Category Archives: responsibility

Do Budgets Drive You Batty?

The typical answer to that question is an emphatic YES, THEY DO!  Many times in a presentation I have  asked: “How many of you have created a budget?” — most of the hands in the room go up.  Then I ask: “After you created the budget , how many of you actually ever looked at it again?” — almost all of the hands in the room go down!  My guess is that, as one of my ‘followers’, creating and using budgets isn’t your favorite method of managing your money?  Okay, maybe I understated that: You probably think of a budget as a form of torture, right?  You are not alone!

Before I get into exploring that, just in case you are worried that I’m going to end this blog suggesting that you use or create a traditional budget, have no fear!   What I’m actually going to do is explain why budgets don’t work for you, and suggest some other options.

Budgets can and do work… for analytical types.  You know them, they are those “logic first” people, the ones who create spread sheets and data bases for fun.  They are great people.  They are historians.  They like looking at all the data and coming to conclusions.  Good for them.  If you are one of them, you probably already have and enjoy using a budget.

If you aren’t one of those analytical types, all it means is that you are not happy crunching numbers.  You might be more ‘feeling’ oriented, more emotionally based.  Or you might be more ‘in the moment’ than interested in history and trends.  If that’s the case one of the biggest problems with a budget for you is that it’s after the fact.  What I mean is that you don’t have control in the moment.  You do what you do, spend what you spend.  Then you come home and as you load your spending into the budget spreadsheet you have either succeeded or failed.  By then you don’t really remember what your thoughts or emotions were when you were making the purchase, so you feel a bit lost.  Around this point is where most people feel shame, judgement, or even some bit of failure.

And there’s the rub, the thing that makes us batty.  It feels like something happened to you that you just couldn’t control because you are looking at the event before or after, instead of when it’s actually happening.  That’s why it feels so upsetting.  You are judging your action outside of the time when the actual choice was made.  At best you have a memory of what it felt like, not a clear vision of the choice.

If you are more of a big picture, emotional and/or an in the moment person, analysis after the fact won’t actually help you change your behavior.  It may make you feel bad about it, but it doesn’t give you any insights.

What will help you make better money choices is to find a way to be conscious of what you are spending—and why you are spending it—right in the moment that it is happening!  Make a list of things that often motivate your choices in the moment.  Things like:

  • Being tired, hungry
  • Feeling lonely, angry
  • Wanting something new, an emotional lift, some fun
  • Anxious to just get it done, settling for less than what you wanted

There are myriad possibilities, and you know what your go-to ones are.  Write them on a  card or note them on your phone. While you are standing in line to pay for your items, check if any of your purchases hit one of those spots?  and then make a choice to either buy it or not.  Understand what you are up to, make choices that truly work for you both in the moment and the long run.

A system like this, or my GOSH Model (which you can find on other blogs of mine) WILL help you be more conscious of your spending.  That’s what this whole budgeting thing is truly about — being conscious, aware, and purposeful in your spending.

Focus on having your spending and how you use your money reflect what you really care about. Your money will reflect your choices.


Shell Tain, the Untangler

If you’d like to explore just how you can let go of a budget and still have sound money practices give me a call at  503-258-1630 or check out my website at

Distracted from Your Talents

In North America we have been using the phrase: “Jack of all trades, master of none” since 1721.  That’s a long time.  Somehow during my lifetime it’s gotten worse.  For many of us it seems to have reached and gone beyond overload.  We are now wearing wayHATS too many hats.

When I started working back in the early 70s the internal structure of businesses was more hierarchical.  There were layers.  It mirrored the thousands of years of class structure.  An executive had a secretary (yep, that’s what they were called) who managed all the administrivia so the executives could do what they did best.  That might have been managing people or product.  It might have been negotiating deals.  Whatever it was, they were given the room to do it.

Somewhere in the 90’s when computers became more accessible and “user friendly” the Organization Chart “flattened out”.  What that meant was that very few people had an individual assistant (the new name for the secretarial function).  Most people were on their own.  They did all their own correspondence, appointment setting, supply ordering, etc.  Great. (It certainly improved the possibilities for women in the workforce and I am ALL for that. As women we were and are generally more successful than most men at multitasking.  We’ve literally been doing it for ages.)

Now we have all sorts of whizzy programs and apps to help.  That seems efficient at first glance.  And for those of us that like to exercise some control, it allows us to do that.  We do it all.  And at what cost?

Sure, we know we aren’t as good at some things as others.  Maybe we even find resources to help with those.  Personally, I could not function without my marketing and tech support.  But and however, instead of being able to really immerse myself in my true talents I am constantly distracted by needing to learn how to handle something new.  I’m stopped dead in my tracks to find someone to fix something that is way beyond my skill level while the techno wizard is stopped dead in their tracks when it comes to some non-techo thing.

The result of all this is that we all get distracted and pulled away from our real talent, the thing that is our unique gift, what we alone can do.  Our true talents get lost and we hardly have time for them.  Instead of exercising our gift, we are busy doing the work of wearing many hats at the same time.

The fundamental problem is that if we try to learn how to do better at things that we are fundamentally not good at we can go from being crappy to being adequate.  If, however, we can improve the places where we already have talent we can go from being good to being stellar.  The real trick to this is finding ways to get support from people who have talent in the areas you don’t so you have time to improve and use your talent.

What can you do to give yourself more room for your talent?

If you’d like to explore how to have your money support your talent rather than distract you from it give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at


Shell Tain, The Untangler

Money’s Job

Most of us have an odd idea of what money’s job is.  We treat it as if it was a sentient being.  It’s amazing how much this abstract construct has become a force that we presume acts on its own.  We wait for money to give us signals before we act.  We blame money for our not being where we want to be in life.  We refuse to look at our money because we are sure that it will lecture us or shame us.  Money is doing its job, it’s just different than what we expect.

Many of us are waiting for something from money.  Some sign that we are okay or have “arriveMoney-Talksd”.  I’ve talked with people who feel that they can’t actually pursue the life they “really” want until they have somehow earned enough money to deserve it.  At the same time others feel that not having amassed “enough” money is a fatal character flaw that they must hide.   Others tend to spend what they don’t have.

These and other similar ideas come from not really understanding what money’s job is.  All money is doing trying to tell you what you are doing.  Money doesn’t tell you what you wish you were doing, it tells you what you are actually doing.  It has no judgement, it just reports and reflects.  As a matter of fact, it reflects very clearly.

Remember that old thing about “Try to pick up a pencil?”  It was one of those things I experienced in a Personal Growth training years ago.  You can’t actually “try”… you either pick it up or you don’t.   There is similar way that we “try” with money.  We want money to be there before we take a step or make a choice but money can’t do that.  All money does is show what we are up to.  So what it shows is that we are “trying” to have money do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.

There is more truth than we know in the “Do what you love, the money will follow,” statement, because that’s all the money can do.  It follows or reflects what you are doing.  It shows that you are waiting.  It shows that you are accepting things that are contrary to your dreams, hopes and desires. It shows whether or not you are doing “what you love.”

Okay, I can feel your inner critic voice rising up and saying, “That’s nuts, I can’t just ignore all the responsibilities I have!”  That’s absolutely true.  And is it at all possible that you could honor your responsibilities in a way that has you also honoring your dreams and desires?  What if you stop waiting for money to tell you when? What if you changed to you telling money, by how you use and earn it, what is truly important to you?   It’s your job after all, not money’s.  Money is doing its job.  It’s reflecting what you are really up to.  It will show you if you look.   Money isn’t designed to generate something on its own.  It’s designed to convert your energy into your wishes.  That’s what it’s doing.   If you want something different it’s up to you to change your actions, then money will reflect those changes.

If you’d like to explore this tangle give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at


Shell Tain, The Untangler


What happens when we are distracted?  Mostly we end up missing things. Lately, I have had first hand experience with the need to minimize distractions.  I had to have a tooth pulled (yipes!) and, as a result, ended up with a cast in my mouth.  It was sort of like this giant wad of silly putty over half of my lower jaw.  And wouldn’t you know it, I had a talk to do three days later.

I knew that I had to address this big glob in my mouth.  If I didn’t, no one would actually hear anything I said.  Instead, they’d be wondering about the wad of white over my teeth.

I learned about this years ago.  I was taking a philosophy class.  The professor, let’s call her Marjorie, distractionshad this thing going on that totally distracted me.  She had a piece of lint caught on the inside of her panty hose on her calf.  Now in those days of pantyhose, that kind of thing happened to the best of us.  The thing that got really distracting was that it was there, in the same spot for about 5 days.  My mind just fixated on it.  What was going on?  Did she not wash them?  Did she never take them off?

While in her class I just kept pondering this, and being distracted.  I have no idea what philosophical things she talked about.  I wasn’t actually present.

I used this story of Marjorie’s Lint as I busted my tooth thing so people could actually pay attention during my talk.  It was an even better story than the ‘bar fight’ one I had been tempted to make up.

And then, as I often do, I started thinking about how we distract ourselves from looking at our money.  Many of us let any little thing substitute as something to give our attention to.

It takes attention to do well with your money.  It takes focus.  It takes actually noticing.

More and more credit card companies do their best to keep us distracted.  One of the more recent techniques is to go ‘paper free’. I’m all for not cutting down trees and conserving…but when I choose to not get a receipt, I’m also choosing to not register in my brain, or anywhere else, the purchase I just made.

There is a cost we incur when we are distracted.  We miss stuff.  Around money, what we miss the most is allowing money to do what I think is its most important job: Telling us what we are doing with our assets. Money’s main job is to show us what we are up to.  Are we spending on things we care about, or just spending?  Are we truly honoring ourselves through our money, or not?

Money has all sorts of information to give us…AND…it won’t chase us to do it.  It will only give you the information if you ask for it, look at it, demand it.  So money information is even more prone to being missed by our being distracted than other things are.

How do you distract yourself from looking at or managing your money?  What would it take for you to actually look?  What do you make up would happen if you did? Let me know at



The Right Percentages

How much should you spend for housing?  What’s the right amount to save?  Are you percentagesspending too much on your hobby?  What about charity?  How much should you give to charity?  People are always asking me those questions.

The ‘standard’ amount for each of those kinds of questions are at best an average and, at worst, a SWAG (Scientific Wild Assed Guess).

Sure, I realize that people ask because they are bewildered by this money stuff and are trying to make some sense of it.  Since money is such a taboo topic, and no on talks about it, maybe getting some percentages of what you should spend on different categories would help you make sense of it, righty.  However, fundamentally it’s like asking something like “how many pairs of shoes should I have?”  Personally I know for some of my friends there is no limit on ‘necessary’ shoes.  It all depends on what is important to you.

Let me tell you about Bill.  Bill was a great guy that I dated in the 80’s.  He was a car guy.  To be more specific a ‘Vette’, as in Corvette, guy.  He’d already had several in his life by the time we were dating, and while we were dating he bought a brand new one.  To me, the color was ‘Taco Sauce’ (a rusty red).  He had it pinstriped.  He loved it.  He washed it every week.  (It deserves its one photo spot…so here you go!)vette

His family thought it was irresponsible of him to buy a $40,000 car (yep, that’s what it cost).  He was not a wealthy guy.  He worked as the manager of an Auto Parts store.  He had a 2 bedroom condo with a mortgage.  He rented out the 2nd bedroom to help pay for the condo.  His car payment was easily more than his mortgage.

To my thinking, he was both happy and responsible.  He wasn’t in debt.  His credit was good.  And he was honoring what was important to him (his car) while spending less on other things so he could still be responsible with all his other money choices.  His percentages were really working for him.  He was honoring what he loved, while taking good care of everything else.  He just made different choices than other people.

So here’s an idea.  Why not figure out what percentage you are spending now on Housing, Saving, Hobbies, and Charity and see how they feel?  Do you feel good about them?  Are they working for you?  Do you want to tweak them?

After all, if you were to follow the guidelines of the people who publish the ‘Should Stats’, whoever they are, you’d be honoring their values, not your own.  Maybe the percentages that the experts come up with are really meaningful only in how they make you feel.  What if that was true?

It’s not about someone else’s standard, it’s about what works for you.  Can you do both things at the same time?  Can you honor what you love, while making good choices about how to balance that so you take responsibility for yourself?

Try the idea out and see where it leads you.



The Tax Scrabble

It’s tax time, again!  We are all caught up in the scrabble and scramble of taxes.  Sorting and assembling all those papers and numbers for our tax preparers.  It’s a time when your actual relationship with money becomes apparent. If you want to see it, that is.

We have all sorts of ways of responding to this ‘opportunity’.

Some people still practice the “put all the receipts in a shopping bag” method, much to the chagrin of their tax person!  That’s the extreme end of the spectrum.  It’s the total Ostrich scrabblestrategy.  The message is “I’m not looking, not at all!”  And, if that’s what you do, then it is going on all year long between you and money.  Not just at tax time.  In terms of the Scrabble game, you get no points because you don’t even look at the tiles.

Most of us do, however, do some sorting and compiling.  The question here then becomes are you actually noticing what is going on as you do that?  How much did you make last year?  Did you track all the deductible expenses so you could actually take advantage of them?  It’s our individual task to get the numbers to the tax preparer.

Taxes are an obligation, and we want our money obligations to be as low as is reasonable.  When it comes to taxes, that means taking full advantage of all the allowable deductions.  Sometimes it seems silly in the moment.  What does the mileage on this trip to a business meeting matter?  It matters in terms of money (57.5 cents per mile for 2015) and in terms of your relationship with money.  Are you paying attention, are you honoring what you are doing with this stuff you have worked so hard to get?  Are you paying attention?  Are you keeping the obligation part as low as is reasonable, so that you have more to fund the fun stuff?  That’s what it’s really about, isn’t it?

In our Scrabble analogy, if we aren’t taking advantage of all the deductions it would be like not replenishing our tiles before the next hand.

Can you go too far in this?  Can it become an obsession?   Well, yes, of course it can.  Anything can, even Scrabble.  🙂  It’s up to you to know when you have fallen into the other extreme.  Do you try to control every aspect or your money?  Or maybe you try to control how your partner spends?  It’s all very telling.  We just have to be willing to see what money is telling us.  If you just couldn’t tear yourself away from the Scrabble board you’d know you were in trouble.  What would that signal look like for you around money?

I’ve got one more new clue in the Tax Scrabble game.  It’s to review your return.  In our Scrabble analogy, it’s like looking for misspelled words.  No, you can’t figure out the actual taxes. What you can do instead is make sure the right numbers were used.  Okay, I know, I’m a recovering accountant.  I actually do this.  I look at the return and make sure the numbers jive back to the W2, 1099’s, and whatever else I know.  And, unfortunately, the truth is that I have often found mistakes.  The irony is that finding these mistakes has always saved me money.  This is a step no one wants to do, and yet it is very important.  Your tax preparer may support you in an audit, but they won’t be paying the additional tax, penalty or interest.  You will.

What does winning this game look like to me?  It looks like owing or getting back less than $1,000.  That means I’ve been using my money effectively, not letting the IRS hold it for me.  It means really being clear on what the earnings and deductions are.  Taking advantage of all that is allowed.  Honoring my money, and being clear on what I’m choosing to do with it, and paying attention to what it’s telling me.

Tax time is a great time to do that.  What you learn from last year, can still be applied to this year.  Who knows, you may land on a Triple Word Score if you are paying attention!



It’s Just Like On TV

…um, not really.  Although justice on TV, or in the movies, can be gritty, we still think that somehow the truth will out and the good guys will win.  In real life, it’s actually more like the good guys will sorta win.

It has been said that a contract is nothing more than an agreement to agree.  I agree!

I encourage everyone to write down agreements, mostly because humans have this tendency to reframe and restructure their memories and agreements.  If we write down what we agreed upon, the odds are much more likely that we can agree in the future.  Writing it down and agreeing to it in writing doesn’t actually mean people will stick to it.  It just gives us all a better chance.

Think for the moment of judge shows on TV.  I personally have a few that capture me as ‘guilty pleasures’.  These shows guarantee one thing to the litigants that you may not have even considered.  They guarantee that if you win, you’ll get paid, because the judgment is paid out of your stipend for doing the show.  At least that’s what the disclaimer says.  That’s a pretty good deal.

In real life that doesn’t happen.  Let me give you a couple of real life examples:

·        A client’s ex-husband is supposed to be paying support while the divorce trial is going on.  Each time he has to be prodded and reminded.  The money comes not on the first, as stipulated, but on the 15th, 22nd or some other random date.  Now the divorce has been finalized and he is ordered to pay support every month for the next three years.  So there was justice, right?  But wait!  If he wasn’t paying on time before, why would he do so now?  She now gets the joy of having to chase the money each month for three years.

·        A friend loaned his sister in-law money to help with attorney fees.  There was an agreement in writing for pay back.  One payment was made, then there was a 2 ½ year no payment zone.  Then 6 months of small payments each month, then the no payment zone shows up again.  The balance on the loan is still 2/3 of the original debt.  How would getting a court judgment for payment induce this person to pay, when the agreement, and the relationship, don’t?

I can go on and on with these stories.  We all have them, or know someone that has them.  Sometimes there is a written agreement, sometimes there isn’t.

The thing I’m really wanting you to notice is that when an agreement about money goes bad, the resolution is never smooth or easy.  Even if you are in the right and absolutely due the money, there will be a price to pay in time, energy, emotion, and maybe even money, to get your money back.

We are back to the contract being an agreement to agree.  As long as we both agree, all is good.  When we don’t, it gets messy.  You can go to court and get a judgment and never collect a dime.  You can go to court and get a judgment and have the money dribble in with each dribble precipitated by your having to call and press for the money.  You can make agreements and have people just not keep them.  The person who owes you can have a myriad of reasons for not paying, even if it’s a legitimate debt.

It can all be pretty messy. Nope, it’s not going to be like on the TV unless it is on the TV.  So maybe the real trick here is to pick your favorite TV judge, and when you set up the agreement with the person, agree to have any hassles handled there on the show.  But oh, wait a minute; that would mean an agreement was possible to begin with.  Ah, the Catch 22 syndrome is still in play.

We can’t avoid all these money messes.  But we can be aware of them and more thoughtful about the ones we do get into.  Ironically it looks like the best way to go is with a TV judge.  They’ve already collected the money, so if you win, you’ll actually get your money!



Cooking Competition

I must admit, I’m a sucker for cooking shows, probably because I love food!  I started way back when, with Julia Child and The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr.  Now we have entire channels dedicated to cooking, and, as they played with what to do to create 24/7 cooking content, someone cleverly came up with the idea of competition.  My guess is that it was a man…but I digress.

The competitions have included many names for the Crème de la crème in cooking.  Top Chef, MasterChef, The Taste, Iron Chef, etc.  Some shows focus on fastest chef like “Chopped”, or most ruthless chef like “Cut Throat Kitchen”.  All very entertaining.

And then we got to Kid Chef land a la MasterChef Junior, and something very interesting happened.

Here’s the deal.  MasterChef had been rolling along since 2010 and even has a huge international presence.  Apparently people all over the world like food as much as I do. Wow!  For a giggle, take a look at the giant list on Wikipedia under MasterChef; there are way more countries in on this than I would have guessed, and even more intriguing is the ones that aren’t on the list…and that is yet another digression.  Ooops.

The point is that with MasterChef having been around since 2010, we all knew the general drill when MasterChef Junior came on the scene in 2013.  But there were some unexpected differences.

cookingOh, we all hoped that Gordon wouldn’t go Hell’s Kitchen on them, Joe wouldn’t be as snarky, and Graham would be even nicer to them than the regular contestants.  And all that happened.  And it was a remarkable and fascinating thing how good their cooking was.

This was no let’s have the kids make Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches competition, this was real cooking!  Some of their things I know very well I’d struggle with, and I’m a pretty fine cook.

The thing that was truly important and remarkable for these kids, aged 8 to 13, was their interaction with each other.  It’s a thing called ‘sportsmanship’.  Webster’s definition is: fair play, respect for opponents, and polite behavior by someone who is competing in a sport or other competition.

They not only practiced it, they lived it.  If one of their competition had forgotten to get something from the kitchen, they shared.  When they had an advantage to play a certain way they took it, but in an open clean way.  They were supportive and encouraging.  It didn’t mean they weren’t worried about other competitors, they just tried to do better rather than take down the foe.

There was plenty of emotion, including frustration.  Kids got sometimes paired with other kids that really irked them, and yet they kept playing.  They didn’t pout or storm off. They genuinely cheered each other on, and were sad when others went home…while still wanting to win.

So when did that change?  When did we go from being supportive of each other, while doing our best and working to win, to a place of trying to trip up or psych out the competition?

There kids were human.  Some of them didn’t like each other.  Some of them weren’t likeable.  Some were full of themselves and some were painfully shy.  It does seem like none of them were bullies.

I like this, it warms my heart.  I’ve always like collaboration, and the idea that we can and should ALL do our best, and that tripping up our completion isn’t really our best.

What do you think?  Are these kids just naïve?  Are they headed for disaster?  Or might we learn from them?  Might we all do our best and cheer each other on?  Or at least try that first?

It seems to me that this is less about “turning the other cheek” and somehow getting hurt by someone, and more about keeping the standards of our own behavior.

For me, I’ll hang out in the kid’s kitchen any day…how about you?



Earn It To Own It

There’s this interesting thing about we humans.  Although we love gifts and presents, in many instances we need to know that we’ve really earned something to own it.  There are places where, when people give us things, instead of feeling appreciative, we feel beholding.

This topic comes up a lot when I’m working with new coaches.  Somehow, they often feelearnit guilty for charging for their services.   In the  least, many feel that they should have some people that they help without charging.  The problem there is not about the coach.  Most of us want to do things to give back to the community.  No, the problem is with the client.  If the client doesn’t “earn” it, they won’t be able to “own” it.

I know that when I say that, I’m bucking up against the cultural views that say we should help others, we should give of ourselves and our knowledge for the benefit of others, etc. But that perspective is all about us.  What about them?

What’s the difference for you if you say:  “I worked to achieve this” versus “I was given this”?  Which statement has you feel proud and accomplished?

Oddly, this topic is and isn’t about money.  One way to “earn” something, of course, is to pay for it.  This method has steps to it:  we do work, we earn money, we choose to spend it on something, thus we have earned that thing.  A more direct path is to do something specific to earn the thing.

If you, as a provider of a service, don’t give your client the opportunity to pay for your service in some manner, then you are sending some covert messages to them.  You are saying something about your belief that they can’t “earn” this.  That they need help.  That they somehow aren’t quite competent.  You are also being a bit arrogant and patronizing.  I’m sure that isn’t your intention.  But it certainly is a possible result of giving too much away.  And finally, you might also be saying that what you have to offer isn’t worth much.

So, what to do.  Let’s suppose you have someone that wants your help, and you want to help them, but they don’t have enough money to pay your fee.  What then?  When that happens, it’s time to craft with the client how they can “earn” the value of the work.  And an interesting thing about earning that value is that they don’t have to do something directly for you to earn it.  Frankly, I think it’s better if what they do isn’t for you.  If it’s for you, it muddies the water.  You could, for example, request that for every chunk of your service they use, they then give a chunk of time to a charity.

Consider this.  Just the process of crafting how this earning process will work is a valuable thing for your client.  It helps them stand up for themselves.  It has them know that they can both earn and own their results.  That they can create their success.

Isn’t that what we all want for our clients?




Hey, psst, over here.  Wanna know a secret?  I’ve got something to tell you, come on over here.  It’ll only take a minute or two….

Here’s the secret.  Your secrets are keeping you down.  They aren’t really protecting you or anyone else.  They are keeping you in the dark.

shhhThe funny thing about secrets is that as you hide them from others, but you also tend to hide them from yourself.  You attempt to pretend they aren’t there.   You try to step over them.  Ironically, one of the secrets then becomes that you are keeping secrets from yourself.

The idea of exposing secrets is fraught with fear.  Mostly we worry about what other people will think, both of us and of our secrets.  We experience shame and embarrassment just thinking about bringing the secret into the light.  I contend that our personal recrimination toward ourselves is far worse than what others would say.  After all, we are hardest on ourselves, aren’t we?

And what’s a major topic of those secrets?  Why, it’s money!  It’s the thing we keep secret even when it’s not necessary.  We have been taught from a very early age not to talk about it.  It’s cloaked and hidden, even when it’s working well in your life.  If it’s not working well it’s not only hidden, it’s well hidden and often hurtful as well.

What are your secrets about money?  Really, what are they?  It’s time to take them out and look at them.  Write them down, start a list.  Give it time.  Remember, you are keeping them secret from yourself.  As you dig for them here are a couple of questions to consider:

          Do you hide money in your house?

          Have you ever stolen something?

          Do you spend money that no one knows about?

          Did you even do something sneaky with money?

          Do you have secret accounts?

          Have you ignored paying back a debt?

          Do you avoid looking at your credit card statements?

          Is there something that happened with money you are afraid to talk about?

All that and more goes on your list.  Write it out.  Tell it to yourself.  Bring it into the light.  Let go of protecting it.  It’s costing you so much to keep it secret.  The cost may be financial, and it is most certainly emotional and physical.

If, after you’ve looked at your money secrets yourself, consider telling someone else about them.  Choose wisely who you tell.  This is not about some sort of humiliation; it’s about clearing out the dark stuff and seeing that as you expose the secrets, others often understand and empathize with you, rather than ridicule you.  After all, they have secrets, too.

Allow me to offer you this.  Send me the secrets.  I know them, I’ve seen them.  I know that just telling them somewhere safe will help you free yourself from them.