If conventional financial advice hasn't helped your ability to increase income, delete debt or stick to a budget, you may want to explore these six unorthodox methods to cure your budget blues. All have drawn criticism from skeptics, but if mainstream personal finance methods have been ineffective, keep your mind open to these money cures, which range from alternative to out there.
Michael Ellner, a medical hypnotist in Manhattan, says that people with financial problems often experience stress that interrupts sound decision-making: "They get into a negative thought pattern loop." To break it, he first talks with clients about what is bothering them, then employs hypnotic techniques such as blinking and opening and closing hands while visualizing their predicament in a new light.
After a session (which typically runs about $150), many hypnotists have clients write what they experienced and what they want to believe to reinforce fresh ways of thinking. For example, says Ellner, hypnotism can cause a compulsive spender to view their experience differently, and "the shopping stops because it now feels unnecessary."
2. Energy kinesiology What's preventing you from charging smartly or beginning a job search? Debra Greene says energy kinesiology can get to the root of the matter. Greene, based on the Hawaiian island of Maui, is the author of the book, "Endless Energy: The Essential Guide to Energy Health."
"I use an effective 'belief detector' method that gets to the core of the issue quickly and easily," she says. "That, coupled with powerful energy-based tools of transformation, clears the way for significant improvement -- often in just one session." Appointments often last two hours and cost $150.
She first tunes into your energy system, then pinpoints where you're stuck. "I do a clearing process to make sure your system is energetically balanced," says Greene. She then clears out the limiting beliefs and employs energy-balancing techniques that may include specific colors, sounds, fragrant oils and symbols. "Then we go back and recheck all limiting beliefs, and you choose what you want instead."
According to Greene, energy kinesiology is important because "all of the credit advice on the planet can't help someone who has a self-sabotaging belief structure."
3. Law of Attraction The basic premise of laws of attraction: Positive thought brings positive results, while negative thoughts bring negative results. The theory is easily applied to finances, says Zia Holte, a certified Law of Attraction facilitator from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
In one-hour sessions (three for $150), she helps clients attract, rather than repel, plenitude.
To try on your own, consider Holte's summary of Law of Attraction tips for money:
- Give the most attention and focus to what you do want. Remove "don't," "not" and "no" from your vocabulary.Therefore, "I don't want to be in debt" becomes "I want financial freedom."
- Take time to be deeply grateful for each and every thing you do have. Nothing is too small. This puts you in a place of abundance, which is perfect for attracting more of the same.
- Look for evidence of where things match your desire -- finding something, coming across an article or show, someone winning the lottery. Notice its similarity to your own desire, and celebrate that you've attracted that piece to you. This will help you allow more of what you desire to come into your life.
4. Sleep therapy Can you snooze away money troubles? Perhaps. Katie Hawn is a Lambertville, N.J., chiropractor specializing in craniosacral therapy, and author of "Magic Nights."
"It is about programming your mind to work for you while you sleep," says Hawn. "What you are thinking about just before sleep is what your brain will work on during the night. Tell it what you want it to do."
You needn't pay for appointments, says Hawn, just apply the methods she outlines in her book. For at least a few nights, set your intention before going to bed -- your magic night shift. That will be the atmosphere on your "boat." The boat itself is a metaphor for your journey, so you can envision any type of boat you want -- from a yacht to a pirate ship. Keep in mind, though, that it will be taking you out into the depths of the universe, so it's got to be seaworthy. "Say you want to be healthy, wealthy and wise," says Hawn. "Then invite your crew. Make it the best financial advisers!" When your boat returns to the dock (waking), reflect on the wisdom your crew provided.
Sleep therapy can jerk you out of the poverty-conscious "I'm running out of money" mindset, assures Hawn.
5. Astrology The answers to your financial questions may be written in the stars, says Ally Mead, an intuitive healer from Los Angeles. "Astrology gives me a very specific map of a person's patterns. By looking at the second house of a person's birth chart (this represents someone's resources, money, value system and earning power) and their eighth house (sex, death, transformation and other people's money, or debt), I can immediately see all their 'stuff' about money."
"This is like being given a super-informed decision-making tool," says Mead. With it, better financial actions follow.
She charges $150 per hour-long appointment, and half of her clients need just one. Mead cites a deeply indebted man she helped. Via her astrological guidance, "he cut up all his credit cards and made a little ritual out of getting rid of them."
6. Psychic medium "The role a psychic can play in a variety of financial decisions is vast," says William Constantine, a psychic medium in Tampa, Fla.. For instance, he explains, a psychic can help you avoid making catastrophic monitory decisions, and a psychic medium might help with estate recovery, such as locating missing jewelry, wills and hidden property.
"I get the information psychically, but I enhance it by helping my client be able to overcome their financial difficulty by working with the Universal Laws [again, the law of attraction] and shifting their perception about money," says Constantine.
Before employing a psychic, Constantine says, "Ask if you can record the session. If they say 'no,' run."
Also dash if you're answering more questions than you are getting answers to, or they say you're cursed and need to pay an additional fee to remove the curse. Constantine charges $350 for a 60-minute session, but notes that prices vary tremendously.
As for efficacy, Constantine points to a client on the verge of a financial breakdown as evidence: "I offered him advice on avenues to pursue, and he has since closed several multimillion dollar deals and is back in the game!"
Skeptical? You ought to be. These methods are not for everyone and quackery certainly exists. However, even the more out-there strategies can be filed under "hey, whatever works" -- if in fact it does.