In this week’s Ten Money Questions, we speak with Sanyika Calloway Boyce, an International speaker, financial expert and author of several books on personal finance, including Crack ‘Da Code: What Every College Student Needs to Know About Money, Love & The Dream Job. In the questions below, she tells us her “money story” and how she got from there to here. She’ll elaborate on these and more at the virtual Wealthy Girl Summit on January 24th to 27th, 2008.
1. How does the law of attraction apply to finances?
The concept of our thoughts becoming physical things is very real, the universal principle "so as a (wo)man thinketh" so is (s)he" is very real when it comes to money.
In my Beyond Money Principles "Evaluate Your Money Mindset" is the second principle that I teach because until and unless you address your unconscious thoughts and deep rooted beliefs about money you will never take the necessary and consistent action towards what you say you want.
For example, if you say that you want to be rich but you have a belief that rich people are selfish, greedy and unhappy then you will not take the consistent actions necessary for you to get rich because you never want to be associated with someone who is "selfish, greedy and unhappy."
2. What is your most significant memory about money?
That, for me, came when my father began to send my child support payments in my name.
I'm 11 years old and here comes the child support check in my name. Of course, because it's in my name, I had to sign it and go with my mom to the bank to cash it.
It seemed like every time money came in, even though it had my name on it, actually belonged to someone else. That was the story I unconsciously told my self.
So, for years I lived and operated as if I had no right, no real claim to money. I believed it actually belonged to someone else or I had to sign it over to someone else. And that's EXACTLY what I did, I acquired credit card after credit card and each time I got paid I signed them over to someone else!
It took years for me to realize how this experience played a profound part in every area of my life, especially my financial life.
3. Has debt had any impact on your life?
Have you heard the saying, "fake it 'til you make it?" well I lived it.
When I got to college, "Charge it" became the answer to everything from food to fashion and it was intoxicating, addictive actually. In less than 4 years I had 10 credit cards and thousands of dollars in debt.
Despite the fact that I graduated early and with honors, I was financially illiterate and it cost me big time.
In less than a year after graduation I found myself unemployed in my career of choice, financially frustrated, on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.
4. You often talk about rewriting our personal "money stories" and changing our attitudes about money. What is a money story?
Before you can resolve to handle any money challenges that keep showing up as recurring issues, you've got to identify the dot that marks the spot that says, YOU ARE HERE, to do that you need to:
First Review your money story: Each of us has a "money story" its like our internal GPS system (guiding path spotlight) but many peoples GPS is locked on the same location and time after time it brings them back to where they stared. Before you can truly get to where you want to go you have to first acknowledge where you are and if it's not destination that you like you need to...
Release - purge the system, there’s something clogging it up - usually conflicting destinations are programmed in. You're saying you want to go in one direction but are taking steps in another. Give up the hope that the past could have been different, let go of the parts of your story that you've out grown or simply don't fit who you want to be or where you want to go, then...
Rewrite - essentially you're reprogramming your GPS to get you to your desired financial destination. Your life is like a book, the chapters of the past have already been written and cannot be changed, but your future is a blank page. You get to write a money story that is as strong, courageous and capable as you are...the power is in your hands!
5. You have an interesting spin on budgets, why don’t you believe they work?
I have been known to say that “budgets suck,” because they do! But the bottom line is, no one has figured out how to run a college, company, or even their personal life successfully without a well thought-out plan (that they actually stick to). If you try, you might fool yourself into thinking that you’re succeeding, but the house is betting against you, and the house always wins.
When I redefined the word budget as, “telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went” my whole negative connection with the word changed. I mean, what an extremely different way of thinking of something that generally represents resentment, restriction and rules.
I actually liked the idea of telling my money where I wanted it to go because I’d sure had enough practice with being confused about where it went, especially shortly after going to the ATM and having nothing to show for it.
I choose to replace the word budget with spending plan. Spending plans are smart and necessary road maps for you to reach your financial goals and provide opportunities for you to redirect your cash flow while increasing your financial security.
6. What role has money played in your relationships, romantic or otherwise?
When I was single I often dated men who "had money" meaning they were willing to spend it on me and I measured how much they cared for me by the amount that they spent. I found out the hard way that "emotional currency" (spending to buy someone’s affection) pales in comparison to real love.
And yet, the reality is you probably were attracted to and fell in love with your financial opposite. Often the things that we find "intriguing" about our partners when we first meet are the very things that make us crazy about them later on.
I'm no different, my husband is a much more conservative spender than I am so we made each other pretty crazy for a lot of years until I discovered a formula for “financial har-money,” in the end it come down to having a mixture of 7 key ingredients:
1. Respect for each other (this is the one ingredient that MUST be included and can't be skimped on)
2. Mutual understanding (talk it out - preferably before there is a problem)
3. Agreed upon goals (short and long term)
4. Compromise (from both sides)
5. Organization (know the state of your financial union)
6. Hard work (the only way it'll work is if you work at it)
7. Determination (there are no fillers or substitute ingredients for this)
Now we just mix in a pinch of prayer, a touch of understanding a heaping of patience and a full portion of determination and we've created a version of financial har-money that tastes oh so sweet.
When I coach my clients, I encourage them to identify just the right version of this formula to create their own successful financial partnership.
7. What are your thoughts about income disparity in this county? These days, is the gap based more on gender, race, education or something else?
Unfortunately in the 21st century race and gender still pay a role in how much people are paid, it shouldn’t be that women pay more for everything from dry cleaning to shampoo but still make less then men.
Even though we are long past the days where, "men need to make more because they're the sole breadwinner" we have yet to close the wage gap. Women are still making only seventy-three cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts.
As women we all know we are supposed to pay attention our financial affairs, but many women don't because it seems intimidating.
Nonsense! We have to remove the excuses and stop saying things like, "I'm just not good with money."
Taking the necessary steps to learn how to manage money in a way that's empowering is a big step in the direction of making more of it.
Money knows no gender or race, it will respond equally to whoever is handling it and when it’s handled properly it’ll reward you richly.
8. You've mentioned the ills of "Universal Default" on your blog. What is it and what can be done about it?
This practice is so appalling to me that I did an entire segment about it on my Next Level Lifestyle podcast!
Basically, universal default is the term for a practice used in the financial industry when a bank or lending institution changes the terms of an existing loan from the standard terms to a set of terms or rates given to consumers who have missed payments on a loan or in some other way failed to follow the agreements for repayment, in some cases as much as 39 percent.
If the idea of paying these legal loan sharking fees makes you mad, then you've got to put the pressure on your local and state officials to continue pressing forward with legislation to regulate the companies that defend this practice which is legal but hardly responsible.
Senator Carl Levin of Michigan (Democrat) has played a key role in challenging the credit card companies to self-regulate or be regulated.
9. How can parents teach their children to be financially responsible?
There is a big difference between secrecy and privacy but often when it comes to money most people choose to keep the things that should be private, a secret from their family. This is a scenario that’s ripe for financial dysfunction.
You have to make it a point to discuss important financial matters with your family because if you truly want your kids to “learn the value of a dollar” then you must include them in the family household spending plan process.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how your children support what’s best for the family when they are aware of just how much is required to maintain your current lifestyle or what’s needed to ensure the family gets to go to Disney World for vacation by just making a few adjustments in everyone's spending habits.
10. You talk about the need to “invest in your success” how do you suggest women put that advice into practice?
Committing to lifetime learning and self development is a practice that successful people understand. Your mind is your greatest asset, so you must be sure to…
- Feed it with books, Blogs and articles
- Listen to wealth-building CDs and podcasts
- Join a networking or Mastermind group
- Find a mentor or hire a coach, and
- Attend virtual and live seminars
…whichever you choose is fine, just make the necessary and regular investments in yourself that will allow you to be more, do more and have more in every area of your life.
One such investment women can make right now is to start the year off powerfully by attending the Wealthy Girl Summit, a four-day virtual wealth-building conference and Webinar kicking off January 24th and running through the 27th.
I will be one of the 13 female speakers sharing valuable insights and information to help women get what they want out of life both financially and emotionally.
And, the best part is you can participate from the comfort of your home because it’s virtual. Find out more at www.WealthyGirlSeminar.com
More about Sanyika Calloway Boyce
Sanyika Calloway Boyce knows all to well that "winging it" is a terrible way to mange your money and your life. Financially frustrated and facing bankruptcy in her 20s, she was determined not to be a victim.
Now in her 30s, she’s a successful CEO, an International Speaker, and Top Selling Author of several books on personal finance, host of The Next Level Lifestyle Show, and a Financial Fitness Coach who is a sought-after authority on money matters and is often quoted by and interviewed on national TV and radio shows.
Sanyika is the creator of the "Beyond Money Principles" a set of seven steps designed to help individuals discover how to gain true financial freedom by reviewing, releasing and rewriting their "money stories" and changing their attitude about money. Learn more about her upcoming events at: www.WealthyGirlSeminar.com
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