How to Have the Best Monday Ever!

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MLK Quote to Inspire You to Keep Moving Forward Through Any Situation

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Sometimes unexpected things happen…2016 was proof of that.  The thing is, we cannot give anything the power to paralyze us in a state of anger, fear, grief, complacency, etc.  Today I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I like this quote because it represents that there will be things in life that will attempt to block your path to greatness.  Sometimes we can even block our own blessings.  If you can’t fly then don’t shrug your shoulders and throw in the towel.  It’s so much easier to give up after the first roadblock (See  “How To Come Back from A Setback”).  Lace up your favorite pair of sneakers and get to running, girlfriend.  You might not get to your greatness quickly, but as long as you keep moving forward you are taking the necessary moves to get you one step closer than you were when you realized that flying was not an option.

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{2017 Word of the Year} How One Word Will Guide My Entire Year

fb-qotd-templateI pose this question every year and 2017 is no different.  What one word reflects your vision for 2017?  So many of you submitted thoughtful responses via the SMC Facebook group and Instagram such as “gentleness”, “perseverance”, “do”,  and “focus”.  I even had one response that was in line with my word of the year…INTENTION from the Instagram handle @yourlifefinance.  By definition, intention is a determination to act in a certain way.  I chose “intention” to reflect my vision for 2017 because it adds purpose to all thoughts, words, and actions.  To be honest, I have found that haphazard thoughts, words, and actions tend to get me into trouble.  Toward the end of the year, I started asking God to guide my words so that I speak with intention and not for the sake of attention.  This past year was my year of BRAVERY and even though it started out shaky, I ended the year with one of my bravest moves yet (post to come later on that one…).  intention-adds-purpose-to-all-thoughts-words-and-actionsFour years ago was my year of BALANCE, 2014 was my year of FOCUS, 2015 was my year of PASSION, 2016 was my year of BRAVERY, and I welcome my year of INTENTION.  I am working very hard to make sure that my words and actions are in line with the following criteria:  Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it truthful?  As each year passes,  I take a moment and reflect on why I chose my earlier words, where I was in my personal development for that to be a necessary focus, and how I  incorporated the meaning of  those words in my life.  

What’s Your Word for 2017 and why did you pick it? Share Below!

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Don’t Let Fear Be A Roadblock To Success

Inspirational Quotes

This is the season when people reflect on the past year and pledge to “do better” in year ahead. I  promised myself that I would “be brave” in 2016 so much so that I selected it as my personal word of the year. The thing is, I spent a great deal of the year doing what I have always done and was perplexed as to why things were not progressing as quickly as I would have liked. Why is this situation still a situation? In a moment of clarity, I was standing in a mirror of self-reflection realizing that I have made decisions in the areas of my career, finances, and relationships based primarily out of fear. This is why I selected brave as the word of the year in the first place; to push myself out of my comfort zone and accept new challenges. Nothing in my life or yours will ever change if we continue to do what we have always done. As Walt Disney says, “ We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.  The opportunity for something new is knocking, are you ready to open the door?

What Does “Being Brave” Mean to You?

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{Monday Motivation} You Will Never View Mondays The Same After Seeing This!

I posted this on the shemakescents Instagram and Facebook pages last week and the response was great!!  Sometimes the best motivation one can receive comes from within and often it is as simple as a change of perspective.  Glass half empty or glass half full… either way it is a glass of water and it is your own formed perspective that shapes it as positive or negative thing.  Have a great week and Happy Monday!Monday Motivation

{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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{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

{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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