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Living a Healthy Happy Financial Life

By Wendy Mihm | April 1, 2011

Learning to live a healthy, happy financial life (means) adopting an overall healthy financial lifestyle, and maintaining it over the long haul.

Learning to live a healthy, happy financial life does not involve one or two magical quick fixes.  People who achieve such success do so by adopting an overall healthy financial lifestyle, and maintaining it over the long haul.  As a reader of FinancialRx, and especially if you’ve become a FinancialRx subscriber, you understand that.  It involves the concepts outlined below, many of which you’ll see fuzz on over into the category of parenting because, well, I’m a mom.  What can I say?

Have a look at these concepts, and see if they ring true to you and the lifestyle that your family either already lives, or aspires to live.

Believing in delayed gratification.

Anyone who promises to deliver major, instant anything is not being completely honest with you, unless they are selling oatmeal. Instant success, instant beauty, instant weight loss, instant wealth:  it’s all a bunch of hooey. In life, you generally get what you earn, practice, save for, strive for and put your heart into—over time. What’s great about the FinancialRx way of life is that earning these worthwhile things does not have to be complicated or confusing. Anyone can do it.  And FinancialRx gives you a helping hand by spelling out the finance terms in plain English, and by outlining simple, stepwise plans you can put in motion immediately in our free weekly email subscriptions.

Committing to credit card debt elimination.

You can’t live a healthy, happy financial life if you’re trapped under a pile of credit card debt.  Heck, you can’t even get a decent night’s sleep. So if you’ve got more than $1,500 worth of credit card debt that you can’t pay off in full, sign up for our weekly email subscription on Conquering Credit Card debt and dig yourself out of this hole, once and for all. Stop kidding yourself. Do it now.

Understanding that it takes time to build wealth.

This one is almost the same as the first point, but it’s important because it’s specifically tied to the concept of wealth. For this reason, I love the site GetRichSlowly first, because it’s named Get Rich Slowly, and second because it dispenses such solid, common sense money strategies. One of the key concepts the author, J.D. Roth, hammers home again and again is that it takes time to build wealth. But if you’re patient, consistent and disciplined, anyone can do it. Again, if you’re on board with the FinancialRx subscriptions and blogs, it does not have to be difficult, complicated or confusing.

Agreeing that an occasional splurge is imperative.

I’m big on this one. It’s sort of a riff on “All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl.” It can also cause Jane (and Wendy) to get so tired and fed up with being frugal all the time that they are tempted to let off steam in dangerous and budget-damaging spending sprees.  But if you plan for some mini splurges now and then, you can let off steam in smaller, more productive and fun ways. 

Valuing education.

This is key on so many levels!  You value education by showing interest in what your kids are doing in school, by reading to them early, often and with enthusiasm! You value education by setting up education savings funds when your kids are little. You value education by taking your kids to the zoo, the park, the museum, the arboretum, to the city, your backyard, down the street – anywhere but the mall – and by showing them things, asking them their opinions and then just listening to what they have to say.  Doing these things places a premium on education.  It pays off not just in your own kids, but also for generations to come, and in the sort of wealth that both includes and transcends dollars.

Prioritizing health.

You don’t sit on the couch, watch reruns of The Office (which I admit is a great show) and eat a pack of Little Debbie Snack Cakes every day. You know it would be irresponsible to yourself, your kids, and to the rest of us, who pitch in to pay for the pool of health care that many of us are in together. No, you don’t do that. You work out when you can, eat responsibly, and put healthy foods in front of your kids as often as possible.  Sometimes you even take the stairs. Nicely done! So why is prioritizing health on a finance website? First, because the less you take care of yourself physically, the more you tend to rack up health care expenses, now and in the future.  And second, because I’m a Mom, remember?

These are the key tenets of the FinancialRx healthy, happy financial lifestyle. If these ring true to you, I urge you to come on board as a subscriber.  It’s free and we don’t bombard you with daily emails – ours arrive just once a week and soon you will get to choose the topics that are most relevant to your family’s current financial situation. Plus you’ll get to learn all sorts of savvy insider tips, such as how to save money at club stores by avoiding this common club store pricing tactic, from a former corporate marketing insider (me)!

So sign up now for our emails! You’ll get:

  • Sound financial wisdom
  • Stepwise instructions on how to meet your financial goals
  • A swift kick in the bootie

All delivered for free, right to your inbox.  Set to start delivering in May…

And welcome to the FinancialRx family.


Women as Household CFOs

By Wendy Mihm | December 9, 2010

Women everywhere are taking the financial reigns… with the very best of intentions: to create a safe haven and a secure future for their families.

This is not a passing phenomenon—women as household CFOs are here to stay.  No longer are they sitting meekly in the shadows, letting their husbands make all the decisions.  No longer are they in the dark about how their family should invest for the future, or how to stay safe from impending financial storms. Women everywhere are taking the financial reigns in homes across America—not with a lot of self congratulations and chest thumping—but with matter-of-fact determination to get the job done well.  And with the very best of intentions: to create a safe haven and a secure future for their families.

What I’ve noticed is that the mainstream media has taken note of this phenomenon lately.  Here are some of the articles we here at FinancialRx have found to be particularly thought-provoking and inspiring:

Women Out-Earning, Out-Learning Men in More Couples

Women Take Over Household Finances

How Women Can Get Control of Their Finances


Women and Finance

By Wendy Mihm | Friday December 3, 2010

Whether by choice or by default, women are more and more often taking over as the Chief Financial Officer of their homes.

Whether by choice or by default, women are more and more often taking over as the Chief Financial Officer of their homes. This means they are making a full range of financial decisions for the household: from smaller, day-to-day choices about buying food and clothing for their families, to much bigger ticket items like investing for retirement and college, or whether to establish a living trust or a will.

A recent study confirms this trend.  It’s called Women and Affluence 2010:  The Era of Financial Responsibility, and it was conducted by Citigroup and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.  They polled participants on a wide variety topics related to money, including what finance-related topics they were comfortable talking about with friends and family versus which were taboo, how their financial lives and outlooks had changed since the Great Recession, whether they considered themselves as having a leadership role with regard to finances in their household and more.  Here is an abbreviated list of some of the most compelling results.



Stat 2008 2010
Women who are knowledgeable about investing and finances: 75% 82%
Women who consider themselves CFOs of their household: 63% 66%
Women who are talking about money with their family: N/A 91%
Women who think that talking about money and investing outside the family is no longer taboo as it was pre-recession: N/A 65%
Women who are imparting lessons about money to their children, family, friends and colleagues: N/A 86%
Women who are sharing their financial values with others: N/A 64%

My favorite stat in there is the one we teased on the front page.  A whopping 86% of you are doing what we do best:  sharing your wisdom—this time about money—with the people you love most.  And hasn’t that historically been one of womankind’s greatest strengths?


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