Lyft Riders Now Earn FREE Delta SkyMiles

Earning SkyMiles has gotten easier if you are a Lyft rider.  This week, Delta and Lyft announced their partnership that will reward their customers who are loyal to both companies.  Now, every time you request a ride through Lyft, you earn SkyMiles, to travel to over 1,000 global destinations or even pay for upgraded access to the Sky Club when you are traveling.  Trust me, this is a great upgrade option if you don’t already have this access, to keep in your back pocket when your flight has been delayed and you want to wait in style.How to Earn SkyMiles Through Lyft from Atlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents

How to Earn SkyMiles Through Lyft

According to Delta, “it’s as simple as linking SkyMiles and Lyft accounts, and requesting a ride. All SkyMiles members are eligible. Customers who are not already enrolled in the SkyMiles program can sign up for free through at delta.com/enroll to become eligible”.   Even though I am not a current Lyft customer, I love the idea of the collaboration.  By requesting a ride, something I already do on a weekly basis, I can start earning miles that will help get me to one of the trips that every girl should take every year.  You earn one mile per dollar spent with unlimited earning potential and that never expire.  To make your experience sweeter, for a limited time, you can earn triple SkyMiles for rides to and from participating airports.

How to Use Art To Blend His & Her Styles at Home

The Mr. and I have been married for almost two years now and we have just started to decorate our home in a way that reflects both of our styles. The goal is a little less bachelor pad and a little more like something that reflects both of us. My style used to be eclectic but I am leaning more traditional with pops of accent colors. The Mr., well his style is clean modern lines and about four fewer pillows than I prefer. In addition to blending our furniture preferences, we have been working to blend our varying art styles. I left my 30”x30” canvas print of Audrey Hepburn at my old house for my niece to enjoy. I’m sure the Mr. appreciated that. The same way I took down some of his posters. To blend our two aesthetics, I came up with a design plan that reflects our joint loves, hobbies, and experiences. I believe people should walk in one’s home and think, oh, this is so them.

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How to Blend His & Her Styles At Home

One thing that unmistakably represents us both is our love for the city of Atlanta. Although we are from two very different areas, we are both Atlanta natives. We are fluent in Southside, Eastside, and Buckhead, he can recite every Outkast lyric, and I am the queen of the Beltline. These are things we wanted our space together to represent- our love for music, our love for Atlanta, and our love for each other. During our first year of marriage, I bought a 45”x30” Boom Box canvas painting that represents our joint music interest. I then started a gallery wall of wedding pictures to represent our love for each other. The only thing that is missing is something Atlanta. We wanted our home to have a fun Atlanta flair by including iconic elements in the design for our home. What better than an art map of the city?  I started looking for a map that fit the style of our home when Modern Map Art contacted me to see if I would consider one of their maps in exchange for telling she makes cents readers about the experience.  They come in a range of cities and colors, including Aruba where we spent our honeymoon, but of course, we only had one city in mind.  

We decided on the black print because we both love the crisp contrast.  After we narrowed down the best color option for our home, the print arrived about 3 days later.  We both were pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t a traditional poster print.  The paper has a velvet-like finish that looks even better in person.   I am really into is oversize artwork so I requested the largest print size of 24″x36″ with the plan to have it matted and framed.  In my opinion, oversize art makes everything look more expensive and special, results my wallet and hubby can both appreciate.  One thing to keep in mind, though, when considering large-scale art for your home is framing.  I wanted to frame this print with a 4″ mat, which means I am now moving into custom framing which can be expensive.  To save money, I gave up the matted background.  The Mr. and I found a simple frame at our local Target and added the print in it the moment we got home.  Seriously, don’t you just love the scale of this? The Mr. modeled the print for me because I looked naked trying to take a similar picture in a dress.She Makes Cents- Modern Atlanta City Map PrintShe Makes Cents- Modern Atlanta City Map PrintWe are so proud of our growing art collection!  We keep trying out our new Atlanta print from Modern Map Art in different locations to find the best location in our home.  For now, it lives right next to our beloved Boom Box painting.  To grab your very own print to remember your hometown, the place you fell in love, or the best vacay ever, click here.  Insider Tip: Follow them on Instagram for 10% off your purchase  (code: INSTA10).

Things To Do This Month: She Makes Cents May Sneak Peek

Things To Do This Month from She Makes CentsWant a little taste of what the month of May will bring to She Makes Cents readers?  Well, we are back with our newest series, “The IT  List” that gives readers a preview of some of the lifestyle topics that will be covered this month on the blog.  Last month we started planning one of the trips that every girl should take this year and we will reveal that trip and destination this month.  Stay tuned to see what’s on my travel “lust list” for a fabulous beach vacay.  I plan on starting the SMC Book Club Selection: The Girl Code today, so grab your copy and join us!  There are so many exciting things happening and I can’t wait to share.  MONEY+ CAREER + LIFESTYLE.

Things To Do This Month from She Makes Cents

Monday Motivation | How To Get Your Goals Back On Track

Hello, Lovelies.  Today I wanted to encourage you all to reflect upon the money, career, and lifestyle goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year.  The end of April marked the end of the first quarter of the year…meaning we should be a quarter of the way towards accomplishing your goals for yourself.  It is easy to be motivated at the beginning of every year because many of us view that time as a master reset.  With December being a time of reflection we take the time to think about all of the things we could do better.  We then set up goals for the new year.  By January we are ready to make a plan and act on those goals and by May…. well, let’s just say sometimes things fall off a bit.  If you have fallen behind or off track for your goals, don’t worry.  You might just need a moment to stop and refuel.  The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment before a miracle. Don’t give up.  How to get your goals back on track from She Makes Cents blog

Are Your Goals Still Relevant?

A lot can happen in four months, so it good to go back to your goal’s list to see which ones are still relevant, which ones need be adjusted, which ones need more of you to make them work, or which can be removed altogether. Leaving irrelevant goals on your list takes up unnecessary space in your mind and takes the focus away from things that really matter.

Stop & Refuel

The truth about accomplishing a goal is that the journey is not always fun nor easy.  We are so quick to give up on things just because they get hard.  If being the boss was easy then everyone would be the boss.  If being fit was easy then everyone would probably be walking around showing off their 6-pack (certainly I wouldn’t be the only one rocking a crop top on the weekends).  If having no debt was easy, then people would probably be less flashy and invest in things, people, and experiences that really matter.  The thing is, instead of fixating on the journey, find your energy in picturing the end result of the work.  How would your life change if you accomplished the money, career, and lifestyle goals you set for yourself?  Would you be happier?  Would you live a richer life?  Is it a life that your 20-year-old self would be proud of? Figure out what is keeping you from taking these steps.  The only way to walk is mile is one step at a time.  The same is true for you and your goals.  Now think about this, what happens if you keep doing things exactly like you have been doing them?  Are you happy with the state of your finances?  Is your career where you want it to be?  Are you currently living the life you deserve?  If so, keep pushing girlfriend.  If not, take the rest of the day to stop and refuel so you can crush your goals in the second quarter of the year.   Stay Fab!HOW WOULD YOUR LIFE CHANGE IF YOU ACCOMPLISHED YOUR MONEY GOALS?

SMC Book Club: The Girl Code

So far we have read books that covered some of our favorite topics- money, career, lifestyle, and female empowerment and our latest book is slated to give us all of that. This month’s She Makes Cents Book Club selection is from author and master life coach, Cara Alwill Leyba. Cara is known for encouraging women to create a ”Champagne Life” that entails living effervescently, celebrating themselves every day, and making their happiness a priority. Through loving guidance, support, and an expert perspective, Cara empowers women to challenge their fears and create a lifestyle and career that feels authentic, vibrant, and inspiring. She sounds like #shemakescents, right?
She Makes Cents Book Club- The Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur

The Girl Code

Every time I take a trip to my favorite bookstore, I come across this book, Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur and I tell myself that I will add it to the SMC book club reading list. Well, that time is now! This book has a rating of 5/5 on Good Reads and I can’t wait to dive in. You may be thinking to yourself, “I’m not an entrepreneur” but I am confident that the information and inspiration from this book can apply to all women at every stage of their careers.

How Our Book Club Works

Every other month we select a new book and announce that selection a week before the start of every month. This will give you time to go to your order from the online bookstore, borrow from the library, or download here. Selections for the books come from a mix of editor and reader suggestions. For reader suggestions, we ask that selections embrace powerful women, business cents, fictional favorites, and anything that informs and inspires us.   As you read the book, please leave your questions for the book club in the comment section below.  We will begin discussions for this book on Sunday, May 21, 2017. Atlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents, wants to know what's the best book you have ever read?

Inspire | One Day or Day One?

The difference between one day and day one is HUGE! One day I will buy my first house.  One day I will apply for a job at my dream company.  One day I will lose the weight. One day I will take that trip I have always dreamed of.  You see, the notion of “one day” allows your dreams and goals for yourself to stay in a constant state of delays and may never happens.  Sure, one day you may accomplish them but who knows when one day will come.  By comparison, “day one” creates a start date of action to get you working toward your goals.  Want to buy your first home?  Your day one should include checking your credit report and score.  Want to work for another company? Cleaning up your LinkedIn page should then become your first micro-goal. Want to lose the weight?  Start by researching which foods are best for your goals and what foods to cut from your diet.  Want to go on a trip, start putting money aside every check.Inspirational Quotese from She Makes Cents | One Day or Day One

Day one doesn’t have to be dramatic, but it is a necessary step in getting where you want to be.  Once you get day one out-of-the-way, keep chipping at each of your goals until you accomplish your purpose.  Doing so will make sure that it will be the last time you have to think about one day because once you start, you should be able to set a date of accomplish goal.  I could say, “one day my student loans will be under the $15,000.00 mark, but instead I know that by my birthday in August, my student loans will break the $15,000.00 mark!  See the difference? Follow She Makes Cents on Social Media!

Career Advice: How To Toot Your Own Horn With Confidence

When I was a little girl, my mom explained to me that my job as a child was to be great in school.  The operative word in that sentence is JOB!  I got up every day and went to school the same way my parents got up every day and went to work.  So when review time came, or in my case report card time, my parents would allow me to post my latest report card on the refrigerator.  I was a straight A student who was proud of my hard work and my parents created a physical and mental space for me to express pride in accomplishments.  The refrigerator was a space in the home where everyone who visited could see what I have been up to.  My parents were proud of me and I was proud of myself.  That’s  a nice memory, but why does that matter now?   It was important to my development because it gave me the ok to toot my own horn and the space to do so.  In that space that my parents created, I learned how to share my success without realizing that that very practice could someday have negative repercussions.

Why Women Mute Their Accomplishments In The WorkplaceAtlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason, explains why Every Woman Should Know: How to Toot Her Own Horn with Confidence.

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I’m sure many of you can relate to that childhood memory….but how many of you can relate to the transition that many women experience.  Somewhere along the way, women are taught that sharing our own accomplishments often comes with declines in popularity and other professional ramifications.  In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg recalls, “Jocelyn Goldfein, one of the engineering directors at Facebook held a meeting at Facebook where female engineers were encouraged to share the progress they had made on the products they were building.  SILENCE.  No one wanted to toot her own horn.  Who would want to speak up when self-promoting women are disliked?  Jocelyn changed her approach.  Instead of asking women to talk about themselves, she asked them to tell one another’s stories.  The exercise was communal, which put everyone at ease”.  Why can’t we be at ease talking about our own success?  Are we more at ease in our silence?  These are the questions that we rarely  think about but we must address.

Related Post: Best Career Advice I Ever Received: Don’t Give a Damn If They Like You

How to Toot Your Horn at Work with confidence

How To Toot Your Own Horn. Career Advice for Smart Millennial Women from blogger Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents

HOW TO TOOT YOUR HORN AT WORK WITH CONFIDENCE. Career tips for millennial women from Atlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents.

It’s funny, we get fed conflicting messages all the time with regard to the topic.  On one hand, we are told to “work in silence and let success make the noise”.  Again, why is there such an emphasis of to silence talk of one’s own accomplishments?  On the another hand,  we are told that “closed mouths don’t get fed”.  I’m not promoting cockiness in the workplace, but I am inviting women to be more confident in their achievements and ok sharing them.  I have experienced something very similar to the example of the quiet female engineers.  Women in the predominately female office were always shy to tell stories of success when asked for.  Again silence.  Below are a few examples of how to take the eek out of self-promotion.

Change Your Mind Set. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?  The same question can go for you and your career.  You can do beautiful work in your perspective industry.  You can make strides in your field, but if no one knows about your successes that can leave the door open for others to take credit for your work, it keeps your reputation pigeon-holed, and often leaves money on the table.  If you can’t clearly, comfortably, and confidently share your career achievements in a professional setting you are also diminishing the worth of your work.  I once advised the owner of a design firm in Atlanta on the disadvantages of this very concept.  “You do beautiful work”, I said, “but it means nothing for you and the development of your brand if not one knows about it”.

Shoot A Brief Email. In theory, your boss wants the best for you because you succeeding makes them look good.  Try sending them an email to shine a light on a recent accomplishment.  For example, if you hit your sales goal for the month a little early, let them know.  If you found a more efficient way to do something in your industry, shoot your boss a brief email sharing your discovery.   Insider Tip: If you work on a team, make sure that you include EVERYONE who impacted the outcome.  You can break out what each person’s contribution was or you can group the win.  Whatever you do, do not take sole credit for a group effort.

Buy Your Name. Purchase your name as a domain and create a website or even a static page that works as a digital portfolio of your work. For example, at one point, my name was Danielle Boler, so my corresponding website should have been DanielleBoler.com.  In this space, which I recommend you update quarterly, you can allow your clients to post testimonials, you can share press that you have received, and post pictures of WOW projects that you developed. Obviously, the specifics of what you feature will depend on your industry and skill set.

Lean In.  Do you remember that example of the Facebook meeting when the female engineers were asked questions about their progress on the products they were building?  Well instead of echoing their silence, you should “lean in” and answer the call.  In fact, try to be the first person to answer this type of question.  In many instances, it is rare when bosses give you their undivided attention for you to share your achievements, so don’t waste their time and your opportunity with silence.  Going first presents you as a leader and I’m sure that once you begin sharing your success story, others will follow suit.

Toot Your Own Horn At She Makes Cents

Money Affirmations to Attract Financial Abundance

So many people fall victim to their own negative thoughts…particularly when it comes to money.  When we form negative associations with money we give ourselves permission to fear it.  Raise your hand if you have ever thought the following: I don’t have enough money.  If only I had more money I would be happier.  I will never get our of debt.   These type of thoughts are not only negative but are also damaging to progressing in your money goals.  When we are negative and fearful, insecure or anxious we will tend to attract the very experiences, situations, or people that we are seeking to avoid.  Below are some techniques that will help you release your negative mindset with money so you can approach your finances from a mental state of confidence, pride, and positivity.

 Money Affirmations to Attract Financial Abundance from Top Atlanta Blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents

 What Are Affirmations & What Do They Have To Do With Money?

An affirmation is a  practice in positive thinking that manifests good things into our lives.  If you can picture yourself succeeding, you are already accepting the image of success for yourself.  According to the book, Creative Visualization, “If we are basically positive in attitude, expecting, and envisioning pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness, we will attract and create people, situations, and events which conform to our positive expectations”.  For the next hour, try to be more aware of the thoughts you have and the things your say with regard to your money, career, and even lifestyle.  If you are not positively lifting yourself up in these areas of your life, how can you expect positive energy to flow in these areas of your life?  As negative thoughts creep into your mind, replace it with something positive.  Once you have started to neutralize your feelings towards money, next you can start saying your money affirmations to attract wealth and abundance into your life.  Check out some of my favorite money affirmations.  Feel free to PIN them, share them, or print them for your use.

Add An Extra Zero to Your Money

I was reading a book by Marianna Olszewski call Live It Love It Earn It who shared a powerful visualization and affirmation technique that gave me chills.  Her method is to imagine an extra zero added to the amount of money you have in your checking and savings accounts.  For example, if you have $500.00 in your checking,  you visualize it at $5,000.00.  If you have $8,000.00 in your savings, that number automatically jumps to $80,000.  Just thinking about the energy of money moving so abundantly and effortlessly gets me excited. and ready to start adding extra zeros to my checking and savings accounts, as well as the money from the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge.  According to Olszewski,   The idea is to get used to seeing a lot of money in your bank account, so that when you start manifesting money you are ready for it”.  I plan to even take this visualization and affirmation technique a bit further by dropping a figure from my student loan debt and mortgage as I prepare myself to be one step closer to financial freedom!

Final Thoughts

So people think the practice of affirmations is just hocus pocus while other people swear by them.  I can’t speak for you but I find affirmations to calm my anxiety and fill me with an energizing feeling of opportunity and a focus toward my goals.  Either way, I invite you to give these affirmations a try.  What’s the worst that could happen, a money manifestation??What Are Your Favorite Money Affirmations? Please share with She Makes Cents readers

52 Week BINGO Money Challenge | March Recap

Welcome to the weekend #SMCmoneytribe.  Congratulations on finishing month 3 of the She Makes Cents 52 Week BINGO Money  Challenge!  How does it feel to see your money grow and know that you are closer to your goals than you were before you started the challenge?   Keep that feeling close in the coming months.  This is around the time, where people need the most motivation to keep going.  As I revealed in the February recap, 80% of people fail their resolutions by February.  If you are still going hard on this challenge, you are already more focused and goal-driven than most people.  While the challenge isn’t hard, it does take discipline and consistency.  I must admit I even found myself getting a little behind and then having to catch up before the end of the month.  I am happy to report I am all caught up with a new sense of motivation.

How I Stay Motivation Doing The Money Challenge

Every once in a while, I calculate how long it would take me to pay off the remaining $17,940.40 in student loan debt I owe if I only made the monthly payment.  The answer- 11 years and 3 months.  Then I calculate how long it would take me and how much interest I would save if I added extra money toward the principal.  For example, if I paid an extra $300.00 per month starting in April 2017 toward this goal, I would only have 3 years and 6 months left to pay on this loan.  That’s right, making an additional $300.00 payment per month toward my student loans would shave off 7 years and 9 months off the term of the loan and would save me a little more than $5,550.00 in extra interest.  Let that soak in for a minute, shall we.  If I were to up the ante even more and started paying an additional $500.00 per month starting August 2017 instead of the $300.00 in the example above, I would be able to pay the loan off  in 2 years and 8 months, shave off 8 years and 7 months of the repayment term, and save $5,862.60 in interest.  Now folks, if that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will.  When I feel myself drifting off my path to financial freedom, I take a moment and do this exercise.  It immediately fills me with a sense of inspiration, purpose, and energy especially considering that my student loans are the only thing now keeping me from moving from Baby Step 2 to Baby Step 3.  

The March Recap

For the month of March, I saved $72.00 which puts me at a YTD of  $221.00 through the end of March.  I save more money than the previous month and I am really looking forward to what April brings.  The end of April represents the end of the first quarter of the challenge which is when I will take the 2017 savings from this challenge and make a principal payment toward my student loan debt!  If my financial projects for next month are correct, April will be the most successful month of the challenge thus far.   Want to join the challenge?  Click here for your FREE money card download.See how finance and lifestyle blogger, Danielle YB Vason of She Makes Cents, stays motivated toward her money goals to pay off debt

 

Things to Do This Month: The Everygirl’s Guide to Lifestyle

Things to Do This Month- April 2017

Your time is not FREE, so spend it wisely.  Take some time to do, read, and try things that feed your soul.  For the month of April, here are some goodies we are looking forward to.  

Read

We swapped out the April SMC book selection at the very last-minute (trust me, you will LOVE what we selected).  For the past seven weeks, I have tried to figure out the big ending of the on-screen adaptation of Big Little Lies and after watching the finale on the HBO show, I have to read the book.  They say, that books are always better than the movie and if that proves to be true, it will be nothing short of amazing.

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Home

It’s time for you to pull up your sleeves and get to work.  This month I challenge you to get rid of everything that does not make you happy so that you can give your attention to things that do.  For me, that always starts with physical clutter.  I cannot think clearly in a cluttered space and I am willing to bet that some of you can say the same thing.  I do a little at a time and I start with the quickest project that will give the quickest gratification.  My purge started with my nightstand where I keep a mix of books I’m reading, books on display, journals (I am always writing something), jewelry, phone accessories, receipts, water etc.  See what I mean?   It’s funny, do we even need or love half of the material things that are taking up space in our space?  Take that stuff and sell it to put towards a savings goal…like that dream vacation so many of you wrote to me about.   I don’t care what you do with it, just get it out of your space.  Nightstand done….next up, my makeup vanity.

Entertain

I love entertaining, which makes sense considering I worked in the luxury event design industry for the past five years.  Since that has taken a less dominant role in my day-to-day responsibilities, I now have time to host my own events for friends and family.  This month we will give you the tools you need to plan a party like an event pro.  You will learn how to prep your home/apartment for guests without blowing your budget and see inspiration on how to pre-game for a night out like a VIP.  I will even let you in on my insider’s hack that combines a great purging and entertaining tip to create a simple and chic DIY your guests will love!

Travel 

We shared the Girl’s Guide to Travel: 5 Trips Every Woman Should Take This Year so now it is time to start planning one of those trips.  I can’t tell you which trip to plan first, but I will show you the best places to invest your hard-earned money in with regards to your travel plans.  When is the best day to buy an international plane ticket (you can find that answer here)?   How to make the best road trip playlist?  How to tip appropriately at all-inclusive resorts?  How to stay safe on a solo vacation?