The 5 Step Guide to Facing Your Financial Fears

facing financial fears

Have you ever been so reckless with you finances that you were too scared to even look at your bank account?

Maybe you had a wild weekend with friends. Or you did some serious, unplanned damage at the mall last week. Then there’s that one bill you meant to pay off weeks ago but you haven’t gotten around to it.

You know you’ve screwed up and you want to fix your situation but you don’t know how.

Girl. I. Have. Been. There!

And since I’ve been there, I can’t let you continue to swipe your debit card knowing you haven’t looked at your account in three weeks. Yeah…I can’t let you go out like that.

Come on, let’s get your financial stuff together. I’ll even help you –right now! Here’s a 5 step plan I’ve put together to help you face your financial fears (because you can’t ignore your bank account forever…):


#1 – Look at Your Accounts

YES! You have to look at your checking account! Come on, what did you think I was going to say? You came here to learn how to get over your fear of your finances, right? Okay then, you gotta do this.

No more ignoring, because ignoring your account for weeks is a ridiculous thing to anyway.

And I’m *literally* laughing as I say that because I DID IT! I was the girl who ignored her checking account.

For weeks.

After buying a pair of $89 BCBG shoes I couldn’t afford for homecoming week in college.

And you know what? I was also the girl crying on the phone in with her Dad in the middle of the Bank of America lobby (true story), begging him to wire me some money because I had overdrawn my account by FIVE HUNDRED ($500!!!) dollars.

So yeah. I’ve been there.

That’s what ignoring your account will get you. Now be a big girl, open up another tab in your browser and log into your bank & credit card accounts. Yup, pull those bad boys up. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. (*said in my Kat Williams voice*…)


#2 – Find Out How Much You Spend

If you’re anything like I was, looking at your accounts probably just made you a little sick. That’s okay. I’m done with my “tough love” stance for now because you did it. You looked at your accounts! And I really want to encourage you.

Before we go any further, really take in your account — all the charges, all the purchases you are kicking yourself for making, all those late & overdraft fees — and forgive yourself. Do take note of your mistakes so you don’t repeat them, but no need to beat yourself up. What’s done is done and now we’re moving forward.

Okay, so now that you’ve looked at your account, you need to figure out how much you spend. Not what you think you spend, but what you actually spend. You can do this in one of two ways: [Read more...]

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9 Simple Ways to Have More Time to Work on Your Dreams

more-time-for-dreams

One of the top questions I get (besides “How did you get your hair like that?” and “What hair products do you use?” ;-) ) is “How do you find the time to work on your dreams?”

Two years ago, I used to ask the same question.  As a new grad who was just getting into the rhythm of working a full-time job, I felt completely overwhelmed at the thought of making time for my goals. Then when I got engaged, finding the time to do anything for myself seemed even more impossible.

Yet at the beginning of this year, I made a commitment.

January 2014, even though I had just gotten married and now had to manage a relatively new job AND a new husband, I decided that enough was enough. If I didn’t commit to going after my dreams then, when would I?

Life was only going to get busier — I would never “have the time.” At the beginning of this year, I realized I would have to make the time instead.

And that’s what I’ve been doing! As 2014 winds to a close, I look back on everything I’ve been able to accomplish and I’m genuinely happy with my progress. I’ve grown this blog, met some amazing people, and in two weeks, I’m even hosting my first Think & Grow Chick event! Below is a summary of the top 9 ways I’ve been able to “do it all”:


1. Get up earlier. It stinks, but there is just no way around it. For the past 3 or 4 years I’ve been getting up at 5am, 6am at the absolute latest. The latest I let myself sleep in on Saturdays is 7:30am, but I still shoot for 6am. I’ve found that if I do the important stuff first in the morning, even if I don’t finish it, I have a much better, less stressful day. How long is your commute and how long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Subtract that time, plus 30 minutes from the time you start work or school and start getting up at that time. As soon as you wake up, spend the first 30 minutes working on your goals, no excuses. Set a timer if you have to. Then get dress, and head off to the rest of your day!

2. Plan for the week, on the weekend. I don’t know about you, but if my household is crazy during the week then I almost never work on my goals because I’m so disorganized and distracted. To beat this, I get up early on Saturday, spend the first few hours working on my goals, then I clean up, do laundry/pick out clothes to wear to work next week, come up with a meal plan, go grocery shopping, and try to cook as much as I can ahead of time. By Sunday, my goal is to have the house clean, dinners prepped, work lunches packed, clothes washed and ironed, and work outfits chosen. This allows me to hit the ground running come Monday and work on my personal goals without worrying about basic stuff (what am I eating tonight? What should I wear tomorrow? etc.). This also helps with getting up earlier.

3. Schedule “goal” time. If there is something you really need to work on, put it on your calendar. It seems silly but if you treat it like any other appointment it will get done. During the weekend when you are planning for the upcoming week (see above), look at all the things you have to do and take note of the windows of free time you have.  Do you have an hour on Thursdays between classes? Or how about those two hours you usually spend vegging out when you first get home from work? Identify those times and schedule “goal time” in your calendar.
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My Advice to Aspiring Bloggers + How I Got Started: My Feature on SheRunsIt.net

she-runs-it-interview

Today I’m excited to share my recent interview with Jamie-Fleming Dixon of SheRunsIt.net! During this interview, Jamie goes in-depth with me about how I got started blogging, how I manage my blog while working full-time, my best tips for aspiring bloggers and more! Here’s a clip of the interview:

[Jamie] How did you get started blogging?

[Me] I originally started blogging as a way to promote a little business I started in college. A friend from school and I started a natural hair product company called Material Gurl Beauty after listening to a presentation Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter gave to the business school on campus. Inspired by Lisa Price’s story and confident that we could do somthing similar given our majors (at the time, I was a Chemical Engineering major, and my friend was a Chemistry major), we set out to put Carol’s Daughter out of business! That summer, we ended up spending all of our internship money on raw ingredients (shea and cocoa butter, oils, etc.) to sell the products and had no money left for marketing. Intrigued by these little websites popping up online called blogs, I figured I could start a blog as a way to promote our products and meet potential customers. Very quickly, I ended up getting pretty good at blogging and connecting with others online. People were commenting, saying they enjoyed my writing, so I kept at it. Eventually, our little hair product business fell by the wayside, but I continued blogging. About two years after ending Material Gurl Beauty and the blog that went with it, I got the idea to start Think & Grow Chick.

How did you choose your niche of personal development?

Since about 15- or 16-years-old, I have been a complete personal development junkie. I love the idea of using your life as an experiment to get better in things that are important to you over time. As for blogging about personal development, I realized there weren’t a lot of young, African-American female bloggers discussing personal development in a way that resonated with our community. I noticed there were a plethora of blogs that helped women achieve goals related to their hair or fashion, but not many that were addressing the total woman. While hair and fashion are fun, I was really looking for a community of like-minded women who could inspire me to improve my whole self. Since I was really looking for that voice and couldn’t find it, I decided I would step up to the plate and be that voice! Personal development is something I’m eternally passionate about, so I feel really fortunate to be able to share my ideas in this niche.

How do you balance your day job with blogging?

This is very tough, and something I’m actively working on. The three biggest things that have allowed me to maintain balance are…

…you’ll have to check out SheRunsIt.net for the rest! Click here to read the rest of the interview.


P.S.

Are you a blogger? Would you like more blogging tips from me? Tell me what you’d like to learn from me in the comments and I will share in a future post.

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B-Side Mastermind: Monthly Meeting #8 (October)

b side meeting 8

Hello and welcome to The B-Side, a mastermind group for entrepreneurial women! On the first of each month, I share my business-related goals, challenges, and triumphs while inviting you to do the same! I’d love for you to join me; you can learn more about participating by clicking here.

I won’t even say “Wow, this month went by fast!” because you already know that! Every month goes by fast. So let’s get on with the goals, shall we?

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My Daily Affirmations for Beating Fear and Self-Sabotage

my-daily-affirmations

Hey Think & Grow Chicks!

Today is a quick post (well, “quick” for me…) where I’m sharing something I started up recently: affirmations.

I got the idea to start saying morning affirmations at the beginning of this year to keep me focused on my goals, but as time went on, I kinda let them fall by the wayside.

But now as I enter this season of stepping out of faith, pushing beyond my comfort zone, and truly going after my dreams, I realize how much mental junk I have threatening to hold me back!

Just the other day, I was journaling in a free-write, “stream of consciousness” way after my morning prayer time and the craziest thing came up — fear.

As I was writing about all the big plans I have for my business in the next coming months and all the things I needed to do, out of nowhere I started writing about how my temptation to self-sabotage comes from a place of protection! All the irrational, self-defeating behaviors I am tempted to do every time I get close to my goal is actually my subconscious’s way of trying to protect me. Through my most recent journaling session, I realized that somewhere in the back of my head, there is still a very real presence of fear.

Fear that my upcoming event will flop.

Fear that I will never be able to make enough money doing what I love.

Fear that I don’t really have what it takes.

Fear that I will miss my purpose and end up living an average, unfulfilled life.

When there is a part of you, however small, that believes all of the above fears are true, you’ll find yourself doing crazy things to prevent yourself from making those fears come true.

The sad part is you end up sabotaging yourself for no reason because all those fears swimming around in our heads are not true. They just aren’t. We aren’t protecting ourselves from something that is real, we are blocking our success for something that is false.

So how do you beat a lie? Easy: with the truth. This is why I decided to get serious about saying affirmations everyday (in addition to praying and reading scripture). I want to fortify my mind with the truth!

To me, that’s all an affirmation is (or at least should be): a compelling statement of truth. I know a lot of people say affirmations to force “the universe” to give them everything they want in life but I think this is incorrect. I don’t say affirmations to force my will because I know that God is both the creator and controller of the universe. Whether I like it or not, all things operate according to His will. (Lamentations 3:37)

Instead, I say affirmations to remind me of the truth because it is the truth, and the truth only, that sets me free! When you believe something is true, you live you life according to that belief. If you believe lies — I’m not good enough, I can’t do it, I have no purpose, I’m ugly, my life sucks, no one really loves me — then you will live a lie.

Yet if you believe the truth…

My Daily Affirmations

The following are affirmations I now say daily to remind myself of my purpose.

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