{Money & Relationships} 20 Hard Money Questions For Couples

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{Monday Motivation From Simone Biles} Out Dream Yourself

Simone BilesToday’s Monday Motivation comes from Simone Biles. Below is a picture Simone put on Twitter with that caption: “out dream yourself”. When you were a child, I’m confident that you believed that you could be anything you wanted to be. I dreamed of being the first ballerina firefighter. Even though people laughed when I said it, I never stopped believing I could actually do it. My parents supported that goal and I have a picture somewhere of me with a plastic firefighter hat on while wearing a pink tulle tutu. I didn’t become the first ballerina firefighter only because I outgrew that dream.
Somewhere along the journey to adulthood, many adults lose the ability or will to dream. We tend to make decisions out of fear. We stay tied down to people and situations that paralyze us into thinking that whatever dreams we have are just too far-fetched to come true. We settle for an ordinary life when we could have the life of our dreams.out dream yourself

For those who are lucky enough to skillfully dream. How many of your actions are supporting your dream? You dream to be debt free but you spend haphazardly. You want to work in a different field or for a different company, but you never apply for another job. You want to meet someone and hopefully fall in love, but all you do it go to work and go home. See my point? This is not me judging you. This is me sharing my observations myself and others of the millennial generation.

Simone Biles had a goal to win- To bring home the goal. She worked hard every day, she sacrificed, and she strengthen her skills to help her accomplish her Olympic dreams. In doing so, it seems as if she exceeded even her own expectations. Monday’s Motivation = OUT DREAM YOURSELF!

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgWhat Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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{YTD Update} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

She Makes Cents

As we approach the end of week 33, I must say, staying  on top of the 52 Week BINGO Challenge is taking a little more discipline, for me, than in past weeks.  I had a goal to pay off my credit card by August 1st and I beat that goal by a month.  How, you ask?  Well, the closer I got to a zero balance on that debt, the more aggressive I became with this financial goal.  As always, I paid more than the minimum balance and started dumping any and all unassigned money toward that goal.  In working toward the big credit card payoff, I developed a solid habit of saving.  Now that this first goal is done and the high of the gratification is dwindling down, it does look slightly daunting when I look at my next goal on the snowball– my student loans with it’s $18,593.25 balance.  Ugh!!  I plan on making quarterly payments towards the principle with the money that was previously allocated to my credit card minimum + the 52 Week BINGO Challenge to shave off years of interest and thousands of dollars.

Related Post: {Debt Management} How to Shorten the Length of Your Loans & Reduce Interest

52 Week Challenge

Heavy Chains of Habit- Good or Bad?

Chains of habit are too light until they are too heavy to be broken.  Think about it like this, if you are in the habit of putting money aside every week, at the end of the year the weight of your weekly sacrifice would be greater than if you only saved for one week and then gave up.  Every week, saving $10.00 here, $70.00 there, $100.00 every once in a while might not seem like a big deal at the time, but every penny adds up.  Every time you save makes the habit of saving that much stronger.  The same can be said for  bad habits.  Spending $10.00 here and $70.00 there may not seem like a big deal in the moment.  But over time, that random spending becomes a bad habit and the weight of your debt becomes a heavy burden to carry.

YTD 52 Week BINGO Challenge

Doing the original 52 Week Challenge would result in $1378.00 for the entire year.  Doing the #shemakescents BINGO version has me at $1395.00 YTD with another 19 weeks to go for the rest of the year.

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{Monday Motivation} Do What Makes You Happy!

Happiness

Happy Monday Lovelies.  As you get started in your week….have your morning latte and go through your Snap feed, I want you to take a moment and really think about what makes you happy.  If you are not happy with your financial situation…change it.  Make time to up your financial literacy game (you can start here), create a plan to get you closer to your goal, and put the plan into action.  If your career is not where you want it, step back and examine what it is about your job/profession that makes you happy and what doesn’t.  If your relationship has many benefits, but you are not happy, it’s okay to start that conversation with your partner  about what will make you happier.  Life is too short to waste time doing something that has a negative impact on your happiness.   My birthday last week marked my new beginning.  I will  prioritize happiness in my life the way I see fit and I encourage you to do the same.  Remember, nothing is worth it if it doesn’t make you happy.

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{Splurge or Save} Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick & Brush Review

Vanish Hourglass Foundation StickA few weeks ago, I received the Vanish Foundation Stick & Brush from Hourglass Cosmetics via Influenster for testing purposes.  Its claim to fame is having the coverage of a concealer, fluidity of a liquid, and the weightlessness of a powder for undetectable full coverage.  Well….I put that to the test.  First, I selected the color from a computer screen so I worried if the foundation would even match my skin tone.  If you are a frequent reader of shemakescents.com, you know that I never leave the house without mascara or a spritz of perfume. PERIOD.  Those are my beauty standards and I take them very seriously.  Lately though, with the surge of regular women rocking fully contoured faces on the daily, I have been compelled to add to my makeup repertoire.  In the past few months, I have spent a good bit of money for drug store foundations/concealers in an attempt to discover a perfect color match and consistency.  The sad part is, I spend money on those foundations that I use   occasionally  since foundation isn’t normally in my daily routine.

Related Post: {Kiss & Makeup} The Shelf Life of the Makeup in Your Bag Right Now

Yesterday, the Mr. and I went to Sephora to pick up my birthday freebie and I decided to play with more Hourglass cosmetic products in person. As the Mr. patiently waited for me to finish, he took notice of the $46.00 price tag for the makeup brush and another $46.00 for the foundation stick.  Astonished and confused, he questioned me about who in their right mind would pay those prices.  Well, let’s look at the two products separately.

Related Post: :{Bday Swag} How to Get FREE Stuff on Your Birthday

Foundation Brush

I knew I was going to be reviewing foundation, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a complimentary Hourglass Vanish foundation brush.   I used it with the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Almond and the “seamless finish” advertised came to life on my face.  The first week, I exclusively used the brush with the Vanish Foundation Stick and then I branched out to see if I would get similar results with brands under the $10.00 price point.  The brush created a flawless finish regardless of the foundation used with it.  Since #selfies and #usies are the millennial standard, having a secret weapon in your makeup arsenal that makes your skin look impeccable in photos and in person is worth the splurge.

Splurge or Save? : SPLURGE

Foundation Stick

As a woman of color, I often find it difficult to find makeup that doesn’t make me look chalky, too light, or too dark.  Nude doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone, you know. Like I mentioned before, I had to pick my color from a computer screen and magically, I picked the perfect color.  This is mind-blowing considering it takes me almost 20 minutes in Target to find something “close” to my skin tone.  I love that it is a foundation stick because I can use it right as I am running out the door and I don’t have to worry about a mess like what you have when you use liquid foundation on the go.  Instead of using it on my entire face, I have used it daily under my eyes to fake a “refreshed and youthful” look when I have been consistently running on 6 hours of sleep (not cool). Is it worth the $46.00 price point?  I think this one could depend on what you look for in a foundation.  I will be buying this foundation again, but it won’t be my exclusive foundation.  At a $46.00 price point, it is too expensive for daily use so I will mix it in the rotation of my drug store foundations.  

Splurge or Save? : SAVEHourglass Vanish Foundation Stick and Brush Review

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgWhat’s Your Go To Foundation Brand? Please share below.

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{Life Skills} How To Comeback From A Setback

Goals and Setbacks

I came across this quote the other day and I thought it was too good not to share.  I talk and write about goals all the time, but I rarely write about how to stay on track after a setback.   In the simplest of definitions, a setback occurs when there is a reversal in progress.  Last year, I had a slight financial setback when I put a few thousand dollars on my previously paid off credit card.  I consider this a setback because it literally set me back and an entire year of my money snowball and the added interest I will be paying to make up that year is definitely a reversal of progress. This year, my setback was not being exactly where I wanted to be career wise.  This is something that has stressed me out a great deal until I realized this is my arrow year.  They say an arrow can be shot only by pulling it backward so when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.  I hope this post launches you back onto your chosen path to greatness.

4 Steps to Come Back from A Set Backsetbacks-and-come-backs-she-makes-cents

  1. Question Your Goals.  Are the goals you set for yourself still relevant?  What was important to you six months ago, may not even be on your radar anymore.  That being said, it is okay to abandon goals that you have outgrown for more relevant endeavors.   Take a step back and examine your career, relationships, and finances and decide what’s worth resetting and what can be let go.

  2.  Setbacks Are Meant for Learning.   Okay, so your proverbial “tire” got a flat.  What was your lesson?  Was it to slow down?  Focus more on the road ahead?  Lean into the curves that life throws you?  The only waste of a setback is not learning the lesson.  A lesson missed is a mistake waiting to be repeated.

  3. Break Down Your Goals Into Smaller Manageable Goals.  Sometimes people have a reversal in progress when they get overwhelmed by the task at hand.  It’s like eating pizza.  You shouldn’t be able to eat the entire pie at one time, you have to eat it slice by slice.  Weird example, I know… but you get the point.  Here’s something a little more personal.  I have a goal to be debt free (not including our mortgages) in the next five years.  If I looked at the $27,000 in credit card and student loan debt in its entirety, I might have easily gotten overwhelmed with my goal.  I had to break it down into smaller manageable goals.  First I separated the debts- $5,000.00 for credit cards and $22,000.00 for the remainder of my student loans.  I then set separate goals dates to be done with the debt.  For example, my goal was to pay off my credit card debt by August 1, 2016,  and I am happy to report that I accomplished that goal ahead of time.  I did that by setting weekly goals with the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge and bi-weekly goals of making a minimum $150.00 payment every two weeks regardless of the minimum payment.  With the credit cards out of the way, I am now able to snowball that money to tackle  part two of my student loans and knock out that remaining debt in four years or less.  

  4. Set a Goal Date & Get Her Done.  In this post, “{Got Goals} How To Make and Achieve Your Goals” I break down the tools needed to complete this step.  Check out the post and you will see what I’m talking about.  Don’t forget when breaking down your goals into smaller manageable goals to assign milestone markers for you to stop and reflect on your progress. When I got my credit card under the $1,000.00 mark, I stopped and patted myself on the back because I could see my achievements in the near future. shemakescents-com

{Monday Motivation} Wisdom vs. Integrity

Wisdom

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{Time Is Money} Are You Spending Both Wisely?

Time is Money Quotes from Danielle Vason of shemakescents

It’s safe to say that we have all heard the phrase, time is money.   But what does that really mean?  When considering the quote above, I would say it means that time is valuable.  We can easily recognize the value of money, how great we feel when we spend it wisely, and how annoying it is when we feel that money is wasted.  Those same paradigms should be applied to what I believe to be the most valuable currency that we all have- our time.   

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{Every Woman Should Know} 10 Things Your Don’t Owe Anyone

Have you ever had one of those weeks that tested you both personally and professionally?  Well, let’s just say that this was one of those weeks.  In it I learned that there is no greater peace than peace of mind.  I also learned that sometimes it is easier said than done to be your authentic self, but you will always come out better for doing so.  I came across this brief video posted by Power of Positivity that breaks down 10 things you don’t owe anyone and I must say that I have been tested by 4 out of the 10 in the past month.  Life is gift and you should give everyday the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life; otherwise, what is the point?  I hope that the video below inspires you to wake up, be kind, kick ass, repeat.  Happy Friday Lovelies.


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{Derby Fashions} Does Looking Good + Feeling Good = Spending Money?

A few weeks ago I was low key stressing about Derby Fashion….I know, it’s just the Derby and people have real problems, but when I don’t look good, I don’t feel good.  I wasn’t even planning on attending until the very last minute so things became a mad dash for me to find the a complete get up, including the dress, cute wedges for the grass, and of course, the hat!  The Mr. and I were here, there, and everywhere and I even employed the help of my mom in the search for the perfect hat.  I was swiping left and right (my bank cards not Tender) when it hit me…Danielle, you have hit one of your shopping triggers.  In the past few years I have noticed that I tend to spend more when I feel something is “lacking” in my appearance.  I will over shop when I probably didn’t need to as a way to try to correct something that may be off in my life.  On the second day of running around Atlanta I forced myself to just stop and really think about what is currently in my closet.  This is after the Mr. treated me to a very cute new dress and I bought new shoes.  I was out looking for THE HAT when I thought about switching things up.  Actually, it was after I saw this picture that I began to rethink my entire approach:

Derby Fashion

My original plan was to go traditional Derby in a more dressed up way, but I loved how pretty and comfortable she looked (no comment on her Beau). “Oh wait”, light bulb moment, “I have a very similar dress in my closet”….but still no hat.  In my final half hour of stress before we had to leave, I told myself that whatever hat I found, be it for the dress we bought or the dress I have, would dictate my Derby look.   Fed up and feeling a little defeated, I went to one final store and found a hat.  We attended Atlanta’s version of the Kentucky Derby and had a blast with new and old friends.

Check It Out!

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Through the experience I learned that I have to start making time to take better care of myself, that way I don’t have to get ready, I will stay ready.  I learned from a mix of packing up my closet for the big  move (another post for another day), that it is time for me to reinvest in my wardrobe.  At (insert cough here) 30 years old,  I shouldn’t be trying to wear the same staples from college.  My style has evolved and so has my body.  I also learned that along the line, I had replaced an updated wardrobe with things to make my new house a home.  I was a girl with a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear because I had not taken the time to properly edit, purge, and organize.   For Derby Day, I wore a dress from my own closet, shoes I already had, and a hat that, unlike the more traditional style, I could see myself wearing again.  After I complete my Edit, Purge, Organize, which I will blog my way through, I will be able to make better decisions like that in the future.  

Editors Note: I took the new shoes back because they worked for the new dress but weren’t really my style.  With that money, I bought six new classic wardrobe must haves.  Special thanks to Event Rentals Unlimited for VIP access to the beautiful air conditioned glass tent!  

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