The Power of Representation for your Wealth Building

collage.jpg

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of delivering a financial workshop for the women at an organization named NEW in NYC, with my financial services peer, Annette Mendoza (pictured with me).

NEW trains women in non-traditional employment: construction, utilities, and transportation. And on top of providing these women with highly profitable skills, another amazing part of their program is that they arrange for the trainees to participate in a personal finance workshop.

As we presented the workshop, the majority of the women—mostly Black—as well as Hispanic, and other races, were HUNGRY and eager for wealth building information and knowledge.

They were SO engaged, and had so many questions for us, that we could easily have discussed the topic of money for HOURS. But our workshop was scheduled for 2 hours. And enthusiastically present it in 2 hours, was just what we did.

Seeing two financially successful and knowledgeable women, who cared to show up to sincerely serve them, seemed to have a deep and noticeable effect on them.

This speaks to the POWER of REPRESENTATION. The women saw in us two women who looked LIKE THEM.

As a Black woman, never underestimate the power of—and your need—to see those who look like you achieving the financial success you strive for and aspire to have.

While there is plenty of extremely useful information available from many non-Black, well-known financial experts, there is no one who understands the journey and experiences of what it’s like to be a Black woman in America seeking to build wealth.

No one, except of course, ANOTHER Black woman who is doing just THAT, in America.

Don’t underestimate the power of seeing, hearing, and learning from Black female financial experts like you, who have faced your same money challenges, and succeeded in spite of them.

There is NO ONE better to support you in your financial success.

So…the next time you have the opportunity to soak up the financial knowledge and personalized support you need from another established and trustworthy Black woman succeeding with money, take it! The power of representation is undeniable.

Yolanda Ransom teaches professional Black women how to confidently master their money, so they can take control of their financial destinies. She is a financial educator, coach and CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting. She speaks and writes about personal finance and personal development. Find out more about Yolanda and her work at yolandaransom.com

“Prayer is Only the First Step…”

StreetLamp+Sign.jpg

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

The other day I snapped a picture of this sign taped to a streetlight in front of Penn Station in NYC. At first, I chuckled when I read it.

But then I paused. Because it dawned on me: while this is a loving thought—and wonderful sentiment—for far too many Black women and Black people, this is their ONLY financial plan.

Prayer, or seeking help from your Higher Power or the Universe, etc. is a SOLID first step—and a powerful beginning. But it is not the only step you must take to get out of debt and create wealth. And it NEVER will be.

Creating financial freedom requires taking consistent, effective action over and over, AFTER you pray.

If you’re stuck at prayer when it comes to your money, NOW is the time to commit to taking action. Taking action on that one thing you are clear about.  Even if you don’t have all the answers, there is ALWAYS that one thing that you know to do. You just haven’t done it yet.

This is what is necessary if you truly want to build abundant wealth and enjoy financial freedom. And it works.

About Yolanda Ransom


Yolanda Ransom teaches professional Black women how to confidently master their money, so they can take control of their financial destinies. She is a financial educator, coach and CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting. She speaks and writes about personal finance and personal development. Find out more about Yolanda and her work at yolandaransom.com

I’m Celebrating 2 Years in Business! Don’t Give Up!

Yolanda%2BRansom%2BYear%2BAnniversary.jpg

As this month of June comes to a close today, I am stopping to celebrate a major milestone. As of this June, I am celebrating the 2-year Anniversary of Yolanda Ransom Consulting, LLC in business!!!

Two years ago, I decided to start my business. Around that time, I was working full-time as a financial counselor at a non-profit. Due to some unexpected organizational changes beyond my control, I was not able to continue full-time in the position as desired.

During that time, I had come to see how much I loved the work that I was doing, even though I was not always able to serve those whom I was most passionate about serving. So when my desired position fell through, I summoned up my courage, and decided to start my own business: a business that reflected my own values.

When I had worked as a financial counselor for the nonprofit, I often felt like my hands were tied when my Black women clients would describe to me the very real economic and financial obstacles that they were encountering. Both they and I knew that these were almost often related to race (as well as gender). However, all I could do at the time was silently acknowledge what they were telling me, while feeling powerless to directly address it.

So I decided that when I created my business, I would serve those whom I cared most about, those whom I understood the most, those who I connected with most easily, and those who I could genuinely relate to—because in essence, THEY were ME.

I am extremely proud to have a business today that directly serves professional Black women by empowering them to take control of their money and their financial destinies, rather than leaving their destinies in the hands of someone else, or feeling like they have to leave it up to others because they have no control.

These past 2 years have been amazing ones:  full of both ups and downs, growth and setbacks. And no, I'm not where I'd like to be in my business. Both in terms of the amount of Black women that I've been able to serve and impact, as well as the income goals that I have for my business. But I am SO MUCH closer to the vision of my life that I am striving to create than I was just 2 years ago.

I know and believe that my goals are possible. And I KNOW that I will get there, by staying focused and dedicated in creating the vision of my business—and life—that I so greatly desire.

Over the next year, I look forward to serving and empowering more and more of you, and other professional Black women, to help you create your wealthy reality.

So I want to encourage you on this note: KEEP going!

Wealth-building is a process. A lifelong process.

And let's face it, the time is going to pass ANYWAY. What you do today is going to shape your tomorrow. What you do today will either bring you closer—or farther away—from the wealth and life that you want for yourself.

Each and every step that you take today to invest in your dreams, and in effective money management, will bring you that much closer to abundant wealth.

Don't give up!

Redesign Your Celebration: Save Time, Energy & Moolah on Mother’s Day” (Repost)

Yolanda+Ransom+Card+Shopping+for+Mother%27s+Day

Well it's about that time of year again...Mother’s Day!

Here's a wealth building tip (that I’m reposting from last year) to help you—and your mom—have a much more AUTHENTIC and joyful celebration!

I share a helpful and different way to approach your Mother’s Day celebration.

One that proves to be far less stressful, MUCH happier, and definitely less expensive.

Hopefully it inspires you, your loved ones—and of course, your mom—to create your own unique family tradition, rather than feeling like you have to do what everyone else does.

I wish you an AMAZING Mother's Day, moms. Enjoy! 💜

Click here to read how to Redesign Your Celebration: Save Time, Energy & Moolah on Mother’s Day

How you can potentially boost your credit score by up to 20 points!

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

Hello! I want to share some valuable information with you to help you in achieving your financial dreams.

This year, a “new” type of credit scoring system is being rolled out to give you an alternative way to increase your credit score.

It’s called the Ultra FICO score. According to those offering this alternative scoring system, you can potentially increase your credit score up to 20 points by using this option!

This can make possibly a major difference for you if your score is poor or low.

Or if you’re on the brink of the next credit scoring category (for example, if your score is “fair” at 669, 20 points would boost your score into the “good” category).

Here, I talk about the new criteria that’s being used for the Ultra FICO Score.

Of course, there are several things that need to be in place for your score to be positively affected by using this alternative scoring system. Click here for the details.

Plus, it’s still being rolled out; however, you can sign up to be updated when this option is available at https://www.fico.com/ultrafico/.

Just like with all things, there are benefits and disadvantages. You’ll want to weigh out using the regular FICO score against this option to determine what will help boost your credit score more, along with the increased risk that often comes with more of your financial data being shared and transmitted.

However, this could be a very useful option for you if your borrowing history has been less than stellar.

Schedule Your Own "Health Day"

beautiful_black_women_27444_h.jpg

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

So last week I spent a whole day on my health. No, I didn’t work out for 8 hours straight (although getting in those workouts is VITAL for maximum physical health).

I scheduled some time off and spent an entire day shoring up my health: physically and financially.

As a professional sista, I know that you have a very busy life, just like me. And it’s SO easy to let things fall through the cracks, isn’t it?

Like scheduling those very important annual and follow-up medical appointments.

Or like calling or contacting companies to straighten out or update financial accounts and policies.

Do you ever notice how the longer you put something off, the harder it feels to actually do it?

But when you finally resolve to just get it done and gather everything up, it becomes much easier. Notice, I didn’t say “easy “– I said easier.

I am determined to live a life of abundance and wealth – physically and financially. So that requires devoting time to make sure that both are straight.

I got my appointments scheduled and resolved, and/or got clarity on the next step needed to resolve each issue.

This type of closure diminished my feelings of chaos and being spread too thin. It also eliminated that uneasiness in the back of my mind that something is going to go terribly wrong – in my body or wallet.      

I know you know what I’m talking about. You’ve felt this way before – or are feeling it right now.

Today, schedule that next possible day off for yourself. As a matter of fact, make it TWO days. That way, you can use one as a Health Day. And the second one you make a Fun Day (no explanation needed here, right? 😊).

Schedule your time off on non-holiday weekdays, so that you have the house all to yourself (while everyone is at work or school) and you won’t be distracted from caring for you by your loved ones.

Your Health (in every area) is the most important asset you have. No one can lend or lease you better Health once you neglect yours. Make sure you keep it in tip top shape!

Financial Companies Who Are Working With Employees Affected by the Shutdown

business-woman-3439224_640.jpg

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

If you yourself are a Federal employee - or know someone that is - who is getting hard hit financially as a result of this government shutdown, you - or they - may find this information helpful.

Many financial institutions are working with people to help them navigate this difficult situation. Check out the list and/or pass it on to someone else who may appreciate it: How Banks and Lenders Are Helping Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown.

3 Critical truths you need to accept - and embrace - in order to successfully reach and achieve your BIGGEST financial dreams

I know you have big dreams. VERY big dreams. So do I. And you really want to make them come true so that you can live the best life possible. You DESERVE to have all the best that life has to offer.

However, you know your dreams are going to require some work. The RIGHT work. And it won’t always be easy. But it WILL be worth it.

For you to have the necessary motivation to do the work of achieving your big financial dreams, you need to first realize some important truths. Then you need to accept – and finally, EMBRACE these truths.

They are some uncomfortable truths. But they hold the keys to the life that you REALLY want. Remember, that saying “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear?” Well, that is real.

Here are the 3 truths that you need to accept and embrace. They all deal with fear and how it shows up for you - and prevents you from achieving your BIG dreams:

 #1 Get used to living with uncertainty…

Be o.k. with not having “guarantees.” The truth is there really are NONE. The only guarantee that you can count on is yourself – that YOU will do WHATEVER it takes to reach your dreams.

#2 Get comfortable with being uncomfortable…

You will need to stretch in ways you NEVER have before and do things that are different from what you’ve ever done. And this feels SO uncomfortable. But the sense of accomplishment you feel and the person you start to become when you do this is FAR more amazing than you can imagine!

 #3 Get used to success being a zig-zaggy journey…

The road to success is not a straight line. You know this in your brain.  But you forget this when you see yourself going in circles or hitting detours on the way to your dreams.  This happens to EVERYONE – no matter who they are (even famous people). All the more, you need to stick with your dreams when this happens.

In this short clip below, I talk about the first truth and how it stops you from fully investing in your big financial dreams.

What do you think - are these 3 truths true for you?

P.S. - You can watch the FULL live training on my YouTube Channel. Just click here to view it.

P.P.S. - I do EXCLUSIVE live trainings like this for our free Facebook group every week. If you’re a professional sista, you’re invited to join us as we learn, grow and create lives of abundance and wealth for ourselves. Click here to request access.

Don't Forget Your Annual Financial Check-Ups

woman-sitting-down-2725718_640.jpg

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

2018 will be wrapping up in the blink of an eye. 

So, this is your reminder to complete one very important part of your annual financial check-up: check all 3 of your credit reports.

Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action to get your FREE full credit report from each of the three bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

(This is the ONLY safe, federally authorized website to get your FREE credit reports.)

Every 12 months from when you last received your report, you’re entitled to a free copy of your most recent credit report from each of the bureaus

Even if you check your report (and score) regularly using Credit Karma or similar sites, you’ll want to get a full copy of your report directly from the reporting bureaus, so that you can look it over yourself.

Your credit report is a VITAL part of your financial health.

Make sure you do your annual check-ups!

Let yourself dream - again....

20180919_162844 cropped.jpg

It’s scary to let yourself REALLY dream.   

To dream your biggest dreams – with no filter or limiters.

A while ago, you shut yourself down.

I know what’s it like.

I did that to myself for over 20 years.

You’ve had so many obstacles and challenges to your dreams.

Plus, your BIGGEST dreams stretch you – to the core.

They stretch you SO much, you have no idea about how to even make them real.

 But that’s o.k.

The first step to achieving your truest dreams is to admit – to yourself – that you even have them in the first place.

Otherwise, the alternative is to settle…

To settle for the slow death of your dreams.

And your soul.

In 2008, I got tired of slowly dying inside.

 I decided to take a chance and take a step towards my dreams.

 And I’ve been doing it ever since.

It’s been an amazing and fulfilling journey.

And yes, I’m STILL scared.

But now I have a HOPEFULNESS and HAPPINESS I never used to have.

Instead of the never-ending gnawing hopelessness I used to live with each day.

I know it’s not easy to trust the truth: that the Universe truly wants you to have everything that YOU want.

 And to let yourself dream your biggest dreams again – with no filter or limiters.

You can really have them.

 With the right actions and support.

 Let yourself dream – again.

 Life really DOES want you to have the desires of your heart.

You Don’t Have to Spend Lots to Live Abundantly

My Bottle Collection

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

I have a several hobbies that I enjoy. I’m sure you do too, right?

Hobbies make life feel so much richer and more abundant.

And while some of my hobbies can be a bit costly (going to concerts, for example), others are pretty inexpensive and quite fun!

I enjoy collecting unusual food/drink bottles.

So many bottles today are made of plastic, so I LOVE collecting bottles that are different.

Like these miniatures, glass and collector edition drink bottles.

I picked most of these up while traveling.

What about you - what are some of your favorite hobbies?

Why Using Your Savings for Bitcoin (or other High-Risk Investments) Isn’t Smart

piggy-3612927_640.jpg

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:              

Recently, I stumbled upon this article: “After the Bitcoin Boom: Hard Lessons for Cryptocurrency Investors.”

Remember the Bitcoin/cryptocurrency explosion a few months ago? Back then, just about everyone began asking financial experts if they should invest in it. At the time, some well-known experts were saying what a great investment it was. And now...silence.

Let me be clear. I myself am not an investment expert. But I do know that it is absolutely necessary to invest to create long lasting wealth. I invest. Investing creates wealth in a way that regular savings accounts do not. But as with all your wealth building practices, you need to proceed in an INFORMED and wise manner.

The article talks about several people who used their savings to invest in Bitcoin. One woman (and mom) used her savings, an insurance policy and took out a loan to invest in cryptocurrencies. At the time the article was written, she saw her investments drop 90%. One man took $100,000 out of his savings to buy Bitcoin and saw its value drastically drop. They – and other individuals – lost tens of thousands of dollars. It is NOT a wise strategy to take money from your savings to invest in high risk funds.

When it comes to your savings, you should always have a few different types of savings accounts. You should have set purposes for each. Then you’ll be clear on what you are saving for and why. And what money you want to invest. Once you decide what you want to – and can actually – invest, you should invest using your disposable income/extra money left over. NOT your savings.

The way to succeed in investing is not to jump on what’s “hot” at the moment, but to become knowledgeable about how to invest. In most cases, you will need to invest FIRST in working with a financial expert to help you learn.

But THAT is an investment well worth making to create long lasting and true wealth, which won’t quickly lose its value.

A really SIMPLE way to greatly increase abundance in your life

Really simple way to greaty increase abundance in your life

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

I know that I’m automatically wired to focus on the negative and lack. Is that true for you too?

The truth is, it takes just a tad bit more effort to focus on what is GOOD and what IS going well.

But that little bit of extra effort pays off in COUNTLESS ways!

Cultivating gratitude and thanks for all that you have lifts your mood, mind and motivation.

Best of all, it’s a habit that CAN be developed.

To do this, each day in the morning, I write down 5 things that I am grateful for and appreciate. Whenever possible, I write down 5 different things.

I’m also developing a habit of reviewing 5 good things that happened to me on that day before going to sleep each night.

You’ll notice that the more you appreciate what you have, the more you’ll HAVE to appreciate.

That’s just the way it works…

What do you do each day to focus on gratitude and thanks giving? Or if you haven’t been doing so this far, what do you plan to start doing daily to begin cultivating gratitude?

No, You Can’t Spot the Wealthy Just by Looking at ‘Em

No, You Can't Spot the Wealthy Just by Looking at 'Em

Many people look wealthy and aren’t. They have, eat and wear only the “best.” Their clothing and belongings are always designer or brand names. They have the “coolest” and latest models of everything. And they tend to spend their money quite freely and extravagantly.

Then there are those who adorn themselves in the simplest clothing and invest in essential items. They practice modest behaviors overall and choose when and where to spend freely and extravagantly.  Yet, they actually DO have substantial wealth.

Often you wouldn’t know that many of the people you see are wealthy, because they don’t “show” it.

One of the clearest examples of this is former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg. He’s a billionaire.

But while he was mayor, he was often seen eating hot dogs. As a billionaire, we “expect” him to eat only the “best” foods. But he loved hot dogs and didn’t care what anyone thought of him.

If we hadn’t known who he was, we would never have known a billionaire was buying hot dogs for lunch!

We’re used to a society that revels in “proving” we have money when we possess it. In fact, if wealthy people DON’T dress fancy or flashy, many of us label them “cheap” or other unflattering names. You KNOW I’m right!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to live like a pauper and buy, wear and use boring and plain things all the time.

What I AM saying is that trying to “look wealthy” isn’t the way to go. Look at MC Hammer and Johnny Depp.

The behaviors typically associated with trying to look wealthy actually DEPLETE wealth.

Don’t let the opinions of others tell you how to conduct your life.

Whatever way you choose to show up in the world IS YOUR CHOICE (obviously, it goes without saying that this should still include showing up clean and smelling pleasant - not being sloppy, unkempt and/or smelly).

“Dressing (and living) to impress” others is the surest way to run yourself into debt.

And it is the surest way to waste money by being “extra,” when you could be USING that extra money you’re spending to build up your net worth and your bank account.

Dress - and live - to impress YOU first and the rest will naturally follow.

Define what wealth is for you. And what it isn’t. Then do that. Live that.

Like the quote says, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

About Yolanda Ransom

Yolanda Ransom teaches professional Black women how to confidently master their money, so they can achieve all of their financial dreams. She is a financial educator, coach and CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting. She speaks and writes about personal finance and personal development. Find out more about Yolanda and her work at yolandaransom.com

Ultimately (after a certain point), it really ISN’T about what’s In your wallet…

wallet-2456004_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day:

Does it ever feel like no matter how much you make, you still don’t have ENOUGH money to do everything you want to do?

Now I’m not referring to those in jobs paying minimum wage, or for those just starting out in their career/jobs. Both situations used to be true for me. And in those cases, you usually DON'T have enough money - working your way up is going to be  absolutely necessary to get there. 

I’m talking about when you’ve been in your career or business for a bit…once you start making 30, 40, 50k and up...

Have you noticed that you just can’t seem to hit those big financial goals or dreams that you thought - and hoped - you would?

Do you every wonder WHY?

While you’re thinking about that, let me digress for a moment… you know those Capital One commercials with Samuel L. Jackson, where he asks, “what’s in your wallet?”

Well to use that example, ultimately, it’s not REALLY about what’s in your wallet.

It’s about what you’re DOING. And what you’re thinking.

When it comes to our money, we create and practice habits that we do automatically. Often, we do them so automatically, that we don’t even notice them anymore.

When they’re great habits, that’s when our money flourishes. But when they’re BAD habits, that’s when we get those sinking feelings of never being able to achieve our dreams.

In order to create the wealthy, abundant lives we want so much – and truly deserve – we have to become aware of our bad money habits and change them, pronto.

The very first step is to become aware of and NOTICE what we’re doing.

But sometimes after years of doing the same thing, and being too close up on our own situation, we become blind to what we’re doing. And to why it’s not working.

If you feel that might be the case with you, then reach out to a financially savvy friend or an experienced financial professional to help you get the perspective you need for your success.

Then you’ll begin to finally see how ultimately, it really ISN’T about what’s in your wallet after all.

Our Hair, Our Money, Our Value & Our Stylists: That Special Relationship

Me & Oumou .jpg

So I got my locs retwisted the other day by my excellent stylist Oumou Sy. There's NOTHING like that feeling of freshly done hair, is there ladies? And when your hairdresser is punctual, pleasant, courteous AND great at doing hair, that's even better! Oumou and Harlem Natural Hair Salon are the best hairdresser/salon I’ve ever been to.

Actually, this isn't my first time locing my hair. I've had locs for over 15 years. They grew so long that they were down my back. But I started doing them myself to 1) save money and to 2) avoid visiting my very skilled but unpleasant hairdresser.

 Over the years, I had the money to get my hair done regularly but the idea of visiting my gossipy and sarcastic hairdresser kept me away unless I had a special event (like my wedding, college graduation, a singing event, etc.).

Long story short: refusing to visit the hairdresser cost me a lot. My hair grew weak and broke off from over washing and over twisting. So last year I decided to accept the inevitable, and cut off my locs to start over.

This time around, I decided I was going to find a skilled hairdresser with positive energy. My sense of value and belief that I deserved great customer service had increased over the years. I was determined to work ONLY with a truly good-hearted and friendly stylist. This time I intended to take much better care of my hair and I was NOT going to spend years dealing with a snippy or late stylist. I was going to spend my money with someone that valued me and my business.

It wasn’t easy. I spent over six months looking: I visited 3 different salons and dealt with four different hairdressers. From ones arriving over an hour late for our appointment (with no apology). To ones who refused to get on the phone with me to clear up questions they hadn’t answered clearly enough by text (even AFTER I had already become a paying customer). To ones who just didn’t seem to like me, for who knows why (shrug).

But I refused to pay to be treated poorly and so I persisted in my search. I called  a lot of salons and talked to many unprofessional stylists. I was amazed at the overall poor customer service and wondered why they operated this way.  

I came to the conclusion that hairdresser seem to have such poor attitudes and behavior towards potential clients because they KNOW how important, personal and special our hair is to us as Black women, and how deeply emotional we get about it. So they act like we need THEM rather than that it is an equally dependent relationship.

Then one day I was searching the web, and viola! I stumbled upon this new website for Harlem Natural Hair Salon. The website was very basic, but professional. So I sent them an email asking about their services. Not long after, I got a response from the owner, Paula. And that was the start of a wonderful relationship!

I’ve been going there for almost a year now and enjoying punctual (you can tell that’s a really big deal to me, can’t you?), friendly, well-organized and excellent service. Their website is top notch now, just like their place of business. My locs are growing strong and healthy and I am happy. I’m glad I didn’t give up looking!

What about you ladies? Have you had similar experiences? Have you found that hairdresser match made in heaven yet (that you so deserve)? Let me know.

Are You Getting Ready for the Next Recession?

Are You Getting Ready for the Next Recession?

Financial Tip of the Day:

When the economy is doing “good” that's when we feel least like saving. When the money is flowing in, we start to feel like it's never going to end. Maybe we’re raking in the overtime, or our businesses are doing extremely well. And that’s when it feels like the money spigot will continue forever. But, the truth is, when your money is “good” is the time when you MOST need to save.

Have you ever looked at celebrities or athletes who were making millions at one point in their lives, and then a few years later you read or hear about them and they’re broke? This is because they didn’t save for the rainy days.

No matter who we are, our income IS going to drop at some point in our lives. We may have to take a pay cut, lose our jobs, retire, or our businesses may not make as much profit.

THIS is when savings come to the rescue as a buffer. Savings can help you maintain a (relatively uninterrupted) pleasurable and secure quality of life at these times.

If you don't have any savings in place, NOW is the time to make it happen. Get your savings plan together and start saving REGULARLY.

History has shown that recessions occur naturally and consistently in our economy. Remember the last one? And as Black women, WE tend to get hit quickest and hardest when these happen.

Get ready for the next one.

Take Time to Seek the Proper Perspective Each Day

Nothing is worth more than this day book

So today is hump day! That mid-point in the week. Half of the week is done, and we have half left to power through. And sometimes we just need an extra boost to keep going, am I right? Every morning I take out time to get my mind right by reading various self-help and inspirational books before I start my day. This helps me seek and work to maintain a proper perspective each day.

While on vacation recently, I picked up this wonderful little book,“Nothing is worth more than this day.” While I bought it for just $5 (caught a sale), it has turned out to be PRICELESS in its value. I read about 10-20 pages everyday and it helps me SO much.

Let’s get really real for a moment, ok? The truth is, as Black women (and people), we face stressors, challenges and circumstances that are unique to us, which can often produce a sense of helplessness and hopelessness within us. And as a realist, I will never skip over reality or deny what’s really happening to make myself feel better. Nor will I do so with others.

But the fact is, reality is NOT a one dimensional thing. Just as there are “bad” realities, there are “good” realities too. I read inspirational books (like this one) to help me remember the good realities. Most of us are so trained to focus on the “bad” realities (and the news does a “great” job of making sure we hear about them), that we forget about the “good’ realities.

Like, how much abundance we enjoy EVERY DAY in small ways and big ways. Books like “Nothing is worth more than this day” help me retrain myself to focus on my big and small blessings. And to NOTICE the blessings that I am receiving at each moment and every day. This gives me the proper perspective.

By the way, I HIGHLY recommend this book for you. It's a quick read, and it’s pocket sized, so it’s easily portable. You can read a bunch of quotes each day (like I do) or carry it with you to pull out for a mental “pick-me-up” whenever you need it.  I loved it so much I got some for my family (you can get it on Amazon).

I’ll leave you with one of the quotes from the book for today’s proper perspective boost:

Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.” - John Updike

Happy Hump Day :)

Save & Protect – Not Lose – Your Money When Shopping Online

adult-3496264_640.jpg Shopping Online

Financial Tip of the Day:

I love shopping online.  I love it SO much that that I’d venture to say that I do it just about every week. And I’ve learned one important thing when doing it: ALWAYS use my credit card.

In fact, there are two situations especially, where I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use a credit card while shopping online (and urge my clients to do the same):

  1.   When buying from a company for the first time
  2.  When buying something that costs more than $100

Using my credit card when shopping online has saved me tons of money. Not in the “traditional” sense of saving money. But in the way of helping me GET BACK my money when there’s an order error, or when I’m dealing with a vendor or company lacking in integrity.

For example, this past week I purchased an item from a company that I’ve never bought from before.  As is my policy, I used my credit card. When I got my order, the wrong item was shipped to me.  This particular company has a very STRICT no refund and returns policy. Except when it comes to shipping errors on their part. Which this is.

So far, when I’ve reached out to the company, they have been slow to respond. And when they did, their response was terse.  The bottom line is, if the company refuses to send me the correct order or return my money, I will be out more than $100. Honestly, I’m not big on losing money – ANY amount – but definitely not $100+. And I’m sure you’re not either. Right?

Needless to say, I don’t plan on ever buying from them again (based on the level of customer service they’ve exhibited so far).

But most of all, I am SO glad that I used my credit card to make the purchase.

Why, you ask?  

Because I know that if the company refuses to resolve the issue fairly, I can rest easy with the assurance that other resolution options are available to me through my credit card company. Such as, disputing the charge.

With a debit card, the money would have been immediately taken out of my account. And the likelihood of getting my money back or undoing the transaction DRAMATICALLY decreases (even if I disputed it with the bank).

Long story short: Save money by not losing hundreds (or more) when an order or service delivery goes sideways. Use your credit card when shopping online to protect your money – and get it back – when you rightfully should.

What about you? How do you usually pay for your online purchases? Have you had online shopping experiences where you lost money?