{Every Woman Should} Get to Talking About Finances

I was contacted by Bustle a few weeks ago asking my advice on how I spend and save money.  Since I LOVE to talk about money, I happily obliged.  The thing is, the good folks over at Bustle conducted a survey that revealed millennial women are NOT discussing personal finances with their inner circle of friends.  Seriously chicas, we have got to do better! We will ask suggestions about hair colorist from our girlfriends but we don’t ask about recommendations for certified financial planners.  The fact that women don’t talk about personal finance is not surprising to me.  Some believe it’s because women are not confident in making big financial decisions while others believe women avoid talking about finances for fear of saying something wrong or sounding dumb.  I’m inclined to disagree.  When armed with the proper tools to make sound financial choices, women prove to be just confident, powerful and commanding in their financial choices as our male counterparts.  The results of the survey inspired Bustle to launch the new series Grown-Ass Finances that gets real about what millennial women are doing with their money.  Check out 21 Millennial Women Making $30K To $150K Explain How They Spend And Save Their Money as a brave group of millennial women start the public conversation about money (you might see a tip or two from yours truly in there, as well).  Listen up ladies, the future is female and if we don’t start these conversations now, what will that mean for our financial futures?

{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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5 Skills Every Person Should Have

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{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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{Every Woman Should Know} How Much You Should Tip

pizza-margherita-2Everyone has a different tipping policy, which was clear from the vibrant discussion on the  SMC Facebook page.  I for one will always tip, even if the service is terrible.  When going out, always try to remember to keep cash on hand and your budget in mind.  What does that mean?  It means you need to consider the tip, parking fees, and any other areas where you will come out-of-pocket when you consider treating yourself and/or others.  It may sound severe, but if you cannot afford to properly tip, then you probably cannot afford to eat at that restaurant or upgrade that massage. 

Tipping Cheat Sheet

Do You Tip Even If the Service is Bad?header-logo-2017

{Business Cents} Every Woman Should Have a Professional Mentor

I know that  everyone can benefit from an mentor-mentee relationship; however, I believe it’s even more imperative that every woman have a professional mentor…and a good one at that!   While I know it is easy to assign that “role” to a public figure like Oprah, it is likely more beneficial to you and your career if you find someone who is actually willing to spend time with you.  It was about four years ago when I realized for myself how important this type of mentorship can be.  As I was transitioning careers, I decided to form a “dream team” of coincidentally women mentors.    My theory was that alone, each of them had an ability or network that the other did not, but together they formed a diverse and complete dream team.

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Things to Consider When Finding Your Mentor

  • Does your mentor have the time to spend with you? This in my opinion is the most important.  I had a great dream team of movers and shakers, but  it was also so very hard for some of them to squeeze me in to their schedules.  Although the intentions are good, you aren’t gaining anything from this relationship if you aren’t even spending time with them.

  • Is this someone who will  hold you accountable? For you to truly succeed, you need to have someone who is so concerned about your goals and career path, that they aren’t afraid to be bluntly honest, call you on your “stuff”, and maybe even kick your butt, if needed. 

  • Are you learning tools that will help you get to where you want to be? The lessons may not always be explicit or intentional, but you have to be able to decipher how you can use what you are learning to thrive without compromising your character or integrity.

  • Are they respected in their field/company/community?  I learned the importance of this when I was conducting a cattle call of interviews with a panel of dancers and choreographers in Atlanta.  A number of the young dancers assumed that their relationships their mentors would help give them the extra edge.  So dancer after dancer took the “opportunity” to name drop not truly understanding the reputation of their mentors in their field.  The lesson I learned: Just because your mentor is known, doesn’t mean that they are respected. 

What Traits Do You Look For in a Mentor?

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{Every Woman Should Know} How to Pack Light

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PACKED AND BETTER THAN EVER!

For starters, this is what I call a “duh post”. I do recognize I’m probably writing a post about stuff we all should already know… things that should be common “cents”, but sometimes we, or maybe just I, need a reminder or two. As I was preparing for my week and a half long trip to Germany and the Czech Republic to celebrate the Mr.’s 30th birthday, my father warned the Mr. of my normal packing habits. Yes, I’m that girl who tends to over pack, although I like to think of it as being prepared. With airlines now charging extra fees, I knew I had to get break this habit…and fast. So, I tapped into my old Container Store Days (my first job) and combined my organization skills to get a week and a half worth of stuff into ONE checked bag + a carry on.

MAKING IT ALL FIT

Pack Basics, Pack In a Color Theme, and Bring Accessories: For this trip, I over packed significantly. At the end of the day, I used jeans as my main basic and stayed in the color theme of burgundy. That way, my accessories complimented the outfits that I created.

Travel Fashion.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo Credit: Tiger Mist

Roll Don’t Fold: I don’t know why I ever folded clothes to begin with. Not only does rolling clothes create more space, but it also reduces wrinkles in your clothing; thus, you spend your time exploring a new city/country rather than ironing.

If You Can’t Get More than One Wear Out of It, Leave it At Home: I used to think that I had to wear something different every day. Let me be the first to admit I was stupid. I mean seriously, it’s vacation. No one will say, “hey, did you see {insert your name here} in the same pair of jeans”?  

Wear your Heaviest Shoes: I got this tip from my Dad. It makes your bag lighter and creates more space.

Pack the Heaviest Stuff in Your Carry On

  • Pack-It Systems and Travel Space Bags: I didn’t use a Pack-It system on this trip, but I did use the travel space bags for our dirty clothes and travel blanket. I found it to be very helpful in unpacking, because the clean clothes never mixed with the dirty clothes AND…. the dirty clothes went directly from the space bag to the hamperJ.
  • Pack At Least 3 days in Advanced. Pack at least 3 days in advanced and reexamine your choices the day before you leave. At this point, you should be removing unnecessary items instead of adding last minute oversights. Looking back, I could have removed an extra ten pounds worth of stuff that I never used or wore. Plus, you want to leave additional room for cool stuff you pick up during your travels.

On the day of our departure, my bag weighed 43lbs, right under the 50lb limit so no extra fees for me!!! In fact, my Mr.’s bag weighed more than mine did. Coming back was a different story, but doing good things for others allows good things to come your way. Right as my bag was being placed on the luggage scale at the airport, I noticed a woman having trouble lifting her bags. The Mr. did not notice her difficulty lifting, but he helped her because he is a gentleman. We stopped what we were doing to help her. Come to find out, it wasn’t that the bag was heavy, but the woman did not have full use of her arm. No one else in the airport helped her until the Mr. and I saw her. The woman at the check in counter thought what we did was so nice and told us about how people don’t help others too often. Needless to say, she did not charge me for my slightly heavier bag. Being nice to others is free and sometimes it can get you free things!!

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{Every Woman Should Know} How to Write a Killer Thank You Note

how-to-write-a-thank-you-noteYou can call me old-fashioned, but I am still one of those people who buys fun stationary and sits down to write a thank you note. Sometimes, though, I find that when the time comes to actually sit down and write one, be it for a gift, job interview follow-up, or thanking someone for a kind deed, the words aren’t there. In this instance, check out this lovely “cheat sheet” for a thank you note that the recipient will be happy to receive.

1. Clearly address the recipient of the thank you: For example, “Dear readers of She Makes Cents..”

2. Next state what you are thankful for: This is where you explicitly state the gift, invitation, kind deed, or whatever.  For example, “thank you so much for not only following She Makes Cents, but engaging in thoughtful conversation about finances, lifestyle, and your personal goals”.

3. Now explain how you plan of using the gift & how it made you feel to receive it.  For example, “it makes me feel good to know that it is okay to engage in conversations about money so that I can become better educated and I can help to educate others on financial matters.

4. Send out your thanks again and seal the deal with your autograph: For example, “my sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported and continues to support this website.  All my love, Danielle.

Dear readers of She Makes Cents, Thank you so much for not only following She Makes Cents, but engaging in thoughtful conversation about finances, lifestyle, and your personal goals. It makes me feel good to know that it is okay to engage in conversations about money so that I can become better educated and I can help to educate others on financial matters. My sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported and continues to support this website.
All my love, Danielle

It’s easy…it’s free… and it’s something every woman should know how to do.

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{Every Woman Should Know…} How To Give a Self Breast Exam!

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women today. For women of all ages, the breast self-exam is a useful tool that is easy to do. It is used to look for unusual lumps, skin changes, or discharge. For most women, once-a-month exams are easy to remember, with the best time being about one week after the start of a period.  Click here to start receiving a FREE reminder email reminders for your self-exam.

Check out this Cheat Sheet:

Photo Credit: BrightPink.org

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{Every Woman Should Know…} How to Be a Good Host

You’ve decided to host an event, be it for your girlfriend who is getting married or an impromptu gathering of friends for an intimate dinner.  Now what?  It’s time to put your womanly skills to work.  I remember seeing the 2009 movie “The Joneses” and thought that Demi Moore’s character was an excellent host.  In preparing for tomorrow’s Cinco de Derby events (yes, I did combine Kentucky Derby with Cinco de Mayo), it got me thinking about my own skills.  I mean really, I am in the events industry so I know a thing or two about planning events, but I wanted to cross check my hosting etiquette with Emily Post.  No matter the kind of party you’re throwing, there are some things a host should remember, even before the party starts.

Six Ways to Be a Good Host:

1) Invite clearly. Label the invite specific to who you want to attend. Include necessary information for your guests in the invitation.  Is the party a casual get-together or more formal? What about the attire?  Maybe a guest would benefit by knowing ahead of time who else will be there, which you might mention when they RSVP.

2) Plan well.  Preparing your guest list carefully is key to a successful party.  Then do as much as you can ahead of time.  (Lower the stress level by serving food and refreshments you know will work.)  Get everything ready well before your guests arrive, so you’ll feel relaxed from the very beginning.

3) Remain calm.  Giving a party can be enjoyable, especially if you approach it with simplicity.  Get help if necessary, and don’t let your guests think you’re huffing and puffing.  They’ll feel far more comfortable if they don’t have to wonder whether they’re causing you any trouble.

4) Keep your guests feeling welcome.  Make sure guests are warmly greeted, then made to feel welcome throughout the party.  Look after each guest as much as you can.  If you notice that a guest has an empty glass or if there’s one person standing alone, remedy the situation as quickly and cheerfully as possible.

5) Be flexible and gracious.  Your soufflé falls.  Or one friend arrives with an unexpected guest.  The ruined dessert?  Have a fallback. The uninvited guest?  As discourteous as it is for someone to spring a surprise on you, be gracious.  No polite host would ever send an uninvited guest packing.

6) Be appreciative.  Thank people for coming as you bid them good-bye.  And don’t forget to thank anyone who brought you a gift.

Info: Emily Post

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