My Money Matters: Week 2

Last week I told you I was starting my challenge, and as you know every time you say you are  going to challenge yourself, it really does become a challenge. This week in the challenge the topic was about ‘Basic Money Management Principle’. Do you live paycheck to paycheck? Do you have an emergency fund ready?

Learning to save money can be a chore, if you are living paycheck to paycheck. After clearing out some debt (it took me a few years),  I am saving more than what I was before. I’m not saving for a particular event or reason. I’m saving just to be saving. I got laid off last summer after my company did some re-structuring. Once that happened, I knew there was a possibility that I would have to use my emergency fund. My mother always told me to be sure you have at least 3 months work of expenses in your savings account, which I did. I’m grateful for that money because I have had to use it to continue to pay my bills. Having that money set aside has been a blessing, but now I need to build it back up.

Week 2

 This week I spent way more than I usually do, but it wasn’t frivolous spending, it was necessary. Groceries needed to be purchased, had to put gas in my mom’s car and made my first investment back into my Tastefully Simple business.  Grateful for the opportunity get my business back up and running again. I know after my first party next week, I’ll make my investment back. Having additional income will not only help me with my savings fund but will also help with some other projects that I am working on.

In order to save you have to work at it. You have to be willing to set aside money and sacrifice the purchase(s) of something that you want. But at the same time you have to be paying your bills on time, so late fees and shut offs don’t take place. What are you doing to change your financial situation?

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Book Review: Simple Amazing (Arrington Family Series) by Candace Shaw

Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses.

Cannon Arrington is a med student whose focus is on school,extracurricular activities and helping others.  During one of his extra curricular activities he is reunited with his favorite teachers daughter, Yasmine Duboise. Something about this bubbly sexy school teacher makes him rethink his priorities in life.

Your high school crush could be your soul mate.

Yasmine Duboise is reading to her class and in walks today’s read-a-long volunteer Cannon Arrington. She has had a crush on him since she was in high school. Who would have thought, he would be the one to read to her class on this particular day. Awakening feelings inside him, does Yasmine wait for Cannon to realize you can have your career and love too or does she simply walk away from the man who has held her heart for years.

Simply Amazing is a short story of love, romance and patience. Shaw did excellent job in telling a story about two young people who have to decide if love is something they are willing to enjoy; something that cannot be scheduled.

Amazon has Simply Amazing by Candace Shaw for free on Kindle.

My Money Matters: Week 1

Growing up your parents always tell you to save your money and not to spend money on frivolous things. I listened to some extent. My mother has worked in the mortgage industry for almost 30 years, she was a Loan Officer, Mortgage Processor, Credit Counselor and now she’s a consultant.

My mother always taught my sister and I about credit and saving money. We had an allowance growing up and I started working at the age of 14. If I wanted something I got it, plain and simple. But I always watched how I spent my money.

As time went on I started to spoil my sister a lot more. She was on the basketball team and wanted a pair of Jordan’s, so me being the big sister spent a $150 on a pair if sneakers for my little sister; mind you I was still in high school. Every time she saw something she wanted I bought it. Me, I spent most of my money on books, clothes, shoes, and trips. Yes, I said trips. I love to travel so I was always going somewhere.

Came time for college and I went off to North Carolina. I worked 3 jobs while in school full time. Sent money home for my family, not because I had but because I wanted to. I’m spoiled, I always have been so I like to spoil my friends and family as well. Birthdays and Christmas I spent entirely too much money but the look on my loved ones faces brings me joy.

A few years ago my mother started to notice that my spending was getting out of hand. I wasn’t happy with my life so I chose shopping as my stress reliever. I would spend $50-$75 a month on books and just sit in my room and read. If I went out to the mall I would spend at least $100 on clothes and shoes I didn’t need. So my mother put a stop to all of that. My life living on a budget was back. I hadn’t lived on a budget in years but working full time had put more money in my pockets.

Living on a budget allowed me to clean up my act. But it also made me look at things from a different perspective. I wanted to start my own business but my spending habits had to change. I wanted to buy a house but I needed to pay off some credit cards. The biggest thing was I wanted to move to Virginia but I didn’t have enough money saved up.

My journey began, I lived off $60 allowance for two weeks, only using CASH!!! Gave my mother my bank card, credit cards and checkbook. Whew.., it was tough but I am THANKFUL!! I finally moved to VA and my businesses have began form, yes more than one!!

When LaKesha Womack mentioned she was creating a money management workbook I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Funny how things work, when she published this book I had just gotten laid off from my job. So fast forward a few months. I knew I wanted to start 2013 off a little differently and staying debt free was one of them. I purchased her book and my journey continues.

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This is a 52 week money management workbook that will help you track your spending. You will be surprised just how much money you spend each week. Each week I am going to write about my experience and where my money is going. Before I purchase anything I am going to ask myself ‘Do I really NEED this?’ Notice I said ‘NEED’ and not ‘WANT’. I’m saving money just because, there are no plans for this money I’m just choosing to live below (not within) my means.

Join me on this journey and get your My Money Management Workbook from LaKesha. She also teaches classes on financial awareness. The workbook comes is available for Youth, Teens/Young Adults and Adults.

It’s never too late to get your finances in order. Income tax checks are coming be careful what you spend it on.

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Book Review: Love Under Fire by Nikki Walker

Love Under Fire
The Complete Set Of The Tested Love Series

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Love can hurt and love can heal but only if you let it take its course.

This series is three books in one. Each book is a page turner. I just couldn’t help myself. These characters are like your friends, you know their life stories, their fears, their desires.

Love Through The Fire

First up we have Naya and Marcus, who gets injured in an accident and needs Naya to help him recover from his injuries. Their past relationship is put to the test when Naya has to move with Marcus to start his rehabilitation. Can they rekindle the love they once had or has their divorce created a brick wall that cannot be knocked down.

Been There -Done That

Andrea is grieving the loss of her daughter and enters in to her life Det. Zane Perkins, who is dealing with the loss of his son as well. Using her daughters memory to build her gift basket business, her focus is soley on her business and nothing else; not even Zane. But can he convince Andrea that a love lost is not forever but a healing process to begin a love journey of forever.

Hearts On Fire

Trey is burnt out and in need of some rest and relaxation. Sherri is run-down from being chased by her superior who wants her dead. She runs to the one person that she feels safe with, Trey. But, how does she deal with being in such close proximity of her love crush? Trey has watched Sherri grow up, he’s always treated her with care but now he sees her for more than just a little sister. While keeping her safe from those who are trying to harm her, can he convince her that his heart belongs to her eternally?

These three stories take in you and have you turning the pages from the very beginning. I will admit that each of these stories could have been their own full fledged novels, but Walker gives you what you need to know in each story. She takes on a heartfelt journey through the lives of characters, that you can actually relate to.

Go ahead and grab Love Under Fire by Nikki Walker from Amazon right now, you won’t be disappointed.

Book Review: All MY Tomorrows by Rochelle Alers

I’m back with another review. First I want to say thank you to everyone that supported my last post.You guys ROCK!!  This review is actually two reviews in one. Rochelle Alers often times combines two stories in one book. Brace yourself, because when she does this you know you are in store for an extra special treat.

He’s a former athlete looking for a place to mellow out.  She’s a chef, who was passed over for a promotion one too many times. What will one summer away at a camp bring to their lives?

After leaving the NFL Kennedy Fletcher decides to take some of the money has earned and invest it into an overnight camp for children called Camp Six Nations. The camp hires Chef Lydia Lord to feed the campers and staff for 8 weeks. To help two more less-advantage children attend the camp Lydia decides to give up her salary for 8 weeks and volunteers her services. Sparks fly during their first encounter but Lydia trying to stay away from the former athlete after her bad experience of her own. Kennedy knows there’s a fire brewing in Lydia, but a past failed relationship has him questioning their every encounter.

Long walks in the woods, a little dancing and delicious food helps this couple see that love is there when you least expect it.

 

She’s been burned and is starting anew. He is content with being the lone artist that he is. One building, two apartments and a sailing trip, change the course of their lives forever. 

Former ballerina turned chef Victoria Jones has had her share of heartache and is looking forward to focusing on her catering business. Quintin Lord, an artist gets an unexpected visit from Victoria regarding his music, fireworks begin to go off. Dealing with the loss of her dance career, her child and her husband has shattered Victoria. But Quintin knows that behind those sad eyes is a passionate women waiting to be let loose. Will these neighbors remain friendly? Or can Quintin convince Victoria that she hasn’t lost everything that she thought she did?

 

Quintin and Victoria’s story “Home Sweet Home” was originally a book all by itself. In 2005 it was re-released with All MY Tomorrows to give you two great stories about a  brother and sister who find love even in the midst of their flourishing careers.