How to Create a Holiday Spending Plan

How to Create a Holiday Spending Plan

The Holiday season has official begun and the shopping season is right around the corner. My family and I are already planning our meals, decorations, gifts, and travel. This, of course, costs money so I have to make a holiday spending plan and decide how much I want to budget.

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Years ago it freaked me out to think about all the money that was flying out of my bank account. These days I feel calmer because I know that giving (spending) only means I’ll be receiving that much more in return. That is a mindset shift I hope to share more with you in the coming year. But back to the holiday spending plan.

Decide How Much to Save for Christmas Shopping

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The first thing to do is decide how much you want or have saved to spend for the holidays. If you were smart you opened a holiday savings account at the beginning of the year. I honestly didn’t do that but I will next year.

You can follow my lead if you didn’t do it but opening a free savings account with Ally bank or Capital One. Both are online and you can move you money in and out quite easily. You can also set up automatic drafts so the money comes out of your paycheck and it’s out of your mind so you don’t miss it. What a surprise it will be when you check the account in November and see all that money sitting there.

Decide How You Will Spend the Money (Make a List)

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Now that you know how much you want to spend you can list all the categories you will be using the money for. Will you be cooking meals, decorating your home, buying gifts for anyone other than the kids, or traveling? List all the activities and then move on to the next step, dividing the money.

How much you choose to spend for each category is completely up to you. You might decide to do an even split across the categories. You may decide to use 50% of the money for the gifts then split the rest across the other categories. You have options.

Look for Savings and Discounts

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For food you could use coupons and shop the sales to keep costs low. You may only have to buy a few ingredients because you are going to eat with family and only need to bring one dish. There will be sales all during the month of November and December so head over to your top three favorite stores’ website and look at the flyers and/or download their app.

For decoration you can use what you had last year and simply add a few items that rounds out the look you are going for. Making decorations with the kids is a fun activity. You can make snowflakes, ornaments, and garland with material you have on hand. You can also make decorated gifts to give to teachers, grandparents, and friends. The kids would absolutely love and feel they are a big part of the gift giving process. It doesn’t have to cost much but the value of a handmade gift is priceless!

If you are planning to travel be sure to check out travel deals on Groupon Travel, Expedia, or your favorite airline website. If you are traveling by car map out your trip using AAA’s travel planner or simply download the Waze app from the App Store or Play Store to get you to your destination. With the Waze app you can add stops and look for gas stations and food options along the way. It is my favorite GPS app. You should look me up and friend me on it.

Finalize Your Holiday Spending Plan

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Now that you have a budget, have set your categories, and know how to look for savings you can finalize your holiday spending plan. It does not have to be a long process but it does require you to be decisive so you remain in control of your purse strings. You can face the Holiday with confidence know you will not be in debt repayment mode for the new year.

If you need additional help creating a budget you can use the budget calculator below. Just enter your numbers and click the calculate button at the end.

I wish you a very happy holiday season and many blessings in the new year!


How to Be a Kick-Ass Single Mom w/ Emma Johnson

How to Be a Kick-Ass Single Mom w/ Emma Johnson

I had the pleasure of interviewing Emma Johnson, the author is The Kick-Ass Single Mom and founder of WealthySingleMommy.com. We talked about parenting, child support, and the importance of quality vs. quantity time with your kids.

Emma shared why she wrote the book and encourages single moms to practice radical self-care and to find their inner queen. When you own your power you can do anything you want.

This conversation is 30 minutes long so grab your coffee or tea and relax while watching or listening to us pour a bit of our power all over you!

You can buy the book at your local bookstore or in Amazon.com.

Credit Repair After Divorce Chat with Mandy Walker

Credit Repair After Divorce Chat with Mandy Walker

I recently had a chat with Mandy Walker about Credit Repair After Divorce on her Blog Talk Radio show. We had a great time getting to know each other but more importantly, talking about how to get your credit repair journey started. Separating or divorcing a partner after a few years means you have financial ties to your ex including credit. It can get messy and usually someone ends up with the short end of the stick. You get screwed and your credit score crashes along with the relationships.

In this chat, I share my credit repair strategies to help you protect your credit or recover from a crash. If you are facing any of the following challenges you should listen in:

  • Low credit score
  • Bankruptcy (I share my own story)
  • Budgeting challenges
  • Foreclosure
  • Making ends meet

At the end of the chat, I share my Budget Sanity Saver Worksheet, which is great for anyone who needs help getting started with their budget. Click here to download your copy (you will need Microsoft Word to use it).

Are you dealing with credit challenges? budget challenges? What steps are you taking to fix the issues and recover from a bad financial breakup?

[Video] – Single Parenting on a Budget Experian #CreditChat

[Video] – Single Parenting on a Budget Experian #CreditChat

Single Parenting on a Budget Advice

Are you struggling to create or manage a budget? If so click the button above to watch the video of the #CreditChat conversation I had with the Experian team.

We discussed everything from creating a stable financial future, establishing budgeting best practices, staying on top of your credit, starting an emergency fund, and choosing the right insurance.

You can download the Budget Sanity Saver worksheet to get a head start with creating your budget automatically. You need Microsoft Word to use it.

Chat Q & A

Here are the questions that were asked during the conversation and my answers:

Q1: What are the first steps a single parent should take when creating a stable financial future for his/her family?
Access where you are, decide where you want to be and create a written plan. Ask for help. check out Financial Planning Days for free financial planning in your area.

Q2: How should a newly single parent establish a budget? What are best practices? Write all current expenses like rent, food, car, etc. Subtract those expense amounts from your income. Best practices: Live below your means. Budget each paycheck before you spend. Pay yourself first.

Q3: What steps should single parents take to ensure they are staying on top of their credit? check your credit report regularly. Your bank may offer free monitoring. Get your annual credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. Spend only what you can repay immediately. Pay your bills on time or at least make arrangements to pay.

Q4: What financial documents should newly single parents review when creating a financial plan? Review your bank statements to see the history of your spending.

Q5: Are there any tax credits or deductions that can help reduce the amount of taxes single parents pay? earned income credit. child care credit. Student loan credit.

Q6: What are best practices for establishing an emergency fund? Pay yourself first in each paycheck. Add most or at least half of your tax refund. Sell items you don’t really need and put it in the fund.

Q7: What insurance considerations should single parents take? Term life seems to be a good policy to have since it covers you for a specific period of time while your children are still in your home.

Q8: What should single parents know about creating an estate plan? Talk with a financial planner who has information and/or an attorney. Get your will made so your family and the state knows what to do with your property and your children in case of your death

Q9: What advice do you have for a single parent who is struggling financially? If it feels like you are drowning stop the leaks. Take a deep breath. Remember it is temporary. Create an action plan to slow your spending, increase your income, focus on what you have instead of what you do not have.

Q10: Do you have any final financial tips for single parents? You have the power to become financially free. Learn all you can about money management. Focus on increasing your income rather than cutting everything from your life. Get the kids involved and teach them the value of money but more importantly the value of life and family.

Resources mentioned in the video:

Financial Planning Days – Free financial planning in select cities

Alison – Free financial literacy course online

Practical Money Skills – Financial Literacy website

Prism – Budgeting & Bill Organization App

Garage Sale apps – YardSailr, Let Go, OfferUp, Varage Sale

Create a Will or Plan Your Funeral

National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) – Credit and Debt Advice

9 Online Jobs the Pay Well

9 Online Jobs the Pay Well

The nine-to-five office grind isn’t for everyone. Some people are more productive when they’re at home. Luckily, the internet has a way of providing new opportunities for almost everyone, especially SAHMs.

If you are looking for ways to earn extra income without sacrificing your time with the kids, here are online jobs you can get into:

Freelance Writer

If you have a way with words, freelance writing is a viable option that you should consider. A lot of industries are in need of writers especially when the products, services, or topics involved are niche.  There is a wide variety of subjects to be covered such as travel, sports, fitness, housekeeping, and more. The write-ups needed usually come in the form of blog posts, journalistic articles, and online lists. Starting out, you can expect around $15 per post, but with more experience and better connections, you can make a lot more.

Blogger

Blogs that generate a lot of traffic can be turned into a profitable side business. If your blog shares the same interest and direction with a company, they may be willing to pay you to run ads that link to their site. For example, if you have a home cooking blog, companies selling kitchenware may ask you to connect with them (or the other way around). Pay is usually based on how much people click on the ads via your blog and it ranges from $10 to $50 for every 1,000 hits.

Virtual Assistant

A lot of people are in need of other’s help to stay organized. You can monetize on that by becoming a virtual assistant. From reading and responding to emails, scheduling meetings, managing websites, and more, it is a position that requires you to do just a little bit of everything. Rates usually start out at $10 per hour and can get to up to $30 if you are more experienced.

Graphic Designer

As technology develops so does the need for companies to go digital. Businesses and professionals are always looking to establish a web presence, and if they already have one, they are may be looking to update it. If you are adept at creating custom graphics, then designing online can be a lucrative source of income with a rate that averages about $45 per hour.

ESL Teacher

Your proficiency in English can be used as a means of income. Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is sought after in countries with locals trying to learn it such as South Korea or the UAE. Rates are about $25 per hour and can go north of that. It also might open doors for you to travel across the world.

Online Seller

A lot of people have things lying around their home that they want to get rid of, but they are too busy to do so. You can actually reach out to them and do it yourself. With various sites at your disposal, you can sell anything from appliances to mint condition toys, or you can create your own site for selling used clothes. As a seller, you can take a percentage off the total sales or have a “per-item” fee that varies depending on the value of the item being sold.

App Developer

With smart phones developing more and more, apps play a bigger part in our daily lives. Developing one is another way of making money. There are some hobbies and niche areas where apps have no presence in yet, and acting on it can yield a profitable reward.  

Google Paid Ad Specialist

The world of paid internet marketing is as lucrative as it is huge. If you are familiar with your way around Google’s Ads, you can make extra money managing a company’s campaign. The better you are at optimizing ads, the more you will start bringing in more clients.

Social Media Manager

There are companies that look for individuals adept at maintaining a social media presence. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, these platforms help with a company’s or professional’s internet exposure. Some are too busy to build their brands online, and they are in need of people who can do so.

I hope you enjoyed and got a few ideas from 9 Online Jobs that Pay Well!

Get Your Coins Masterclass – Enroll Now for 50% Off

Get Your Coins Masterclass – Enroll Now for 50% Off

If you are struggling to make ends meet you don’t need to cut expenses and try to save more. That’s just the God-honest truth! You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip but you can use your cooking, cleaning, writing, computer, fashion, photography skills to make extra money!

You can use those coins to pay your bills, update your car, clothes, kids’ clothes and shoes, and so much more.

But what if you don’t know how to get started? Would you pay someone to show you how to do it step by step?

✨You could get the help from someone like me who has done it many times before or you can struggle to do it in your own.

✨You could go the DIY route and spend months researching, testing, searching for the right tools, begging family and friends to help or buy from you.

✨You could hire a coach and pay $500-2500 for one on one guidance. If you had that kind of money lying around you wouldn’t need this course.

But you do need this course to help you decide what Side Hustle to choose and how to get started.

🏦You need help setting up the business.

💰You need to stop feeling financially helpless and start feeling financially hopeful.

💸You need financial empowerment and economic stability.

🎢You can take the long free route or you can take the short expensive route.

The good news is there is a happy alternative!

You can invest a small amount and get a step by step video guide with worksheets to help you Get Your Coins.

If you can watch a video, write notes based on video instructions, and read a step-by-step guide you can get started in the next 14-30 days, maybe even less time.

All it take is a willingness to get started. The best news is it less than a week’s worth of Starbucks ☕️ and less than the latest pair of sneakers 👟for your kid.

Click here now to get started and Get Your Coins!

Here’s how I started my first side hustle

I’ve had a side hustle or two since I was 10 years old. I baked and sold pound cakes for $10 each. Back then that was a lot of money for a kid but it was fun. Not only did I learn how to bake and sell cakes but I also learned how to count my money as well as keep a balance sheet to see how much I was making, spending, and keeping for profit.

Since then I’ve had a few other side hustles and side businesses. I’m a born entrepreneur and I love it. It’s not just about the money but about using my skill and talents to do things I love to do for money. Plus I get to help a lot of people in the process.

Do you want to start a side hustle? Have you been thinking about it but are not sure how to start?

You are not a kid, but you may be inexperienced when it comes to choosing and starting a side hustle. You may feel excited or nervous. You may know exactly what you want to do or be clueless. It’s okay. This is why I create this masterclass.. I’m here to help you push through the fear and come up with the best idea for you.

When you sign up for the Get Your Coins: Side Hustle Masterclass I’ll guide you through the process of creating a side gig that will generate an extra $250-$1000 per month. You can pay a car note, extracurricular activity fees, vacation fund, and so much more with the extra money.

Sign up now to get access to the videos, worksheets, and motivation to get your creative juices flowing. After you sign up you can head over to the Side Hustle Challenge Facebook group where we will share our ideas, ask questions, set goals, and celebrate each other’s success.

What will you create during the masterclass?

The objectives for the Get Your Coins: Side Hustle Masterclass include:

Module 1 – Get clear on vision and set the goal

Module 2 – Develop and validate the idea

Module 3 – Create the plan

Module 4 – Set up your system

Module 5 – Test your hustle

Module 6 – Launch your Side Hustle

Bonus: Side Hustle Discovery Worksheet, Deliciously Simple Online Business Guide, Exclusive Access to Side Hustle Support Group!

Enroll Now for a small investment of only $29

Are you excited yet? Ready to get going and start learning what you need to know so you have a game plan for this year?

Join the Get Your Coins: Side Hustle Masterclass now

Enter Promo Code: 50off to get 50% off the class. Good until June 30, 2017