For richer and poorer – new stats on the wealth gap

A story on NPR this morning on the growing gap between the wealthy and the rest of us in the United States, equaled only by the gap in the 1920’s.

The 400 people on Forbes magazine’s list of the richest Americans saw their combined net worth climb 8 percent this year. The good news for the wealthy comes as the poverty rate has reached a 15-year high and unemployment remains stuck near 10 percent.

“They” say the recession ended last August. This says we are headed deeper into an economic Bermuda Triangle. What do you think? What data makes sense to you? What choices are you making – that you are willing to tell blog readers?

Transforming your relationship with food

Hey, I thought this was a money blog. Transforming your relationship with money. Not food.

I’m discovering with my September 10 mile diet that truly the same principles and practices for looking at money apply to food. By only eating what can produced within 10 miles of my home I am discovering a lot about my relationship with food.

I am seeing my emotional relationship – the feelings and desires that drive me this way and that. To nuts and after 9 PM eating. That would be like people’s money and stuff addictions. The visits to the mall to see what you might want rather than get what you want. To substitute shoes (or chocolate) for love. Continue reading

Two wow’s from the NY Times

Wow one: The NY Times reported bankers using the D word. Depression.

Wow two: The NY Times is now blogging about frugality.

Wow one: On September 12 the NY Times used the “D” word. Depression. Not downturn. Not recession. Not banking crisis. Depression. They reported that:
Top central bankers and bank regulators agreed Sunday in Basel, Switzerland, on far-reaching new rules for the global banking industry that are designed to avert future financial disasters…of the kind that nearly plunged the world into depression in late 2008 depression.

Political leaders have been wary of the D word, not wanting to panic people. Now they can use it because our heroic politicians “averted” it. Hmmm. Really?

Wow two: The NYTimes has gotten into the frugality business. I hope this blog will be a reliable source for those kinds of daily financial decisions that bedevil us.

What should I do with my money now?

I invited Mark Zaifman and Monique Tilford to join me for a teleclass by this name, knowing this question is on everyone’s minds. While Mark gave financial investment advice, I tended to give more lifestyle advice – examining assumptions about “just gotta have it”, meeting needs differently (like taking your kids to free events rather than expensive ones), re-skilling. If money is indeed “life energy”, then investing time in activities that will bring you a big return in security makes sense – perhaps as much sense as investing in mutual funds. Okay okay, apples and oranges, but listen to what I wrote a friend when she asked:

Hi. any advice about what to do with a small inheritance? especially since the people involved are not FI right now but would like to be?

Read on… and tell me what YOU would advise… Continue reading

The Whole Enchilada

Thank you to the nearly 600 (whew) who signed up for my free ones. There are two more and you can still come tonight or monday (see above).One person wrote: Thanks for articulating the issues, clarifying “whole systems thinking” and providing much needed encouragement.

I’ve loved teaching them and being back in the saddle, which would be my roller ball chair, Mt Baker and Puget Sound out my window, phone beside me on speaker and screen in front of me watching you pour into the room.

For everyone reading this blog and not at the classes, I want to tell you the new format for my course. I’ve rolled the two classes I anticipated teaching into one that I call The Whole Enchilada: Money, Happiness and Enough.

Why only one?

First, people wanting to get a handle on money via the Your Money or Your Life program can do just that with the Whole Enchilada. Continue reading

Hope Beneath our Feet; essays of hope in hard times

Today is the launch of  Hope Beneath our Feet, a compilation of essays gathered by Martin Keogh. Click that link and you can get it for a deep discount. I think you’ll want it, and not just because tucked among many luminaries is the essay Martin requested of me about two years ago. It’s called Letter from the Future. Here’s a link to one place it’s posted on the web. He asked us all to write to the question: In a time of environmental crisis, how can we live right now? Continue reading

EPA Webinar, “Saving Money, Saving the Earth”, now posted

The “Saving Money, Saving the Earth” webinar free audio/video is now posted on the EPA’s website.

The direct link to the video is:

I’ve gotten video and audio to work on my PC but only audio on the Mac (i’m a newbie to Macs). I hope it works for you as it is one of my best renditions of the “Whole Enchilada” of my teaching. Which, by the way, is the new name for my “everything rolled into one” class:

Money, Happiness and Enough: the Whole Enchilada.

It is a 6-week course starting September 27, with my teaching and guests like John Robbins and few more surprises.

Three sad money tales just yesterday

As I was planning my feast of free classes this coming week, all designed to give yo tools, perspectives and strategies for hope and resilience, I had occasion to talk with three friends and was deeply impacted by their stories. Each had a tale of serious financial woe. And until they revealed it, I would not have guessed.

One friend got stuck in the real estate crash, had to do a short sale of a rental house that was to be her long term nest egg and now is filing for bankruptcy.

Another, while trying to do something good for the world, stumbled into a work situation with a sociopath (you’ve had them yourself, no?) Continue reading