How to achieve your goals

Which goals do you wish to accomplish? What are the dreams you have? Take some time, and think about what dreams you have. Dreams for today, dreams for tomorrow, and dreams for the long term…

Well, you need to know that a lot of goals and dreams do not require having a lot of money at all. To give you an example, you may want to pay a visit to one of your friends who is living a couple of miles away. Well, just take a day off and go… Or maybe you’re dreaming about spending some extra time with your relatives or family.

Perhaps you could take them out for a great picnic in the forest instead of having dinner at home. This kind of goals and dreams won’t cost you a fortune, but they actually are really worthwhile.

Fulfilling some other dreams or accomplishing some other goals do require some money though. Maybe you’re dreaming about things like:

  • Buying or renting a house in a safer neighborhood that has some good schools
  • Having a reliable car
  • Setting up your own small business
  • Dealing with your debt: pay it off!
  • Getting a better education. Improve your skills, earn a GED, or go to college

Education is among the best ways to bridge poverty gaps. One of my favorite websites is www.BestGEDClasses.com, they help people to improve their life by providing free GED lessons, so people can get their High School diploma.

Now how will you succeed in making your dreams and goals come true? Well, a determination is key, but so is self-respect and self-belief and understanding that you are deserving the life that you’ve always dreamed about. (more…)

Volunteering at the City of Fresno Area Food Bank

I just got a letter from a friend of mine who went to study in Fresno, California. He participated in a volunteer project at the City of Fresno Area Food Bank this month with some of his fellow Humanics scholars. He told me this was an awesome experience and I would like to share his story with you!

He wrote: “Along with a local church group, we were required to either pack tomato sauces, pack plums, or pack backpacks. Teamwork was key in all sections since we would all be working together to achieve the same goals. I, along with the other Humanics scholars, started off with the tomato sauces.”

“We each grabbed a bag of tomato sauce from one box and moved it to another. We did the separately for a while until I noticed that as we got lower into the box or the tomato sauces were further away, we started to really utilize our teamwork skills.”

“Sure, we were all doing the same thing to meet the same objectives, but when we started passing the tomato sauces to one another so that we don’t each individually move as much, that’s when I realized that THIS was teamwork!”

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Awesome, but Undesirable

My own history of almost is marked by intense romantic encounters with males who quickly and inexplicably disappeared, so any opportunity to air my grievances is a welcome one. The biggest question on my mind is how to live with a nearly constant feeling of interruptus whenever premature death so frequently mars promising romantic encounters.

There was the composition student in grad school who invited me to his dorm room after a concert where we stayed up all night listening to dark, ambient music and discussing whether art music was continuing to develop or whether, like disco and thrash metal, it had died.

Just three days later, he would be pacing in nervous expectation when I was running late to go out to dinner with him. He would hug or kiss me, even in mid-sentence, and couldn’t stop smiling when I sat down next to him in class.

There were the professional clown and stuntman from New Jersey who would play word games with me for hours on end and excitedly showed my picture to his best friend before we had even met. I had made him a silly jar that referenced one of our earliest conversations (a long-running joke about how to use a jar as a motivational tool) and he had kept it in a place of honor in his apartment.

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True Couponing – Confessions of a Coupon Addict

First, let me start off saying that couponing has helped my family save thousands over the past 3 years. Without true couponing, I would not know what to do.

However, I think we have gone overboard in recent months. Here is how I know we have gone astray:

Calculate the Monthly Budget/Spending

I usually calculate the budget spending for the month and we have gone over the allotment for the last 5 months. At first, I thought it was just the increase in grocery prices, but as I looked closely at the receipts it was much more.

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Step Up For Students, Slaves to the Money

Most people know someone who’s been adversely affected by considerable student debt. Over 41 million Americans are, in total, carrying a crippling $1.4 trillion in student loans. So let’s step up for students, the true slaves to the money.

This burden is an obstruction for families, careers, employment, dreams, or retirement. On the other hand, Wall Street, together with Uncle Sam, have made huge lots of money off the student debt crisis.

So how did we get to this point? Who made the most profit and in what way did they do it?

Many investigative reporters have dug into this problem and profiled affected persons. Let’s see how it all started. Sallie Mae was originally a government-sponsored corporation, partly led by public officials. Initially, Sallie Mae was set up to help create a marketplace for federal-issued student debt.

After the organization was privatized, however, Sallie Mae turned into a for-profit, full-service corporation that got totally involved in the industry of student loans, from issuing student loans to operating debt-collection bureaus. So we replaced a well-functioning program that helped students get a college education with something that has that purpose only as a secondary goal. The most important goal for a for-profit institution is, understandably, the company’s bottom line.

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Captured Memories – The Power of Smell

I’m not a perfume kind of gal, but if it came in Eau du Gingerbread, I might be tempted to spray a fine spray over me as I head out each day. This post is about my captured memories, the power of smelly cookies!

I had the next best thing this past week courtesy of my friend, Heather Grills, who had just returned home from Williamsburg, Va. Thanks to Heather’s Facebook posts, I got to re-live my own visits to a beloved place, a town rich in history that reminded me of my own: days spent growing up in Norfolk, summers at Virginia Beach and regular school field trips to Williamsburg and Yorktown and Monticello and other historic destinations easily within a day’s drive.

All of those experiences and the memories of my father, his parents and siblings who’s roots were Southern through and through can be summed up in one sensory experience for me: the gingerbread cookies from the Williamsburg bakery. I immediately requested a cookie souvenir from Heather’s trip and she came through. Thanks, Heather!

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Tips for Lowering your Monthly Bills

Living frugally was not an easy thing for me to do at first, but now I think it is the best decision that I have ever made. I am always trying to think of new ways to save money. So this time I decided to see if I could get my monthly bills lowered such as cable, cell phone, alarm system, and energy bill. So let’s check out these tips for lowering your monthly bills.

Cell Phone

So, I started with my cell phone company to see if there was any way that I could get my rate lowered or get some extra bonus minutes. This took several hours and repeat phone calls, but in the end, it worked out very well in my favor.

I told the customer service representative that I could no longer afford to pay over $65.00 a month for my service (mind you that my contract is set to expire next month) and in order to continue with the service, I needed a discount because the prepaid plans are so much cheaper with the same features. After haggling back and forth and threatening to cancel my service she finally gave me a 20% discount with extra minutes.

Total savings per year $156

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Me, the Frugal Chick – Tips for a Frugal Lifestyle

To make sense of all the financial turmoil swirling around us today would take way more than the average citizen can comprehend.  Regardless, one thing that everyone can think through today is under the title “Frugal Living”. So listen to me, the Frugal Chick and my Tips for a Frugal Lifestyle for students.

As we hear some say that, in order to get out of debt we must first go further in debt, common sense would say just the opposite. That is the purpose of this article; to get us to think frugally.

To the common, everyday man or woman on the street, it appears that many corporations and banks are deemed “too big to fail” and thereby get a “helping hand” from good old Uncle Sam. But what about you and me? I think most would agree that, in the big picture, we are pretty much on our own. So, let’s take a look at what we can do to stave off the pending “adjustments” that are sure to come.  Consider carefully part one of 8 tips for a more frugal lifestyle:

1 Stop spending

The best thing to do is: stop going any further into debt! No matter what some in “leadership” have to say to the contrary, we do not “spend our way out of debt”. That is only for the big boys and time will tell if that will work. Meanwhile, you and I need to be “getting our ducks in a row” and stop the spending NOW! Maybe you know someone that has either had their hours cut back at work, wages reduced and overtime gone away or, worse than that, lost their job.  It would do you well to begin trimming back before that should come knocking at your door.

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Job Benefits: Education and Retirement

Just imagine that all your training or college expenses are paid for… Well, this may happen when your company offers education benefits.

If you want to break away from the ongoing cycle of badly-paying jobs, in-demand skills are what you should focus on, and the only way to get there is through continuing education. So if you have an employer that is helping to pay for your education, head back to school and start learning for the ACT or SAT exam, or if you had a long break from education, take the GED test.

Your employer’s education benefits may vary from paying for certain costs to a maximum per year to picking up the full tuition tab for training related to your position. Employers may also opt to furnish a percentage of your education costs or subsidize a set amount of money. Regardless of what benefits your employer offers, you should really take advantage of these options. Check also:

GED programs in Michigan

I’m sure it will pay off in the future, and in many ways. What’s important is that it allows you to grow continually, and it will provide you with the tools to turn your dreams into reality. (more…)

Celebrating Father’s Day

What a Weekend!

Yard sale – June is unofficially moving month in the military, at least for the USMC. One good thing about moving often is the opportunity to purge your clutter. I’m not moving, but many people in my neighborhood are, so it happened that about 20 houses our housing area held yard sales today, so I joined in for the chance get rid of some stuff and make cash so I could buy bargains on new-to-me stuff at the other sales.

If you’ve ever held a yard sale you know it’s a lot of work, sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s not. Today’s definitely was but I was tired. Then I had committed to play in the Kick for a Cure Charity Soccer Tournament.

Kick for a Cure Charity Soccer Tournament – Last weekend a good friend said someone I was acquainted with and that she knows well was looking for players for this tournament and asked ME of all people if I’d do it. She said if I did it, she would too. May I say, we are both in our mid-thirties and neither of us has ever played soccer in our lives. The only time I set foot on a pitch is to walk to the other side and set up my chairs, popup tent and cooler to spectate my kids’ games.

But, it was for a good cause and an opportunity to go do something I’ve never done before. Sadly, because I was planning on doing the yard sale, I wasn’t able to make it to the first game for Team Micah.  But after I wrapped up the yard sale I was able to head out for the second game. It was lots of fun and I’m so glad I have this experience. My horizons are expanding as I type.

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IDA accounts part 2

In general, IDA’s are managed by local community organizations, and IDA accounts are usually held at local financial institutions, for example, a bank or a credit union. Every participant will receive education on budgeting and saving, but also topics like how to clean up credit. The programs’ length or the sort of training that participants receive may vary.

When the time has come to use the IDA fund, the IDA administrator will write a check to the recipient, such as a college, a title company, or a business equipment vendor, and you’re all good to go. It’s not only that your IDA deposits will be matched so your account will grow rapidly, you will also get financially experienced in the process.

While you build up your IDA savings account to reach your goals, you will also be learning how to deal with money, how to set up a financial plan, and how to develop your finance skills. (more…)

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