Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 22, 2011

Earth Day

Day 21: Earth Day: Some Things In Life Are Free Afterall!  

Be the change you want to see in the  world…Mahatma Gandhi

Tomorrow is Earth Day! Do your part to take care of the Earth. A few stores have decided to giveaway some freebies to encourage you to be friendly to the environment.

The famous saying is that “Nothing in Life is Free.” I’m here to tell you that there are some things in life that you can get for free. While you’re traveling on this financial journey this weekend, you should be looking for the best FREE deals around! If you search the internet, the newspaper or local flyers you will find ads regarding free food items, free products even free entertainment. The following are a couple of “freebies” in celebration of Earth Day!   

If you take 5 plastic shopping bags to the Disney Store, you will receive a free reusable bag from the Disney Store.

If you are in need of some home improvement techniques, Home Depot is offering free seminars all weekend
.
Bring in  your current  skin product full or empty   and a filled-out form available from http://www.origins.com/cms/special_offers/in_store_trade_in_20110422.tmpl, into any Origins Store and you’ll receive a free tube of chemical free Origins Cleanser. *While supplies last*

If you bring a reusable coffee cup into Starbucks, you will receive a free cup of coffee or tea .

Anthropologie stores are offering free crafts and gardening projects for kids through Saturday.

Download a free sort and match recycling game from Lakeshore Learning.

On Saturday, receive a free tree from Lowes while supplies last.

Through Sunday, you can receive free admission to over 300 National Parks as part of National Park Week  

Two days of  free Earth Day seminars at Grand Central Terminal. www.earthdaynyc.org

Please check each stores site for more details and instructions.

 

Spend Consciously,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

Just like my parents were an example for me, be an example for a child. Creating a money smart child will change the world in more ways than you can imagine.

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 21, 2011

The Negotiator

Day 20: The Negotiator

There is an attorney and an advocate within you! From childhood, till the present people always seem to see the attorney in me. No, I’m not an attorney, I am a family finance advocate, but I possess negotiator and advocate skills.  Some individuals are born with these skills, some learn these skills from their environment, and some  study these skills. From this day forward, I want you to be an ADVOCATE for your money! Know when, where and how to negotiate for a deal!  In the book, I Will Teach You How to Be Rich, Author Ramit Sethi recalls a story about his dad going all over to town to get the best deal on a car. Not only was he trying to negotiate the best price, but he also desired some add-ons. I always laugh and get excited, when I recall the story in my head. Ramit’s dad was being an Advocate for his money! He valued his dollar! Do you value your dollar? I know that I value my mines! Over the years, I’ve learned these same skills from my financial giant, My Dad. Here are a few things to help you Advocate on your behalf:

1. Be Knowledgeable

2. Ask Questions

3. Value your wallet/handbag

4. Don’t be afraid to ask

 

P.S.  I will be working on a list of good negotiation deals that I ‘ve received this year.

 

Spend Consciously,

 Shareeke The Conscious Spender

 Just like my parents were an example for me, be an example for a child. Creating a money smart child will change the world in more ways than you can imagine.

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 19, 2011

Go Green!

Day 19: Go Green and Save Big!
 
 
 
 
It’s time for you to think more consciously, by doing things more efficiently and more cost effectively.  Do your part and Go Green! Do a few simple things and save thousands of dollars over a lifetime. 
 
Start taking public transportation or carpooling to work a few days out of the week. Check the tire pressure on your car tires at least every two weeks, ride your bike and walk to nearby places, in order to create a healthier lifestyle through exercise and decrease air pollution.
 
Buy local produce, in order to extend your life.Reuse grocery bags and recycle your newspapers, cans and bottles, in order to help with the environment.
 
Utilize energy efficient light bulbs, insulate your home, turn off lights not in use and adjust that thermostat, in order to decrease your monthly electric bill.
 
Check to see if there are any visible leaky faucets in your house and if so have them fixed, in order to reduce the water bill.   
 
Finally, compost your trash, plant trees and let clothes that can, air dry; let nature’s air “help” do your laundry.
 
Go Green and Save Big!
 
Spend Consciously,
 
Shareeke The Conscious Spender
Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 18, 2011

Tax Time

Day 18: Tax Time

April 18, 2011 is an important day for the US Treasury.  Today is when everyone  figures out if they have contributed enough to Uncle Sam. Although paying taxes is what helps support our government, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to minimize your tax bill.  There are a few simple things you can do to help reduce our tax bill.

Are you fully using the benefits that a tax-advantage investment is offering?  Contributing to a traditional IRA is one way to reduce the taxes owed because it is contributed to an IRA before it is taxed.  This helps to reduce the income that is taxable.  If your employer has a retirement plan, such as a 401(K), increasing the amount you contribute will also help to reduce your income, which ultimately reduces your taxes owed.

Another way to reduce your tax bill is to purchase energy efficient home appliances.  The government provides a  residential energy credits  for individuals who make energy efficient improvements on their home.  Credits are better than deductions because they reduce your tax owed dollar for dollar.  If you’re looking into replacing your windows, doors, central air conditioner, and other things you may want to consider energy efficient products.

A health savings or flexible spending accounts are ways to minimize your tax bill.  A HSA is used to pay out of pocket medical expenses.  Contributions to a HSA are either tax deductible or done on a pre-tax basis.  To receive a deduction for medical expenses on your taxes you have to exceed a high threshold in dollars before you can start reaping the benefits (7.5% of your AGI).  The HSA and FSA are ways to receive a benefit for even the small medical expenses, such as doctor co-pays, eyeglasses, and prescription drugs. 

Lastly, everyone typically gives to charity, but if you don’t you should. Sharing  is an important component of healthy finances.  Keeping track of what is donated and how much things cost will help reduce your tax burden.  Donations to NAMI, American Red Cross and other qualified non-for-profit organizations are tax deductible. 

As mentioned earlier in the article, paying taxes is a very important duty we as Americans must do.  Thinking more strategic and implementing very simple tax planning strategies can help you reasonably reduce your tax bill. 

Spend Consciously,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

 

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 17, 2011

Vacation Time

Day 17: Vacation you say!!!

 
The time of year that most Americans travel is fast approaching. What vacation plans are you pondering? Prior to making any vacation plans, establish a vacation travel fund. A vacation travel fund will allow you to have multiple options, regarding where to go, what to see and how efficiently to spend your money. In addition to this fund, look for low airfares, hotel deals and off season discounts. For example, Why not travel to a European country during the winter! As you know, the Conscious Spender loves to travel! Why not you? I visited Prague last year during winter season for a cheap price. It allowed me to visit various beautiful sites, without having the frustration of waiting in any long lines. The hotel was not only a 4-star one, but i paid a lower rate as a result of the time of year I visited.

Spend Consciously,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

 

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 17, 2011

Fun Free Weekends

Day 16: Fun Free Weekends
 
Have you ever thought about spending a fun filled, free weekend with your family? Statistics indicate that the average household of two spends $2,600 per year on entertainment; $50 per weekend. Most families really spend more than this amount. Why not save some of that money! Create a list of fun filled, free activities for your family. Instead of spending the $2,600 per year, deposit $50 dollars in your bank account every weekend and indulge in free activities instead. This can add up to $1,300 if you were to do two free weekends a month. That’s Money in the Bank! There are tons of useful resources that provide lists of free activities like TimeOut Magazine, your local newspaper, and even your local radio station. Now, go out and have some fun, but remember to Spend Consciously!

Consciously,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 16, 2011

Financial Light

Day 15:  Your financial light

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! I really love this song. I’m sharing this song with you, so that it will inspire you to be an inspiration to others. From the time you commenced this journey till now,  you have made some financial changes or a financial shift in your life. Your mindset is totally different. You’ve even created an emergency fund. Now that your financial life is organized, have you shined your financial light on someone, in order to uplift them. Changing your financial life is great; I applaud your efforts, but don’t be selfish and keep all this valuable information to yourself. Instead, be a financial light for someone else. Show at least one person, the steps that you’ve taken to improve and mold your financial life. This light will not only inspire that individual, it will inspire a child to be financial rock star, just like you!

P.S. Don’t forget to tell them about my blog and about THE CONSCIOUS SPENDER!

Consciously serving you,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 15, 2011

Financial Wiz

Day 14: Financial Wiz 

Wow!!!! Day 1 seems like a distant memory, while Day 30 seems, so close I can grab it!.
 
During this journey, I’ve learned that you want to be “Money Smart.” Reading my daily tips is one way of you getting there, but you should be seeking even more financial knowledge. Here’s how you can do it! Identify the financial area, which you believe there’s alot more room for improvement. Now, head to your nearest library and find a book that gives you that financial advice you seek. In order, to become a financial wiz you must educate yourself constantly. So, after you’ve finished reviewing these tips during this 30 day cycle, you need to “Get Moving and Increase Your Financial Education.” Now, don’t forget while you are at the library pick a financial story for a child, and as always be a financial rock star for a child. Remember they are depending on you!
 
See you tomorrow!

Consciously serving you,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 14, 2011

Get Moving!

Day 13:Get Moving!

Your health is your wealth!

In order to be wealthy you must first be healthy. If you’re sick, you can’t enjoy life to the fullest. Instead, you’ll spend all of your time trying to stay alive. Have you ever noticed that when you don’t feel well, you get lazy and you don’t feel like being very active. You don’t feel like doing much of anything, but sleep, watch television or eat food. This is very unhealthy! This leads to you wasting time, doing nothing, and weight gain. Not Healthy! As you know “Time is Money,” so instead, of letting time slip away, why not take 15 to 30 minutes out of schedule and do a light workout? This type of stimulation will give you that zest that you need to get up and go, to earn that money. In other words, being healthy means you are investing in yourself and encouraging yourself to go out an “Earn That Money.” As you know, “Earning Money,” is a key factor in creating your financial success.
 
Check out First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign video, featuring Beyonce, and then after viewing “Get Moving Towards Your Successful Financial Future!”  

As always be a financial rock star for a child!

Consciously serving you,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

Posted by: Shareeke The Conscious Spender | April 13, 2011

Clean it up!

Day 12: Clean it up!

The cute toddler in the video singing says it best, “Clean it up!”  Do you have a filing system in place  for your important documents? Are you a hoarder of old credit card bills, utility bills,and/or cancelled checks? If so, it is time to clean up and get organized. Day 12 is all about shredding documents you no longer need and creating a filing system for the documents you do need. For a  guide on what to keep and for how long check out the links below.           

 http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/how-long-to-keep-financial-records.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/your-money/household-budgeting/25RECORDS.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

As always be a financial rock star for a child!

Consciously serving you,

Shareeke The Conscious Spender

 

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