Ideas machine

Ideas machine (Photo credit: yesyesnono)

If you were a car, would you be the stripped down model? How stripped down? No air conditioning? Radio, CD player? Moon roof? Leather seats? Cruise control?

Would you have the strippy because you could not afford the bells and whistles, or because they are too frivolous? Your attitude to your car reflects your attitude to your life.

Does the voice, ‘Who do you think you are?!’ bellow when you think of buying something fancy? Or does the voice ‘I deserve this’ whine as you splurge on another or many other items out of the normal.

Either way, you are in self deprivation. You are either depriving yourself now of an appropriate pleasure, or spending wildly to deprive yourself later of an appropriate pleasure.

Why do you do this to yourself? It is because you are not living the life you desire. I am not talking about the mansion, the servants, and the antiques; I’m talking about your work in this life. It may be to have a family , be an artist, or run a business selling yoga togs, but it is your place in the world. Are you filling it?

If you studied your heart’s desire in school, you are on the right track. The fact that your acting jobs don’t pay the rent tells you that you need to manage your life more realistically, but not get rid of the acting. You need a part-time job that pays you steadily while allowing you some free time to do the acting. It’s possible. People are living like this today.

If you did not study what you wanted to in school, there is nothing stopping you now. There are night courses, correspondence courses, company training programs.

Or, maybe you do not know what it is that you want to do. You used to know, maybe, as a little tyke. Or maybe you got a hint at some point in your later life, but thought the idea too ridiculous, or too much work, or too hard for you.

Getting that vision for your life is the single most important thing you can do to save your life today. It may or may not be what the family expects of you, or your spouse, or society. It has to be something healthy, you feel drawn to, consistently.

You customize your life based on your urges from within. If they are hidden, run your eye down the programs that any college or university offers. Put a star beside those that intrigue you. After a while you will begin to remember that there are one or two things that you have always wanted to do.

Once you have an idea, do some footwork by looking at the titles of the courses the program contains. Then look in the job ads online or in the newspaper for job titles that give you a thrill when you read them.

It helps if you pass this idea across your spiritual self, first. It helps if you write down the idea. Then, set a date on when you will accomplish this idea, even if it’s 5 years from now. Five years will pass whether or not you do anything about your vision.

Let’s say you want to do or be a ______________. Set a date to accomplish that. Below that goal, write down what you would need to have accomplished just before getting to the top? Put a date on that. And below those goals, write the things you would have to accomplish before you get to the goal above, one at a time, putting a date on each action. Soon enough you will be at the present day, and you will see that you have a course of action for the next five years on route to living your vision.

This and this alone will put fire into your life. Then the money you spend will be funneled to help realize your dream. You will be a much better money manger as a result.

Now you have customized your life. Thanks for role modeling for the rest of us!




If you earn a different amount each month, whether you are in sales, working contracts, or in transition, it can wreck havoc with your budget.

How can you be sure to pay the Must Pay bills and also have funds for other things like clothes, meals out, fun?

The best way is to tag the Must Pay expenses, like housing, transportation, utilities and groceries, and total that cost.  Whatever money you get this month, pay those bills first. If you earned $1,000, and your Must Pays total $900, pay those first. That leaves $100  for other life wants and needs.

Once you’ve gotten your Must Pays secured, the next step is to give a percent of the remaining income to all the other life categories you have.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to make a list of all the things you need and want in your life and give them a label. You’ll know what those are by checking what you’ve spent money on in the past. For example, Car Maintenance, Gifts, Hair.

Most people have anywhere from 30-50 categories.  Once you know how many categories you want to fund, you can decide what percent of the remaining money will go to each category. The only  rule is that this cannot add up to more than 100%.

Let’s say you have 30 categories.  You could start by giving each category 3%. That means 90% of the remaining money will be allocated.  With the last 10%, you can plunk it on a favorite category, or divide it among two or three.  Since not all categories are of the same importance to you, once you have 3% in each, you might want to subtract 1 or 2 % here and there and add that to a more important category.

For example, you may reduce Car Maintenance from 3% to 2%, saving up until the money is needed while Hair goes from 3% to 4% because your appearance is an important part of your job. You took 1% from Car Maintenance and added it to Hair. You’re happy to leave 3% in Gifts.

Now using the money leftover after you’ve paid the Must Pays, that $100 is divided into all your categories according to the percent you chose.  You would deposit 2% or $2 to Car Maintenance, and 4% or $4 into Hair, and 3% or $3 into Gifts.

No matter what your income, no matter how it varies, cover your Must Pay categories then you distribute the remainder of the money into all the rest of the categories using percents.

Share the wealth!


If a relative or a friend chose to give your partner  money in their will and your name isn’t mentioned, it ain’t yours.

Couples, especially one side, love to say ‘we’ inherited money.  But that’s not how the  tax people see it, or the divorce lawyers, or the law. Money inherited is not up for grabs if you split.  That money belongs to your partner, period.

Here’s one way to  deal with this ‘happy’ situation. Say your partner inherits $10,000. They get to put it into whatever investment seems best to them. Your partner can discuss it with you, but it’s their decision. Resist bullying! You know, pouting, crying, glaring, withholding of affections.

Pretend the inheritance never happened. That’s as much influence as you should have.  Pretend a friend of yours won money in a lottery and wants to know what to do with it.  You can offer asked for advice, but that’s the extent of your ownership.

Once the money is safely invested, even if only for a week or two, even in a simple savings account, your partner gets to state their priorities in life.  If it’s travel,  they might gift you a trip.  If not, your part of the trip gets paid for with family funds.

Ah, you think you caught a snag.  Define family funds, please. Well, what did you do before the inheritance? Harry Brown, author of How To Be Free in an Unfree World, said family funds equate to  income earned by each member of  a couple, money paid for  household work, and bills and expenses paid in proportion to income. Any money left over belongs to the partner who earned it.  They get to do with it what they will, as long as it isn’t illegal or  harmful to either of you.

That  connects to the inheritance issue.  Since the bills and the  rest of your life are presently being paid for within your family income, the inheritance is  beside the point.  If your partner wants a house, or a bigger house, then they can use the money that way. If they want  to sock it away into RRSPs until they are old and gray, ditto.

If you married a generous person, you might get taken on a trip, have a gift waiting at unexpected times, or have an influx into jointly held investments. But, that is strictly up to the one who got the inheritance.

I don’t say it’s easy to know your partner has money you can’t touch. But, maybe that’s your spiritual lesson for the day.


Start from where you are and get rich in no time

Well, to be exact, 10 minutes a day is enough to move you from where you are financially today to where you’d like to be.

If you are overwhelmed by money issues, dissatisfied with your present life, and if you are willing to put use no more than a few minutes every day to do easy, short action, you are ready to begin to prosper right now.

Each day you do a tiny  task.  Some tasks require daily repetition, some only need to be done once.  But each is a step toward your enjoyable future with bills up to date, no more debt, money in the bank, lovely vacations, and more.  You deserve peace and prosperity and I can help you as I have helped so many others.So, without further ado, let’s get you From Here to Prosperity in 10 Minutes A Day.

NOTE: Use your phone or a kitchen timer, but have one ready.  Really.  This is crucial.  You are making a promise to yourself that you will work for 10 minutes and stop. If you follow this rule, you will find yourself willing to continue the next day.  If you force yourself to work longer, you will stop doing  it completely. Better safe than sorry.

Set your timer for 10 Minutes and Go!

Week 1:

  1. Get a piece of typing paper. Fold it in quarters like a greeting card. With a pen, mark a horizontal line which divides the front  of the card in half, like this: _______________
  2. Create seven columns on the page, four on the top half and three on the bottom half.
  3. Date the first column with today’s date, eg. Mon. Aug. 8 . Date the next column Tues. Aug. 9, and the next Wed. Aug. 10. Continue until each of the seven columns has a date for the next week, ending with Mon. Aug. 16.
  4. Under today’s date, write down any money you spent.  Name the item and the exact amount you  paid.  eg., Coffee $3.75,  Rent $995. If you can’t remember exactly what it cost, hunt up any receipts you were given.  Be as accurate about this recording as possible. It has an effect on your psyche when the numbers you write down are the real ones.
  5. Tomorrow you will do the same thing under tomorrow’s date, that is, write down the item and the cost of every thing you spend, and you continue in this way for the rest of the week.
  6. Carry this little card with you in your wallet, and take a pen along, too.

High Tech: If you prefer, you can record your numbers in your phone or on a tablet IF you carry it with you all day.  All other the instructions apply.

Possible Reactions: Writing down the exact amounts you spend might make you more aware of money slipping through your fingers, and you spend less.  That is not a requirement, but it is a bonus!

Also, this is harder than it seems.  If you are not used to writing down your figures, it’s easy to forget what you bought or how much it cost at the end of the day. It helps to write it down immediately or as soon as possible.   Just do the best you can.

That’s it! In 10 minutes, you have started on your way to a prosperous financial future. Tune in next week for the next 10-minute tiny task.




There are many suggestions about how to have a vacation on little money. Is that fun for you? How about a different take? How about taking a summer vacation which is fabulous, just short. A day trip to remember.

.They have pelicans here???

Say you want to go somewhere exotic,  somewhere you’ve never been.  That town two hours from you, east west north or south is fresh meat. Research it, see what there is to do, where the nicest restaurant is for lunch.  If you don’t have a car, where will public transit take you two hours from where you live?

Save $100. Yes you can.  You  have time. Save a little money from groceries, a little from clothes, a little from Meals Out and a little from entertainment. Gather up any windfalls, too, like a GST rebate, or sell something on Kijiji, and put that money into a Vacation envelope.

Now you have the money to go and explore the new place, snack funds for the road trip, and plenty leftover  for a boffo lunch at the town’s best restaurant. And you have that other precious resource, time.  You can explore the town to your heart’s content. Who knew they had a dripping, spooky bat cave, or such a gorgeous church, or a tiny perfect beach? Or, if you’re going downtown in your big city, check out that famous landmark you’ve never visited. Try a fancy ethnic restaurant from that country you want to go to one day.

Don’t make this plan for next week.  Give yourself at least a month to enjoy the anticipation of it.   Research shows  50% of the enjoyment of a vacation is the anticipation of it. And be sure and talk  about it with friends and family.  That builds excitement. While there, take lots of pix.  Remembering the trip is another endorphin boost.

Lord Lord, start saving now, and reap the reward of a rich summer trip.







Robbing Peter to Pay Paul? To Stop, Whine About It.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a time-honoured money management strategy. The fact that it does not work has not stopped most of us from trying it, in some cases, over and over.

But there is a way to make this system work: Tell A Helpless Friend.

I know, I know, who wants to reveal something this complex and dodgy to another human being, especially a friend?  But note the adjective helpless.  The friend you chose has to be someone who also has money issues.  They will understand you. They will sympathize with your desperation, and your embarrassment. Even your shame.

But, here’s the amazing part. Just the act of  telling a helpless friend about what you are planning to do will bring you some sanity, some clarity of mind, maybe even a better idea.

If nothing else, once you tell, you will not feel as much shame about it.  Shame lives in secrecy, silence and judgement.  Your helpless friend won’t judge you, boy-o. S/he’ll empathize, having been there. Interestingly, you will not feel as badly, either.  If you have to do this thing, you will do it with a more peaceful heart.  Very important in avoiding shame.

Now, say, for argument’s sake, all your friends and family are mavens of perfect money management. Of course that is impossible, but let’s just entertain this fantasy.  So,  you don’t have a single soul to whine to. What to do?

Whine to God.  Write it all out.  [You know you can call God whatever name you want as long as it is a benevolent concept, like Love or  Nature, or even Reality] Then ask for Help.  Leave things, un-raided for just 3 days.  It’s a long time when you’re in a panic, yes, but try it.  I guarantee you will have a better solution by Day 4. And will feel calm.

Now, add to this a long-term solution. Identify which category was short and decide if this is a recurring problem. If so, determine to put more money into it from now on.  Shave off a little from several other needs and wants, and deposit the money into an envelope, or a separate savings account, or a hidden wallet or purse. Ask God to help you do this since you probably won’t want to.

This is a great way to stop future financial frenzy , and prepare for the same emergency not happening again in a few months.


It’s not always about the money.  If you want to do something, and you  can’t do it, aside from the money, look to see why that might be for the best. For example, if you want to go on a trip, but the money is not there,  maybe this is a gift in disguise.  Think about your energy.  Is this trip going to tire you out? Are you better to rest at home for the long weekend because you’ve been overworking?  Think about your time availability.  Do you have things you need and want to do which would not get done if you went away?  Looking at energy and time, maybe not having the money  is just the excuse you needed to live a  more peaceful life.

M. E. T. can be your new mantra: Money, Energy and Time.  First, consider whether or not you have the money for the thing. If you do not have the money, the temptation is to Raid  other categories where you’ve squirreled away funds.  Of course, Robbing Peter to Pay Paul always has an unpleasant backlash. If Peter is Entertainment and Paul is Clothes,  Entertainment-Peter is going to cry when it’s his turn for the money because it will have been spent on Clothes-Paul.  If you do not have the money, you have two choices: you can gently say No to yourself and exercise patience, saving more over time, or, you can sulk. (Credit cards are not an option, as we know, because they dig the debt hole deeper.) Sulking has its satisfactions. Still, it interferes with your enjoyment of your day.

On the other hand, you may have the money. Is it an automatic Go if you do?  I’d say no. Before you make the decision, consider the another  valuable and finite resource you have: energy. Run the tape to the end, as they say. How tired will you feel a few days after having expended the energy to do or buy the thing? Might that fatigue affect your relationships?

Finally, before you decide, consider the last totally non-renewable resource, Time. What will you miss in your quest for the thing? If you set priorities for your time, it might look something like this: Urgent and Important, Urgent but Not as Important, Important but not Urgent, and Not Urgent, and Not Important (but something you still want or need to do it, like pick up new oven mitts since yours are stained and burned.)

Under each heading, list three To-Do items. Add in commuting time if you have to shop for the thing or get to the thing.  Commuting is a notorious time-sucker. Now, a one-hour movie with your girlfriend becomes a three-hour outing. And that’s o.k.  But before you do it, just consider how this will impact the Urgent and Important items on your list.

Money, Energy and Time are more realistic ways to assess a choice.  Now, look to the internet to see how you can Say No in 42 Ways.