I’m going to tell you right off the bat that this post is for people who have a spouse who makes money. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. But it’s gotta be about $55K, which is what you have to earn in order to feed and clothe a family. No extras. Just that. Read more

When I ask my coaching clients what they’d do if they were millionaires, I ask with the understanding that really, anything they really want to be doing they could do right now.

Here’s how the conversation goes. I’ll do it for me. Like, I’m the coach and I’m the client. Read more

I lived in New York City for ten years. I had a 500 square foot rent-stablized apartment in Park Slope. Every week I lived there someone asked me to tell them if I’m planning to move.

To squeeze into 500 square feet with my husband, we put our winter clothes in storage. Then our books. When our son was born, all our belongings went into storage to make room for his. And when we had a second kid, we got rid of the beds. The kids slept on a counter that turned into a bed and a dining room table that turned into a bed. Read more

I have tons of debt after launching four companies. There has never been a launch that didn’t mess up my personal finances. Most entrepreneurs have no credit – I am like that as well – so I have learned to live with debt and without credit. This is what has enabled me to take risks, set lofty goals, and go after dreams that lots of people tell themselves their debt precludes.

How do I do it? It’s all mental. Here are thirteen ways to think about debt to keep it from ruining your life.

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You are not going to make more money by focusing on income. That’s a way to make small, temporary change. You need to make big changes in your approach to your life in order to make big changes in your financial path. Here are four ways to do that.

1. Stop hoping people will pay you to do something good for the world.
You do not get paid to save the world. You get paid to compromise. There are no jobs where you get paid a living wage to learn and do good and live consistently with your values every second of the workday. Those are volunteer jobs. The farther you get from this all-encompassing goodness, the more you get paid. Read more

Generation X is the first generation in American history that earned less than their parents. Generation Y is the most in-debt generation in American history (and the early American colonies were built on indentured servitude, so that’s saying a lot.) We are in an era of financial ruin. Generation Z will face this with a sense of inevitability. They will feel it is their job to stabilize the failing economy and acclimate to a much lower standard of living.

In the meantime, you are not Generation Z. And you are probably wondering how to adjust to the idea that you do not have the level of financial security you had imagined you would at this time in your life. I have done my own adjusting to this harsh reality, and here are some ways that I’ve shifted my thinking. Read more

How to understand your relationship to money

Here’s a phone call I had with the Farmer, last summer, when I was at a cello institute with my son:

Me: We have bites everywhere. We are never going blackberry picking again.

Farmer: I don’t have bites. I don’t think it’s blackberries.

Me: They are itching. They are mosquito bites.

Farmer: I think they’re bed bugs.

Me: Country people always think bed bugs! It’s a country thing to think bed bugs are everywhere. I’d know them if I saw them.

Farmer: Well mosquito bites don’t show up two days later.

Two days later, I was up late, reading because I was too itchy to sleep, and a bed bug crawled across my son.
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I am in Boston having post-traumatic stress syndrome from being too close to the town where I went to college. The kids are doing a music workshop and it’s in Newton, which is very close to Waltham, which is where I went to college. So I thought travel planning would be easy since I know my way around. But the cab pulled up to the hotel and I realized it was the hotel where I lost my virginity.

It was not a good scene. Well, the first time I was there was definitely not a good scene, but this time was not either.

“Mom! I don’t want to leave the hotel!”

“Mom! I like this hotel! I want to lay in bed and watch TV!”

I took half a Xanax and we changed hotels. Read more

Fortune magazine has started reporting about family in corporate life.

We all know corporate jobs are messed up. Fortune magazine is a monument to how messed up corporate life really is. In November, Fortune wrote that the company that Sheryl Sandberg, a working mom, runs, has employees “on lockdown” and their kids come to the office to say goodnight before bed.

In December Fortune reported that to get his almost-top spot at GE, John Krenicki relocated his family 11 times while the kids were growing up. Working at GE requires the same type of sacrifice from a family that the US expects from military officers. Read more

When I was growing up, we had stuffed lions from Harris Bank. We had enough Hubert Harris lions to make a whole zoo.  The lions made sense to me, because I thought of the bank as a warm and fuzzy place.

Really, to understand what I’m talking about, I need to tell you about money in my family. And what I learned about money from living the life of a rich kid

1. Big money comes from areas of big chaos.
The money started coming to my family when my great-grandpa got a law degree in the 1920s in Chicago. He didn’t have any clients, so he hung out at the jail, looking for people who needed a lawyer. It turned out that the only people who landed in jail who could reliably pay for a lawyer’s help were prostitutes.

My great-grandpa did a good job representing them, and consequently, he met Al Capone, who was the money behind the prostitutes. Soon my great-grandpa became Al Capone’s lawyer. Read more