Foundations For Financial Freedom

Many people are living pay check to pay check and can’t understand why. Maybe you would like to enjoy your money more. 

My first question is what are you trying to achieve by getting in control of your finances?

If you don’t see an actual value in gaining control over your personal finances you won’t succeed in doing so.

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The foundation of good personal finances is one, or hopefully, multiple goals.

What are your goals and do you have them written down? Goals can be small or large and once one goal has been completed there is room for more. Whether your goal is to become independent from your parents, travel more, or make a large purchase such as a house or car — get in the habit of creating and keeping track of your goals.

The next step is education.

We know that most schools and even colleges do not educate people on personal finances. It’s up to you to seek the knowledge. Information about personal finances can be found easily with Google search. Podcasts, Youtube, Blogs etc. all offer free and useful information.

 

An even better way to learn is to seek out and speak to the people who have reached the financial goals that you want for yourself. For example if you want to buy a home, speak to homeowners. Ask them not only how they achieved the goal but also what were the mistakes they made along the way. Knowing what they did wrong can help you know what to avoid.

 

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

 

A budget does not require limited spending! Budgeting is a tool that you can use to be more aware of your spending habits. Once you know where you spend most of your money you can plan accordingly and make better decisions about spending.

Many people don’t realize how many small purchases they make and how quickly they add up. Ever go to the 99-cent store and spend way more than anticipated after picking up things because it only cost a dollar? The same happens between paychecks as we make several small purchases that we don’t view as making a dent in our cash flow. Plan ahead. Why not allocate a specific amount for specific expenses?

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Another major component to achieve success at anything is accountability.

Maybe you’ve applied these tenets before and failed. Did you have a means of holding yourself accountable? There are several methods you can use to hold yourself accountable. One way is to find ways to make it harder to go against your plan. Another way is to set up reminders about what you planned to do. You can do this electronically using apps or personal alarms.

Another option is to pair with another person who is working towards better personal finances. Find someone you can trust and speak openly about the changes you need to make. Then check in with each other periodically to ensure that you’re following through.

 

 

Why You Can’t Pay Your Bills On Time – Some Tips on How You Can

Every one wants to get their finances in order. A great place to start is paying your bills on time. This is also a great way to build and increase your credit score. Here are a few tips to help you take charge of your finances and pay your bills on time.

 

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Set Calendar Reminders

Don’t be a dumb person with a smart-phone. Even the most basic cell phones have a calendar app. You can even set a repeat reminder. Make a monthly for each bill.  

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Choose Your Own Due Date 

This is an easy way to take control of your own finances.

Many people don’t realize it only takes a phone call to change the date of most payments. Do you g4et paid bi-weekly, the first and the fifteenth? Why not set the due date for your bills on two days that are most convenient for you?

Set up an Auto Pay

Again, one phone call can mean one less thing to keep track of once you set the payment to be automatically taken out each month. After auto-pay has been in effect a few months or years it’s easy to forget that it will come out– set a phone reminder to make sure you have funds in the accounts the bill will be taken from.

Pre-Pay

This is another option for the extra-responsible persom. As mentioned in my recent blog post What to do with your Tax Return paying off your bill a few months in advanced can be a great way to help you avoid thinking about a bill each month.

Breastfeeding is For Everyone — How YOU can be successful too

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I am a mother of three children under three have been trained and previously worked as a Lactation Counselor both privately and in a hospital setting. Perhaps this is your first child or you’ve had children in the past and were unsuccessful with breastfeeding. Here are some tips that I have learned over the past few years in my work and personal experience.

Make a Decision to Breastfeed & Make It your Only Option

This is an important step in achieving any goal. However, this is even more important when deciding to BF because society is not always supportive and formula companies are hell bent on getting you to stop so that they can make money when you give up.

Before you give birth declare your decision to yourself and to the people closest to you. If formula is sent to you in the mail– trash it. This way you eliminate the back up plan.

Feed on Demand

In the past some health care providers have asked mothers to time feedings or the time in between. By saying for instance — “feed the baby every 2 hours 15 minutes on each breast. This advice is outdated and will lead to a miserable baby.

The best time to feed a baby is when they are hungry. Feeding what seems like four times in a row is perfectly normal for newborns. Sleeping for four to five hours is also normal.

Each baby is different and weight gain is the best way to know if they are “getting enough.”

Be Confident

YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH! YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH! YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!

It is very rare that a mother feeding on demand will have a milk supply that is too low. These cases often have to do with the baby not latching onto the breast correctly. A lactation consultant should be able to assist.

Seek Support

Your significant other, if present, family if near and a professional lactation expert (often available in the hospital) can all be sources of support. It is important that  you are open and honest with these people and others around  you to know that they are your sources of support.

Have a conversation with those closest to you about why you are choosing to breastfeed, how it benefits YOU and the baby and specific ways they can help (one way is to refrain from saying anything negative).

Support for new mothers is something that often goes overlooked. When people call or stop by, they often ask about the baby first if they even ask about you at all. When it comes to breastfeeding — I believe support is a great help.

Birth is a HUGE transition for mom and for the entire family. Having honest conversations about how you’re feeling and where you need help is crucial to your continued BF’ing

Spend the First 4 to 6 Weeks Pacifier and Bottle Free

Some babies become confused when switching from a plastic to human nipples. Remember that babies learn from instinct as their sight and other senses are still being developed. Food is a basic and urgent need and they develop a strong liking for which ever feeling is associated with food.

After spending many months in your uterus, babies are very familiar with you, your smell, voice, heartbeat etc. Most babies are able to latch (attach to your breast) right away. When you introduce the plastic nipple they may sometimes begin to prefer it.

Many hospitals offer pacifier and bottles within the first few hours of life– sometimes without asking. Make it clear to them that you intend to breastfeed and would like your baby to be pacifier free. Standing up for the needs of your child will be a muscle you will have to work out very often– this is a great place to start.

How to Protect Yourself from Negative,Bad-mind, Jealous and otherwise Ill Intentioned People

Reaffirm Your Greatness

Negative energy can only truly effect you if your foundation of self-love is weak. When you find yourself being affected by the negativity of others, reevaluate. This is the perfect time to acknowledge some positive things about yourself.  Make a list of your accomplishments or good character traits. If you have a hard time coming up with things, you may need to set some goals for yourself or work on some ways you can improve your personality.

Tell them the truth

Ideally we all want to be able to ignore negative people or erase them from our lives. The fact of the matter we may not be able to do so. They may be co-workers or even family members. And lets face it some people are PERSISTENT. Every time you see them, even it’s only for a few seconds they find a way to try to disrupt your joy.

Radical honesty can really get under someones skin. If you verbally acknowledge that what they are saying or doing is hurting you, they may take it into consideration. Speak up and let them know exactly what they are doing. You might say something like “What you just said really wasn’t nice, were you intentionally trying to hurt my feelings?” –Some people may laugh, scoff say that they were joking or may even say something even more hurtful. Be prepared for that and don’t let it bother you. Keep a serious tone. Most people with a conscience will later think about what they did or said– especially if you tell them consistently.

Remember the Problem is Likely with Them and Not You

People who are unhappy hate to see others enjoying themselves.

People who are unsuccessful never congratulate the success of others.

We’ve all heard the phrase “misery loves company” & it’s true!

People who judge you or have negative things to say about you usually are deficient in some area of their life where you excel. Some times the person is not at all conscious of their feelings – usually they are not – this is why it manifests in their comments, actions or aura.

Remind yourself of these things when you come across these people.

Ignore them & Resist the Urge to Defend Yourself

Every interaction with another being is an energy exchange. When others attack you with their unkindness, they are hoping to steal a little or a lot of your energy. Don’t let them do this.

When possible, ignore them completely. Nothing gets an ill intentioned person more frustrated than being ignored.

NEVER EVER defend yourself, and here’s why:

If you are confident in your abilities at a given thing, there is no need to prove that to ANYONE.

It is a complete waste of energy. The person attacking you knows that you are doing well, it is this fact that encourages them to pick at you in the first place. When you try to defend yourself, not only are you wasting your time an energy on someone who is already beneath you, you are actually doing them a favor. You are taking energy that could be spent bettering yourself and sharing that energy with them. They will ignore the logic of your defense anyway. Their mind was made up even before they approached you. Now all you’ve done is gotten yourself worked up and probably exerted some negative energy yourself trying to hurt them in return.

What to do with your Tax Return

The W2′s have been printed! Most returns are on their way if not received already. Rather than blow your refund on a shopping spree or trip to D.R. here are some ideas that will benefit you throughout the year.

Open a Savings Account or Other Long Term investment

Your local credit union more than likely offers a better interest rate than a popular bank such as TD. Open a savings account and put in a percentage of your return. Then LEAVE IT until the following year (at least). Depending on how much you put in, you may be surprised at the amount of interest earned. This money can also be used as a rainy day fund.

Pay off a bill for the year

A great way to build credit is to set up an automatic payment for one of your bills. Call the companies that you pay each month and inquire about whether they offer bank accounts. Often there’s a benefit to setting up an auto-pay account with the company you owe.

For example, my auto loan is automatically pulled from an account with the same company that financed my car. Each year I put the amount needed to pay the bill for the next 12 months. In return the company gives me a lower interest rate for my car payment. They also report to the credit bureau that I pay my bill on time each month- which increases my credit score.

Online accounts are a little harder to access (which can be a great thing!) but they often come with great perks such as ATM reimbursements.

Pay off Debt

I personally hate to owe money. Usually the more money you owe, the more you are charged. Before spending a lump sum of money on clothes or shoes, pay back money owed – It will save you money in the future.

For example if you carry $1100.00 on a credit card that charges you 25.40% interest each. Your amount due may only be $25.00 a month but you are also adding $23.00 to your debt each month. By the end of the year you have given your credit card company $276.00 of your hard earned money.

Why I Choose Not to Cover

For Baby’s Comfort

The fact of the matter is, not many people enjoy eating in the dark or with a piece of cloth over half their body.  I would not subject my infant to eating a way that is not normal for older children or adults.

& Let’s face it, anyone who has breastfed for longer than four or five months knows that once a baby has the physical ability to do so (usually around six months) they will throw the cover right off!

I also strongly believe that my baby’s comfort trumps any one else’s  discomfort or judgements about seeing my breasts preform the function they were biologically made to do.

For MY comfort

I have been subjected to stares and even to people approaching me about breast feeding without covering in the past. Despite that, I prefer the nursing process to be as easy and as seamless as possible.

Taking out and arranging a blanket or nursing cover adds another step to the nursing process. In my opinion, it does the opposite of conceal the nursing session and rather it calls attention to the baby’s feeding time. Who wants to spend time looking for a cover?

I imagine if you usually use one and have this time forgotten it, you might feel completely uncomfortable having to feed your child. I have always felt peace in knowing that I am the only thing my baby needs for the first year of life. If I leave the house with nothing but myself and a diaper, my baby will be fed and happy

For Black Women

In almost every area of health, Black & African American persons are doing the worst of all other ethnicities. When it comes to infant mortality, according to the CDC (Center For Disease Control), Black Women have roughly double the incidence.

Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness.  In other words, one of the easiest ways to reduce the number of our babies dying, is to breast feed.

You might ask what does this have to do with me covering. Well, a major reason women often don’t even consider breastfeeding as an option is because they don’t see other women doing it! My choice to breastfeed unabashedly gives other women the opportunity to see that YES Black women do make this choice for their children and YES it is NORMAL.

For Women Everywhere

Although the first formula was created during the mid 1800s , after World War II, there was an increase in formula use as television became more common place and began to influence public opinion. During the seventies as more women entered the work force, there was an even greater increase in formula use as it becomes more difficult to breastfeed their infants.

Breastfeeding began to be associated with poverty. Women developed shame about choosing this feeding method. All the while formula companies (as they continue to do today) began to convince women that their formula was equivalent to if not superior to their milk.

I believe it’s time to take back our bodies and the power that comes along with it. YOUR milk is the best formula for YOUR baby. I refer to it as formula here because what our bodies do is create a milk that is specific to our babies and their needs. No two women’s breast milk is the same. As our babies grow the milk we make changes to suit the needs of baby. In times of sickness our milk also changes to create antibodies that most times prevent baby from developing the sickness. This is MIRACLE BIOLOGY and ALL women have this gift. It’s time we recognize it!