Are You a Shopaholic?

Are You a Shopaholic?

To Buy or Not To Buy? – it’s a question we ask and answer almost every day, and sometimes multiple times a day. For many people, it doesn’t cause a lot of inner turmoil, but if you are a compulsive buyer, it’s a high stakes question, and an affirmative answer can be devastating. Long trivialized as the “smiled-upon” addiction, thankfully, compulsive buying is coming farther and farther out of the closet, and the release of movies like Confessions of a Shopaholic is bringing the problem into the limelight.

We have reason to believe it’s becoming more prevalent. A study reported in the October 2006 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry suggested that about 5.8% of the U.S. population-more than fifteen million Americans-are compulsive buyers. A more recent study, published in the December, 2008 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that the number may be closer to 8.9%, more than 25 million Americans. And now with what may be another economic crisis developing, compulsive shoppers are feeling squeezed. Some are unable to resist prices which have been slashed to the bone in the hope of luring reluctant consumers. Others, fearing for their long term job stability, are using the uncertain economic times and certain interest rate boosts as the incentive they needed to become more mindful about their spending. And between these two poles, there are a multitude of other responses that overshoppers are having to the current economic uncertainties, ranging from denial to absolute panic.

When we think “addiction,” what first comes to mind is most likely alcohol or drugs or eating disorders. Even though we know that shopping, when done to excess, can spin dangerously out of control, shopping is still seen by many as superficial, light fare. Strongly reinforced by society, shopping has become the classic mixed-message behavior. On the one hand, it’s promoted endlessly (and to the ends of the earth) by those who profit from it. On the other hand, it’s regularly the stuff of jokes. Shoppers are portrayed as self-involved, materialistic, and empty. As a result, compulsive shopping may be an even greater source of guilt and shame than alcoholism or drug abuse, which are seen as bona fide disorders, requiring treatment.

So why the mixed-messages? Given the fact that consumption fuels our economy, in order to promote the ceaseless stoking of economic engines, every one of us is targeted as a consumer. We are pushed, prodded, programmed to purchase. Every year, billions of credit card offers go out to America’s three hundred million people – more than thirty offers to every man, woman, and child! Shopping itself has become a leisure and lifestyle activity; malls are the new town centers. We’re immersed, cradle to grave, in “buy messages” that, with greater and greater psychological sophistication, misleadingly associate products we don’t need with feelings we deeply desire.

Just check out the bumper stickers. “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping,” trumpets an SUV in front of me. For those who enjoyed high school Latin, there’s “Veni, Vidi, Visa!” A largely female version is “New Shoes Chase the Blues,” while men weigh in with “He Who Has the Most Toys When He Dies, Wins.”

 What I’ve learned from more than two decades of knowing, studying, working with, and writing about overshoppers, and from having been one myself, is that to change your behavior, you’ve got to change the way you feel about yourself and the way you go about meeting your authentic needs. It’s about understanding who you are, what you want, and what you really need.

In general, having more things means enjoying life less. Acquiring and maintaining objects can so fill up our lives and environment that there’s little time or space to use what’s been acquired. What we consume ends up consuming us.

April Lane Benson, Ph.D., is a nationally known psychologist who has specialized in the study and treatment of compulsive buying disorder for over two decades. Dr. Benson is the editor of I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self  (2000) and author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop (2008). Her company, Stopping Overshopping, LLC offers individual and group coaching using an evidence-based program, an interactive text messaging program, and a comprehensive website filled with information and effective strategies. Dr. Benson also trains therapists and frequently appears in the media. To learn more about Dr. April Benson go to ShopaholicNoMore.com.

International Women’s Day and the Importance of Financial Empowerment

International Women’s Day and the Importance of Financial Empowerment

International Women’s Day is Thursday, March 8th. Women are gathering worldwide for conferences, awards, exhibitions, festivals, fun runs, concerts, speaking events, and so much more. This is an important day to be with other inspiring women, so look for an event in your community!

First celebrated in 1909 as a labor protest in New York against the poor working conditions, the movement quickly spread across the world. This is a day we recognize women for their achievements throughout history and across nations. It’s known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

2018 has already been an extraordinary year for women’s empowerment. With the #METOO movement in full force, women are speaking up and standing up around the world.  This is a time to reflect on the progress we have made, to call for change, to recognize acts of courage, and to unlock our financial power.

According to NBC News[1], more than 500 women are running for a major office this year. No matter which party ultimately triumphs in the November midterm elections, here is one thing we know for sure about 2018:  It WILL be the Year of the Woman!

I strongly believe that financial empowerment is every woman’s birthright. I’ve experienced extreme poverty and abuse as well as great wealth and freedom. My mission for the last 30 years has been to help women create wealth, make a difference, and live a life they love.  I know it’s possible when you have a guide and the right resources.

I created Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2003 after an experience I had when I was about to teach a workshop called Smart Women Finish Rich for the Federal Reserve’s Money Smart Week. At the time, I was running a very successful financial planning business focused on wealthy clients. I still remember walking up on that stage and looking out at my audience of over 150 women who were known as the “unbanked,” those who don’t have a bank account.  I wondered how in the world I was going to reach these women!

What I did that moment changed my life forever. I shared my personal story. It was a story I had never told because  I was embarrassed of it. I thought I’d be judged if people really knew my background. But telling my story was freeing. These women saw that I was once where they were. I told them, “Now if I can do it, you can do it, and today, I’m going to show you how.  Please open your workbooks and let’s get started!”

At the end of the seminar, I collected the comment cards and dozens of women wanted to meet with me, but I had no way to help them. That was the moment I decided to create a program where I could help all women who wanted my help. That was the seed for Smart Women’s Empowerment. I retired from my financial planning business in 2007 and began Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008.

I’m thrilled that you are part of our Smart Women Community where we are working to empower women globally to stand in their financial power through our free resources and growing community of women around the globe. We welcome you!

Please register for our free course, Unlock Your Financial Power, listen to our radio shows, read our expert articles, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  And please reach out to others and invite them to join us too!

[1] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/huge-2018-story-more-500-women-are-running-major-office-n841916

 

Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. www.katanaabbott.com

Is Your Relationship with Money Healthy?

Is Your Relationship with Money Healthy?

I was interviewed several years ago by Lorwai Lan on how it’s never too late to become a midlife millionaire on her radio show, Your Money and Your Mindset. One of the things we discussed is mindset. This idea of mindset is so important because no matter how much you make or have, you will never be able to keep it, grow it, or feel secure and joyful about it unless you have a healthy relationship with money!

What is your mindset around money? If you received a large sum of money – millions of dollars, could you hold on to it? You say yes, but how are you treating the money that you have today? Do you respect and appreciate it? To create, grow, and keep wealth, you need to have a healthy relationship with it and an action plan.

  • Does the idea of becoming a midlife millionaire make you feel uncomfortable or does it feel too unrealistic?
  • What would your friends and family think of you if you were really rich?
  • Does the word millionaire seem too materialistic or masculine?
  • What were you told about money when you were growing up? Was it money doesn’t grow on trees or money is the root of all evil?
  • Are you negatively triggered by the idea of having a lot of money or by those who already have it?

Our relationship with money – how we feel about it AND what we do with it will have a profound effect on every area of our lives, because until we develop a truly sacred relationship with it, and that means both the Inner Work and Outer Work of money, we will never be able to ask for what we are worth, keep what we earn, invest confidently to make it grow, or feel secure and confident about it once we have it.

If you are struggling with your relationship with money, thinking it’s too late to become wealthy, waiting for someone else to solve your financial problems, hoping the issues will go away by simply ignoring them, or going deeper and deeper into debt, even being afraid to spend or invest it, then it’s time to take action.

I’ve worked with hundreds of women who need help with their money, and we always start with the Inner Work. The Inner Work is identifying our beliefs and disempowering beliefs around money, and then shifting, healing, and releasing those beliefs while creating new empowering beliefs and actions.

The Outer Work is what you are doing with your money. Are you getting paid what you are worth? Do you respect it by saving and investing for your future?

No matter where you are in your life, there is hope. Let’s get started:

Step #1: Start with the Inner Work – your beliefs around money. Let’s identify your money personality.

There are 5 money personalities:

  • Value – I need to prove I am good enough.
  • Status – Whatever I achieve is not enough.
  • Love – I need to do whatever it takes to get love.
  • Security – I never know when what I have may be taken from me.
  • Recognition – I need to prove I’m right.

Once you identify your disempowering belief, challenge, and money personality, then it is time to release, forgive, and heal. This process can take years, or if done with a professional, it can be instantaneous. It’s truly step number one. This one step will shift everything. I’ve seen it happen with hundreds of women, frequently with immediate almost magical results.

Step #2: Now you can begin the Outer Work – Taking Action. This is where you begin to look at where you stand and where you want to go. It’s time to be brutally honest, to clean up messes, set goals, and get the help you need. Steps could include:

  • Create a financial plan.
  • Take a financial course like our free Unlock Your Financial Power
  • Go to a financial counselor if you are in debt.

Step #3: Don’t give up – Don’t try to do this part alone. Get support and surround yourself with like-minded women who are on the same path. You can do this by joining our free Smart Women Community and connecting with us on our Facebook page.

I believe in you. I have been there and know how to do this. I surrounded myself with dozens of supporters, and they are all part of this community of smart, successful women who are willing to reach out and help each other. Check out our free resources and let us know how you transform. We want to hear from you!

 

Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. www.katanaabbott.com

The Four Steps to Creating a Retirement Lifestyle Business

The Four Steps to Creating a Retirement Lifestyle Business

If you are one of the 80,000 Baby Boomers who is approaching or currently in retirement and looking for a way to generate income to supplement your savings, Social Security, and pension – you are NOT alone!

This is what I call this the 3-legged stool.

If one leg is broken, your retirement could be in jeopardy.

Many of the women I work with are looking for a way to produce extra income by starting a business that will allow them to leverage their unique abilities and talents as well as give them the freedom to travel, take care of themselves, and give back. I believe for most Boomers, the new retirement solution will be a combination of working, learning, and sharing with a lot of fun included. (more…)

Retire TO something, not FROM something!

Retire TO something, not FROM something!

“The Secret to Successful Retirement is to Retire TO Something

Not FROM Something.” – Katana Abbott 

With over 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, the dream of having enough money saved up to support you through the second half of your life can be daunting.

According to a study by the National Institute on Retirement Security, “The average working household has virtually no retirement savings. When all households are included— not just households with retirement accounts—the median retirement account balance is $3,000 and $12,000.” (more…)

When was the last time you were inspired?

Sign up now for our Weekly Ezine, Radio Show Invitations, PLUS, 100 days of Inspiration!

Name
Email

You have Successfully Subscribed!