|on January 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm||filed under Empowered Awareness, Featured Posts, Living Your Dreams|
Melissa Tosetti, author, speaker and teacher, is on the verge of going global in a big way. After eight years, her online financial-smarts lifestyle magazine The Savvy Life is gaining a huge following in places like China, the Philippines and France. Tosetti also has her sights set on leading financial savvy lifestyle seminars across the U.S. It turns out that her timing is perfect, even though that was never part of some ego-driven grand plan.
Tosetti’s road to living the savvy life all started more organically in her twenties when she was trying to figure her own life out. On weekends and weeknights she felt restless. “I kept telling them (her husband and friend Kevin Gibbons, who is now her co-author) that I’m supposed to be doing something. It went on for years. The minute that I got the idea for the online magazine, that feeling disappeared. I knew I was doing what I was supposed to be doing” she states.
According to Tosetti, who has appeared on the Fine Living Network and has been quoted in national publications like U.S. News & Report, she feels she was destined to teach financial information for people who are struggling to make ends meet, as well as six figure income people who are spending every penny. Her passion is “to show Americans how to step off the pendulum that swings from overspending to extreme frugality,” so that they can enjoy financial balance and security.
When I ask Tosetti why she is the perfect person to communicate this particular message, she responds that it comes both from her heart and her own life experience. “I believe I’m the right person to work with people to create a foundation and help them make friends with money again. It’s like dieting, we’ve lost touch. People experience lots of guilt around money or have no guilt around it at all because they spend so freely,” she says. Her work – coaching, online magazine, and best-selling book Living the Savvy Life: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Smart Spending Rich Living — is about creating some guidelines so anyone can spend with an open heart.
Tosetti reports that she first had the savvy life idea in 1997 in her late twenties, but didn’t have the confidence or resources to do anything with it. So she continued working in high tech public relations. Then when lays off in the high tech industry finally got to her, she resolved that it was the perfect time to act. So she used severance to start her company.
In 2004 The Savvy Life magazine started as a quarterly publication geared toward women who didn’t have a lot of income, and focused on helping consumers finding things cheaply. Tosetti says that at the time she did not have clear vision, a clear goal. She just jumped in with both feet. “I’m grateful that I did, because if I had taken too much time looking at it, I probably would have never started.”
Because the information and approach in her book is highly strategic, Tosetti admits that there was a disconnect between the advice she offers and who she was as business person eight years ago. “To live the savvy life you have to start somewhere and be willing to let things happen and unfold. It involves lots of self-discovery,” she states. “As I’ve evolved, the business has evolved.”
In 2006 she began The Savvy Life online magazine that now gets updated five days a week and receives 150,000 unique visitors a month. Over the years the focus of the publication has shifted to “smart spending,” regardless of how much money you make.
In discussing some of the socialization and lack of education that results in a culture of disease with money, Tosetti makes several key points:
- We’re trained by media and advertisers to spend on things. “Magazines want you to aspire to consume and have lost touch with the average consumer,” says Melissa. “I started The Savvy Life magazine because I don’t want to wish, I want to attain.”
- We mindlessly consume verses being conscious and aware of our buying habits. We go into Target to buy one thing and end up with a full cart of stuff. We think there’s one item out there that will bring our life together. A client of Tosetti’s remarked that she thought there must be one kitchen item that would magically make her June Cleavor. This kind of “believing” leaves us with clutter rather than the stuff we really want to have.
- We aren’t educated about day-to-day spending. Then we feel out of control and ashamed of our financial reality.
- We aren’t taught to spend on education. Coaching is education. We’re stagnant and we’re dying (mentally, emotionally, spiritually). People need to continue to invest in themselves rather than just things.
- People aren’t doing what they really want to do and aren’t fully appreciating what they already have. When you have to save for something you’re going to appreciate it so much more. And, when you appreciate what you have as you plan for something better, you increase your life satisfaction.
As Tosetti points out, we live in a society in which we aspire to be like lifestyle icons (actors and celebrities, etc.) who don’t have to pay for the expensive clothes they wear, who are paid to attend events and given lots of stuff free. Keeping up with the Jonses (and then some) is bankrupting us – through actions like licensing expensive cars, buying high-end clothes, and trying to live the same lifestyle as a highly paid boss.
As a financial lifestyle coach, Tosetti’s strengths are empathy, positivity, and the ability to clearly see the path from financial issues to goal fulfillment. “Money is so emotional. My attitude is let’s just move forward without beating yourself up.” Tosetti works with people trying to get control of their spending habits and people who want to make sure that they are spending well and that their money is working for them.
Regardless of what category you fall into, there are Three Simple Ways to Start Living the Savvy Life:
1. Sit down and ask yourself what is most important to you. What have you not spent money on that you would like to. What areas can you cut back in that aren’t that important to you. For instance, as she shares in her book, Tosetti and her husband consciously buy used cars instead of new cars so they can travel.
2. Control your spending. This is the non-sexy, essential part of living the savvy life. Track your spending. Knowing where your money is going. Make every dollar be accountable.
3. Pay attention to your attitude. You can put yourself in a downward spiral if you focus on lack — what you don’t have. Appreciate what you have while striving for what you want. Listen to yourself about what you are complaining about (me complaining about the lack of water pressure in our house) and choose to appreciate it instead (I have hot running water whenever I need it!). Having a positive attitude includes having a sense of humor about your situation.
Approach your situation from where you are. As Tosetti explains, “Some people have their eyes open for the first time. They ‘get it’ and are excited to implement.” Those people just run with the advice outlined on the website or in her book. Others get it, but need more time to let it unfold and work for them. These people may need extra help from a coach to get on track.
Melissa Tosetti is offering The Living the Savvy Life online program for $19.95 a month. It offers day-by-day ideas you can implement. To find out more go to http://livingthesavvylife.com/
Melissa Wadsworth is a Certified Dream Coach helping women transition successfully through midlife changes in careers, relationships, self image, and spiritual growth. Melissa is passionate about women bringing their full brilliant selves to light. Be sure to invest in yourself and get clear about what your true dreams are. Sign up for my no cost 11-day video course: How to live the life of your dreams through clarity at www.melissawadsworth.com or contact me to discuss one-to-one coaching.