How to Eliminate Holiday Money Hangovers By Zena Amundsen

How to Eliminate Holiday Money Hangovers

How to Eliminate Holiday Money Hangovers By Zena Amundsen

I’ve just released my 2018 Holiday Savings Challenge – and you might be thinking it’s a little bit too early to start thinking about the Holidays.  

And normally, I’d be one to agree with you.   

But starting to think about the financial implications of the holidays can’t come too early and by starting early, you’ll be able to save all you need without even really noticing it or having that after the holidays guilt fest when the credit card bills come rolling in.  

Sounds great right?  

I’m going to get honest here…..I created this holiday challenge out of necessity for myself.  

I am that unprepared, frantic, crazed-looking lunatic on December 24th trying to find gifts for family members. And in my last minute pursuit I often swing in one of two emotions (1) Scarcity or (2) a Sense of Defeat while overspending.   

My December 24th shopping in Scarcity has me buying the cheapest item that has no meaning or love within the purchase. It is treated as a begrudged event.   

The other holiday shopping monster that sometimes rears its head is one of overspending out of desperation. When this happens it is because I didn’t plan ahead and I can’t think of a gift idea.  I end up purchasing an outrageous and expensive gift last minute.  

Have you ever been there? 

Both of these shopping failures leave me with a money hangover guilt.   

My scarcity loop leaves me feeling guilty and realizing I spent money on junk. My overspending leaves me with a punch to the wallet.  

The Holiday Challenge will eliminate the guilt because you will have a template and plan to guide you through the spending frenzy. It’s easy to get lost in the noise and pressure of the holiday.  

So if you want to avoid the Holiday Money Hangovers with me, sign up for my FREE 2018 Holidays Savings Challenge for your Holiday Savings Planner and helpful tips on how to best prepare delivered straight to your inbox!  

JOIN THE FREE 2018 HOLIDAY SAVINGS CHALLENGE HERE

If you’d like some extra support in saving for the holidays and avoiding a holiday money hangover, you can sign up for my FREE 2018 Holiday Savings Challenge Here 

How to Trade Money for Time By Zena Amundsen

Using Money to Create More of Your Most Valuable Resource: Time!

How to Trade Money for Time By Zena AmundsenA few years ago, I led my family through a financial experiment.  

I used my financial designations and experience to create our own family money value system.  It was at this stage in our life that we were ready to take the next jump into exploring our true family value of ‘freedom,’ where freedom means more time, more options, and more ways to free up the clutter in our lives. This experiment is what led to the stories and experiences that I share in my book. 

I learned that money isn’t the only valuable resource in life.   

There is proof that spending money to buy back time can make us happier. Studies in Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands show that happiness and life satisfaction does not come from income or wealth. Instead, buying time promoted happiness.  

Let’s face it, we are a society in a time famine.  

Think about the one thing you hate most spending your time on. Now think of a way to buy yourself out of it.  

Here are a few of the everyday tasks you can outsource:  

(This is your permission to go ahead and try it. Throw your guilt out the window and see if you can create some ease. You deserve it!) 

  1. House cleaning – Hire a weekly service or schedule a Fall cleaning.  
  2. Assembly – If a cold sweat starts at the thought of building your IKEA furniture or your new BBQ, then pay the extra dollars and have it assembled.  
  3. Home Organization Consultation – Sometimes a clean slate is all it takes to alleviate some of the clutter. This is money well spent.  
  4. Tech Set Up – The TV, sound system and computer may have come with instructions, but do you really want to spend days figuring it out?  
  5. Meal Service – This one is a must in my family. Half of our weekly meals come from a meal concierge service. I have even given up the pick-up option, and I now pay $8 a week for delivery straight to my door.  
  6. Online Grocery Shopping – This option has helped with not only time but also cash flow. With the online cart, you can see your subtotal add up and make any changes to your cart to match your budget. It is a foolproof way to stay on top of the money. Bonus, they will deliver, and you don’t need to leave the house.  
  7. Yard Care – Hiring someone to mow and weed does not make you lazy. The pressure of maintaining the yard after a long workday can make anyone cranky. I have even hired a company called, The Poo Crew in the Spring to help with the dog bombs in the backyard after the winter melt.  

There are a few other ideas that I have spent money on that created more time for me and was worth every penny: 

  1. Life Coaching – Five years ago I was feeling pressure and stress and felt like I didn’t have time for anything. I hired a life coach that helped me prioritize and get back on track. I had accountability that made me more productive and allowed me to add some more fun to life.  
  2. Pre-Booking – When you are at the hairdressers, dentist… try pre-booking the next appointment. This will eliminate the missed phone calls and returned messages when trying to schedule appointments. 
  3. Virtual Assistant or On-Demand Personal Assistant – I have outsourced all of the little time wasters that cost me hours. A virtual assistant can book holidays and appointments, update your calendar and make online purchases for you.  

This isn’t permission to abandon all money sense and empty your bank account on whatever you want. The point is to use your money smartly to align with the things that are important to you.  

Spending this way feels good and can leverage more happiness in your life.  

JOIN THE FREE 5-DAY HEART OF YOUR MONEY CHALLENGE HERE

If you’d like some extra support in starting your intentional journey with money, you can sign up for my FREE 5-Day Heart of Your Money here. 

September Money Reset: Getting Your Family on Board By Zena Amunsden

September Money Reset: Getting Your Family on Board

 

September Money Reset: Getting Your Family on Board By Zena AmunsdenThis summer our family spent time and money on the things that were important to us. We had a few trips to the West Coast and a few camping trips, and as I am writing this we are on our way to our first rodeo!  

These expenses matched our family value of ‘freedom’.  We had been looking forward to these trips and financially planned for them together.  We were all on board earlier in the year when we decided to save for our holidays.  

However, our family’s relationship with money has not always been peachy keen. In my book, I share much more about my money story and journey, starting with my marriage breakdown and having to recover from being left financially naked. I also write about the steps I took to come back stronger and how I created value-based spending that aligns with family.   

Value-based spending refers to spending your money on those things that are truly important to you. Once you have set aside money for the crucial items first, like emergency savings, and all the basic needs like food and shelter, then you can direct your financial resources so that your spending matches your values. 

This is where my September Reset comes in.  

Fall is the perfect time of the year to hit reset and get your family ready for the next season of bills and expenses. The weather is perfect, the leaves are turning and you might be ready to settle in after a summer of fun. In fact, this summer’s spending might leave you feeling a little overwhelmed with the upcoming fall expenses.   

Here are a few things you can do to get your family on board and take control for the fall: 

1. Call a family meeting and list what is important and the highest priority.  

For example, this might be the Christmas vacation you planned, the upcoming sport team expenses or paying off extra debt that has been haunting you.  

We often talk about priorities in life, but how many of us have actually taken a moment to stop and write down our priorities on paper? Have you spent more time making a grocery list than you have spent writing down what is important to you and why?  

Put this priority on paper and post it on the fridge. 

2. Review your online banking/credit card statement.  

Do your spending and savings habits match your family’s priorities? Is there a disconnect? Do you need to reassess and realign?  

3. Now you make your money work to match your values.  

Adjust your cash flow system to include a savings bucket that will be directed to your main priority.  If you are needing a cash flow system that works and leaves you feeling empowered with an abundant mindset, read chapter 5 of my book, The Heart of Your Money 

4. Schedule family check in’s to track and stay focused on your progress.   

This can be the perfect place to bring a collective and collaborative approach to our lives. When our values are shared within a family, we build a positive, healthy, and thriving unit with the benefit of being able to prioritise effectively.  

Your spending should be a reflection of what you truly value.  

However, it is common to fall out of step with what is important to you. This can happen slowly and over time if there is not a conscious effort to pay attention to where your money is going.  

When I meet with people for cash flow planning, it is generally because they have a feeling of wandering with their spending. This can happen for a number of reasons—stress, a feeling of scarcity, and fear, or something as simple as being busy and not being mindful.  

No matter the reason, we all need a reset sometimes. 

JOIN THE FREE 5-DAY HEART OF YOUR MONEY CHALLENGE HERE

If you’d like some extra support in starting your intentional journey with money, you can sign up for my FREE 5-Day Heart of Your Money here. 

How to Declutter to Create Abundance

How to Declutter to Create Abundance By Zena Amunsden

Moving ahead financially means letting go of the things from our past that no longer serve us.  

When I educate people on investment advice I often refer to the dress in my closet that still has the price tag and that I have never worn. It is a dress that has been in my closet for 10 years and it just brings on feelings of guilt when I see it. I often push it to the back and tell myself I will deal with it later.   

What does this have to do with money advice? Well, often I see people that have a mediocre investment that has underperformed for a long period of time. When I ask them to tell me about this investment, they can’t remember when or why they have it.  

This is where decluttering comes in.  

We need to declutter our money and our life so that the two can work harmoniously with one another.  

I’ve put together a few things you can do to declutter and create more space for your money! 

Your Declutter to Create Abundance Checklist 

  • Clean your purse or wallet out. I honestly can’t tell you how good this feels!  
  • Delete your newsletter subscriptions that no longer feed your soul.  
  • Go through your unopened mail and sort it out.  
  • Clean your fridge. Yes, this actually does help! 
  • Go through your closets and clean out the items you no longer use and sell them. 
  • Consolidate your numerous bank accounts that have $5 balances but cost you monthly fees. 
  • Create or declutter your home office space. Make this space free from clutter and create a positive energy for your finances here. 

I want to hear from you! Share one thing with me that you can do to declutter to make more room right now!  

JOIN THE FREE 5-DAY HEART OF YOUR MONEY CHALLENGE HERE

If you’d like some extra support in starting your intentional journey with money, you can sign up for my FREE 5-Day Heart of Your Money here. 

3 Simple Ways To Bring More Money Into Your Life

3 Simple Ways To Bring More Money Into Your Life By Zena Amunsden

We all know the rule, “Spend less than you earn”.  This lesson has been shared over and over.  The advice is not wrong, but life sometimes becomes more complicated than we would like. We eventually find that we need some better steps to improve our finances.  

I recommend using these simple tips to bring more money your way: 

#1 – Invest in yourself  

One of the most important things you can do to create more money is to make your own saving a habit and priority. Regular and automatic savings will compound to grow. For example, if you save $100 a month for 15 years with 5% interest, you will have $26,798 in the bank.   

If you’re like a lot of people, it’s been quite a while since you’ve asked for a raise. If you avoid asking out of discomfort, you are potentially giving up a significant amount of money. Your raise can help fund your saving habits. 

#2 – Surround yourself with wealth reminders 

Wealth reminders can be the books you read or the articles you surf on the internet. Reading and following thought leaders that can inspire and teach you to stay on track with your financial goals will help you remain focused.   

I will share some reading suggestions with you later this summer. 

#3 – Diversify your income 

Just like the investing rule of diversification (not putting all your eggs in one basket), income should be diversified.  What additional sources of income can you add to your growing nest egg?   

Here are a few income diversification ideas:  

  1. Sell items you no longer need on VarageSale 
  2. Sell your handmade crafts on Etsy 
  3. Become a virtual assistant that works from home 
  4. List your extra space on Airbnb 
  5. Become an expert on Fiverr (a freelance services marketplace) 
  6. Start your dream business on the side!  

These are simple but effective ways that you can grow your bank account. Let me know what things have worked for you!

JOIN THE FREE 5-DAY HEART OF YOUR MONEY CHALLENGE HERE

If you’d like some extra support in starting your intentional journey with money, you can sign up for my FREE 5-Day Heart of Your Money here. 

The #1 Thing Sabotaging Your Relationship with Money by Zena Amundsen

The #1 Thing Sabotaging Your Relationship with Money

The #1 Thing Sabotaging Your Relationship with Money by Zena Amundsen

It seems that life goes by so fast when we are working hard and trying to get ahead while still checking off our to do lists.

Maybe your list looks something like this: 

  1. Pay off debt,  
  2. Start saving  
  3. Lose 5 pounds  
  4. Spend time with family and friends 
  5. Meditate 

The list goes on and on for some of us. So where on your checklist for your money, is self-love?  

Your Relationship with Money Starts with Self-Love

Self-love equals self-care, and self-care gives us the motivation to nurture our financial health.   

There is a sense of deserving that needs to happen for self-value and self-worth to kick in. You do deserve an elevated sense of your own worth, on every aspect of your life. Our judgment and attitude toward what we believe we deserve are linked to our money story and our first memories.  

If we feel undeserving, we can be our own worst enemy and create roadblocks to improving our financial situation.   

By not relating our money story to our sense of worth today, we are sabotaging our relationship with money.  

For example, I met with a client who had come from a divorced family. Her father left when she was ten and her mother raised her and her brother. My client grew up struggling financially but also emotionally.  She shared with me that she felt abandoned and didn’t and still doesn’t understand why her father has not continued a relationship with her and her brother. She went on to graduate from university with full scholarships, to find stable employment, and then to complete her master’s degree while working, all debt free.   

She now earns more than $150,000 a year. When I met her, she had credit card debt, no savings, and was living from paycheque to paycheque. If she accumulated any amount of cash, she felt she had to get rid of it; she experienced an unsettling feeling—an almost urgent feeling—that it shouldn’t be there. She would shop and spend it immediately. Her scarcity mindset, paired with her self-worth and self-love were causing her to release money she had, because deep down she felt like she didn’t deserve it.  

Once we went through her history, her money story, and her memory, we connected her self-value and  how she perceived her self-worth and money. Nowadays, she can still spend and not feel restricted, but not until after she has taken care of all her savings buckets and retirement savings she needs in order to protect and love her future self. She can then spend what is left guilt-free from a place of abundance with self-love in mind.   

I started my relationship with money because of a marriage breakdown, but all it takes is a mini wakeup call or maybe you just have a long nagging feeling of unease and doubt that stop you from taking back control.  

Do not ignore your money story because by doing so, it could be the number one thing sabotaging your relationship with money.  

Our money attitudes are financial but mostly emotional. How our parents handled money has a large impact on how we deal with our own money today. Whether we overspend and are in debt or we agonize over our money decisions, save everything, and penny pinch, we can trace back to having either accepted our parents’ money beliefs or having rejected their attitudes. Either way we reflect our history into our current money behaviours. The key is to know and recognize our financial story, talk about it, honour it, then separate from it and choose to create our own.  

The #1 thing sabotaging your relationship with money is not relating your money story to your sense of worth today.  

JOIN THE FREE 5-DAY HEART OF YOUR MONEY CHALLENGE HERE

If you’d like some extra support in starting your intentional journey with money, you can sign up for my FREE 5-day Heart of Your Money Challenge here.

3 Steps You Can Take Today to Kickstart a Love-Fest with Your Money by Zena Amundsen

3 Steps You Can Take Today to Kickstart a Love-Fest with Your Money

3 Steps You Can Take Today to Kickstart a Love-Fest with Your Money by Zena Amundsen

Did you know that money is the longest relationship that you’ll ever have?

From birth to death, this relationship is longer than friendships and marriages. We need to nurture and love our money because this bond is here to stay for a lifetime!

So here are 3 steps you can take TODAY to turn your relationship with money into a love-fest!

Step One – Use Cash for 7 Days

By bringing awareness to how you’re using money in your day-to-day life, you’ll multiply your money love.

This also includes monitoring the way you think and speak about money too.

So rather than using the term “budget,” I like to use the term “cash flow.” The word “budget” means the same to me as the word “diet.” And “diet” to me means scarcity, slim pickings, and not enough. Definitely not how I want to feel in relationship to my money!

Your cash flow is the amount of money that is moving in and out of your household. It also means you have the power to control that flow.

To test this out – give yourself a 7-day cycle of cash to use only for all of your variable expenses. These are the discretionary items that you have control over like eating out, coffee, clothes, etc…

Doing this will bring awareness to your spending. Spending with intention and forethought means taking stock of what cash is available to you and having the power to decide if that spending matches your priorities.

Without a way to quantify and qualify our spending, we can have a hard time recognizing our primary goals and aligning our spending with them.

Step Two – Define Your Motivation

Defining your motivation means finding out what is truly important and why. So what is your Why?

It’s essential to get clear on this.

In my business, we have a mission statement, and I come back to it all the time. It eliminates time and anguish when making decisions. It empowers staff to make decisions and feel confident about it because they have a clear mission to follow. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve saved in decision making. Should I do this? Is this the right opportunity? And which path to choose during 2 forks in the path decision making? All decisions come back, is this our mission, does it feed our purpose.

My family has the exact same thing. We have a mission/purpose and motivation. When things come up, spending money, making a change, I ask, “does it feed our purpose?”.

When you have a clear picture of your motivation, life gets simple. All the torture of decision making and lack of confidence ends. You snap out of the self-doubt questioning, and you simply ask yourself, does this match my Why.

Step Three – Find Your Tribe

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have lived in close-knit circles, tribes that live and work side by side, protecting one another. Why would we want to tackle this money journey alone? We are wired for collaboration.

On my path to creating financial confidence, I like to surround myself with people who are supportive, have abundant and positive attitudes, are trustworthy, and think like me.

According to motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, you are the composite of the five people you spend the most time with. Think about your family, friends, and co-workers, and ask yourself: “Who are those five people for me today?”

If you’re clear about what you need from your tribe, then you will be certain when you find it.

So, where do you start looking?

  • Does anyone close to you possess the qualities you’re looking for?
  • Find a friend who has similar financial interests to yours, and check in with each other regularly.
  • Is there a local women’s group that offers workshops or meetings? Start your own Women’s Money Circle.
  • Call in the troops. Put your intentions out there on social media and have people find you.  

There is strong power gained when women collaborate with other women.

Not only can you inspire a good time, but you can flourish with support, problem-solving, encouragement, and effective conversation. A circle can work even with just a few participants.

Your love-fest with your money will create a healthy and abundant attitude that will flow into all aspects of your life.

Join the FREE 5-Day Heart of Your Money Challenge Here

If you’d like some extra support in starting your intentional journey with money, you can sign up for my FREE 5-day Heart of Your Money Challenge here.