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Read on as our finance columnist shares the story of an inspiring mom who changed her life around financially for her kids to live a better life.

Moms are one of the most magically beings on this earth. Let’s be honest, who else knew where your sweater was as a child or how to make you feel better with just a hug? This mom I want to highlight has went through a lot to ensure her two kids and herself were, as I like to say, financially great!

Nahamani Yisrael, grew up with a unique financial background, her grandparents were upper middle class and lived in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Cincinnati, but with her mother she experienced some difficult financial times. Yisrael went to private school, but lived on government assistance. At 18, like most teens, she was eager to leave home and obtained her own apartment. Making the decision to delay college, Yisrael went from job to job trying to make a living herself. In her early 20s, Yisrael had her children. Although she struggled to provide a stable environment for them, her children ended up saving her, because at one point, Yisrael and her children dependent on a local food pantry for food, received government assistance, and even slept in a shelter. She saw the cycle repeating itself from her childhood. She didn’t like it, it sadden her and she decided to do something about it.

She enrolled herself into college, receiving many grants and scholarships because of her academic efforts, but her struggled continued. Going to school, raising children, and maintaining a job is not easy, and there were times Yisrael could not even afford car insurance, her spending habits and lack of resources caught up with her and in the middle of collegiate career, she had to file bankruptcy for all the debt she had acquired from money mismanagement over the years. But she didn’t stop…

“I need this reset”, said Yisrael, “I was going to do it right this time.” From the skills she learned in college in bookkeeping and web designed, she landed on her feet. She peeled back the layers like an onion and got serious about her finances.

No more lavish shopping trips, no more luxury trips, and first things first, obtain car insurance! Yisrael has changed many of her habits, she now pays bills even before they are due and has been conscious of the money she spends on her children and herself. She teaches her children to take care of what they have, instead of quickly going out to buy new things.

Yisrael states, “Life is a lot more peaceful now, I am lot happier, my kids are a lot happier.”  She shared she used to obsess and become severely ill thinking about her financial woes. She now thinks, ‘is that pair of shoes, more important than my peace of mind or my children’s future’. She has readjusted her mindset.

She enjoys the rhythm she is in now. “I am living, I am blessed, and I own four businesses, with two more in my brain”, said Yisrael. She has truly turned her financial situation completely around and definitely moving in the right direction. Kudos to Nahamani Yisrael! Check out her various business at nahamani.org

Women like Nahamani are why I do what I do. It is my mission to introduce financial literacy to individuals who have not been exposed to basic concepts of personal finances. I strive to inspire people to live financially healthier lives. We all know financial success is not determined by income, because how many multi-millionaires have filed bankruptcy. I made it my business to solve people’s misconceptions about their money and if I can give people the told they need to successfully navigate their finances, then I have lived a life with living.

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Our finance columnist has five fab saving ideas to jumpstart your summertime vacation fund!

 

If you have not thought about where your family will go this summer for vacation, I know you have not thought about how you were going to pay for it either. There are so many fun and creative ways to save for vacation. Many of these techniques can be incorporated into your daily lifestyle and do not cause much thought or effort on your part. I am very aware saving can be a chore, but my goal is to take the chore out of saving and make it fun. Good habits are formed out of consistently and saving is nothing but good habit, if you treat it like a bill, you will always have a saving. Let’s get into these tips!

To ensure I give strategies for everyone, I will include both manual and automatic techniques, as well as some cash based strategies. Here are my top creative saving strategies:

#1 The 5 Dollar Bill Challenge
If you use cash more than a debit or credit card, please search the house for a large jar or even an empty cereal box. As you spend cash, hold onto you 5 dollar bills and placed them into you storage container of choice.

#2 Qapital
Qapital is a mobile app that allows you to set a goal, such as a ‘trip to Colorado’. You set the cost of the goal and then Qapital automatically takes money from your checking account and holds it within an account. Once you reach your goal, you can withdraw the funds to your checking account and use them towards your goal. Don’t worry, the mobile app will never overdraw your bank account.

#3 The Word of the Week Challenge
This is a hit with families. Pick a common word, it has to be so common that you forget to avoid the word in every day conversations. Whoever in the family uses the word has to put a dollar in the storage container of choice. Watch your words because it will cost you.

#4 The Bad Habit Challenge
We all have a bad habit that we want to get rid of, right? Well, pick that habit and every time you correct it, put a dollar into a jar. For instance, if you find yourself biting your nails and then you stop, you owe yourself a dollar.

#5 Clarity
Clarity combines budgeting and automatic saving! It is a mobile app that links to your debit card and tracks your transactions. It also analyzes your transactions and anything that appears to be a subscription, it will cancel them for you. Additionally, you can categorize by merchant and determined how much you have spent over the course of a month. It may help to see what you are spending money on so that can make cut backs, if necessary.

I believe combining some mix of automatic and manual saving challenge will be beneficial to any budget and goal, whether it is vacation or a new pair of shoes. Saving can be as fun as you make it. If you have a negative attitude towards it, it will drain all your energy. However, if you have a positive attitude, it will become easier to do. I love saving, it makes me feel good for the future of my family, it makes me not worry about those ‘life happens’ moments, it makes me feel free. What are some fun and creative ways you save money?

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Our finance columnist offers up six fun and frugal ideas to keep the family active and adventurous this summer.

It is almost that time of year, where the kiddos will be home more often because school is out. The weather will be beautiful, and you will need creative ideas to make sure the kids do not waste their summer in front of the television playing video games and talking on the phone. It can be challenging to keep children engaged, while maintaining your sanity at the same time. Because let’s be real, do kids play outside anymore? I am sure there are kids that play outside but the media just wants us to believe all kids are wasting their lives away in front of the television, tablets, and cell phones, right?. While I love technology and understand the need to be tech savvy in this world, we have to feed our creative and engage with others in person.

Moms and Dads, I have picked my top fun and frugal activities to do with the children in Cincinnati this summer to break up the day from all that television and tablet watching.

Fun activities for Cincinnati and surrounding areas:

1. Pure Beauty Bar Cincinnati is hosting a Pure Beauty Camp. The camp is designed to help young girls, ages 13 to 18, embrace their own pure beauty. Fun activities such as a sleepover, vision board, health & fitness, hair/skin care, etiquette, anti-bullying, and financial fun (with yours truly).

2. Smale Riverfront Park is located in the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati is filled with many attractions such as Carol Ann’s Carousel, oversized swings, rock climbing canyon, twin racing slides, water jets, and so much more!

3. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has an awesome summer reading program entitled Summer Adventure. As a participant, your child would receive an awesome Adventure Kit which includes a Summer Adventure passport, a free book, and a voucher for a free view level ticket to a Cincinnati Reds game. Each week has a theme and weekly prizes are given based on the themes.

4. The Kenwood, Mariemont, and Esquire Theatres are letting the kiddos enjoy free movies on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Additionally, several communities such as Anderson Township and Deerfield Township offer ‘Movies in the Park” on select days during the summer.

5. S&S Western Bowl, Heid Bowling Lanes, and Colerain Bowl offer a Kids Bowl Free program.

6. Parkey’s Playbarn, located at Parky’s Farm in Winton Woods, has an indoor, farm themed accessible playground and admission is $2.50 per child.

In the summer, the outdoors are a great way to get your kids moving and away from the television. It can be hard nowadays to keep the kiddos entertained but your local cities, parks, libraries, and neighborhoods are here to help you out. Do a little research if your neighborhood was not mentioned above, Google is a great resource to find inexpensive activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Summer activities for the kiddos should not break the bank. The key to remember is expensive does not equal more fun. I have heard of tons of parents who state their kids have more fun with the cardboard box, then with the millions of toys they have in their room. Summer is almost here, so do some research and have some fun with the children this year.

Stay frugal my friends!

 

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It’s difficult but necessary. Our financial expert shares tips on communicating about finances with your significant other.

 

Whether you are married, engaged, or thinking about the possibility of getting serious with someone, a talk about money should be had sooner rather than later.

Money is a tricky, uncomfortable thing that can break a couple at any stage in life. It does not matter if there is a lot of money or a little bit of money, if it is not managed properly it can be detrimental to a relationship.

In my business, I counsel a lot of couples around increasing their income, paying off their debt, and day-to-day money management. More than not, it is clear not all couples have had an open, honest conversation about their finances. As a result, I want to share some tips to help people at any stage in their relationship navigate a financial talk without feeling embarrassed or awkward.

First make sure it just you and your significant other in a peaceful, relaxed setting.

1. Discuss one another’s financial goals.

It is important to know where you and your significant other want to go financially, especially as it relates to lifestyle goals. This is a great conversation starter and will identify current income and debt levels. Couples should understand how their personal finances will now affect their significant other’s finances. It is best to get on the same footing with a solid financial vision and goals to achieve that vision. The two of you have to be financially great together and the only way to do so is by ironing at all the details when it comes to incomes, businesses, homes, and investments.

2. Determine your significant other’s strengths and opportunities.

Knowing if your significant other is a saver or a spender is HUGE. It will help the two of you determine who is responsible for ensuring bills are paid consistently and on time. Obviously savers and spenders budget differently as well, it will take some work to help the spender stay on track. Just as it might be a challenge to get the saver to spend money. Know how to encourage your partner to be their best selves.

3. To have joint accounts or not, that is the question?

This is absolutely the decision of each couple. There is not one right or wrong answer here. Some couples have their own separate checking accounts and then a joint account for family saving and household bill payments. While other couples have joint checking and saving accounts, all the money goes to one place and they both share a debit or credit card. Still there are other couples that do not have joint accounts at all, one partner is responsible for making all the household payments and each person saves in their own saving accounts. You have to find a balance that works for you and your significant other because finances are like relationships, one size does not fit all.

4. Protect your spouse against the loss of your income.

Your significant other will eventually come to depend on your income to manage the household. It is invaluable to protect against such a loss or disability. Finding the right insurance is imperative. Talk to a trusted professional because your job benefits may not be enough or may not be available upon termination or retirement.

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Wish you could get yourself on a budget, but don’t know where to start? Our financial expert shares the three steps for getting started and sticking to it.

 

Budgeting, believe it or not, is the cornerstone to a healthy financial life. I’ve found that most individual either don’t have a budget, don’t know what a budget is, or don’t like the word budget.

But let’s talk about budgeting. When I say budget, I don’t mean restrictions from all the fun of being a vivant adult. I mean knowing when to say yes and when to say no. More thing everything I want you to enjoy the fruits of your labor BUT I want you to be financially GREAT as well.

Essentially, all a budget demonstrates is that you are only willing to spend a certain amount for a specific item or service. It’s all about tracking your income and expenses, while making sure your expenses don’t win.

I want to share three steps for starting your budget.

Tip #1 Determine your monthly fixed income and expenses.

This is self-explanatory. For instance, if you receive a salary, your direct deposit or pay stub should reflect the same amount. Usually, fixed expenses include rent, cable, car note, and car insurance, etc. After all fixed items have been determined, consider your variable costs such as groceries, gasoline, electric, and water because these change based on use. You could use more or less in any given month. This same concept applies to income.

Tip #2 Review your last month’s credit card and debit card statements to understand where you are spending your money.

Note, this helps when determining variable income and expenses, as well. Limits can be set here. Key statements such as “I am not spending more than $100 on gas a month.” “I am not spending more than “$150 at the grocery store.” Additionally, your bank statements tell you if you are spending a lot on fast food, nightclubs, clothing, etc.

Tip #3 Always budget with a goal or vision in mind.

Nothing is more pointless than saving money just to save money because as an adult you are told to do so. How many of us do what we are told to do all the time? Budget or save with a goal in mind. You may not have an emergency fund and want to save $1000 initially. That will be your driving force or your motivating factor. Better yet, you may want to buy a house next year and need a down payment of $3,000. Your budget will show you where you can cutback or if additional income needs to be obtained to meet your goal. Remember a cutback now is not a cutback forever. You can add back your discretionary (wants not needs) once your goal has been obtained.

Budgeting is all about planning. Ever heard the saying, “Proper, Prior, Planning, Prevents Piss Poor Performance – the 7 Ps? You cannot expect to just drop into a better financial situation, you have to put in the work to do so. Just like you plan a trip or night out, you have to plan your financial life for changes to occur. A budget is simply a guide to help you achieve your overall financial goals. So ask yourself, do you want to be in the same financial situation you are a year from now or 5 years from now?

For more tips on budgeting, check out my eBook Vision. Future Reality: How To Budget Like A Boss, it is available on Amazon Kindle, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble Nook.

 

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Our finance guru has four tips that will help entrepreneurs manage their budget and get the most for their money.

 

Entrepreneurship is hard enough, by itself. The struggle is real when it comes to balancing a personal and business life. But let’s be honest, nothing is harder to most business owners as managing the finances of their business.

If personal finances are not your expertise, then managing business finances is going to be just as challenging. However, there is no need to panic because you have me. As an entrepreneur, I am here to deliver my best tips and tricks to navigate the hard road of entrepreneurship, in the financial aspect.

When you first begin your entrepreneurship journey, funds may be limited anyway, so the need for a budget is not initially present. Whether you have money to start with or not, being an entrepreneur is all about being resourceful. Certainly, there are things that we just need to spend the money on, and then there will be things you can get for free or cheap.

Here are my top tips for deciding if you should spend or save your money:

Tip # 1 Open a separate business checking account and business savings account.

It is super important to separate personal and business spending. For two reasons, you could get in big trouble by the IRS for co-mingling funds. Additionally, it makes it super easy doing tax time to determine income and expenses. Being self-employed has some additional implications; therefore, it always helpful to seek the advice of a tax professional. Additionally, it is important to save in business so you can re-invest it back into your business.

Tip #2 Remember, just because it costs a lot, doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for your business.

I know entrepreneurs who have wasted thousands of dollars (money you do not really have) on expensive services or products thinking it would jumpstart their business. You do not have to have the latest and greatest equipment to run your business. For instance, I needed a new laptop because my old one was big, slow, and old. My first instinct was to run out to Best Buy to buy a brand new computer. However, those new computers are expensive and I did not quite have the revenue to spend $700+ on a laptop. Instead, I looked into refurbished laptops. I realized my goal was to conduct business more efficiently. I needed the computer to have Wi-Fi, process faster, and have Microsoft Office. That’s it and that’s all. I saved over $600 doing so.

Tip #3 Seek out mentors in your related industry.

While others may feel that others in their industry are competition, this isn’t true. Talk to others about their biggest challenges, what has worked best for them, how are they are marketing themselves. Please note I did not say copy anything that anyone is doing in your industry. While the internet is important for research, talking to people is just as important. For example, when I was learning marketing for my business, I talked to a social media strategist and learned all the free or cheap resources I could use until I could afford brand management.

Tip #4 Bartering services is a great way to save money.

Connecting with other entrepreneurs is a great way to obtain the services you need, while exposing your business to other people. Both business owners benefit because you need them and they need you. After work is completed, you have a new client that can speak to your work, which could lead to additional leads and partners. Remember, it still needs to be your best work because although this person is not paying you, your reputation and credibility is on the line.

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Studies show that women are much less likely to negotiate for a higher pay. Read on for conversation tips that’ll help you increase your income.

Salary and raise negotiations are one of the most uncomfortable situations for most people, especially women. Although women are highly educated, running Fortune 500 companies, and taking major control of their lives, certain women are still resistant to directly asking for what they want. A study was performed stating only 12 percent of women negotiate their salaries, while 50 percent of men negotiate their salaries. Crazy, right? I sat down with Business Coach and Career Strategist, Louisa Shepherd, to get the inside scoop on negotiating salaries and raises for women. I summarized our conversation and provided all the best kept secrets.

For negotiating salaries here are the key takeaways:

  1. The best time to negotiate a salary is when you are first offered the position. It is when you have the most leverage over your employer.
  2. Go in strong and firm with your negotiation, but don’t be pushy or bossy.
  3. Never accept your first offer, ask for some time to review and meditate.
  4. Don’t feel nervous because employers are expecting you to negotiation.
  5. If the employer is not able to budge on your salary expectations, try for additional benefits such as moving expenses, working from home, flexible hours, or additional vacation time.

For raise negotiating here are the key takeaways:

  1. Before you communicate you want a raise, set your work goals. Once you have achieved your goals, outline your accomplishments, as well the value you added to the company by achieving those goals.
  2. Research how your company awards raises, as well as your value in the market. Glassdoor.com is a great website for such research.
  3. After you have you facts in order, present your case.
  4. Approach your boss strategically right after a good performance review.
  5. Put your offer on the table and allow your boss to speak.
  6. Expect some pushback, but don’t feel the need to immediately justify or continue to reiterate your value.
  7. Don’t get an attitude or backtrack
  8. Be firm and confident in your ask.

Suggestions for both salary or raise negotiation:

  1. Your deal breaker should be the higher number of your range (ie. If the range is $60,000 –  $70,000, your ‘ask’ should be $70,000)
  2. High ball your ‘ask’ because the employer will most likely give you a little less.
  3. Frame your talk as a collaborative conversation. Instead of making the conversation about how the increase will benefit you, find ways to demonstrate how this increase is advantageous to both parties. For instance, Louisa says you can explain that confidence, decisiveness and strong negotiation skills are qualities that will be advantageous to the company.
  4. Practice! If you are nervous try practicing or role playing your negotiation with a trusted colleague, friend or partner. This will help lessen nerves and anxiety.

As a financial strategist, I am always talking about ways to increase your income and if entrepreneurship is not your forte, a salary or raise is a great way to gain more income. There is no time like the present to ask for what you want in the workplace. Companies are changing with the times. Companies are more accepting of flexible work schedules, working from home, more vacation time, and more pay. If you are at a company that does not value you or your contributions, trust me, there is another company that does. If you are working at your 8 to 5, it should definitely help you achieve you financial goals; therefore, ASK FOR THE MONEY!

Follow Louisa Shepherd on Medium.com and email her at shepherdlouisa@gmail.com.

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Our financial guru suggests nine local spots where you can have fun on a budget with your girlfriends for night out.

 

I promised my loyal Cincy Chic-ers in my previous article that I would write a captivating piece on fun, frugal activities to do with your girlfriends for a Girls Night Out Adventure. These tips will be great for a weekend gathering or a celebration of the sorts. Cincinnati and its surrounding areas have some of the most awesome spas, restaurants, bars, and fun activities to participate in for an enjoyable night on the town with your favorite gals!

I am the master of finding the best and most exciting things to do for the least amount of money so let’s dive right into my list of awesomeness.

If you and your girls love to paint and drink wine, try Positive Vibe Studio located in Pendleton Art Center Middletown, hosted by the awesome Ryan Combs. You can design any creation, drink all the free wine you like, and enjoy the smells of aromatherapy oil infused paints for only $20. After painting, let your masterpiece dry in the car and walk across to the street to West Central Wine to enjoy a great casual atmosphere and their fully loaded bar. Additionally, their signature meat and cheese tray is delicious.

If you and your girls want to relax, get pampered, or be made pretty, try Pure Beauty Bar Cincinnati located in Pleasant Ridge. Sylvia, the owner, offers both waxing and skin care services for reasonable prices ranging from $18 to $70. Additionally, her awesome staff of highly qualified cosmetologists will cut, blow dry, and style your hair. If you want to change your look even more, she offers hair extensions.

If you and your girls enjoy dining out, try Teller’s of Hyde Park located in Hyde Park. Not only does this place have an awesome happy hour special with both food and drinks starting at $6, it also has tasty dinner options at a reasonable price. Did you know Findlay Market has been hosting some awesome cooking classes from sushi to Thai to cheese? Learning how to make your favorite foods with your girlfriends is awesome. Additionally, The Celestial Steakhouse located in Downtown Cincinnati offers a Lady’s Night every Wednesday!

If you and your girls want to shake a tail feather, try Ivy Lounge located in Downtown Cincinnati offers a Ladies Night every Thursday, which is combined with tons of top-shelf drink specials starting at $3. Great music plus great spirits plus your gals equals fun times.

If you and you girls like working with your hands, try The Candle Lab OTR located in Over-the-Rhine. You can make your own candle from scratch. You pick the size, the scent, the color, and you craft your own candle to make your home smell awesome for around $17.  They have some unusual scents that you will not find anywhere else, as well. This place is a great bonding experience for a group of friends wanting to try something different.

If you and your girls like fitness and getting into shape, try CycleBar located in Norwood. These indoor cycling classes are for the lovers of all things fitness. If the intensive workout is not enough, the insane music selection will get you and your crew pumped for the night.

I hope I have successfully included all activities for the multifaceted woman of 2017. Remember when you are enjoying your night out with your girls, be creative and use your resources. Groupon and Yelp are exciting sources to build an awesome Girls Night Out Adventure from start to finish. I know my girls break away from the normal activities. Don’t be afraid to try something new, there are a ton of interesting things to do and see in Cincinnati and its surrounding areas.

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We tell our girlfriends everything, right? Almost. Our life coach columnist explains the five ways you can leverage friendships to get your finances on track.

Initially, as I began to write this article, I wanted to discuss fun, frugal activities for a girl’s night out! However, more than I want us to come together and have a good time, I want us to come together and support each other through our life experiences. I will write about girl’s night out another time because I have a wealth of information to share there. Today, I want to discuss why more women are not having an honest discussion about money with their girlfriends.

My girlfriends and I are very honest when it comes to money management and investments. We share when we have developed extra streams of income and when we can’t go out to dinner because our money has already been extended. We are not embarrassed by it because it happens to everyone at different points in our life.

We talk about money and use it as a way to grow our money. The conversation is the same as my girlfriends calling me and dishing about a guy or a date, we call each other and say, “I just spent entirely too much money this weekend?” or “I want to do this as an additional stream of income, how can I incorporate it?”

There is so much to learn from your girlfriends if we just open up and share. If your friends don’t know your struggles, you may never get the help or encouragement you need to progress, and you could eventually dig yourself into a greater hole by faking it until you make it with people who truly care about you.

People, in general, are very tight lipped about their personal finances, but you don’t know what you don’t know and there is no shame in that. Information comes in many forms and some of that information is in your closest circles.

I want to share some money talk approaches that have worked.

1. Getting Naked
As a woman, you may have changed a shirt or pants in front of your friends once or twice. Get undressed (not physically but metaphorically) and tell your friends about your money struggles. Your friends won’t know how to help you if they don’t know you need help. Do it over wine.

2. Stop Faking It
In so many areas of our lives, we have to act like we have it all together. We have to be the best mom, the best wife, the best cookie baker, in general, the best caregiver to everyone else. If you can tell your friends about an embarrassing moment, you can certainly tell your friends you can’t go to dinner this week and the real why. We are not made perfectly, so why do we feel the pressure to appear perfect. Repeat after me, “I don’t always have it together, but I do the best I can.” Don’t let society make you think everyone is out here in the world oozing perfection.

3. Open Discussion
We read articles on money, investments, real estate and we think we have no one to discuss these topics with besides a man. Men don’t know everything about money and get it wrong too. According to many studies, more women control the household budget then men do. It is important for a woman to know where the money is coming from, where it is going, how to invest, what is being invested, how to secure the family in the event of an emergency, etc. If you don’t you may be financially hurt in the future. Ask the questions because the only stupid question is an unasked one.

4. Hire A Professional
I said it once, I’ll say it twice. If you invite a stranger into your bikini area, you can invite a stranger into your banking accounts. People instantly feel judged when they talk about the mistakes they made with money. Everyone has made these same mistakes. If they hadn’t the national average credit score wouldn’t have been 640. Just like a doctor that has studied the heart, finance professionals have studied money. Finding the right one is like finding the perfect bikini waxer. The relationship is golden.

5. Have A Money Circle
People would like to keep money and friendships separate just in case something goes bad you won’t lose a friend over money. I’m not saying go into business with your friends but learn from them. If you have a friend that owns a big house, drives a luxury car, and dresses nicely ask her what financial strategies has she taken with her money. Learn from people who are doing what you want to do. Many people fear rejection and awkward situations, but the worst thing you could ever hear is NO, it won’t be the last time you will hear it either. So get over it already. Don’t let fear stop you from acquiring valuable knowledge.

Until next time frugal friends

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Our financial expert explains why it’s important to foster a healthy relationship with your finances, and the five steps to get there.

Money has a way of creeping into the majority of situations we encounter as an adult. Therefore, let’s take a moment to treat our money right, let’s wine and dine it, and show it how much we care. This is not an article to tell you to love money or the things that money buys, more than you love your family or ourselves, but just as we are told to foster a healthy relationship with our husband, we have to foster a healthy relationship with our money.

So many times, we want to break up with money, we don’t want to deal with it. I have asked myself many times, ‘Why DOESN’T money grow on trees?’ and ‘Why can’t I just have whatever I want at whatever price I want it to be?’ We, as consumers, have to understand so much about money as it relates to taxes, interest rates, investing, savings, and spending. We go through highs and lows with money. On one hand it makes us feel really awesome when we have it, and then on the other, we let money make us feel really bad when we don’t have it. Either way, I want us to fall in love with our financial situation, no matter the mountain or valley we are facing.

I would like to share some awesome tips I learned along my money journey to love my finances through it all.

1. What Is For You, Is For You
This is cardinal rule number one. No matter what IT is, if it destined for you, you will have it. There have been times I went into a store and could have easily charged whatever I wanted. However, I knew I couldn’t afford it. The purchase would have only made me happy for about 30 minutes and then I would have kicked myself for doing something so stupid and meaningless. Point is, don’t force something that just isn’t there and that will place you in a compromising situation later.

2. Being Content, But Always Striving For Better
Celebrities live a glamorous lifestyle. They have become famous and can afford some really awesome things, but I realized I am no celebrity, no one on this earth cares if I wear the same outfit twice, no one cares if my tag says Target or Givenchy, and no one cares if my shoes have a red bottom or not. I am content where I am and have learned to stop comparing myself to people and putting unnecessary pressure on myself to have THINGS. I am content right where I am, but I am always striving to accomplish my personal and professional goals more so than I am trying to possess the latest and greatest.

3. Just Because You Have Doesn’t Mean You Have To Spend It
It’s ok to say no. Do things in moderation. So many of my clients tell me they get sidetracked at Target or Sephora and just spend so much money. Boundaries and limitations are the keys to living. Remember, you only have one face; it can only handle one makeup application at a time. Additionally, I am sure the clearance item at Target is not a need because you would have purchased it for regular price if you were in the market to buy it originally.

4. Treat Yourself
If you have done a good deed, accomplished a real goal, and put in some real work, go out and treat yourself good. No this is not an everyday thing nor is this always an expensive item. It could be as simple as a pair of earrings. It does not have to be extravagant. People always think they have to spend hundreds of dollars to treat themselves, which is not true. I love food, so I have treated myself to my favorite lunch restaurant many of times, while only spending $10.

5. Hire A Professional
We, as humans, are created with special strengths and abilities. We all are not blessed with them same strengths; therefore, it is ok if we have to hire professional help with our finances. People are very private with their money, I understand, it is an intimate matter, it is personal. I get it. However, if you are not great with money, you need a teacher. We allow professionals into our lives to cut/color our hair, cut/shape our bikini lines, nails, and toes, fix our iPads and iPhones, etc. But when it comes to money, we hide in a quiet corner and try to figure it out all by ourselves. Why? We struggle in silence for no reason. I have a financial advisor, had one since I was 22 and no matter how smart I am with money, I will never end that relationship.

Whatever your situation, love you finances and they will love you back! I promise. Be good to your money now, so it can be good to you in the future when you really need it.