{April 5, 2016} National “Go Broke For a Day”

It seems like every time I look up, there is a new “holiday” to be celebrated.  National Pet Day….LOVE, National Ice Cream Day….LOVE, National  Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Want to Do Other Stuff Good Too Day…umm, well okay Derek Zoolander.  Any who, today is apparently National Go Broke for a Day, which is like a “cheat day” or excuse to take financial risks be it good or bad, spend in excess, or do something you have been too scared to do.

Shopping

Here is how it was explained to me:

National Go For Broke Day is celebrated annually on April 5.  Go ahead, go for it…this would be the day!  What is it??  That is for you to decide.  Are you a gambler?  If so, take a big risk, “Go for Broke”.  If you are not a gambler, it may be you want to take a risk with your job, a new project you are working on, buying a new home, financial investments, relationships, travels or any risk, go for it….”Go for Broke”! Take a risk and Go for Broke. Use #NationalGoForBrokeDay to post on social media.

I can assure you that if you are laser focus on your goals, saving money, and building wealth, you will not fall for something as silly as #NationalGoForBrokeDay which will likely leave you with a  financial hangover .  It may be fun to go broke for a new purse, to go broke for that new  6 series car, or to go broke seeing the world, but it is not fun paying those things off.   What’s more important to you: the burden of paying  off things you are willing to go broke for or what you acquire?  That is to say, would you rather have a new car and deal with the debt or would you rather have no debt and the car you are currently driving?

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{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.

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{Money Hack} Quick Guide to the Debt Snowball

If you are a frequent reader of shemakescents, then you will constantly hear me referring to a snowball, but what exactly does a snow ball have to do with personal finance? The snowball is a metaphor that represents my current financial goals. Picture this… someone picks up a small handful of snow and creates a ball. That ball is then pushed down a hill and with every rotation picks up more snow and speed. By the time it reaches the bottom of the hill, the ball has multiplied in size. Money SnowballPhoto Credit: PM Images

Now let’s break it down…

  •  Simply picking up the ice to form a ball represents motivation. Most people would have seen the snow but left it alone because it’s too cold to bother with.
  •  The small ball, created from motivation, is a manifestation of the strength of my current financial situation. It’s small right now, but will grow with better money habits ahead.
  •  The snow ball being pushed represents my obligation to myself not to settle or stay stagnant. You have to keep moving to make progress. With every rotation (aka payment above the minimum) the fight against debt gains momentum until it gets to the bottom of the hill aka “The Land of Financial Freedom”.

Financially speaking, it looks like this:

Current Credit Card Minimum Payment = $89.00
The Average Monthly Payment I Make = $450.00 ($300.00 per month + the average of the 2016 version 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge) will have me credit card free in 9 months at the longest.

Once the credit card has a zero balance, that money will be “snowballed” onto my monthly student loans. Instead of paying the $200.00 minimum for those, I will then pay $200.00 + $450.00 to equal $650.00 per month on student loan debt. Doing this will shave 12 years and 7 months off my expected repayment term and save me about $6,555.55 on interest alone.

Once the student loans are eliminated, I will then have an extra $650.00 every month.  That’s an extra $7,800 per year that could be applied to savings, investments, or a down payment for a large purchase.

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{Financial Cents} 4 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

tax refund

 Have you ever gotten your tax refund and thought to yourself, it’s time to go shopping? I have. Growing up, my mom would take a large part of her refund and she and I would go on a shopping spree…even if it meant driving from mall to mall to find a wider selection or hanging out on a school night. That is how I grew up thinking about refund checks… like some sort of magical windfall of new shoes, purses, and dresses. Now fast forward to the present, I now know it’s better to try to break even than to get a fat refund. In reality, if you are receiving a large refund then you are paying too much in taxes throughout the year.

Divide and Conquer Your Money

If you are like me and you know you will be getting a refund of some sort, it is important to find a better way to spend your money than blowing it on a  new tv or handbag. Before you even receive your refund, you should already have an idea of what you may be getting back. Take this time to divide your money, so when you actually received it, you will be less likely to blow it recklessly because you have already decided where it is going. For some, this will take some serious financial discipline, but in the end, it’s worth it! I plan to make my money work for me by using these four categories below to get me started.

        • Fund your funds. If you don’t have an emergency fund of at least $1000, now is the time to start paying yourself.  You should think of this fund like those Chinese finger traps that kids used to pay with- it’s easy to put stuff in and difficult to take things out!  If you already have at least a $1000 Emergency fund, then you should take a percentage of your refund and put aside for your savings account.

        • Pay Down Debt.  This is the time to give your “snowball” effect an extra boost. Putting a portion of your refund toward your debt with the lowest APR (annual percentage rate) or lowest balance will help you pay get out of debt faster and feel good about your accomplishments.  Remember, you don’t have to have thousands of dollars all at once to start getting out of debt. Every payment above the minimum helps you get closer to your goal.

        • Take Care of Things You Have Been Putting Off.  If you have been meaning to call the plumber over to fix that leak you can’t find (raises hands) or get the brakes on your car checked out (raises hands) or even get the shoes with that weird heel repaired (raises hands) then take this time and money to do it.  These are things that people put off because they don’t have the money or time.  You now have the money, so make the time.

        • Prioritize Fun.  When budgeting your money, you have to remember to prioritize for things that bring you JOY.  Set a goal and when you accomplish it, tap into this category and unleash your fun fund.  This could mean buying those shoes you have had your eye on, a spa day, or planning that impromptu weekend with your loved one(s), girlfriends, or even by yourself!  It doesn’t have to be big, but it does help if it is something that brings happiness and drives you to work toward your goal. 

How Do You Divide Your Refund?

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{Honesty is Free} What Does the “Fab Life” Mean to You?

So I took a little hiatus…okay, well a longer one than expected, but I am back with a vengeance. I needed some time to have new experiences so that I can have something exciting yet honest to write about. To be honest, the original idea behind this site was to inform and inspire ways to use your “cents” to live a fab life. Along the way, I believe I got off target.  So as we prepare for our upcoming one year mark (March 1stJ), I want to take things back to basics.  To do so, I’ll start with a simple question; what is the fab lifeMy answer could be ever-changing, but at the moment, great people, great food, great fashions, great adventures, great love, great leaps of faith, and a greatly styled place to come home to.

Fab People


Fab Fashions


Fab Adventures


Fab Love


Fab Faith


Fab Home

 So that is what I’m going to write about…how to get the fab life without breaking the bank, my budget, or my financial integrity. I hope you join me along the way and learn from both my successes and my failures. That’s life and sometimes, you don’t learn the lesson until you fall on your face and have to get back up.

Talk to me! What is the “fab life” to you?

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{Centsational Savings} James K. Holder Photography 20% Off Bookings!

Pose for the Camera Now… Click, Click, Click!!!

 In celebration of the new JKH2.com website, photographer James Holder is offering 20% off his bookings. This deliciously handsome photographer has an eye for detail that sets him apart from the rest.  Need pics for an upcoming engagement (hint hint for the gentlemen readers of the blog, ALWAYS have a surprise photographer to capture that special moment), wedding, baby announcement, family portraits, graduation pics or headshots?  Of course you do.  Why not use your cents wisely?  James K. Holder is She Makes Cents approved.

Check out his work!!!

Personally, I love how James uses his talent as a platform to help others. Click here  to check out this interview from Atlanta’s 11 Alive about the $10,000 he raised for Haiti with his Your Face HERE campaign.  Want more information about this James K. Holder Photography Studio and Gallery, check him and his work out at www.jkh2.com.

Let’s Connect!

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Watching for Spring!!

 Update: Please click here for “Watching for Spring Update” 

My favorite season is here, which means it’s time to start packing away my fall/winter stuff and refresh my life and look for spring. One way I prepare myself for spring is by cleaning out my closet.

I am all about donating my old clothes and accessories that do not fit properly or no longer fit my style, but if I can sell them, I will. I am good for selling clothes to Rag-O-Rama in Atlanta and other consignment stores. Whatever they don’t take, I donate to a shelter, clothing drive, or the Goodwill. I used to have a hard time letting go of clothes because I attached a memory to them or I used to tell myself that I wear it one day…now I think how someone else can benefit from buying them at a price that’s in their budget.

Plus, getting rid of the old makes room for the new! Old me would have just bought whatever without a thought. Adult Danielle now takes into consideration the “adult bills” she is now responsible for…. that doesn’t mean I lose the fab, it just means I use my “cents”.  Thanks to my Mr., my newest style obsession is the bracelet/watch look and I plan on using the money I get from selling to consignment stores to go toward the “Danielle needs a cute new watch fund“. 

I love the layered look like this:


These are my top contenders for achieving my watch style for Spring!


What are you saving for!

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Target Enthuses: How I stole my Spring Break Beach Hat

Ruby Woo Blog

for hours. Low and behold, just this week I walked into one of my favorite stores, Target, and saw beach hats on sale for a whopping $2.50! I was probably far too excited about it.

Now, it looks rather plain so I plan on purchasing some ribbon to tie around it and give it a little more personality. I’d much rather pay the two bucks that give the peeps in Miami $20. It’s just not rational.

Where have you found deals on #SB2K12 needs? Share your spring break savings with me!

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{I BRAKE for Manicures} OPI on Sale Today!!

OPI on Sale on Beyond the Rack!!!

I will be ordering mine today!!! Need an invite to Beyond the Rack?  Click here and use mine.  Happy Shopping good people:)

Let’s Connect!

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{Fab Alert} Honesty is Fabulous& Free!

So I took a little hiatus…okay, well a longer one than expected, but I am back with a vengeance. I needed some time to have new experiences so that I can have something exciting yet honest to write about. To be honest, the original idea behind this site was to inform and inspire ways to use your “cents” to live a fab life. Along the way, I believe I got off target.  So as we prepare for our upcoming one year mark (March 1stJ), I want to take things back to basics.  To do so, I’ll start with a simple question; what is the fab lifeMy answer could be ever-changing, but at the moment, great people, great food, great fashions, great adventures, great love, great leaps of faith, and a greatly styled place to come home to.

Fab People


Fab Fashions


Fab Adventures


Fab Love


Fab Faith


Fab Home

 So that is what I’m going to write about…how to get the fab life without breaking the bank, my budget, or my financial integrity. I hope you join me along the way and learn from both my successes and my failures. That’s life and sometimes, you don’t learn the lesson until you fall on your face and have to get back up.

Talk to me! What is the “fab life” to you?

FOLLOW: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, RSS Feed,

Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com