Category Archives: Change

When You Have to Pay, You Pay Attention – How I Became Financially Savvy With These 5 Money Principles

When it comes to personal finance, I think this is an area in life where people can always improve and there are definitely ways to plan ahead to ensure that you are on a road to a better financial future. I am fortunate in that I had strong parents who taught me very good money lessons at a young age which shaped me into the financially savvy person I am today. I would not say I am an expert but I can provide some basic money principles that work and it is never too late to adapt them into your life no matter what your financial status is right now. With the right practices put into place, you can achieve your money goals and become a financially independent individual along with passing these money principles down to your children and the people you care about most.

I want to start off by saying, this expression is absolutely true when it comes to money–“When you pay, you pay attention.” Meaning that when you have to pay for everything, you do very well pay attention to what you are spending your money on and every little cost along the way. As soon as I could get a job as a teenager, I was held accountable for paying for everything. My parents never paid my cell phone bills, car insurance, clothes, entertainment, etc. Although they were never poor and as an only child, they easily could have covered all these costs–they still refused to pay for these things. Think about it: If they provided me with all these basic necessities, what would be the incentive to go out and get a job? Their attitude from the start was, “If you want something, you need to work for it and figure it out yourself.” Their underlying message was that I had to work for things like everyone else in this world while also instilling their full confidence that I had the capacity to earn it all by myself without relying on their credit cards and bank accounts. Their tough love approach was effective as it provided me with a burning drive at a young age to work hard along with becoming money motivated for not only survival purposes but for everything beyond that. In other words, besides paying bills and basic needs, anything else I wanted that extends beyond that such as a nice vacation, I can create the resources to make it happen. 😉 [Side note: It is for this reason, when people I know tell me their children are spoiled, don’t appreciate anything, and don’t work–my response is to cut them off financially. Sounds harsh but it is the dose of reality and tough love that is needed to build their autonomy, confidence, work ethic, and self worth while also doing them a huge favor in the long run. Trust me.]

My point in sharing this is to show how I became financially savvy at a young age because my parents taught me the value of money by having me always have to work for it. These are principles I have applied since my youth and that I continue to live by to this day.

Spend Less Than You EarnHow often do you see people spend money that they don’t really have? I see people do this all the time where they barely can pay their bills and do not really have a savings in the event that they need it for an emergency (such as the current pandemic) which is why I would rank this as the most important money principle. It is essential to spend under your means in order to prevent sinking into debt and giving yourself the opportunity to bank more money into your savings/investments.

Focus on Excelling in Your Profession – It does not matter what professional field that you chose as there is always room for you to build your career which typically means a higher salary over time. If you are extremely good at what you do, people will want to pay you for it and/or promote you so focusing on your career should be a main focal point for both personal development and financial growth.

Find Multiple Streams of Income – I suppose if you chose a career path that already provided you a hefty salary, there is not as much of a need to find multiple streams of income but I do believe this is something people often overlook and is a missed financial opportunity. Most people are content with just having their weekly job and will call it a day which in certain situations, I understand if the job is incredibly taxing and takes up the majority of your life where there is little room for free time. However, what if you found something that you loved to do and could also make a little extra income? Anyone can turn any small hobby into a few extra dollars or sometimes a ton of money (hey, why limit yourself? 😉 ) and there are always people willing to pay for services that they may not like or have the expertise in but you do.

Save As Much as Possible (Every Penny Counts) – People often underestimate that every little bit saved adds up to a big amount of money over time. For example, if you enjoy getting a cup of coffee everyday, you might think it’s such a small expense, why not treat yourself every morning; however, so much money can be saved just by cutting back the amount of days you go a week or simply by making it yourself at home. My point is, every little bit saved is extra money in your pocket that can be used for bigger and better things for your future.

Make Investments to Grow Your Money Over Time – There are many things one can invest their money in, such as real estate but first and foremost, you absolutely need a retirement fund. I know it is something most people do not really think much about until they are actually getting closer to that stage of their lives but this is where you need to think long term and start investing NOW! I always contributed towards an IRA thanks to having a financially savvy mother who had me open an account when I was 18 years old (all my money of course, not a cent from my parents) but looking back, I wish I was putting in much more as I could be benefiting from all the compound interest. As I mentioned before, the good news is–it is never too late to start investing and now I maximize my IRA every single year because I am more consciously aware of investing and have the money to do so. Even if you are not currently in a position where you can maximize your contributions each year, remember that every little bit you invest now will grow into much more money in your future so anything is always better than nothing. The key is to start a retirement fund if you have not already done so and to consistently add what you can each year.

An Everyday Motto to Live By – “Fantastic and Only Improving”

I was watching the news the other day where I learned that Brooke Baldwin is leaving CNN in which I strolled onto her Instagram (I wanted to send her some well wishes) and found her wearing a sweatshirt that read, “Fantastic and Only Improving.” She explained that whenever she asked her security guard Ant Diggity how his day was, he would always respond with that exact phrase. I loved it so much that I just had to share it with my readers! 🙂

What I like most about it is that it is declaring a firm positive state of mind of being fantastic (not just your typical, “good” or “okay” response). Then it is followed up by, only improving. This is really the key to living a fulfilling life full of abundance and leading to a path of growth, success, and happiness–which is by focusing on making self improvements and bettering yourself on a regular basis! No one is born perfect but at the very least, we can always strive for the very best things in life and make a commitment to be a better person each and every day.

So the next time someone asks you, “How are you doing?” Just look the person straight in the eye and reply with conviction, “Fantastic and only improving.” 😉

[On a final note, I am snowed in today in NJ and was thinking about taking a nap; however, after writing this post, I am actually self motivated to do more productive things instead. It goes to show that you can stay motivated with the right mindset].

Why Your Looks Are Everything and Nothing at the Same Time – How to Develop a Healthy Self Image

In my professional life, I chose to become a makeup artist. If I were to tell you that looks do not matter whatsoever, that would definitely be far from my perception of the reality because yes–looks do matter. There is no denying that when you take the time to look good, people are naturally more attracted to you and often times will treat you much better. I do not think people do this on a conscious level, it is a more subconscious behavior. Do I believe this is right? No, I do not but it is both reality and human nature. This explains why people invest a good amount of money into their looks which can range from buying the most flattering clothes, hiring professionals (aka myself as a professional makeup artist), or more drastic measures which could include permanent procedures and surgeries.

As important as it is to develop a healthy and desirable self image, it is important to recognize that looks are not everything. Your appearance might attract you the right professional and personal opportunities but there are other things to focus on besides your image. It is important to understand that we as individuals need to dig deep from within and work on building the inside. This can include your inner confidence, character, and expanding the mind through education and life experiences.

Also keep in mind from a relationship standpoint, as many are motivated to look good to attract a mate, looks also are not everything nor would you want to be with someone who is solely dating you because of what they see on the outside. Looks can easily fade over time so choosing a mate strictly based upon physical attraction is not ideal as you need spiritual substance, similar interests, and a strong foundation to keep the relationship going in the long run.

Another thing to consider is that realistically, from a good looks standpoint–people are a dime a dozen. In other words, there are plenty of highly attractive people out in the world and there are always going to be people who are more physically attractive than you (which just is dependent on the eye of the beholder). People can be born with it or they can put in the effort to enhance their natural beauty. Striving to obtain a look that is valued by society or taking an extreme measure to look perfect (such as plastic surgery) just is unrealistic and frankly, unnecessary.

What can you do instead to develop a healthy self image? From the outside, I truly believe in working with what Mother Nature gave you. It is important to embrace the looks you were given as it creates your personal identity. You might not like everything you were born with but I am sure you can definitely find things that you are happy with which should be more of your main focus than just fixating on the things you are dissatisfied with or would want to change.

  • In terms of making changes, there are things that are within your control such as incorporating a good fitness regime and a healthy diet. This is not only good for enhancing your physicality and youth but it is also great for your overall health and longevity.
  • The way in which you express yourself through your personal style is another way you can develop a healthy self image and while also setting yourself apart. This can be done based upon your choice of clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. You have the control to make these choices and no one else.

At the end of the day, you should put some emphasis onto your looks in a way that makes you feel confident and healthy. While looks can be everything when going for a specific job or opportunity, remember that looks are not everything. Working on your physical appearance can be and should be a component within your self development but just do not make it the end all and be all.

“The Best Way to Predict Your Future is to CREATE It”

I randomly stumbled across this quote for the first time yesterday although I am sure many people are familiar with it. I googled it to find that Abraham Lincoln said it: The best way to predict your future is to create it. Now I know that many can counter argue that you cannot really predict the future (Ex: Who knew we would be faced with a global pandemic?); however, that is not the point. What it truly means is that we can make the best everyday decisions for ourselves to create the very best outcome for our lives. Although there is no crystal ball to predict the future, we can still take the right action steps to create a brighter future. It is never too late to start either so if you find that you have made some mistakes or have not done the best job planning ahead, you can always start today.

For your information, I furthered my research on Abraham Lincoln to find that he experienced many failures before becoming the president of the United States at age 52. Yet we do not remember him for his failures, he is most remembered for his successes! (Which also goes to show that a setback or perhaps even a series of them is ultimately life providing a set up for something even better). 😉

Success Does Not Happen by Chance – Consider Consistency and Commitment

When it comes to success and achieving it, people can define success in various ways. It could mean advancing in one’s career, being an amazing partner/parent, becoming financially independent, or fulfilling a personal goal. The question so much is not, “what is success” as it really can be translated differently depending on who you talk to. Instead, it is important to focus on “how do we ultimately obtain success” in life–whatever that looks like for you. While some people might believe that people are born successful or it can happen by chance, I do not believe this is often the case. Success highly relies on two other things instead: consistency and commitment.

Consistency – Consistency is an important key to success because this requires effort on a regular basis. If your goal is to start a weight training routine at a gym and you decide the first week to go five days a week, then for two weeks you don’t go at all, and then you go back on average about one day a week–how do you expect to achieve maximum results? Although the initial goal and plan to get fit is a good start, not having a consistent action plan is going to leave you falling short of achieving your end goal. If it is a challenge to develop consistent habits, start with baby steps and write out a plan first in which you can track your progress from a day-to-day, weekly, or monthly basis. The tracking component is beneficial for holding yourself more accountable and to see your results grow over time.

CommitmentHow committed are you to yourself and investing your best effort and time into your success? You absolutely need to make a commitment to yourself if you want to be successful because you are prioritizing yourself and your goals. You recognize your value and stay committed because the end goal and outcome of your success is important to you. Same example with trying to implement a new weight training program, if you make the commitment, it will become more automatic to follow-through with it than to slack and not take it too seriously.

There are many contributing factors in building success. Instead of believing it happens by chance, it is important to realize that consistency and commitment are higher determinants of increasing the likelihood of becoming a successful person.

3 Qualities Needed to Attract an Abundance of Wealth

Most people want more money and strive for financial security; however, many find themselves in bad financial situations. That could include having endured a hefty amount of debt, barely being able to pay the bills, or simply not being in a position to save and/or invest their money. No matter what your situation is right now, there are ways you can change your financial fate and be on the path of attracting more wealth. This first comes from within and examining your money mindset while adapting these qualities that can help you accumulate more wealth over time.

[Money] motivation– It is one thing to be motivated in various areas of your life but to become wealthy, you specifically need to be money motivated. By this, I mean you are driven to want to earn a lot of money, not simply being comfortable with having enough to get by each week. People who are money motivated are not interested in just having enough money to survive and often times you will never see someone who is money motivated ever broke. Why? They are so money motivated that the idea of being broke is not even an option or way of life. In their minds, it is an unacceptable so things never get that financially dire. Now a person might start off not having much money or perhaps poor which would propel this person to become money motivated. As a result, you often find these people to really maximize their money earning potential because it stems from their deep money motivation.

Responsibility – Responsible people tend to have the ability to save money and large quantities of it. Being able to save means more money in their bank accounts. I strongly believe that it does not matter as much how much a person can earn but how they ultimately manage their money. People who make less money still have the potential to accumulate wealth by simply being exceptional savers which means it might take them longer to become wealthy but at least they’re on the road to financial security. Whereas on the opposite spectrum, there is a reason why you see millionaires and lottery winners go bankrupt. This is a classic example of poor money management. Which translates to irresponsibility which is why it truly is essential to be responsible when it comes to your money.

Discipline – Discipline applies both ways when it comes to your overall money management. It applies to how you save and how you earn. If someone has enough money to buy something but says no, that requires a high level of personal discipline. This could apply to very expensive items but also inexpensive items that by not spending, a lot of money is getting saved over time. I always say that every dollar counts which is why it is important to save on both the little things along with high ticketed items. In regards to making money and elevating your earning potential, you also need a good amount of discipline to put in the time and work that is needed to make the money. You might feel overworked or just want some personal time off but thanks to being disciplined, you recognize the reward of earning the money than being lazy and not working for it. Discipline essentially requires a no pain, no gain mentality. You do what you have to do to earn the money but also preserve it by saving and investing it as much as you can, even if that means giving up material goods and services that you would normally spend your money on.

[On a final note, I can tell you from my personal life experience, that having these three qualities are highly effective in building wealth. I would not necessarily classify myself as rich (yet 😉 ) but I can tell you that I live a good life where all my essential needs are met along with having both an emergency savings and retirement funds that I continue to grow thanks to having money motivation, responsibility, and discipline].

Want to Make a Life Change? – 3 Absolute Necessities to Make It Happen

Although this is the time you might be thinking about resolutions and life changes, we all know that you can decide to make a positive shift in your life at any point of the year. However, although people might have the best intentions to do so, often times people fall short by giving up way too soon, not doing anything about it to begin with, and/or were never really too serious about making the change to begin with. This is why it is important to focus on these three things to manifest the change:

Deep Desire – People want many things within their lifetime but the real question is, how badly do you really want these things? For example, many people aspire to lose weight and stay in shape. However, if you do not want it that badly then chances are, you will never get the results you are looking to achieve. A person who is serious about making a change is going to ask, what sacrifices are going to be needed to actually reach the end goal? This question stems from their burning passion from within. When you have a deep desire to achieve something, you will be amazed how much your will power will kick up to high gear along with a focused state of mind.

Belief in Self – I think the biggest setback people often face is self. If you do not strongly believe you can make the life change, think it will require too much work, do not feel you are deserving, or whatever the hesitation might be on your end, then chances are, it will never happen. This is why it is ESSENTIAL that you actually believe you can make it happen. Again, you do not need to know exactly when or how right now to get there but you need to really believe that you can acquire it. If you do not fully believe this on your own, then I recommend relying on people in your life who can positively support you and writing down some affirmations on cards that you can read daily to serve as a reminder and as a way to sink into your subconscious mind.

Execute Action – I always emphasize desiring and believing are the first steps of the process of manifestation but it cannot stop there because that simply is not enough–it is only the start. This is where you need to actually execute action by forming new habits and taking the steps needed to get to your final goal of making the life change. As a preliminary step, writing out an actual action plan can be incredibly beneficial. It will lay out a guideline of the actions needed to manifest exactly what you want. It also provides you a place to track your progress over time and check off everything you have accomplished along the way throughout the journey to completion.

If You Are Not the Person You Want to Be – 5 Steps to Get You Closer

As we step into yet another new year, we often think this is the time to come up with some resolutions with the mindset that this is going to be our greatest year yet. The truth of the matter is, our lives are constantly a work in progress and essentially a masterpiece we are creating one stroke at a time, in other words each and every day. The beginning of a new year is a great time to refocus on what we are looking to achieve while for some it might be a good time to press the reset button and start something entirely new.

Another thought to consider is, who are you today and who is the person that you want to become? After digging deep and thinking about that, the next thought is to ask yourself, how do you become that person and what is it going to take to do so? In order to become the person you aspire to be, here are five things you can do to build yourself up:

Have a Vision – Everything starts with a vision. You need to start by proactively thinking about the life you want to live including the life experiences and lifestyle you want to acquire. It should excite you just thinking about the vision within your mind, the more vivid the better.

Write It Down – As much as it is important to create the thoughts in your mind, thinking and talking about anything is not the same as actually writing it down. That is why I advise taking the time to write down in a journal or an index card specifically who you want to be and taking it a step further by planning out ways you can achieve this.

Create Affirmations – If you have never taken the time to write affirmations about yourself, this is a great time to start. Affirmations are powerful because they are statements you are declaring about yourself. Even if you do not fully believe in what you are writing right now, it will sink in your mind over time if you repeat them in order to start believing them.

Improve Your Habits – In order to become a better person or get better at anything, focusing on your habits and improving them is key. I also recommend finding a way to track your progress as this holds you more accountable and you can see your growth over time.

Study the People You Admire – Is there someone in your life whom you greatly respect or perhaps a famous person whom you admire? This is a good opportunity to learn about them by taking some mental notes on how they live their lives and then applying what they do to better your own life while continuing to look up to them as a role model.

The Power of Walking Away in a Relationship and Why It Is Often Necessary

I notice many people face situations where they are in what appears to be a one-sided relationship or perhaps a relationship that is on the brink of falling apart. Rather than walking away or giving the other person space, they chase even more which tends to drive the other person even further away. When you feel like you are losing someone, it can be a natural inclination for you to go after the other person and find ways to make it up to them. In certain situations, that might be effective but the majority of the time, there is a better solution: Walk away.

If the other person flat out tells you that they want space, that they are not interested, find ways to ghost you, send messages of uncertainty, or are already dating someone else, I think it goes without saying that you are wasting your time. I recognize that for many, when your ego is on the line and you are already emotionally too invested, this is the last thing you want to hear. You want to believe that there is still hope, that things can change for better if you are patient enough, and with a positive mindset that you have the capacity to win the other person over so that you can live happily ever after. This is where I want you to take a step back, think with a rational mind, and really dig deep to answer some important questions.

Why do you want to invest your energy in someone who has made it clear that they do not feel the same way about you?

Do you truly feel good chasing someone who does not value you in the same way you value them?

Why are you willing to settle for less than you deserve in a relationship?

The underlying issue is not the other person but more so about how you feel about yourself. A person of high self worth is NOT going to wait around for someone who is not investing in them in return. They do not need to be told twice to back off and already kept it moving a long time ago. They also know when to walk away and not come back.

Your initial thought might be, if I walk away, will the person ever come back to me? You should never have to ask this question as you should choose someone who will also choose you in return. If you do have to ask this question, then chances are you already know the answer. The other person most likely will not come back to you if they have moved on or simply are not interested. If this ends up being the case, you need to accept that as the outcome because that is the reality. There is no need to dwell on why or what can be done to change this. Instead, invest your energy in other areas of your life that will provide you a greater return and positively increase your emotional well being.

On the other hand, keep in mind that walking away can also allow for the other person to come back. It gives the other person space and time to reflect on what they want while also providing absence for them to miss you. They might also respect and value you more over time because you are showing that you are not in need of them while also respecting their boundaries. While it can be very difficult to remove someone whom you care about when all you want to do is hear from them and gain their validation, you need to trust the process that if you let them go, let them be the one to come back to you if that is what they truly want as opposed to forcing them to choose you. It is healthy and can be better in the long run in strengthening a relationship by giving each other time apart before ultimately getting back together later in time. However, you might also want to take into consideration, do you really want to be with someone who needs time apart to be away from you in order to be attracted to you and/or want to be with you again in the future? That is something only you could be the one to answer.

How to Stay on Track with Your Goals Using a Buddy System

It is really important to find people who are also ambitious, goal oriented, and strive to succeed. Not only are these good people to look up to as role models but they also can help you stay focused on your own personal goals. I recommend finding one person for this activity but I am sure it can work if you form a small group of like minded individuals who want to motivate each other to reach their goals. The great thing is that you can continue to build upon your success but you also get the opportunity to help inspire each other to do that as well. A college friend and I used to do this years ago and I reached out to him that I would like to start this weekly tradition again for the new year in 2021. I will share with you how it works.

Create a List of Both Short Term and Long Term Goals – Your goals are personal to you so they will range in terms of things that you want to get done in about a week’s time while others will be bigger and can take months to years to achieve. The important thing is to really take the time to think about these goals and write them down as specific as you can, the more details the better.
[Your buddy or people within your small group will be doing the same thing}.

Choose a Designated Day/Time Each Week to Connect – Find a time that works with both of your schedules and determine this as your weekly time to connect over the phone, Zoom, or whatever platform that works best for everyone. Once you have chosen this time, this will be the time you chat each week.

Talk about Your Progress During Your Weekly Chats – Each week that you touch base, you will share your goals and discuss the progress you have made towards reaching them. Some weeks you might not have made much progress but that is okay and you can always make up for it in the future. By sharing your goals with another person, it definitely holds you more accountable because you want to be able to tell the other person you’re doing things to make progress rather than telling them you have been slacking. Even during the moments you might be slacking, at least you have the other person to encourage you to stay on track as you would do the same and motivate them to do the same.