Marriage and money are hard. Even more-so when spouses are not able or willing to communicate about them. As with any relationship, effective communication is the key for it to work! It takes practice and application.
Check out this YouTube video where I explain an easy and effective 3 part communication method that will help you handle the most stressful conversations. The 3 parts are: behavior, event, and emotion. This method is better known as the “I” Message.
This is the behavior that needs to be addressed. For example, one spouse overspending every month or not paying the bills on time. Avoid words phrases like “you never” or “you always”. These phrases will make the situation worse.
The event is an action caused by the behavior. Often this event will be a negative action the spouse took because of the behavior. Using the example from above, not paying bills on time, an event triggered would be the credit scored is negatively impacted or there will be late charges.
The last component of the message is the emotion. Emotion is used to describe the feelings caused from the event. Here one can focus one the emotion the event caused. How did the event make you feel? Perhaps you were embarrassed, afraid, concerned, uneasy and so on. These emotions will tend to be negative.
Putting it all together
Now let’s combine the 3 parts.
Because the bills are not paid on time (behavior) the late payments are causing unnecessary charges and this will affect my credit score (event), I’m afraid this will cause a bigger balance (emotion).
Here are a few pointers.
Make sure the behavior is tangible (can not be disputed) and you have observed it first hand
Do not use the conversation to address more than one behavior
Don’t piggyback on conversations
Do not address in front of others
Make sure there are no other topics discussed
Make this a one on one discussion
Avoid all distractions
Avoid causing blame or guilt
Avoid using words like “you”
Do not use to manipulate
Do practice or rehearse
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Recent studies have shown that female investors enjoy more consistent returns with consistent performance
If you’re a man reading this chances are the title either disturbed you or you are ROTFLOL, rolling on the floor laughing out loud. Not what you thought about investing did you? This hurt!
If you’re a female you might have had a hunch that you’re better than your hubsand but couldn’t prove it.Until now that is.Please don’t gloat about this.
Ok, maybe gloat for a minute or so.
In a book authored by Louann Lofton, Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl and Why You Should Too, she brings forth research indicating that women have enjoyed more consistent returns with consistent performance. The author looked over Mr. Buffett’s investment strategy and he too demonstrated all behaviors listed.
Consistency is what you want.
Why should you take her word?
You’re right you shouldn’t but consider that the research she presents was conducted by several teams and all concluded that women are better investors. Better investors in the sense that they are consistent.
Eight temperament behaviors that the women from the book exhibited are:
Trade less than men do
Will ignore market conditions and not act on a whim
Know what they don’t know and are not afraid to question it
Take less risk
It pays to be pessismitc and a realists
Value research and consider different view points before investing
Peer presssure does not influence their choices
Men will fall into the peer pressure for fear of rejection
Learn from their mistakes
Are naturally inclined to take less risk
Women in the studies did not necessarily pick better stocks but they had the fortitude not to trade or sell when the market was tanking.
The men money took the money and ran.The goal to any investment is to ignore the noise and hang on to the stocks for the long term.The author suggests that investments need be long term and Warren Buffett is of the same logic too.
Let’s be honest with ourselves.It’s ok to say we don’t know.The study highlighted women’s honesty in admitting they knew what they don’t know.
As an example, the author mentions Mr. Buffett’s tendency to avoid technology companies. These are outside his comfort zone and he avoids them. He wants to understand the business before acting on.
Start to hone in on the eight identified temperament behaviors and your portfolio will thank you.
How this psychological behavior is causing you to lose lots of dollars
Hey, did you notice an increase in your paystub? You may want to check it out. If you did, you are part of the 90 percent of Americans who will have experienced a positive net gain in their take home money.
But have you given much thought to what you will do with that extra money?
Chances are you haven’t given it much thought. Honestly, I have not done much with mine yet.
Unfortunately, you and I will struggle to save that extra income because it is so much fun to spend rather than save. Who can relate?
We know we need to do something smart with that little extra money and yet we choose to do nothing. This same behavior is seen in different areas of one’s life: health, spiritual well-being, education, and list continues. We know the benefits gained from each of these actions are great, but the pain of losing time, money, relationships, or other resources will keep you from taking action.
Look around your influential circle of friends and you may see the benefits experienced by overcoming loss aversion. These benefits did not happen overnite. They probably battled loss aversion at some time yet they did something about it and they took action.
Inaction breeds company and it will have an impact in many areas of your life.
Now that we know that loss aversion keeps us from investing let’s explore the solution
The more steps or actions an activity requires the less likely we are to take a step forward to bettering ourselves. For example, we need to get in shape and for some reason we believe we need a new workout wardrobe, hire a trainer, and post your accomplishments. These are but a few things that keep you from taking action. So many unwritten rules to follow it seems. But disregard those and get going.
Let’s look at savings and retirement
The lingo alone will drive one insane! Annual percentage rate, annual percentage yield, certificates of deposit or CD, bonds, IRA, 401K, etc etc! That is why your accounts have not grown or you have not started. According to a report, 50 percent of Americans don’t participate in their 401Ks and reasons stated include: feeling overwhelmed with the many choices, laziness, and struggle with deposits. I remember feeling all the mentioned emotions as I enrolled in my company 401K. Trying to be in compliance with company policies, understand vacation policy and now 401K!
The struggle was real and I’m glad I took that plunge. I was afraid to ask questions. Here’s an MBA student who has no idea how to invest, I thought they would say. I had no idea or direction and no one to turn to.
Don’t let that hold you back! Take action. My experiences have shown that the first step you take, is the most important one. Over time you will become more educated and can make wiser choices in your finances.
Turn the challenges into solutions
You might have heard the acronym KISS- Keep It Simple Silly. Try taking advantage of automatic contributions. Let the accounts withdraw from your check before you have time to spend it. If you don’t see it you will not miss it.
Understand as you save more it does not necessarily mean you will spend less. If you have a budget in place this will keep you focused on your goals. I’m old school and prefer to look at spreadsheets when using my budget. There are apps that keep this process simple. Don’t see saving or investing as a present loss but a future gain or victory. Keep focused on your goals.
We are visual creatures. We like wooing and awwing over beautifully created pictures. I can spend hours on hours looking through Pinterest and Instargram. Do the same for your finances. Use visuals rather than figures to help you achieve goals.
For example, instead on fixating on a $500,000 retirement, use visuals that that money will help you reach. Visuals such as vacations, nicer home, or activities you enjoy doing with your family and friends.
Don’t allow loss aversion keep you from achieving your goals. Learn to focus on the gains and not what you will be losing. Remember the pain of losing needs to be dealt with. Keep reminding yourself of the benefits or gains you will be able to enjoy.
How have you been able to overcome loss aversion? Care to share?
Jay Martinez wrote a great piece about millennials being ready to make a difference. Check it out here. He pointed out that millennials are willing to step up when the church invests in them. Are you ready?
The Good News
So you might have been approached by someone in the church asking to volunteer or help out in some capacity. Chances are you’re feeling excited and believe you’re ready to make the jump and volunteer.
Congrats! Let me share 5 suggestions that will allow you to enjoy ministry to its fullest and at the same time prevent you from experiencing burning out. Yes, volunteers will at some point feel overwhelmed and burned out.
Your volunteering metamorphosis will unfold in the following pattern. The person who asked you to volunteer will be very helpful in providing direction and guidance. After a while you will begin to wonder, “Where is all the help!” The person who asked you to volunteer will have probably been burned out themselves. The freshly recruited volunteer, YOU, is the getaway opportunity they saw and took. Remember this is not a reflection on their spiritual maturity so don’t be to harsh when left alone wondering where to go now.
Here are 5 Suggestions You Can Start to Practice Before Volunteering
1. Take your time
I’m often in awe of those individuals that join a church and can immediately plug in to a ministry and they excel at it! Others will jump into as many opportunities as asked to and unfortunately for both, the church and the volunteer, they will slowly start to fade. They will start to be absentee in their ministry and eventually their church attendance will suffer. The church body would rather see you in the seats, listening and growing, rather than not attending at all. On the flip side, if you have been in church for several years you’ve had plenty of time 🙂
2. Don’t accept every request
Don’t rush into everything and anything that you are asked to do. Remember, you have an idea of what needs your time and by taking extra opportunities you will be stretched too thin. Out of all your priorities one will suffer and more often the ministry will be left unattended. This will be a good time to evaluate your priorities and shed those time-consuming affairs. Those that don’t add any value.
3. Ask for Help
When suddenly you are left alone with a roomful of loving kiddos you need to ask for help. Don’t let this fester and bring it to the attention of your ministry leaders. The last thing any church parents want is the kid’s ministry to become a Sunday daycare.
4. Set boundaries
Not sure about your spiritual gifts? Churches offer spiritual gifts sessions and those are great. I believe in application as well and you might want to try out different opportunities to explore those gifts. If you decide to do this I strongly encourage you to set boundaries. For example you can say, “ I plan to serve in this capacity for 6 months” or “ I can only serve 1 Sunday a month”, etc. You set the time-frame. This will allow the seeker to plan accordingly.
5. It’s ok to say no
Hear me on this- You can say no and it is perfectly fine! I understand you don’t like to disappoint but master this pointer and you’ll be spectacular . No one will be offended if you say no. They will respect that you value your time and theirs. You may not be ready and it’s ok to voice that. Leave yourself an opening if that is an area that interests you.
Summary of the 5 Suggestions I shared for a successful volunteer career
Take your time
Don’t accept every request
Ask for Help
It’s Ok to say No
These suggestions came at my expense and at the disappointment of others. I felt obligated to help out as much as possible and the time requirements took their toll on me. It wasn’t until later in my spiritual walk that I learned how to kindly and respectfully decline volunteer opportunities. I shared the suggestions to encourage you to get involve and go about it in a strategic manner.
I’ll leave you with the following comment:
Be a specialist and not a generalist. Be spectacular and caring in one ministry rather than general and unspectacular in many.
How prepared will you be when you retire? Now is the time to take hold your finances.
The Social Security Administration Reported That Women Outlive Men
This Got Me Thinking…
Does Jessica Know What Our Retirement Accounts Consist Of?
I figured women outlived men. Men are risk-takers and most men would agree that this risk is fun! I recall my brief thought of being a bull-rider at the age of 23. That idea lasted for a split second and am grateful it did.
There are the exceptions. My grandfather is approaching 96 years old while my grandmother passed away almost 35 years ago.
According to the Social Security Administration, Jessica is expected to outlive me. This motivated me to bring her up to speed on our net worth, asset allocation model, taxes, IRA to Roth IRA conversions, etc.
I typically handle the finances but needed to immerse Jess in investment terminology and options. Finances are typically seen as a men’s world and the reality is they need to be managed by both spouses.
As a Result I Developed a Cheat Sheet To Guide Her
I have put together a guide that I have used to grow our retirement account. This includes an overview of different types of retirement accounts, our portfolio and asset allocation model.
The idea of making more money in retirement than in our working years is a reality and not a dream. It’s exciting to know that we have changed our family legacy! My daughters will not have to go into debt to pursue their college education or worry about retirement.
And more importantly, Jess will have been educated on retirement.
I Challenge You To Make Retirement a Reality
I share this cheat sheet not to boast but to encourage and motivate you to start or evaluate your retirement strategy. Trust me, retirement will sneak up on you and you’ll need to be ready.
Growing up in low-income home I believed retirement and investments were for a select people. That is no longer my mentality and hope you believe the same.
It gets easier the more you investing you do. You develop your financial muscles 💪🏽. Investing has been part of our strategy for over 14 years. There is no reason that you should not be able to retire.
Retirement is for all. It does not discriminate or is it exclusive to one social economic group.
How A Masters Degree in Business Did Not Provide the Financial Guidance I Needed
While I am proud of having received an MBA degree I was ashamed that my finances were in rubbles. The degree taught me how to do great research as many papers were written. And the personal finances class I might have missed at some time. I had to learn to manage my personal finances on my own and at a high expense.
This tagline has brought some healthy conversations. I believe that anyone can be a financial disruptor. A disruptor is defined as a person that prevents something, especially a system from continuing as usual.
That usual was our finances. It wasn’t until we started budgeting, eliminating debt, and investing that we disrupted our finances. Action was taken and Financials were Disrupted. I say we because it is a team effort. Jess, myself, and the kiddos.
Ready to See What We Are Doing For Retirement
The available guide details our portfolio and asset allocation model. The model is not unique to our financial situation and can be mimicked. Most asset models can be duplicated as majority of investors place their funds in large capital, small capital, international funds, and stocks. These terms are defined in the reading.
Feeling motivated? You can sign up to receive the FREE guide.
I am not a licensed professional. I do play one at the Gallegos’ residence and have done well. Those are the words of my financial advisor. You can expect the material you read to be educational, informative, and entertaining.
Would you agree that attending church on a consistent basis is getting harder and harder to do? You are not alone! Jess and I struggled with this too.
It should come as no surprise that the number of church attenders has been on a steady decrease. A recent study concluded that 59 percent of Millennials are leaving the church. That statistic is an eye-opener!
So how did we manage to avoid being one of the 59 percenters that leave church? Not only did we avoid becoming a stat but become more involved?
Jess and I had been dating for several years now and were close to marriage. Before finding a home church, where we invested 11 wonderful years, we visited several churches. While those churches had sound biblical teaching and amazing worship we failed to make a connection. We had to take a hard look at ourselves and ask the honest question, “what gives and what’s missing?
Jess and I were the missing.
We were physically and spiritually present and our desire to connect with other well-meaning members was not. Jess and I came to the realization that in order for us to fully embrace the Christian walk as intended we would have to allow ourselves to be embraced. There were older couples that invited us to dinner and we turned down and younger couples we distanced ourselves from. They all were wonderful people but we did not connect with them.
The Ugly Mistake Revealed
We decided that we would get involved. The first time it was gut wrenching as we had to learn to be open and vulnerable. This was the mistake we were making…not being open and vulnerable. This would mean stepping out of our comfort zone and investing in relationships. It was not easy but is very doable. We learned to let our guard down, which included inviting people to lunch or going to lunch when asked. Yes, those moments were AWKARD but manageable. Here’s a tip- find common ground you can all discuss. Use the message series as a starting point or the kids recent activities.
Had we learned to be open and vulnerable at an early stage our story would have been different and that’s ok! We are both fine with the outcome. 😃
It is when one decides to be open, transparent, and vulnerable that we can make meaningful connections. BTW this also works in any relationships and career.
You too can decide to no longer be MIA…Ready to make an impact?!
That’s not all —–> Check out the Millennial Moment of the month. This month’s Millennial has a servant’s heart! He has lead and organized mission trips to New Mexico, Houston, TX, Texas/Mexico Border.
I’ve been blessed with a fulfilling career, a growing ministry, and beautiful family. The road here has not been an easy one but by the grace of God I am learning to find joy in all. I believe we are uniquely created and it is this uniqueness that gives us a story. What one does with that story is up to you. I want to be found a good steward of my time, resources, knowledge, and experiences and will freely share them.
The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences, encourage the reader to step out in faith, and to highlight young professionals who serve the Lord.
Have a minute? Head over to the Millennial Moment page to read up on this month’s highlighted millennial.
Why does the Church expect Nothing from Millennials?
Millennials, have you wondered what your local church expects from you? There are no easy words to say this but…NOTHING.
Nothing…yes, that’s right!
I’m confident in stating that fact because society has placed a bad stigma on Millennials. This stigma concludes that Millennials demand hand-outs or freebies, participation trophies, and their commitment is nonexistent. This list can continue for many characters. Millennials have been ran through the wringer by previous generations, media, and anyone else with a voice.
Interested in overcoming this stigma? Let’s see how this can be done.
Work unto The Lord
Remember, whatever you do do it as if working onto the Lord, with all your heart, and know that your reward is a heavenly one. This is a summary of Colossians 3:23-24. Do not be disheartened if your work is not noticed. Learn to shift your focus from one of “me” to your neighbor. Love your neighbor as yourself. This means looking beyond your needs and focusing on the needs of your neighbor or simply stated your church.
Embrace the Passion
There is no denying that Millennials are passionate! You’ve probably seen Youtube videos of Cowboy fans, Spurs fan or any other sport where people take a loss seriously. And should they win they will be the first ones to let you know! Humans are wired to demonstrate praise and express emotions (without sinning) and being able to keep them in check is important. Embrace your passion to lead;
a study group
to show up
The last point is big. Show up. When like-minded Millennials see you make an effort this encourages them and lets them know they can accomplish this. After all, you probably had similar events happening over the weekend.
As Sunday approaches I hope you consider the points I listed. Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Col 3:23-24. And the passion that drives you let’s turn that into tangible results.