Hey Crew! As we bring Wealth Week to a close, I want to re-post a video that I shared almost two years ago. I spent time talking with Kimberly Thomas of Kimco International. The information that she shared then is still relevant today so take heed to the advice. Also, Kim offered a special for my subscribers back then. I am pleased to say that I can bless a few subscribers again today with the offer. Comment below if you are interested.!
Welcome to Wealth Week, Friends and Family!
I'm going to be talking about all aspects of wealth throughout the year - earning money, investing, charitable giving, etc. My thoughts about building wealth are that you need to learn to save before you can really build. After all, what good is it to gain more money if you lose it all by making poor spending choices? With this in mind, I was thinking that many of you have made resolutions this year that involve saving more money. If you are one of them, then have you determined how you're going to do it?
I read an article in Money Magazine (December, 2018) about a 31 year old woman who saves up to $8,000 a year clipping coupons. $8,000/year. That's $667/month, $541/week, $22/day. No bad. The woman, Katie Hernandez, spends roughly an hour and a half each week doing her couponing for her family. Honestly, I'm not sure that I would have the patience or energy to do this. It may not sound like much time but I know how tough it is to sit down to do ANYTHING in a day without distraction. 13 minutes a day may not sound like a lot but it really can be. That's why many of us don't take 10 minutes a day to meditate. But that's another article.
Back to Katie. This enterprising woman has shown that taking the time to clip coupons may be worth its weight in gold! Hernandez points out that she and her husband spent an average of $800/month on food and household items before she started couponing. Now, they spend just $100/month on those items, despite having a house, baby and two pets. And the annual $8,000 savings have been used to pay down college debt, pay off her mortgage and invest in retirement accounts.
Hm, there's something to this couponing after all! Sooo, how do you do it? I'm glad you asked. Of course, you can find physical coupons in your local Sunday newspaper. Many retailers have their own apps that contain coupons, like Meijer and Target. In addition, here are a few more couponing apps that Money Magazine recommends:
Finally, if you want to learn more about how Katie Hernandez saves, then visit her website and blog, KouponingwithKatie.com.
Let me hear from you! Do you "coupon"? If so, then what is your strategy? And share with me some other ways that you save money. We may write about them some time this year!
I am so excited that you have decided to subscribe! By doing so, you'll be embarking with me on a journey to a healthy, happy life. This is only the beginning of what we will share together.
Each week, I will provide features on physical and mental health, wealth and finances and featured entrepreneurs. In addition, when we have a fifth week in a month, I may be reaching out to all of you for ideas on topics to cover. Don't wait until the fifth week to provide feedback, though. I want to hear from you throughout the month! It will help me shape my topics to better serve you.
So, this is the first week of the month and year! Health Week! I can imagine that many of you have decided that you want to get physically fit in 2019. For many, that will mean considering weight loss options. As you're looking at them, please review a website called livinghealthworks.com. My dear friend, Dr. Carla Hightower, is the owner of this website and business. She has a very interesting article in her blog called "How to Eat More and Still Lose Weight". I won't share too much about the article (or her services) because I want you to review it yourselves but I will drop this little tidbit - Dr. Hightower advises to avoid popular weight loss programs because they often provide quick, short term results that are rarely sustainable. Check it out! I will feature Dr. Hightower and other health/nutrition specialists throughout the year.
In the meantime, here's to your health!
Greetings! Last post for Health Week this month. I thought that I would share my run journey with you from 2018. It was an awesome year. I am blessed to have fallen in love with a sport that definitely helps with keeping me in shape. Yes, I have had my share of run related aches and pains (especially my knees) but I am learning how to condition to prevent them from returning. I'll talk more about this as the year progresses as I have more races planned in 2019, including three marathons!
So, here's to your health in January, 2019! Please share ideas of what you want to see featured in the months to comes!
Happy New Year, Peeps!
2018 was an awesome year for me! I was able to travel to Curacao, Houston, Cincinnati and New Orleans, in addition to the usual trips to Detroit and Michigan City. I finished the Chicago Marathon in great time. My job is still there and my family is healthy and doing well. Unfortunately, I lost some friends/colleagues who were fairly young - Sean Connor, Trinette LaGrone, Karen Braithwaite. Their deaths reminded me that life is short and that we must seize the moments and quit sweating the small stuff. We never know when we will see our last days on Earth.
For 2019, I decided not to worry myself with resolutions. I want to stop procrastinating so I will work on that. But I won't come up with a list of things because I find that I don't do anything on the list if I stop doing something. So, my "project" is to work on ending procrastination in my life.
Also, I like going with themes. This year, it will be REFRESH. Revival. Starting afresh and anew. I'll be looking at opportunities to "refresh" things this year. It will be invigorating!
Which leads into the meaning of 19. According to the website spiritualunite.com, the Number 19 is "extraordinary" because it is a prime number - only divisible by itself and number 1. The number 19 is a virtuous number and brings good news for you. Number 1, the first number in counting, denotes uniqueness and independence and invokes the power of motivation, progress, ambition and striving forward. The number 9 denotes spiritual enlightenment, awakening and inspiration, among other things. Overall, it signifies completion, an ending that leads to a new beginning.
It's a reminder that you have accomplished your goal or are near to doing it. One chapter of your life has ended or is near the end. One door is closed but a new one is opened.
So, in the year 2019, I bid you all much success as you close one door to open a new one! Get ready for the ride! It will be an awesome one!
On this, my 53rd birthday, I share the daily scripture lesson from Joel Osteen. It basically says it all. Let go of saying “If only...” and be thankful for what you have now. Work what you’ve got. “Bloom where you are planted.”
Letting go of the cares of the world... at least for a day!
I had a blast at the beach in Michigan City yesterday. Do you know how awesome it was not to have to worry about what time I had to be somewhere? Not a care in the world that day. Let go of cares! At least for a day! Nice!
A New Series.. Let It Go!!!
On August 26, 2018, I had the privilege of delivering a sermon at my church titled “Let it Go!”. Now, before some wise guy makes a comment, no, I am NOT a pastor, reverend, preacher or any other member of the clergy. I am a Lay Leader at my United Methodist Church. It is common for lay members of the UMC to speak on occasion. This was one such occasion.
Anyway, I spoke about letting go of things, looking at Paul from speaking in Philippians 3:13 -14. Paul says “forgetting what is behind me and looking forward to what is ahead, I press toward to prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus”. You can’t move forward until you let go or forget what is behind you. And there are consequences of leaving things behind. You hinder your focus, growth and faith, among other things. I didn’t realize when I write that sermon just how impactful it was going to be on my own life. I was probably preaching more to myself than to anyone else. I was thinking more of letting go of physical things but it’s not just that. I have to let go of other things, too. Mental, emotional, etc. Thus, the idea for this series for September, Let it Go! I’m inviting you to join me in my journey of letting go of things. Feel free to share with me and others what you are letting go and why? My hope is that we will all learn and grow from sharing. And I hope that we will enjoy the feeling of being light and free once we do let go of whatever we need to omit.
With that, let’s begin!
On September 1, 2018, I went to a Labor Day party with a dear sister friend and my Sands. I had just been telling one of them how I enjoyed jazz but didn’t listen to the blues often. I don’t dislike the blues but, given the choice of options while sitting in a concert, that would not be my first, or even second or third choice. So, we arrive to the party and, what do they have? A band playing the blues. Now, most of them were older guys probably from Chicago or Gary so I just shrugged it off when I saw them. I figured that they would be entertaining but nothing over the top.
As time went went on during the party, though, the selections became more diverse. They had an amazing singer join them and she sang everything, including Chaka Khan (Ain’t Nobody). We were getting ready to leave when the band played the song in the video. I was blown away! Prince? Purple Rain? That guitar, though! Play on, Playa, play on!!!
i thoroughly enjoyed the part and, especially, that band. What did I let go? Preconceived notions. I assumed that they would only play the blues because that’s all we heard when we came in. But they could play so much more. Don’t judge a book by its cover. There’s probably more much more to meet the eye!
"If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. "
I'm sure you've heard that saying before. It holds true in many ways. Those who fail to create a plan and to follow it may find themselves adrift when trying to meet goals, thus, they don't meet them or they "fail". I'm seeing how "plans" have been working in my life lately. From March 14 through June 16, 2018, I took a prep course for the Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) certification exam. We received our syllabus (or plan) that outlined what we were going to cover each week and on what we would be tested. When we received the online testing material, there was a section in it that allowed us to create and record our study plans. I admit that I didn't take advantage of that section because the syllabus was enough of a "plan" for me but, when the class ended and our instructor gave us recommendations for studying for the actually certification exam itself, then I took heed to his advice and I created a study plan. Admittedly, I didn't always stick to it to the "T" (I may have missed an evening studying but I made up for it in the morning), but I was close. I recall the instructor advising that the number one reason why some people didn't pass the exam was because they didn't created and/or follow a study plan. Well, I set the plan and, by the grace of God, I passed it on June 25, 2018! Thank God! Now, realistically, there was only a 56% pass rate for the exam so I'm sure that there were those who created a plan who didn't pass it. But, if I'm a betting person, then I'd say that, of those who didn't pass, the percentage who didn't follow a study plan was greater than it was for those who did.
As you already know, I'm a runner and I'm preparing for my second marathon. I could just run and keep on running to prepare but it may not help me meet my goal of completing the marathon in 4:00 hours or less. I have a coach and I'm following a running plan that's designed to help me meet that goal. Again, there may be people who have created running plans to meet goals and they may or may not have met their goals. I would venture to say that the percentage of those who didn't meet their goals was greater for those who didn't create and follow a plan than for those who did.
So, I had the chance to hang out with friends in Michigan City this weekend. You know that I love that place . It's so relaxing to me. So peaceful. We had a great time, as usual. I wanted us to be able to see the sun set so, for those who made it there in time on Friday, the plan was to get there by 8:00 pm for the 8:26 pm sunset. Well, we hurried and got to the beach, then walked over a big sand dune only to be disappointed when we got there because the clouds had come in and blocked the sunt. Bummer! Everyone was there on Saturday but we had rained off and on all day. When it appeared that there may have been a better sunset that evening, we were at dinner away from the lake and the trees blocked the view. Bummer, again!
We were leaving to go home today and the crew left early to get there in time to relax. I stuck around and saw that it was gorgeous outside. I knew that it would be a spectacular sunset but I also knew that I needed to get home for work tomorrow. So, bummed that I would miss the sunset, I just left to go home.
But God...He had a lesson for me. The lesson was the reminder that God's plans are not my plans. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (NIV). So, could it be that we don't need to plan if we have God's plan? I don't think so. I think that we need to plan (with God's guidance through prayer, of course) but understand that God may create a detour in those plans. And, if God creates the detour, trust, you will be fine with it. You see, I didn't get a chance to see the sunset at the beach in Michigan City as planned but look at what God allowed me to witness on my ride home (see pictures above). Simply beautiful! I received a different view of the sunset than what I would have gotten had I been on the beach. Stunning! And what I needed at that particular time.
So, when you set out to make plans and they are altered, don't give up. Just work with what you get. You may be surprised as what you get may be better than you had originally planned.
Have a great week!
The Digest Diva is a wife, "bonus" mother, daughter, entrepreneur and corporate professional. who loves gathering information, learning and sharing with others.