Monday, July 2, 2018

4 Questions To Ask Yourself At The End Of Each Month To Stay On Budget by Aisha Taylor

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The idea of a “budget,” can be intimidating. However, budgets are designed to help give you a framework of what you can do. Just like an architect would never build a structure without a blueprint, you should not manage your finances without a plan.

The end of each month is a great time to review your budget and how well you followed it. This will allow you to track and monitor your progress, respond to financial challenges within a reasonable time, and increase the likelihood that you will adhere to your budget.

To help guide you in reviewing your budget, ask yourself the 4 questions below at the end of each month.


Question 1: Did I follow my budget?

Creating a budget can be challenging, but following it is no joke! Therefore, kudos to you if you were able to follow it or even kind of follow it. If you found that you had challenges following your budget and that you did overspend, then congratulate yourself for trying, forgive yourself for overspending, and commit yourself to start over next month. Then, calculate any overdraft fees charged by totaling the amount spent on fees and evaluate the transactions that caused the overspending.


Question 2: Did I pay all of my bills on time and in full?

At the conclusion of each month, review all of your monthly expenses and evaluate whether or not you paid them on time and in full. If you paid any bills late, then indicate which bills were late, by how many days, and why. If you didn’t pay your bills in full and on time, then don’t avoid the late payments. Make payment arrangements to pay it off over time and then adjust your budget going forward by adding the incremental amount to the budgets in the subsequent months.

Question 3: Is there anything that I want to adjust for the next month?

Take the time to assess your progress towards your financial goals and monthly budgeting. After doing this exercise, you may decide that you need to make some changes to your plan and that is okay. If something in the budget isn’t working then feel free to change it and re-adjust the spending categories as you need to until you find something that works for you and your family. 


Question 4: How much closer am I to achieving my goals?

If you don’t pay attention to and monitor your progress towards your goals, then you can easily forget about them as you focus on day-to-day living. As you assess the progress towards your goals you want to understand how much you contributed towards your financial goals this month and whether it was this more than, less than, or on track with what you planned. 


Conclusion

This may seem like a lot of work at the end of each month, but going through this process will help you to fine-tune your spending and put you in a better financial position going forward.


Learn more about Aisha at www.FNPhenomenal.com, Twitter: @FNPhenomenal

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Become What You Believe: 3 Steps to Create Your Professional Vision by Nicole Grimes

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Vision is defined as the act or power of sensing with eyes; sight (dictionary.com). Through visualization, we see so much, our past, the present, and the future. So often, we mistakenly place our vision in the category of dreams and forget that we have the power to manifest our vision through our focused actions. In order to move from vision to reality, it’s critical that you are able to do the following:

· Know What You Want
· Create a Plan for What You Want
· Take Action to Get What You Want

Let’s take a closer look…

1. Know What You Want – Listen, if YOU do know what you want, we have a problem, Houston. Take out a notepad or your laptop, and start writing…write until you can’t write anymore. What is your perfect utopian vision of what you want for your professional life? I don’t care if it seems unimaginable. Write it down. An idea to help you organize your thoughts is to place them in categories. You may choose this by creating the categories in advance or after you write. Consider the following: 6 months to a year, 2-3 years, 5 years and so on. This entire exercise may seem dumb or uncomfortable, but I promise it will help you get on track. The key to creating your vision is to be able to see it…literally.

2. Create the Plan for What You Want – It may be hard to really break down your action steps for the next five years, but you can definitely map our action steps for the next 6 months. Start there…pretty soon, those 6 months will have come and gone. Answer the following key questions:

  • What are 3-5 professional goals I want to reach in the next 6 months? These goals should be SMART:
  • Identify the HOW – How will you achieve these goals? Remember, this may change somewhat, but your goals and your intended results… probably not.
  • Identify real dates and put them on the calendar. Hold yourself accountable.
3. Take Action to Get What You Want – Time to roll up your sleeves to get that plan into motion. Start with those action items you identified in step 2. We are aiming for small wins which will equal big wins over time. For example, if one of your action items is to reach a six-month goal of making 3 new key connections in the workplace, it’s time to get dressed and get to networking. These dreams will not become reality overnight. Put yourself out there, and make it happen for yourself. No action equals no action.

Start with these three steps to manifest your vision. Your job is to make the invisible visible by taking action for your own life. By knowing what you want, creating a plan to get what you want, and taking action, you begin to create a more intentional path to living the life of your dreams. Be aggressive, be clear, focus yourself, and make it happen. Become what you believe.


Learn more about Nicole Grimes at www.thenicolemg.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NicoleGrimes_

Book Nicole as a Motivational Speaker, send an email to nicolegrimes@thenicolemg.com

Do You Ramble When You Present? Here's How to Change That! by Bridgett McGowen

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There is so much you want to cover and only so much time to do it. Subconsciously, you want your audience to fall as deeply in love with your topic as you are already in love with it. This tends to cause a problem.

But just a second … this is not to suggest there is something wrong with wanting your audience to find the same value in your content as you find in it. The challenge lies in this desire propelling you to share and share and share to the point you end up rambling, rambling, and rambling. By going off on tangents or losing your train of thought, you also lose your effectiveness and diminish your power with all of the spins and twirls and ups and downs and twists and turns you put in your message.

First, keep in mind that you are not there to create experts out of your listeners. Would that be awesome if you could? Absolutely! Is that realistic? Absolutely not.

Think of the number of hours, days, weeks, months, and even years or decades it took you to get where you are with your knowledge. As such, remember the time you have to present is limited; hence, the material you provide must be limited in quantity but not - you guessed it - quality. Give your audience the three biggest components that will spark a curiosity and give them just enough information so they can understand why you are so passionate.

Second, with those three big components, remember who is in your audience. Ask yourself …

  • What is the main takeaway?

  • How do I want to change everyone's beliefs and actions?

  • Why should this be important to everyone?
Commit to answer only those questions, and you stay on topic. (More practice with these three questions is available in Master Your Message: The Workbook.)

Next, rely on presentation software to keep you on track. Use slides with as few words as possible because there can never be anything on a slide more interesting or exciting than the words you speak. And as you design your slides, use a minimalistic approach where you provide a high-quality, high-impact graphic with only a few words on each slide. If you get off track, you can glance at your laptop or computer screen, and the image will refocus you.

Additionally, stop and listen to how much you're talking. If you have been talking for more than 10 to 15 minutes without getting input from the audience, then you've been talking too much and possibly rambling as a result.

Finally, pay attention to the audience's body language. Is the audience mentally and even physically checking-out by looking at watches, shifting in seats, thumbing through the handout you gave, engaging with their phones? All of these can be telltale signs that you're rambling and that it's time to change up things.

You've got this. Be seen. Be heard. Be great!

P.S. Check out the BMcTALKS Academy and my NEW online courses. Watch for new courses coming soon!

P.P.S Are you a professional woman who makes presentations as part of your job or business? Did you ever wish you could get personal and helpful guidance on improving your presentation skills? Get on the phone with me for a complimentary 45-minute call to learn how to start making your presentations amazing once and for all! Schedule your call here It’ll be the best 45 minutes you’ve ever spent working on your presentation skills. I guarantee it!


Learn more about Bridgett at BMcTALKS.
Twitter: @1bmctalks