Making Strategic Money Decisions During Pressurizing Times: Tips From Money Educator Kara Stevens

I had the privilege of chatting with Kara Stevens Money Educator and Essence Magazine Career & Money Columnist, and it was such a breath of fresh air to my pockets! I am not sure about you but I have felt as if I am in a box full of information and recommendations all about money. While this conversation is fantastic because it means we have become cognizant of some of our weaknesses as it pertains to our finances, I think we need clear direction! Kara shared, “First things first START WHERE YOU ARE!” This was so important because many people think the conversation about money begins with something magical and huge! It begins where you are. It begins with what you are doing with your money currently. There are modest changes we can make that can impact our overall financial situation in real-time, but it does mean sacrificing.

SHOPPING YOUR FEELINGS Kara suggests we unsubscribe from those retail shopping sites and apps and un-attach our credit cards, and this is a FACT! I actually made an executive decision during the holiday season to uninstall AMAZON! I KNOW, you are rolling your eyes and probably thinking, NAH! However, this has saved me from spending a ton of money on unnecessary items. This has forced me to be more intentional about what I buy because I am now forced to access it from my computer, rather than in my bed at night or on the couch bored. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, Kara suggests shopping your closet. Take a close look at what you have and what you have not worn in a long time and remember why you loved the item in the first place. It's time we circle back to believing that we have all the THINGS we need! GROOMING AND BEAUTY Listen, this is the area of our finances where we can save significant money, especially during this time. Taking a trip to the hairdresser, your nail tech, the lash lady and Sephora is, literally, an effortless gateway to save money. For many of us, these pleasantries are easily the cost of a car payment monthly. Consider how you can cut costs in this department (even after COVID). Many times over, we feel there are no areas where we can pull money and save, however, this is not always the case. Those brunch dates we go on with our girls regularly and daily Starbucks runs are easy avenues where we can save money. EMOTIONALLY EATING I hear you sis! These are vacillating times and with so many areas of our lives feeling hijacked by a mysterious virus, we are undoubtedly concerned and full of anxiety. However, if we keep up this pattern, we have officially begun to finance our feelings. Emotionally eating equates frequent trips to the grocery store, which means MORE MONEY! Limit the amount of food you eat. No, this does not mean starve yourself, but this does mean, consider planning your meals, utilizing a shopping list and purchasing what you NEED. Additionally, removing ourselves from the drive-thru and carryout lines will help us save as well. You will have to catch the entire conversation on Instagram Live (you have about 15 hours) to find out more of the tips Kara shared and why it's important for us to hunker down and think more strategically about our finances. I leave you with this: Kara shared, we should be the sexy turtle! The reality is no one wants to be the turtle. It's believed to be moving at a speed of molasses and it's not as vibrant and popular as all the other animals. However, when you change your mindset, you understand the value in the Slow and Steady Progress Process, and you value the journey. Mama’s there are no get-rich-quick solutions to life. However, with slow and steady work, we can appreciate the progression, and we will have a beautiful story to tell that will lift up the next woman.

Signed, A Sexy Turtle!