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.
As the holiday season quickly approaches, giving is on the top of many peoples’ list. After finding the perfect gifts for your family and friends don’t forget to support your favorite cause.
Charitable giving generally increases in December as people prepare for the year end. This can make a huge difference during tax season, when you can receive deductions based on your charitable contributions. As you wrap up your holiday shopping, and begin to look for other ways to give back, keep these things in mind:
Choose a cause you care about
It’s important to choose carefully when donating to charities. As a donor you should take into consideration the type of organization you want to support, the organization’s history with financial stewardship and organizational success. Keeping these things in mind will help you choose a charity that will use your gift to make a lasting impact.
Monetary gifts go a long way
Giving a monetary gift to an organization without receiving anything in return is the simplest form of charitable giving. Donating property can also fall into the same category. It’s important to keep a bank record showing the name of the charitable organization and the date and amount of the contribution when making this type of donation. You will need those records to claim your charitable giving deductions during tax season.
Money isn’t the only thing you can give
If you’re unable to donate a monetary gift, you may still be able to do some year-end charitable giving. In-kind donations are donations of goods rather than cash. Donation of services can also be considered in-kind, but that type of giving is not tax-deductible.
Each time you donate any type of goods to an organization, like used clothes or furniture you can write off the fair market value of your donation. The fair market value is the price your donation would sell for in the open market. In-kind gifts allow organizations to provide resources for the causes they serve.
Remember, any charitable contributions you make for the upcoming tax year must be complete by December 31. Give back and don’t miss out on your chance to help others and save a little as well.
Last week I had the opportunity to join a group of amazing entrepreneurs for the launch of our new book: Entrepreneurship: My Story, Your Guide. The event took place in Atlanta, GA at the beautiful Sheraton Suites Galleria. As always, I made sure to travel smart without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways I made the trip for under $150:
I used airline points to cover the departing flight from Connecticut to Atlanta and paid $75 for the returning flight from Atlanta to Connecticut.
I used points for the hotel room too. So glad Marriott and Starwood (SPG) merged! I had to link my Marriott and Starwood reward accounts then transfer the points from Marriott to Starwood (I guess when the hotel chains merged in September of last year, I had not done that as of yet). Those small and quick things to get the room for free = $0
On the first day my husband dropped me off at the airport in Connecticut and friend in Atlanta picked me up and drove me to the hotel. Later that evening I used the hotel shuttle to go to dinner and a fellow speaker of the event (Whitley Nicely), gave me a ride back to the hotel.
The second day of my trip a friend and his wife picked me up from the hotel and drove me to church and later a person from the church dropped me off at the airport. When I arrived back in Connecticut my husband picked me up.
There were great food choices in the area of the event and I made sure to take advantage of the options while still saving. On the first day I grabbed a free coffee thanks to my Starbucks Reward points and added a bagel for only $3.99. For lunch I picked up soup for $9.48 including the tip. Dinner was at Copelands and included an appetizer and entree for $22.15.
On the second day I had two coffees for $6.22, breakfast for $4.24 and a snack for $2.29. I ended the day with Phillips Seafood at the airport for $9.63 including the tip and a Pepsi for $2.69.
The grand total for my entire trip was $131.45! I encourage you to enroll in the hotel, airline, coffee, restaurant, and rental car free reward points programs. Be sure to monitor your points to ensure you get your proper credit after each stay or purchase. Once you have accumulated reward points, you may be able to save on your next get-away. Overall, the event, networking opportunities, brainstorming sessions in the lobby and over dinner were priceless!
If you have similar travel saving stories please share.
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