Want to French Kiss Your Money?


 Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

–Henry David Thoreau

A reader recently asked, “How does the French Kiss Life-style apply to money?”  I thought this was such a fabulous question, and one that I don’t talk about often. Honestly, I’d rather talk about life, love and Paris.

It’s not that I’m opposed to the conversation, but I think the more fascinating conversation is, “How do you use your money to create a well-lived life?”  Just make money?  Not that interesting to me.

Yet, money is a huge part of our lives, and it’s also an excuse that many use to keep themselves stuck.

You can tell a lot about a person when you bring up the topic of money.  Some people squirm. Others start to brag.  Some hang their head in shame.  Others celebrate.

I’ve done them all.  What I’ve learned is that having money does not make you a great human being.  And, not having it does not make you horrible.  I also don’t buy into that whole, “If you don’t have money, you don’t value yourself.” I have friends who make very little and they value themselves and life immensely.  They just choose to live very differently.  I know of others who have a ton, and they are miserable and insecure.

At the end of the day, our relationship with money is an intimate and individual discovery.

Just like my eating, I’ve had so much dysfunction with money.  The parallels are fascinating, to say the least.

It’s taken a lot of mindfulness and work, but I’m finding happy place with money (just like I found my happy weight).

I realized how far I’ve come during a recent meeting with my accountant.

We were going through receipts and expenses from the year.

“Tonya, I thought I’d see a lot more clothes and makeup charges,” he said jokingly.

I’ll admit, there was a small part of me that wanted to punch him in the face, as his comment seemed a bit chauvinistic.  But, I simply said, “I guess you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover” and carried on with business.

I am SO much savvier with my money than even two years ago (This was one of the blessings of divorce. I really stepped up my money mindset).

 Here’s how I’ve learned to French Kiss Money:  

 1.  What are your money beliefs?  I’ll never forget visiting the Monte Carlo casino where money flows faster than the bartender can pour your glass of Champagne.  I was ah-mazed! Even shocked.

I was lucky enough to get into the back room where minimum $10,000 bets were being placed.  One of the men shouted out, “I love money.”  He happened to win that poker round to the sound of $100,000.

To a girl who grew up in a trailer, this was as miraculous as watching Moses part the Red Sea.  How could it be that people felt so relaxed around money?

Now, I’m not a gambler, unless I’m betting on myself, but what I’ve learned from people with money is that they have very different beliefs around the paper bill.  It’s a game, an energy and is always available.

You may be thinking, “Yeah, but that’s easy to say when you have money.” And, I hear you, because I used to be one of those people. However, you are attracting what you believe.  So, what do you believe about money?

 2.  Love your money. I used to neglect, abuse and ignore my money (just like I treated my body).  I’d cram it into my purse, all wadded up.  I’d lose $20 and $100 bills.  I’d ignore my bank account for months and bounce checks.

All of this lack of respect was because I was afraid of money.

When I thought about how I treat things I love — treasure, mindfulness and attention — I began to shift that same mindset towards my money.

Now, I’m proud to say that my dollar bills have a beautiful wallet and are meticulously placed. And, I have a weekly money date where I give extreme gratitude for what I’ve been blessed with and strategically think about where I want my money to flow.

3.  Invest in what you value.  If you value adventure, and you only spend money on home renovations, you’re probably bored out of our mind.

 If you value security, and you’re blowing money online shopping, you’re probably feeling a lot of fear.

 My top values in life are:  inspiration, beauty and connection, which is why I’ve invested in coaching (inspiration).  It’s why I invest in a monthly facial, candles and fresh flowers (beauty).  It’s why I went to Telluride this weekend with girlfriends (connection). And, it’s why I’ll book a plane ticket in a skinny minute to go Paris (all three of my values here, because it’s full of beauty, always inspires me, and it’s the place I go to connect with myself.).

 4.  Invest in Quality.  I’ve wasted so much money with a quantity mindset.  That “hey, it’s on sale, so let me buy four” kind of thinking.  This could be you if you have clothes hanging in your closet with the tags still on or huge containers of bulk coffee in the cabinet (I used to be Costco girl, so I’ve got your number;).

 One of the big shifts that happened after spending time in France is the concept of buying quality over quantity.

 It’s why I finally got up the nerve to invest in a designer handbag versus stuffing my closet with ones that fall apart within a year.  My first quality handbag has been with me for eight years, and I’ll probably pass it down to my daughter.

 It’s why I invest in good coffee, soaps and candles, among other things.  The quality they bring to my life is better than buying excess of the cheaper stuff.

For me, less stuff = more room to live.

 5. Invest in Your Future.  Some experts recommend saving 10% of your earnings.  Others will say 20%.  It all depends on your goals and timeline.  However, do put something away, even it it’s $20 a month.

 It creates peace of mind and feels good to stash some cash, and French Kissing Life is all about feeling true to yourself and abundant.

 If you don’t know where to start, check out Betterment.com.* I’ve been using this service for two years. It’s great for investors that want ease and efficiency.

6.  Invest in Yourself.  Your mind, body and spirit are valuable commodities, especially when you invest in cultivating them.

I have spent enough in education and experiences aimed at supporting my growth as a human being that I could have probably paid cash for a Ferrari.  Thank God, I’m not a car person or that revelation could have made me sick.

Seriously though, I would not be the woman I am today had I not believed in myself enough to trust the returns would be worth it.  And, they have been ten-fold.

7. Invest in Others.  My parents taught me that when I’m blessed, it’s my duty to bless another.  I witnessed my parents tithe 10% of their earnings every week to their church, even when they were struggling to pay the electric bill.

 They’ve also always been provided for and continue to thrive in their retirement years.

 I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my life.

One of the greatest ways to create an abundant mindset is by giving to others, to see yourself as a channel where money flows and is used in beautiful ways.

 That’s why I spoil my clients with gifts, buy the homeless man a cup of coffee and give to my favorite charity.  I don’t want to be hoarder of money but a sharer of prosperity.

8.  BE abundant.  I started practicing being abundant long before my bank account reflected it.  When you are being an abundant woman, you feel incredible, and guess what happens when you’ve got that kind of moxy?  You become a magnet for so much more goodness to flow to you.   As I say, “A happy woman is a magnet for her desires.”

When I’m feeling any type of money fear, I create what I call My Rich List. I write down all the ways that I am SO rich in my life.

I have great health. I have so many wonderful friends. I had a fabulous dinner. I have a home with a gorgeous view of the La Plata mountains. I have a fabulous wardrobe. I have parents who love me.  I have the most adoring partner. I have a fierce daughter. 

Before you know it, I’m feeling like the richest girl in the world, because truthfully, I am (and, so are you if you pay attention!).

 When it comes to money, here’s what I’ve learned:

 When you love your money, your money loves you back. (tweet it).  

When you invest in your heart’s desires and commit, miracles happen. (tweet it)  

When you invest in quality, you elevate your life. (tweet it)

When you invest in your future, you create peace of mind. (tweet it)

When you invest in you, you’re investing in the most valuable commodity you have. (tweet it)

When you invest in others, you’re sharing your blessings. (tweet it)

When you feel abundant, good things flow to you. (tweet it)

So, that should get you started on French Kissing Your Money!

And, let me just tell you: there’s no better feeling than knowing that you can create a beautiful relationship with money!

So, which of the above steps are you going to focus on this week?

I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Here are a couple articles that you may also enjoy:

How to Live a Luxurious Life on a Not-So-Luxurious Budget

Frenchie Friday: How to Live in Luxury

With an Abundant Heart,


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*This is an affiliate link. I only promote products and services that I have tried and found to make my life more beautiful, productive or inspired.

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Be a Bon Vivant & spread the Joie de Vivre!
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34 Responses to Want to French Kiss Your Money?

  1. I struggle with the quality portion of my money. I hear all the time (and this is something I want to live with!) to buy quality over quantity – but the issue is, I don’t know what quality translates to in goods. I know that Jimmy Choo and DVF and La Perla are great quality items, but they are not something that I can afford. I know they’re not the only ones out there, and I know there must be something the average person can take advantage of, but I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what great fabric is, or what to look for with well-made items; I can look at something at the store and inspect it, fabric feels great, seams seem strong, buttons in good alignment, price is rather up there, and all that. After a couple of wears though, it loses shape and color and starts to pill, and I have to toss it. What brands are good quality?

    • Heather, this is such a great question.

      I have wasted so much money on buying things that don’t last AND I also know that feeling of not being in a position of investing in Jimmy Choo and Chanel.

      So, here are my thoughts: I love to invest in basic pieces (great pair of jeans, basic black dress, a blazer and a pant.) With these pieces, I can throw less expensive pieces with it.

      I don’t pay $100 for a t-shirt, for example. I go to Target for those.

      I love the brands: Vince, Rag & Bone, DVF, Theory and Helmut Lang for my basics. YEs, they cost more money, but I have those pieces for years. When I break it down to how much it costs me per wear, I find that it’s actually a great value.

      I hope this helps!



      • I have that problem too. For example I bought some expensive bras and they fell apart and I bought some cheap ones and I LOVE them and am still using them! I find it sooo hard to distinguish something that is TRULY good quality from something that will fall apart soon, from experience I can see that a high price doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is high quality. Currently trying to find a good quality handbag but I don’t like leather. Dunno how to find a good quality handbag that will last for years but isn’t leather………

    • I used to do this too. I’m not up to Jimmy Choo status yet but have just decided to take the next best step I can afford. For instance, instead of shopping at Target try Kohl’s. Instead of Kohl’s try Macy’s, etc.. Just move up one step without hurting your budget. Since I’ve been doing this I’ve been self-taught in the quality department. Eventually you will know the brands and what works for you 🙂

  2. This was the exact post that I needed today! I’ve been working on French Kissing Life and money is one of those topics which has always been difficult for me; however, I am embracing it and am starting to spend it only on things that I love or absolutely need so that I can have a better future.

      • I love your question, Tonya. That question has helped me sooo much when I shop now. I’d often buy something because it was handy and practical and it was on sale, and I’d say, oh I’d better stock up because I’ll never know when I will need this thing. And when I need it, it won’t be on sale and it will be too expensive for me to buy. But later on I have that thing hanging around the house and since I don’t like it, I never use it anyways. Now (when I remember haha – thanks for reminding me Tonya!) before I buy something I ask myself, do I really LOVE it? And if I don’t LOVE it I don’t buy it. It has really helped. And the things I passed up on, I don’t even remember them a few hours later. And I certainly don’t miss them.

  3. Loved this post – and all of them. I was hoping you’d post today, I always get so much out of them. The last item Be Abundant is what I’m going to focus on today. I’m not really sure what that means. It kind of encompasses all the other 7 items. Is there a difference? Would love to read you expound on abundance. Thank you too for sharing these posts. I couldn’t commit to Slim, Chic and Savvy yet — but reading these posts is certainly getting me ready to take the leap!!

    • Diane, thank you! I absolutely love writing for this community.

      BEing abundant is definitely a mindset. I’ve made a note in my editorial calendar to expand on this topic, because it’s truly the secret sauce of living a luxurious life.

      For now, I’d encourage you to journal everyday with your own RICH list. This is such an energy shifter for me, because it’s too easy to get caught up in what you don’t have and neglect all of the things you’ve been blessed with.



    • Teia, hey lady! Thank you for that!

      So, I’d encourage you to pick one of the suggestions and focus on it this week. Let me know how ti goes!

  4. What another amazing post. I totally agree with everything you said. It was amazing when I leaned to let go of drama around money and realize that I am living an abundant everything shifted. Thank you for reminding me.

  5. What a great post. I have struggled with money “issues’ most of my life and I look forward to embracing these new thoughts and strategies. This was exactly what I need to hear this morning.

    • Jennifer, I can relate, and please know deep down that you can create a more beautiful relationship with money. All that old programming was probably handed to you as a kid, and it doesn’t have to be your truth.

      Sending you love and abundance.

  6. Thanks so much Tonya for a very timely and insightful post. Isn’t it just wonderful how synchonicty is at play. This message couldn’t have come at a better time for me.
    The quality over quantity is a big one as I contemplate a purchase of a furniture item.
    All of this resonates with me. I will be reading this article again an writing my abundance list!
    Thanks from here is Australia!

  7. I really really really wanted this post, Tonya. Thank you!!!!!! You have so many suggestions, it will take me weeks to put them into action haha. Mmmhh, loving money, I often read that you should love money if you want more of it, but it does bring to my mind a picture of Scrooge sitting alone in his dark house cackling and counting his money and exclaiming how much he loves it with an evil look on his face……. And yes I need to invest more in my heart’s desires, I always think I’ll do that when I’ve paid the electricity bill, because I don’t know if there is enough money in the bank account to cover the bill (I don’t live in a country where the electricity company gives you a grace period if you can’t pay the bill, here if you don’t pay it by the due date, there are no lawyers, no lawsuits, you just wake up the next day and there is no electricity in your house). Well maybe it’s a giant leap for me to actually start LOVING money, but maybe I’ll try and RESPECT it, for starters, rather than hiding from it haha…….

  8. And I dunno, I realize that mindset must be very important when it comes to making money. But I think it’s also SOOO important to take practical steps to make money. I read all the time about LOA proponents and they make you feel like all you have to do is sit on the sofa and chant 1000 times a day, I’m a millionaire, and you will become a millionaire. But in my experience if you don’t DO anything to earn money, you’re not ever going to become a millionaire no matter what LOA proponents say. Also (because I’m always so thorough) I’ve been looking at all my friends and acquaintances and what they do for a living and without exception, the amount of income that they have ALWAYS depends on what they do for a living. My acquaintances who are doctors, lawyers or engineers ALWAYS earn more money than my friends who are cleaning ladies, waitresses or unemployed. It doesn’t matter what their mindset is. I even know a lawyer who is a great person but he is very pessimistic, but he STILL earns more money than the most positive of my waitress friends. So I really am sceptical that earning money has anything to do with mindset, in spite of what supporters of The Secret might say. What I think IS related to mindset is how you enjoy (or don’t enjoy) the money that you DO have. But I don’t think it influences much in how much money you actually EARN. Also, I think a very positive person living in a poor country like Haití will probably never earn the same amount of money as a very plaintive person living in the US does (unless he moves to the US). And even though people might say that some people have lots of money but are miserable, the fact is, if you have more money, you can do more things. You can go on trips. You can buy more nutritious food (or food at all). You can pay the rent and have electricity and water in your home.

    • Serena, I appreciate your opinion, and I understand why you feel the way you do. However, I have to disagree. I grew up poor, and had I not changed my mindset around money, I would probably still be struggling.

      What I learned is that as my mindset changed, so did my choices, which opened up more opportunities.

      I am always coaching women to look for possibility, not focus on the problem, because the latter will keep a person stuck.

      I also know of many examples of cleaning ladies who have turned their craft into successful companies. There are contractors making a fortune. Some waitresses have started their own restaurants.

      However, one point you make that I absolutely agree on is that you must show up and engage in life in order to make yourself available to opportunities.

      And, for the Scrooge metaphor, you could as easily think about Bill Gates who gives away millions. Money is nothing more than what a person projects onto it. And, for some, out of fear and lack, they hoard money. Others share their blessings.

      And, when I think about loving your money, I think about respect, attention, care, not the greediness that some people associate with it.

      I hope this helps!



      • Thank you so much, Tonya. Yes it does! Mmmhh I’d never thought about Bill Gates, I’d only ever heard bad things about him (like that he is greedy and miserly and things like that). False negative beliefs I guess planted into my head by the ambience I tend to move around in. I’d never questioned what people told me. Yes I think it’s a matter of deliberately replacing the images I have in my head of negative examples of rich people for positive examples. For example once someone told me about how a poor beggar walked several miles to visit Rockefeller (because he didn’t have money for the bus) to ask Rockefeller for a dime. Rockefeller slammed the door in his face telling him, you haven’t done anything to earn that dime so I’m not giving you a dime. I mean, how mean, low and cruel can you get? So you have these sorts of images of rich people in your mind all the time. But I can replace them with images of people who are well-off AND very good people too – like YOU, Tonya, haha! (You are such an inspiration.) One thing I’d like to ask you, if you don’t mind. You said you’d grown up in a world where makeup and jewellery were forbidden. So how did you reach the point where you can feel good about using makeup and jewellery? How did you get over feeling guilty every time you put on lipstick or a necklace? That is what I battle all the time, feeling guilty (not about makeup or jewellery but other, similar things). Not just feeling a little teentsy twinge of guilt but full-out, paralyzing guilt, when I do just normal things, like try to make money. I need to go to a Banish Guilt bootcamp!

  9. Serena, one of my favorite things as a child was to count and sort coins !
    I have been gradually improving our financial situation since I left work to raise my boys. Living pay to pay never sat well with me (unlike my husband) but I am slowly and surely holding on to all those dollars that seemed to slip through my fingers and put them somewhere safe.
    I am so glad that you are open about this subject Tonya, to me, money is a tool and we all use it differently – why not learn to use it in the French Kiss way?
    P.S great wineries in Australia – you are always welcome ! x

  10. Nic, saving coins, that’s a pretty neat idea haha! Thank you! Yes I do have tons of coins in my purse. I think I’m going to write a book about Toxic Guilt. Whenever something is plaguing me and I can’t find the answers to these questions anywhere, I figure I’m probably not the only person who must be asking these questions and not being able to find the answers. If I’m asking these questions, other people must be too, and like me, they can’t find the answers anywhere. So then I write a book about it haha. Which also forces me to dig around to find the answers. So maybe that’ll be the next book project for me……….

  11. My issue with money is when we have it, I spend it. Sometimes it is on stuff we need, but other times, it is frivolous stuff that we do not need. I am working on it. My other issue is even when we have it budgeted to spend some for ourselves, I feel guilty that I’m not using it to pay down bills, buy groceries, etc. I have come to the conclusion that I would rather pay more money (especially for shoes or handbags) and have quality over quantity.

    • Harmony, I would suggest you investigate your thoughts around having money. Because our thoughts drive our actions, if you can find the thought that’s causing you to spend your money, you’ll better understand why you do it. And, if you don’t like your actions, you must first change your beliefs or you’ll keep recreating the same thing over and over again.

      As for quality, I am with you!

  12. Great post Tonya, as always! To me, money is a tool, like a screwdriver or a shoe horn or pair of pliers. Money is a great tool and it will fix a good number of problems, but just like a hammer or a screwdriver or a shoe horn, money can only solve the problems that money can solve. The trick is knowing which problems it will fix, and which it won’t. Wealth on the other hand, is an abundance of tangible and intangible assets. It can include money and other tangible assets, but it can also include intangible assets like health, beauty, intelligence, energy, friendships, a great marriage, a large happy family, education, happiness and a feeling of abundance. It is possible to be extremely wealthy, and have less obvious tangible assets. The ideal situation I suppose, is to create wealth across as many categories as possible. 🙂 xo, N.

  13. I grew up, and married into, poverty consciousness. But that’s not who I am. So I tell myself I may be temporarily broke, or I may currently lack sufficient income to meet all my needs at the moment, but I’m not “poor.” People who brag about their incessant poverty may get handouts from others and tell themselves they deserve those freebies, but that’s a poor substitute for authentic self-worth. In addition, “poor” people don’t build hospitals or libraries or support the arts. I use my paltry 10% charity money to feed the hungry, lonely feral cats in the neighborhood, and when I have more, I give more (to additional charity projects.) I also find ways to feed my soul that are free or very inexpensive. So, mindset is extremely important when it comes to money–regardless of how much money you do or don’t have, you can be poor or rich. It’s up to you.

  14. Loral, thanks for sharing your experience. At the end of the day, we experience our thinking about money. I know people with millions in the bank who are full of fear and worry. Equally, I know people with $100 in their savings who feel extremely abundant and peaceful.

    It’s true: change your thinking; change your life!

    Money doesn’t always equate to feeling abundant.

  15. For me money is such a scary topic. I am barely 20 years old and a medstudent. I am not financially independent and feel like a burden for my parents. I want to be as smart as possible with my money. I am scared to get a student loan out of fear of not being able to pay it further down the line. Is it a risk worth taking? It does clearly fall into the “personal investment” category.

    PS. I have so many other questions that are not related to this particular post.

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