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Ah, the woman who played the infamous Carrie Bradshaw. The ladies of the CGS Team absolutely love the Sex and the City show. How amazing were those four ladies? Anyways, we’re not here to talk about one of the best shows ever…We’re here to talk about Sarah Jessica Parker! Obviously, if SJP could play fashion-obsessed Carrie Bradshaw, she has to be fashionable herself. We’re sharing our 10 favorite looks of Sarah Jessica Parker!

#10 Sarah looked heavenly walking down the red carpet at the 2003 Emmy awards. She wore a custom Chanel gown designed by Karl Lagerfeld himself! Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage

#9 SJP knows how to rock complementing colors! She paired a metallic, sequined top with a grey coat, light wash skinny jeans, and silver pumps. She looks fantastic! Photo: Getty Images.

#8 Sarah dazzled on the red carpet wearing a sequined Prabal Gurung dress at the 2018 Deauville American Film Festival. She finished the look off with strappy heels and simple jewelry. Photo: Getty Images.

#7 Not many people can get away with rocking a throw with their initials, but SJP can! We love how she rocked her Burberry throw with skinny jeans, cute platforms and a matching handbag! Photo: Getty Images.

#6 Sarah looked like a real-life princess while attending the New York City Ballet Gala in 2015. She wore a classic updo with a dazzling gown that showed a little leg! Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images North America.

#5 “Hello Luvvaaa”! Sarah looks amazing in the perfect LBD! She showed off her lovely legs in this long sleeve black dress, paired with classic black pumps. Photo: Getty Images.

#4 SJP looks amazing in any color! She looked fabulous in an embroidered emerald gown for the opening of Broadway's Hamilton in Manhattan back in 2015.

#3 Nothing beats a comfy-cute celeb! Sarah rocked sneakers, skinny jeans, a beanie and navy trench coat while out and about in NYC. She shows that comfortable can be fashionable! Photo: Fame Flynet.

#2 Trendy as ever! Sarah stepped out in London wearing a trench coat and black boots. She went with big hair (great choice) and diamond, dangling earrings! Photo: Getty Images.

#1 This woman is body goals at 50! She rocked a form-fitting, lace and ruffled black mini-dress at the 2010 ShoWest Awards Ceremony. Photo: Getty Images.

 

Now this lady has some serious style! It was certainly hard to pick our top 10 looks of SJP, but we managed pretty well! Check out some of our other Best Celeb Looks:

Olivia Culpo’s Best 12

Beyonce’s Best 10

Jessica Alba’s Best 15

 

What do you think of our favorite Sarah Jessica Parker looks? Do you have a favorite look of hers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

-The CGS Team

 

The post Sarah Jessica Parker’s Best 10 appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Balance is the most important ingredient to sustained productivity. You may find it hard to believe, especially if you’re a “workaholic”, but having too much of anything, including work, can cause a bad reaction for yourself and others around you. I strongly encourage you to find, create and maintain a sense of balance in your work place. To maintain a productive workspace could make for a better experience!

When there is goodness, there is always productivity that follows. Work should not be looked at as a place of hell or confusion. You get to work to use your gifts and talents to help the day-to-day functions get achieved. When people talk bad about their work place – it is solely because there is no productivity surrounding them.

Set Boundaries for Your Workspace

Creating a productive workspace isn’t as difficult as one may think. You do not need a lot of money to make your place of work productive, you just need to set some boundaries. Boundaries could mean a wide range of things, but to start off, it could simply be voicing to your colleagues your work ethic in the most professional way possible.

For instance, as soon as you enter the office, you would like a couple of minutes to go through emails or check any voicemails prior to engaging in any work-related items. Or perhaps you would prefer people to make appointments with you to meet instead of them just barging into your office without a request. Setting boundaries in the work place isn’t costly but the reward is so big. Make your opinions known and others will follow suit.

Keep Up or Speak Up

To maintain something, including a productive workspace, you have to keep up – according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, maintain means “to keep in an existing state (as of repair, efficiency, or validity): preserve from failure or decline.”

Therefore, you should not fall behind on the responsibilities of your position in your company. If you feel that falling behind is inevitable, you have to keep an open line of communication that allows you to voice where projects are and where they need to be, whether you are a manager or a teammate.

In the instance you are given too many projects at one time, it is your responsibility to maintain that line of communication with your team and ask for some assistance, or inform your supervisor. There is nothing wrong with spreading the wealth! We have to remember we are all humans and humans are not perfect. The key is not let the errors continue without voicing your concerns.

Change Your Scenery

Aside from keeping open lines of communications and creating boundaries, it is also important to know when to take time away from the office. Trust me, I get it. Work sometimes can get the best of us, and somehow we lose track of time because we are so focused on getting the best outcome. While this may be true, it’s important to take time for you.

ME TIME is so very important when trying to maintain a professional work environment. Taking those few days out of the office to just do nothing or perhaps your favorite past time activity is vital for your own well being and your job. Taking some paid time off is beneficial for your health because you don’t want to stress so much that you can’t perform to the best of your abilities.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are always a nice little desk decoration that keeps the aroma of good energy along with cute accents. I encourage you to get a mini oil diffuser for your desk that allows essential oils to steam through, providing tantalizing scents to keep a productive work energy for you and others in the surrounding area.

Scents such as lavender, jasmine, eucalyptus and peppermint can help you focus throughout the day. They are also great beginner scents for the office. If the oil diffuser is too much, then you can opt out and try oil diffuser sticks. It’s similar in concept. However, instead of the oil being diffused as mist, the oil is being scented through the tips of the sticks. You’re still able to smell the oil, just not in a mist form.

Related: Beautify Your Workspace

Incorporating these suggestions will have your work improve, and your well-being be at peace. Its never too late to start implementing! What suggestions would you offer that you know worked? Have you tried any of the suggestions we listed above? Post a comment below to share your tips for creating and maintaining a productive workspace.

-Taelor
The CGS Team

Taelor CageContent Contributor
 

The post How to Create and Maintain a Productive Workspace appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Being in a relationship certainly has its advantages. Someone to enjoy life with. Someone who inspires you to be better. Someone who sets goals with you. While all that is good and fine, the reality is that not all relationships last. If you’ve gotten serious with your partner and it comes to an end, you have to separate finances after a break up.

It’s the ugly side of relationships, but it happens. It’s not fun to undo a merge of feelings, finances, or material things. However, it can always be done. I’m sharing 5 ways to separate finances after a break up. Whether you are in a relationship that’s working, or recently split from your partner, these steps will help you if you ever need to separate joint finances.

Ways to Separate Finances after a Break Up Review Joint Assets and Debts

As hard as it may be, when you are looking to separate finances after a break up, you have to put your emotions aside. You’ll both have to come to the table with a logical state of mind and look at your joint assets and debts. Here are a few questions to ask to help you determine what may be joint assets and debts:

Did you have a joint bank account (meaning both names are on the account)?

Did you have a joint savings account?

Did you open any credit lines or loans together (again, both names on the debt)?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you’ll have to think about next steps for each account. If you have a joint checking and savings account, what are you going to do with any balances in there? I’d love to say that 50-50 split is the fair way to go, but it depends on who contributed more to the household.

Another good plan for any balances in the joint checking or savings accounts could be to pay off any joint debt. Ideally, you’d want to pay off any joint debts as soon as possible. If not, you’ll have a lingering responsibility between you and your partner, which could keep the lines of communication open longer than you’d like.

Open Separate Bank Accounts

The next important step in the process of separating your finances after a break up is opening separate bank accounts. You may already have separate accounts and won’t need to open any new ones. My point here is that you need to get back to accounts that are solely yours.

If you have any current transfers or direct deposits going into your joint accounts, you’ll want to switch them to your personal bank accounts. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step and deal with the hassle of getting your money back.

Create a Game Plan for Joint Responsibilities

I touched on this above, but you’ll want to create a game plan for any joint responsibilities that can’t be taken care of quickly. This applies to any joint debts that will take some time to pay off. Will you both contribute an equal amount to the debt each month? Who’s responsible for making the actual payment? When will the debt be paid by either side?

Again, these are not ideal questions to deal with, but you can’t avoid them. Joint debts will hurt both parties if they aren’t handled in a responsible way.

You both may have other responsibilities that require financial means, such as kids, pets, property, and anything else of value that needs to be handled or separated. Who will take care of the responsibility? Will each party contribute equally? Will joint things of value be sold and profits split evenly?

Establish Communication Rules

As you are going through your joint responsibilities and coming up with a game plan for tackling everything, you’ll also want to establish communication rules. What happens if someone can’t pay their portion of a debt? What happens if someone loses their job?

Ideally, you’ll want to set rules around communicating things that could mess up the financial game plan. Though you may not want to share any details of your life after a break up, if it can impact your joint responsibilities, you will have to.

Have an Individual Plan

Now, this step isn’t something you both have to discuss together. However, this step needs to happen as you are separating finances after a break up. What is YOUR game plan? How are you going to take care of yourself? This can be hard to think about, especially if you were used to being supported by your partner.

You’ll want to make sure you have a few things figured out for yourself. Who paid for health insurance? If you were on the same plan, you’ll have to make some adjustments. Make sure your ex is included in any decisions that may affect him or her.

If you both lived together, you’ll need to think about moving. Where will either of you go? Will someone stay and the other leave? Do you need to have money saved for expenses associated with moving? What about the security deposit, especially if someone is staying?

Having an individual game plan for yourself, as soon after the break up as possible, will make for a smoother transition process. I know it’s not fun to think about these things before, during, or after a break up, but it’s so important to your solo success.

Moving Forward Solo

Life after a break up is possible. As hard as things may seem while you’re going through the break up, things always get better.

I may not know you personally, but I do know that you’re a strong, independent individual! You can get through anything – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If you need help, support, or guidance during your financial separation, make sure you get it! Take advantage of friends and family in this transition time.

You can also schedule a free consultation with me, and I’ll walk you through setting up everything for taking care of yourself financially.

Related: Relationships & Finances!

Break ups are hard and separating joint assets and debts can make it much harder. Having a plan for the separation will make life so much easier! You got this! Have you ever been through a break up that required a separation of finances? Post a comment below to share your tips and experiences. Your words may help someone else going through a break up!

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post 5 Ways to Separate Finances After a Break Up appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Various pieces of your wardrobe can mean something special to you. However, the cool thing about jewelry is that each piece has intricate details that can easily take your look to the next level. Jewelry can be worth more than most threads because unlike fashion, jewelry never grows old or goes out of style. There are so many different styles of jewelry that makes each piece unlike the other. Take a look at the eight different types of stones to rock in your jewelry to always stay trendy!

Emeralds

Just like Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz, this green colored gem is gorgeous to rock in any way. The name emerald comes from the Greek smaragdos, which literally means “green gem.” Its unique green shade will have you wanting matching pieces!

The precious green stones are prone to inclusions, as well as surface fissures. Perfectly smooth and transparent pieces of the green precious stones, which are very hard to come by, are very valuable and timeless for any wardrobe. 

Kunzite Stones

This pretty-in-pink colored gem is ideal for all the pink lovers out there. The name Kunzite refers to the lilac or pink stone of the mineral spodumene. Kunzite gets its color from the inclusion of manganese into the otherwise colorless mineral. If you love wearing pink, or just want to add some pink to your wardrobe, you can’t go wrong with Kunzite.

Black Pearls

When people usually think of a pearl the first color that comes to mind is white. Not all pearls come in the shade of white. The black pearl is a beautiful gem and from time to time can be hard to find. The oyster Pinctada margaritifera produces this particular gem.

The black pearl is also referred to as the Tahitian Pearl. The black pearl oysters turn out fewer amounts of the black stones, which make them hard to come by and very pricey. This may be more of a wish list item to keep an eye out for! 

Rubies

Of course, we have all heard the gem named Ruby. The name Ruby comes from the Latin word rubeus, literally meaning “red.” Whether you prefer gold to silver or have taken a liking to both, the Ruby is a must-have gem to be added to your jewelry.

The red color in this precious stone is the single most powerful factor in determining their price. This gem is no stranger to high dollar value. You can spot a Ruby a mile away due it’s deep red coloring. According to jewelers, the deeper the redness, the higher the value.

Alexandrite

If you are thinking of getting something that is unique in all its glory then I suggest getting an Alexandrite gem to rock in your jewelry collection. Alexandrite is a color-changing gemstone from the mineral chrysoberyl. Aside from the red or pink shades the gem can come in, alexandrite can also turn into a purple stone.

Alexandrite is the most valuable of purple gemstones next to diamond. The purple hue usually turns color at night under an incandescent light, while appearing green in the daytime. While all gems are rare in their own right, this gem is a rare mineral due to its ability to change its color.

Sardonyx

Sardonyx is a rare orange-colored gem stone. The words sard and onyx are separate, but when together, sardonyx is the red-and-white variety of onyx. This kind of agate is otherwise known to include black and white in color.

This gem is great when paired into a ring or bracelet. The Sardonyx gem is composed of white bands of chalcedony and red bands of sard, a red mineral very similar to carnelian. The white bands of sardonyx render the gemstone looking orange overall.

Amber

Have you ever seen a yellow colored stone? The semi-precious yellow stones are in fact fossilized resin from evergreen trees preserved under high pressure, which adds to its natural beauty. The yellow gems, also known as Amber, are not cold like other stones, but naturally warm to the touch making them stand out amongst its peers.

The yellow jewels, however, soften in intense heat, but are valuable when they have fossil inclusions. Ambers also come in red, green, even blue. While some may argue that Amber is not a stone it is in fact, a much-valued yellow gemstones.

Sapphire

The sapphire gem is one gem you definitely want to rock in your jewelry. Whether you like earrings or rings, this is one piece that you can get a lot of use out of. It has consistently remained one of the four precious stones in the world time and time again.

Amongst its other competitors Sapphire is the ultimate representation of blue gemstones. Sapphire is considered second only to diamond in hardness, this blue rock is a variety of the mineral corundum.

Related: Statement Studs

Whatever is your stone or color preference, I encourage you to wear what makes you happy. It’s great to know that there are so many different types of stones available to us all.

What stone is your favorite? Did you realize there were more stones out there other than diamonds? If you haven’t already, check out our Facebook page, and join the group and jump in the conversation. Also, follow our Instagram and Twitter accounts @citygirlsavings!

-Taelor
The CGS Team

Taelor CageContent Contributor
 

The post 8 Stones to Rock in Your Jewelry appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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When it comes to your financial situation, it's important to set goals and keep tabs on your progress along the way. If you aren't setting goals, then what are you really working towards? And, if you aren't keeping tabs on your progress, how do you know if you will actually reach your goals? The ability to pulse check your money at the end of each month will help!

I am a firm believer in pulse checking your money and progress at the end of each month. I do month end money pulse checks myself, I help clients complete their month end money pulse checks, and in January of 2018, I started to go live at the end of each month to share my results.

Every month, I quickly break down exactly how to pulse check your money, and share my month end money pulse check results. If you want a more in-depth overview of how to pulse check your month, watch the How to Pulse Check Your Money video. I hope this encourages you to start pulse checking your money each month. It's a great way to pinpoint areas of opportunity, celebrate wins, and make sure you are on track to reach your goals.

Here is a quick recap on how to pulse check your money:
  • Refer to your budget
  • Refer to your spending
  • Refer to your goals
Then, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Did anything unexpected come up to throw off my budget? Should I budget for it moving forward?
  • What areas did I overspend in? What areas did I under spend in?
  • Did I spend more money than I made this month?
  • How much did I contribute to my goals? Am I on track to reach my goal savings amount by my deadline?

Your answers will help you plan your budget better for next month! You may even realize spending patterns you didn't know you had. This will allow you to make changes to help you save more and manage your money better.

June + Q2 2019 Money Pulse Check - YouTube
My June month and Q2 2019 end money pulse check results:
  • I saved $300 more than planned this month (for vacation and annual expenses).
  • Annual pet shots and doctor visit was an unplanned expense that through my numbers off.
  • Stay under budget in Transportation.
  • Over budget in Food (but better than last month) and Shopping (due to new work suit and swimsuits).

Like I mentioned earlier, I hope my pulse check tutorial and results helps you to start this habit on your own! I will be going live at the end of each month on the City Girl Savings Facebook group to recap how to pulse check and sharing my results for the month. More money pulse checks are coming!

-Raya

 

The post June + Q2 2019 Money Pulse Check appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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“I don’t like to lose at anything…yet I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how He teaches us.” A quote stated by the infamous superstar Serena Williams. Today, I’m walking you through how Serena Williams came to be the success she is today.

Serena is most known for her impeccable accomplishments in the tennis world.  She is an American tennis player, and according to Women’s Tennis Association is ranked number one in singles on eight incredible different occasions. Amongst her number one title, she also holds the most grand slam singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among an active player.

Where it Started

Serena is the youngest of five daughters: three of which are her half-sisters Yetunde, Lyndrea, Isha Price and her full older sister Venus. Serena was born in Michigan but moved to Compton, California at the tender age of four years old.

The game of tennis was heavily influenced in Serena’s life for as long as she could remember. She did not attend regular school as the other kids in her neighborhood, instead her father home-schooled her and her siblings so they could perfect their craft of playing tennis. By the time Serena was nine, she began attending the Tennis Academy of Rick Macci in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Early Adversity

Although Serena was a great athlete, she also faced adversity and racism early on in her career. Due to the color of her skin, other people would make derogatory comments about her during her tournaments.

During that time, her record was like nothing anyone had seen before – ranking her number one in the 10-year-old and under players in Florida. Bigotry did not stop Serena from her dream of one day playing in the professionals.  It didn’t take long until Serena got her chance to play professional tennis amongst the pros.

Becoming a Pro

Not even 18 years old, Serena made her professional debut – although it was a struggle she knew she had what it took to play. By 1999, Williams won her first professional singles match. With her professional career taking off she experienced high and low moments, but never let the naysayers get the best of her during tough times.

Instead of crowds focusing on her sport ability, they took to her appearance instead. As many people who are under the spotlight like her would have folded under the pressure – Serena did not. She quieted the noise and focused on her gifts and abilities of playing the game. As many wins she conquered, she experienced struggles with injuries that followed.

An injury in the sports world is never an easy demon to face. However, with the support of her family and strong will, she did not let injury hold her back. It wasn’t until 2011 when she returned to the court with dominance greeting her with a career golden slam.

Tennis Player Turned Business Woman

With all of her businesses, Serena earns over $8 million a year. Her net worth is estimated to be upwards of $150 million and is only expected to rise in the coming years.  Serena not only perfected the game of tennis, but also learned how to invest her money so it can grow for her.

She has several endorsement deals with companies such as Nike, Beats By Dre, and Gatorade, to name a few. If the name Serena Williams does not make you want to be a go-getter and make your own money then we don’t know what to tell you. She is a champion for all women! She sets goals and reaches them without breaking a sweat.

Present Day Inspiration

She is married to husband Alexis Ohanian (founder of Reddit) and shares a beautiful baby girl with him. Serena has never let the word no or can’t be the reason why she doesn’t excel. Through her trials, she learned valuable lessons of working hard and staying true to herself.

She is one woman who believes hard work and dedication can make any dream become reality. Amongst her many roles and titles she has earned, the name mom holds the highest title. She continues to be a role model for young girls and women around the world showing that anything is possible if you’re your heart is in it.

Related: How’d She Do It? Karen Civil

Serena Williams is a true inspiration, on and off the court. She shows the power of working hard and facing adversity head on. I hope this read inspires you to look fear in the face and keep grinding! Are you a fan of Serena Williams? What do you think of her story? Post a comment below to share!

-Taelor
The CGS Team

Taelor CageContent Contributor
 

The post How’d She Do It? Serena Williams appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Financial aid for higher education is a trillion-dollar industry. How crazy is that?! That means trillions of dollars are loaned to young people, and is expected to be paid back. Actually, things are getting out of hand. While every situation is different, the steps to take to pay off student loans are relatively the same. I’m sharing 8 tips to help you pay off your student loans.

Student Loan Facts and Stats

Before I dive into what you can do to aggressively pay off student loans, I want to shed light on some financial aid facts and statistics. According to Forbes, “Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category - behind only mortgage debt - and higher than both credit cards and auto loans.”

More surprisingly, over 44 million borrowers owe over $1 trillion! That is more money than Oprah may see in a life time! The Forbes article also shared that of those 44 million financial aid borrowers, just over 11% of them are delinquent on paying back their loans. The reality is that the total cost of education can take decades to pay back, depending on how much a person earns right out of college.

A majority of the clients I work with have student loan debt. Some of them feel like they will die with their debt, and that doesn’t have to be the case! There are certain things anyone can do to help pay off student loans and release the chains of debt.

Tips to Help You Pay Off Student Loans #1 – Understand exactly what you owe

Before you can attempt any type of repayment plan for your student loans, you need to understand exactly what you owe. Do you have private loans, federal loans or both? Do you know all of your loan servicers, and if they are different from the lenders? What is your total balance due and what is your interest rate?

I suggest you purchase a notebook dedicated to your student loan information. This notebook will be your life line for paying and managing your student loans. Your notebook should list any and all pertinent student loan information, including but not limited to: total balance due, minimum payment, due date, interest rate, lender and servicer names, type of loan (federal or private), date in which loan should be paid off and potential repayment options.

#2 – Assess your current status (any delinquencies, repayment plan options, forbearance)

Once you have an idea of your entire student loan situation, it’s time to do a deeper dive into the current status of all your loans. Are any of your loans in default, meaning they are past due? Are any of your loans in a forbearance status? Are you on an income driven repayment plan? Make sure you understand the status of each loan. Leverage your notebook to keep track.

#3 – Refinance, consolidate, or set up repayment plans

If you have delinquencies, you will want to assess if you can bring the past due balance current. If not, you should call your lender and try to set up a repayment plan. Delinquencies can hurt your credit score and make it hard for you to get future assistance with your student loan payments.

If you don’t have delinquencies, great! Can you afford your current student loan payments? Can you afford to contribute more money on top of your current payment? If you are in a situation where you can handle your student loan payment and contribute more, you won’t need to work with your lender. You can create your own repayment plan, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

If you don’t have delinquencies, but you can’t afford your current payment, reach out to your lender. While federal loans are more likely to be lenient with repayment plans, some private lenders offer assistance as well.

You won’t know your options until you ask. Often times, any lender will request you submit an application or current financial status recap to see if you qualify for any repayment plan options. You will want a good understanding of your budget before you agree to anything.

Lastly, refinancing and consolidating are options. If you have a good credit history and good standing with your loans, you may be able to consolidate or refinance your student loans to lower the payment, lower in the interest rate, or deal with one big loan instead of a many smaller loans. Do your research before committing to anything. You’ll want to make sure this is the best plan of attack for your situation.

#4 – Create your own repayment plan (update budget, snowball method, set up automatic bill pay)

Assuming that you aren’t delinquent on your student loans, or maybe you are but you’re in a position to get current quick, and you can contribute more than the current payment, create your own repayment plan.

This is a great option for anyone who can afford to do it and can stay consistent to implement. It’s a great option because you create the terms of your repayment. You aren’t locked into anything and you can dictate contributing more, if you choose to.

It all starts with a detailed budget plan. Your budget will show you how much extra money you have, after all your bills, expenses and savings, to put towards your student loan payment. This information will be powerful for creating your repayment plan.

I would recommend using a strategy like the snowball method to attack your student loans – put any extra money to the loan with the lowest balance, while paying the minimum on the other loans. Once that loan is paid off, move on to the next and the next, until they are all paid off.

You can help yourself stay consistent by setting up automatic bill pay for your loans, following your repayment plan. Some lenders even give a discount or interest rate reduction for people who have their payments set up on automatic bill pay.

#5 – Find ways to cut back (living situation, hold off on big purchases)

While you may or may not have extra money to contribute to your student loan payments, you can always find ways to cut back. Maybe you move back home, get a roommate, find a part-time job, let go of discretionary expenses, or hold off on traveling.

When you have any form of debt, including student loans, you’ll have to find ways to live on less, so you can pay your debts off faster. Hold off on big purchases like a house or car, until your student loans are in a manageable place. This is probably the hardest thing for most young people do to. Think about it, they are out of school and making good money…why wouldn’t they want to spend it?!

It will take a lot of sacrifice, discipline and accountability, but living under your means will help you pay off student loans, and any other debt, while ensuring all of your responsibilities are still being taken care of.

#6 – Explore loan forgiveness programs

I had touched on the subject of repayment plans, but some lenders offer student loan forgiveness. This is more common in federal loans, but private lenders may have some options. For example, if you work in the health or government sectors and pay on your student loans for a specific amount of time (say, 20 years), the balance after 20 years will be forgiven.

This doesn’t apply to every industry, nor are any lenders required to offer this type of program, but like I said before, you don’t know until you ask. If you have an opportunity to have your balance forgiven after a certain amount of consistent payments, why wouldn’t you take advantage?

#7 – Employer assistance options are increasing

What is becoming increasingly popular is employers assisting their employees with student loan assistance options. An article from Go Banking Rates shared 20 companies that offer student loan payment assistance.

Companies do anything from matching a portion of your payment to providing lump sums. If you are looking for a new job, inquiring about the company’s student loan payment assistance options would be wise!

#8 – Work with a coach

Remember how earlier in the article I said that the hardest thing for most young people to do is live under their means? Well, it doesn’t just apply to young people. If you have never been able to master budgeting or you can’t control yourself, outside accountability can do wonders.

I’m a financial coach and I work closely with clients to create and stick to a budget, pay down their debt, stay consistent with their budgeting, saving and debt-repayment efforts, and focus on the bigger picture. It can be hard to go through financial troubles alone. A coach can be a partner as you work to get ahead financially.

If you have student loan debt and don’t feel like you have a way out, schedule a free consultation with me and let’s talk it out!

Related: How to Control Student Loan Anxiety

If the statistics above didn’t show you that you aren’t alone in your student loan pay off journey, I’m not sure what else will! Millions of people are on the quest to pay off student loans.

Follow the tips above to get yourself on a plan and on the right track to get rid of your student loan debt as quickly as you can. It will not be an easy, nor overnight journey, but it can happen! Do you have student loans? What are you currently doing to pay off your student loans? Leave a comment below to share!

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post 8 Tips to Help You Pay Off Student Loans appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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Getting a budget set up is a great accomplishment. You have identified how much money you bring in each month, how much money you spend each month, and what you do with the remaining amount. You have it in a form that makes it easy to follow month-over-month. Way to go! But, when it comes to following it, you actually feel guilty for spending. I want you to ditch guilty spending on a budget, and I’m sharing why and how.

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about spending (when it’s in budget).

Please notice the words in parenthesis “when it’s in budget”. Your budget should outline all of your spending, not just bills. You should account for all of your fun, recreational, and variable spending every month. When you have these numbers specified, it means you’ve thought through them and can afford them. With that being said, you should not feel bad about spending money on them!

Your budget makes sure all of your goals and responsibilities are covered, and you have free reign to do what you want with what is left over. I have clients who feel a little shame about spending that left-over amount on things they don’t really need. I tell them to ditch that shame! They earned it! They earned spending money on themselves because they’ve done everything else they were supposed to with their money.

The same would apply to you and your situation! You have made sure your goals and priorities have been covered with your income, and you shouldn’t feel bad about spending the remaining amount. You can always save it if you really don’t want to spend it. However, if you do need or what to get something for yourself, and it’s included in your budget, you should not feel guilty about buying it.

How to ditch guilty-spending on a budget

Since I’ve walked you through why you shouldn’t feel bad about spending money on discretionary things that are budgeted for, I want to show you how to get rid of that feeling. Because you know you shouldn’t feel bad, but you likely still do feel bad.

#1 Look at your budget to see if your discretionary number is too high

Maybe you feel guilty because you have too much discretionary income to spend each month. I would suggest you take a look at your budget and see. Are you spending more on “fun” things each month than what is going into savings or towards debt? If not, then maybe you should put more into savings to help make sure you don’t feel bad about spending money on yourself.

#2 Try a half and half approach

If you’ve looked at your numbers and can see that you definitely save more than you spend on fun, then great! Hopefully that makes you feel better about spending on yourself, but if not, I’d recommend the half and half approach.

This means that you take the total number you have budgeted for spending on yourself and split it in half. The first half should continue to be budgeted for fun spending and the second half should be the amount you put into savings (on top of any other savings amount you have budgeted).

You’ve already confirmed your goals and priorities are covered well above the numbers you have allocated for yourself, but you’re still feeling guilty about spending. That means you should put more into savings to ease that guilt. You can always adjust the numbers back or reduce it to 75% for fun and 25% saved, once you get to a place where you don’t feel bad about spending money on yourself.

#3 Remind yourself of your progress

When clients tell me they don’t want to spend the money they have budgeted for fun, or they feel bad about spending what was budgeted, I tell them to look at how far they’ve come. They’ve been able to pay down debt, save more than before they started working with me, and keep their spending in line with the budget that’s been created.

That is something to be proud of. That is something that justifies spending money on something just because you want it. If you feel bad about spending money on yourself, take a second to recognize how far you’ve come. Look at your progress from when you started your budgeting journey. Appreciate your efforts and know that you are still getting stuff done, even with a little fun spending!

#4 Change your outlook on money

The last thing I’d recommend to ditch guilty-spending on a budget is to change your outlook on money. Money is meant to be spent and meant to be saved. If you are saving money, you are doing what you’re supposed to. If you are spending money, you are doing what you’re supposed to.

Money comes and money goes. You have to understand that money is not meant to be “hoarded”. You will need to spend. Since you have a budget, you should feel confident in how you spend your money and what it is being spent on, even if it’s on yourself. When you think about money this way, you don’t feel as bad about watching it leave your account (if it’s budgeted, of course).

Struggling with your money and budget choices? Schedule a free consultation with me and let's work through it together!

Related: 5 Reasons You Need to Budget for Fun

Sometimes you want to keep up your financial progress so much that you forget to take care of yourself. That just means your mind is in the right place, but follow the tips above and feel comfortable about rewarding yourself for a job well done with your budget each month! How do you feel when you spend money that is budgeted? Do you make sure to budget something for yourself every month? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment below!

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post How to Ditch Guilty Spending on a Budget appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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I know you’ve heard me quote this statistic before, but I’m going to do it again because it’s so powerful. The average millionaire has 7 streams of income. That basically means that they have money coming in from 7 different sources, including popular side hustles.

I'm not talking just a primary, full-time income, but income from other areas too. So, what does this mean for you? Well, it means you need to think about how you bring in money. There are plenty of popular side hustles to try, if you only have one income source.

How are you bringing in money?

This is a question that a lot of us don’t really focus on. Of course, we all know we need to “work” to make money, but think about all of the different ways money comes to you. Do you have a full-time job? Do you have a second part-time job? Do you receive dividends from your investments? Do you rent out a room for more money?

When you start thinking about all of the means you are currently bringing in money, it can help you focus on increasing the number that comes your way from those means. It also can help you think about how you can bring in more money. If your only source of income is your full-time job, you need to think bigger. I say that because, what would happen if you got laid off? If that’s your only stream of income, you would be out of luck.

Popular Side Hustles to Try

Since having one source of income can be very risky, expanding your income sources reduces your risk and ensures you will always have money coming in. This is very important, especially if your one income source is not guaranteed. I’m going to share a few popular side hustles that people are digging into now to increase their revenue streams!

Driver

Often times, when people hear driving as a side hustle, they automatically assume Lyft or Uber. But, guess what? There are plenty of other driving opportunities out there. While I think Uber and Lyft (especially when done at the same time), are great options, they are not the only options. A few other driving opportunities include Postmates, Grubhub, Door Dash, and local delivery or logistics companies.

My brother owns a logistics company here in Austin. He seeks out drivers on Craigslist to help with requested pick up and drop offs from companies. The items being delivered range from food to flowers to documents. He advertises on Craigslist and looks to hire new drivers weekly. I’m sure he’s not the only one in this field, so do your research if this is something you’d enjoy doing on the side.

Coach

The coaching industry has surged in the past few years. You can hire a coach to help you do anything nowadays. There are coaches for finance and budgeting (hello, you all know I’m a budget coach for City Girl Savings). There are coaches for health, fitness, marketing, starting a business, dressing properly, speaking properly, and a variety of other areas.

My point is that if you are skilled in a particular area, and you wouldn’t mind making money from your skills, going into the coaching industry isn’t a bad idea. How do you know if being a coach would work out for you? Well, do people always ask for your help in a certain area? That could be a good sign right there. Make sure it’s something you enjoy doing, just in case it turns out to be a long-term thing!

Sales Rep

If you don’t want to start your own business, but wouldn’t mind working for an already-established company, there are plenty of opportunities to be a sales rep. Companies like Stella & Dot, Paparazzi Jewelry, Arbonne skincare products, Crunchi beauty products, and Chloe and Isabel offer these types of independent sales roles. You can sign up with these companies to sell their products. Any money you make pays for your products and leaves you with the profit!

Virtual Assistant

Another popular side hustle as of late is becoming a virtual assistant. If you like to do administrative-type tasks, work on websites and social media, or do graphic design, becoming a virtual assistant is a great way to bring in extra cash. A virtual assistant is basically what the name suggests. They provide online assistance to people, businesses, and start-ups.

The hourly rate for a virtual assistant can vary based on the services provided, but if you are good with digital tasks, this can be a great option. The good thing about doing any kind of digital work is that you can do it anytime. You don’t have a set time throughout the day to do your work. This means you can do it in conjunction with other work.

Blogger

You guys know I’m very big on leveraging blogging to make extra money. I think it can change the game, especially since our world is becoming more and more digital. In the article How to Start a Money-Making Blog, I walk you through getting your blog set up and making sure it’s ready to start bringing in money for you. If you’re passionate about a specific topic, or enjoy writing about your life and thoughts, blogging is the perfect side hustle to add to your list of income sources!

Freelancer

The last popular side hustle I’d recommend is becoming a freelancer. You can do this digitally or in-person. Online companies like Fiverr and Upwork allow you to sell your services to people specifically looking for what you offer. There are a variety of services offered, so if you aren’t sure what you can offer, check out the websites to see what other people are doing.

Related: 15 Ideas to Earn a Quick Buck

These are just 6 popular side hustles for right now, but there are so many other ways you can bring in more money. You have to get creative, do your research, and be willing to put in the work. However, if you can do those 3 things, you can make a lot more money! Do you currently have any side hustles? If so, what are they? How many income sources do you have? Post a comment below to share!

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant
 

The post 6 Popular Side Hustles to Try appeared first on City Girl Savings.

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