The FREE 2015 Goal Setting Printable is HERE

I can’t believe 2014 is over! I hope you lived, learned, and prospered over the past year.

I want to thank you for your continued support over the year with a special gift. I created this 2015 Goal Setting Printable just for you. The goal of the printable is to help you decide what’s most important to you in 2015 and the create an actionable plan to make things happen.

So.

Happy New Year, and enjoy your download. And as always, thank you for driving in #theFABLane with me.

Click the image below to access your download.

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And remember: Everything begins with intention.

What Do You Value?

About a month or so I had the pleasure of heading to FinCon in New Orleans where I connected with fellow personal finance bloggers and professionals. It was at this conference I also had the opportunity to meet Amanda Abella. Ms. Abella is a writer, speaker, and career coach. She specializes in helping entrepreneurs light their fire and conquer their fears.

Amanda gifted her book, Make Your Money Honey to me just before I left the conference and it has been one of my favorite reads thus far. I appreciate her approach, the exercises, and the book really got me thinking.

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5 Things I’d Tell My Younger Financial Self
Younger Self. Yeah. Don't I look like I was living the YOLO life?

Younger Self. Yeah. Don’t I look like I was living the YOLO life?

The other day a friend and I were talking about the mistakes of our past and we jokingly said that hindsight is clearer than 20/20; hindsight is Lasik Vision. The beauty of time is it allows you to reflect on your past decisions, and if you are fortunate and open to change, you grow from them.

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The First Ever My Fab Finance E-book Is HERE!

I am overflowing with emotion. No really, as I type this from my New Orleans Hotel lobby “Somewhere over the rainbow” is playing. Can it get any more perfect than that!?!

In March I determined that writing a book was my non-negotiable goal for the year. Today that dream becomes a reality.

Today, 6 months later, I present to you 7 Life Changing Money Tips: Learn How To Save Money, Get Out of Debt, & Create Finances As Fabulous As You.

(If you are already on our e-mail list you will receive an e-mail announcement shortly.)

As integrity is my personal mantra, I promise never to spam you.

Cheers, Love, and all that good stuff.

Could You Live Off One Paycheck a Month? One of our Readers is!

One of the beauties of starting this blog and movement is that I’m continuously inspired by other women. Not too long ago one of my readers, Tyesha, mentioned in my comments section that she was living off of one of her paychecks. I’ve heard of people doing this but never spoke to someone who is doing this that wasn’t a granola eating minimalist. So I had to hear how she was doing it and asked her to share her experience with MFF readers. 

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Tyesha and I at the In Her Shoes Anniversary Event

Here is Tyesha’s story:

In January of this year, I took a look back on my 2013 spending and saving, and let’s just say I was very disappointed in myself. About 1/2 of my salary was being used for shopping or paying off credit card bills. I was literally sick to my stomach after looking at the numbers, and I knew something had to change.

About three weeks later, I started a new job and decided I have to see how I can live on one pay check per month.

Before that could happen I had to pay off the credit card bills I accumulated last year. My goal was to pay all cards off by the end of April. As of the end of March 2014, all those bills were been paid off. Woooohooo! I can’t say how great feeling it is.

During this time of paying off my credit cards, I gave myself a tight budget and was able to save significantly!

So why am I living off one paycheck?

I have a goal on the amount of money I want to save by the end of the year. I also have a vacation/wedding trip in South Africa this summer for which I am saving for. (I have opened a separate saving account for this trip.)

So how am I doing this you might ask?

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Here are the steps I have implemented:

Step 1: I have a budget, and I am sticking to it!!! I have always had a budget but never stuck to it. Shopping being my weakness, I always see something I want to have, and I get it. NO MORE!!!

Step 2: I set my expenses up as fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are items that are the same every month such as tithes, rent, and cable. Variable expenses change monthly and include my food allowance and entertainment.  I budget everything–even the allowance I gave to my niece and nephew (which they have to work for). Lol… I know; I am a bad Auntie.

If, for some reason, I go over in one area, I try to find a way to cut back in another or not to spend the money I  allotted for a certain line item such as movies or the shirt I wanted to get this month.

Step 3: I reduced my overhead. My rent is currently half of what it was about two years ago, but even if it was not, I could still live on one check per month. As stated above, I have no credit card bills. When I do purchase something on credit I will pay the bill right then. I polish my own nails every Sunday instead of going to the nail salon. I go to the nail salon about once every two months.

Step 4: I said no to shopping – MOST TIMES!! I don’t shop at much as I used to…as I stated earlier, I still have clothes in my closet from about 2 years ago that I have not worn. (Now can they fit?!? Thats another conversation)  I smile when I am able to walk into and out of my favorite store and not buy anything.

Step 5: I stopped eating out as often as this was another large expense in 2013.

Step 6: I significantly reduced what i was spending on others. My birthday gifts allowance has been decreased drastically.

These are some of the things I am doing to live on one check per month! Wish me luck! I am totally looking forward to the challenges and accomplishments ahead.

-Tyesha (Taj)

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So. Thoughts? Could you live on one paycheck a month? I’d like to try it myself as I have major purchases and life changes coming up.

5 Lessons I Learned From Being Broke

In my former life, I loved rap artist Lupe Fiasco. No really loved him, like ran up on him at a gallery exhibit in Soho and spilled my guts about how much I love his music and how the song “Sunshine” was the best song ever. One of my favorite versus from him came off his Food & Liquor album where he says “Struggle, yeah, yeah, another sign that God love you / Cause on the low, bein po’, make you humble” .

I’ve been thinking about that verse a lot as I continue to educate individuals about money. While our mission is inspiring women to create lives that are financially independent I don’t want to discount the valuable lessons you learn from being broke. There was a time in my life where I was broke. I was working for Americorp and living in NYC making $13,500 a year.

Here is what I learned by being broke:

Humility: By my sophmore year in college I was driving a Lexus. My motto was “I’m not spoiled, I’m just well taken care of”. Fast forward three years to NYC and I didn’t have a car. I went from well taken care of to barely taken care of. Between that time I learned extremely valuable lessons on humility. It was the slice of humble pie I needed. I began to understand struggle and started judging others less. I stopped worrying about what I could get from this world and became focused on what I could do for this world. Being broke changed my heart for the better.

Faith: At one time I was unemployed for an entire year in NYC. Not once did I worry about where I was going to live and how I was going to eat. It renewed my faith in myself and my faith in my creator that I was here in NYC to make a difference. I knew that as long as I did the work, I’d be good.

Hustle: During times of broke-ness I did jobs that I would have previously thought were below me. I sold cars, I bar tended, I was a photo-booth operator at events and private parties. I learned to diversify my streams of income and tapped into my Dad’s legendary ability to hustle.

You will learn who your real friends are: During this tough time my Grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t have a legitimate savings account, I barely had a bank account. A few months prior my best friend had lost her job and was owed backpay by unemployment. The first thing she did when she received her back pay was buy me a ticket to come home and see my Grandfather. I’m so happy she did because he passed less than a month later. Her gift enabled me to share last words and make peace with him.

You get resourceful: I didn’t become a freegan or anything but I got very creative with my life. When you don’t have money to shop, dine out, and do things an evolved version of the “fight or flight” theory takes place. Are you going to sit home and sulk or are you going to make things happened and feel fabulous doing it? I become more comfortable with myself and didn’t feel that I needed name brands for acceptance. I shopped at thrift store like I never had before, I cut my relaxed hair of and went natural. I guess you can say I became a blipster (a black hipster), but remnants of that resourcefulnness stick with me today and inspired the MyFabIsLess challenge.

So if you are fortunate, and yes I say fortunate enough to have been broke at one time or another in your life, what valuable lesson did it teach you?

A Gift for You! Happy Financial Literacy Month

Happy April and Happy Financial Literacy Month!

I want to take the time out to say thank you! You all are absolutely amazing and you continue to inspire me with your successes each and every month.

April is Financial Literacy Month so I wanted to give my readers a special gift. I worked diligently with my graphic designer to create this financial organizer for you. It is complete with a monthly financial calendar so you can track your bill due dates, a debt repayment plan sheet, an account information page, and more!

When I decided to get my finances together, getting organized was the first thing I did.

As you begin to spring clean, use this to organize your finances so that we can make this your best financial year yet! Print it out, put it in a 3-ring binder and whip your finances into shape. This template will only be free during the month of April, and after that I will sell it for a nominal fee.

So share it to everyone you know and let’s make the rest of this year fiscally awesome for you!

MFF Financial Organizer

 

And don’t forget that we have our Frugal Fab 5 Spring Clean & Grow your finances event coming up April 12th!

Attendees will:

– Create a debt reduction plan
– A clear understanding of how your credit score is calculated
– A credit plan to help you raise your credit score as much as 100 points in 1-year.
– A complimentary e-guide: 9 Ways to Successfully Handle Debt Collectors.
– Frugal, fabulous FUN!
– Lunch
– A complimentary copy of Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche’s bestselling book, The One Week Budget!

Click here to invest in your financial future and secure your seat today.

ABOUT
Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.
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