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Money Mistakes That Can Break The Bank + Your Relationship – On The Joy Sutton Show!

Blog News, Blog Series, Media

Hey Girlfunds!

I apologize for my personal absence here but rest assured I have been busting my tail behind the scenes on a few things in store for later this year.  I’ve been doing a lot of media and press since the Elle magazine feature in April and one of those interviews goes live this weekend.  I need to do a better job of posting them here so bear with me as I get my stuff together!

Two weeks ago I taped a segment for the Joy Sutton show and it was awesome!   I had so much fun because Joy and her staff are just nothing short of awesome!  I love helping women make better decisions as it relates to their money and the topics we covered are sure to get your juices flowing!  Per usual, we talked about the things that we as women don’t like to hear out loud when discussing money.  Check out the promo below:

 

The show with my segment is set to air on: Sunday, June 21, 2015!   Tune in and watch me on Sunday on WDBJ7 at 11:30 a.m., MY19 at 6:30 p.m., and online at http://www.wdbj7.com/joy!

Once I have the link to the episode link I will share it here!   It will be available after June 21.

 

 

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#MyAvonStory Final Twitter Chat Recap

Blog Series, Business/Entrepreneurship, Women & Money

I am back with the recap of the final Twitter Chat in the #MyAvonStory series!  If you missed any chats in the series, we’ve got the roundup for you below:

As I’ve mentioned previously, the chats have been nothing short of honest, inspirational and empowering.  I love watching women support each other through the hurdles and triumphs of entrepreneurship.  And the series did just that for many of us.  Jen Groover who is just totally inspirational shared with us tips on how to gain confidence, get out of our comfort zones, face our fears – all while doing work that feeds our souls.  

Here’s a recap of each chat:

Chat 1: Gaining Confidence and Independence with Your Business

This chat’s topics focused on women garnering the confidence to take a bold step to start and run their own business.  Some of the issues discussed included leaving our comfort zones as well as managing self-doubt.  We all experience these issues at various times in our lives.  And it can be difficult to see past ourselves enough to realize that we’re not alone in the struggle to “make it”.  

So many times we get knocked down by the failures of our past and present but what we forget is that the failures are there to teach us the lessons needed to get us one step closer to our desired success.

Confidence
Depending on the day and what’s happening, this may fluctuate and that’s totally normal.  The key to maintaining confidence is realizing that you have no control over life’s events and your best bet is not to react negatively.  Life will throw the inevitable curve ball at you and your confidence level is key in maintaining the proper perspective.

Comfort Zone
One common thread amongst participants in the chat event was that we all at one point or another feared stepping outside of our comfort zone.  Personally, public speaking was a huge fear and I still struggle with it now.  But I’ve learned to put myself in the position to improve in that area so that I am prepared when the time comes for me to get on the stage.

Self-doubt
If you’ve never experienced a period of time where you doubted yourself then you can’t possibly live in the same world we live in.  We’ve all experienced this and that was evident in the responses.  One of the responses included:

A3- Remind myself that if I try, mess up, and learn a lesson, it’s still better than if I had done nothing. #myavonstory

This resonated with me the most because this is the story of my life.  I’ve gone down many a path in my personal and professional life that I’d dare not wander onto now.  However, I’d never know the lessons that awaited me on my detour.  Always ask yourself, “what should I learn from this moment?”  That’s how you turn self-doubt or failure into success.

Chat 2: Earning an Income on Your Own Terms

My money.  My time.  My terms.  This was my take away from chat #2.  But what gets in the way of that is the fact that our fears sometimes run rampant resulting in paralysis due to over analysis.  We think over and over again about how things can go wrong without really giving much credence to how things might actually go right if we have the right plan and support in place.

I have and always will be a fan of women supporting each other, even if it means shedding our masks and discussing some of our deepest fears as entrepreneurial women.   And that was the most significant takeaway for me.  I saw the participants really get real about their fears but also discuss how they’re managing them on a daily basis.  Love that!

Q2. What fears have you faced running your own business? How have you overcome them? #MyAvonStory — Jen Groover (@jengroover) 

  • A2: The fear of not being able to gain new business. Dealt with the fears by doing things differently to reach my market base @jengroover
  • @jengroover A2. Fear of failing my audience. I want to give them what they need while remaining authentic #MyAvonStory
  • @Gingerlatte you can’t ever fail when being your best version of yourself when being authentic.

Chat 3: Achieving Professional Fulfillment

In our last Twitter Chat of the series, the questions below and the answers that follow them all elucidate a central theme with the answers that were given.  The fact that it is so important that we spend our time doing things that feed the very essence of who we are.  Are you walking in your life’s purpose?  What do you own in your life that you can call your own?  How are you building meaningful relationships along the way?  You get the picture:  for the 8-12 hours a day that you spend working – is it meaningful?    Check out the summary of answers to the chat questions below:

   Q1 – Why is it important to your overall happiness to be fulfilled through your work?

o   Gives life purpose and something you can call your own

o   Keeps stress at bay

o   Loving what you do and doing what you love affects your whole life positively

  Q2 – What are you really good at, that you could capitalize on further to benefit your business?

o   Revisit hobbies and assess

o   Aligning your purpose and passion

o   When you’re doing something you love, work doesn’t feel stressful

 Q3 – Are you truly fulfilled through your work? Are your relationships fulfilling? If so, why?

o   Building meaningful relationships

o   Making time for yourself is important

o   Pushing forward despite difficulties

Q4 – What do you feel is your passion in your life? Are you living that passion through your professional endeavors?

o   Creating community

o   Listening and caring about others

Q5 – Whether you’re just starting out or a biz veteran, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about staying fulfilled?

o   Align purpose and passion

o   Clarity comes from action

o   Find flexibility to help you balance it all

As you can see, whether you want to start your own business or you’re knee deep in the mix,  it’s fair to say that everyone has experienced the above mentioned emotions and tripped over similar hurdles.  What matters is that you find support and develop a plan that you can adjust along the way to your desired goal.

Avon Brand Ambassador

Disclosure: As a paid Brand Ambassador for Avon, I will be discussing many aspects of Avon’s brand; from the entrepreneurial side, to career, to beauty tips, Avon staples, and more in a series of posts. The opinions in these articles are mine and are not indicative of the brand.

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Tackling Our Deepest Entrepreneurial Fears: #MyAvonStory Twitter Chat Recap

Blog Series, Business/Entrepreneurship

Last week’s #MyAvonStory was incredible!  I say that as a woman interested in human dynamics, right?   After all, I am a psychotherapist and what I do for a living involves helping other women get in touch with their deepest fears.

The Twitter Chats have grown to become almost a way for the women involved to support and encourage each other towards greatness.  I have and always will be a fan of women supporting each other, even if it means shedding our masks and discussing some of our deepest fears as entrepreneurial women.   And that was the most significant takeaway for me.  I saw the participants really get real about their fears but also discuss how they’re managing them on a daily basis.  Love that!

We discussed the following questions and I’ve shared the answers of some of the participants:

 

Q1. When talking about your career, what does “on your own terms” mean to you? #MyAvonStory— Jen Groover (@jengroover)

  • To start, here are 3 key tips for earning an income on your terms: identify what it means; clarify its value; always innovate #MyAvonStory
  • First, identify your ideal “terms” & evaluate how you can realistically implement them AND run a successful business.  Often it’s freedom – both financial & time. It can also be creative license or strategic control. Whatever it is, identify it. #MyAvonStory
  • The key is to determine what motivates you. This leads to what you value & ultimately guides you to a successful business plan #MyAvonStory
  • Also, having the option to push your business into high gear to earn extra cash is a perfect way to combat the expensive holiday season!

Q2. What fears have you faced running your own business? How have you overcome them? #MyAvonStory — Jen Groover (@jengroover) 

  • A2: The fear of not being able to gain new business. Dealt with the fears by doing things differently to reach my market base @jengroover
  • @jengroover A2. Fear of failing my audience. I want to give them what they need while remaining authentic #MyAvonStory
  • @Gingerlatte you can’t ever fail when being your best version of yourself when being authentic.

Q3. Being your own boss takes a lot of self-determination. What are some common challenges you’ve faced working for yourself? #MyAvonStory Jen Groover @jengroover

  • @jengroover A3. Not knowing how to diversify and grow can be a real challenge. #myavonstory
  • Q3. @jengroover I have made those deals with the devil – working with crazy people and regretting it afterwards #MyAvonStory
  • A3: Setting aside “me” time, working son up to sun down – great for business but terrible for personal growth @jengroover #MyAvonStory

Q4. Leaving a standard 9-5 job can be invigorating. What’s most exciting about starting out on your own? #MyAvonStory

  • A4: I left a call center environment, where you basically have 2ask to use the restroom LOL, def love the freedom! @jengroover #MyAvonStory
  • @jengroover A4. I’m disabled by lupus and cannot stand the rigor of standard 9-5s. My own business is on my terms. #myavonstory

 

If you missed the last twitter chat but want join the conversation –  Avon will be hosting one more chat with Jen Groover in January!

Make sure you follow @jengroover and use the hashtag #MyAvonStory to participate. The remaining Twitter chat in the series are:

  • ‘Creating professional fulfillment’ on Wednesday, January 21 (12:30-1pm ET)

You can RSVP to each Twitter chat by emailing AvonRSVP@bm.com. If you RSVP and attend the Twitter event, you’ll be entered for a chance to win an Avon product bundle.

Avon Brand Ambassador

Disclosure: As a paid Brand Ambassador for Avon, I will be discussing many aspects of Avon’s brand; from the entrepreneurial side, to career, to beauty tips, Avon staples, and more in a series of posts. The opinions in these articles are mine and are not indicative of the brand.

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Here’s What You Missed From The #MyAvonStory Twitter Chat

Blog Series

If you weren’t able to join us last week for the #MyAvonStory Twitter Chat with Jen Groover, never fear, I’ve got a recap for you.

Inspirational.  Honest.  Empowering.  Bold.  Fearless.

Just a few words I’d use to describe the event as all the women participating shared their perspectives posed by the marvelous Jen Groover.  The questions posed included:

  • Q1. How have you grown your confidence, personally or professionally?
  • Q2. How many of you have successfully taken yourself out of your comfort zone? What have you done?
  • Q3. Self-doubt is inevitable for everyone. How do you cope & ultimately overcome to be successful?
  • Q4. What characteristics or qualities have great leaders in your life embodied? Which of these do you strive to demonstrate?
  • Q5. We’ve all been discouraged from reaching our goals. What’s your mantra for staying on track to achieve success?

While participating in the chat, the questions forced me to think about my own journey as an entrepreneur.  The ups and downs and especially the times when I’ve wanted to quit and forget about pursuing my dreams.  So many times we get knocked down by the failures of our past and present but what we forget is that the failures are there to teach us the lessons needed to get us one step closer to our desired success.

Confidence
Depending on the day and what’s happening, this may fluctuate and that’s totally normal.  The key to maintaining confidence is realizing that you have no control over life’s events and your best bet is not to react negatively.  Life will throw the inevitable curve ball at you and your confidence level is key in maintaining the proper perspective.

Comfort Zone
One common thread amongst participants in the chat event was that we all at one point or another feared stepping outside of our comfort zone.  Personally, public speaking was a huge fear and I still struggle with it now.  But I’ve learned to put myself in the position to improve in that area so that I am prepared when the time comes for me to get on the stage.

Self-doubt
If you’ve never experienced a period of time where you doubted yourself then you can’t possibly live in the same world we live in.  We’ve all experienced this and that was evident in the responses.  One of the responses included:

A3- Remind myself that if I try, mess up, and learn a lesson, it’s still better than if I had done nothing. #myavonstory

This resonated with me the most because this is the story of my life.  I’ve gone down many a path in my personal and professional life that I’d dare not wander onto now.  However, I’d never know the lessons that awaited me on my detour.  Always ask yourself, “what should I learn from this moment?”  That’s how you turn self-doubt or failure into success.

Mentor Qualities
I’ve had many mentors over the course of my adult life.  By far, one of the women who impacted me the most is Cynthia Washington.  Her confidence, poise, grace and drive for success are qualities I can only hope to emulate “when I grow up.” 😉  If she fails at something, you’d never know on the outside but believe me, she’s charting a plan which shows that she’s learned from the obstacle so as to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Mantra For Success
My favorite mantra is, “If this doesn’t work then get up and try again”.  Simple as that.  Never quit.  You only fail if you don’t get up once you’ve been knocked down.

In my opinion, the Twitter chat was a total success because I was able to see that other bloggers like myself encountered self-doubt and failure, too.  Knowing that they have had the same feelings makes how I’ve felt at various times in my professional life feel normal.

How would you answer the questions posed by Jen Groover?

 

If you missed the last twitter chat but want join the conversation –  Avon will be hosting two more chats with Jen Groover in December and January!

Make sure you follow @jengroover and use the hashtag #MyAvonStory to participate. The remaining Twitter chats in the series are:
‘Earning an income on your own terms’ on Thursday, December 18 (12:30-1pm ET)
‘Creating professional fulfillment’ on Wednesday, January 21 (12:30-1pm ET)

You can RSVP to each Twitter chat by emailing AvonRSVP@bm.com. If you RSVP and attend the Twitter event, you’ll be entered for a chance to win an Avon product bundle.

 

Avon Brand Ambassador

Disclosure: As a paid Brand Ambassador for Avon, I will be discussing many aspects of Avon’s brand; from the entrepreneurial side, to career, to beauty tips, Avon staples, and more in a series of posts. The opinions in these articles are mine and are not indicative of the brand.

 

 

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Join Our Twitter Chat for Entrepreneurs with Jen Groover, Avon + Me

Blog Series, Business/Entrepreneurship, Family and Lifestyle, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Female entrepreneurs ROCK.  And Avon is in the business of empowering women to embrace entrepreneurship giving them the financial freedom they crave.  This is my third series with Avon and I am continually amazed at the life-changing stories shared by women who utilized the opportunity to quit their job, pay off debt and/or achieve financial freedom.   I am in the business of empowering women to find their center – financially – so I feel personally invested in this campaign.

I understand the need to create financial freedom, especially as a woman in today’s economy.  We are mothers, sisters and wives tasked with making it happen for ourselves, financially.  I founded Girls Just Wanna Have Funds over a decade ago (wow!) and today I run two businesses.  Girls Just Wanna Have Funds and a private practice.  So I understand the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and the courage it takes to step out and march to the beat of your own drum.

Are you thinking about how you’ll be able to stay at home with the new baby? Do you hate the monotony of the 9-5 rat race?  Are you yearning for control of your time and financial destiny?

AVON wants to help you do all that and more.

The “You Make It Beautiful” campaign is about supporting women in the beauty of entrepreneurship.  For AVON representatives, this is an opportunity to write their own financial ticket by building lasting relationships with customers.   For women thinking about getting on board with AVON, this is a message empowering them to find the beauty and confidence that was always there.  The make-up and products are just tools to harness the beauty that already lies within.


 

If you find yourself craving financial freedom, join Avon and I for our Twitter chat series starting Wednesday, November 19 from 12:30-1pm ET.  There the uber successful Jen Groover will offer tips on how to gain confidence and independence with your business along with Avon Representative Georgiana Haynes, who will be a special guest participant.

Make sure you follow @jengroover and use the hashtag #MyAvonStory to participate. The remaining Twitter chats in the series are:

  • ‘Earning an income on your own terms’ on Thursday, December 19 2014
  • ‘Creating professional fulfillment’ on Wednesday, January 21 2015

You can RSVP to each Twitter chat by emailing AvonRSVP@bm.com. If you RSVP and attend the Twitter event, you’ll be entered for a chance to win an Avon product bundle.

About Jen Groover
Jen Groover is a serial entrepreneur who’s gone from guest-hosting spots on QVC to inking deals with some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights. Her success began with the creation of the Butler Bag, the world’s first compartmentalized handbag, and has evolved into an entire lifestyle brand, which can now be found at several prominent retailers. She’s also behind Leader Girlz, which teaches young girls the importance of empowerment through play, and her newest brand, Empowered by Jen Groover. Groover is also an author, speaker and media contributor. For more information about Jen, visit her website at www.jengroover.com.

 

Avon Brand Ambassador

Disclosure: As a paid Brand Ambassador for Avon, I will be discussing many aspects of Avon’s brand; from the entrepreneurial side, to career, to beauty tips, Avon staples, and more in a series of posts. The opinions in these articles are mine and are not indicative of the brand.

 

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Bethesda, MD – Smart Women Finish Rich Seminars

Blog Series, Women & Money

 Smart Women Finish Rich® Seminars are here in DC!

We’ve teamed up with Edelman Financial Services to get the word out about educating smart women about the steps needed to achieve their financial goals!

Bethesda, MD is up next on November 11 2014 and November 12, 2014  at 1pm or 7pm

 

I had the pleasure of attending the Fairfax, VA event last night.  The information presented was very educational without being “salesy”.  After chatting with some of the ladies from the Meetup group, they felt the same way I did.    I got the sense that Edelman Financial Services takes a personal approach with their clients in helping them develop concrete goals with regards to retirement.  They also addressed impediments to retirement as well as ways to overcome them.  Being a visual gal myself, the charts made it easy to see where I may be going wrong in my plans for retirement.  I walked away thinking “it isn’t as hard as I am making it out to be!  This is certainly doable!”  That said, I do plan to sit down with them in a few months to discuss my options.

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How to put your money where your values are
  • How to Figure out where you stand financially
  • How to develop a plan for financial security in good times and in bad times
  • How to use the power of “The Latte Factor®
  • Why smart women are practicing the Three Basket Approach to personal finance
  • Which retirement account you should use now
  • The 5 biggest mistakes investors make
  • Why women make better investors than men
  • How to determine if you need insurance and what type you need
  • When you need a will or living trust
  • How to raise Smart Kids to Finish Rich

Plus much more!

Get the Tools to Help You Get Started on a Successful Financial Journey!

You’ll receive two copies of the New York Times bestselling book, Smart Women Finish Rich® (one for you and one for a friend!) and a brand new, completely updated for 2014 seminar workbook containing the tools you need to help you plan for your financial security and fund your dreams.

Tuition is $15, but Girls Just Wanna Have Funds readers receive a special code BLOGS1 to waive the cost making it totally FREE!  We like $Free.00 over here, don’t we?  Yes ma’am!

So what’s your next move?  If you’re in the DC Metro area sign up for one of the 2 upcoming seminars.  You can also join our DC Meetup group and meet some of our fabulous members who will be in attendance!

Bethesda, MD Registration

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Fairfax, VA – Smart Women Finish Rich Seminar with David Bach

Blog Series, Money Management, Women & Money

 Smart Women Finish Rich® Seminars are here in DC!

We’ve teamed up with Edelman Financial Services to get the word out about educating smart women about the steps needed to achieve their financial goals!

Fairfax, VA is up next on November 4, 2014 and November 5, 2014  at 1pm and 7 pm

You know David Bach.  He’s the wildly successful author behind 9 NY Times Best Sellers and the man behind The Latte Factor®

Smart Women Finish Rich

Smart Women Will Learn:

  • How to put your money where your values are
  • How to Figure out where you stand financially
  • How to develop a plan for financial security in good times and in bad times
  • How to use the power of “The Latte Factor®
  • Why smart women are practicing the Three Basket Approach to personal finance
  • Which retirement account you should use now
  • The 5 biggest mistakes investors make
  • Why women make better investors than men
  • How to determine if you need insurance and what type you need
  • When you need a will or living trust
  • How to raise Smart Kids to Finish Rich

Plus much more!

Get the Tools to Help You Get Started on a Successful Financial Journey!

You’ll receive two copies of the New York Times bestselling book, Smart Women Finish Rich® (one for you and one for a friend!) and a brand new, completely updated for 2014 seminar workbook containing the tools you need to help you plan for your financial security and fund your dreams.

Tuition is $15, but Girls Just Wanna Have Funds readers receive a special code BLOGS1 to waive the cost making it totally FREE!  We like $Free.00 over here, don’t we?  Yes ma’am!

So what’s your next move?  If you’re in the DC Metro area sign up for one of the 2 upcoming seminars.  You can also join our DC Meetup group and meet some of our fabulous members who will be in attendance!

Fairfax, VA Registration

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She Who Manages the ‘Gold’, Makes the Rules – Join Us For The Smart Women Finish Rich Seminars

Blog Series, Retirement

Women live longer than men.  This is fact.  So it makes sense that we need a few more coins in the bank to make it through our golden years without going broke.

We face many more challenges which prevent us from saving enough for retirement.  Our careers are often interrupted to care for the little ones and/or elderly parents resulting in earning less money during our prime years, lower retirement balances, social security benefits and pension benefits than men in the same age group.

The average amount of social security benefits is a little over $17,000 per year for men and a little over $13,000 per year for women. One of the reasons that women are likely to have lower lifetime benefits is because they often have lower lifetime earnings than men. They are more likely than men to take time out of the workforce to care for family members. And of course we still have the issue of gender inequality [in wages]. – NPR.Org

I don’t know about you, but eating cat food and Ramen Noodles isn’t what I have planned for retirement.

This now begs the question:

What stops you from saving adequately for retirement? 

  • Do you have a retirement account?
  • Do you have enough saved?
  • Is debt one of the factors getting in the way?
  • Do you understand the investment options available to you through your retirement plan?  For example, do you understand the differences between a 401(k) and 403(b)?
  • Where should you be investing your money?

Personally, I’d have to say that debt prevents me at this moment from saving adequately for retirement.  But that will be a non issue in a few months.  Cost of living would be another one as I live in a high cost of living area, Washington, DC.  I know that when I get married again, having children and possibly having to care for elderly parents might factor into my overall lifetime retirement savings.

Figuring all of this out can feel overwhelming with everything else we have going on.  We’ve got jobs, kids, husbands, businesses and family issues to deal with on a daily basis.  Who has time to sit down and chart out retirement planning and savings?

 

Enter the Smart Women Finish Rich® Seminars!

We’ve teamed up with Edelman Financial Services to get the word out about educating smart women about the steps needed to achieve their financial goals!

You know David Bach.  He’s the wildly successful author behind 9 NY Times Best Sellers and the man behind The Latte Factor®

 

Smart Women Finish Rich

Smart Women Will Learn:

How to put your money where your values are
How to Figure out where you stand financially
How to develop a plan for financial security in good times and in bad times
How to use the power of “The Latte Factor®
Why smart women are practicing the Three Basket Approach to personal finance
Which retirement account you should use now
The 5 biggest mistakes investors make
Why women make better investors than men
How to determine if you need insurance and what type you need
When you need a will or living trust
How to raise Smart Kids to Finish Rich
Plus much more!

Get the Tools to Help You Get Started on a Successful Financial Journey!

You’ll receive two copies of the New York Times bestselling book, Smart Women Finish Rich® (one for you and one for a friend!) and a brand new, completely updated for 2014 seminar workbook containing the tools you need to help you plan for your financial security and fund your dreams.

Tuition is $15, but Girls Just Wanna Have Funds readers receive a special code BLOGS1 to waive the cost making it totally FREE!  We like $Free.00 over here, don’t we?  Yes ma’am!

So what’s your next move?  If you’re in the DC Metro area sign up for one of the 3 upcoming seminars.  You can also join our DC Meetup group and meet some of our fabulous members who will be in attendance!

Columbia, MD | Fairfax, VA and Bethesda, MD

 

She-Who-Manages-the-Gold

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Success After Divorce: How She Did It

Blog Series, Relationships, Relationships and money, Women & Money

It is said that all is fair in love and war.  When it comes to matters of the heart I may tend to agree, but when it comes to our money the rules aren’t so clear.  We always hear horror stories about women who are left with nothing after a divorce, or even worse women who are left with nothing but debt after their marriage ends.

There are two ways to look at this if you find yourself in one of these two situations: you can wallow in  your sorrow and feel bad for yourself or you can take it as a learning opportunity and overcome your defeat.  This is the story of how one women overcame her financial struggles after a divorce and ended up on top of her game.

The best breakup revenge is success

In 2011 Carrie Smith found herself newly divorced and over $14,000 in debt from credit cards and car loans.  All of a sudden she was in unfamiliar territory and had to find a new path in life, a path that would make her happy.  So what did she do?  She started a blog.

Careful Cents started out as a personal finance blog and as a way for Smith to work through her financial issues.  She told the story of how she got into debt from overspending and how she planned to get out of it by cutting daily living expenses and making more income.

As Smith continued to write about personal issues her readership grew and freelance writing job offers started coming in.  She currently writes for major media outlets such as The Huffington Post and All Business Experts.  With her personal finance tips and her background as an accountant Smith quickly became known as an expert in the personal finance community.  So much that in 2013 Smith quit her full time job and became self employed.

She turned Careful Cents into a resource for anyone who is starting a business.  Entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and freelancers turn to Smith for advice on how to follow their dreams.  What a great accomplishment for someone who was admittedly broke just three years earlier.

The importance of a prenuptial agreement

One way that women can protect themselves both during and after their marriage is with a prenuptial agreement.  Sometimes prenups get a bad rep; but let me tell you they aren’t only for gold diggers and old men.

A  prenup protects both men and women from any financial loss during a divorce and ensure that all assets and debts accumulated during the civil union are divided equally when it ends.  Very often people don’t think about a prenup before they get married because they are experiencing wedding bliss.  However the one thing that all ladies need to remember is that your happily ever after is coming to an end during a divorce…things can get ugly when it comes to money.

According to Suze Orman everyone should have a prenup.  ” Drawing up a prenuptial agreement together is a sign of incredible trust and financial openness—you’re fooling yourself if you think you can achieve complete intimacy without it.”

Tahnya Kristina is a certified financial planner and personal finance blogger. With over a decade of experience in the financial services industry she enjoys helping people manage their money wisely, become debt free and find financial happiness.  You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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Join The Fem-Pow!er Movement: Meet Me In DC!

Blog News

What’s a Fem-Pow!er Movement Event Like?

You + Knowledge + Fun = Fem-Pow!er

First, you’ll sit your awesome self down and have a nice continental breakfast while you listen to the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) introduce you to Fem-Pow!er and your speakers for the day.

 

Alex Elle

Alex Elle, Author & Entrepreneur:

Alexandra L. Smith, more frequently known as Alex Elle, has made an immense impact on women, both of her generation and beyond. She has quickly gained recognition for her candid, honest words, most notably in her acclaimed debut book, Words from a Wanderer. Alex is also a natural hair blogger, jewelry designer, and poet. Her poetry and prose are frank, derived from real life experiences and the raw human emotions in which everyone can relate. For More Info on Alex Elle…


Ginger DeanGinger Dean, Financial Guru & Psychotherapist:

Ginger Dean, is the brainchild and content creator for the women’s financial website,  Girls Just Wanna Have Funds. Ginger is passionate about empowering women through their finances.

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds explores money management basics, debt reduction, budgeting and other personal finance issues, specific to women. What makes this site interesting: The acknowledgement that some women have a tacit resistance as it relates to making and managing their money. She explore those issues and as a a licensed psychotherapist, she is more than qualified in that area.

Ginger started the site in 2003 and has since been highlighted and syndicated in several print and web publications for financial content that explores the intersection of women and personal finance. For More Info on Ginger Dean…


KeriHenderson_HSKeri Henderson, Personal Stylist & Fashion Writer

Keri Henderson is a personal stylist serving the Washington, DC metro area. As a brand ambassador and brand sales lead in retail for many years, she found great joy in helping others dress their best which prompted her to start her own styling business.

Keri was trained by Stacy London of TLC’s “What Not to Wear” in NYC. Along with providing services which include closet audits and personal shopping, she also has an eye for finding deals; she prides herself on her ability to help clients reach their full style potential while staying within their budget. Her goal is to help clients understand what works best for their body types and to develop their own sense of style.

Keri is also the creator of the lifestyle blog, A Diva State of Mind. For over four years, she has used her blog as a platform to provide style tips, the latest fashion trends, looks for less and more. In 2011, her blog won the Black Weblog Awards “Best Lifestyle Blog” award. Her work as a writer and stylist has been featured in Façon Magazine, an online publication for emerging designers.

Next, strap yourself in for 2 hours listening to some dynamite women help you tap into YOUR personal power. Depending on the type of event, hear subjects such as Personal Power, Style, Finances, Relationships, Careers, Motherhood, and more.

Lastly, mingle and make connections with other awesome women and leave with an action plan to Fem-Pow!er your life!

Come on out!

Early Bird registration has closed, but all Girls Just Wanna Have Funds fans, have an extra week to get in at the Early Bird price of $25! Use the following code to register FUNDS or this link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fem-power-movement-presents-the-love-your-life-tour-dc-tickets-10555153749?discount=FUNDS

REGISTER HERE

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Fill Her Up: DC Gets A Dose Of #FinancialFuel with Glinda Bridgforth

Blog News

Nicole James lives paycheck to paycheck which means she spends exactly what she earns until the next payday.  With no money saved for emergencies, in the event of a lay off or unexpected large expense, she runs the risk of losing everything she’s worked hard to achieve since moving to DC 4 years ago.

“It seems like no matter how hard I work, I’m still short on cash a few days before payday” she says.

Enter Toyota’s #FinancialFuel along with Glinda Bridgforth who ushered in a breath of fresh air for many DC women in Nicole’s position: needing solutions around how to fill their financial tank.

The event was first class in every way.  It was superbly organized and everything flowed like a well oiled machine.  The venue’s ambiance was classy with a dose of grown and sexy with dinner and drinks for everyone to indulge.  Still, this was a mixer with a powerful financial message: “Girl, Get Your Money Straight”, also the title of Glinda’s book.  Glinda’s compelling speech pushed attendees to get real about their financial situations and own their roles in the string of events leading them to where they are today.

“I think I need to stop going out to lunch at work and the happy hours need to stop too.  If I’m living paycheck to paycheck and finding money to go out to lunch and happy hour then I can save that money or pay off my credit card!” Nicole adds.

Glinda understands intrinsically the need to keep up with the Jones’ while pretending that the lifestyle being lived is anything but based on credit.  She’s lived it.  And, she understands first-hand what it feels like to feign living a happy and authentic life.

“What I thought was a good lifestyle, was really a lifestyle based on credit.  God was trying to “check me.  I was burnt out with banking (as a banker/bank manager) and my marriage and finances were falling apart.  I was spiritually bankrupt”. – says Glinda

Some have asked, “why do we need to know how did I get here?”  Understanding the events leading up to your financial crisis gives you insight on your role as well as helping you forge a plan on how to avoid this road in the future.  If the financial crisis you’re in currently hurts enough then you’ll go searching for a new way to manage your money.  If not, then you’ll just hope to get out of the crisis while remaining in debt while making no appreciable progress towards becoming financially free.

Nicole James left DC’s #FinancialFuel event feeling that she’d had a light bulb moment.  That is, finding her role in the course of events which forces her to live paycheck to paycheck.  With education and insight, now she’s on her way to creating a spending plan which will enable her to save money she had no idea was available in her budget.  She has Toyota’s #FinancialFuel to thank for that!

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Toyota’s #FinancialFuel – Interview with Glinda Bridgforth

Blog News, Blog Series, Uncategorized

Toyota Financial Services is hosting Financial Fuel here in Washington DC on June 12, 2013, featuring guest speaker Glinda Bridgforth.  I interviewed Glinda to get a sneak peak about what she plans to share with us as well as how she made it from financial crisis to financial dynamo.  Take a look at our chat below:

 

What To Expect Based On The Last #FinancialFuel Event in Chicago

Glinda tells us that she is thrilled to be at #FinancialFuel event in DC.  In short, Chicago’s event was a hit. She loves that Toyota continues to provide financial education and literacy in a manner that meets its attendees needs without being stuffy.  Chicago’s event was a mixer with a message which made it different from other financial seminars.  #FinancialFuel is purely literary education to the community which makes it a first class educational endeavor.

Sneak Peak At What She’ll Discuss At The DC Event

Among the things Glinda plans to address at our DC event are:

  • Taking a look at how our emotions and self-esteem are tied to our finances
  • Monthly spending plans
  • Knowing what you owe and own.  Read that again.

Glinda’s Light Bulb Moment During Her Financial Crisis

Glinda and I talked about her light bulb moment which helped propel her to where she is today.  In short, she was in the midst of an emotional, spiritual and financial during her pursuit of “having it all”.

“What I thought was a good lifestyle, was really a lifestyle based on credit.  God was trying to “check me.  I was burnt out with banking (as a banker/bank manager) and my marriage and finances were falling apart.  I was spiritually bankrupt”.

How She Turned Things Around

Given the range of issues she was facing, Glinda went to an EAP counselor who then referred her to a financial coach.  She reports that her core issue centered around being codependent in her relationships which caused her to be more concerned about meeting everyone else’s needs than her own.  With that came a lot of shame, embarrassment and anxiety in having to face these issues head on.

But, she had help and now she had a plan!  Glinda turned things around and here’s how you can do the same:

Acknowledge the Issue

Get support.  Address “what did I create” with yourself and/or find a nonjudgmental and safe group of people that you can do this with so that you don’t feel criticized and shamed for some of the decisions that you’ve made thus far.

Own Your Role In What Happened

Glinda owned her role in the events that lead up to her financial crisis.  She attended codependent anonymous groups where she shared some of her more personal experiences and from that she learned that her image mattered more than the reality.  She had the money, cars and all the material things but none of that made her happy which was the moment which helped her realize that she wasn’t perhaps living an authentic life.

Create A Plan

We’ve all heard it before: in order to get where you want to go, you need a plan.  Find an objective person with a proven track record and enlist them to help you remain accountable as you move towards your goals.

Set A Goal: Know And Embrace Your Why

Establishing and knowing your why fuels the desire to meet your goals.  This gives you a reason why you’re sacrificing and engaging in a higher level of discipline.  Without understanding your why, this is just another goal that you’ll meet – one day.  The following steps will help you get there faster:

[checklist]

    • Be willing to sacrifice
    • Be disciplined
    • Make it your business to get there!  You must have a burning desire to achieve this goal
    • Get an accountability partner

    [/checklist]

Will You Be There?

RSVP HERE

 

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Personal Finance Blog Conference Recap: The Importance of Relationship

Blog News

You’re probably sick of all of the #FINCON12 recap blog posts but here I am with another one!

If you saw #FINCON12 trending this weekend on Twitter then you know that a bunch of nerdy personal finance bloggers got together for what some have called the Woodstock of personal finance.  We came,  we saw, strategized, partied and of course many of us are now at home developing our blog strategies for the next year.

I’ll get into the awesome people I met later but I do want to spend a bit of time talking about a consistent theme throughout the conference.  The importance of relationship.

I did not attend #FINCON11 so I had no idea about the awesome time that awaited me this year.  Looking back, I was thrilled to put together the faces I’ve been blogging, tweeting and emailing with over the last 5 years.  Of course, the DC bloggers are all familiar with each other since we get together for happy hour periodically. But the larger personal finance blogger contingent was massive and one to be reckoned with at 400 attendees deep.  Denver, CO will never be the same!

The importance of connecting with other bloggers and readers either face to face or giving more of myself personally kept coming through as a theme for me.  So it’s something I need to work on as I move forward with this brand.  Truthfully, I’ve spent the last year or so working on SEO, making sure that my site comes up in search results for certain terms and that has worked beautifully.  But that also meant neglecting to tell you, my readers about much of my personal life which I’ll get into in subsequent blog posts.

Those who know me can tell that I am rather guarded about sharing much about my personal life here because it is a struggle for me to let the world in.  This is due to how I function in my day job where I have to maintain strict boundaries with my clients and reports.  It is quite the change in dynamic to force myself to be so open here when I don’t do that in my day to day life.  So I try to give tidbits here and there but I realized at this conference that besides J$ from Budgets Are Sexy, no one really knows me, KNOWS ME.

So I am pledging to become better at that in an effort to become more transparent and open.  Still, I have restrictions on what I can share with you guys.  For instance,  I am not going to be posting my bank account balances or credit card information!  But, I do want to share with you is how imperfect I can and have  been as it relates to my own money.   And 2012 emotionally has been a difficult one.  In 2011 I took a hiatus due to new and demanding job, then came back after I’d successfully managed to balance that, personal and day job life.  Still 2012 brought another job change while juggling  a few other family challenges which required that I take a step back from the blog to see things through on the personal end.  You may have seen staff writer Amanda LaConte taking over and writing most of the posts here earlier this year.  She was a life saver and I hope to have her back later this year.

As FINCON12 approached, I stressed about meeting everyone because with the exception of the DC Bloggers, I really hadn’t made the time to get to know some of the newer personal finance bloggers that started within the last 1-2 years.  I’d mainly interfaced with the guys and gals who had started around the same time I did and perhaps a few years earlier than that: 2003-2007.  Understand, I hate crowds.  They overwhelm me in a way that unnerves me just thinking about it!  But I got over it once I saw some familiar faces from DC and others I’d interacted with over the years.  I took a few breaks to go back to my room and decompress because constantly interacting with a crowd was at times overwhelming but I got over it by Friday evening.

I am happy to say that I made a few blogging buddies with Shawanda from YouHaveMoreThanYouThink.com and Brianna from HowsMarriedLife.net.  We laughed and strategized together and even brought life to what I thought would be a stressful weekend. Of course, I met tons of other great bloggers like Jackie from MoneyCrush, Shannyn from FrugalBeautiful, Todd from FinancialMentor, Barbara from barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance, Jim – Bargaineering, Mike- thefitworldtraveler.com, Dorethia – themoneychat.com, Stephanie – empowereddollar.com, Ryan – Cashmoneylife.com, the WiseBread.com team, Phil – PTMMoney.com (organizer) and the team from Bankrate, Ally, Fidelity, H&R Block and a few other financial startups that I met with at the conference.  I met alot more people than this list covers so If I missed anyone, let me know!

The personal finance blogger crowd is one of the most supportive you’ll find.  Yes, some of us fight like family when feelings get hurt or toes get stepped on (hey, there’s money involved!) but overall it’s one of the best if not the best and I am so happy to have met them.

Oh and you’ll see quite a few changes around here over the next 6 weeks!  I am working on a new site redesign in addition bringing a few other goodies that I am sure you’ll love!  Owning and operating this site has been such a treat to me and while I’ve worked so hard to keep my personal and blog life separate, I am realizing that it makes sense to give a little more of the personal rather than the straight business I’ve been giving.

So that’s what you’ll get!  More of me and I hope you like it!

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21 Days to Rock Your Finances: Day 15 – Roth IRA vs Traditional 401k vs Roth 401k vs 403B vs SEP IRA

Blog Series, Money Management, Retirement

Once you’ve tackled debt and saved enough towards at least 3-6 months of living expenses in an emergency fund, then you can start thinking about investing in long term goals.

This can include retirement, college education, owning a home or anything that warrants a longer term investment of time and money.  One thing to note which goes against Dave Ramsey’s advice in this area, put your retirement ahead of your child’s college fund.  Why?  You don’t have a second chance to save for retirement whereas your child will have several options to pay for college should they choose that route.

Let’s take a look at tax advantaged savings plans.  Tax rules are always changing so it’s important to be sure you’re maximizing your savings accounts to get them working as hard for you as you do for them!  Whether you’re a financial guru or the most you know about retirement accounts is that you have a 401(k) through your job, a good refresher course is always worthwhile.  First, a quick Cliffs Notes summary of some of the different plans out there.

  • A traditional 401(k) is a retirement savings plan offered by employers where both the employee and employer make contributions to the account.  Participant contributions are made pre-tax, grow tax-free, and are taxed upon distribution at retirement age.
  • A Roth IRA is a retirement account that can be opened by anyone, and participant contributions are made on an after-tax basis.  As such, distributions at retirement age are tax-free.  There are, however, annual contribution limits as well as income limits for participation.
  • A Roth 401(k) is not so much a plan in itself, but rather a feature that some employers offer as part of their retirement plan.  If offered, the employer allows you to contribute a portion of your 401(k) on an after-tax basis; this portion is distributed tax-free upon retirement.
  • A 403(b) plan is a close cousin of the 401(k) plan, only it is offered by non-profit organizations.
  • A SEP IRA is a retirement plan often utilized by small businesses, or perhaps more commonly, the self-employed.  It is administered through an IRA so traditional IRA rules apply.

For most of us, reading tax code is only slightly easier than deciphering a Rubik’s Cube.  So, the important disclaimer here is that any details and questions about these plans should be discussed with your financial professional.  That being said, the table below provides a good starting point for discussion purposes.  Pay special attention to the tax treatment of each plan as you’ll need to know this going into which ever plan you choose.
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  1. Retirement plans allow additional catch-up contributions for individuals age 50 or older.
  2. Employee can additionally contribute the maximum traditional IRA contribution IF the SEP IRA plan allows non-SEP contributions.
  3. While there is no income limit to participate, $250,000 is the maximum compensation that can be counted for purposes of contribution calculations.

While we may still be working on getting that personal trainer we vowed to get, now is the best time of the year to sit down with your financial advisor and check in on your nest egg.  If you don’t already have a financial advisor, ask your friends and co-workers for recommendations and get one!  You don’t have to be rich to have a financial advisor.  Their job is to get you doing the right things now so you will achieve your financial goals down the road (think of it as a personal trainer for your money).  A little financial planning goes a long way and is one resolution that is easy to keep!