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by Patrice C. Washington

You’ve probably heard for as long as you can remember that you should be saving for a rainy day. You likely call it an “emergency fund” or “a little something to fall back on” or a stash you’re planning to use in case you “fall on hard times.”

One question: How’s all that doom and gloom rhetoric going for you?

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How to Organize Financial Docs Step by Step

by Patrice C. Washington
This post is apart of the FREE Get It Together Challenge this Spring.

The Get It Together Challenge began with me sharing my Ultimate Financial Checklist so you’d know exactly which financial and legal docs you should have on hand. Next, we talked about which docs to toss and when. So now it’s only natural that we take the documents formerly scattered about your home, office or automobile and take a little time the necessary time to organize them in a systematic way. 

When Is It Safe To Toss Financial Documents?

by Patrice C. Washington
This post is apart of the Get It Together Challenge: How to Organize Your Finances in 7 Days or Less.

Early in my career, I would work one-on-one with individuals by going into their home and actually organizing their financial documents. It never failed that in every home I would find mounds and mounds of financial documents stacked up or tucked away that had been there so long the ink had faded rendering whatever it started out as useless. I also spent hours sifting through bank statements and utility bills from 1996 that no one would ever need again for any reason! Lucky for me, I was paid by the hour. Lucky for you, I can now tell you just what you need and for how long you actually need it!

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What Should You Do With Your Tax Refund?

by Patrice C. Washington
Tax return check

Tired of hearing about what not to do with your tax refund? Here’s a look at 5 smart and actually powerful things you can do with this year’s tax refund. They’ll not only help you get the financial house in order today, but they’ll help you keep on track for the long term!

1. Create an Opportunity Fund – An opportunity fund is nothing more than the typical emergency or rainy day fund you normally hear about, but with a spin. I believe that what you verbalize, you visualize and therefore run a greater chance of magnifying or magnetizing in your life. So, if you’re running around asserting that you need an “emergency fund” then what will happen? You’ll probably have an emergency! Instead, think about the things you really want to accomplish and life and allow that to be your motivation. . . .Will emergencies still arise? Well, duh, of course they will. But, now you have the opportunity to make what would have once been a crisis a simple inconvenience. There is nothing pleasant about an emergency, but knowing that if one came up, you’ve psyched yourself into saving to handle it with ease is definitely a blessing.

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Need Student Loan Help?

by Patrice C. Washington
Student Loan Debt

Since I’ve had the honor of answering all of the financial questions on the Steve Harvey Morning Radio Show lately, I’ve received literally hundreds of e-mails around student loan debt and default alone.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that no matter where you are in the process, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This is a battle that many people are facing and fortunately, there are a lot of great (although little known) resources online to help you get through the process.

Here are a list of quick tips and websites to help you navigate your student loan repayment options ASAP:

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Are You Dating A Financial Deadbeat?

by Patrice C. Washington
Businessman with empty pockets

On the surface a lot of guys can come across as “ballers,” but its up to you to be alert and pay attention to the waving red flags that make it clear this stud is really being a bum with his money.  Before dating becomes “I do,” look for these warning signs and clues I mention in Real Money Answers for Every Woman.  If you find them, run OR go through some serious counseling before walking down the aisle! Remember, most marriages end over financial disagreements, but be clear that people who enter marriage with bad money habits don’t magically begin them because they’re married.  They were showing signs all along!

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Are You Ready to Negotiate a Higher Salary?

by Patrice C. Washington
Want More Concept
If you’ve already cut down weekly beauty regimens and Friday nights out on the town or totally cut off the luxury of cable television and still don’t feel a little relief, then the problem may not be your “outgo,” but your income.
The recipe for financial success is the highest income you can achieve coupled with the lowest expenses you can maintain for your personal standard or quality of life.  For some reason, people always assume that means that they have to stretch the few hours they do have after a day job, children and church to create a side hustle. Although I love and indulge in the “hustle while you work” mentality, that’s not always the case.  Some can truly create additional income on the same job by negotiating a higher salary.

Do You Have “Broke” Habits or Wealthy Habits?

by Patrice C. Washington

Most people understand the saying that we are “creatures of habit.”  The part they don’t get, however, is that habits come in two forms: doing and not doing. Many of us can think of the things we actively do each day as habits which may be either good or bad. 

But, when you don’t do the things you know you should be doing, then you are practicing the often unnoticed habit of simply not doing, which can be just as detrimental.  As I tell my clients often, “Stop telling me what you are trying to do.  You’re either doing or you’re not doing. There is no in between.”

So, if you aren’t practicing wealthy habits, then more than likely you are practicing un-wealthy, or dare I say, “broke” habits. Once you acknowledge that there is no in between and begin to take action, you can move onward and upward. The choice is ultimately yours.

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Do You Need to Break Some Bad Habits?

by Patrice C. Washington
smiling woman breaking cigarette and no smoking concept

For many of us, New Year’s resolutions symbolize achieving a new goal, but what about letting go of bad habits?

As a personal finance coach, most goals I hear surround money. Often people want me to tell them how they can fire their boss, make more money and live happily ever after. Many are stunned and for some reason frustrated, however, when I reveal that it’s not about their boss or how much money they are making. It’s about them, the money they are wasting and the bad habits that are holding their lives and personal finances hostage.

Check the list to see if you find any bad habits that may have kept you broke last year.

1. You are hopelessly insecure. Every time you make a decision, and in this case purchase, based on what you believe someone else will ‘think’ about you as opposed to what’s best for you and your situation, you make a decision to take one step closer into Brokedom. There will never be a way for you to achieve your financial goals if you continue to care what others think about you. Once you learn to stop giving a damn about what other people think about what you drive, where you live or what kind of purse you’re rocking, you may actually have a chance to build some wealth!

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Can You Really Afford Personal Development?

by Patrice C. Washington
Student Working On Laptop

Have you ever wondered how you could afford personal development if you’re already broke? . . . Well, what you should know is that if you are broke, you can’t afford not to invest in yourself! 

Personal development can come in many forms. Your willingness to seek it out depends, like anything else, on whether you truly see it as an investment in your future or not. Those who practice unwealthy habits will rarely see a workshop, seminar or online coaching series as such, but will jump at an opportunity to wield the “investment” term around when it comes to depreciating items like the classic “little black dress” or a name brand television. In essence, unwealthy people tend to narrowly view things they can physically see as an investment. But, the fact of the matter is successful people invest in their continuous knowledge because they know that no matter what risks they take, if they lose it all, no one can steal their knowledge.  Therefore, the question is not really about if you can you afford personal development, it’s how can you not afford it?

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