7 Motivational Videos to Inspire Your Day

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I’ve always been big into learning from inspiring, insightful, and wholehearted individuals, and have found immense motivation from actively listening and reading wonderful people like Brene Brown, Tony Robbins, David Essel, Les Brown, Oprah, Eckhart Tolle, and so many more who deserve to make the list. I am constantly inspired by people’s willingness and courage to share and to be vulnerable in order to connect, collaborate, and inspire. Over the last two months, I have been religiously listening to at least 30 minutes of motivational speeches, books, or videos to start my morning, and I wanted to share some of my very favorite. 

  1. Think like a Billionaire by Tony Robbins
  2. One of the Best Speeches Ever – Jim Rohn
  3. Oprah interviewing Maya Angelou
  4. Coping when Life Sucks – David Essel (Join his David Essel minutes)
  5. Brene Brown – Power of Vulnerability (honorable mentions for shorter episodes of empathy, shame, and blame)
  6. The Habits to Have in Life – Tony Robbins, Les Brown, and Mel Robbins
  7. Now is Your Time – Tony Robbins & Gary Vee

Let’s share resources and inspiration. I am currently working on an inspirational podcast list and books worth reading!

5 Ways To Budget and Optimize Your Money Every Month

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Since graduating college, coming home from Peace Corps, starting my Master’s, accepting a full-time job, and buying a house, I’ve really started to think about the tips I use to not only save my money, but also optimize it. I’m sure you have a ton on your plate too, so here are some ideas to enhance your financial stability. With the right financial strategy, we can all strive!

I’m not a financial advisor or any sort of guru,, but I have an undergraduate degree in Economics and managing money has always been a hobby of mine (nerd alert). So take this with a grain of salt, if you will.  Also, I’ve always been a saver, but I wanted to learn ways to get more for my money and be able to travel and afford adventures, so this is what I do in my everyday life to maximize my money. 

1) Take out your entertainment money/budget out in CASH!

  •  I budget in cash, especially for variable costs. Each month, it can vary how much you spend going out to eat or weekend trips or clothes shopping. So what I do is… if I want to go buy an outfit, I’ll grab a $50 and tell myself, once the $50 is spent, the money is gone, I can’t use my card. I set boundaries with myself, knowing I have other things I want to buy later on. 
  • I was listening to a podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/something-you-should-know/id1150124880 and it was talking about how psychologically you are going to spend less when you have cash vs. a credit card, and you are less likely to spend NEW, BIG bills. So they recommended: going to the bank, and taking out your budgeted money in crisp $50 bills. 

2) Use Credit Cards like Debit Cards & …. Pay it off every month! 

  • When I turned 18, my mom and stepdad helped me open up 3 credit cards in my name so I could start building up credit and that was the BEST thing they could have done for me. I didn’t use them to buy anything crazy, which is important; every month, I’d use it to buy my gas and then pay it off. Over the years, I have built my credit to be able to get a car loan at 20 and a mortgage at 23. 
  • I get FREE money every month from points I’ve earned buying things I normally buy anyways. I pay off my card every month, and have never paid interest. So the cards I use daily are: Discover (if you’re a student) https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/student/chrome-card.html There’s no annual fees and you get 2% cash back at restaurants and for gas. For anything, not gas or restaurants, I use https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/compare/view-all-credit-cards to get 1% cash back on all my purchases.  I know a lot of people who have Southwest and JetBlue cards, so they can save money on FLIGHTS!

3) Make an Amazon Wishlist instead of clicking BUY everytime

  • This is a new trick of mine, but I wish I started doing this sooner. First off, create a list on amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201936670) i.e. home wishlist, christmas gifts
  • So what I do……. instead of putting the items into my cart, I put them on a wishlist and buy an items or two every paycheck. It’s so easy to spend money online and have it shipped to your house, but when you make a list, you can compare items and prioritize what you actually need and when. It’s a great way to budget, and plan.

4) Keep an excel file with how much you make and then INCLUDE fixed expenses you have every month. If you need a template, reach out to me.

  • This is big for me. I like to use Excel to keep track of what expenses I have every month, and how much I have coming in. I know every month I have money being taken out of my account for my Roth IRA, my mortgage expenses, electric, etc, and those are things I need to ALWAYS take care of. 
  • When I can visually see how much I am making and how many expenses I have, it helps me budget, save, and prioritize. I love traveling, so I’m big into putting money away every month for travels. So if you want to put $100 aside every pay check, I’d recommend making another savings account.

5) Go through your account and make sure expenses aren’t being taken out of your account every month without you realizing.

This is what I do, and it works for me, but I’m constantly learning and growing, so if you have any tips, leave them in the comments!

5 Easy Steps To Starting A Personal Blog

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It can seem intimidating at first to start, but you’ll be so happy that you did. Your voice has value and deserves to be heard and shared, so that’s why I’m sharing my insights on getting the wheels up on you starting your own personal blog. I started my first blog 5 years ago and then created Thoughtful Blonde three years ago, and I have loved every second of it. Boy have I learned a lot and I’m excited to share. 

Step 1: Figure Out What You Want To Share

What do you want to write about? 

What are your passions?

How are you adding value to your future audience?

There are so many niches (your specific interest) to write about, so what do you know a lot about? I personally share a lot of introspective pieces that also tie in recommendations and travel insights. Other people have fashion, cooking, health, fitness, makeup, etc blogs, so take some time to journal down what kind of content you’d want to create.

Step 2: Find the Right Platform For You

Do you have website design experience? Are you not too tech savy?

Here’s my perspective on that — when I first started, I used Wix because that was more popular to the newbie with no experience and does not require any coding. However, it allows you to do a lot of customizing when it comes to designing which can be both fun and time consuming. I switched over to WordPress 3 years ago because I wanted a simple, cohesive design that allowed me to focus more on my content creation than on maintaining a website. There are other platforms, like Medium, that are very popular for primarily for creating and sharing instead of having your own domain. Do your own research and get comfortable with your choice.

Step 3: Sign Up, Register, and Play Around

Don’t take it too seriously the minute you choose a platform because it can be frustrating at times. It’s extremely helpful to just play around, click different tabs, and see what you like and dislike. After a day or two, you’ll know if that’s the right platform for you. The two platforms, Wix and WordPress, are free for their most basic package that has ads and does not include a domain without their platform name in it, but that’s okay for just getting started. That way you don’t have a big commitment or financial obligation; this should be fun. It’s exciting to start something new. 

Step 4: BRAND YOURSELF

Branding is my absolute favorite thing, and over the years, I have loved building Thoughtful Blonde. 

So now it’s time for you to come up with:

  • Name of blog (ex: thoughtful blonde)

  • Slogan (authentic living & travel)

  • Topics You Want To Cover (Travel Recs, Books Recs, Makeup Tutorials)

When creating and promoting, do your best to be consistent and loyal to yourself and your values. A personal blog is a beautiful thing that can be a great way to connect and it’s an outlet to share. Don’t let the pressure to be more or different persuade you to be something or someone other than who truly are; your perspectives are special enough. 

Step 5: Begin Creating, Publishing, and Collaborating

This is the super fun part. Whether it’s making videos or writing blogs, you can start up loading to your site and sharing away. Come up with interesting things you’d want to share and go for it. A personal blog is a great place for videos, blog posts, and pictures, and every post will keep getting better and better. I look back at my first blogs from 5 years ago and giggle to myself, but I am proud of myself for starting and improving so much over the years. You’ll watch yourself grow in tremendous ways while having a personal blog, and I wish you the best of luck. 

Send me emails if you have questions or need coaching!

We are in this together, and stay safe during the pandemic, my friends