Archive for the ‘Saving Money’ Category
Black Enterprise magazine has always been a favorite read. I read it from cover to cover. I have always wanted to be featured and eventually I will! OK, back to the subject at hand, Black Enterprise has done a monthly feature for some time that I love. Each month a family is selected showing a financial snapshot and looks at the 10 Wealth For Life Principles. The original wealth principles are bold and next to it is from the Book of B.Free:
1. I Will Live Within My Means – I agree wholeheartedly
2. I Will Maximize My Income Potential Through Education and Training – Again agree
3. I Will Effectively Manage My Budget, Credit, Debt, and Tax Obligations – Don’t manage, get rid of credit and have no tax obligations.
4. I Will Save At Least 10% of My Income – A must.
5. I Will Use Homeownership as a Foundation for Building Wealth – Not necessarily. Owning a home frees up cash to do other things, but in a real estate market that is just beginning to rebound, I hope folks aren’t using their home as an equity builder, not happening!
7. I Will Ensure That My Entire Family Adheres To Sensible Money Management Principles – Devise a spending plan, reduce expenses and teach money management to your kids. I always say if you can’t explain it, then you don’t understand it.
8. I Will Support the Creation and Growth of Minority-Owned Businesses – Also very important; pay it forward in all aspects of your life.
9. I Will Guarantee My Wealth Is Passed On To Future Generations Through Proper Insurance And Estate Planning – Most of us have a long way to go to get to this goal, but it does not have to be. Make an appointment to talk with an advisor, financial coach or attend a seminar to learn. Remember to learn is the grow.
10. I Will Strengthen My Community Through Philanthropy – This means be a giver. A giver of your time, tithes & talent to bless others.
Before I give you some ideas to create additional income or replace your income, here is a suggestion if you are thinking of a career change. Volunteer or work in that field before your career move. For example, if you are thinking of owning a daycare, go work in a daycare. There used to be a show on HGTV called Radical Sabbatical. I LOVED it because persons were allowed to live out their dream for a few weeks. Guests could “test” the waters in a field to determine if that’s really a field of interest.
Here are a few suggestions for the tips to replace your income. Get a traditional second job, but make a vow to yourself to use the earnings for the intended purpose and that purpose only, to pay off debt, save for a vacation. Watch your monies accumulate or see the debt go down to motivate you to continue working towards the end result. Consult your attorney on the possible tax ramifications and withholding questions.
Become a consultant. If you have a full time job, you are probably pretty good at what it. Take that skill set and become a consultant. Be sure your consulting is not a conflict of interest for your employer. Otherwise, go for it.
Offer your services online, like elance and odesk.com, fiverr.com or Craigslist.com
Earn money with a hobby. Do you have a natural ability or talent that people always say you are good at? That hobby or talent can be a viable business. Keep in mind, since there is no minimum age requirement, kids can start businesses too!
Sell things to make extra money. You know the cliché one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. You can sell your junk and the good stuff you no longer use, want or can fit. Americans spend way too much money for storage units. Go through your closets, attics, basements, garages and storage units to find things to sell. Use sites like eBay and craigslist or the local newspaper to advertise your items. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind. By reducing your clutter, you will feel better and make a little extra money.
Be a virtual assistant. Small businesses are always looking for help with administrative tasks, such as bookkeeping, posting ads, and writing articles. Since these jobs can be done online, businesses frequently hire part-time employees to work from home.
Build a blog following. It’s not expensive to start a blog. As long as you are consistent and provide good content, you can build a following. This does take time and work, but it can be done.
When you start generating income, send me an email. I would love to hear from you!
I came to TOASTMASTERS with no preconceived ideas. For many years I have been invited to attend a meeting, but I didn’t think I “needed” to attend, because I was not afraid to speak in front of others and I was already teaching classes. However, I like to quote Oprah Winfrey when she says that things speak to you, first in a whisper, then an audible voice then a smack to the head. That is how I felt about the experience. Over the years several people mentioned the organization that creates leaders and better speakers. The deciding factor was a mentor who told me I can’t go wrong with improving my speaking abilities and I could receive speaking designations. Since that was the smack in the head, I decide to attend my first TOASTMASTERS meeting.
The organization has been around for many years and it’s amazing how many clubs currently exist. There are over 120,000 clubs in 160 countries. There must be some merit to the phenomena. What I have come to love about TOASTMASTERS are the meetings are timely and organized. I don’t like to go places where there is no agenda and it drags on and on from unnecessary input and conversation. Of course, I am the time and money saving guru, so I don’t like waste valuable time. There was an agenda and time allotted for each item. Also, it is a safe and nurturing environment for constructive critiques on how to improve your speeches, as you are evaluated after each speech given. As I attended more meetings, it became a spiritual awakening as topics discussed at the meeting seemed to be exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. For example, I was thinking about re-creating a mission statement for an existing business and the meeting for the evening was about vision statements. How timely! Lastly, the reason I love TOASTMASTERS was the cost versus benefit. The benefit outweighed the money it costs to participate. There are many places to get speaking designations, but a session and/or certification could cost thousands and TOASTMASTERS is a nominal fee every six months. Therefore, I already declared this journey is going to change me from being a good speaker to a great speaker and a great speaker to a phenomenal speaker. Watch out world, here I come, but there is room for you. Why don’t you join and attend a meeting.
It’s not too late to look for a quick getaway without your money getting away. I understand many us may not have the extra money. Fret not, because there are ways for you to plan your next vacation without breaking the bank.
Let’s start with getting there. Checkout: www.hotels.com, www.expedia.com and www.priceline.com. Sign up for email notifications for deals and steals with www.travelzoo.com and www.airwatchdog.com or www.cheapoair.com. Another way to get there is www.megabus.com, which makes your destination just a quick bus ride away.
For further accommodations, consider house swapping or vacation rental swapping, which means you stay at someone’s home and they stay in your home. Sites like www.homebasehols.com and www.exchangehomesoia.com offers properties all over the world.
Check the Visitors & Convention Bureau for the city that you plan to visit for package savings to various activities for one ticket price. A way to see the city of your choice for little money is to check websites like www.fastpitchnetworking.com and www.eventbrite.com, which most are FREE events around town.
Save money on eating out, use your restaurant gift cards and bring your coupons with you. An added bonus is www.gpsmycity.com, which offers information on free self guided walking tours to see the city sites. Pay one fee to visit several museums in one state and the visiting state may be reciprocal, which means you may be able to visit several museums in that city. Happy Travels!
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen, Hebrews 11:11. This isn’t a sermon, although the message is clear. The question is do you want to take hold of the message that is all around us. I attended a Christmas Party at a real estate office and there was a woman who delivered a spoken word titled Look Forward & Move Forward. Her message was clear be hopeful and be proactive. You must look forward (have faith) and get moving (have faith). After the spoken word there was another woman who delivered a message of goal setting. She said you must command what you want and work towards achieving it.
A couple of days later, I attended a movie, “We Bought a Zoo”. It is a true story about faith and restoration. A gentleman bought a property that happened to be a former zoo while he was trying to get through a great loss of losing his wife. Others thought he was crazy, but most people with faith are thought to be crazy. Remember they can’t see what you see (refer to the first sentence). The movie shows his struggles and restoration of the zoo and his family. So, my message to you is clear – KEEP THE FAITH. Now take the message and act on your faith – DO SOMETHING!
It’s Your Girl B.FREE, saving you time and money! When I feel the need to tell you about a great idea, concept or savings, then I have to tell the world. This is my latest discovery. What if I tell you can you can make the most of clothes that you already have? What if you could get 3 complete outfits for less than the cost of one outfit? Let me save you time and money in your own closet. You want to know how? I’m glad you asked!
I love to mix and match fashions, styles, colors and patterns and when I see someone that does the same, I am intrigued. I noticed someone at my church that did the same. I liked how she mixed styles and accessories. I found out that she is the founder of Cafe Fashion and she offers closet consultations. A closet consultation will cure you from standing in your closet and not finding anything to wear. Instead of facing the same problem each season, including the holiday season, think of this solution. Allow a style consultant determine your taste, review your style and help you see the potential with your existing wardrobe.
Because the holiday season is quickly approaching, let me offer you some savings. Use what you already have and still look like a million bucks. If you contact Cafe Fashion for a closet consultation, you will 1-hour to go through your clothes closet and leave you with 3 complete outfits AND receive a 50% discount. Contact Cafe Fashion at email@example.com with any questions and to make an appointment and don’t forget to mention me, B.FREE – the girl that saves you money. Those in the Atlanta area directly benefit from the offering. However I don’t want to rule out those that live elsewhere with an expandable spending plan. Cafe Fashion can come to you wherever you are. Although you won’t be disappointed, that will cost you a little more! . Otherwise, enjoy the savings!
Tis the season, I mean the cold and flu season! Once the weather changes, it seems the colds start. Is it a rite of passage for the fall to begin? When I feel under the weather (maybe that cliche means, I was under summer weather and not rate, I prefer a holistic approach to colds. I know that doctors have their place and are a warranted, talented, hard working individuals; however, I go when all else fails.
I was beginning to feel the remnants of a cold. I began drinking herbal tea with my concoction of honey, lemon, ginger, garlic or any combination thereof. On the next day, I felt the virus, bug, cold was escalating and I was going down fast. I had to do something. Well, I came across a tonic some time ago and vowed that I would try it, if needed. That time had come and decided to try my hand at this tonic. The recipe made 2 gallons. Well, unless I’m curing elephants, I don’t need quite that much. I opted for a 16 oz bottle. The ingredients include five equal parts of: garlic, white onions, pepper (any kind), horseradish root, ginger root. I placed my 1/4 cup of the above and added to a 16oz apple cider vinegar. My instructions said to wait 10-14 days before consuming. I didn’t have the time, as I was sick at the time I made it and shot a you tube video!
Was it terrible? Of course, it was, awful to be exact, but it worked. I slept for 9 hours which is quite unusual for me and I felt 90% better and I was on my way to recovery. Whew, I discovered another use for apple cider vinegar.
Try it and let me know how it works for you!
It’s official! I am a professional blogger, because I am attending my first blogging conference. After the conference, I’m sure I will be able to look back at my previous posts and see what I could have improved on or perhaps realize what I have been doing right all along (a girl can hope)!
I have always used my website as a journal. It is a place where I chronicle my thoughts. Like a journal, it is good to look back and read older posts and see how I have grown. I encourage you do the same and make time for yourself. Invest in yourself, make your thoughts important enough to journal, to note, to blog, to reflect, to be grateful. A journal is different things to different people, but one thing it is for everyone is therapy.
I encouraged my daughter in her early teenage years to journal. I told her to commit to journal on your worst day and your best day. Write it down! When you go back and read the worst day, you realize life wasn’t so bad after all and on your best day, you can be grateful all over again. It is great to realize that whatever you were stressing over at that time seems pretty small on the current day. I’m encouraging you to do the same and journal. You will surprised how therapeutic the process can be. Plus, you didn’t have to lie down on the sofa, tell me your deepest darkest secrets and pay me $150 per hour. I’m so sweet! I know, I know. Sidebar: I don’t journaling is only for ladies. Males that journal are called writers. So, to my men write it down and to my ladies journal it!
This post comes from an article from a special edition Forbes magazine. The front cover reads “The 10 Steps to Make Your Kid a Millionaire”. Aside from having parents like Will & Jada Smith, there are steps that parents can take to make this a reality. Plus if you have done a good job financially, you want financially responsible children.
1. Don’t overeducate. I know I have already lost some people on this first one. Securing a college degree is a must; however there is some merit to looking at a major that pays well AND know that you will like that type of work BEFORE committing to paying more money.
2. Find a cheap Bachelor Degree. There are thousands of colleges to choose from and if you can write a blank check, then pick any Ivy League, historically black college or non-state funded university. If not, then pick a good school that is state funded or work for a company that will pay for it. It’s an unfair advantage to start your work life with thousands of dollars in student loans.
3. Fund a Roth. You are never too young to start saving and the amount of time a teenager would have in a ROTH means a minimal amount they must contribute over time and still have a sizeable amount of money.
4. Shun credit card debt. Repeat after me, “Credit card debt is bad”. There is no advantage to credit card debt, period, and the end. Short and sweet.
5. Shop for a 529 college. It is a college savings plan and each state has one. They aren’t all good. Some have high fee and no tax deduction, so check out your state. One good thing is the college savings plan can be transferred to another child.
6. Give away grandpa’s IRA. Passing money to the next generation allows an account to compound tax-deferred for many more years.
7. Start them young. Developing good saving habits are taught, not learned in high school or college.
8. Give Stock. If you own stock, you can sell for the benefit of income to your child. Giving your child stock could mean a down payment for a home and possibly tax deferred.
9. Put your kids in a house. What a great way to start an adult life than with no mortgage and encourage savings per month for the next property investment.
10. Hire your offspring. It’s great to hire children. There is a tax benefit, cheap labor, and a great way to build work ethic.
I hope you are inspired by the suggestions and implement in you and your children’s lives.
I AM COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS B.FREE, real estate broker, business owner and actively involved in the community. I give practical advice on saving time and money. However, it is not clearly about saving time and money; it’s about having financial empowerment. We understand the spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual well being is important; however, equally important is your financial well being. Having “money in the bank” gives you options. The option to take advantage of a good deal, because cash is king, the opportunity to invest in a business without added pressure, the option to choose a charity and give solely because you want to. I WANT to invoke empowerment in the financial lives of individuals and small businesses, creating wealth one action at a time.
Individuals and small businesses can take advantage of workshops like, How to Save Money in your Household/ Business, Making the Most of Your Money, Working Smarter Not Harder with Your Money, Be a Better Saver. Workshops and group forums are for kids, teens and adults alike. I AM AVAILABLE for speaking engagements. Call me for your next group, workshop, and seminar or radio appearance.