Penny Wise, Dollar Foolish

Penny wise and dollar foolish is a saying I have heard since I was little.  I will admit, it has been me on occasion – okay, maybe more occasions then I care to admit!  🙂

Halfway through the year and starting a new fiscal year at Thirty One this month is when review my goals and my finances.  Doing it mid-year check helps me keep things in balance or get back on track if I have wavered.

Life with MS (#MSwillnotdefineme) has been interesting to say the least.  No excuses, just the realization processing things doesn’t work unless I have a system.  A system to stay on track with bills.  A system to work my business.  Admittedly, the the money system faltered some in the first few months but I have grabbed the bull by the horns and am back on track with a new plan.

I hate to admit I am still learning money matters in my 60’s, but there are a few things I wish I had learned in my 20’s.  Learning is an ongoing process and I am determined not to give up on my goal.

#1 A bigger and better job doesn’t mean you get to spend more.  By keeping your costs the same when you increase your salary you’ll be able to save some.  I always thought more money meant I could spend more.  Silly me!

#2 Never spend more than what comes in.  And limit your cards to the lowest amount possible. This has been the toughest for this recovering addict to conquer. 

#3 Pay off any debt first.  Pay your credit card debt as soon as possible, those high interests won’t be doing you any good. Then once they are paid off DON”T use them anymore.

 

#4 Student loans on autopilot.  Students loans usually have a really small interest rate so make regular, steady payments to pay off your loan and it’ll soon be a thing of the past.  Check out too if you are eligible for a “forgiveness program”.  Make 120 payments on time & the balance of your loan is forgiven.  Works for the kids but not the parents.

#5 Build a back-up.  YES, saving is still important even if you have debt.  Make sure you always have a few hundred set aside for unexpected costs and bills.

#6 Insuring yourself is essential.  A crashed laptop, unforeseen doctors bill or stolen bike can wreak financial havoc if you’re not insured. The cost per month will pay off in the long run for any unexpected mishaps.

#7 Set long term goals to help you focus on what you really want. Figure out how much you’re gonna need and start saving now.

#8 Monetize your talent if you can.  Write blogposts, take photographs or try to monetize your special skills as (additional) income.  I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember.  I just wish I had of saved some of that money.

 

#9 Think about retirement.  This is especially important if you are your own boss.  Sadly, I learned too late it’s essential to put away money for the future.

#10 Lastly, here is a marvelous piece of advice given by StickleyMan on Thought Catalog. It’s reaaaaaally good.

Take some more chances. You know that idea that’s been ruminating in the back of your mind for years? That one that doesn’t have anything to do with your job or your mortgage. That one that falls outside your schema of living and routine and that you shrug off as some immature or impractical idea; as just some silly fantasy. Maybe it’s a crazy business idea or a trip to go live in a hut in India for three months or to breed Pygmy hippos or to become a juggling street performer. Whatever it is, explore it. Maybe even try it. I don’t mean take a stupid, life-threatening risk. I’m not suggesting a trying a lifestyle of meth addiction and bare-knuckle Fight Clubs. But something outside your comfort zone. Try it. Maybe you’ll fail miserably at it. But just try it. Because in about a decade when you’re responsible for more things and more people, you won’t be able to. And you’ll find yourself in a self-imposed mental prison of ‘what-ifs’. And take it for someone who didn’t because I was too scared, too embroiled in my own insecurities and addictions, and so heavily conditioned to fear failure – you’ll wish you did.

Any cash lessons you learned in the past year? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to hear how you spend and save.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Seven Years and No Itch!

The sevenyear itch is a psychological term suggesting happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven.  I know it usually applies to a marriage BUT for some I think it pertains to their business or their jobs.  When I was working in the non-profit world, I would get the “itch”.  I needed a change.  I wanted something new.  I wanted excitement.

Why am I talking about the “seven-year itch”?  No, I am not thinking of changing direct sales companies.  No, my marriage is great – we haven’t hit the 7 year mark yet.  LOL.

Today is my seventh anniversary with Thirty One.

Struggling with trying to remember BUT grateful I have blogged about this before.  Here is how the story goes…..

See, the truth is I joined Thirty One in 2009 and didn’t do much with it.  Yup, I was a kitknapper. I had a few sales but nothing much and it wasn’t long before I went inactive.

I can’t remember exactly how or why it all happened – God had a plan.  I started following Hope Shortt on Facebook and I read her story.  On February 7th, 2011, I talked with her and told her I wanted to join her Thirty One team. She asked me “what my why” was?  Kind of the standard question when someone joins your team…

I was nervous and being a “people pleasing person” I told her I wanted to earn some extra money.  I had a good job – Chief Operating Officer for a non-profit and who had time for much of anything else.  BUT the truth was, deep down I had a big dream but fear and doubt crept in along with Negative Nellie so I stuffed it down deep.  I started sharing the products at vendor/craft shows, not wanting to do home parties and really not interested in having a team.   Recruiting wasn’t an option because I joined the day before the FREEZE. No, not the weather although it was cold; Thirty One froze enrollment because they were growing so fast.  I was relieved. I had been doing craft/ vendor shows for over 20 years, so it was going to be easy. Hope listened and said she would be there to help when I needed her. No pressure just support and kindness.2014-08-09-18-17-48-4

So started my journey with Thirty One.  I did LOTS of vendor events. Still NO home parties.  Fear and doubt kept me company.   I didn’t have much confidence – I know amazing, right?  This was so far out of my comfort zone.

I got my first TWO potential recruits during the freeze.  I was honest with both of them from the start,  I was going to be learning along with them. Believe it or not, they still joined as soon as the freeze lifted and quickly qualified with $1,000 in sales.  I was now a Senior Consultant. YIKES!  I wasn’t sure what it meant but it was okay.  I was having fun and slowly building confidence.  Then my first home office lead wanted a HOME PARTY! Panic set in… it was someone I didn’t know and I was clueless.  I stumbled my way through it – no additional booked parties or recruits but I had sales and it was kind of fun.

My FIRST Thirty One National Conference was August of 2012.  It was there I set a goal and decided tout my dream on paper and go for Leadership. The goal was to be Director BEFORE National Conference 2013. The stats say those who go to national conference earn more – TRUE! Those who go to national conference – PROMOTE – TRUE! In October, 2012 I DIQed and in January 2013, I earned my $1,000 Director Bonus.  I had gained confidence as a consultant but being a Director brought new fears and challenges.

At National Conference 2013 along with my daughter and members of the Rays of Hope Team. I walked across stage and was CELEBRATED as a NEW Thirty One Director. Tears of joy flowed freely all weekend and continue each time I think back to the moment. Hope Shortt, my National Executive Director, hugged me on stage.  I struggle with memories but the emotion of walking across the stage stays with me bringing me to tears each time I think of it.

Since then my why has changed so much. I no longer work full-time and we rely on my Thirty One business as the second income in the house.  It pays bills and allows us to travel a little bit.  It allows me to work from home as I struggle some days with my MS.

I sometimes struggle with my “why” and learning to DREAM BIG. I still get nervous before a Home party.  I continue to work on personal development because inner gremlins still on occasionally haunt me.  I am blessed with a sisterhood across the country who helps me when I am struggling, who celebrates with me and who encourages me when the struggle is real.  My team continues to grow and inspires me everyday.  They accept me for who I am and have helped me to learn to love me for me.

I would say the biggest blessing from my Thirty One business is the confidence I gained which was lost when I was in HIGH SCHOOL. Yes, I earn FREE products! Yes, I am paying off debt & travel as a result of my commission checks!  Yes, I found a sisterhood I didn’t know existed in my Thirty One sisters! Yes, I have grown in my walk with God, learning to trust and believe his will will be done in my business!

The seven year itch and some vision casting with the Beacon of Hope Team (my upline’s team) had helped me to focus on my why again.  To Make a Difference in as many lives as possible while becoming debt free.  I am being intentional in all I do this year.  I know it is only February but January was a good start…. now to keep moving forward.

A $99 pink box almost seven years ago, CHANGED MY LIFE. Could it be the thing which changes yours?  Till February 28th, you can also join for $1 and I will help you get started…. which would you pick?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What is Your New Year’s Resolution?

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The first Monday of the New Year….. some are off from work, while others are struggling to get it together.  Some are ready to JUMP right into their New Year’s Resolutions while others are wondering why they made them.  Which are you?

For me, I am looking forward to the New Year with anticipation of all God has in store for me.  Leaving my part-time job.  Trusting and having faith God will provide for our needs (without the use of credit cards).  Excited. Scared, Nervous.  #changeisintheair….

So what were your New Year’s Resolutions?  Here are the TOP 10 for the year (and most years).

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Let me help you with YOUR New Year’s Resolution…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Do You Hope For?

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Throwback Thursday and I am reflecting on the changes in my life and where I want to be in 5 years or maybe even 2 years.  If I asked you “where would you like to be in 5 years, what would you say?”.

The truth is without hope and optimism, we tend to settle for far less than we are capable of.  As a result, we probably can’t even fathom where we want to be in 5 years. Fear and doubt has crept in and stole our dreams.   So we move one day at a time, never planning for a future, or dreaming of what we want.

Do you know it’s not too late to start dreaming again.  It’s not too late to start over. It’s not too late to move in a new direction – the right direction.images

What areas of your life do you need to rekindle your hope?  Where do you need to get rid of the negatives and embrace the positive?

How many of these statements apply to you?

  • I do not get discouraged easily.
  • Despite the disappointments I have suffered, I have hope my future will be satisfying.
  • I am inspired by others’ stories of success because they give me hope I can do it too.
  • There is nothing in my life I am settling for.
  • When I succeed, I do not downplay or dismiss the effort I put forth, saying things like “Oh, it was just a lucky break.”
  • I believe in myself.
  • I have a clear set of goals for my professional and personal life.
  • I have a clear vision of what I want my relationships to look like.
  • I have a clear set of financial goals and a plan to get there.
  • I have inspiring health and fitness goals compelling me to push forward.
  • I pray regularly.
  • I sense an inner voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit, which guides me in my life.
  • Even when things get tough, I do not give up hope.
  • I see challenges as temporary and expect to work through them.
  • I feel confident most of the time.
  • I get excited about my vision for my life and the future ahead.
  • If I wanted to make an unconventional change in my life, such as changing careers or deciding to become a parent later in life, I would give myself permission to go for it!
  • As a leader at home, work, or in the community, I am good at helping people see the vision for where we are headed.
  • I listen to my intuition and follow it, even when I feel fear.
  • I look for the good in every situation.

Okay, well I don’t know about you BUT maybe only a handful apply to me.  Fear and doubt has clouded my dreams.  My hope is diminished from inner gremlins who want me to believe I am less than.  The dreams I dream are unattainable….

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The truth is it is time to be optimistic.  Optimism is the fuel you need to dream big and gain the courage to take the next, right step.

For me, in 5 years, I would like to be living in North Carolina with my hubby. Relaxing in the mountains and enjoying life.  I want to be debt free.  I want my business to be consistent allowing me to give back to the community.  Is it a BIG DREAM?  YES!  Is is possible?  YES!  Does it scare me? YES! Do I want to run and hide sometimes? YES!

But the difference now then in the past, is I am embracing the dream. I am putting a plan in place to get where I want to be.  I am not giving up when fear and doubt creep in.  I am not letting the inner gremlins control my life.  I am fighting fear with optimism, won’t you join me?

So, I ask you again, where would you like to be in 5 years?  Give yourself permission to dream.  What would change in your life if you embraced optimism in the face of your most persistent doubts and fears?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Gift that Keeps Giving

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The holiday rush is over.  You are packing up the decorations and the realization hits – those holiday bills will be coming in just a few weeks.  You start to wonder, “was it worth it” or “how am I going to pay them off before next Christmas” or “I wish I could pay only cash for holiday gifts”.

Or, maybe you got money for Christmas… would you like to turn it into MORE money?

Or do you long for just two hours to catch up with your friends? Would you like to go to a party every time you go to work? Are you trying to figure out how you can earn some extra money and still have time for family and friends?

I have just the thing for you! I have been where you are and thought “it is impossible”. Guess what? It’s not!

I was a single mom. Working a full time job and on call 24/7. My daughter was an All Star cheerleader for 4 years – need I say more. My Friends? I rarely saw them. Christmas was filled with lots of shopping and YES, I used credit cards. Budgeting was not something that I used to do.

Picture you and a few friends gathered in your (or their) living room. Laughing. Talking. No kids. No significant other. There are some cute products on display. You feel like you are at private showing from a small boutique. When the night is done, you feel refreshed and energized. Your friends have had a good time. The best part is that you just earned an average of $150. Where could you work for 2 or 3 hours and make that kind of money? Oh, did I mention that YOU picked the day and time for this gathering?

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Here is what Thirty One’s January opportunity is for new consultants…

#1 The Enrollment kit awaits! You get over $400 in product (plus all the order forms, catalogs, and more to get started) for just $99.

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#2 – Host your launch party and enter $600 the first 30 days, you’re also going to earn your 1st Start Swell! You get to choose ONE kit when you submit $600 in your first 30 days. Which one do YOU want?! And in your first 4 months, you have a chance to earn FOUR of these kits!

 

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#3 Ask a friend to join you on your journey. If they join you in your first 4 months, and they qualify ($1000 in sales) within their Start Swell period, you earn $100 BONUS! There is no limit!!!!

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#4 The chance to earn NEW Spring Product with Ready Set Sell. In addition to earning FREE product with Start Swell, you will also have a chance to DOUBLE dip! Yes, that $600 launch party will not only get you the FIRST Start Swell but it will also get you Level 1 of Ready Set Sell which is a host of NEW Spring products.

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#5 Get your hands on $125 worth of NEW Spring Product for just $40 by buying the “Add On Kit”.  Get this in your hands ASAP so that you can book those parties in February.

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Did I mention, that on top of all of this you get ME and the Rays of HOPE team to help celebrate, encourage and support you on your journey. Why not try it for 3 months? If it doesn’t work, what is the worst that has happened – you have earned some extra money and gotten some AWESOME products. BUT what if you find out that you LOVE it! You could have a new business or even a new career.

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Let me know if you have any questions, I would love to answer them for you.

So let’s recap, why you should join NOW:
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Here is how you can reach me:

Website: www.partywithHope.com

Facebook: Hope’s Thirty One Gift Closet

Facebook VIP Group: Hope’s Purse Closet

Email: HopeWs31@gmail.com

Ladies, have a ThirtyOne-derful Day!