{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

{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!

IMG_3180

20160423_140113_resized

IMG_3182

IMG_20160423_172250

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!  

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg  Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

shemakescents{at}gmail {dot}com |  Instagram  @shemakescents 

{February Recap} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

Happy Saturday Lovelies!  I was about to do my regular weekly  update when I realized that the month of February is technically over (based on our BINGO schedule).   Oh how the time flies.  This week I crossed off $25.00 on the shemakescents BINGO money sheet.  Looking at my numbers, I was definitely able to save more in January than I was this month.  I am very proud of my progress and commitment  to this challenge and I am so very proud of those on this challenge with me.  I have heard inspiring stories from college students, mothers, couples, and career millennials.  This reveals to me that this challenge is helpful and fun for a diverse group of people.  My goal for March is to exceed the savings from January (the month  to beat). Since March 1st marks the 5th year anniversary for shemakescents.com I want to do it big!!

52 Week Challenge

Recap By The Numbers

January- $286.00

February- by the weeks

Year to Date Total: $396.00

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg  Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

shemakescents{at}gmail {dot}com |  Instagram  @shemakescents 

{Financial Cents} A Quick Tip to Help You Pay Down Debt

Happy Hump Day Lovelies!  I wanted to give you a quick tip that I am using to help me pay down my credit card debt.  If you can, I would recommend you plan your payments on debt such as your mortgage and credit cards to bi-weekly payments.  Since there are two months out of the year that have five weeks, you end up with an extra month’s payment at the end of the year.  Those payments can be applied directly to the principal, which I recommend, or give you the opportunity to have these loans paid one month in advanced.

stylefinest.co (1).pngPROS

  • It helps you pay off debt faster
  • Reduces the amount of interest you have to pay back over the life of the loan

CONS

  • All lenders and credit card companies do not allow you to split your payments. If this is the case, you can create a money envelope for that extra payment you will have at the end of the year and use it to pay on top of your monthly minimum. It’s not a true “con” on the pros and cons list, but it does require an extra step and discipline to not spend that money

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg  Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

shemakescents{at}gmail {dot}com |  Instagram  @shemakescents 

{Motivational Monday} You Can Handle ANYTHING!

Happy Monday Lovelies!  I’ve noticed that past few Mondays’that the hashtag #motivationalmonday has been trending.  That tells me that I am not the only one who  benefits from the extra push of positivity to start the week out.  I hope today’s quote puts a smile on your face.  The realization is, everyone experiences storms but the beautiful thing is that the storm always passes.  If you a struggling in your finances, career, or relationships, grab your umbrella of perseverance and stay strong as you ride your personal storm out.  I’m mean really, if Britney Spears survived 2007, you can handle ANYTHING! Britney Spears

{Week 8 Recap} Beyonce’, Credit Cards, & the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

Sunday- the end of the week or start of a new one? For me, it is the wrap up to week eight of 2016 and time for the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge. To chose a number for the week, I start by looking at my bank account and seeing how much I can afford pay on top of my bills and money envelopes. While I manage my money on a zero-based style budget, I do leave a little wiggle room for unexpected expenses and this BINGO Challenge. I then review my credit card statement, since that is how I am using the extra money from this challenge.  Looking at the declining balance of credit card debt gets me right back on track when I start thinking about excess spending. For example, I was on the Ticketmaster site earlier this week determined to get BeeHive presale tickets for  Beyonce’s Formation Tour that went on sale at 10:00am.

beyonce-10-dollar-bill

9:44 am….I had my credit card out on my desk and was ready to purchase up to four tickets on my card.  But why?  I love going to Beyonce’ concerts.  “It’s about the experience”, is what I said to justify the “almost expense”.   I have only missed one of six Beyonce’s World Tours, I Am…Sasha Fierce, so to say that I’m really missing out might be a reach.

9:58am… Credit card is in hand and I am watching the countdown clock for the start of presale tickets.  I’m ready to risk my progress toward my financial milestone dates that I have set for myself as an individual and that my husband and I have set as a couple.

9:59:59… I hit refresh.  Picturing me, hubs, and another friend couple having the time of our lives.  Aww…the fun we are going to have.

10:00am…. I am entering my information trying to get tickets for the Atlanta show. So excited to tell the hubs that I got these tickets for us.

10:03am… “do not refresh or you will lose your place in line” Really Ticketmaster?

10:15am…  The same message is on the screen when the phone rings and I have to stop #OperationFormationTour and take care of business.giphy

Looking back, I have to credit divine intervention for me aborting #OperationFormationTour.  I was saved by the bell…or ring… especially considering  I was prepared to spend up to $150.00 per ticket for this concert.   If I am really being honest with myself, all of this was more about  FOMO (fear of missing out) than seeing my fifth Beyonce’ concert.  Dave Ramsey has famously affirmed, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else”.  There are a lot of broke people going to see Beyonce’ who are sacrificing responsibilities for what I am sure will be an epic experience.  I’m okay missing this concert (unless someone wants to graciously gift me tickets), if that means I am making strides to get to the point where the question  changes.  I am staying steadfast with my goals and very soon that the question will change from, Should we spend $150.00 per ticket? to What country to you want to see this concert in?  For now, I will focus on getting my finances into formation and I will cross off $15.00 on my BINGO money sheet.

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg  Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

shemakescents{at}gmail {dot}com |  Instagram  @shemakescents 

{Millennials Guide to Money} What Is A 403(b)?

403b-moneyPeople are living longer nowadays, which means that it is more important than ever to get aggressive about saving for the future. While everyone’s vision for retirement varies, there is still an underlying need for basic expenditures. The cost of living is steadily increasing and as most people approach retirement, they are stunned when their new normal is a reduced fixed income. Not saving now could cost you peace of mind in the future. So let’s get our financial Zen on, together!

When most people hear the words “retirement plan”, their minds immediately go to a 401k plan. While it is the most talked about, it certainly is not the only option for retirement. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the 403(b) plan. A 403(b) plan is a retirement plan offered to employees of tax-exempt organizations that fall under the code 501(c)(3), like schools, churches, and hospitals. If you are eligible to participate, I would highly recommend that you do.

Formal Education vs Self Education

ADVANTAGES of a 403(b) Plan

1. Your contributions toward your 403(b) are pre-taxed. Meaning your contribution reduces your current income and the amount you owe in current income taxes.

2. All contributions and earnings are tax deferred, which presents you with tax savings since most people are in a lower tax bracket at the time of retirement. This is another instance where time is on your side because the sooner you start to make contributions, the faster your money will grow.

3. Similar to a 401k, employers are able to match contributions. 403(b) contributions must be made through a salary reduction agreement with an employer, even though your company does not directly administer them.

4. Hardship withdrawals can be made. While hardship withdrawals can be made, I would highly recommend this as a last resort option. You must prove that you are experiencing extreme financial distress and the money must be used to cover expenses such as medical bills, tuition fees, or in the event of an eviction or foreclosure. Just remember that you are only allowed to withdraw the exact amount needed and that the money will be taxed as income.

People who are eligible for this type of retirement plan are ones who make a living being of service to others. If you qualify for a 403(b), be of service to yourself and your financial future, by getting serious about your plans for retirement. They say the older you get, the faster time passes. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to make time and youth work for you.

This article was originally posted on the Feex Blog

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg  Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

shemakescents{at}gmail {dot}com |  Instagram  @shemakescents 

{The Woman Behind the Brand} Danielle YB Vason of “She Makes Cents”

Hello Lovelies!  Are you curious about the person behind the brand? Who is SHE?  Well, I am very excited to invite you to check out my updated About Me page (click the picture below).  So much has happened in my life and in the lives of my readers since I created my first about me page… that I was way  past due for an update.  Over the years I have enjoyed getting to know my readers and I have been inspired by your stories that you bravely share on the site and the personal ones that are emailed to me privately.   I never feel alone in my journey because of readers like you are right there for every step toward financial freedom.   About Me

 Photo Credit: Bri McDanielle Photography

Feel free to tweet me @shemakescents using hashtag #SMCmoneytalks or stop by our Facebook page to say hi, update me your progress, goals, and topics you would like to see more of. I’d love to hear from you.cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg

Let’s Get Social!
Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

shemakescents{at}gmail {dot}com |  Instagram  @shemakescents 

{Week 7 Money Challenge Recap} RESET Your Goals = Success

“Personal Finance Really 80% Behavior and 20% Head Knowledge”- Dave Ramsey

Jars of Coins

We are closing out week 2 of February and I have a good feeling that people have started to forget the motivation that most feel at the very beginning of the year. Whether you have forgotten your goals, lost sight of your personal mantra for your year, or given up on your resolutions, know that it is not too late to reset. In the past three years, I’ve gotten off track more than a few times when doing this challenge. That’s why it’s called a challenge. It is not supposed to be easy. Lucky for us, my BINGO version of this challenge isn’t particularly difficult either. Making necessary changes to help you reach your goals, be it financially, socially, or vocationally is all about behavior. You have to retrain your brain and as soon as you start seeing results, you will begin to establish that positive change as a habit and one day you will look up and it will be a lifestyle. You can do it, whatever “it” may be for you. As far as this journey toward financial freedom goes, you are not alone. We are in this together. I’m proud of myself for going strong every Friday with the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge. Today I crossed off $46.00 on my BINGO money sheet for a total of $70.00 extra dollars that went toward my credit card debt (on top of the monthly minimum, of course) this month. Instead of spending $70.00 on my taco habit (Hi, my name is Danielle and I have an unhealthy LOVE of tacos) I invested that $70.00 into my financial goals.

Great job to those who are going all in and staying on the challenge like Alysa T. who check just about every Friday, Briana C., and Chris. C.  I also want to welcome the newcomers to the challenge. The beauty of this challenge is that you can start or restart anytime, so if you have gotten off tract RESET today.

Twitter Check-Ins #SMCmoneytalks

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg  Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

shemakescents{at}gmail {dot}com |  Instagram  @shemakescents 

{What Is an IRA?} The Millennial Woman’s Guide to Beginners Investing

As a millennial woman, I know many of my female peers shy away from conversations about money and becoming financially fit for fear of looking ignorant for not knowing the basics. Financial vocabulary is spoken and some hear Charlie Brown’s teacher and stop listening. I want to help break down self-imposed barriers that could be keeping us from confidently making smart money moves.

She Makes Cents- IRA.png

THE BASICS

Whether or not you have an interest in saving and/or investing money, I could bet that you have an interest in learning how to make it grow. So listen up, take notes, and let’s start planting financial seeds of knowledge. First up, the IRA.

An IRA or an (Individual Retirement Account) is a savings account where money grows tax-free with a max contribution of no more than $5,550.00 ($6500.00 if you are 50 or older) for 2015 and 2016. TAX FREE. F-R-E-E! That free part is what should make it exciting and intriguing, even for those who have no interest in investing. There are two types of IRA accounts: a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA and the differences between the two are when you pay taxes on the money. Regardless of the fact that your money is growing tax-free in both types of accounts, you still have to pay Uncle Sam his cut. With a Roth IRA you pay the taxes up front and with a Traditional IRA you pay the taxes at the time of withdrawal. Regardless of the type of IRA you have, you can access your money once you hit 59 ½  years old, without getting hit with a 10% tax penalty for early distribution.

IRAS AND MILLENNIALS

I know, I know….generally speaking millennials are not very interested in saving for retirement. We are, however, very good at saving for the emergency of the present or for big things like college/student loan expenses or even buying a house for the first time. If you needed to tap into your contributions right not, your IRA will give you far more flexibility than a 401K or a 403(b). Assuming you meet the necessary requirements, this type of account can be used to offset qualified education expenses (like tuition, books, fees, supplies, and equipment required for enrolling) if you attend an IRS-approved institution or even buying your first home without penalties.
The best thing yet, if you are a 20 something….or even a 30 something like me, time is still on your side. According to this article entitled, Why You Need A Roth IRA, writer Kevin McCormally explains it well with regards to the Roth IRA, youth, and compounding interest:

“If a 25-year-old contributes $5,000 each year until she retires and makes an average annual return of 8% on her investment, she’ll have $1.4 million saved by the time she retires at age 65. And the money is all hers—she won’t have to give the IRS a cent of it if she waits until retirement to withdraw the earnings”.

Related Article: How Youth Is On Your Side

Although it is already 2016, you still have until the tax deadline to make/claim contributions from last year. That is to say, if you have $5,500.00 laying around in your mattress or in a money market, you might want to consider opening an IRA for that $5,550.00 deductible on your taxes THIS tax season.

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg  Visit SMC on Facebook  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC on Twitter  Visit SMC  Email SMC

info@shemakescents.com  |  Instagram  @shemakescents