I recently got a comment on my Ballin On A Budget post and I realized I never did the follow-up post to that so here it is, 4 Money Management Apps You Need. You do not need them all but make sure you at least have 2 of these on your phone now-all FREE.
1. Mint- They should cut me a check some time soon because I swear I am their biggest advocate! I have used Mint for a while to check my spending and accounts all in one place. See more about Mint and why I love it in an earlier post, Simply Mint to Be. This is a great visual alternative to a manual budget, but the same amount of work is required if you want to get the best use of the app.
2. Credit Karma- Credit Karma is a great app to have because it makes monitoring your credit score/overall credit status easy. You do not need a computer, you do not need to wait a whole year to get it free, and you do not have to be surprised. Too often a credit score is a scary topic for some and a great way to get out of that mindset is awareness. Your credit score is something you want to monitor, just like you watch your money. Even if your on a road of financial recovery it would be a great feeling to watch your score go up, do not wait. Having this app on your phone makes it that much easier. It provides your credit score (approximate), tips, credit utilization, credit status, and almost everything on your credit report. The good thing here is it isn’t an app you have to look at daily, but monthly, so why not?
Networking can be nerve-racking! A motivational quote to remember what really matters anyone? Networking is about making a connection, but getting there people struggle with. You essentially have to approach a total stranger and figure out how to spark a viable conversation without any background. It can be tough and the brighter side is you’re not alone.
I still freeze up and revert back to my comfort zone, my friends. But, at the San Francisco Fashion Week reception a light bulb clicked for me. I knew I decided to attend SFFW because I wanted to network with other bloggers/fashionistas in the SF Bay Area. I knew if I walked out of that event having zero new contacts I would feel like a total failure. The pressure was on and with a clear goal, a good friend, a glass of wine, and a plan, I finally got the job done.
I approached a few ladies I had previously spoken to on Instagram but never met in person, and the others I simply approached with a ‘I like that” statement. Once the ice is broken the conversation takes off and it is your job to keep it going, if you want. I have put together a few quick tips of my own and from the awesome career website The Muse to help you upgrade your networking skills.
1. Have a goal– Before committing to attend an event/mixer consider why you need to go and turn that into a goal. If you need to meet some folks in the finance industry set out to meet at least 3 of these people. This helps you hold yourself accountable.
Can you imagine making your own make-up and saving that $50 dollars you spend ever so often? Well that’s what entrepreneur Grace Choi wants to make a reality for all women. Her product, Mink, will allow you to create your make-up at home. All you will need is: a printer, vegetable based ink, white/un-dyed make-up base (powder, lipstick, creams,foundation), containers, and tools. Just listing this sounds daunting honestly, but I am so intrigued by this awesome woman.
After reading the Business Insider article I was inspired to do some more research. I have picked out what we can learn from her and why I she rocks. Catch her video to see the concept in action below.
c/o-Business Insider via Grace Choi Vimeo
What Can We Learn
1. Gain knowledge early on
She had entrepreneurial influences since she was a child and when she reached adulthood she had multiple mentors. Having an understanding of business early on is a great seed to begin planting those thoughts. When you have been privy to ownership in action you get an itch for it and I think this helps you in your own business planning. Also, mentors are key as I mentioned previously, you will need people who believe in you to achieve your dream. I recommend getting your hands on some books if you haven’t found the right person. From her story I see that having a good foundation can help.
2. Do not settle and do not quit
One of the things that intrigued me about Grace was she did not settle, at all. Her degree was in something totally different and after she realized Hotel Administration was not going to work for her, she didn’t just stick with for the hell of it. She had multiple jobs but once they didn’t work for she left. I admire that she did not depend on a job for her career, she made her own lane. Fulfillment is key to your career happiness and commitment to it, if you’re not fulfilled why stay? I think we can learn that fear and comfortability should not hinder you. Do not be afraid to find what will make you happy. I do not know what her money situation is and that was one of my questions. How could she just up and quit and still make a living? What about my responsibilities? These thoughts are fueled by fear and whatever your situation my be I suggest making a way when there is none.
3. identifying a problem then find the solution
The second thing that intrigued me was her outlook on the beauty industry in America. “I felt pretty insignificant when there was no Asian Cover model… America is supposed to be progressive” Grace Choir via Bus Insider. I could easily replace Asian with African-American and it becomes a problem I have as well. I think a great way to start your next big thing is to look inside first to realize what’s not working for you, more than likely a ton of people in the world are thinking the same thing. The key to entrepreneurship is fixing a problem for the masses. Once she found a problem she was passionate about she went to work on a solution .
I’ll be writing about everything budget related this month and I am super excited to share. To start, I will give a quick guide on how to set-up and maintain your budget.
Why Have a Budget
I created a budget to keep track of my funds. I like to shop, a lot, and this is a bad habit when you also want to save for a house, car, or whatever. I needed something I could visually see that captured the big picture and just looking at your bank account doesn’t cut it. The best thing you can do to start your road to financial success is understand where every dollar goes. Like the cliché saying, when you know better you do better, and this applies to your money management as well. I did not create a budget to restrict myself from buying what I wanted. I created a budget to better align my spending with my goals. With a budget I can see, and it has helped me with my money management tremendously.
What to Use
I created my budget using Google Doc’s spreadsheets (see here) and example below. I used this tool instead excel or word because I could easily update my budget at any time and not have to go to my email/computer to pull a copy. There is also a Google sheets app (download here) that you can have on your phone or iPad which features an offline mode option for editing on the go. The tool is just like excel and pretty easy to use on all devices.
How I Set-up a Budget
I’m the nice girl who is always smiling, does SOX work, and usually wearing something interesting. This is how I’m known at my current company and even in my earlier company. I’ve come to this conclusion by just aggregating what people know me as and these were always mentioned. Now if you ask my boss he would say the smart girl, the hard worker who he can always depend on to get the job done. How would you rather be known by the people in your company?
Me personally I would like a few of both; online and offline skills that are key to climbing the success latter. Currently, I’m caught in a flow that started in the beginning of my career that is slowing this progression. I come in and make friends while quietly getting my work done to the best of my ability. I’m not running to the front of the line saying look at this or constantly asking questions. I’m not claiming I am the best or taking on way to much work just to please everyone. I’m not saying any of these traits are bad, do not get me wrong, but for me they have never been a path option. My thoughts are the right people know what I can do, and this has gotten me where I want to be. So there you have it, I’m known for what I show, but a question is what about what I didn’t show? What if I could be way further in my career if everyone knew how hard I worked? How many other projects would have been offered to me?
So I’m pretty sure there are other emerging young women in my shoes who want to be known for that mix of everything great. I’ve gathered thoughts from my peers, managers, mentors, and personal thoughts to put together this list. This list is a get starter kit to develop the identity (work brand) you want while making yourself known in your workplace.
It’s time for you to head back home from your dreamy vacation, and as you sit in the airport two things may cross your mind: I miss my bed and crap I have to go back to work. Let’s be honest, how many times have you had work blues? For me, I found myself having the blues even after a long weekend which isn’t all that healthy.
As a working woman your ‘breaks’ have to be earned and they aren’t even as long as they used to be, who said growing up was fun? You can easily develop a unhealthy stigma about work after a vacation because sometimes all the great things you experience during that time are not present in your everyday life. What I am referring to is the 2-3 week recovery period you need to get back in the work groove. This can eventually take away from your itch to take those adventures. But, have you ever asked yourself why do you need that long, why can’t my life be as blissful everyday, or why aren’t I happy to go back to work? I did and when I took a step further to get these answers I was able to apply them coming back from my last trip. I was able to come back to work with my vacation glow/tan and jump right in, smiling. It’s a week later and I still have that smile as I sit at my desk even though my tan is gone :-(.
I put together 5 ways to avoid the work blues after returning from your vacation that truly helped me hit the ground running, check them out below.
1. “Live” and Be Present– A key to everyday happiness is to be present in what’s going on at that moment on that day. When I got back from vacation I fully came back mentally and realized my new now was San Francisco and not Rome. This helped me change my mindset upfront to focus on what was the now. I did not dwell, but rather reminisce and tried to bring my vacations thoughts full circle. Wholeheartedly living in the now, being present, and accepting what is true for you in that day will help you stay focused. Yes it’s true you are back at work, let’s be here and beast through your work like no one every expected. Who needs an extra week, live now.
If you have a couple of years or even a couple of months under your belt in your career there are a few things you should try an avoid. The list is simple to remember and tough to execute, but a consistent attack on these will help you in the long run.
1. Comparing your path with your colleagues or peers– A key thing to remind yourself of on a daily basis is your path is going to be unlike anyone else’s. Your divine life plan has been developed for you and you only. Consistently investing your energy into someone else’s salary, promotion, or job title is an easy way to lose focus.