Home - Denise Hughes Author Speaker Money Coach

Practical Tools and Tips



I am asking for a virtual hand raise right now. Raise your hand if you know how much you weigh. Keep your hand raised if you know your shoe size. Keep that hand up strong if you know the size of your jeans. OK, keep that hand up if you know your cholesterol number. And, wave those hands all over the place if you know the money available to you in your checking account. Wave hands like crazy if you know the number of money you need to earn each month to make your life work! I often do this exercise in groups where I am a guest speaker and hands start to go down around the cholesterol number and hardly any hands are left waving when I ask about the available balances in bank accounts.

An area of opportunity for all of us, especially women, is to know our numbers in all areas of our lives. Why? Because knowing our numbers empowers us. Our “knowing” allows us to make better decisions for ourselves and our family, whether those decisions are about what foods are best for our bodies or how much money we need to make our lives work. When we stand in our place of “knowing,” we have the power to change our lives and those numbers. Through changing some of our money behaviors, we can make the numbers go up, down, or stay the same, customizing our lifestyle choices with our unique money number to make life work.

A beginning way to get to know how much money will make our lives work, is to begin tracking the flow of money that moves through our lives daily. This means tracking all of our expenses and our income.  Tracking can become a ritual that helps us to step into clarity about our cash flow as well help us examine what values we are funding through our cash flow.

Since 1992, I’ve been tracking my expenses and income and I can’t tell you how valuable this has been to me. This level of detail has helped me to look at expenses in very refined ways, bringing reflection to my spending behaviors…allowing me to dig deep into what tracking tells me that my eyes and brain would rather NOT look at. Tracking is a way of visual truth telling.

Not only is tracking a way of visual truth telling, our nervous system feels more relaxed and grounded when we track. Why? We feel more in control, regardless of our financial situation. There is something wonderful about looking at “what is,” as a first step in launching ourselves into a new money vision.


1. Connection to your flow

2. Visual truth telling

3. A feeling of grounded-ness and sense of control

4. You will reach your financial goals faster

5. You will spend less b/c your brain can no longer trick your eyes about what they are seeing

6. Easily see where you leak money

7. Evaluate if the expense is worth the time it took to earn the money to purchase it

8. Analyze spending triggers

9. Can make you creatively and legally think about ways to earn more money

10. You owe it to yourself to be empowered and be in charge of your money life…knowing helps you step into your birthright of abundance!


P.S. When I track…because the act of tracking can be boring at times…bring sensory delight to this activity. Light a candle, play your favorite music, have refreshing lemon water at your side, give yourself a non-monetary reward after you track your numbers!

Categories: Practical Tools and Tips | 2 COMMENTS



MM: How would you respond to our reader who asks, “How do I get a loan back from my sister who bought a pedigree dog after I lent her $800?

DH: I’d like to back up a bit. Before any money changes hands, it is the responsibility of the lending sibling to set the payback parameters of the loan amount (just like the bank does). This includes “what the money will be used for,” if that is important.

So, if no boundaries were set up front, no clear communication, this is a set up for “silent expectations,” which can be disastrous when it comes to money and family relationships. Silent expectations pave the path to broken agreements, eroded trust and relationship resentment.

This can be a learning experience for both siblings. They need to talk it out, share how they feel, move forward, and do it differently in the future.

Done right, family loans don’t have to hurt finances or relationships. When boundaries are set and agreements are honored, what can unfold is a “clean” transaction both financially and emotionally!

Categories: Practical Tools and Tips | 0 COMMENTS