This topic was near and dear to my heart. I was excited when Experian asked me to be on another guest expert panel. I believe there are many barriers when it comes to delivering financial education in underserved communities. It is exactly why I do what I do today. Growing uo in an underserved community, I wanted to share and be an advocate for. Unfortunately, financial literacy is still not taught in schools in these areas. Some adults don't have enough financial information as they need and subsequently do not pass it down. As a result these communities tend to pay more for financial services. They pay more in interest charges as the lower their credit score is, the higher the interest they pay. They also don’t get the benefit of compound interest, which is a silent hero. The focus really needs to be on these communities.
Even without internet access, there are ways to find resources for your financial education. You can find local libraries, donut shops, friends or family members. There are also many, many books. Vol 1 of It'$ My Money is a great starter book. Schools should have a role in providing financial education. There should be a requirement in schools for age appropriate financial education. School is where our youth learn so many subjects and the fundamentals of personal finance should be thought as well. It also should be reiterated year after year as it needed it all their lives. This blog gives more information on how to talk to your kids about money.
In this day and age, personal finance should be required in schools, not just “offered,” especially during the high schools years. Another financial educator mentioned, “Individuals with little or no relationship with a bank can struggle to manage their funds effectively and to save, prepare, or borrow for emergencies. Says, Jorell Bland’.
We have to remember before the last year of high school ends, many are signing their names to one of the most expensive decisions of their lives, student loans, without enough knowledge on its long term effect. As the young men and women move toward college graduation, these financial education classes will assist them with delayed gratification. They will learn to budget and only spend what they can afford to. They will also know to save and take care of their needs and then wants, in that exact order! All of this works to help achieve financial security.
Many of us wants to achieve financial freedom but you can’t achieve what you are not educated on. The more you know, the better chance you have! Managing your money well can have positive impacts your financial health and your physical health. Financial chaos can cause stress. Being financially literate, coupled with managing money has a direct correlation to a reduction in stress and anxiety; which supports positive health. It also clears your mind. It allows you to be present and have healthier relationships with yourself, spouse, children, family and friends. Rahkim Sabree, personal finance enthusiast, added, “decreased stress, anxiety, depression, healthier choices around food and exercise, health screenings, and a better quality of life can all come from a foundation of financial literacy.”
All in all, teaching finances has personal benefits and impacts on generations to come. Financial exposure helps along with good financial behaviours. If taught and shown, they will have a greater impact on future generations. It’s the “do I do, not as I say” that is sustainable.
In the need of a resources that can help you manage your money:
If you want to DIY it, you a grab some helpful resources that I have created here
As a result of being a guest expert on Experian's #CreditChat panel once again, I thought this discussions's topic was one you all would relate to. Each panelist was asked to offer our thoughts on "Why it is important to talk to your children about money". Here are my responses to the questions posed to us in an easy to read format.
You may be waiting until your child is in their teen years to begin teaching them about finances. But, there is no need to wait! It's so important to teach your children as it gives them a good foundation when it comes to money. You should begin as soon as they are able to remember and regurgitate things like songs and conversations. You can successfully do this through money games, books, having them make cash payments at the store, and counting the change to ensure it’s correct. Here is a great coloring book for younger kids. For teenagers, you can use Vol 1 of the It'$ My Money journal book.
You may be asking what concepts should be discussed with your child at a young age. In my opinion, the fundamentals like savings, budgeting, needs, wants, goals, and investing are important to teach. The best way to do this is by showing vs telling! Depending on their age, bring them to the bank to make deposits and use technology to show them the transactions. Concepts like credit can be taught at a later age, preferably their high school years.
A large part of teaching finances to your child is to help them prevent mistakes. But even if they do occur, it should always be used as a learning opportunity. Never make your child feel bad about it, instead find which lessons they can learn from the mistake. Remember to be great examples to your children, manage your funds well and share as appropriate with your kids.Her are downloadable resources that can help you.
Also help your children to understand needs vs wants and make money an inviting topic. As a reminder some great resources are:
There are also resources for parents that can help you manage money so that the conversations and interactions with your children about money are a bit smoother.
A couple other resources that are available are the:
I had a wonderful opportunity to again be a featured finance expert on Experian’s #CreditChat last week. I thought the questions asked of the panelists were awesome as were my answers so I wanted to share them in an easy to read format here.
Financial literacy month is an opportunity for us to truly understand the importance of healthy monetary habits. Many often ask why financial education is even important. This is because it is a major part of life therefore everyone needs to be educated in it. There are so many financial topics that individuals and families should be knowledgeable about such as budgeting, savings, credit, reducing spending, earning more, net worth, assets and liabilities to start. It is much easier to maintain and sustain if you start with a great foundation. Therefore, it is critical that you are properly educated in it!
Part of having a great foundation is starting at a young age. You should teach your kids proper finances as soon as they can talk. The key is repetition. Kids learn the words to wings because they hear it played often. So be sure to integrate finance concepts into what they see and hear. For ways to integrate financial education into their daily activity, click here to access a free coloring book. However, the learning does not stop there. As an adult there is still so much educating to be done.This can happen by way of a financial expert, CPA or coach. Some are an investment and some are completely free of charge. Like with sports, players have coaches. Even the best players. The coach gives them the play and the support team around them help get the win, discipline and much more. Think of finances the same, you can go alone or have someone in your “finance” team that is an expert to help you reach your specific goal.
It’s important that financial education stop being something that people approach in adulthood. It should be taught everywhere, in schools, colleges, and at home. It is so critical that we teach topics like budgeting, what I feel is the most imperative financial literacy subject. The reason being, it is a must to know exactly how much you have coming in and how much you plan to spend. Budgeting allows you to be intimate with your money and that intimacy will make you want to be the best steward of it. There are various resources available to teach someone about this subject and other finances such as personal finance experts, books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube and so much more. You want to ensure you are getting sound information or advice so be sure to do your research of the source. Here is a great blog to learn all things finance! Click here for access to additional resources.
There are so many benefits to being financially educated! When you are educated on how your credit score is derived and the components that make up your score you can use it properly which will have a direct positive impact. Examples include paying on time, keeping the balance at zero or under 25%. The great Maya Angelou said, “when you know better, you do better”. If you are never educated on (1.) What is a good credit score, (2.) How to access your reports, (3.) How your activity is rated, then you can’t use it properly. Knowledge is more power. The more financial astute you are, the better you are towards reaching your financial goals. I also believe accountability and execution plays a role. Hence why a coach can be helpful.
Some of you reading this may be very passionate about financial literacy and interested in sharing the wealth with others. You can promote financial literacy in your community by hosting events, even virtually, partnering with local groups (YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Churches) to add financial topics to their agenda and articulate the importance of sound financial information and how that can be weaved into any initiative!
Let me know your thoughts on the topic and or my perspectives.
This post may contain affiliate links which may compensate us based on your interaction at no cost you you. Please read the disclosures for more information.
Are you a smart saver? Are you taking advantage of all of the opportunities that certain bank accounts have when it comes to saving? I recently learned about savebetter.com which is essentially a marketplace where you can discover different products as a relates to saving money. What I love about savebetter.com is that its values are based on safety, convenience and choice. You deserve to have great products when it comes to saving your money and the SaveBetter platform allows you to choose which banks you want to save with from their selection of products that best align with your financial objectives.
The savings products that they offer on their website are all FDIC insured from a variety of banks that have specific missions. After registering for savebetter.com you’ll be able to compare different products that are being offered which align most closely with your savings goals with banks that you would like to support in their mission. Some offers you can find on savebetter.com may include the following:
You could take advantage of exclusive offers from Ponce Bank. Ponce Bank provides business and personal banking services. Their accounts have a yield 10X the national average. They have no annoying fees and their mission is to serve individuals that were particularly hit hard by the pandemic. You can find more details about Ponce Bank here.
They are also currently offering high-yield CD special rates for 5 month, 13 month and 48 month with APYs ranging between 0.45% and 0.70%.
Everyone needs to save money. Sometimes we save for an emergency, a car, or a luxury vacation. Why not save more without evening knowing you are saving more with the products mentioned above?
You need other resources to help you along your saving or debt free journey check out our resources page.
Are you like me and spend time surfing YouTube all day trying to learn something new?Have you ever gotten the urge to create your own content for Youtube? I mean have you heard how much money YouTubers make?? It actually takes time to create YouTube content so that it can become an additional source of income for you.If you are looking to make money from video content then this the perfect way to learn. Here I sat down to talk with Apple Crider (YouTube & Podcast) who discusses his journey as a successful Youtuber.
This post may contain affiliate links which may compensate us based on your interaction at no cost you you. Please read the disclosures for more information.
Who is Apple Crider?
Apple Crider is a 21-year young Podcaster and YouTuber who deep dives into the topics of Personal Finance. Apple also is a part of the investing website “Investing Simple” (InvestingSimple) that provides you with resources, tips, and money education, to help build your financial future, and learn the smart methods and practices that make investing simple. Apple’s YouTube channel which can be found just by searching his name “Apple Crider” in YouTube, has videos on Credit Cards, Entrepreneurship and Personal Finance. Apple’s Podcast called “Young Smart Money” is a Business and Entrepreneurship podcast for young entrepreneurs, that contrasts the experiences of startup founders and social media influencers.
How is the 21 year old making money from Youtube?
This 21-year-old really changed the way you can make money online through his podcast and YouTube channel. He talks honestly about some of the same things that I speak about as relates to finance and being good stewards of your money. His podcast is called young smart money which is focused on building young entrepreneurs in providing additional insight from his own personal experiences.In addition to being a podcast or YouTube or he does plan on launching his wealth management firm for young entrepreneurs similar to himself.
So there’s a handful of ways you can make money on YouTube such as through that we all love to skip while watching YouTube videos. I’ve heard that YouTube gives you 50% of the ad revenue while keeping the other portion for themselves. I suppose that’s a decent deal since you’re able to use their platform. So don’t assume that Apple started with a lot of followers he truly had to groom and grow his channel there which helped him to be able to make more money on YouTube. Another way to make money on YouTube is through affiliate marketing which allows people to click on affiliate links associated with his account and if they make a purchase the Apple gets a percentage of the commissions. It’s honestly so many ways to make money out here. Need help with cover art, try the experts at Fiverr®
So if you’re interested in starting affiliate marketing I would recommend doing your own personal research. Apple mentions that it thinks that affiliate links should relate to whatever content you’re putting in that YouTube video so your viewers will not get confused. You don’t want to be an affiliate for programs, products and services that your viewers don’t even care about so you truly have to mention it and sell it within the YouTube video. When you think about building your overall you to bring and be mindful the longer you keep videos on there the longer there is an opportunity for engagement decrease so for people to like your videos unfortunately dislike your videos comment subscribe and all of those wonderful things to ensure you are building your YouTube community. Also, starting a Youtube channel doesn’t have to be expensive. You can start with your smartphone like most Youtubers. You can then upgrade once you make money from Youtube. You can upgrade your phone, camera, web camera and laptop when the money starts to roll in. Be mindful that your views will let you know if they do not like your content.
It’s important to also know that people think creating a YouTube video is truly a science. As someone with a Youtube channel I would completely agree. You don’t want the video to be too long or too short so Apple would recommend that the videos are between 10 to 20 minutes. Most people don’t wanna sit around looking at their laptop screen at the same video, especially if the content is not engaging.There are so many ways to make money here!! Youtube is just one way.
Again if you want to monetize your YouTube you have to put our great content you want to be consistent with the content as well so Apple starts off making about $150 a month. He was able to scale up his channel to make up to $1000 dollars a month.
Other ways to earn money with side hustles or with eBay. Also, if you are ready to master your money check out the It'$ My Money Masters Program.
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Check your mail, there may be billing errors. I wanted to share my story about a recent dental visit and bill.
I had a dental emergency and went to the dentist. They took care of the emergency with a temporary fix and suggested I make a visit for a more permanent fix. I scheduled the visit for the permanent fix. Then when that day arrived. I got dressed, worked for a bit and headed to the dentist office. When I got there, I had to call from outside (due to COVID), and then they let in. Once inside I checked in and paid the $50 patient deducible for the anticipated services and waited in the waiting room for my name to be called.
Then I was called and went in thinking I was about to have the service I was scheduled for and and ended up having a consultation with the dentist. He mentioned I need to do some other work and we didn’t need to do the permanent fix that day and we walked through some options. We had a great discussion and at the end he committed to send the plan to me via email.
A couple of weeks later I received an explanation of benefits (EOB) from my dental insurance company in the mail. It showed the dental office billed them for the service I was scheduled to have (the permanent fix) that I didn’t end of having. The EOB also showed $585.50 was applied to my deductible which meant that was the amount I would have to pay out of pocket. As a matter of fact I didn't have any service that day. I called the dentist office and they acknowledged the error and assured me they are working with my dental insurance carrier to reverse the entire bill.
Pictured below is the portion of my actual EOB with the summary of the changes and how they were applied.
The moral of the story, OPEN YOUR MAIL. Ensure things are accurate. People are human and they make mistakes. I know too many people that have unopened mail on a counter, on their desk in a “to do” pile. When you get EOBs in the mail, it is important that you check:
This has nothing baring on the dentist himself or even the office staff. I actually love my dentist and the staff. This is a reminder that everyone makes mistakes and something are on auto-pilot and you are the 2nd set of eyes to catch things.
Start off the year with knowing all of your debt. Open all mail and if you have bills sent to yo in emails, be sure you are checking emails regularly. The best way to pay bill so time or to ditch debt is to know how much debt you have. Create a budget to help. Grab you free debt tracker or budget sheet here.
Check your bank statements and account activity regularly. People who work at banks are human and can make mistakes. At the end of last year, a teller error happened to my account. I brought it to the attention of the bank, they took my information and said they would get right back to me. But they didn’t but I was persistent.
The quick story, I went into the bank and cashed a check from my own account, the teller cashed the check and I went about my way. On the statement it showed the check cashed AS WELL as a cash withdrawal for the exact same amount on the same day - which incorrect.
It took like 48 hours for them to get back to me. When they got back to me, the manager apologized for the error and went to explain to me what happened and finally corrected their the error. Fortunately it didn’t cause me to incur a fee or caused other transactions to be impacted.
𝐋𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐎𝐍: Had I not checked my bank statement, noticed the error AND contacted them right away I would have suffered a loss. 𝐘𝐎𝐔 are responsible for the accuracy of 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 account. Was it a human mistake from the teller? Yes. But it was my diligence and intention about reviewing my finances regularly that this was caught and rectified quickly.
There are so many ways to check your account activity. Most banks, credit unions, etc, offer and app or at the very least have a website. This enables you to check your account activity regularly as opposed to waiting for a printed or even electronic bank statement once the month closes. At a very minimum check that statement or on a more regular basis via the app or website.
When applicable, add notifications so you are made aware of any transaction that can negatively impact like, such going below a certain dollar amount threshold in your balance.
Have you checked all of your bank statements or account activity recently?
It’s that time of year. Time to start mapping out your spending for the holiday months where people usually overspend on dinners and shopping.
The holidays are a special time of year for sharing good cheer, great food and generous gifts with the ones we love. This year we have to celebrate in a different and safe way but spending will still take place. Before you map out your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping or the small holiday gathering even via Zoom, consider these 5 tips to save money this holiday season.
1. Create a holiday budget or spending plan
When it comes to the word “budget” many people often think of complicated spreadsheets and restrictions but no, no, no - a budget will help you plan your spending and ensure there no surprises at the end of the year. No matter how big or small your holiday spending budget, ensure it is realistic. Comparison shop around to find the best prices for the things you want to buy.
2. Make a list
Shopping for the ones you love can lead to overspending. All of the sales will exciting and tempting - trust me I know. 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 the gifts options. You can actually get very granular and add the actual planned gift to the list so there isn’t room for overspending. You can also use budget envelopes for your shopping, one for food, one for gifts, etc…
3. Start early
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 and not pick up what is left since you started late.
4. Unused gift cards
Check your wallet to see if you have unused gift cards or ones with small balances. You would be surprised how this can help you fund your holiday shopping. Example: small balances on several Starbucks gift cards may be enough to get a gift from Starbucks for a boss or coworker.
5. Unconventional gifts
Try printing a photo of you and your best friend, child, parent, spouse then get a frame and a blank card (you can get both of these at Dollar Tree) and handwrite a heartfelt message. Another idea is a wall or desk calendar with pictures of the family for each month for a family member you don’t see often, along with a blank card with a heartfelt message.
Making your money stretch during the holidays comes down to preparation. Set your budget or make a plan and start early and you can avoid excessive spending and bring in the New Year financially stress free.
For more helpful tips on making your money work better for you, Sign up for the It’$ My Money™ Newsletter.
As a person who traveled extensively for my employer and my business you can imagine how it was for me when all of that came to a sudden pause. No travels - none at all, not even locally, due to the pandemic. My last out of state trip was to LA at the beginning of the year. Now the annual event of the year is here. Am I going? Can my husband make it as he is still recovering for being sick? Our original plans were to make it a road trip.
Then when it was clear he was unable to go so I had to make a last minute decision on how I would get there. Go with others, was an option. Grab a flight and ride back with others. Search from a direct flight from JFK or just leave from BDL and take a round trip flight.
The Flight: The best option was the round trip there and back from BDL. Now it is a week before the trip (not ideal for a great flight price) but it is what it is. Then I remembered, I had airline points. I tried to use the points to no avail. I didn’t have enough to cover the round trip then tried to purchase the balance of the points and it would have cost more than to getting the full round ticket through Expedia so I did that. $384.20 round trip from CT to Newport News, VA and back.
Next was booking the hotel. I also had hotel points. This time enough to to cover both nights at the Marriott. $0.00
Now how will I get around while there. A rental car? Uber? I weighed the options, rental car would mean the hustle and bustle of getting it, paying for parking at the hotel, finding parking at each stop, putting gas in it before return or using Uber. Uber would pick me up at the door each time and while I rode I could check out what’s going on my phone. Uber won. Total in Uber for the 3 days - $83.91.
The night before leaving, I had a little anxiety. I tossed and turned all night. Not sure if the anxiety was from an early flight and not wanting to over sleep and miss it or this was the first time I would be going through an airport onto a plane, etc. with Covid still running wild. The alarm went off. It was time. I was Masked and gloves up and off I go.
I packed accordingly so baggage fees - $0.00
Each leg of my flight there I didn’t have anyone sitting next to me. Great for social distancing and for stretch out. In between the two flights I charged up my computer and cleaned out some emails and enjoyed my breakfast. I also caught some of FinConX which is a financial conference and black enterprise entrepreneurship summit. I have to keep my finance game tight, learning from others, so I can be better for my clients and my squad.
Now the food story. Ok, conducting business and dropping knowledge over food always go over well. Also you will see I didn’t really eat day one. I know that was not good but I survived.
I get to my hotel on day one and all I had on my mind was I need to eat and get some rest before the evening event. BUT NO. I had a reaction to something some thinks it was the stress of the night but never-the-less I had a virtual visit with my doctor who gave me a prescription right away. Not sure how much my portion of the visit will be after insurance but the medicine I got from the pharmacy was $12.00.
While I am at the pharmacy, I made good use of the waiting time and had a call with a mentor I was partnered up with from FinConX. I almost basked him if I could reschedule but I am glad I didn’t. Chris Peach gave me some great tips. I also loved his energy. PRICELESS
After getting dressed for the evening I headed to the greatest night of the year. If you know you know. And all I can say is it was all worth it.
The last day, I stopped to grab a Pepsi. Ok, I love Pepsi. There I met another small business owner from the area. We did out elevator pitches and kicked it off. She gave me suggestions on business comments in the area and advice on areas for consideration for my move (a story for a different blog post). I also supported her business right there $14.83.
As I sit here at the airport writing this I am super excited about how the economics of this last minute air travel trip turned out. I had a group finance strategy session, met with the It’$ My Money Sales Manager, Connected with one of my squad members and heard about the journey his achievements. In case you don’t know The Squad is my Facebook community. We share stories, wins, spotlight members and I give tips on how to increase your savings, maintain your budget, increase your credit score and earn money with side hustles. Check us out.
Now about to board my last leg heading home. I just got a cup of Starbucks coffee. $3.19.
Lesson learned, I could have gotten a less expensive flight into Norfolk which was twenty minutes from Newport News. Who knew? This is a direct result for not having enough time to research.
Ok. Now time for the total. This was a 3 day trip from CT to VA and Back, including flight and transportation:
Ok, ready for the best part, it is a business write off.
What do you think of the amount spent? Other than flying into Norfolk, any ideas of how I could have saved on this trip? Grab a free budget sheet
This post may contain affiliate links which may compensate us based on your interaction at no cost you you. Please read the disclosures for more information.
With the holidays around the corner, many households are saving up for gifts, family and friends get togethers and more. This means many people are not saving for the unexpected expenses, which may force them to cut into their gift giving budget in the event of emergencies.
So what happens if the car breaks down? Or if the heater conks out during the winter and needs repairing? Safety-Net Expenses can eliminate the worry of where the money is going to come from to repair that car or HVAC. But what exactly are Safety-Net Expenses?
Instead of the standard three known categories of a budget, I like to think of expenses in four different categories, or buckets, by order of importance:
Non-Negotiable Expenses help to meet our basic human survival needs of shelter, transportation, food, and water. Expenses like mortgage/rent, car payment, electricity, utilities, groceries, and water are primary expenses that must be paid on time to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.
The NBD’s (or Necessities by Default)
NBD Expenses are not as important as the non-negotiable expenses, but these expenses enhance the quality of life. NBD’s include expenses like a cell phone bill, cable bill, primary insurance (health, homeowner, auto), personal loans, student loans and credit cards
Enrichment Expenses are activities and expenses that enrich our mind, body, and soul.
According to ABC News, “40% of Americans could not come up with $400 in the event of a financial emergency.”
Unfortunately, many households forget about or ignore this category. However, these low cost expenses can be the most important to protect our financial stability. Safety-Net Expenses are a set of expenses that don’t cost much upfront, but can save massive amounts of money in the long run.
So which Safety-Net Expenses should we pay attention to protect holiday shopping budget and financial security throughout the year?
Emergency Savings Fund
Set up an automatic direct deposit of a certain amount or percentage of your pay into a savings account. Establish the savings account in a financial institution that is separate from your primary checking account. Having a separate savings account will eliminate the ability to transfer funds from your savings when hit with spending temptation. Having this savings fund will protect your family’s financial stability in the event of an emergency or accident during the holidays. Check out this budget bundle
Vehicle Service Contract
One of the most significant unexpected expenses that is the biggest holiday budget buster is a vehicle breakdown. According to a survey done by Toco Warranty, “Around one-third of Americans own a car that is at least seven years old, which means a breakdown is inevitable.”
Instead of committing to thousands of dollars and years for an extended dealership warranty or dishing out thousands of dollars for unexpected repairs, consider a low-cost, month-to-month vehicle repair coverage contract like Toco Warranty.
What I love about Toco is that it is a pay-as-you-go vehicle service contract that fits within any monthly budget and can be canceled at any time. It can protect your budget from significant car breakdown expenses that happen during the holidays and throughout the year. It can also be cheaper than an extended warranty from the dealership. *For 50% off your first month, use code BOSS
Home Warranty Coverage
Many things that are not covered under a standard homeowner’s policy as a result from neglect or failure to properly maintain the property. Damages from termites and insects, bird or rodent damage, rust, rot, mold, and general wear and tear are typically not covered. Damage to appliances and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) breakdown is also not covered. The worst time for the HVAC system to breakdown is in the summer and winter during the holidays. These are the times that repairs cost the most.
Investing in the right home warranty coverage will protect your budget from the excessive expense of appliance or HVAC repairs or replacement during the holidays and throughout the year. These and other safety-net expenses will protect your family’s financial stability with their affordable monthly payments, and can help you budget to spend even more during the holidays. If you find that you need to reduce expenses to fit your monthly, consider reducing usage-based expenses in the other categories, specifically curbing energy use or pulling back on auxiliary expenses, like include eating out, credit cards, or enrichment expenses.
What are some Safety-Net Expenses that protect your budget from excessive unexpected expenses?
Guest blog from Tarra “Madam Money’” Jackson check her out here.
Tarra is an award winning International Speaker, best-selling Author, Spokesperson, Brand Ambassador and Financial Expert Contributor, Tarra Jackson inspires her audience to overcome financial challenges by giving simple strategic steps to help them reach their personal, professional and financial goals. Individuals and corporations have been impacted by her engaging and energetic messages.
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