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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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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.

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Dig in as our financial expert explains how to make healthy eating affordable on any budget.

Healthy habits can seem to be expensive, but so can management of chronic health issues. Just like finances, we can choose to save now or save later. As food prices continue to rise, we are challenged to find additional ways to meet our health goals. Thus, it only seems natural, for the start of the year, to share these six tips on how to save you money and prevent you from falling short on your ‘new you’ goal. As I am a ‘financial expert’ and not a ‘health expert, I sat down with Kevin Brunacini, APRN to gather his insights about healthy eating.

Plan Your Meals
When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, planning is essential. Select a day each week to plan your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list of what you need. For less creative people like myself, I have found it extremely helpful utilizing both the Kroger Main Dish recipes and Tasty Recipes online cooking channel (Facebook).

Stick to Your Grocery List
Once a plan of attack is established, stick to it! We have all been there; it is far too easy to get sidetracked at the grocery store. It tends to lead to unnecessary and expensive purchases. It’s also often why it is suggested not to go hungry.

Cook at Home
While eating out can be cost effective, ultimately cooking at home is cheaper and additionally it offers you the chance of repurposing some as leftovers, which gives you more meals to plan. Don’t know how to cook? No problem. There are free or low cost cooking classes all around Cincinnati, just do a little research. Recently, I attended a free cooking class at the Life Learning Center in Covington, KY. Do the Math The larger container is usually – but not always – the best deal. Read shelf tags to see which option has the lowest cost per ounce or pound.

Limit Buying Junk
Food It’d be impractical to state no more junk food, ever. I bet you would be surprised to see how much you may be paying for soda, fast-food, cookies, pies, and even pre-made meals. It is important to remain cognizant of our spending habits and health for the success of our families.

Prescription drugs, doctor’s visits, and health insurance can certainly add up, but just like our financial planning, we can PLAN our eating habits to support a healthier lifestyle. With health conscious trends on the rise, there is not a shortage of better eating options. Let’s make this the time we protect our health and wealth, simultaneously.

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Want to get your finances on track this year? Learn about one local firm with programs that help you reach your financial goals while sticking to reality.

Founder Mackey McNeill with Mackey Advisors staff lined up for the ribbon cutting (photo by Kelley Leyte Photography)

Mackey Advisors has been in Cincinnati since 1982, when it was first started as a traditional financial services firm. Mackey Advisors eventually grew to become one of the largest women-owned businesses in Greater Cincinnati.

But tragedy struck in 1995, when someone close to Mackey McNeill committed suicide.

“Following this, she looked at her life and realized she wasn’t living her passion,” says Mackey Advisors Operations & Communications Director Sarah Grace Mohr. “She wanted to help people craft their futures in an impactful, positive way. Her ultimate goal is to create a more prosperous world one person at a time.”

For several years McNeill spent time selling off large pieces of her business. She also spent time learning from the best in her field and studying brain science, human emotions, and the impact prosperity has on the brain.

“All of this culminated in writing the award-winning book titled, ‘The Intersection of Joy & Money,’” says Mohr. “The principles and practices laid out in her book fueled the reinvention of her business and the development of our holistic, one-of-a-kind life-by-design process, The Prosperity Experience.”

Today, Mackey Advisors works with individuals, couples, families, and small business owners to create prosperous lives and prosperous businesses, it’s also one of the largest women-owned businesses in Greater Cincinnati.

“We hope people define their future vision, develop a plan to go get it, and support them all along the way,” says Mohr.

What helps Mackey Advisors stand out is that it’s people helping people. “We come together with our clients as equals,” says Mohr. “We may be the experts in finance, but our clients are experts on their lives passions, and goals, which are even more important.”

Sarah Grace Mohr, Operations and Communications Director at Mackey Advisors

At Mackey Advisors, they believe that money is just half of the picture when it comes to financial services. Mohr says the end goal isn’t just a number, but rather a state of being. “It has many names: prosperity, joy, and peace of mind,” she says.

There are two flagship services available from Mackey Advisors: The Prosperity Experience and The Prosperity Experience for Small Businesses.

“The Prosperity Experience for Individuals is a life-by-design process that combines personal passions, values, and wants with financial realities,” explains Mohr. “Clients are supported by our technically talented Prosperity Coaches as they set their vision, craft their plans, and create the lives they want.”

There’s also The Prosperity Experience for Small Businesses, which, according to Mohr, is a business-by-design process that allows small business owners and their leadership to work with Mackey’s Prosperity Coaches to set future goals, strengthen business structure, implement strategic measurements, and increase team accountability to create the businesses they have always envisioned.

There’s a lot on the horizon for Mackey Advisors in 2017. “For the last few years we have been develop iProsper, a life-by-design process for young professionals, and it will finally be ready for launch in 2017,” she says.

The team is also working to create one-of-a-kind workshops to help people set goals, increase financial literacy, and help people build prosperous lives.

To learn more about Mackey Advisors, visit www.mackeyadvisors.com, where you can also check out their blog. You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter. Mohr says to feel free to stop by the offices located at 601 Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, Kentucky.

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Keep reading as our financial expert provides insight on how to revitalize your finances in the New Year.

It is officially 2017, Cincy Chicers! Whether it is a New Year’s resolution, adult-ing goals, or New Me New Year, it does not matter, I am sure there are new techniques, lessons, or habits we want learn within the New Year.

‘Tis the season to revamp, renew, and revitalize our finances and money mindsets. The expensive holiday season is finally over and now we return to our regularly scheduled programming. Let’s enjoy starting the year off with a zest for overall wellness, as it relates to health and, of course, wealth.

I want this to be your best year, financially; therefore I want to equip you some tips to put the “umph” back into your finances after the holidays. Without a doubt, November through March is the time people think about money the most, so here are my key tips for revamping your finances:

Take a deep breath.

First things first, take inventory of your outstanding debt commitments. Renew your action plan to erase debt significantly, to ultimately eliminate the nickel-and-diming of monthly payments. My clients have found success arranging their debt amounts from highest to lowest. Then, attacking their lowest amount with large payments, while paying the minimum balances on the other debts, until paid off. Lastly, rinse and repeat until all debts are paid off.

Revamp your current budget.

My previous article was about establishing a vision to jumpstart your financial journey. Your vision to your financial journey is like gas to your car. Review your spending habits, your expenses, and your income. I never want to you to stop being who you are, but I do want you to live within your means. I understand kids, husbands, friends, and family can make that challenging at times, but let’s plan for those unexpected commitments. Start with establishing how much money should be spent every week within your household.

Change your money mindset.

Money or the things money buys has caused many emotions both good and bad. How you think about money affects your relationship with money. Money is just a tool, not an end all be all of any situation. If you want to generate more income, start a side hustle this year. I have so many side hustles, it is ridiculous. Whether you make sweaters, candles, cook, design, whatever it may be, start getting paid to do so. You do not have to turn it into a business, or even become an entrepreneur, but use the funds to accomplish some of your financial goals. Additionally, you could even use the money to invest into a mutual fund!

Revitalize your health in all aspects.

Healthy people make better decisions when it comes to their financial matters. Eat better, get up and get out, read more books, and laugh more. When we are healthy and well, we can focus more on investing in experiences and memories with our friends and family.

Every year is your year, so I will not end with the cliché that 2017 is YOUR year, but we are one year older, one year wiser, and it is certainly time to live the life you want to live. Everything you need to be great is already inside of you; you just need to bring it out. I challenge you to be a better YOU today because your greatness depends on it! And if you are already as great as you want to be, then congratulations you have arrived at a place in life that most people dream of being.

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