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

Savings Equals Freedom

Savings = Freedom

Financial Tip of the Day

Savings = Freedom. That’s how I see it.

Saving money gave me a feeling of power, security and control in my jobs, rather than feeling helpless and terrified over losing my job.

Saving money made it possible for me to move on from past jobs to new jobs, as well as start my own company. When I was ready.

And saving money made it possible for me to totally reinvent my career path. And my life.

Too often we feel like saving money means depriving ourselves of everything we like.

But that’s just NOT true. Savings really do = FREEDOM.

As a professional Black woman, you can still enjoy a GREAT life and achieve your dreams life - all while saving money. I’m proof it.

It all begins with looking at savings in a new way. This is possible at any moment.

And as Black women, we could ALWAYS use more freedom, couldn’t we?

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! 😊

I Bet You'll Never Guess What MC Lyte Prayed for: What We Can Learn from Her...

20180607_111408.jpg

Last week, I attended the Black Enterprise 2018 Entrepreneurs Summit. And my absolute favorite session of all was the one I attended where MC Lyte spoke. 

I’ve always admired MC Lyte for her authenticity and for uncompromisingly representing herself with ultimate strength and class. So, I was eager to hear what she had to say.

To be honest, I was not prepared for what she shared with us during the session. What she shared was very surprising - and extremely hopeful at the same time.

Lyte explained that there was a point when she felt so lost and needed help so desperately in one area of her life that she prayed and asked God to send her someone.

And no. It was not a man.

She asked God to send her someone…to help her get her finances right.

She realized that she wasn’t able to figure out how to get to where she wanted to be financially. So she sought help.

This legendary, super successful, intelligent and self-evolving lady realized that she needed help with her money. She needed help reaching her big money goals.

And guess what? The help she sincerely asked for and desired showed up.

During that session we met Lyte and the financial expert who helped her transform her money and life in ways she had never imagined.

I was so excited to hear this because this is exactly what I help my clients do. I help them transform their lives and money journey.

Hearing MC Lyte’s story was so hopeful to me because it confirmed for me that there are more and more Black professional women just like Lyte who are willing to take action on their dreams.

She asked for help, and when it appeared, she participated by taking action towards her dreams of financial abundance and success. And Lyte listened to her financial coach.  

Lyte said that she could never give her coach enough credit for helping her turn her finances around and credited her coach’s guidance with creating her money and business transformations.

We can learn a lot from MC Lyte:

What about you? Are you doing everything you can to invest in your financial future?

The longer you wait to take action, the longer you will stay where you are and keep doing what you’re doing.

Or worse yet - you will fall even farther behind on your dreams.

Are you making excuses about money and time to avoid getting the coaching and support that you need?

The thing is, we always seem to find the money for that new pair of shoes, that new handbag, that new hairdo, etc., right? It really all boils down to a matter of priorities, doesn't it?

Each day that you make an excuse is another day that leaves you feeling increasingly more hopeless about ever achieving your big financial dreams.

Instead of making excuses, you could be taking actions towards – and living – your big dreams. Just like MC Lyte (and me).

It really is true: “Time waits for no one.”

My Summit Experience

Me & Demarra!.jpg

Last week I attended the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit and it was meaningful for me in so many ways. As a new business owner, I felt like it was important for me to attend the event. Several reasons were really clear to me, while others were not. They weren’t all spelled out to me, but I knew intuitively that this was an investment I should make in myself.

One reason that I was clear on was that it was an opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs that I would not meet under normal circumstances. And sure enough, I had the pleasure of meeting several amazing business owners, including this vibrant and enthusiastic sista named Demarra Gardner. She offers business and wellness retreats for Black women. Check her out at https://www.blackwomenaboutbiz.com/

I met many other business owners, gained life-changing inspiration, new business information and enjoyed some delicious meals during my trip. You can see my trip pics album on Facebook: My Black Enterprise Summit Experience.

(Make sure to follow me on Facebook while you’re there!)

Are you STILL risking identity theft?

identity-theft-2708855_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

Did you do a credit freeze to protect yourself yet? Last year I did a credit freeze with all 3 bureaus after I found out about the Equifax data breach.

This piece tells you what you need to know to freeze your credit, "Credit freezes will be free, thanks to banking deregulation law and Equifax changes."

If you haven’t done so yet, set aside 20-30 minutes over the long holiday weekend to do this.

ESPECIALLY if your information was definitely hacked. Check here to see if your information is “out there” vulnerable: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

The longer you wait, the more your personal and financial data is at risk.

There is NO excuse for putting it off, because almost all of us WILL have the time to do it over the long weekend.

No, it’s not fun. But the FEW minutes you spend protecting your money and identity doesn’t compare to the long-term devastation that identity theft causes.

And you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy yourself this weekend. Peace of mind is worth it to me. What about you?

Sis, Put YOU First (for a Change)

Girls with Locs Rock Pic

I look around and see many Sistas working so hard on behalf of everyone else at the expense of their own needs. When we do it long enough, it becomes a habit (a BAD one) that we no longer even think about. Others depend on us and we make sure we’re always there. No matter what. Even when they can handle whatever it is without us. Even when they don’t deserve it. You know what I mean, right?

As women, we’re conditioned and socialized from youth to take care of others and put everyone else first. At home, at work and in our communities. This means we often give – emotionally, physically and financially – until we have nothing left for ourselves but dregs.

Too much, we put our dreams on the back burner to build up and support everyone else. Dreams like: going back to school. Taking that dream trip to that faraway place. Buying that new home. Pampering yourself weekly with your favorite treat. Our time, energy and money are over invested in helping others achieve THEIR dreams while not setting aside enough of these things for our OWN dreams. This is tragic.

The truth is, many times we’re too scared of upsetting the established balance with our loved ones and others (who have come to EXPECT us to put them first). Changing that dynamic can be scary. And just downright unpleasant.

It’s unpopular to put ourselves first for fear of being labeled “selfish” (I know ALL too well). When we put valuing ourselves as our top priority, we often get negative reactions. From our employers, our families, our loved ones and even from strangers (yep!).

But it’s necessary if we’re to become who we’re meant to be and achieve our biggest dreams. The freedom and possibilities that come from valuing ourselves first are incredible!

I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I've been that woman giving up my resources, time and money to others because I felt like I should. Because "good" women always support everyone else. No matter how it impacts them.

When I stopped putting myself last, I encountered the negative reactions. But I learned how to deal with them and come through it stronger. And over time, I've also learned how to put myself first while STILL generously and authentically honoring and supporting my loved ones.

Sis, now it’s your turn to put YOU first (if you haven't been). It's your time, so that you can have the freedom to reach for and attain your dreams. And every step you take towards fulfilling your dreams does help those you love. It shows them how to do the same.

When was a time that you put “you” first? How did it feel? What happened? Putting ourselves first as women can be foreign. But it’s something you can get used to quickly once you experience the happiness it brings!

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 and 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

Redesign Your Celebration: Save Time, Energy & Moolah on Mother’s Day

Card Shopping for Mother's Day.jpg

Yesterday as I shopped for a Mother's Day card for my mom, I thought about how special this day is each year for my mom and family. Honoring my mom is something that I am always eager to do because she has been - and still is - such an amazing mother, influencer, shaper and loving supporter my entire life. And I know many of us feel the same way about our moms.

So as I was browsing for a card, I recalled a Mother’s Day celebration a few years ago. One Mother’s Day we all got dressed up to take my mom out to dinner at her top choice restaurant (as we had done every other year). We arrived at the restaurant looking forward to a delicious meal, only to be told that they were booked full. And that the waiting list was for several hours.

Disappointed, we decided to try her next favorite restaurant. Calling ahead, we were told the same thing by that one too, as well as some other restaurants. The crazy thing is that this happened in Manhattan - of all places!!!

This experience made us re-evaluate how and when we celebrated the holiday. My mom is not a friend of crowds - nor am I - however, we had chosen to celebrate her on the traditional days for years up until that point. Even despite the crowds and inflated prices. But now the inability to even get into a restaurant for dinner inspired us to finally try a new approach.

We agreed to try celebrating Mother’s Day on an “off” day, rather than on the actual day itself. And you know what? Celebrating it on a different day has turned out to be a wonderful tradition that we now really enjoy every year.

Actually, we enjoy it just as much - if not more - than before. What matters most to my mom and us is that we celebrate her, regardless of what day we do it on. We select a day when we can all be there. And now we don’t have to fight with crowds or pay jacked-up prices on the “official” day.

If you’ve found the crowds, wait and prices to be a happiness buster, this may be an excellent solution. If your mom is flexible and open to this idea, celebrating Mother's Day on a mutually agreed upon alternative day can be a wonderful way to have a more relaxed, cozier, quieter and cost-saving celebration.

By the way, you can do this on other holidays too! My family and I have experimented with celebrating other holidays on different days and have found them to be equally enjoyable. You can save a great deal of time, energy and money on travel, gifts, food and waiting in line when you celebrate on “off-peak” days.

And you still get to lovingly celebrate one another. Isn’t that what it’s ALL really about anyway?

About Yolanda Ransom

Yolanda Ransom is a financial educator, speaker, coach and workshop trainer who teaches people how to confidently master their money so that they can achieve all of their financial dreams. She is the CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting and speaks on topics of personal finance, personal development and Black issues. Find out more about Yolanda and her work at yolandaransom.com

 

Put Those Fees Back into Your Pocket (Where They Belong)

computer-3239667_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day   

One area where we can end up spending a nice chunk of change each month is with banking. More specifically, bank fees. Most of us have accounts where fees can be (and are) assessed each month that we don't maintain certain minimums or other requirements.

For instance, I have more than one checking account. I use one of them for smaller bills, and another for larger ones (like rent). Each account has fees that are assessed each month if I don't meet certain criteria. However, the criteria are different for each account.

One account requires that I maintain a minimum balance, or a fee is charged. A way for me to avoid the fee is by setting up monthly direct deposits of a certain amount or higher. Another account charges a fee unless I perform a certain number of debit transactions, or transfer a certain amount of money into the account each month.

The trick is, you want to look at your bank statement to see how you can AVOID the fee. With a little pre-planning and by taking a couple of steps, you can avoid being charged the fee altogether.

Just think about it. Those fees may seem small, but they're taking a sizeable amount of money from you over time.  Multiply your bank fee by 12 months, and you have a nice sum of money that you could be spending, saving or investing elsewhere.

So, if you’ve been getting charged a bank fee each month, set aside a couple of minutes to review your statement (which is a money habit you want to practice anyway to make sure all activity looks right) and find out what steps you need to take immediately to keep from being charged the monthly fee.

It will be probably one of the quickest and simplest things you do all month to put some savings back into your pocket. The banks are doing fine. YOU need your money in your pocket. And isn’t that where you’d prefer it to be anyway? I know I do.

P.S. - Never miss the tip of the day. Subscribe here!

The Heavy Burden of Financial Stress & Hope for Relief

people-1492052_1920.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

Financial stress is a very real and big part of life for most of us. I’ve often commented to others that I think the top 2 things that compete for our focus and concentration each day are love and money. But I believe that it is even more safe to say that for the huge majority of us, money is the number # 1 thing on our minds most of the time. Would you agree?

It seems that the further away we are from where we want to be financially, the greater our stress level tends to be. As this article explains, 1 In 4 Americans Have PTSD-Like Symptoms From Financial Stress, some of us struggling so much with our finances that we are exhibiting symptoms similar to those with PTSD.

This is very heartbreaking to me. However, I agree with the author’s statement that it’s surprising that the number of those identified as suffering from this type of stress isn’t higher. I’ve seen firsthand the bone crushing stress that debt and ongoing financial problems has had upon clients.

What I find hopeful about the article is that it illuminates the problem, providing an opportunity to seek a solution. Shame over money is one of the biggest things that causes us to hide from others and ourselves. But it doesn’t work. And it’s not necessary.

There are MANY resources, tools and types of help available for dealing with financial stress. Therapy, counseling and coaching are valuable options. There is no formula that will work for each person, so figuring out your best combination of helpful resources will be a very personal, yet worthwhile, journey.

Even if you’re not feeling stress at the level described in this piece, financial stress of ANY type steals happiness and kills dreams. Be sure to take care of you.

Take the steps you need to get the emotional, spiritual and financial help you need and deserve. You and your dreams are so worth it. 💜

Minimize Grocery Trips to Save Hundreds

Grocery Shopping

Financial Tip of the Day

I finished my grocery shopping earlier today. Twice a month, my husband and I do a large grocery run to replenish everything we need until our next trip. Shopping twice per month saves us LOTS of money.

The more trips you make to the grocery store, the more you end up spending monthly. This is because you often end up buying smaller sizes of items with the idea of needing them to last a shorter period of time.

Take milk, for example. When you buy four quarts of milk instead of buying one gallon in a month, you end up spending quite a bit more. Multiply this by all the other items you do this with, and you can easily overspend by hundreds.

With clients, I’ve noticed that those who make larger shopping trips, less frequently, spend considerably less than those who shop every week. I even had one client who shopped EVERY day. Needless to say, they had a HUGE grocery bill.

By making fewer, but larger, grocery trips every month, you’ll save so much on your shopping bill. Plus, your savings automatically increase because you end up spending less on gas/transportation to get to the store. The net result: having more money to spend or save on the people and things that you love even more than groceries 😊.

Still Haven’t Saved a Dime This Year? Try “Tricking” Yourself into Saving

bank-1238322_640.jpg

As we move through the fourth month of the year, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate how we’re doing with our money goals so far. Saving up money is a goal that most of us have. (And if we don’t, we should). But putting aside money for savings is a real challenge for the majority of us. Either we have too little saved or not at all. Am I right?

Truth be told, we often treat saving as optional, negotiable or non-essential. Don’t we? But we know that is not the case. Having a savings cushion really IS a necessity. Living without savings is a sure recipe for falling into debt.

The great news is, saving is a habit that can be DEVELOPED through practice.

The way to ensure that you save money every pay period, is to add in your savings goal to your budget. When we do our budgets, we typically include expenses that we must pay to someone else. But we don’t include what we must pay to OURSELVES. Savings are what we pay to ourselves.

The bottom line is that there is no lasting financial success without the use of a budget. Visually seeing what you spend and earn shows you the reality of your actual situation. Budgets help to clarify our expenses. In other words, they detail the absolute necessities that MUST be paid to avoid losing things we consider vital to our happiness, health, and comfort (like shelter, water, heat, electricity, etc.)

A trick that I use to help me save is to include savings in my budget as an EXPENSE. I treat it like a necessity. Just like all my other major bills. I also set up my savings to be automatically deducted and transferred into my savings account, so I don’t have a chance to spend it on something else (like all the music, movies and other things on my huge Amazon Wish List).

When you add your savings amount goal into your budget, make sure you add it in as a SEPARATE additional item in your budget. That is what I do. This method has helped me save thousands for my retirement and emergency fund at the SAME time.

Initially, you’ll feel the drop in your available spending cash. So just adjust other areas of your budget to account for this. In no time at all, you will get used to working with this new cash flow and will create new spending habits.

Begin treating your savings like a NECESSITY. When you start doing thing, saving will become a habit, and you won’t even think about it anymore. It will become as automatic as the deductions you’ve set up to fund your savings account (make sure you don’t forget this step!).

Then you can watch your savings grow. And grow. And grow. There’s just no feeling like it. That feeling of increased security and accomplishment, as you see yourself steadily moving closer and closer to your dreams…

About Yolanda Ransom

Yolanda Ransom is a financial educator, speaker, coach and workshop trainer who teaches people how to confidently master their money so that they can achieve all of their financial dreams. She is the CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting and speaks on topics of personal finance, personal development and Black issues. You can book her to speak at your next event about this topic or her other speaking topics by visiting Yolanda Ransom Speaking

Today is the Deadline…

money-256288_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day:

Today is the last day to file your taxes. Here’s some info on what to do if you plan to file today: How You Can File Taxes Online at the Last Minute—for Free.

And remember, if you DON’T t make it by today’s deadline, be sure to ask for an extension TODAY. This will give you up to an additional six months to file your return. Any taxes owed will still be due - with late payment penalties added on. But an extension WILL save you from having to pay the late filing penalty too. The article tells you how to request an extension as well.

What Kind of Week Will You Have?

20180412_165514 Edited 700x700.jpg

As we start off another week, fortifying and maintaining the “right” mindset is vital. I’ve observed that one of the hardest things for us to do (myself included) is control our mindsets. Have you noticed this too?

It’s very easy to get caught up in the “here and now” and focus only on what we see right in front of us. For most, working and living from a place of keeping in sight our personal and financial visions for our lives does not come automatically.

I frequently read books on success and principles for achieving success. Over and over, the authors make clear how challenging - and equally important - it is to control our thoughts. And that this itself IS the hardest work there is:

“Sometimes it's best if a man just spends a moment or two thinking. It is one of the toughest things he’ll ever do, and that’s probably why so few bother to do it.”  - Alonzo Herndon

Why is that when faced with the EXACT same circumstances, one person can fail, while the other succeeds at the very same thing?

It really does all come down to mindset.

“Your thoughts are the only things you control. Either you control them or you relinquish your greatest gift to others. Without control, the mind loses its effectiveness. With control and direction, it gains power…Use your mind to shape your destiny to fulfill whatever purposes in life you choose…”  -  Dennis Kimbro

So this week as you encounter the usual challenges, look for the opportunities as well. Begin (if you haven’t already) to observe your mindset. And make adjustments as needed. That’s what I do.

Guarding our dreams and hopes begins with guarding our minds. This is a habit which requires daily practice. But the good news is that “practice (does indeed) make perfect.” And this will bring us that much CLOSER to our dream lives.

*If you found this helpful, sign up to get more tips delivered straight to your inbox each week, here.

Taking the Long Route to Our Financial Dreams...

Headshot to Use.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

It’s Monday, and the start of the week can be a very PAINFUL time. Especially if we’re doing work that we hate or KNOW is not our true purpose. That was true for me for MANY years. But the truth is, sometimes we need to continue where we are so that we can build up the money, experience and/or skills to pursue what we REALLY want. And there’s NO shame in that.

No matter what kind of work we do, if we see it as an opportunity to move us closer to our life’s vision, it can make it possible to actually appreciate that job. I do admit this is easier SAID than done. But focusing on our vision can help us rise above our present situation. And it can also motivate us to do our best until we get to where we truly want to be. That is what I did in many of my jobs. Now I’m thankfully working at my own business doing what I love and what I believe I was MADE to do.  

So, as Tupac said, “Keep ya head up,” and remember the financial dreams that you’re building for yourself and your loved ones. We WILL get there – if we stay focused and work hard, no matter the job. Sometimes we just have to take the long route.

Are You Choosing Progress or Settling for Failure?

keyboard-648439_1920.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

Well, we’re in the beginning of a new month – and the second quarter of the year. This is a very important time of year because it holds so much opportunity. Typically, by this point, many people have started petering out on their New Year’s resolutions or goals.

On that note, I’d like to ask how’s it going for you: if you continue what you’re currently doing, where will you be financially by the end of 2018?

If your actions are resulting in steady progress towards your goals, good for you. Keep it up!

But if your actions are resulting in more credit card debt, no savings, or poor finances in general, it’s time to seek out help. Isn’t it?

I’ll be the first to admit that change is NOT easy. And the longer a bad habit has existed, the more challenging it can be to change it.

Especially when it comes to money, we may have “inherited” poor habits and beliefs from our families. But the good news is that no matter WHERE or what we have come from, we can reclaim ownership of our money and financial futures.

I want to encourage and remind you to seek out the help you need to make the changes you desire.

Seeking help DOES NOT make you weak. It actually shows you strong you REALLY are. It shows strength to acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. And to be open to receiving help from others with more experience and/or new ideas.

So, if you’re struggling to keep your 2018 goals – or have stopped trying altogether – there is STILL plenty of time to make 2018 YOUR year of progress. Find a trusted financial resource or professional and seek out all the help you can.

I get coaching help myself, and it’s made all the difference for me on my own journey. Help is there. Have the determination and willingness to seek it out.

*Ladies, by the way - because I want to offer you ALL the support that I can, I’m delighted to say that I will be opening up individual and group coaching again soon! I’m creating some exciting programs aimed at helping you ladies uniquely master your money. Email me at yolanda@yolandaransom.com if you’d like to be personally notified when I open up my schedule for coaching.

Success Tip: Communicate When You Can’t Pay (on Time)

cropped 700x755.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

Happy Monday! I hope your week is starting off well. As we begin the month of April, this is my friendly reminder to finish up filing your taxes by 4/17 (if you haven’t yet).  I filed my taxes for this year the other day and feel such a great sense of relief knowing it’s done for the year! And within plenty of time. I paid a skilled tax preparer/CPA to do my return since I also filed for my business and want to make sure it’s correct.

If you think that you won’t be ready to file by 4/17, request an extension. This automatically allows you an extra 6 months to file. If you’re not sure how they work/how to do that, check out this article: The Pros and Cons of Filing a Tax Extension.  While filing extensions won’t change your tax bill and penalties due (if any), they will prevent you from ALSO having to pay a late filing penalty too.

One of the key success tips that I always share with clients is: always stay in communication with creditors when you are unable to pay for ANY reason. It’s always easier to work out an alternate payment arrangement when you let them know ahead of time that you can’t pay. Once you miss the due date, then you usually lose all options for negotiating and the negative consequences of non-payment kick in.

I have found - in my work and through personal experience - that almost ALL companies are willing to work with you if you let them know in ADVANCE when you’re having trouble paying.

By the way, if you happen to have a straightforward return, and would like to take advantage of free tax filing services, be sure to check out my quick training where I explain several available options here.

How I’m Saving My Health, PLUS Lots of Dollars…

My SALAD.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

I rarely post pics of food simply because rather than photographing it, I would simply rather just eat it 😊. But I was inspired to post about my new lunchtime meal for 2 reasons: 1) I’m eating healthier AND 2) I’m saving lots of MONEY doing it.

To be 100% honest, I LOVE junk food. Yes. I said it. But junk food doesn’t love me back. It leaves both my waistline and my pocketbook in worse shape. You know what I mean? Plus, I’ve committed to taking much better care of myself because I’m worth it. I want to continue to have my good health until I’m no longer here.

The truth is, I like salad, but am very picky about which ones I’ll eat. So far only McDonald’s and Chopt have had chicken salads that I enjoy and would happily eat every day. But spending about $7 a pop every day for salad just DOESN’T work for my budget.

So while shopping at Walmart recently I spotted these Bistro pre-packaged individual salads and got so excited! They cost $3 each. And while I know it would be cost even less to buy a head of salad, fixings and everything, and mix them myself, I know how I am. That’s just NOT going to happen. I’ve thrown away way too many heads of lettuce and salad fixings because I didn’t have the patience to toss together a salad once my stomach began rumbling.

Anywho, I bought a bunch of these salads, some tomatoes and a bag of breaded chicken cutlets. I baked the cutlets and diced them up. Now I just mix in tomatoes and chicken and replace their dressing with Light Balsamic Vinagrette. And I genuinely look forward to my healthy salad every day.

I feel good about my food choice AND I’m saving money in the process (which ALWAYS makes me happy). I figured out how to make my own “gourmet” salad that I enjoy just as much as the restaurant ones.

What about you? What food hacks do you have that save both your health and your wallet? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear some more great ideas from you!