Healthy Money Summit coming soon

In just a day you will get a notice about the Healthy Money Summit, a FREE telesummit running from January 24-27, with recordings available to all who can’t attend live. How fitting to tell you on Martin Luther King day whose speaking out about economic injustice eventually cost him his life.

The Healthy Money Summit will feature 25 leading voices from the US, UK and beyond who speak powerfully, clearly and passionately about the possibility of a healthy money society – and how we will get there – and how you can make a difference in your own life.

I’ll announce the names tomorrow. Many you will recognize, some you won’t, but trust me, these are my top picks to bring you the inspiration and information I’ve dreamed of assembling under one tent. This is a teach-in without leaving your home (or mobile).

These tele-classes and summits are the wave of the future. They allow all of us out here in busy lives to access the best and wisest among us so we can all participate in an evolutionary shift.

Get ready to be inspired. I will post often to keep you informed.


Blessing the Hands that Feed Us

Would you believe I just made a deal to write a new book – on food?

What does food have to do with money? Everything, really, because both “feed” us what we need to survive, though money is one step removed and buys more than a full belly.

Also our relationship with food and our relationship with money have so much in common – cultural assumptions, personal psychology, trying to fill spiritual needs materially, capacity for conscious choice. It is no wonder I’ve turned my attention to a book on transforming our relationship with life energy of the food sort. It is called  BLESSING THE HANDS THAT FEED US. You can read the blog about the experiment that  inspired me to write this book.

Have you given some thought to your relationship with food. Are you a foodie? Slow food. Organic food. Local food. Grow your own food. Are you a Vegetarian? Vegan? Omnivore? Do you shop farmers markets or Costco, and why? Is your food bible a cookbook or a diet book or a policy book (like Stuffed or Starved or Omnivore’s Dilemma)?

Are you a food fanatic – full of certainty about the right way to eat? If this is the case, please hold your comments – there are other blogs where you can offer your views.  But if you, like me, are simply curious about the hands that feed you and the food you eat Continue reading

Saving for a rainy day – lessons from our ancestors

A friend loaned me her parent’s budget books, one from 1940, one from 1974. They are a generation apart and reflect both simpler times and the evolution of our relationship with money to the confusing or even desperate situation we are in today.

Joe Dominguez was born two years before the first book, and raised with those values of thrift and savings. Most months this family saved 10%-20% of their income. “If you know how to spend less than you earn, you have the key to success” is the quote from Ben Franklin at the top of one page. By 1974 the family spent at or more than their income 5 months of the year, but their savings rate was still nearly 5%. Until this Recession spooked us into saving again (and we are being shamed for doing so – spend! Is still the economy’s message), our savings rate was negative, and most households carried debt.

Joe used to say it was pitiful that we needed to teach the idea that if you spend less than you earn you develop savings that can eventually allow you to stop working for money. “Ben Franklin would be rolling over in his grave” was his frequent head shaking comment when people would call his ideas radical.


Here are some pages from these budget books.


Operating expenses categories



Advancement and Recreation


Can we go back to simpler times? I think we have no choice but to learn from what generations before knew – though we’ll do so in our liberated and interconnected and computer mediated style. I also think this is good news.




Not only will more of us be financially secure, more will be empowered by managing their lives with thrift.




We’ll relearn what was called “home production” (remember shop and Home Ec) because we’ll realize how much less exposure to a fickle economy we have when we can do for ourselves. “It is not so hard to earn money as to spend it wisely” the Budget Book reminds us. “Men (sic) know not how great a revenue Economy is” Franklin is quoted on another page. (I just have to comment … The book is called “Housewife’s Daily Recording Expense Book” but men are credited with thrift. We have come a long way, baby.)

The categories themselves say a lot about life then – and perhaps in the future. There is no Walmart or Safeway. There are the butcher, the baker, the milkman, the green grocer.

The savings included Thrift Clubs. Putting away a bit each month.

Operating Expenses included ice! And the tailor. That would be a growth industry of the future.

So in all, we can meditate on these pictures as a way to meditate on balance and security in our lives. And then, as we suggest in Your Money or Your Life in our quaint way, track, categorize and evaluate out expenses… and save save save for with Climate Change there may be more rainy days in our future.

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