Some may say it is too early, but this month is a great time to start mapping out 4th quarter spending. This is one of the most expensive quarters of the year, and for many it includes extensive holiday shopping for both dinners and gifts.
Easy Ways to Save for the Holidays
The holidays are a special time of year for sharing good cheer, great food and generous gifts with the ones we love. But before you head over to the nearest shopping mall or plan that extravagant holiday party, consider how you could save some cash this holiday season.
Here are a few ways to keep your spending in order from now through December:
1. Set a holiday spending budget
When it comes to the word “budget” many people often think of complicated spreadsheets and restrictions, but that doesn’t have to be the case. A budget will help you set boundaries on your spending and ensure there no surprises at the end of the year. No matter how big or small your holiday spending budget, make sure it is realistic. Shop around to find the best price for what you are looking for.
2. Plan your shopping-make a list
Shopping for the ones you love may lead to overspending. To help avoid going over budget make a shopping list. On your list include the individuals you plan to shop for and a budget for each person. This will also help you narrow down who really needs a gift and who could receive a special phone call or card instead. You can actually get very granular and add the actual gift to leave no room for overspending.
3. Start early
Many holiday deals start following Veterans’ Day. This year in the US Veteran’s day will be observed on November 12th. Don’t miss out on savings by waiting until the last minute to do your shopping. Starting early will help you stick to your shopping list and allow you to shop around for the best deal.
4. Unused gift cards
Check in your wallet to see if you have either unused gift card or several with small balances. These may be a way you can fund a gift. Example: Small balances on several Starbucks gift cards may be enough to get a gift for a coworker.
Remember, making your money stretch during the holidays comes down to preparation. If you set your budget, make a plan and start early you can avoid excessive spending and bring in the New Year stress free when it comes to your money.
Lastly, a great gift to help encourage young people to be more financially literate, is my book It’$ My Money... A guided journal to help your finances. Click here to purchase your copy.
Need more tips on making your money work for you? Sign up for the It’$ My Money™ Newsletter.
Hi! I’m Patrina Dixon, author of the It’$ My Money™ Journal and co-author of Entrepreneurship: My Story, Your Guide. Many of our young people are spending and borrowing without knowing that interest builds up, or that credit cards aren't free money. It's my mission to change that!
In the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to share the It’$ My Money™ Journal with teens and adults across the country, and recently internationally, introducing them to concepts like budgeting, saving, investments and more. As the It’$ My Money brand continues to grow I am constantly meeting new people online and in person and wanted to take this opportunity to re-introduce myself.
So What Does It’$ My Money Really Mean?
It’$ My Money is an affirmation that your money, dollars, coins, duckers, bills or whatever you call it, is yours. It is yours and you have made it your mission to handle it wisely. Depending on where you are in your journey with money, maybe you have decided to save, budget, invest, purchase real estate whatever it is you have said - “It’$ My Money” and I am going to start this path of making it “move” in the best possible way for me and my family.
Click here to learn more about my books
How Can I Serve You?
Through my books, interviews, workshops and one on one sessions I empower people of all ages to take care of their finances. I am a Certified Financial Education Instructor, International Speaker and Award-Winning Author. I am also a member of the Black Speakers Network and a 100 Women of Color Honoree for 2018. In addition, I’ve appeared in various print publications, as well as tv and radio broadcasts. I love to share valuable information families can use right away to pursue financial freedom.
As an advocate of financial literacy I have a passion for serving my community and use my company, P. Dixon Consulting, LLC to offer money management strategies to people of all ages. In addition, I’ve led Hartford’s Financially Fit community event and enjoyed my role as a Virtual Teacher for Nepris.
My goal is to guide my clients toward financial independence by shaping their spending and saving behaviors. Each interaction I have, online or in person, allows me to achieve that goal!
I hope this post allowed you to learn a little more about me and I invite you to follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Soundcloud to continue following It’$ My Money journey!
If you’re interested in working with me for financial workshops for youth or adults email email@example.com.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take It’$ My Money international! I received an invitation from St. Jude’s School for Girls in Trinidad and Tobago to share It’$ My Money with 20 young ladies ages 17 and 18. St. Jude’s is a residential program that serves 50 local displaced girls. My goal for this trip was to enrich the lives of the students, allowing them to become financial scholars as they increase their application of financial tools through specific action steps. Over the course of 2 days I taught 4 workshops in which the girls received completion certificates and an autographed copy of my book.
Taniqua Hugley, a US Fulbright Researcher, played a major role in making this happen. She and I connected frequently for months going over plans, schedule, and the traits of the girls which helped me ensure the material was relevant and timely for those girls who would attend the sessions. Ultimately the trip was a huge success and the girls were so engaged. When our time together ended they gave me a thank you card and a Trini bag filled with local goods. The director of the program even requested that I come back next year. I’m thrilled to share this experience so keep reading to learn more about my trip!
Travel & Lodging
My intern accompanied me on the trip and this was her first time outside of the U.S. We had a direct flight from JFK airport to Trinidad on JetBlue airlines. Once we arrived in Trinidad we had the opportunity to stay on the UWI campus compliments of Trinity College. Maxi Taxi and H Taxis are common modes of transportation on the island. My intern and I had the most hospitable private transportation to and from airport and to the beach from Mr. (Uncle) Tony. He is a 13 year employee of Trinity College. We also truly enjoyed our hostess Ms. Hugley. This trip gave my intern an opportunity to have hands-on experience with an entrepreneur debuting her business and mission internationally. She helped prepare the materials and presentations for the girls and was the photographer.
Dining & Culture
I spent some time on the trip immersing in the Trinidadian culture. In Napa we had the awesome opportunity to sit in a Steel Pan Drum rehearsal with Akua Leith and the National Steel Symphony Orchestra which was very fun since the steel pan originated in Trinidad. We also visited the “Outlook” for a great view of Trinidad and Maracas Beach.
The meals in Trinidad were also memorable. We had dinner at Veni Mangi’ on The Ave, Bake and Shark from Richards at Maracas Beach which was my favorite meal, chicken roti, authentic Trinidadian Chinese, doubles and much more. Sorrel and Shandy were popular drinks on the island as well as coconut juice straight out of the coconut. Pepsi and KFC tasted very different than it does in the states. We drank lots of tea and bottled water. I must also mention that I am a huge basketball fan and the NBA Finals were taking place during my trip. Luckily, I was able to watch the 1st half of game 3 of the finals on “The Ave” on a large screen and comfy chairs with my Shandy (a soft drink made from a flower).
Budget & Sponsors:
The entire trip came in under budget by TT$262 ($37 US) - YES #practicewhatyoupreach
These young ladies would not have the opportunity to gain all the personal finance knowledge through the It’$ My Money workshops had it not been for the generous financial sponsorships from:
We THANK YOU!!! I want to also thank my supportive family, my mom, my husband and my daughter.
Y’all I can now add I am an International Speaker. I am still in awe and very humbled by my journey. I truly love that my works is helping many people, now all over the world.
Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category according to Forbes. Right after a lofty mortgage many consumers are paying high interest rates on large student loans. Even students with well paying jobs complain of high student loan payments and not much way around it.
Who created ChangeEd?
Nick Sky and Dan Stelmach are brothers who made it their mission to attack student loan debt head on. They created ChangEd to help student loan borrowers manage their loans more effectively. According to their website, ChangEd makes paying off your student loans effortless by rounding up your everyday purchases to the next dollar and setting aside your spare change for principal payments. This simple change can save up to $10,00 in interest over time according to ChangEd creators Nick and Dan.
Many millennials find themselves staying at home longer or being forced to live with a roommate in order to make ends meet. The average undergraduate has $23,000 in student loans and the number is even higher for students who pursue masters, doctorates and more advanced degrees.
Nick and Dan, the creators of ChangEd understand these statistics all too well. Their own battle with student loan debt led to their research into the topic and ultimately the creation of the app.
How does it work?
ChangEd connects securely to your bank account. The technology will then determine your spending habits and transfer the change left over from your purchases to your FDIC insured ChangEd account. When the balance on that account equals $100, the app sends a payment to your loan provider automatically. It’s that simple! The app even allows to view your loan payment progress on your ChangEd dashboard.
For most people student loan debt is a part of life, but you don’t have to make it complicated. Visit gochanged.com to learn more about how you can use this tool to kickstart your loan payoff journey.
April is Financial Literacy Month and I am happy to share countless resources for you and your family to take control of your financial future. Financial literacy is defined as the possession of the set of skills and knowledge which allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources. These money management skills and habits are very important and are generally set by the age of 7, according to a study by Cambridge University.
So what can you do to make sure your child isn’t left behind when it comes to their finances?
Teach them early.
The earlier a child learns what it takes to save and earn more, the larger advantage they will have over their peers. There are tons of resources available to teachers and parents to teach financial literacy at any age. Some of my personal favorite resources are from sammyrabbit.com. This website has a variety of useful tools for kids of all ages to learn the basics around saving and spending.
Use technology to make money fun
There are tons of apps available to help your kids learn about money. If the traditional route isn't your thing, try Bankaroo with your child. Bankaroo is a digital piggy bank that allows the child to collect allowance, manage savings and more all in one place. Taking a look at their virtual piggy bank on an Ipad or phone may be much more rewarding for your child.
Celebrate their success.
Lastly, don't forget to celebrate your child's success. Recognition is a innate need in many of us, so don’t forget to acknowledge your child’s financial wins. Your recognition of their success will help them continue to learn and grow.
I hope these tips were useful for you. Teaching your kids early on about money, using technology to make it fun and celebrating their success will make it financial literacy a new habit for your child.
To order your Sammy Rabbit bundle set, click here.
Spring is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to not only clean up around the house but to also spruce up your budget! Remember those money goals you set in January? Time to revisit them and make sure your budget reflects where you see yourself financially for the remainder of the year. Don’t know where to start? Here are 3 ways to spring clean your budget:
Lower Your Grocery Bill
Food is a major part of the average family budget. Finding ways to cut your grocery bill can make a major difference in managing your finances. Try couponing or switching to store brands to save. You can also watch the sales papers to make sure you’re getting the best price for the products you’re purchasing.
Automate Your Saving
Saving money is difficult for a lot of people. Whether it’s enticing clearance sales or your daily cup of coffee, sometimes the smallest purchases can throw you off track. In order to make saving easier, try automating the process - Pay Yourself First. You can speak to your company human resources manager or intranet to allocate part of your paycheck to savings. Another way is to try out saving apps like Acorns, which takes the change from your purchases and invests it for you. Find a way to save even if it’s only a small amount, each dollar add ups.
Clean Up Your Spending
While spring cleaning your home, think about cleaning up your spending as well. It’s the perfect time to cancel any subscriptions to services that you haven’t used. Review your cable and cell phone terms and see if you can get better rates at another provider or by calling your current provider to negotiate the terms.
These few changes can help you make the most of your money for spring and the rest of the year.
February is a special time to honor the contributions of African Americans in U.S. History. Our influence can be found in music, dance, tech, pop culture, literature and more. MahoganyBooks is dedicated to meeting the literary needs of readers in search of books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora. I’m happy to share a few books on their site to help you take control of your money. Check out my list below:
-The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires
By: Dennis Kimbro
This best-selling personal finance author sits down with some of the most prominent black millionaires to learn how they achieved such great success and how the everyday person can do the same. The author explores the wealth disparities in black communities and provides advice about climbing the economic ladder despite the odds.
-Girl, Get Your Credit Straight!: A Sister’s Guide to Ditching Your Debt, Mending Your Credit, & Building A Strong Financial Future
By: Glinda Bridgforth
Financial expert Glinda Bridgforth delivers a detailed plan for paying down debt, repairing your credit score, and securing your financial freedom. Beginning with simple, engaging exercises to help you assess your spending habits and get clear about what you owe, "Girl, Get Your Credit Straight "presents a detailed road map for eliminating debt, one step at a time.
-Real Money Answers for Every Woman
By: Patrice Washington
Patrice Washington teaches you how to take responsibility for your financial future. In a handy question and answer format, this book offers engaging and easy to understand advice on topics like managing credit cards, home ownership, student loans, affordable childcare and even negotiating for a higher salary.
Each of these books provides a unique perspective on securing your financial future. You can find all the titles listed above by visiting the Mahogany Books website. In honor of Black History Month I’m offering 20% off all purchases in the It’$ My Money Shop! Visit itsmymoneyjournal.info to shop!
"Many of our young people are spending and borrowing without knowing that interest builds up, or that credit cards aren't free money." It's my mission to change that!
Hi! I’m Patrina Dixon, author of the It’$ My Money™ Journal and co-author of Entrepreneurship: My Story, Your Guide.
In the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to share the It’$ My Money™ Journal with teens and adults across the country, introducing them to concepts like budgeting, saving, investments and more. As the It’$ My Money brand continues to grow I am constantly meeting new people online and in person and wanted to take this opportunity to re-introduce myself.
Through my books, interviews, workshops and one on one sessions I empower people young and old to take care of their finances. I am a Certified Financial Education Instructor and award-winning author. I am also a member of the Black Speakers Network and a 100 Women of Color Honoree for 2018. In addition, I’ve appeared in various print publications, and tv and radio broadcasts. I love to share valuable information families can use right away to pursue financial freedom.
As an advocate of financial literacy I have a passion for serving my community and use my company, P. Dixon Consulting, LLC to offer money management strategies to people of all ages. In addition, I’ve led a workshop at the YWCA's Annual Money Conference for Women, Hartford’s Financially Fit community event and enjoyed each of my appearances on FOX61 to share financial tips with their viewers.
My goal is to guide my clients toward financial independence by shaping their spending and saving behaviors. Each interaction I have online or in person allows me to achieve that goal!
I hope this allowed you to learn a little more about me. I invite you to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to continue following my journey and be among the first to hear about my two new projects. If you’re interested in working with me email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can get a copy of either of my published books at It'$ My Money and Entreprenuerhip: My Story your Guide.
Reading is fundamental. We’ve all heard that phrase at one point or another in our lives, but why? Why is reading so important anyway? With the power of the internet and improved technology, Americans are reading less. Between audiobooks and video most people don’t take the time to read at all, but studies show that reading is still important for these reasons:
Reading Boosts Your Vocabulary: Those who read have a more varied range of words to choose from when communicating with others. This is especially important for verbalizing feelings or thoughts. Reading often exposes people to words outside of their everyday vocabulary and lead them to use new words more commonly. The more you read, the more words you have to use on a daily basis.
Reading Exposes You to New Ideas: Through reading, you expose yourself to new things, new information, new ways to solve a problem, and new ways to achieve. In discovering these new ideas people often begin to explore how this new information applies to their current circumstances. This exploration begins from reading and understanding and often leads to useful solutions to everyday problems.
Reading Improves Memory and Concentration: Reading requires uninterrupted focus and concentration. It forces people to pause and tune out the world around them to immerse themselves in the environment created by the author. This increased focus also improves memory by keeping the mind more agile. The imagination required to follow the descriptions and story line in a book also keeps the mind sharp.
Adding reading to your 2018 goals could help improve your vocabulary, help you embrace new ideas and improve your memory and concentration. I recently discovered an amazing resource for finding new books to read. It is called MahoghanyBooks.
MahoganyBooks is dedicated to meeting the literary needs of readers in search of books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora. Your favorite titles can be found on the site, including new releases like Rise & Grind by Daymond John to old classics like Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Visit their website for full list of titles and start reading today!
With the start of a new year on the horizon, it’s a perfect time to think of ways to get a fresh start. One way is by taking a look at your goals for the year. Many people set resolutions or goals, but forget to make plans to reach them! If you want to ensure you achieve everything you envisioned for 2018 you need to get clear on what you want, put tools in place to execute and set up checkpoints to keep you accountable. Here are a few ways to ensure 2018 is a great year:
Write It Down: A goal without a plan is simply a wish! Once you get clear on the things you would like to achieve, make sure you write it down. Putting your ideas on paper makes them more tangible. Place your goals in place where you can review them often, and make sure you set goals for all the areas of your life. This can include financial, family, health and wellness, faith and more. With the review of your financial goals, don’t forget to create new budget and savings goals for the year as well.
Set A Timeline: Timelines allow us to remain accountable. Setting a timeline for your new year goals is vital to ensuring you achieve them. Make your timeline specific and attainable. Give yourself room for setbacks but don’t include too much time where you prolong achieving progress toward your goals.
Measure Progress: As the year goes on, remember to check in periodically on the progress of your goals. Determine how close you are to achieving them, what setbacks you have encountered and what changes do you need to make moving forward. Measuring your progress allows you to see clearly where you stand as it relates to the things you want to happen.
As you start 2018 don’t forget to pay yourself first and set yourself up for success by having a clear plan and tools to execute your vision!
If you’re in the Hartford, CT area make plans to join for “Phenomally Me” Vision Board event on Jan. 13, 2018! Visit our Eventbrite Listing for more details.