{Monday Motivation} Rich vs. Broke

Rich vs copy

Today’s #MondayMotivation will hopefully inspire your thought process.  It is so hard to get caught in stuff….consuming “stuff”, showing off “stuff”, and being wasteful with “stuff”.  If you spend like you are wealthy, you will never be wealthy because you spent it all.  Instead of “acting” rich, why don’t you make positive changes to actually get to that status.  Like the word freedom, the word rich has so  definitions.  Remember, rich doesn’t always have to describe someone’s financial state.   I motivate you to  act broke with your spending and be rich in the things that really matter…like people and experiences that….FEED-THE-SOUL. Take this week and do things that make you feel like your best you.  Wishing you a great start to your week!

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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.

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{Shop Smart} 3 Killer Ways to Get the Best Deal from Flash Sale Sites

092211_0244_TheBenefits1.jpgA few years ago, there were only a handful of deal of the day sites. Today, however, it’s hard not to feel inundated with marketing campaigns targeted to make you spend more money. Who doesn’t love a good deal? A great purchase saves you money. It’s something you can afford, something you will use and something of great quality. Some of my favorite places to shop for everything from fashion, home decor and travel stuff has got be Beyond the Rack, RueLaLa and One Kings Lane. For me, I get double the pleasure from these sites because I love to shop and I love to save. Doing both, spending and saving, is possible when you keep these tips in mind. Otherwise, you risk spending more for a deal than you realized.

Click here to read the full article from Danielle Boler of shemakescents.com

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{Throwback Thursday} The Best of SheMakesCents.com!

Every Thursday, social media is flooded with the hashtag #tbt (Throwback Thursday) as people take a  moment to reflect on their past and how far they have come.  In celebration of this weekly milestone, I would like to invite you on a journey to the beginning.  This Saturday, March 1st will mark the 3 year Blogiversary for She Makes Cents and I wanted to share some of my favorite posts of the past.  Happy Throwback Thursday Lovelies! 

Broke Is The New Black

Identity Theft Credit Cards

She Makes Cents

Happy Throwback Thursday!

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Fashion Cents} Brand Loyalty or Brand Validation?

love-chanel1

Danielle and I have discussed how the psychological obsession with expensive products and luxury labels can lead to financial trouble. While setting up shop for the most relaxed SMC meeting ever, we discussed our favorite brands. Danielle likes O.P.I. nail polish and has a shoe game that would blow you away. I, however, have recently recovered from a serious infatuation with True Religion brand jeans and the both of these are pricey for the types of products they are. Sometimes within one’s own living circumstances, it makes no sense to step out of one’s’ budget for the sake of feeling validated by a brand. So why do so many people do it? Which has more value, brand loyalty or brand validation?

Let’s begin the conversation by defining these terms. Brand Loyalty is your devotion to a particular brand because of its proven usefulness. This is a tried and true product or brand that has won you, the customer, over for its merit or quality. (THINK: I’m loyal to Charmin tissue because of its thickness.) Brand validation, as its name suggests, is when a product’s mere reputation trumps the importance of its merit; thus fueling one’s desire for the label more so than the product. Yep, we let a brand validate us without proving itself worthy of its cost.

Brand names and their reputations are impossible to evade. Because of this, it is almost too easy to get lost in a particular brand so much so, that we allow it to eat out our pockets. The place where both brand obsession and financial logic intersect is where I am in my journey to financial freedom….SMC too, since she has repeatedly admitted that Chanel makes her feel pretty. In no way am I discouraging splurging for yourself or investing in expensive products that will hold you down in the long run. I, for one, own expensive jeans that have lasted years. When operating on a budget, though, it is imperative to think critically about the items you choose to spend your money on, and why. Are you loyal to your brands because they actually fulfill their purpose, or are your brands validating you while nipping away at your money? Granted, there is no cookie cutter way to address the issue of our obsessions with luxury brands. However, acknowledgment of this issue is a surefire way to begin searching for smarter ways to shop for the things you love…while staying within a budget, of course:)

Have you ever allowed a brand names to validate your purchase?  

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{Broke is the New Black} Are You Paying for the Fake Life with Real Money?

fake-life-real-money-moneyWelcome to the Good Life!

Over the past few years, social media has become a game changer. Its created jobs that did not exist even ten years ago, helped people connect who may not have had access to each other, and became a major catalyst for our cultural need to document everything. But what exactly are we documenting? – The life we live or the life we want people to think we live? All too often, I see people around me going into debt trying to rock the same fashion piece that they saw on one of the Kardashians. I asked this question a few months ago and I will ask it again, whose lifestyle are you funding? They can afford it, can you?
Fashion writer, Suzy Menkes called 2009 the “end of the statement bag” in a blurb for the 2009 autumn edition of H&M Magazine. She adds, “Insane shoes that mangle your feet, laughably expensive bags that no-one can afford; who can afford such extravagances in times of [financial] crisis?” If 2009 was the end of the expensive statement bag, then this must be the year of the appearance of luxury, where people are funding a fake life with real money. The reality is, even four years after the “fall of the statement bag”, we are still in a financial crisis.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion and will spend money when I have it, but I refuse to waste money staging a lifestyle for the world to see. I’m am not one of those people who are offended by the finer things in life, rather I feel sorry for those who mishandle their responsibilities in hopes of material possessions. This is not just a twenty-something problem either, as I witness people of all ages spending in excess to portray the good life…and for what? Public validation? Likes from Facebook, Twitter, and most notoriously Instagram from people you don’t even know in real life? Be yourself, rock what you love, but don’t go into debt doing so. Trust me, none of the people who “liked” your photo of those oh-so-fly out of your budget shoes, will help you save for that house you have on your vision board.

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{B-day Swag} How To Get Free Stuff on Your Birthday

 Calling all Birthday Girls!
As I sit at the computer looking for a birthday dress, I realize that my birthday is right around the corner. But enough about my b-day. I know so many amazing people who are August babies that by the time mine comes around, I am exhausted from the celebrations! This post is for all everyone out there celebrating birthdays, especially those celebrating birthdays today: Kaylah, Nicole, Amanda, Tanika. Last year to the day, I wrote a post about birthday freebies . Now I am here to tell you what actually worked and what didn’t.

My Highest Ranked Birthday Freebie
Hands down- the best freebie I have EVER signed up for is the Chef’s Table from Bennihana! I happily used my $30 gift certificate and enjoyed an amazing evening with one of my really good friends. In addition to the amount of the gift certificate, I can’t help but love that you get an entire month to use it. With my busy work/social schedule, I can sometimes be difficult to try to claim all of the free deals in one day….especially when you should be out painting the town….well PINK!

My Own Epic Fail
I called myself signing up for the birthday club at Moes and for whatever reason, it did not workL. I’m sure this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I was really looking forward to my FREE burritos (I crave Moes all the time). This year, I will make sure I have a paper copy of my birthday email to show.

Other Companies That Offer Birthday Freebies

Tips from the pros
There’s an art to grabbing gratis goodies. Keep these strategies in mind:

  • Set up a dedicated email account for birthday swag. Even if a business promises not to sell your info to marketers, it will likely send regular messages about sales and promotions.
  • Sign up for multiple offers, then s-t-r-e-t-c-h that celebration by dining or going out for dessert out as many times as you can in your birthday month. It helps to have friends who don’t mind being the buy-one half of the BOGO offers.
  • Call to make sure the local store accepts an offer (some franchisees opt out of national promotions).
  • Bring your ID and a printout of the offer, and tell the server ahead of time, not after the check has arrived.
  • When dining out, base your tip on what you would have paid, not what you actually paid.
  • Once your child ages out of the kiddie offers, sign him or her up for the appropriate grownup ones.
  • If it’s a “no purchase required” offer, such as a free bath product, don’t feel obligated to buy something. Just say “thank you” and go.

Happy Birthday!

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Are You Wasting Your Money on a Deal?

I got an email from Birchbox the other day announcing Glamour magazine’s collaboration for the July 2012 Birchbox. I found myself getting excited thinking about all of the goodies I will soon be getting my hands on. Then I looked over on my dresser and saw my June Birchbox basically untouched. Last month, I rushed home to see what beauty goodies were waiting for me. Once opened, I tried everything and didn’t touch my package for weeks; thus, realizing three things. Firstly, I love getting mail that isn’t a bill. Secondly, I like the idea of being surprised by what products were chosen for my box and finally (and probably the most important), if I continued this pattern, no matter how good the deal is, I am wasting my money.



Making the Deal Work for You
After coming to the realization that paying $10 a month for a deal that I wasn’t taking advantage of is wasting $10 a month( $120 a year). So what did I do? I used or am actively using ALL of the products. I ate my Luna bar, which by the way was both yummy and healthy. I took a long bubble bath, while catching up on Kardashians, with the BORGHESE Body Soak and I came to the conclusion that as long as I was using the products, that Birchbox still ROCKS!

Check out the Shopping/Money Saving Sites I like:

Birchbox
Beyond the Rack

Ideeli

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{Health & Beauty} High-End Lifestyle Products for Only $10!!

Birchbox!!

birchbox-logo-1-30-12

I have meant to write a post about Birchbox for a while now. For the unfamiliar, Birchbox is a smart, streamlined, and fun way to discover high-end beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products. Birchbox delivers the best products and the best insider secrets, without any fuss. Each month, members receive a selection of samples that we’ve tried (and retried) ourselves. They source samples from both well-known brands and emerging gems. The women’s subscription includes everything from skin care to makeup, as well as fun non-beauty extras all for…wait for it…$10. What I love about the concept is that you fill out a beauty profile so products will complement your individual yet beautiful tones.  There is a short waiting list and they will send you an email when your place in line is ready. 

 Join for FREE, here!

birchbox-homepage-600x298-dec

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Whose Lifestyle Are You Funding? Yours or HERS?

Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses?
How about the Housewives on Bravo? If so, you are probably guilty of spending money on the life you thought you lived, rather than the life you are actually living. The number of adults who try to emulate and even compete with their friends, foes, and even strangers on television is appalling. As a child of the entertainment industry, my parents told me at a rather young age that the majority of things you see on television are not real. What is real, though, is the increasing amount of debt that people are incurring doing this.


I was reading an article last week by author by April Dykman of Get Rich Slowly. The premise of the article was that idea that people spend for the lifestyle they want as opposed to the lifestyle one currently has. Dykman maintains that, “If you’re paying for a life you have only sometimes, you’re stealing from your most-of-the-time life. And breaking that habit can make you a whole lot happier”. This got me thinking… am I doing this? Am I spending for the lifestyle I want versus the lifestyle I have? In being honest, I’m not entirely sure. Dykman continues, “I tend to give too much thought to what I do once in a while and not enough weight to what I do every day. For example, I wear running shoes 29 days out of 30 days a month, yet I have three pairs of black flats and only one pair of running shoes.”

Click here to read Dykman’s Save on The Things You Do Daily .

What do you think ?

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