Hello, April. Hi and almost bye, 2015 tax time. Hello, another day full of chances to grow, learn, and experience.

First of all, I am lucky to have a web designer who also hosts a podcast about the process of putting in to practice what we learn about living in healthy and connected ways. Abby (http://www.kojolapower.com/) and Lisa (http://www.firewithinlifecoaching.com/) were delightful to chat with, and here is the link if you’d like to hear our episode.

Episode 5: Lovin’ The Zeros with Beth Crittenden

More About Boundaries With Money

a) It doesn’t have to be comfortable to be the best choice for you. Sometimes the discomfort is “growing pains”.

b) Have a look at how you relate to the word “boundaries”. Does it seem like a helpful word? Or punitive? Does it occur as a grumpy-making “should”? Or do you fantasize about being able to set healthy boundaries in your life?

c) Do you have the kind of people in your life who can respect your boundaries? Or do you hold on to the people who can’t take no for an answer? This is expensive…in many ways.

d) Check yourself for FOMO…Fear Of Missing Out. I heard a funny podcast the other day that someone has also coined JOMO…Joy of Missing Out. Both are possible!

e) Sometimes people avoid setting boundaries, and get in over their head financially, because they haven’t yet identified what they value, and what they want to stand for. It’s nearly impossible for me to have healthy boundaries, if I don’t know what they are serving.

f) Having a spending plan, or a budget, is a great way to quantify your priorities. Part of what makes it work, is deciding it as much as possible before the spending begins.


Apps For Couples

I recently did some research for financial tracking apps that work well for couples. That space is seeming a bit weak when it comes to free software, especially. But there are things out there that can help a couple or a bigger family system, stay on the same page with each other about where they are budget-wise.

I noticed during the research that the way couples have their accounts organized, seems to inform which style of software might work well for them. The different types of system organization I’ve seen for couples include:

-100% shared accounts. (Then it can be helpful to have discretionary spending category and amount for each person in the budget, since the account won’t organize that by definition. Then it’s just important to either track the cash out, and tie it to that person’s category, OR categorize the transaction properly, which takes some communication with whoever is doing the updates.)

-Separate accounts for individual spending, and one joint account for shared bills and purchases. (Then the decision is whether to use software for all the accounts together, or just software for the household account, and then each person can track their own spending if they want to.)

-The “Bucket” system. Deciding in advance how much to put in each account per month. (There is usually a bills account, necessary spending like food, clothes, etc where the amounts vary, and a fun account, for example. The accounts being organized that way can help pinpoint where there is overspending, but it also can be overwhelming to harmonize all the accounts’ spending at once.)

There’s not one perfect system. It depends on what seems to appeal to both people. More important than which system to use, is having people participate at the optimum level for the family system to reach its goals, both today and in the future.


Sittin’ And Workin’

More and more people are hiring my time, for us to sit together and check financial to-do’s off their list. I’m glad to offer that, and consider it a core part of financial organizing…it truly lends itself better to implementation than just theory!

Some of the things we’ve been checking off the list together are:

*paying bills
*navigating online log-ons and setting up autopays
*opening and closing accounts as needed
*making calls about retirement accounts, medical billing, and the like
*updating budget progress tracking, and following along with goals progress

Email me if you’d like to learn more, or set up some time together. ¬†beth@lovethezeros.com

I’m currently in the city on Tuesdays, and have Mill Valley Office space on Fridays until 12:30pm, both until the end of April. I’m office-shopping now for new digs in the city to start in May and will keep you posted!