double check that the person hosting you has plenty of good views.

As an honorable mention, I’d like to thank an OG…. Flight Centre.  When our family was heading to Kenya, it was a complex trip to book. Our parents were flying business class, the sisters were flying economy and since I’d never been there before, I was totally afraid of screwing it up. Flight Centre literally came to the rescue. I worked with a travel agent (and felt so adult) to find and lock in fights. It was totally easy and SOOOO appreciated.

I hope these suggestions help you go for it and book that trip you’ve been dreaming of! If you have any further suggestions or helpful links, tweet us @momoneymoprog or comment below!

<3 Gwen

Dear CRA…

Dear CRA,

Why? Why must you make everything so gosh darn difficult? I thought I was finished with you in April, but you still keep calling me. You keep asking me for things I have ALREADY GIVEN YOU!!! Why must you be such a jerkwad about everything? I called the right numbers, talked to the right people and yet we still have beef.

Oh and by “right people” I mean a person who just condescendingly told me all of the wrong things I did just to cover up the fact that they never sent me the correct forms. Thanks a bunch.

CRA you could easily avoid these issues by making your website less of a maze. Seriously, you click one link and then you have to sift through at least 10 more to find what you’re looking for. If I want to find information on your site I have to pretty much book the day off and pack a lunch because it is a trek and a half to locate the basics.

I consider myself a responsible adult. I try to stay on top of my finances, I try to get everything ready for the dreaded income tax time and yet I still get my butt kicked by you every year. It’s ridiculous.

This seems like a toxic relationship. It’s a lot of give from my end and ONLY take from yours (not just my money, but time, energy and sanity). I would love to be able to break up with you, sever all ties and just live in the woods far away from your reach. Unfortunately I have to be a contributing member of society stuck under your thumb. Guhhhh.

Before I end this I just wanted to give a shout-out to your equally annoying buddy H&R Block. Ever since I went to you for my March/April Challenge I have been regretting that decision every. single. day. You forgot to do so many things that I asked you to do. I still get calls from you wondering if I gave you the right forms. Dude… I saw you SIX MONTHS AGO!!! Why are you asking me about it now?! Also, yes I did give you all the things. Do you not remember? I do. I also remember me paying you an insane sum of money so the fact that you aren’t on top of this kind of blows me away.

So in conclusion…

YOU ALL SUCK!

Sincerely,

Karyn

Nothing Focuses the Mind Like Crushing Debt

Anonymous Sisterpack member here.

Time to get reaaaaal.

I owe a lot of money to a handful of people.

Though for the first time in my life, I’m not worried about it.

Why?

Because I hit rock bottom.

I realize that when you have $1.98 in your bank account and have nearly maxed (or OVER maxed) several credit cards, there’s not much further down you can go.

The descent is f*cking scary. When you don’t know how to get out of what you have created and don’t know who to talk to or where to turn, it’s terrifying.

When you have more month than money and are not sure about how you’re going to pay your bills, your mind creates insane stories. Perhaps I’ll live on the street, have to move back home or have to throw in the towel… AGAIN.

Despite this blog and having sisters to turn to and a community who understands, I still felt intense SHAME that I did this to myself… so I figured I had to dig myself out of this hole alone.

During the descent there was no love or compassion to be found. Only defeat.

I felt painted into a corner. And when this experience happens to you, there’s nothing more to do than to surrender. To start loving who you are and where you are. This is a choice, and in fact is the only one that will work.

So why do I share this now? Because it’s turning around.

The magical thing is when you start to choose love over hate, everything starts to turn around – including finances.

What does this ACTUALLY look like to turn it around?

  • Going for a walk in nature.
  • Meditating.
  • Journaling about everything that’s going RIGHT instead of wrong.
  • Listening to music that makes you feel better.
  • Telling someone who loves you no matter what that you’re going through a hard time and need a loving ear to vent to.
  • Reaching back out to employers or clients who owe you money and asking them to pay you.
  • Working out in a way that’s fun for you.

A few money miracles have unfolded over the last few weeks, and I’m slowly starting to get back into the game. Moment by moment I choose to be kind to myself instead of raging out. And if I do rage out I take a moment to realize this, and release the feeling.

I recently heard the quote: ‘nothing focuses the mind like crushing debt’ and WOW it is SO true.

I realize now that ‘failing’ financially leads to the only way to start focusing on LOVE instead of FEAR.

I will share more details of how I’m recovering as the journey upward unfolds!

<3 An anonymous sisterpack member 🙂

The best app for tracking expenses…if you know how to use it.

Today was the day I discovered my love for the Macbook Numbers app.

Today was also the day I discovered my hatred for the Macbook Numbers app.

I didn’t even know it was an app on my computer until I came across an article that talked about how the author used it to track her expenses and make budgets.

I was totally into it. A clean interface, bright colours, nice fonts…what could go wrong?

It seemed easy enough to use. Until I tried to make something other than what the templates offered. I wanted to visually map out my 50-20-30 rule budget. Aaaand it was a total shitshow.

I started getting flashbacks of my statistics class where we had to use Excel and algorithms.

God dammit.

This wasn’t the user-friendly budget calculator I had hoped it would be.

However, I encourage all you Mac users to give it a shot. If you can master it, Numbers could be a total asset to your financial organization.

When the trauma fades, I’ll give it another try. Only next time I’ll check out some tutorials first. And maybe brush up on my statistics skills. God help me.

Have you used the Numbers app before? Any tricks you could recommend? Let us know in the comment section below!

-Gabby

 

Swiper No Swiping! What to do when someone steals your credit card information.

The last time I checked online how much I owe on my credit card went a little differently than the others.

There were a few charges I didn’t recognize. Two of them for around $40 each.

It was a little odd considering I hadn’t bought anything with my credit card in days. Maybe it was a late charge from something I purchased in Kenya? It was hard to say. But there have been a few times where I didn’t recognize the description and it turned out to be something I totally bought. I always call VISA to be sure.

And that’s exactly what I did this time around.

When I was on the line with a VISA representative, he, too, was concerned about the charges. Specifically since they were made from within Moldova.

Where is Moldova, you ask?

1

Right there, sandwiched in between Ukraine and Romania.

Yep. Someone definitely stole my credit card information. This has never happened to me before.

The VISA representative said it was a good thing I called. Since I didn’t actually pay my bill for the charges, it was a lot easier for me to get reimbursed. I got my money back within days.

So, I encourage all of you to always be sure you’re paying only for what you bought. And if you don’t recognize the charges, it never hurts to call your credit card company just to be sure.

And obviously, don’t share your PIN 😉

-Gabby

What it means to be a “broke” Millennial

“I can’t go out tonight. I’m broke.”

1

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this throughout my life. It mostly made its appearance during uni, but it’s started popping back up as of late.

2

I hate saying that I’m “broke” because it’s not technically true. I’m not showing zeros in my bank account, I’m not declaring bankruptcy, and I haven’t maxed out several credit cards.

3

When I say that I’m broke I really mean that I just can’t afford to go out and spend money on things that aren’t necessities. Rent trumps going out to dinner and paying back student debt is definitely higher on my list than going to the movies.

4

When I talk to my friends or just overhear convos on transit the phrase, “I’m broke” comes up very often, especially with millennials. Sure we have higher incomes than our parents did 30 years ago, but we also have more debt than them.

5

When we make the decision to go out we have to take our finances into consideration. If I go out tonight will I be able to make next month’s car payment? Will I have enough to pay back OSAP next month? Sure, some millennials are all about living in the moment and not thinking about their future finances and their growing debt (they should be), but they definitely will have to face it soon.

6

The fact that many of us are constantly exclaiming that we are too “broke” to be able to do anything is usually met with rolled eyes and annoyance. Don’t get me started on what happens if you say that phrase to a baby boomer. Good lawd, the conversation that follows most likely starts with a, “back in my day…” and goes on and on.

7

I want to pose a challenge to all millennials who have used the phrase, “I’m broke.” My challenge for you is to try to change your dialogue. Instead of just throwing around the word broke, try to actually have a conversation about why you really can’t go out. Change “I’m broke” to “I’m on a budget” or “I need to save for income tax time.”

8

If we start real conversations about our money situations we can begin helping each other. Just knowing that you aren’t alone in your situation can make it feel less overwhelming.

Good luck!

-Karyn

 

If Money Were No Object…

Have you ever had those magical thoughts about what you would buy if you had all kinds of moolah? Well, the other day Gwen and I were talking about what we would spend our unlimited supply of money on (fingers crossed that day eventually comes). Other than paying back all debts (my own and my family’s) I thought that I would want to spend my money on things that I found fun.

1

I discovered that I would still pretty much live the life I have now, I would just enhance it. I would possibly invest in the things that bring me the most joy, like my job and Krav Maga. I realized that sure, having oodles of money would be a blast, but it wouldn’t alter my current path.

2

Usually when I talk to people about that possible “winning the lottery” moment they usually want to blow their money on big purchases. After having this chat with my sister it helped me really register with the fact that I’m heading in the right direction. I’m kind of proud of the fact that if I was faced with unlimited funds I wouldn’t really want to change my life.

3

I definitely feel very #financiallyfab right now!

4

Okay, but if I was to splurge on some goodies, this is what I would defs snag!

The Batmobile

5

Chocolate

6

ALL THE MOVIE TICKETS!

7

Wolverine’s adamantium claws

8

Judge Dredd’s uniform/gear

9

Time machine (so I can go back in time and watch movies when they first come out)

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And of course, the Bat suit (not the George Clooney one… shudder).

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What would you do if money was no object? Let us know in the comments below!

-Karyn

 

New Money

Right now I’m reading ‘The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo’ by comedian, actress, and all-around-badass Amy Schumer.

There’s a really fun chapter in the book called ‘On Being New Money’ where Amy talks about the joy of having cash to spend on things you truly enjoy.

I couldn’t help but LOL when she talked about her experience of being ‘new money’ and having cash to spend on anything she likes.

Amy shares that she was born wealthy, then her family lost it all, and she has personally worked her way back up to having cash to burrrrn.

This chapter deeply inspired me. More than just the fact that she can spend whatever she likes, she shares about how much she has enjoyed the journey to earning money and how deeply she enjoys using it as a tool for joy and happiness.

This chapter has inspired me to start asking the people around me what they would do if they became new money and the conversation is always so rich. I’ve of course also been reflecting on this question and am excited to share what I’d get up to!

Firstly, if I had limitless cash in the bank, I realize that I would not drastically alter my current lifestyle. As a solopreneur, I absolutely LOVE working with fellow entrepreneurs, helping them amplify their gifts and skills in the mainstream. I love helping people feel that ecstatic and joyful feeling.

Also, before sharing a few things on my list, it’s important to note that the only reason we want money is for the feeling it will give us. For me, financial freedom feels: effortless, fun, secure, free, ambrosial, joyful, and so so so exciting.

Here are a few funs things I’d get up to:

  • Go to Hawaii and chase rainbows.
  • Throw a dart at a map and go to that place and simply explore.
  • Buy all the fabulous soft clothes (my new style) my heart desired.
  • Get a place with a view (it may be simply renting Airbnb’s in different places for a bit).
  • Follow the fun… everywhere.
  • Eat all the delicious things. It would be so awesome to get prepared food for the week and all the coffee and green juice my heart desired.
  • Random acts of helping others with cash.
  • Pay off all debt + family debt if they are interested in help.
  • Turn my current apartment into a broadcast studio and have a blast interviewing majestic humans (or buy time on an established radio station and save myself the work 😉
  • Make music.
  • Go to out-of-the-box, fun classes like learning how to make sushi, pottery classes, mindfulness meditation retreats or classes that teach you how to make truffles!
  • Give my website a proper update.
  • Give our Mo’ Money website a proper update and really start focusing on growing our blog!
  • Private jet time.
  • Go to all the comedy shows errrrywhere.
  • Randomly fly to concerts in different cities. (I’ll find you Drake)
  • Buy new pots and pans and furniture.
  • Lots of spa/pedicure/manicure dates. Gotta feel fabbbbulous!
  • Go wild in Sephora and randomly give a gal in there a $1,000 gift card.

Heehee. What a fun list to make. I encourage you to create one! It’s honestly exciting when you’re in the right frame of mind. I will continue to add to this list as I know that no matter how much we have in life, there’s always that curiosity and hunger for more!

<3 Gwen

 

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