Category Archives: 12 Days of Christmas

Personal Goodwill in 2019

The “holidays” are over. Whether you call it the 12th day of Christmas, 6 January, or the Feast of the Three Kings, those days have passed.

  • Did you survive or thrive?
  • What traditions did you keep, or eliminate?
  • What are your resolutions and goals for 2019?
note notebook notes page
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

These are questions grabbing the headlines on Twitter, your local newspaper (all the sections), and perhaps your favorite podcastBut wait! What is your real goodwill for 2019? In financial terms we call it your balance sheet. For businesses, goodwill is an intangible which represents real value.

“The goodwill of a company increases its value, as qualities such as the company’s customer base, its brands, products, location, workforce and reputation demonstrate the company’s proven track record of generating income.” via Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/010815/how-does-goodwill-increase-companys-value.asp

In a 2014 post on this subject , I urged readers to consider their true balance sheet. This goes beyond the numbers to include personal goodwill, relationships, intangible assets, and experiences.  In 2019, with the 24 second news cycle (no longer 24/7) , market volatility, increasing interest rates, and a government shutdown, I believe it is ever more important to total up our non-financial assets.

A friend recently learned her skills were worth 12% more annually in the job market, but that it would require a heavy loss of professional autonomy. She chose to keep her autonomy and turn down the position. I recently was able to attend a birthday party for a family member where 15 relatives were in attendance; we ate, we drank, and we all enjoyed the surprise live music delivered to her door. It included Happy Birthday, on the bagpipes! As some of us mostly attend funerals, it becomes a priceless family memory.

If you have beloved family members who no longer travel for any reason, you have the experiences of travels with Mom, Aunt Susy, Uncle Sergio, or attending a cousin’s outdoor wedding (cupcake tower!)


Author and her mom at Fort McHenry National Monument. Photo credit to kind tourist.

During a time of job loss, or even getting home from a doctor’s appointment, do you have friends, family or faith institutions who can help you? That goes on your true balance sheet. Do you and your children talk or spend time with other over vacations, holidays or during stressful times? That is worth a lot. For those who have furry kids, same question. For singletons with an extensive chosen family beyond your family of origin, I hope that you find humor,  comfort, and support in these relationships.

Add those to your own bank. Research tells us about how our brain enjoys them more than the acquisition of things. Experiences generate three times the memories, from the anticipation, the actual event, and then the retrospection afterwards. I have a series of #UnfortunateEvents, for example, that comprise many of my personal vacations. They are funny now… but were not at the time. (River rafting accident, drunk guy in the aisle at 30,000 feet, and crying on an expensive Venetian gondola ride to name a few).

Personal and professional resilience count on your balance sheet. Deep breathing during stressful moments counts. (For some, that would be before public speaking. I find yoga more difficult than public speaking, but that’s just me!) Being intentional about your spending adds up. Decreasing debt is important as it leads to greater financial flexibility. Financial resilience and investing in personal attributes (reliability, integrity, courage and caring for others and yourself) loom large on the true balance sheet and are important for both personal goodwill and goodwill towards others in 2019. #IRL

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Filed under 12 Days of Christmas, Financial Wellness, For Love or Money, January Financial Tasks, Self Awareness

Your True Balance Sheet

Most times I work with a client, we make a balance sheet to show their net worth. This shows what you own, what you owe and shows the difference between them. Some years in life (with mortgages, business, car or education loans) it may be negative; other years it will be positive (with a good trend line).


But these numbers do not not capture your life’s true balance sheet.

  • Some elements of that here:
    Your dreams-what dreams of yours have come true? What dreams so you still have?’
  • Your relationships-family and friends, your business community, receiving a smile from a random person as you walk down the street, seeing a beautiful image, created or from nature; other moments of artistic bliss.
  • Your education and that of others-not your formal education, but the education from being a lifelong learner and seeing lessons shared with loved ones bear fruit in their lives. Being able to continue to grow.
  • Your capacity for love, empathy and compassion for others.

Those cannot be measured by mere numbers, but in the delight, joy and compassion you receive [or give] in your life.

All the best to you and your families, with best wishes for a joyous, abundant year to come.

Seattle’s Victrola Coffee 2012. Photo Credit Dana Twight

Related Link: Share your values with your children; either in late night/early morning chats, stealthy emails or by writing an ethical will. Ethical wills have been used for 3,500 years. http://nyti.ms/1JS0tLv

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Filed under 12 Days of Christmas, Family Lessons About Money, Self Awareness

12 Days of Christmas: First 4 Days

My first four days of suggestions for your holiday learning and enjoyment are below.
Our brains love experiences more than stuff, (#1) but some of us (1 in 4) also have a gene which may stimulate the wrong impulses (#2). It feels good to give, so help a friend or family member find missing money (#3). Learning about personal finance, our brains on money and planning ahead isn’t boring; and can be done in less than an hour (#4).
Great program to watch with the family, including the middle schoolers with allowances or the college kids home for the break.

#1 For more anticipation and satisfaction Buy Experiences Not Things. http://theatln.tc/1xJSKtw

Baseball on the road-2013

Phillies Baseball-2013

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Better Living Through Chemicals? Why Buyagra might be impacting your shopping style…http://ti.me/1HCMGqZ

#3 Help someone else with an unexpected gift (or return of their own long lost money)  this season. Seek unclaimed funds in any US state here. I’ve known people who located $75 to $134; and $4,000-$6,000 on one of these sites. Search on behalf of a nomadic relative, old friend, or even yourself. Utility deposits, last paychecks or uncashed dividend checks…http://bit.ly/YDCwkw . Also, this link will take you to a page where you can hunt for uncashed savings bonds (issued after 1974). http://www.treasuryhunt.gov/

All electronic now, but they used to look like this!

All electronic now, but they used to look like this!

 

 

#4 Put this one on the calendar http://youtu.be/Sv0cyyhAc7k This two-minute trailer for the new documentary Thinking Money will air on KCTS (Western Washington) on Sunday, December 28th, at 2pm.

Seattle's Original Victrola Coffee 2012

Seattle’s Original Victrola Coffee 2012 by DCT

Related blog post: https://nodollarleftbehind.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/bright-shiny-objects-2-holiday-traditions-or-shoulds/

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Filed under 12 Days of Christmas, Be Prepared, Family Lessons About Money