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Simone Peer, MA, PCC
P.O. Box 477851
Chicago, IL 60647


Dear Simone:
coaching q & a

He who asks
is a fool
for five minutes,
but he who does not ask remains
a fool forever.

-Chinese Proverb

ask and you shall receive...

"Dear Simone" Coaching Q & A Column

How does it work?
, Email or use the submission form below and send your question.

, Come back here to look for the response.

, Or come back and look at what other readers want to know.

Here goes:
Question- Dear Simone,
How do you find true love and a meaningful relationship?
W.G. from Iowa


Well WG,
what I have found is that it starts with me. When I am in the space of looking, I only find more of what I don't have because that is what my attention is focused on--what I don't have. Looking from a place of lack gives off an air of desperation and lack, so I start living as if I do have true love and a meaningful relationship. I take care of myself in ways that make me feel special and cherished.

Have you ever noticed how people in love are very attractive and radiate interest and love. You want to be around them or with them because they not only feel love in their life, but they also exude love. That is attractive! So the question now becomes how do I exude love when I am not in a meaningful relationship, so that I can be in one?

First, you must become whom you want to date. Look at your checklist and see if you are a match. This does not mean that you have to be perfect, beautiful, or thin. It does mean that you have to be someone who loves and cares about yourself, so that others have a reason to want to love and care about you.

Second, fill your time with things and activities that you like and want to do. When you actively cultivate your interests, you become more attractive to others. Your Mr. or Ms. Right should not be expected to bring the excitement into your life. That is a big responsibility, and most people do not want the pressure of ensuring someone else's happiness, especially someone with whom they are just getting involved.

Third, polish your communication skills. The most memorable people are those that listen to us. How well do you listen and then respond appropriately. This does not mean that you have to settle for someone who does not listen to you. It does mean that you are comfortable sharing in others' lives and inviting them to share and participate in yours.

Lastly, love yourself. Get excited about being you, and the world will get excited with you. If you have a hard time loving and enjoying who you are, then you will have a hard time being intimate with someone else. You may want to engage the help of a coach to establish your boundaries and raise your standards, or perhaps a therapist might help you to resolve any issues of low self-worth.

The bottom line is that you have it in you to find true love and a meaningful relationship. The key is to become so attractive it finds you!


Question- Dear Simone,
I need to get a grip on my money. I make a decent salary, but I'm in debt, I am always behind on my bills, and I never have enough to do what I want. Every time I set a budget that I can live on, I can't stick to it. What should I do?
Barely-Getting-By in Chicago

Barely, I think there is more going on than your ability to stick to a budget. Creating a spending plan is one of the steps to getting your finances in order, but it is not the only factor. Track where your money goes, decide how you want to divvy it up, plan ahead, and last, but not least-grow up. That is the basic plan; here's how you implement it.

Keep a spending journal-track every cent you spend (cash, check, credit) for one month. If this is too daunting to begin with, keep a cash journal, but make sure you do all of your spending in cash, except regular bills like rent and utilities. This will show exactly where your money is going. (And don't cheat; if you spend 85 cents on a juice, record it!)

What do you do with this information? Set up a spending plan that evolves as you do. This is different than a budget because it does perpetuate the mindset of denial! Get a notebook or use a computer program like Quicken and mark out four categories: regular expenses, expected irregular expenses, unexpected expenses, and savings.

Regular expenses include things like rent or mortgage, utilities, car payment & insurance (or transportation), credit cards & loans, food, etc., as well as entertainment, dining out and hobbies-this section is important to your sustaining your spending plan. You have to make room for fun; otherwise, you might blow your plan and spend money on fun anyway. The next category, expected-irregular, is for things like license plate renewals, magazine subscriptions, contact/glasses replacement, etc. Then the unexpected is for new brakes, emergency travel, new roof, computer crash, etc. And finally, savings! Yes, you can and should start saving now! Depending on your age and retirement plans, set up a reasonable plan to prepare for the lifestyle you want to support in your later years. The best support you can get is to hire a certified financial planner that you feel serves your best interests. Make two plans: a current reality and an ideal plan-this requires you setting some financial goals for yourself (I suggest 3, 5, 10, and 20 year goals). As you reduce debt, earn more, and shift your spending habits, redistribute where your money will go in your plan.

And now, the growing up part! Get real with your relationship with money. If you don't have deep issues that require therapy, then take a look in the mirror and find out who is in charge of you and your spending. Are you waiting for someone to take care of you? Get over it and accept that you are responsible for yourself. Does spending make you feel good about yourself or add value to you in the eyes of others? Things do not define who you are and spending on people in an attempt to make them like you or indebt them to you are not good reasons to spend money, especially if the spending facilitates financial crises for yourself. Maybe you just don't earn enough; if so, get a second job, advanced training, or someone to share expenses until you get ahead, not just caught up. Are you a chronic over spender? Cut up the credit cards and find low to no-cost activities to fill your time. If this is a situation where you're saying "Oh God will take care of me," then it is time to get real and accept that God works through people-when's the last time a burning bush told you what to do? So take responsibility for where you are and where you want to be, take advantage of opportunities to earn more and spend less, and take time to take care of yourself.

Now, tell me what else you want to know.

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What do you want to ask? Send your "Dear Simone" question here:

Simone Peer, MA, PCC
Certified Life & Evolutionary Coach

P.O. Box 477851; Chicago, Illinois; 60647
office—773.384.LOVE (5683)


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