{2015 Week 11 Update} 52 Week Money Challenge

I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us.      -Dave Ramsey

52 Week Challenge

I’ve been contacted by quite a few of you asking for a copy of the 52 Week Money Challenge, which shows me that I am not the only one looking to save money.  While you won’t save a MAJOR windfall doing this challenge, you will gain financial discipline.  It’s harder than you think to get in the habit of saving but once up pick up the skill, it’s well worth the effort.  If you are new to She Makes Cents, I am happy to report that I paid off my credit card doing this challenge as additional payments over the minimum.  I am now adding this extra money to my wedding savings account after I see how much I have left from doing a zero based budget…aka, my saving grace!

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How Are You Going Use Your $1300+ ?

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SMC Book Club: The Bliss List

“A little reading is all the therapy a person needs sometimes” – Unknown

I remember one particular time, I needed to get out of the house and clear my head.  I didn’t know where to go, so I hopped in the car and just started driving.  When I need to clear my mind and relax, especially when I am under extreme stress like I was that day, I find my way to my local book store.  I walked around, grabbed some coffee, and sat down in the middle of and aisle and started reading the first page of several books.  I bought four books that day, one of which is the SMC February Book selection- The Bliss List: The Ultimate Guide to Living the Dream at Work and Beyond  by J.P. Hansen .  I started reading The Bliss List and I immediately started to feel better, relaxed, and excited for the possibilities ahead.The Bliss List

WHAT IS THE BLISS LIST?
Four out of five people are unhappy in their current jobs (and that unhappiness spills over into their personal lives). One secret to living the life you dream about, according to author and Life Coach J.P. Hansen, is to pursue the activities that put you in the zone where time stands still.

In his book, The Bliss List, he guides readers through an odyssey of mystical concepts to attract bliss into their lives by changing their attitudes and their minds. He provides insight and inspiration for readers to find work that truly brings them bliss (and whatever else they desire, including money). At the same time, and on a practical level, he takes readers inside the world of executive recruitment and shows how a powerful résumé opens the right doors to the right job. He shows résumé make overs for success and even gives a template for readers to fill in.

 Join #teamSMC as we dive into a spiritual, practical, and conceptual evaluation what makes us truly happy.  You will need a pen and paper, so this is not a book I would recommend in audio format.

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Want to Join Book Club? Leave a Book Suggestion Below.

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{Mobile Money} 3 Fool Proof Tips to Keep Your Mobile Banking Secure

I remember not too long ago when mobile banking and payments was taboo.  It was thought to be unsafe by many people; a scary black hole in which unsuspecting users where trusting their entire financial lives.  Today, this is not the case.  Even with constant public breaches of personal information, consumer comfort seems to be at an all time high.  Instead of the traditional wallet with several forms of payment, people are leaning on the convenience of the mobile wallet. Perhaps, it is the evolution of technology and one’s daily mastery use of it or even the ease of access that makes cashing a check by taking a picture instead of driving to the bank, that much more appealing.  With an estimated $8.6 billion (that’s billion with a “B”) annually of card payments fraud, what should you do to keep your money and information secure?

tumblr_n699bwWDTS1s322uwo1_500Free Wifi + Mobile Payments = No Bueno. Logging on to free Wi-Fi in public spacing is like holding up a neon sign saying, “Please rob me”.  The reason for this is that public Wi-Fi is simply that…..public.  It is not encrypted since you don’t have to enter a password for access.  That is to say, that those who also share the network with you have access to certain sites you visit, even those with the https:// in front of it, which denotes a secured website.  Want to keep your access secure white using public Wi-Fi?  To start, only visit sites that don’t require you to enter a password like SheMakesCents.

Open Tabs On PhoneLog Out.  When you sign into your mobile banking, look at the balance of your student loans, or pay a bill through online bill pay, it is imperative that you not only log out when finished, but close the tab.  Cell phones and other mobile devices store so much of your private information that has the ability to collect your personal data when you visit other sites.  Think about it, if you had your banking tab open at the same time as your Facebook tab, for instance, you might start seeing banking ads in your timeline.

apple_pay_credit_cards_primary-100413350-primary.idgeStored Mobile Payment Information.  Keep track of the apps that you allow to store your payment information.  With all the conveniences of iTunes, services like Zifity who bring food to your front door, Uber who provides car service and even Fandango the movie ticket savior (I hate standing in long lines) it’s easy to lose track of who has access to your credit card/ banking information for mobile payments.

To enjoy the convenience of mobile banking and payments, is to make smart decisions, be as proactive as you can to protect your devices and access to your information.  Data breaches happen and for those highly skilled hackers these tip may not matter. But if you are on top these fool proof suggestions, it can make it harder for the average Joe to prevail in robbing you blind.

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgLet’s Get Social!

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{Cash Is Fab} How One Girl Resolves to Never Use Plastic Again!

This morning I was cleaning out old files from the computer, aka procrastinating writing my next blog post, when I found an old resolution. I wrote in it December of 2013 but never posted it.   I decided to post it today, however, to show what a year of working toward financial goals looked like for me.  I encourage you to write down your goals so you can have a reference of just how far you have come and then take a step back and acknowledge your progress.  Check out my 2014 financial goals  below:

Cash Is Fab! How One Girl Resolves to Never Use Plastic Again!

Some people hear the word “resolution” and immediately shutter. I on the other hand, look at resolutions as a new beginning… a do over to do better. Hey, if you don’t like the word resolutions, substitute it for goals because everyone knows that goals are AWESOME! This year I resolve to pay off my credit card balance before my birthday in August, kick start my snowball toward financial freedom, and say no to plastic forever (ambitious, right?).   I am working toward this goal by paying a set amount every two weeks (each payment over the monthly minimum) and doing the 52 Week Money Challenge (Bingo Style) every Friday. If I were okay with just paying the minimum, it would take me 4 years, instead of eight months, to complete step one of my financial plan. The Bingo version of the challenge plays a big role in completing my financial resolutions because if I am having a tough financial week, I can pick a lower amount to save. Once the credit card is paid off, my monthly credit card payments (including the 52 Week Challenge savings) will become extra payments to my student loans and so on until I have zero debt. I keep myself motivated by constantly reminding myself and my accountability partner, The Mr., of my ultimate goal to pay of all debt, credit card, student loans, and mortgage in the next ten years. If I can’t afford to pay for it in cash, I can’t afford it!

Currency in envelope

Now, one year later my credit card balance is not a concern because it is non-existent.  I sometimes forget about the stress that carrying a credit card balance had on me.  Yes, I paid my credit card off and before my target date by doing this risky move, which worked and then immediately backfired.  I also think about how my snowball plan for my student loans has been transformed into a snowball for my October wedding expenses to the Mr.  Boy oh boy, what changes can happen in a year.

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Finish the Sentence: I Resolve to ________

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{2015 Vision Board Preview} I Resolve Not To Be Cheap, Easy, Fast, or Fake!

A Vision in the Making

Happy 1st Saturday of the year lovelies!  I hope that it has been a good one thus far.  Hopefully you have had a chance get your Bingo Style Money Sheet and have crossed off your first box.  This morning, I am live blogging to you about a “vision in the making”.  With PJs on and a laptop in the bed, I have decided it is time to get my vision board together.  Instead of doing one large board, I have decided to break mine down into six categories and refine my focus in those areas of my life- Danielle Y. Boler as a Brand, Vocation, Health, Personal Relationships, Social, and Wealth.  I will have them printed and I plan to frame them in my office, closet, and in my day planner.  This morning I am focusing on being mentally, spiritually, and physically Healthy.  This photo below is just a glimpse of what I am thinking and positively projecting for this year and beyond:

fruit infused voss water

For me, this photo is a reminder to be more conscience of what I’m putting into my body.  Be knowledgeable about where my food is coming from, but most important to remember that you are what you eat.  That being said, I resolve to not be cheap, easy, fast, or fake!cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpg

What are your more healthy resolutions?

Please share below!

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In honor of my “Word of the Year“, P-A-S-S-I-O-N, I’d like to share this quote from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, author of Lean In, and overall empower-er of girl power in the workplace.   I choose the word passion because I resolve to be passionate in my thoughts because thoughts become actions before they become habits.  Imagine how divine the year will be once I am consistently and  habitually passionate about things that require my time (i.e. financial goals, career, self-improvement,and love)…just to name a few things one can be passionate about.  The focus and elevated motivation will help this new year be my best year! #SMCYearofPassionpassion pt 2

A Key Benefit of Parents Funding Their Children’s College Expenses

I remember I asked the question on the SMC Facebook page, “Should parents help fund their children’s college expenses?”  The responses ranged from, “Oh, hell no” to “If I have the means, why not give back to the next generation”.  My Dad helped me and because of that, I graduated with about $25,000 in student loan debt, as opposed to $125,000+/ for a top-tier private college. According to USA Today, “in all but one state, the average graduate owed more than $20,000 in 2013, and in six states, the average student debt was more than $30,000.”  So what does this all mean post graduation?  It means that a generation is starting their adult lives in the red. When it’s time to make major financial decisions, such as buying a house, like our parent’s generation was able to do, the road to home ownership and financial freedom seems non-existent.

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A Key Benefit of Parents Funding Their Children’s College Expenses

I bought my house for my 24th birthday on a whim.  In fact, my story of how I purchased a home for my 24th birthday was nothing more than a beautiful blessing.  I had not saved one dime specifically for a purchase of this type.  In fact, I was simply praying for a way to get out of my parent’s house after moving back from college.  At this time in my life, Sallie Mae and I were close friends because I had my student loans paid a year in advance even with the recession picking up steam.  For about two weeks, I was looking on the internet for apartments when I recalled a financial seminar I attended in college where one of the panelists made the point that “renting was paying for something you would never own”.  I wondered could I afford to own.  With a strong push from my friend Jason, I took a leap of faith, that some would call a poor financial decision, and I made an offer on a property, without looking at other properties.  That was just four days after of my 24th birthday.

Read the full story here: Why I Think Parents Should Their Kids’ College Expenses

How Was I Able to Make Such A Big Financial Decision in Just 4 days?  Found out in the full story:

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{Super Charge Your 2015 Savings} 52 Week Money Challenge | Bingo Style

Can I get a “BINGO”?  It’s a new year, which means it is time for the 52 Week Money Challenge.  I can tell by looking into my stats for the She Makes Cents that people are researching ways to save money in the new year. I mean really, we can all do something a little different with our financial decisions that will set us up for financial success.  For the past two years now, I have taken part in the 52 Week Money Challenge.  In participating for the past two years, I created a simpler way to save that was both lucrative and effortless.  My She Makes Cents Bingo Style Sheet, free for She Makes Cents readers, has made it easier for those participating in the challenge to save money on one’s own terms.  Using my Bingo Style Sheet has helped me to pay off my credit card debt, save for the holidays, and start saving for my wedding in October.  

52 Week Challenge

How Does It Work?

The original challenge was to make a weekly deposit that reflects the number of weeks of the year. For example, on week one you deposit $1.00 and on week 27 you deposit $27.00 and so on.  However, doing it this way will have you shelling out the big bucks during the holidays when people’s money is the most limited.   I thought to myself…”Danielle, how can you find a way to honor the challenge in a way that will not hurt you financially”?  Then I came up with the idea to create a “bingo” style format.  At the end of the year, I would still end up with the same amount of $1378.00 (without doing any of the bonuses) and if I am having a tough financial week, I can pick a lower amount to save.  The good thing about the bingo challenge is that you are able to start at any time and if you get off track, it’s easy to see where you need to make it up to get back on track.

Still Need Motivation?

I will post my progress on Fridays and I invite you to keep us up to date on your progress.  I love hearing your stories of how you are doing in the challenge and the financial milestones you have accomplished by making saving a habit of your daily life.  Sometimes doing it with a friend or even a blogger like me, keeps you better motivated since  you aren’t in it alone.  If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, shoot me a line below.  Happy Saving!

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How Are You Going Use Your $1300+ ?

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SMC Book Club: The Woman I Wanted to Be

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. – Vera Nazarian

I am an avid reader and every year I set out to read at least 12 books a year.  It’s a resolution that when of making, seems simple.  But yet, as the year goes on I find myself getting caught up in things that pull my focus away.  That 12 book goal starts feeling like 1200 books.  Last month, in a few moments of downtime, I took a pink post-it and made a list of books that I have been wanting to read.  I then took it a step forward and bought the first book on my list.  It was an autographed copy, at that! Afterward, I told my girlfriends from work who also seemed interested in some of the reads on my list and [insert angel choir here] the birth of the She Makes Cents Book Club was born.  For the past month, I kept going back and forth about whether I would present it to the world as a monthly book suggestion, book review, or a book club and then I remembered about why I love books in the first place.  Reading and discussing books with other people allows you to understand the same material, often time from a different point of view than one’s own.  That is one of the things I miss about college… the ability to have an open dialogue about a multitude of subjects.

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So Here Is How It Will Work:

Every month we will 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 local bookstore, library, or download to your device. Selections for the books will come from readers suggestions and the list I started on the post-it.  We ask that selections embrace powerful women, business cents, fictional favorites, and anything that informs and inspires us to be the people we aspire to be.  With that being said, I am happy to announce the SMC Book Club: January Selection to be The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Fürstenberg.  I have always been a fan of her as a woman and I was so happy to see that she is exactly who I hoped her to be when watching her reality show “House of DVF”.  This book explores the subject of her roots, love, beauty, and business; thus, making it the perfect choice for our January Selection.  I hope you pick up the book and join the SMC team as we read our January selection.  Discussions for this book can be found in the comments below starting Monday, January 5th. She Makes Cents | Money, Career, & Lifestyle Blog for Goal Setting Millennial Women

{Every Woman Should Know} How To Jump A Car

I had to learn how to “jump” a car out of necessity. It was a reactive skill because for months, my then new Mercedes C-Class had major battery drainage issues. Instead of being a damsel in distress, I became the type of woman who could jump a car in 4 ½ stilettos thanks to my Dad and the Mr. Let’s be honest, what’s the good in keeping jumper cables in your trunk for emergencies if you don’t know how to use them? I remember years ago having to jump my car from my friends Mercedes SUV. Her instinct was to call AAA because she was sure I was going to blow up her truck. We both drove off happy and inspired. I was happy to be on the road again and watching me doing it for myself inspired her because she had always depended on others in situations like.

Check out this super easy chart as a refresher for a skill “Every Woman Should KnowSMC- Jump A Car

What Was The 1st Car You Ever Had?

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