#MOTIVATIONALMONDAY

Personal Financial Plan Example (Manage Your Money…

Who else wishes they were taught about financial responsbility in school? I wish someone pulled me aside and not only explained to me how important credit is but also how to manage my money. I’m in my mid 20’s and I’m having a lot of anxiety with all of this.

So today, in hopes to lift my spirits and anyone else who may find themselves in a financial black hole, I’d like to share some of my mistakes and lessons.

  1. Establish a savings early. When I was younger, my parents had a small, pink, plastic piggy bank for me. I can’t recall how my parents did it, but I remember putting money in that piggy bank being extremely exciting and fun! I always felt so accomplished and proud every time I put some money in there.
  2. Live within your means. This is what I’ve struggled with most of my adult life. It is indeed easier said than done. When I received my first job, I opened a credit card. To establish credit, I’d use that credit card for lunch, gas, and a few wants BUT I was so good at never spending over $200/$300 every month. Why? That’s because my paychecks during that time were only about $600/$700 and I’d always pay the entire balance off by the end of the month. This helped control my spending knowing that I wouldn’t want to spend my entire paycheck paying off my credit card.
  3. Save a siginificant amount every paycheck. I’d recommend this especially when you first start to work. It’s important to establish this saving habit as early as possible. I had an ex-coworker that said with every paycheck, he’d pay his bills, only pay for the neccessities (gas, groceries, etc), then put whatever is remaining into his savings account right before his next paycheck. I thought that was genius. I haven’t done that yet but that’s a habit I’d love to get into!
  4. Be careful with opening credit cards!! This was a big one for me and a hard lesson to learn. I know it’s tempting with all of the offers we get in the mail, online, etc. Please think about the long-term effects first. Research each credit card offer. The best cards are to get a secured credit card through your bank. This helps you regulate your spending because it’s your own money that you’re using. I wish someone told me to have two credit cards max  and to only spend 20% of your limit. You have to remember credit cards isn’t your money, you’re borrowing it. You don’t want to rack up your credit card bills and bury yourself in debt. Trust me, this can happen in a blink of an eye.
  5. Always be in a ‘I’m saving just because of an emergency’ mindset. I never realized how important it would’ve been for me to start saving as soon as I started working at 18 years old. Imagine the amount of money I would’ve had by now!! I follow a blogger and she recently purchased a home, planned and paid for a wedding, and a honeymoon. She was frequently asked if she and her husband paid for everything themselves and she said yes. She explained when she was younger she was taught to always put money in her savings. It didn’t have to be for a specific reason. I don’t know why reading her response sounded like such an ‘ah-hah!’ moment. Like she was some sort of genius or something. This is something I’m definitely going to teach my childrent young. Not only teach them about but to get them excited about!

I know it’s tempting to just spend, spend, spend. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and we put in countless hours at our jobs. Instead we should change our habits and set ourselves up for greatness and prosperity. Any time I find myself in a tough financial situation, I start to reflect on the countless times I should’ve been more responsible with my money. Financial competence is important and should be priority in planning our futures. So this #motivationalmonday, I want you to think about how can you become better at educating yourself and improving your financial situation. We can do this!

#SELFCARESUNDAY

 

With all the end of the year commotion, projects due and finals to be done, you have to sit down and remember what this Thanksgiving holi

 

Today I am choosing to give thanks. I am thankful for waking up this morning. I am thankful to be able to drive. I am thankful for my mom. I am thankful for my fiancé. I am thankful for my daughter. I am thankful to God for having me here and witness her smile. I am thankful for God’s mercy on my life. I am thankful God didn’t give me what I deserved.

To take a moment and give thanks for all the good in my life is self care. Personally, it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed with the problems in my life. I get anxious. I become stressed and ungrateful. When I get a sense that I’m losing control of what happens in my life, it’s like losing the ground beneath my feet. I start to feel like I’m sinking. Being overly stressed everyday is not healthy. Health starts in the mind. Whenever I find myself in a stressful state, I begin to give thanks. My main objective is to  silence my mind. I like to focus on the good in my life. I want to focus on what makes my life great. I shift my focus on the simple things.

So today I am choosing to #selfcare by being grateful and taking time to give thanks to God for all of the good in my life. I’d love to hear how you’re choosing to enjoy your #selfcaresunday. Share in the comments!

Live with Intention

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When you are not being intentional with your decisions, you don’t think about the consequences some of your actions can have. Unfortunately, some of the consequences can set you back, making it harder to move on. I haven’t been living an intentional life. I didn’t set goals for myself. I was living with no idea of what kind of future I wanted for myself. Reflecting back now, that’s so scary. Imagine where I’d be right now if I set goals for myself. If I was being intentional. I was sitting in the backseat, allowing life to make decisions for me. I had no direction for my life. NO DIRECTION. Growing up I was more interested in people’s goals instead of my own. I didn’t have enough self-love to set goals for myself. It has taken me all of these years to understand it’s important to be intentional with my decisions. I needed to be intentional with my actions. I needed to be intentional with my words. I needed to be intentional with my thoughts.

This evening, I encourage you to be intentional with your decisions. Picture what your future will look like. You should have dreams, have goals, be ambitious! Don’t just be a feather floating in the winds of your life. Imagine yourself as the pilot of your life, have a destination, allow yourself to ride with the wind, but ultimately your goal is to reach that destination. In order to reach that destination, you need to be intentional with every button you press, every turn you take, and every choice you make to keep that plane afloat.

“I’m going to begin to take more doses of the word of God and it’s changing me. I am getting better. I am getting stronger. I am getting fulfilled.”

This Kind of Loving

Is it possible that the best person for you is someone who is the polar opposite of you?

Let’s think about this for a minute. Imagine someone who challenges your ideas constantly, pushes you out of your comfort zone so often that you are forced to think out of your own box. Think about having someone in your life who, unintentionally, gives you a new perspective on life. Just think about that. For those who are too stubborn for their own good, think about how nerve wracking, and annoying to have someone like that in your life could be.

Well, let’s flip this. Let’s try to see this from a more positive light. For those of us who have only seen things from one side. Or those of us who cannot get out of their own minds to see a different perspective. Sometimes we are our own downfalls, holding ourselves back because we are stuck in our own ways. Imagine it being so hard to see past your own ideas, or unable to see how toxic you are to yourself. Then enters this person who challenges everything about you, but in a good way. They challenge you in a way where, if you were only brave enough to let go of your own toxic ways, you’d be able to see how refreshing that person is to your life. Once you learn to let go of your ego, pride, and fears, you’ll be able to appreciate that person’s blessing on your life. In turn, becoming a blessing onto theirs, of course, once you clear your mind of the negativity that’s been holding you back from being this amazing, this beautiful (inside and out), hilarious, this, this wonderfully made person.

For those of us who are afraid of change. Some who are afraid of the unknown. If the things you’ve been dreaming of still have not come to pass. Perhaps it’s important to allow the person, whom you feel in your gut was sent to you, for you, to challenge you and provide you with growth and a perspective outside of your own.

“Lean In” Recap

yes women can

I finished the book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. Here are a few of my takeaways.

  1. Show up and show out.
    • Overall, I believe as women who are ambitious, especially in the workforce, it’s important to show up. Oftentimes women are only seen as emotional and can’t step up when it’s necessary. I think that’s a stigma that might have rang true in the past, but history has shown that during the face of discrimination and doubt, women always prove people wrong. Women should never be discouraged about taking on a higher position or a new position because of choosing to start a family. I know first hand that being a mother and other obstacles in my life, I have stepped down and been afraid to push forward professionally. I wish I had found this book six months ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have stepped down. Now I’m constantly second-guessing myself. “Maybe I could’ve made it work”. I should have believed in myself more. Instead, I let the speedy success of a male counterpart hinder my own success. I allowed being a mother lower my self-confidence in the work place.
  2. Make sure you have a supportive partner.
    • I enjoyed this chapter of the book the most. I struggle with voicing my thoughts with my partner. Mostly because I felt like I couldn’t justify my feelings. I felt like if I said I wanted to take on a new career path but it would put us in a financial hole, then I wouldn’t be doing my part in this relationship. It’s scary. I think women are more willing to step down and be an ‘at home mother’ or ‘at home wife’ because we don’t believe we are worthy of that type of professional success as our male counterparts. Which sounds so devastating to me, because I am one of those women. As a working woman, I didn’t understand how vital it was to have a healthy, supportive partner when wanting to hold a successful high-level position at the workplace. Women need a partner that is willing to step up at home so we can step up at work.
  3. Self-care.
    • I think this goes for both working mothers and non-working mothers. Being an at home mom is a full-time job. So it’s important for us to take care of our health. Tying this back to the book, if we are mentally and physically exhausted, how can we show up to work and put our best foot forward? Having a supportive partner is also important in this self-care. We need to have a partner who is willing to take over caring for the kids while we prepare for an important presentation or meeting. Or a partner to takeover bathing and putting the kids to sleep so we can head straight to bed after a long day at work. As women we always over exert ourselves and think that we don’t deserve to rest because we’re supposed to do it all. But we don’t have to. To give the best versions of ourselves we need to take care of ourselves and allow others to help us when we need it most.
  4. Don’t be afraid.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for the raise. Don’t be afraid to put in for that position. Don’t be afraid to take a seat at the table. The first couple of chapters in the book, Sheryl talks about how women have a tendency to give way to the men at work. Even when well-deserved or even invited, we choose to blend in the background. Sheryl uses a lot of research to back up her points, my favorite one was about how men will apply to a position knowing they don’t have the necessary qualifications. While women may meet more than half of the qualifications but we focus on the 10% of what we don’t have and won’t apply ourselves. How crazy is that?! I am one of those women! Even right now, as I am seeking a new career path, I constantly am telling myself, ‘I’ve never had any experience in that division, why would they hire me?’ I’m constantly thinking that I’d get laughed at for even applying myself. Yet, I know a male counterpart would put in for the position in a heartbeat, WITHOUT thinking about his qualifications. Don’t be afraid! Go for it!
  5. Take Risks.
    • This is my worse enemy. I can attest that I am the very last person on this earth that would take any type of risks. I need to calculate all of the pros and cons. Even then, I probably won’t take that risk. It’s so nerve-racking to me. Yet, I’ll find myself in the same, unsatisfying, underpaid, boring job and think that’s okay. THAT’S NOT OKAY. So yes, take risks. Do your research. Take that leap. Taking that risk might be the best step forward in your career.
  6. Have a mentor.
    • In my women’s in leadership group, they talk about having a mentor at all of our meetings. I have yet to find myself one. Mainly because I have yet put myself out there. I don’t know what I want for myself so I’m afraid of being judged and seen as ‘wish-washy’. I’m very insecure in the professional realm. I’ve never had a mentor in the workplace. I also never aspired to being anything more than an employee on a company’s payroll. I think that’s where my problem started. Sheryl also pointed out how it’s important to allow that mentor-mentee relationship to blossom naturally. If it’s forced, it’s awkward and neither one of you will truly benefit from it.

At the end of the day I am raising a daughter and I grew up in a household where I was limited to the things I could do because I was a female. I grew up resenting my parents for always scolding me for doing things a ‘boy’ did. I want to raise my daughter to dream and not be afraid of placing herself on the same pedestal as her male counterparts. I believe she can do whatever she sets her mind to and I want to pass along that vision. I don’t want her to limit her abilities and to not leave before she leaves.

Uplift Sunday

her voice can change the world

Every single time I come to post on here, I am overwhelmed with the amount of love I receive.

This morning I wanted to come to give some encouragement to the women out there who feel lost and overwhelmed. I’m twenty-seven and I continue to have days w
here I’m confused at what my purpose is. I compare my life and my successes to other women and always feel like I’m coming up short.

I know it isn’t easy being positive all of the time and that’s okay. Allow yourself to feel but get back up and show up. We all have our time and the best way to continue living an authentically happy and fulfilling life is to be flexible and allow all of life’s ups and downs to happen. We are never failing, we are only learning and growing. As women, we may face obstacles that men may never have to but that only helps to make us resilient. We are powerful. We are capable. We are WOMEN.

Finding My Voice

Hello.

It’s me again. I know, yet another few months away from my blog. During all of this time away, I’ve been doing some soul searching. Just about a month ago there was some change at my job. That change triggered me to panic. I started to become stressed out about work and where my career (lack thereof) was going.

Passively, I was going about my days, with the thought of this failing career path in the back of my mind. Then about a week ago I started to think about, ‘maybe it’s time to take control of my life.’ I felt that I lost total control of my life the moment I entered college, scratch that, the moment I graduated high school. I failed to plan therefore planned to fail. I understood that, but I never knew how to climb out of this hole I dug myself into. Again, in my passive nature, I continued to live. I continued to go about my days just going with the flow. I constantly was stuck in the daily flow of things. I would get stuck in a routine. Work. home. work. home.

Then that change at work happened and I was like, ‘oh shit. where am I headed professionally?’ I could never see myself moving up in the company. Why? Well, because I didn’t see any traits or talents that I could ever offer the company. I was not good at sales, terrible at math, not the best conversationalist. What does that leave? Being organized I guess. So I decided to talk to myself. I started to ask myself what did I want to do? What were my priorities? What are my goals? I asked these questions over and over. No, I didn’t come up with any great, life-changing answers. It took a single person to ask me directly, “would you consider going back to your old position?’ To put that question in context, I took a step down from my original position because I was going through some personal events and wasn’t able to perform to my full abilities. I was taken aback by the question. It was a shock to me for someone to see some potential in me. I’m sure I’ll thank him one day.

That lead me into digging deeper. By this point, money, money entered my mind. Being financially stable entered my mind, but this time it became the forefront. Growing up I saw how much money controlled my father, in a negative way. Money became his only reason to live. I vowed that I’d never get that way. So much so that I completely eliminated how important financial security was. So I became rational. Then that led me to seeking opportunities and asking questions. That’s all I needed to do. I was surprised to see the encouragement from my coworker.

At our quarterly women’s lunch, the topic of voicing ourselves as women, and the stigmas of women in the workforce came up. Then the book, “Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg came up. We didn’t go into details about the book but some of the women brought up some chapters that really inspired them. Instantly I looked the book up and ask my fiancé to buy it for me on his way home from work. I’m about seven chapters in now and finally felt like someone in the corporate world understands me. WHICH IS CRAZY. Like how could a very successful woman in tech, in a major corporation understand a lost, confused, struggling mother like myself?

I’m here to just say I’m enjoying the book so much. I definitely would recommend it to any woman who’s feeling down on her luck or discouraged to reach for that top position in her company.  I am thankful for other women who are using their success and influence to reach out to other women who are afraid to speak up for themselves – or simply lost their way through the hustle and bustle of being a women. I’m starting to feel empowered and my hope is to rev up enough courage and strength to fight my way to my own success!