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Download our free e-book to learn about how you can find your purpose and make an impact!



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Subscribe to Simply Great Lives’ blog for useful information on:

  • time, money and personal energy management
  • how to determine your calling
  • how to be great at living your calling


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John and Rena are helping people find and live their calling. Good finances are an important part of making a difference in the world.

If you want to find your purpose in life and make an impact in the world, check out Simply Great Lives!


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John and Rena Portrait_reducedIf you’ve liked Steam Engine Financial Coaching,

you’ll love Simply Great Lives!

John and Rena are helping people find and live their calling. Personal money management plays an important role. It’s money management for a purpose: to make a difference in the world.

Want to find your purpose and make an impact? Sign up for Simply Great Lives blog.

If you liked Steam Engine Financial Coaching, you’ll love Simply Great Lives!

glogo_250x250John and Rena are helping people find their purpose in life and make an impact in the world. Good personal money management is an important part of being able to make a significant difference.

At Simply Great Lives, you’ll find useful information on:

  • time, energy and money management
  • how to determine your calling
  • how to be great at living your calling

From John’s and Rena’s hearts:

Thank you for having followed our blog at Steam Engine Financial Coaching. We hope you’ll consider following our blog again at Simply Great Lives.

We believe you have a calling and there are people who will be missing out in a big way if you don’t find it and live it!

The New Thing

Hello everyone,

We’d like to announce our new web site: Simply Great Lives

We have always had a passion for helping people do amazing things to make a difference in the world. We got into financial coaching because we wanted people to get to a place where they could contribute thousands of dollars each month to making the world a better place.

Not long after we started Steam Engine Financial Coaching it felt like people experienced a bit of a “bait and switch” from us. People wanted out of their bad financial situation, and we wanted them to dream big.

So, we’ve started Simply Great Lives to put the “dream big and live your calling” message right out there in front. We will still talk about money, but more as a means to an end rather than an end in itself.

If you would like to continue to follow us, you can subscribe to our email list at If you do, you’ll get a free guide to live your calling beyond a career. You know we won’t be pushy about selling stuff. That’s not the way we roll. You will see occasional offers and announcements (like the release of our new book anticipated in the fall).

If email isn’t your thing, you can follow Simply Great Lives on the following social media networks: Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook. Or you can just follow Rena (@RenaBonesio) or I (@JohnBonesio) on twitter.

Check out our first blog post on

You have a calling. Really. You do.

Some people believe a calling only comes directly from God as an assignment. Other folks believe only professional ministers have a calling. In everyday life, we’ll even use phrases like, “You’ve found your calling,” or “this is definitely not my calling.” But what exactly do we mean by “calling”?

We believe there is a kind of calling that is for everyone. Let’s start by looking at a few types of employment to better understand this kind of calling.


A job is where you work for money. This should seem rather intuitive. Many of us have jobs. We work and we get paid for that work.

When we have a job, you’ll hear us say things like:

  • TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday)
  • Oh God, it’s Monday
  • Today is Hump Day (Wednesday)

If we live our whole life this way, … [ More ]

Something Exciting is Coming

Secret's OutYou may have noticed that we have stopped blogging, and you may be wondering what’s going on. Well, we don’t want to keep you in the dark any longer.

We’re really excited about a new focus in our business. We are taking some time to pull together some new products and services, including new a book. All this means that there will be some big changes with a new name and a new look. You folks will be the first to hear about it, so stay tuned.

We will continue to offer financial coaching, so please contact us if you need encouragement, support, and well, a bit of pushing. Our heart has always been for you, and that isn’t changing.

Abundant blessings,

- John & Rena Bonesio

Boundaries and Money

Just-Right BoundariesWe’ve been covering various aspects of boundaries and how it affects our money and relationships. This time I’d like to talk directly about boundaries with our money. We need to have good boundaries in our relationship with money.

We can have unhealthy boundaries with our money. Money can become too important to us. Or money can be used assuage guilt. We can be holding onto it too tightly or too loosely. We have to learn to have appropriate boundaries with our money so that it has its proper place in our lives.

Too Rigid

When we have boundaries that are too rigid, money has too high a place in our lives. Perhaps we have an all consuming focus on money. We watch the stock market several times an hour. We place all our security in our money, and we spend most of effort trying to acquire more.

When we live like this, we don’t have money. Instead money has us.

Too Loose

When we have boundaries that are too loose, money becomes a tool to remove guilt. When we live this way, we believe that it’s selfish to have money or that we’re being disobedient if we have money. So, we give money as often as we can, and many times, more often than we should.

Whenever a need arises, we’re there giving away our money. We’ll even give away our rent or mortgage money just because someone else expressed a need.

One of the problems with this is that we never know when we’ve given enough. How much is enough to satisfy our guilt? If our house is foreclosed on because we gave when we didn’t really have the money, is this enough? You see, the guilt never goes away by giving more.

In the process we hurt ourselves and our ability to be generous with money in the future.

Just Right

Having boundaries that are just right means that we think of money as a tool. We are aware that we can fall into a pattern of greed and selfishness if we’re not careful. And we are aware that we need to care for our own needs before we care for the needs of others.

Keep in mind that most of us already have way more than we need. Owning a flatscreen TV isn’t a need – it’s a want. So waiting to get that flatscreen for a few months because we’re giving to a good cause is very reasonable.

Here are a couple tips for getting boundaries with your money in that just-right zone:

1. Give money regularly

It’s so easy to get upside-down on our boundaries with money. One of the ways to avoid this is be generous. When we give money, we loosen our grip on money, and it loosens it’s grip on us.

2. Prioritize spending

Many times we see people spending with backwards priorities. They’ll pay thousands on the credit card bills while their house is being foreclosed on. Instead make sure you take care of necessities first. Necessities are: food, shelter, clothing, and transportation.

With your shelter, pay your utility bills such as electricity, water, trash service. For some of us this includes internet. But this does not include cable or satellite TV. For transportation, we need to get from here to there. This might mean we’ve got a good pair of sneakers and bus money.

Take care of yourself first before you give to other needs. Otherwise, you’re just trading one charity case for another.

Now it’s your turn. What’s the best way to give?

Merry Christmas


At this season of celebration Rena and I would like to wish all our fans and followers:

Merry Christmas

Money and Boundaries with Oneself

This topic may seem a bit odd, but people often have extremely loose boundaries with themselves. So many promises that people make to themselves end up broken. “I’m going to give up smoking for my New Year’s resolution.” “I’ll get back on my diet after I splurge a little for the holidays.” “I’ll start jogging again on Monday.”

Unfortunately, when someone has broken many self-promises, deep down, he or she won’t really believe it’ll happen anyway. The promises become meaningless and produce fewer and fewer results. But it is possible to change this destructive pattern by examining and shoring up boundaries with oneself.

In order to have healthy boundaries with oneself, a person must have self-integrity. The word “integrity” comes from the same root word for “integer” and “integrate.” It indicates a wholeness; no separation or division. Bringing one’s behavior into alignment with one’s intentions is a key element of self-integrity. Melding intentions and behavior around money is a great place to start.

Unhealthy Self-Boundaries
When a person is lacking self-integrity regarding their money, they are not maintaining healthy boundaries with his or her own self. Self-boundaries that are too loose could include, for example:

  • not saving up for things they claim are important
  • not creating a plan for their money
  • not following a spending plan if they have one
  • neglecting to not check in on spending, savings and other financial matters

In contrast, having healthy self-boundaries would mean establishing clear limits and staying within those limits. Also, the person’s spending would be a clear reflection of his or her values—that’s self-integrity.

Establishing Healthy Self-Boundaries
If you find that you are needing to strengthen your own boundaries with yourself, here are some suggestions:

  • Make goals and plans for your money that are realistic and clear.
  • Make commitments with yourself carefully and thoughtfully and take yourself seriously.
  • Start simply with commitments you are certain you can fulfill. It helps to get some “wins” right away as you rebuild your trust in yourself.
  • If you will be unable to follow your plan, change the plan. For example, if something you needed to buy cost more than you’d budgeted, don’t just throw out the whole budget. As soon as possible, change your plan, i.e. reduce spending in another area to compensate for the overspending.
  • Set up some accountability with someone you trust. This accountability can be very helpful for single people because they don’t share accountability with a spouse.

Rebuilding trust with yourself takes time. You will rebuild it, little by little, every time you do what you told yourself you’d do. It’s wonderful to feel in control of yourself and your choices. It is a feeling of strength, confidence and peace.

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