Money Coaching Blog

We sure do get this money stuff tangled up, don’t we? This is the place where I untangle pieces of it. Most of it’s about money while some of it’s about something else that strikes my interest. All of it is about noticing how things get knotted up and how to untangle the knots. Oh, and if you have a topic you’d like me to explore, just let me know. I’ll be happy to give it a good shake and see what untangles.

Looking at Your Money

How do you look at your money?  Let’s untangle how to actually see what money is trying to tell us.

There are many ways to do it.  Some of them are number intense.   Some focus on budgets and spreadsheets.  Some get you tied up in thinking about investments and stocks.  Some use online resources like Mint, while others call for using programs like Quicken.  Some folks even use my GOSH model with their money. (GOSH is a no number-crunching, in the moment, budget substitute…more about it in another blog, soon…I promise!)  Whatever method you use or don’t use there is something more fundamental than the methodology to consider when you look at your money.  It’s your attitude about it.

Your money, how skitched-20120718-232045you earn it, what you choose to do with it, all of that, is really a wealth of information about how you are living your life.  We’ve all seen the “Who done it” where the forensic accountant finds amazing clues on the suspect’s credit card statement.  That information is there, all the time, just waiting for you.  Money reflects your choices.

There are two basic things to consider as you begin the exploration of decoding what money is trying to tell you.  One is how you want to look at it.  I’ve listed a bunch of ways above.  They fall into the categories of “historical” and “in the moment”.  All the “crunchy” ones (requiring 10 key, columns or computers) are “historical”.  They show you what you have done.  They are fascinating in many ways, but frequently cause analytical overload.  The “in the moment” ones are generally more philosophical.  They are based on actively noticing what you are doing with your money in the moment.  What is that expense really about?  Does it have some underlying meaning?

Now hold on, I know it may seem that I’ve gone over an edge here.  AND we often have sly meanings behind how we use money.  I say “sly” because we aren’t likely to be conscious of them ourselves.  Money and how we use it can mean love, it can mean revenge, it can have fear behind it, or even hope.  Money can represent all sorts of things.  Your money and your life can be very different if you just get clear about what you are doing with money.  As you get clear about those hidden meanings behind the purchases, you can find other more effective ways to fulfill those desires.

We each have values that we care deeply about: fundamental tenets.  We seek a life that honors those values and yet often spend time and money doing things that are in opposition to our values.  It’s part of what’s going on when you spend a bunch of money on something and then later just feel hollow around it.  You weren’t really honoring what was important to you.  The solution is to get clear on what you are doing with your money and then change those actions and choices to ones that actually foster and support your values.

And there is an additional second crucial thing to consider as you look at your money.  It’s your “come from” or attitude.  For a variety of reasons (which are another blog) we mostly approach analyzing or exploring our choices from the perspective of Judgement.  There are those mental wagging fingers and critical comments.  The “should’s”, “ought to’s”, and “got to’s”.  NONE, not a one, of those are helpful.  They simply distract you from getting clarity with a cloud of emotion.

The most important thing to practice as you try to learn what your money has to teach you is to look at it from a neutral, non-judgmental sense of curiosity.  It’s simple.  Just notice what you are doing.  Imagine yourself saying “Hmm, isn’t that interesting.  I somehow make up that having more shoes (or purses, or cars, etc.) means I’m a more successful person.  Hmmm”.  Imagine discovering the meanings hidden in plain sight in your spending.

Noticing is the first step.  Do it with numbers or not.  Just do it. As you get clear, you get out of auto-pilot and have a choice.  A different choice is really all that is needed to get different results.

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots.  Just give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at


Shell Tain, The Untangler

Not Just a Makeover!

It’s been almost 15 years now since I began this adventure in Money Coaching.  In case you haven’t noticed, many things have become drastically different in that time, none the least of which is the internet!

Back when I started it was pretty simple to put up a website, and in some ways it still is…but…will that “do it yourself little website” actually do what you need?  Frankly I think those days have passed.

There is now all this SEO stuff to complicate matters.  Oh, and then there is the issue of being happily visible on a cell phone.  And wait, what about that mess that happens when robots grab your site.  At one point I actually had some goofy thing that was high jacking visitors to my $ensible Coaching site to a place promoting Rush Limbaugh selling Viagra in Thailand. That one made me laugh out loud, still does!folding-chair-makeovers-5-300x200

So here we are in this new land of technology and I’ve just completed my fourth website makeover.  I’m an old hand at this.

I call this one “makeover” because it really is different.  The experience was different and the results are different.

On the makeover experience side, I’ve never tried to do this by myself, I’m not a techy type. Today it seemed even more important that I find people who really knew the ins and outs of all the fiddly bits.

It may not take a village, but it does take a few well-chosen experts.  I had two!

I’m beyond pleased with my website guru, Arthur Breur and his team at FireSpike . They have been doing this since 2001, so they really know their stuff.  He did all sorts of wonderful wizzy things, some that are obvious and some that are elegantly behind the scenes.  Truly, if you:

  • Need a website…
  • Want website advice…
  • Need technical support with a website…
  • Actually want to work with someone who speaks your language (i.e., not techno)…
  • Want someone who is willing to make suggestions…
  • Want someone who is ethical, honest and on time…

Just contact Arthur.  He is all that and more.  I was all prepped for a repeat of my past experiences, the ones where there were tons of questions, where I had to sometimes pull teeth to get something that worked, let alone that I liked.  None of that happened.  I’m still amazed.

And it wasn’t just Arthur, it was also my stellar and practical Marketing Ninja, Jerry Fletcher . Over the years Jerry has been diligent at helping me stay on track with my message and brand.  He’s really savvy about both traditional and internet based marketing. I love his direct style and clarity, not to mention his oft times wicked sense of humor.

They both deserve much applause.

As to the results of the makeover, I’m truly proud.  I’m actually glad that you can’t go back and look at the old sites (the website and blog are now combined into one site) because this is just so much nicer.  Arthur made a great observation at the beginning of the process about how as sites get older they start getting cluttered.  We often end up added instead of editing.

This makeover is extensive.  I find the site to be modern, sleek, and somehow a sophisticated version of my quirky nature.

So stop reading and go check it out!  I want to hear what you think.

Remember, I’m ready to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at                       503-258-1630 or check out my website.


Shell Tain, The Untangler

Time Travel

Most of us have spent some time pondering time travel. That idea of being able to go back and do something differently, or even just go back and relive some time in our past, is timetravelcaptivating. It’s also great fun to dream about and imagine the future. We think this is the stuff of science fiction novels, which it often is. And we do it all the time.

Yes, as humans we practice time travel. Many of us spend much more time time traveling than we do being in the present.

I’m sure that my dog, Decaf, used to dream. She would run in her sleep, just pedaling those back legs like crazy. That could certainly be considered time travel. But mostly dogs are in the present. “Ah, here, bone! Wow! Hey, over here, really good smells. Woof!” Many of us have experienced a similar phenomenon with cats. “Yes, you may rub me there, that is nice. Oh, I’m done now, meow!”

I hadn’t really considered this idea until I was on a call last week with Jim Smith ( He talked about the idea that we are all time travelers. This idea entranced me, and naturally (for me anyway) that lead me to thinking about how time travel effects how we think about money. It’s a money knot to untangle! Ha!

Most of the angst we have about money has little to do with where money is in the present. In this moment your money is what it is. It is dollars and cents. It is numbers. It is NOT emotion. The emotion in money comes from the past and the future. It comes from your time travel and the time travel of your parents. They worried about money, being afraid it would never be enough. You learned to worry about it, and not only did you time travel with it, but you agreed with theirs. If you travel back in time and consider your past, there has always been enough wasn’t there? Sometimes enough was less than at other times but there was enough, right?

And your worry about the future is that there won’t be enough. You travel ahead and fret about it. If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, then you will also have enough in the future, since you had enough in the past, right? Part of the problem is that deep down you probably believe that worrying about money actually helped you do better with it.

I’m going to disagree with that idea, and explore it in the present. So, think of something about money that is worrisome. Okay, now fret a bit about it. What are the thoughts you come up with? Most likely something about “I must save more. Who knows what might happen? What if I lose my job? What if the house catches fire?….” on and on. Notice that the worry actually takes you time traveling into the future. We can plan for the future, we can dream of the future but we can’t actually be there, can we? So worrying now just distracts you from the present and sends you time traveling. It gets you emotional and more importantly distracts you from being here now.

Here’s a revelation. All those choices that you made about money in the past are what created where you are today with money, right? And when you made most of them, you weren’t really conscious of them in the present moment. In that past place you were worrying about money in the future. You weren’t really and truly noticing what you were doing with your money in that now. You were making choices without clear thought or direction. That’s where the money mess started. Right there while you were distracted with time traveling.

There is only one place to fix your money…NOW! It’s not about the choices you made in the past or the ones you make in the future. It’s the ones you make now. We all may have some “clean up” to do around our money choices and thinking, and it starts now, right now.

How about practicing actually being in the present when you are dealing with money? What is that purchase you are making? What is it about? How does it support you? How does it really reflect what you want from your money? Be in the now with money…and know that doing that will change the future and the past from here on out!

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at


Shell Tain, The Untangler

Generosity With Boundaries

I’ve been practicing what I call “Generosity with boundaries” for ages. Frankly, it’s always seemed important to me. How can I help people stand in Plentyland if I’m generositycoming from scarcity? I need to walk my talk. Part of that is to be generous while taking good care of myself and thus, “Generosity with boundaries”. Of course, this idea, like money itself, isn’t just about money. It’s about using all of our assets in a way that is both generous and self-supporting. So ideally, it’s the notion that we help others with our time, energy and, sometimes, money. And we make sure that we help in ways that don’t jeopardize our own well being.

Let’s layer in the idea that money is reflective. What that means is that money doesn’t actually make things happen. Instead it reflects, or shows you, what you are choosing to do with it. It shows you if you are walking your talk, whatever that talk may be.

And I think there is also something in here about the idea of the Golden Rule: “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” Do I treat others the way I’d like to be treated? And do I use my money with others the way I’d like them to use it with me? I don’t think this concept, that is fostered by many religions and philosophies, is simply about being “‘nice”. I think it truly has to do with the idea that we get back what we put out.

We aren’t likely to gain respect by treating others with disdain. Being aloof isn’t likely to create friendliness in others. Sure, not everyone we are kind or generous to is going to be that way to us. However, our being kind will make the possibility of the kindness being returned more likely.

The real question is: Do you treat your money transactions the same way? Do you treat others around money the way you want to be treated? How do you want to be treated around money? For me, words like fairness and respect come to mind. I really want to come from a win/win place. I don’t want to be taken advantage of and I also don’t want to take advantage of others.

I’m not responsible for the choices others make around their money. I am responsible for how I use my money and how that reflects my ethics and values.

So what would “generosity with boundaries” look like for you and your money?

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at


Shell Tain, The Untangler

Rich Man, Poor Man

As many of you know, I do have a somewhat twisted sense of humor. I appreciate a twist of wit that rings true. May favorite comedians often had that way with words, and sometimes they even had brilliant and amusing things to say about money. A prime fieldsexample is the W. C. Fields comment: “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”

I have held a version of that comment forever. Money doesn’t make a person good or bad. It simply reflects who the person is. If you see yourself as a poor, no amount of money will change that. And if you see yourself as rich, no lack of money will change that. We can absolutely change those beliefs, but the change is an internal process, not one that will happen based on how much money we have.

This is a bit tricky, isn’t it? It might be that your belief of who you are changes, and as a result of that, your money position changes. That is truly possible. If, however, you think that money itself will change those beliefs about who you are, then you are putting the cart before the horse.

Money will mirror, or reflect, your beliefs about yourself, and everything else. That’s what it does, and that’s all it does.

The only thing I think that having a bunch of money really does is make a persons’ core money beliefs more visible. It doesn’t change who the person is, it just makes who they are easier to see.

If they have a world view based on ‘poverty’, scarcity and lack, it will show up in greed, fear, and anger. Conversely if a person is giving, hopeful and positive, then money will certainly reflect that.

Remember good ole Ebenezer Scrooge? He’s an example of both sides of that coin. Yes, it took a bunch of ghosts, time travel, hard truths and ego shattering realizations to bring him around. But what happened when he did? He didn’t become less monetarily wealthy did he? Actually, it seemed as the story ended that he was going to keep on making more money with his new view, didn’t it? But now he would be sharing his wealth.

And just to make the point even more clear, notice that his conversion to being a generous and happy man had nothing to do with acquiring money. It only had to do with changing how he thought about it.

It’s actually never about the money, it’s about how we think of it, and our beliefs about it, and the good news is that those are both changeable!

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at


Shell Tain, The Untangler

More Flies With Honey…

Summer is almost over. Frankly, I enjoy stretching the “untangling money” frame of this blog a bit more in the summer, so here’s a last hurrah. The topic is something my clients and I often talk about. It comes up when they have a weird client, a grumpy mate, a looming conflict. It’s the “Jane, you ignorant slut” temptation…

janeRemember the classic danSNL ‘Point/Counter Point’
routines of Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd? Every time he had a comeback or retort, it started with “Jane, you ignorant slut“. It’s a great example of bullying and playing nasty. It’s also a clear example of how NOT to engage in a discussion. The thing that makes it so amusing is the way that Dan delivers this slur in such a neutral, matter of fact tone, as if he’s just stating a simple fact.

Many of our grandmothers, mine included, talked about “catching more flies with honey than you could with vinegar” and I agree, with modifications. Often what they meant, for us girls, was that we should be “sweet” and “modest”…hmmm. That really translated to something more like manipulating others to our way. Sometimes this was effective, but it was never respectful, was it?

Respect is an important component in any relationship. A primary way to achieve that is to keep the disagreement from becoming personal. If we all refrain from slinging mud or attacking someone else’s character, then we might actually get to the issue and get something resolved.

Most people use one of these two options during a conflict or disagreement:

Blame: This one starts with the equivalent of “Jane, you ignorant slut“. It’s full of judgement, criticism and attacks on personality and character.

Complaint: This is a clear, simple statement of the issue, hopefully without emotional hooks attached. You can express how you feel but you’ll be sliding over to the Blame model if you somehow imply that those feelings are the other person’s fault. It’s that old “I” statement model. You make statements about yourself instead about the other person. For example, “I felt left out.” rather than “You ignored me.”

There are a couple of really helpful things to remember in any challenging conversation:

It’s not about you: Yep, even if it sounds like it is, it’s probably not. It may be that you didn’t do what the other person wanted or expected but it’s not about you personally. So before having the conversation, repeat “It’s not about me” to yourself about five times and then do that again.

You are probably making assumptions: We all do that. We assume that the person meant this or that. For example: Many of my clients will assume that the person is going to complain about the cost of something, so they start discounting before they even bring up the price. It’s this thing in their head. They are trying to stop something that might not happen and in the process perpetuating an idea that probably isn’t even true. If you just stated your fee (without a discount) and they complained, you could handle that, couldn’t you? (Ah, yet another blog topic, popping up for next time. Well, look at that! I still managed to make this blog about money…wow!)

The bottom line here is to resist the “Jane, you ignorant slut” temptation and keep it calm and neutral. Try it. I’ll bet you get better results with honey, honey.

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at 503.258.1630 or check out my website at


Shell Tain, The Untangler

Techno Hell

I don’t know if my planets were spinning backwards, if I did some heinous thing in a past life, or if it’s just my turn, but I’ve been in Techno Hell for a week. A week ago Monday I was in the middle of a phone call with a client in Toronto, Canada when the phone went dead. That’s when all the “fun” began. It actually took me about 15 minutes to figure out that my internet was down. I had called several days before and asked Frontier to have the TV part of my service removed while keeping and upgrading the FIOS internet. They cut off everything. Hmm.

Okay, so that took about an hour and a half of phone time on my very rudimentary “stupid” (meaning not smart) cell phone. Then, about three hours later, the internet went technoout again. With that boondoggle I was on the phone from about 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The phone battery literally died. I rebooted, rewired, unplugged and fussed with every piece of equipment in the house. I was disconnected once. In total I talked with eight plus people at Frontier (after a while I lost track). One person (I think she was about number six) decided to take this opportunity to sell me some security products. Really? Shirley, you jest! (Okay, her name wasn’t Shirley but it should have been!)

The last call on Monday, August 3rd was to schedule someone to come out and fix the blasted thing. He started with “we can come on Friday”. I was thinking he must have been related to Shirley J I pointed out that this was my phone and what I needed was to be able to work. He “expedited” me to Wednesday. Yipee!

On Wednesday Grumpy Gus showed up and discovered that the cable to my house had been cut. Many large trees in my complex had been cut down and the stumps ground up. I’m guessing that is when it happened. They ground up my cable, too. More fun. Gus informed me it would take about 10 days to have the people come out and rebury the cable. The eventual compromise was that the cable was strung from the Frontier box, across my neighbor’s yard, to my house. Whew.

But wait, it’s not over! Last Friday, my HP wireless printer decided that it couldn’t talk to the ‘puter. I frankly didn’t have the energy to deal with it that day. Over the weekend I spent hours downloading things from HP and fussing with it. I finally got the printer to work with a cable…and I’m keeping it that way. Don’t need no stinking wireless connection.

But (yes, another one) my system was now clogged with all sorts of muck from HP. And now, finally, a real hero arrives. Tom Shannon (503) 236-9570 is my “go to” guy with computer related messes. I emailed him this morning and he remotely got onto my computer and cleaned up the mess…and it was a stubborn, sticky one. HP is apparently really good at gunking up things! Tom is really good at untangling the techno knot and getting things functional again. He is reliable, effective, personable, and one thing I really cherish – he relates to me in my language which is definitely NOT techno!

My life became infinitely better with his help. And there is a delightful little bonus, which is the laughter that ensued when he pulled up the PC Decrapifier website. So, with a little help from the decrapifier, the bad things that were clogging up the system are flushed away and the air is clear! Thank you Tom!



Married For Money?

I’ve always kinda liked Dr Phil.  Maybe it’s that he’s feisty?  Anyway, one of my favorite ‘Dr-Phil-isms’ is “If you marry for money, you will earn every penny.”  I think the money knot around that is worth exploring.

marriedThe biggest problem about marrying for money, or doing anything just for the money, is that money is never the actual issue.  It’s bass-ackwards.  Money is reflective of other things. Money is just a symbol for all the things we want that we think will make us happy.

If we make or “earn” our money doing something we love, we are honoring who we are.  In that case, we are living based on the core stuff that is truly important to us.  When we do anything  “‘just for the money” we are falling into the “Money In the First Position” Money Trap.  That’s the one where we make the choice solely for and about money.  Frankly, doing almost anything just for money isn’t worth it, is it?

Okay, I hear you thinking: “But what if I need money to pay the rent and feed my kids, and do a yucky job to get that?”  In that case you are doing the work you hate to make the money to support the kids you love.  That’s not the same as doing something just for money.  Would you actually keep that job if you didn’t have the kids and the rent to worry about?

The reason that doing something just for money rings so hollow is that it’s not really about money.  Again the bass-ackwards thing.  (Okay, I enjoy using that word)  It’s about the life you imagine you will have once you have money.  And there is the fallacy.

Remember that thing about money being reflective?  If you are just about having money, you are waiting to be in your life until you have the money.  What’s the money supposed to give you?  Happiness, safety, peace?  Maybe even love or fame?

None of those things start after you have money.

Money can reflect those things, but it never creates them in a satisfying way.  There’s another rub.  We don’t actually want just the money, we want the money to make us happy.  Ah, not money’s job.  Money’s job is to show us where we are putting our energy and efforts, to show us what we are choosing.

So are you choosing to spend your efforts and energy in making money, and hoping that it will make you feel good about yourself and life in general?  Or are you choosing to live every day using your energy and efforts to enhance and reinforce what you really care about, and allowing the money to reflect that?

So I think what Dr Phil really means is that it will be brutal and hard to marry for money, because you won’t be honoring who you are, you’ll only be chasing money, and that is bass-ackwards!



Goodbye Letters

The daughter of a good friend of mine graduated from high school this summer.  She’s a wonderful girl.  As an example of her grace andletters thoughtfulness she sent me a very nice thank you note for the gift I gave her.  I was delighted.  It’s so rare these days for anyone to do such a thing, let alone a young person.  There was, however, one thing I was really curious about.  The entire note was printed, even the signature.

When I asked my friend about this she said that they taught her handwriting in about the 3rd grade but that no one is using it any more.  Wow.

Technology has given us speed.  We have spell check, which is a godsend for me.  I really can’t spell.  Everything is legible. We don’t wait for days to know something.  Sure, the phone texts are funky and sometimes downright weird.  But what are we giving up to have all of this?

I do find that with all the typing I do, my handwriting has gotten messier and I still use cursive, a lot!  I’ve been pissed with myself for years for not having paid more attention to the shorthand I took in high school.  I’d love to have that skill and be able to take more effective notes.  It’s too late, though.  I can’t find a place anywhere that teaches it L.

Note taking was the first place that my mind went to when I thought about my friend’s daughter going off to college and only printing.  It changes everything.  Of course, they won’t print.  They’ll sit there typing on their laptop or pad, taking notes, hardly looking up.  That changes the interaction or maybe even eliminates it?  The thought of trying to be a teacher with no one even looking in your general direction makes me sad.

And then I think of the letters I have.  Yes, I know.  I don’t actually write them anymore.  All the more reason for me to cherish the ones I have.   I have over 20 years of letters from one grandmother.  I recently reread them all and was delighted to be back in her company.  It so transported me that several times I thought, “I’ll need to write her back about this.” as I was reading.

Reading the letters I have from my dad not only brought him back but gave me some insights I hadn’t seen before about his thoughts on, wouldn’t you know it, money!

The earliest family letter I have is from Guy Wood to Nellie Willits in 1893.  Several years later, they would marry and, many years after that, I become their great granddaughter.  He was writing to her as she was visiting the Chicago World’s Fair.  The irony in this letter is that he points out that she should go see the City of San Francisco in the California Building.  That would be the exhibit of how ‘Frisco looked 13 years before the devastating 1906 earthquake.

Each letter is a window into the writer, the recipient and their relationship. It’s not just in their words but in their script.  I can recognize their handwriting as easily as their voices.  I love the misspellings, the incorrect grammar, the scratch outs, the little drawings.  My grandmother used to always think of something she forgot to add, so it would be written in sideways or even on the flap of the envelope in tiny script.  You don’t get any of that with a keyboard.

The more I think about this, the more mixed up I get.  There’s no stopping it and I want to remember the gifts of that slower process as I let it go and say goodbye…sigh.



Wasted Money

We’ve all wasted money.  It’s part of being human.  Something looks good in the moment but turns out to not be a great idea in the long run.  We waste money on stuff, experiences and even people.

We buy clothes that don’t fit with the idea that some day they will.  We buy colors that we know don’t work for us because they are on sale or our mom likes them.  We go to an event that is not our thing just to make someone else happy.  For me that would be most sporting events, just so you know.

wastedWe stay in relationships that aren’t working and pay out bucks for the privilege.  We buy the purple chair that we fall in love with but doesn’t go with anything else we own.

We buy food that we don’t like but is healthy that eventually goes bad and gets tossed. We’ve bought lemons and not made lemonade.

We’ve done all sorts of things that waste money and the truth is that we will continue to do that.  Of course, we can get better at it.  We can be clearer about what we really want.  We can stop settling for things we don’t like.  We can stop letting others over-influence our choices.  That’s all good stuff to do, and it will truly help you to both waste less money and treat yourself better.


Wasting money isn’t as bad a thing as you think it is.  More of it always shows up.  You are absolutely hard wired to have at least enough.  If you’ve followed me for any amount of time you know that I have this whole thing about enough.  Most of us live in that land, Enoughland.  The bad news about that is that it would be more peaceful and easy to live in Plentyland. The good news is that living in Enoughland means that even if you fall down you will get back up quickly. There may be some bad and ugly spots, but you won’t stay there.

Would I like to have never wasted any money in my life?  Oddly, I’m going to say “No”.  Sure, I’ve wasted money, bunches of it.  I’ve made silly choices, dumb choices, even heartbreaking choices.  However, the life I would have had to live to never make any of those wasted money choices would have been awful.  It would have made me crazy and made everyone around me really, really anxious.  Those ‘wasteful’ choices have all helped me to learn and to grow.

The money that got wasted is like the mirage losses that people pine about.  Mirage loss is a term I just made up, this second.  Here’s what I mean.  Let’s say you bought a house in 2000 that you paid $200k for and in 2005 it was worth $250K.  When you sold it in 2008 you got $225k for it and you think you lost $25k.  That’s a mirage loss.  You didn’t actually ever have that money so you didn’t lose it.

The cost of continuing to fret about the loss is more expensive than the actual loss. Think about it.

Say you bought the dining table that was butt ugly and eventually got rid of it.  Okay, wasted money.  Isn’t it better to have gotten rid of it and ‘lost’ the money than to be sitting at that ugly table every day?

So here’s what I say:  “Thank goodness for all the wasted money I spent.  It was worth every penny.”  How about you?  What do you say?