MoneyManagement

4 Priceless Wealth Building Lessons

Event Collage.jpg

Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

Last month, I took an important step in investing in my own wealth building journey: I attended a live business workshop hosted by Rosetta Thurman. It was an incredibly empowering event. When I went, I set out to get the most I could out of the event. It was one of the few paid business events that I’ve attended over the last year. It also turned out to be the one of the most valuable I’ve ever gone to. When I was considering why it was this past week, I discovered four lessons from it, which are equally important for wealth building:

#1. You Get What You Pay For

Compared to other local Black women entrepreneur events I’ve attended, I paid a bit more for this event than I usually do. And the event turned out to be higher level than any of the other ones I’ve attended. From Rosetta, to the event space, to the other attendees, there was a higher level of seriousness and focus surrounding the entire event.

Lesson: Just like with wealth building, the more money you invest in getting the services and help you need, the higher the level of service you’ll receive.


#2. To Move to the Next Level, Be Around Others at that Level

In the past, I have received business coaching and support from Rosetta. I truly admire her and she has always been amazingly supportive and honest. And as a business woman, I aspire to have an impact and achieve a level of success similar to hers. So I bought my ticket with the intention of immersing myself among others who are at the level that I aim to reach.

But to be completely honest, I had fears about attending the event. For a brief moment, I almost made an excuse not to go. I know that Rosetta is an utmost professional and an excellent, non-judgmental coach. But the thought of meeting her in person did elicit feelings of “less-than.” I don’t buy into the belief that anyone is better than me. I do accept that others may be better at doing something than me. However, they are not better than me, no matter what they’ve accomplished. So, after getting my mind right, I courageously went with the intention of being open to learning and receiving, no matter how vulnerable or uncomfortable I felt (which I certainly did at points).

Lesson: Wealth building requires the same things: actively seeking out others at the next level to elevate, and enduring feeling uncomfortable in light of your positive financial goal.


#3. A Higher Level of Investing Results in Connecting with Like Minded Individuals

As I mentioned, the cost of this event was more than I have previously paid for live business events for Black women. I ended up making 3 meaningful networking connections with 3 ladies. And guess what? Out of 3 of the ladies I met, 2 reached out to me immediately after the event to seriously connect. I reached out to the 3rd sista. With all 3 ladies, we have already moved forward in setting up a conversation or follow-up meeting.

To compare, I went to another networking event, where I met many more sista entrepreneurs. At one event, I brought home about 10 business cards and emailed all of them. Of the 10 sistas, only 2 sistas replied to my email, expressing no definitive plans to build a business relationship. I was very surprised by this, because at the events they seemed eager to connect as potential collaborators.

It dawned on me that the cost of that other event was far less. And the bottom line is, that the more “skin in the game” people invest, the more seriously they will view an opportunity and act upon it. So the ladies at Rosetta’s event—like me—were more serious about making the most of the money and time we invested in the event, and were more eager to act on it.

Lesson: It is the same with wealth building. If you’re only willing to attend “free” or low-cost events, you are only going to connect with those who are only willing to commit only so much time and money to their financial success. They have not yet learned the valuable lesson that to make “real” money, you have to first spend “real” money.


#4.The Greater the Potential Gain, The Higher the Risk—and the Scarier it Feels

Because I am dead serious about becoming a multi-millionaire and controlling my financial destiny, I made a major investment to get business support from Rosetta. I invested money in working with her. MORE money than I have ever invested for any business coaching. I want the Best.

But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared paying that much. My stomach was churning with fear, even as I submitted the payment. I’m CONVINCED that Rosetta is the best coach to help me in my business, and I am COMMITTED to my own success.

But it still felt incredibly scary. Why?

Because:

  • I know that there will be no INSTANT results, which I want so badly, so I can "feel" like there is no risk involved

  • It felt extremely uncomfortable to do something that caused me to move beyond my own self-imposed limits (like how much I was willing to “safely” spend on business coaching)

  • I need to have faith and trust the process and that it will work—since there is no GUARANTEE that it will, no matter how badly I want one

  • I will need to do a lot of work: mentally, spiritually, and physically. Even though I definitely want different results, there is still the part of me that wants to cling to my old way of doing things---even if I KNOW they don’t work

Lesson: Just like the wealth building process, fear and conflicting feelings—along with excitement and hope— will arise when you decide to take the next step in taking control of your financial destiny. They will always be there, as long as you keep pressing forward to create financial independence. You can COUNT on it.

Anyway, I'm SO glad I attended the event and that I invested in my own financial success and wealth building. I’m putting in all, so I can get all that I’m working for. My financial destiny and future are so worth it.

What about you—which wealth building lesson most spoke to you?  

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.

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!

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.

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.

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?

Make R&R A Priority In Wealth Building

Traveling on Vacation 7-6-18

Financial Tip of the Day

So, I’m back from my vacation this week. And I had a lovely time!

Although I must admit, there were times when I started thinking about my business and new ideas for my business and so on and so on. But then I’d stop myself to refocus on being in the moment, enjoying the company of my husband and loved ones and the excitement of being in a totally different environment.

I allowed myself to “waste time” on social media, read “stupid” online articles and watch TV, in between enjoying tasty meals, purposeless shopping, and sleeping in. It was fantastic!

I refused to do any work during my time off. And I strongly encourage you to do the same during your breaks.

The work habits of far too many of us lead to burnout and being drained. Contrary to popular opinion, being “on our grind” 24/7 does NOT lead to financial success (or happiness).

Recently, I read somewhere about some financially successful individuals who said that they more time they took off during the year, the MORE successful their businesses were. Let me tell you, that’s ALL I had to hear to decide to make time off a priority in my life. This concept flies in the face of overworked Americans, constantly working overtime to make money.

If you don’t believe this works, check out this article to see how important “unplugging” and rest and relaxation is for some of the most financially successful people we know:  7 Things Rich, Successful People Do Before Bed that You Can Do.

I’m all rested up and ready to return to doing the work I love. Full of new ideas and rejuvenated energy, I’m ready to dive into the projects I was working on before I left for vacation.

Until my next recharging break - which will be pretty soon :)

Focus on the TRUE Purpose of Saving Money…

people-2572167_640.jpg

So, as someone who is a “natural saver,” just seeing the money in my savings accounts grow is enough to give me a warm and fuzzy feeling of satisfaction. It’s because deep down, savings signal to me that I have options. Ultimately, acquiring savings provides me with feelings of freedom and security concerning any “unexpecteds” that may arise.

However, as a financial educator/coach, I fully realize that many people are not motivated by this type of thing when it comes to saving. Quite a few of us are more motivated by the promise of what our money can give us NOW, rather than later. So, stashing it away and doing with less money now feels like a huge drag with no apparent rewards. The truth is, some of us are more “today centered” and some of are more “tomorrow centered.” And there is NOTHING WRONG with either approach - when they’re not used in the extreme.

The goal is to achieve a balance. Admittedly, this can be very tricky. In fact, overall, this balance is not being achieved. This recent piece shows that 65% of Americans have ZERO to very little money saved at all: 65% of Americans save little or nothing—and half could end up struggling in retirement

To me, this indicates that a big part of the problem is the perception of saving. Far too often, we focus on the “pain” of saving and “doing without” in the moment. The focus is on what we're NOT getting as opposed to what we ARE getting. In order to be motivated to CONSISTENTLY cut back in our everyday lives, we must have something to look forward to - both NOW and in the future - that makes it feel worthwhile. This is the only way we can tackle any goal that feels hard or unpleasant.

Even for me, the promise of saving for future reward alone is not enough. I too, want immediate pleasure out of my well saved money. For instance, after my trip last month to a business summit, I noticed that my luggage bag was fraying and some of the foam was coming out. My bag had accompanied me on many pleasant trips over the last few years. But it was time to go. So rather than trying to squeeze more trips out of it, I disposed of it when I got home.

Since I had another trip coming up, I needed to get a new one quickly. And let me tell you, when it comes to shopping, just call me the “Savings Queen.” Whenever I buy something, I always try to get the best deal (price-wise) possible. As a “frugal minded” spender, this is usually my top criteria (all my “frugal minded” people KNOW what I’m talkin’ bout).

But this time around, I decided that price would not be the top deciding factor. The longer I continue my life’s journey of living abundantly, the more I have come to focus on what makes me HAPPIEST as opposed to what costs me less.

Now I just want to make this totally clear: that DOES NOT mean I just throw price out the window. It simply means that figuring how much money I can keep in my wallet, when comparing buying one thing over another, is not my guiding principle anymore.   

Focus on thte TRUE Purpose of Saving Money....

I finally settled on this beautiful purple (my favorite color) two-piece luggage set (above). I LOVE it and I cannot wait to use on my next trip. I was comparing this set to a three-piece Black luggage set that cost almost $20 less. My last luggage bag was also Black. But every time I looked at the purple set, I felt so ‘“up” just looking at it. So that’s what I bought. Economically the Black set was a “better” value and would have put some savings into my pocket. But I have come to appreciate more and more that sometimes buying what you LOVE and paying a bit more for it - rather than paying less for something that you only LIKE - is the way to go.

The invaluable discipline of saving money is about learning how to cut back on the things right now that really don't matter that much, so that we can invest instead in the things that REALLY DO.

So, for me, buying “no-name” paper towels, foregoing brand name clothing (most of the time), and learning how to get by with a little less income right now in order to make mandatory contributions to my retirement account, are some of the things I am willing to cut back on in the present. This then frees up the money for me to buy the slightly more expensive luggage that makes me feel energized and stylish and brightens up my day – in the here and now.

The TRUE purpose of saving money in the present is to invest that money in what really matters. It's NOT to deny our current selves happiness and pleasure. The true purpose of saving money now is to make possible the present AND future things that give us the MOST happiness.  And isn’t that what saving money is REALLY all about?

What about you? Have you ever cut back on something that didn't mean very much to you so that you could save for/invest in something else that really did matter to you? I'd love to hear about it! 

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

Good Weather & Our Dreams

Good Weather & Our Dreams

There’s nothing like beautiful weather to make you feel on top of the world, is there? After so many days of being cloudy and overcast, today is a PERFECT mix of sun and breeze. Just the way I love it! 💜
 
Weather like this makes me feel more hopeful about my today AND my future. But the truth is, no matter what the weather is, today and tomorrow are always bright for me – and you –  when we invest in our dreams.
 
So, be sure to take out some time to soak up the beautiful weather today (at least for a little while) in your busy day. Allow yourself time to daydream about your life and what you want most out of it.
 
Then when you’re done, use the energy and momentum of the beautiful weather and your feelings of abundance to take an important step towards your dream.
 
Promise yourself to take one solid action towards your biggest dream by the end of the day. That’s what I’m doing.
 
Because, dreaming + action = dream realized. Enjoy your day! 😊