Conversations with Girlfriends

MindFULL Money

When was the last time you and your friends talked about money? I mean REALLY talked about it. Not just as a number, but deeper than that. What it means. More importantly, what YOU think it means.

I often say, if we all talked about money and sex, we’d have more of both (and I am pretty wealthy when it comes to generous friends – I am blessed with a few who are willing to share their thoughts on both subjects.) For my parents generation, the topic of money was taboo. So was wearing white after Labor Day.

For the next two weeks, I’ll be traveling to several cities, talking with people about the notion of retirement. It is a sensitive topic and an honor to hear their stories. It is also an opportunity to get a front row seat in the classroom of Life 101.

You see, I carry old family beliefs and behaviors about money that no longer serve me. It’s like wearing an old sweater that doesn’t really fit, but you can’t donate it.  However, something deep inside is telling me “it’s time to hang it up”.

It’s crazy, for in spite of being married to a patient and numbers-oriented man, I still feel unsure of so many things.  My husband uses Excel the way I use words and twice a year we sit down and talk about what we have and why we are doing what we are doing. Still, I lose steam.

In honor of this project, I vow to use what I hear to refill my tank. Yesterday I downloaded Mint to my iPhone and committed to tracking my spending.  Do you know Mint? Check it out.  www.mint.com . It enables you to set a budget and then monitor your success as you work toward your goals. While you are standing in line to pay for something, you can pop the amount into the app and it will automatically calibrate what you have left.

I am also going to make an investment next week. I always talk about doing it and never pull the trigger.  For my own sense of  empowerment, I am going to take a piece of my paycheck and buy a stock. Just one. I have my eye on foreign telecom.  It’s a gut feeling. With Facebook in Bosnia, seems to me there needs to be tech support in smaller countries. Win or lose, I’ll know I tried. I’m so sick of hearing us all say, “If I had just bought Apple…”

And after breakfast, I am going to return the jeans I bought yesterday. I already have 7 pairs hanging in my closet. I’m no rock star. Who needs 8 pairs of jeans unless they are playing the bars on Sunday nights?

Who knows – if we open up this conversation, we might just find ourselves learning something new. Wouldn’t that be rich!

 

Do you have ways you are MindFULL about money? Let us know!

3 thoughts on “MindFULL Money”

  1. I don’t do numbers well. I can keep my own checkbook, but Larry has his ways with our shared account and I let him go at it. I’m about money like “enough is as good as a feast.” That’s not the best attitude when thinking about retirement.
    I just bought three pair of pants at Nordstrom. Did I need to go there? Should I have gone to the “Rack” instead.?Should I have continued to wear the tan cargo pants with the raggedy cuffs? Should I continue to wear the two pair of ripped jeans I patched for riding?
    As Larry and I say about the billionaires who finance the Republicans—how much is enough?

  2. Plus the money issues at retirement, we also need to think and do something about our strength and balance. I am now seeing a wonderful physical therapist for posture issues, etc. My grandson asked me the other day, “Why do old people walk like this?” and he proceded to demonstrate–hunched over and shuffling. My therapist feels that everyone, beginning in our younger years should have a yearly physical therapy exam (like a dental exam) to check walking gait, posture,balance, etc. and then practice the recommendations. We need to be as strong as we can be in our retirement years. Your blog is terrific, Robin!

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