Major Milestone | She Makes Cents 6th Year Anniversary!

blogiversarySix years ago shemakescents started as a way for me to share my financial journey with the world… and by that I mean my dad and my cousin Dot because they were the only two people reading my stuff in the early days.  I kept writing because I wanted to share my story and connect with others.  I knew my financial journey felt different from my other twenty-something friends because they would come to me with their questions about buying a house and how to get ahead of student loan debt during a recession. Soon, other people joined my dad and cousin in subscribing to the blog and that was the first time I really felt like I wasn’t talking to myself.  In the past 6 years, I have been so surprised by the people who take a moment out of their busy day to tell me how much they enjoy reading shemakescents.  You have been with me when I paid off my credit card, bought a car off Craigslist and got married.  To the 1.3 MILLION visitors to she makes cents…. thank you for joining me for the past 6 years.  Stay tuned, 2017 has the potential to be our best year yet!

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What The Navient Lawsuit Means for Student Loan Borrowers

The government or more specifically the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)  filed a lawsuit against Navient, the nation’s largest student loan service provider last week. Navient is the twin sister to the head of the student loan mafia, Sallie Mae, Inc. that services the loans of more than 12 million borrowers, including my own.  As a loan service provider, they manage borrowers’ accounts, process monthly payments, and communicate directly with borrowers.  The suit was filed on January 18th  with another following just days before the transition of presidential power.navient-lawsuit

According to the CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, “Navient chose to shortcut and deceive consumers to save on operating costs. Too many borrowers paid more for their loans because Navient illegally cheated them and today’s action seeks to hold them accountable.” Some of the most pressing allegations include failing to correctly apply or allocate borrower payments to their accounts, steering struggling borrowers toward paying more than they have to on loans, obscured information consumers needed to maintain their lower payments and deceived private student loan borrowers about requirements to release their co-signer from the loan.  

What That Means for You?

If this lawsuit is successful, consumers affected by Navient’s alleged misdoings may receive some monetary restitution.  Don’t get too excited yet.  This is not a class-action suit that you can sign up for.  According to ClassAction.org, “Attorneys usually find out those who were affected by looking at the defendant’s records in a phase of the litigation known as the discovery phase. People who could be covered by the suit are usually sent a notice or check in the mail. The agency that filed the lawsuit will also have information on their website about the suit and who can claim money in the event of a settlement”.

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{Splurge or Save} Christian Louboutin Nail Polish


christian-louboutin-nail-polish

Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I have an affinity toward nail polish. The Mr. once described my behavior in a Sephora on the Las Vegas strip as a “lioness approaching her prey”. With that being said, I have tried it all and I must say, nail polish should not be a splurge. Take the Christian Louboutin nail lacquer that was released yesterday. For $50.00 a bottle, that is smaller than the average nail polish bottle I might add, what are you getting?- A nice rouge polish that can be replicated with OPI or even NYX polish (which is becoming my new favorite because of how long it lasts). You see, you are paying for a name, cool branding with the spiked top, and for people to see you wearing Christian Louboutin. But unlike his shoes, which can be readily identified by their distinctive red bottoms, no one is going to recognize your Rouge Louboutin polish. Think about it like this, 12 bottles of polish could buy you a pair of Louboutin heels…which I would consider a better investment, by far.  

Splurge or Save? : SAVE

Danielle

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgWould you spend $50.00 for nail polish?

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{Personal Story} The Mr. Asked Me to be His Mrs.

He stole my heart, so I’m stealing his last name!

It’s been a minute, but I have a really great reason for getting slightly off the editorial schedule. One week ago, the Mr. asked me to be his Mrs. That’s right folks, I’m GETTING MARRIED!! Every since I was a little girl I have dreamed of this moment.  Yesterday, when visiting my dad, he reminded me of a school project I had when I was five or six years old.  Then when asked to write about what I wanted to be when I grew up, my proudly wrote a ballerina, a bride, and a firefighter.  Well, at least I got two out of three.  Ever since he proposed, life has been a complete whirlwind in the best kind of way.  In honor of this exciting time, I’d like to share some of my favorite Money and Relationship posts of the past.

{Money & Friendships} The Real Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

{Money & Relationships} 5 Great Reasons to Have the “Money Talk” with Your Boyfriend

{Money & Relationships} One Reason He Hasn’t Put A Ring On It!

{Money & Relationships} 5 Money Questions You Need to Ask Your Significant Other TODAY!

Let’s Connect!

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{The Bouqs} The Most Epic Way to Buy Flowers – But Is It Worth It?

You know I’m all about using my “cents” to live a fabulous life. As I get older, however, I’m feel empowered to define and redefine what a fab life looks and feels to me. One thing that is classic and has always made me feel… well fabulous is fresh flowers at home. It’s something about them that makes me feel very adult and chic, which inspires me to get my house super neat and clean as if Elle Décor was coming through. Being in the event design industry, I am fortunate to see all sorts of beautiful floral from around the world. Being on a financial plan, though, means that it is imperative to find creative yet economical ways to make sure that a simple luxury like fresh flowers is in the budget. Check out what could be one of my new go-to stops for fresh flowers on a budget.

The Bouqs

The Bouqs is a company out of California who contacted me last month about reviewing their product. Prior to that, I had not heard of them (I guess I missed that episode of Shark Tank). After doing a little digging, I learned that they offer sustainable and eco-friendly flowers that are grown on an active volcano in South America. Have you ever had volcano flowers??? Yeah, neither had I, so I had to order a bouq (short for bouquet) and let you all know if this is worth adding to your “simple luxuries” money envelope. I went to their website and I was immediately impressed that they had Ranunculus at a time when my floral distributor could not even get them for my brides at work. Swoon-worthy right?

While I LOVE ranunculus, I wanted something with a little flirty touch, so I took a chance and ordered their Desperado bouquet. As seen below, the Desperado is comprised of a lovely composition of pink roses and soft purple Dianthus. I thought the colors were gorgeous so I pressed “order” and waited a week. The delivery came as scheduled, but to my surprise, my pink and purple bouquet was all pink. It was not a big problem, but it just wasn’t what I expected… until I looked online and saw the note that stated: “Pink Roses with Purple Dianthus or similar accent flowers“. This folks, is a prime example of why it is important to read to the end of the line and the bottom of the page J.

Being that I had these delivered to my office, I had a slew of vases in our floral department to choose from. They arrived in a box so I immediately cut them under water at a slight angle to help them last longer. I also was advised by one of our senior designers at my office to remove all extra leaves and cut them short so that water and flower food is not wasted on foliage. I mixed in the flower food that was provided and started playing with how I wanted to style the arrangement I was making. This was my first arrangement right after I took it out of the box on day one.

 

Day Three

A Week Later

Bouqs start at $40.00 an order, including shipping, and would be a great option for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, dinner parties or just because. It’s not in my financial plan to get these weekly, but I will definitely take advantage of their concierge service that allows you to schedule floral deliveries to your favorite people. I know I will also use them again because the quality, service, and ability to stay fresh longer than your grocery store flowers makes it worth the money. I will list this as: A GOOD BUY.

 

What’s Your Take on Fresh Flowers? Fab or a Waste of Money

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What ONE Word Do You Want People To Think Of When They Think of YOU?

Recently, I was asked this question and I  admittedly I drew a blank… at least for the first few minutes of the conversation.  Over the years I have gone back and forth about whether other’s views of me are important and I have come to realize that while I can’t control what other people think, I can control the energy I  put out into the world. Since the conversation earlier this week, this subject has come up in both a professional and social setting where cause and effect and appearance and reality merge. Professionally, what your coworkers think of you and how they describe you to others could have an effect on your progression within your company and/or chosen field.  If excellence is not your brand and others share their thoughts of you with others, you could seem to others as anything and everything less than excellent.

thought cloud

So I ask you…. what ONE word do you want people to think of when they think of you?

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Extra! Extra! Read All About it! She Makes Cents Hits MAJOR Milestone!

2,000,000 Views

This has been a very busy week for SheMakesCents.com, the chic and sassy money-saving site for women that inspires ways to use your “cents” to live a fab life. I am proud to announce the site has hit the 2 MILLION views mark and I wrote my 500th post…all this week!  I want to take a moment and extend gratitude to each of you who have taken the time the read my posts, comment with your thoughts, share with your friends, and trust me with your personal stories of financial worries and successes.  celebrationSo no more sleeping in today.  Rise and shine, lovelies…..get glammed up and celebrate!.  I plan to celebrate this milestone in blogging and I urge you to celebrate your financial milestones- big or small.  There is no cookie cutter definition of the fab life and each of us are proving that as we redefine what it means to us.  The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and I thank you all for helping me see mine materialize.

xo, Danielle

Tell Me About YOUR last MAJOR life milestone!

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{Style Cents} The Most Stylish Way to Destroy A Credit Card

Credit Card Name Necklace{Photo Source: Clossette}

I saw this picture not too long ago from the blogger and self-proclaimed JeDIY master, Yuka Yoneda, of Clossette.com and my mind started to race.  That’s right, you are looking at a fabulously easy DIY name necklace repurposed from her old Macy’s card.  People cut up credit cards all the time to celebrate a BIG pay off, to keep themselves from going into further credit card debt, or because they were issued a new card.  No matter the reason, this is definitely a more stylish option than going all Edward Scissor Hands on your old card.  I still can’t fathom the thought of doing the “big chop” on my credit card once it hits a zero balance. It’s hard to shift that paradigm of having a credit card simply “in case of emergencies” but I am starting realize that is what my emergency fund is for.  I’m not sure if I am ready to cut my current card, but I have a card or two that had to be replaced because of a corporate breach.  If you are taking part in this DIY, remember to first demagnetize the card, shred the card after you have removed your “name plate”, and dispose on trash day.

Chic or Cheap?

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{SMC Announcement} Danielle Boler for FeeX

FeeX LogoJust recently I teamed up with a company called FeeX to join the conversation of about money for their company blog.  The content is a mix of personal stories, financial insights, news, and interviews and I am honored to be a part of the discussion.  FeeX is a free service that uncovers the hidden fees in your retirement accounts—initially IRAs—and estimates the damage that these fees are inflicting on your retirement savings.  Are you one of the 7 out of 10 Americans that are completely unaware of the fees eating away at your retirement savings?  I think this type of service is cool and a great way to learn more about retirement savings while adding my twenty-something voice to their blog.  Check me out!

Let’s Connect!

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{hello camera} April Photo Challenge from SheMakesCents.com

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