Got A Pay Raise?

Thank you to Julie of The Hallway Initiative for the inspiration for this post which appeared in MoneySavingMom.

“Nothing stimulates creativity like a good crisis.”

Living on a budget has never been a strong point for me.   I can remember very short periods of time in my adult life when I was credit card/debt free.  Then those addictive traits reared their ugly head and it was back.

Finances were almost always tight as a single mom.  As my own boss, my income depends on me which means it is sometimes inconsistent.  I have been  reading books on personal finance, working on a detailed budget (YKES!), and always on the look out for money-saving ideas. I ran into MoneySavingMom.com awhile ago and am eating up every penny-pinching post.  My initial thought is always to go back to work full-time then the realities of health struggles and age (everyone wants young social workers) hit me.  I will admit, I am great at managing money for others but when it comes to my own account it is a totally different story.

I don’t know about you but when I used to get a pay raise at work, my spending increased.  I mean now I could pay the bills (at least the minimums) and have extra money in my account.  The truth was (and still is) despite how much money is in the bank, I need to remember how I budgeted during the lean times.

I love these four strategies to maintain a frugal mindset:

1. Think in terms of stewardship.

I often forget everything I “own” is a gift on loan from God. When I remember it’s all His, no matter how much or little He’s given me, I am challenged to be a better steward with His things. I need to work with my money the same way I manage other people’s money.  Even during lean times, I found ways to help others in need.  It may not have been in cash but it may have been in groceries or time.  It is when I do things like this, the blessings come back in multitudes.

2. Keeping a budget.

This is probably the hardest thing for me.  I don’t remember much talk about budgeting when I was growing up.  I have tried to stick to a budget off and on for years with limited success.  I think I was the most successful with a budget when Elsie managed my money and bills in my early days of recovery.  I couldn’t trust myself to have cash laying around so she monitored it all.  Bills got paid and money got saved.  sticking to a budget is one of the best ways to maintain control of your spending.  It helps you keep track of your expenditures and reminds you to be wise with what you have. And, if finances permit, it’s perfectly okay to increase certain budget categories, such as giving, saving, and splurges! Just make sure you’re doing it deliberately rather than on a whim.

3. Keep up with penny-pinching resources

There are a lot of them out there…. I don’t necessarily mean “Extreme Couponing” unless it is something you love to do but I do have a few favorites besides MoneySavingMom.com.  I am always scrolling through financial blogs, keeping up with new frugal tips and making sure I am remaining a good steward of my money.

Some of my favorite resources include:

4. Save for the next crunch

This is where I made my mistake years ago.  When my finances were Just because your freed up for a moment, I didn’t plan for the next squeeze.  I didn’t listen to Dave Ramsey and other financial giants recommend building up 3-6 month’s worth of living expenses. If you’ve never been able to do so before, do it now while you have money left over at the end of the month (even if it is $10).

I haven’t done a perfect job of thinking in terms of stewardship, continuing to keep a budget, keeping up with penny-pinching resources, and saving for the next financial crunch, but those are the four strategies I’m working toward at this time.  I tried to keep in mind it is progress  not perfection.

What are some of you favorite money saving tips or resources?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Change Your Beliefs Manifest Your Money

 This blog post was written by Lynette Barbieri

Ladies, think back to all the negative perceptions we were taught about money growing up. “Money is the root of all evil.” “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” “Money is not spiritual.” It’s this kind of thinking and this kind of mindset that is the cause of most people’s financial demise. Yes, money does NOT buy happiness, but neither does poverty.

I feel like I can be as bold and as blunt as I want with you because I have your best interest at heart. Additionally, I’m talking from my own personal experience. I was always surrounded by friends and family members that were the biggest proponents of thinking negatively about money.

I have been in the financial industry now for almost two decades. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help clients that come from all different financial and economic backgrounds. What I’ve found over the years is that even though I help them understand the importance of having a financial road map they tend to fall short on the execution.

The inability to follow through with their plan all stems from their belief system regarding money-that’s where I come in. After digging deeper through asking the right kinds of questions, I was able to identify the mental and financial blocks my clients were experiencing. All it took was a little redirecting of their belief system, and then they were finally ready to take those first steps towards financial stability. It wasn’t long after that they were started seeing success from their efforts.

The transformation does not happen over night. Like anything else you have to invest some time in personal development.

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If you are interested in learning effective strategies to relieve financial stress so you can experience more peace and joy in your life you are welcome to attend my workshop below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

5 Steps To A Fun Date Night On A Budget


This is a blog originally written by Lynette Barbieri

Spending a small fortune on date night isn’t going to make the night any more memorable – except when the bill arrives. There are plenty of ways to have a wonderful night out for any occassion without blowing your budget. Here are some ideas:

1. Go somewhere new – Visit that museum you’ve always been intending to get to but never seem to have the time. Take a boat or scenic train ride. Catch a play or romantic movie you both have been wanting to see. Getting out and doing something new, especially for harried parents, helps your relationship keep going strong.

2. Whip up something romantic – Fix your sweetheart his or her favorite meal. And even if you’re not known as the most enthusiastic of chefs, Chicken parmesan and a no bake chocolate cake are way easier than they look. Make something that allows you to do most of the prep work ahead of time and finish at the last minute. This is where those Internet cooking channels can come in handy.

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3. Make it a day out – If it’s warm where you are, consider a picnic at your favorite park or at the beach or pool. This is a picnic you’ll want to do up right with an old style wicker basket, champagne, fruits, pickles, delicious sandwiches, veggies with dipping sauce, cake, and good chocolates. Bring along some romantic music and a thick blanket on which to put everything – including yourselves. Don’t forget the bottle of wine.

4. Trip the light fantastic – Have a romantic dinner at home, and then head out to dance the night away. If one or both of you aren’t big on dancing, a couple of hours of ballroom dance lessons could be a romantic and new experience. There are Internet specials galore for introductory dance lessons. You can go to the gym, hike together, or a simple walk by the beach could work too.

5. Start the day right – The perfect day starts with the always trusty breakfast in bed. Think how pleased your loved one will be to wake up to the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, warm apple muffins, crispy bacon, and fluffy omelets. Especially if that loved one happens to be you!

Having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Don’t forget to use coupons too. You can get discounts on dinner, movies, activities and more. Remember paying yourself first is the #1 rule of the money game!

Thank you Lynette for these great tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

What Makes You Special?

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Today is WOOHOO Wednesday and we are going to CELEBRATE your uniqueness or those qualities that make you special.   I was inspired today to talk about this after reading a blog post by Lynette Barbieri.

If I asked you to tell me “what makes you special?“, could you do it?

It would be a struggle for me – shocking for some, I am sure.   Growing up, I didn’t want to be unique – I just wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “special” because that meant that I wasn’t popular.  I didn’t know what was special about me.  I didn’t have that feeling in my gut that told me how great I was.  I wanted to hide in a corner and not be seen.  I lived that way for many years.  Then I started to squash those inner gremlins and embrace the positives qualities that are deep in my core.

In direct sales, I  often hear that you want to stand out from the pack.  I mean with thousands of consultants in your company, why would someone pick you above anyone else.  Why would they stay faithful to you?  I honestly didn’t know.  I always knew that I had a special purpose but I never knew how to express it.  Was being a good listener special?  How about helping others? Or giving to others even when you don’t have it?  I am crafty but is that special?  I can play (or used to) the piano, what is so special about that?

I am learning that all of those things are the qualities that draw people to me.  I am resourceful able to connect people with resources.  I get along with people from all different backgrounds.  I am passionate, and caring.  I want to make people smile.  I have lots of “stuff” (information) in my head but I don’t always know how to share it – just ask and I will share all I know.

The truth is that I may not believe that I have greatness inside of me BUT I DO believe that you have greatness in YOU!

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So, what about you?  What are your strengths?  I know I keep going back to that but when we lock into what those are, it will help us know where we are going.  We have to be willing to take risks to discover our purpose and to achieve greatness.  A life without risk is boring, right?

Maybe you know what your greatness is and you are afraid to share it?  You don’t have to hide it.  You don’t have to deny it.  You don’t have to worry about what other people say or think.  You need to OWN IT!

At a Leadership retreat, my mantra became “Own My Journey“.  Because the truth was that I was trying to follow everyone else’s journey.  I need and so do you to “own your journey” so that we can grow into the people sharing our gifts along with the way.  We all have our own journey.  What other people think is none of our business.

keep calm and sparkle on

As Vanessa Coppes, refers to it “your shining  light”!  By working with both of these ladies, I started to see my shining light and I learned that I need to let it shine more!

So, ladies, never let anyone dim that light.  Remember, life is a marathon not a sprint.

What makes you special? I would love to hear it! Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Claiming the Blessing

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Was your June a bust?  Did you have an AWESOME May and then sales slumped in June?  The”J” months can be tough if you are not prepared and we are rolling right into another one, right? What do you want to be different?  Are you wishing and wanting for success or are you making it happen?  Are you casting the “I wish” vision or are you claiming the blessing?  Believe me the difference in our words can make a difference in what the Universe gives us.

Why am I so sure that this positive claim works?  I have seen countless people cast the vision and claim the blessing.  I have seen team members reach for a goal, claim it and then achieve it.  I was one of them the year that I promoted to Director with Thirty One.  I have shared the struggles, the tears and the successes of the last two years.  In the last few months I have learned so much.  Why?  Because I BELIEVE that my dreams are obtainable.  Better yet, I have CLAIMED them.  How did this amazing transformation occur?  No, there is no magic wand.  It took being coachable.  I was open to change and willing to learn.

So many people helped in the transformation to Hope 1.5 on the way to Hope 2.0.   The women of the Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women who started the transformation of this “shabby chic” momma into a “real” business owner.  The Beacon of Hope Leadership Retreat with Hope Shortt and Becky Spieth broke down the final barriers.  Then I was ready to accept the coaching from: Britt Bolnick, In Arm’s Coacching, Desiree Wolfe with her Rebel Mamapreneur Think Tank, and Eryka Peskin, Abudance Coach and Fierce Cheerleader.

Remember that you deserve to be happy, truly happy with a joy that comes from within.  Believe in yourself just as others believe in you.  See yourself through their eyes.  You are AWESOME. Feel it.  Believe it.  And know that you deserve it.  Here is a great way to do that: practice visualizing where you want to be every day, then take the steps to make it a reality.  I wrote a letter to Hope 2.0 telling her how proud I was of all that she had accomplished in her business:

Dear Hope 2.0:

I am so proud of all that you have accomplished in the last 5 years:

  • Your office  is organized.  I am glad that you finally have a part-time assistant to help with the busy work.  The family room looks AMAZING and I know that your team loves hanging out with you and learning all of your great business tips.
  • Where did you say your last cruise went to?  WOW!  I know hubby loves the fact that you can take a vacation every year and you treat.  What a great way to say thank you to him for taking care of you every day.  Of course, those mini getaways are nice too.  You can never have enough of them.
  • You got to walk the stage as a Senior Director.  The best part was that hubby was there to greet you along with Belinda.  I know you cried because he never wanted to enter into the pink bubble but he was so proud of you.  He finally sees your business as a business
  • Your calendar is full with home parties & events.  Your hostesses are scheduling their next party when they close their current one because your calendar gets so full
  • Your Annual Hostess Appreciation party has become the talk of the town.  In 5 years, it is the must attend end of the year event
  • The many charities that you have helped with your seasonal events for kids and families are a blessing.  Don’t forget the multiple fundraisers you hold every month.  Not only are you helping organizations find discretionary money but you are also helping people who are struggling. You never forget where you came from – a homeless, addict who just wanted to please everyone.  By remembering, you are able to encourage others
  • You have inspired so many on your team to reach for their dreams, to overcome their inner gremlins and as a result their lives are changed forever
  • Your willingness to share your office systems, your party ideas, your presentations and even allow consultants to tag along with you even if they are not on your team is a great example of a leader.

I want you to remember that success is always within your reach.  There will be struggles but that simply means that there are lessons to be learned.  Your  journey is yours alone but others can learn from it.  Comparison is not in the plan.

I am on the road to being Hope 2.0.  I am not waiting for “when” or “if”, I am claiming the blessings NOW.  I have seen things change in my business since I did this exercise – thank you Eryka. Give it a chance, what have you got to loose.  You deserve to have all of the blessings waiting for you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your successes.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.