4 Tips You Can Use To Crush Your 2019 Financial Goals

5 New Instagram Updates 2018-3

The new year is fast approaching and our timelines are about to be ‘lit’ with ‘new year-new me’ declarations. I believe that 2019 is the beginning of great years for you, similar the to the seven years of harvest described in Genesis 41.

If you don’t know the story here’s a snippet:

Pharaoh had two dreams that troubled him greatly. He called his wise men and they were unable to interpret the dream for him. However, his cupbearer told him of a Hebrew he met in prison, that was able to interpret his dream and may be able to help. The Hebrew, Joseph, was summoned from the prison and was able to tell Pharaoh that his dreams meant that there would be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. A famine so bad that it would cause the people to forget all about the prosperity the years before.

Long story short Joseph was able to give Pharaoh the strategy that he could use to ensure the survival of his people during those times. Joseph’s strategy during the times of plenty created a storehouse filled with all Egypt needed for the famine but they were also able to sell food to people from other cities and countries.

Even in famine, Egypt prospered because they prepared for the slow times during the full times and was able to financially capitalize and create an additional stream of income by selling food during the famine.

*Hint* They were an answer to a problem.

I began saying that I believe we are approaching a year of great increase. These seven years of plenty that you are about to experience doesn’t mean seven years of ‘the splurge’. These years are for you to prepare to be the deliverance the world needs for what lies ahead.

Egypt prospered in famine because they had the answer to world hunger and was able to come to the worlds rescue and profit because of their prudence. Joseph’s strategy was so simple, but it required discipline and it saved so many lives and increased the wealth of Egypt.

2019 is the year that I get my finances together, eliminate debt and increase my wealth with the help of Joseph’s Financial Strategy. Care to join me?

Step #1

Ten Percent Belongs To God-Pay Your Tithes!

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” -Malachi 3:10 I NIV

I can remember going through seasons where I tested the validity of this scripture. I looked at what was in my hand. I looked at my bills. Then I looked at the tithing envelope and was like God-you see what I have and it is not enough so I’ll pay this next month. Then the Holy Spirit would speak to me and I would give my tithes. Did I die or starve during the times I felt like I was unable to pay my tithes? Heavens no-in fact God continues to ensure that I receive all that I need.

Honoring God with the first fruits of your increase will not deplete you, it always increases you. I hear the talk in the marketplace as to all the reasons why you shouldn’t give your tithes, but none of the reasons given negates the fact that it was a command from God. I want ALL the blessings of God and if I pay my tithes because God can not lie, I can bet on the fact that his word is true and I shall be blessed because of it!

Step #2

Give Offerings

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.- Luke 6:38 | NIV

Ten percent of my increase shall be given as offerings to the church and to the poor. I will decide at the appointed time whether I will give half to the church or the other half to someone in need. Or whether I will alternate month to month between the church and someone in need.

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.- Proverbs 19:17 I NIV

When you give to the poor you are giving to God, because Jesus took on our debt so that through him we may be free. When you give anything to the poor its received by heaven as a loan you gave to God and he, the God with unlimited resources, repays you.

Step #3

Save Twenty Percent Of Your Earnings-BUDGET

Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. Genesis 41:34 NKJV

One-fifth of your earnings is equivalent to 20%. Joseph was able to feed Egypt and so many others by doing this for seven years.

Example:

20% of $100 = $20.00

$20 x 4 wks = $80.00

$80 x 12 mths = $960.00

#financialgoals

Step #4

Enjoy the Sixty Percent that’s left!

To some people who are living above there means 60% is going to feel like living in the wilderness but good news, no one has ever died from downsizing, at least I don’t think so. Now is a great time to reevaluate your spending habits.

Listen, I’ll be the first to say that I never took financial planning and budgeting seriously. I never took charge of my money, so my money took charge of me. Money is an awesome servant but a terrible master. As a mother, it is so important that I teach my kids the value of money and proper financial planning and spending habits. In this way, they don’t repeat a cycle of poverty but will create a legacy of financial literacy they can pass on to their children’s children.

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5 NEW Instagram Updates That Will Transform Your Online Business

5 New Instagram Updates 2018

I am so excited about all the new updates Instagram is rolling out. Now, these updates are new to me and I understand that it may be old to some of you; so to everyone like me-drumroll, please!

Instagram Story Ads

Story Ads allow Instagram business pages to show their stories to more people. You can choose to auto-target people similar to your followers or people in a certain location. These stories can be linked to your Instagram page or website.
Instagram Shop

Simply register your Instagram account to a business profile, or convert an existing personal account to a business account. Then, connect your business profile to a Facebook catalog of products on your corresponding Facebook business page. These must be physical products and must comply with Instagram’s policies.

IGTV Story Preview

Are you on IGTV?

You are now able to share your IGTV video in your stories. You just tap the paper airplane at the bottom of the video you’d like to share. When your friends see that story, they can tap the preview to watch the whole video in IGTV.

Instagram Voice Notes

OMG!!! I can remember getting so frustrated that I had to tell clients to move over to Facebook so that we could send voice notes BUT now Instagram has heard my cry and has now released its voice note feature. In your DM you can find a microphone, hold it down to record your one minute message. Then release and just like that you are sending voice notes on IG.

Instagram Video Chat

Video chat is now available in your direct message on Instagram. Send a direct message the person or group you which to call, click the camera icon and ‘ring ring ring!’ The awesome thing about this is the fact that the person or people you’re calling don’t have to be in the app to receive the call. This feature allows for 4 persons to video chat at once-awesome!

Note: You must have an active DM thread with the people you are trying to reach. So don’t go calling Cardi asking her to see her baby because the option won’t be there for you unless you both have an active direct message thread.

I would add the option for this 4 way call to also become a live video, *imagine the possibilities*.

Businesses can truly use this feature to up-level their customer service experience, set up client consultations and so much more!!!!

If you are a Social Media Manager, use these updates to set yourself and your agency apart from the others.

Queens 2019 is the year we bloom. Don’t get left behind- online, see what I did there, LOL.

The 9 Biggest Financial Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid During the Holidays

The holiday season has finally arrived, and that means the start of a very active time of the year filled with travel, the arrival of guests, holiday parties, and, of course, holiday gift shopping. It’s also the time of the year when many people make common financial mistakes – such as spending way more than planned on costly, last-minute gifts. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the 9 biggest financial mistakes you can easily avoid during the holidays.
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#1: Not having a holiday budget

This is the easiest mistake to avoid since a little advance planning can help you
prevent overspending during the holiday season. If you are planning on traveling,

for example, then put together a budget covering details like flights, hotels, gas,

and food. And even if you are planning on staying home for the holidays, think
about planning a total entertainment budget for the family that will help you stay
on track throughout the next two months.
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#2: Spending too much on holiday gifts

With a constant deluge of holiday commercials on TV and advertisements across
the web, you can easily be convinced into thinking that you should be spending
two, three, or even four times the amount that you originally planned. Thus, at the
very outset of the holiday season, simply draw up a list of all gift recipients, and
then make a brief notation of how much you plan to spend for each of them. That
will let you see very easily what your overall holiday gift budget is going to be.

#3: Buying items on impulse just because they’re on sale

As a corollary to #2, the easiest way to break a holiday gift budget is by giving in
to impulse buys. Black Friday specials are the worst temptation – some items
might be marked down so low that you start scooping up gift ideas that you might
never have considered before. If you are buying an item just because it’s
“marked way down,” then you are doing it all wrong.

#4: Skipping or deferring payments at the end of the year

At the end of the year, cash flow can be tight, and that’s perhaps the most
obvious reason why people find themselves slipping behind on payments due in
November and December. If you defer credit card payments, you are just
sacrificing short-term gain (extra cash flow) for long-term pain (late fees and
penalties that you’ll experience in January).
Beautiful woman shopping online for Christmas.

#5: Putting all purchase on your credit cards

If you are maxing out credit cards with holiday expenses, you are committing a
potentially costly financial mistake. Most credit cards have absurdly high-interest
rates on them, so if you are putting major purchases on credit cards, then you
are going to be paying off a lot more than just the original price of the item. If
possible, try to pay with cash or with debit cards. Credit cards should be the last
priority.

#6: Counting on the year-end holiday bonus

Yes, many employers do hand out the equivalent of a year-end holiday bonus,
but you shouldn’t count on one to bail you out at the end of the holiday season.

#7: Waiting until the last minute to start holiday shopping

You don’t have to join the masses and head out to the stores on Black Friday,
but you should think about starting your holiday shopping sooner rather than
later. For one, you will be able to take advantage of much better prices if you
have more time to comparison shop. And, secondly, you won’t miss out on
sold-out items and have to trade up to pricier items.

#8: Not taking advantage of coupons and rewards

There is actually a lot of “free money” out there that you can take advantage of. If
you are using credit cards, for example, then use credit cards with cash back
rewards. If you get holiday circulars in the mail, take time to cut out coupons
or rebates or discounts that you can use later. And if you are getting holiday
specials in your email inbox, jot down the special promotional codes to get
discounts.
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#9: Taking money out from emergency funds or retirement funds

If you are tempted to take money out of a retirement fund, think again. Unless
you are older, those 401(K) withdrawals will probably come with a tax penalty.
Moreover, if you are dipping into “rainy day” or “emergency” funds for extra cash,
you are only setting yourself up for problems later down the road when you really
need the money.
**
Remember – financial steps that you take in late November and December will
impact your budgetary situation in January. If you don’t want to start the New
Year with expenses, late fees, past due notices and unwanted credit card bills,

then try to avoid the 9 financial mistakes listed above. Take charge of your
financial life, and avoid the classic traps and pitfalls that many people fall into
during the busy holiday season.
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Written By:

Lorra Brown is the CEO of LBE
Consulting, PLLC based in Grand Prairie,
TX. Lorra is a multi-faceted business
strategist that works with a plethora of
clients around the country. She provides
accounting services and business
consulting to a diverse bed of
self-employed professionals. Her life’s
mission is to help women gain
empowerment and change their mindset
about their finances.

Single For The Holidays? Here Are The Top 10 Reasons To Enjoy Your Holiday Status!

Ladies and gentleman: cuffing season is officially in full effect. As the weather outside is frightful; more singles are joining together in holy cuffing matrimony. It seems that everyone is in a joint effort to be able to actually use the mistletoe besides one person.. you!  (and me too; I’ve been single for 4 years while my 16-year-old sister has a boyfriend!)

The single life can be an uncomfortable situation when one is feeling the constant pressure of trying to find their significant other in a matter of two seconds. I remember growing up that I believed something was wrong with me because no one wanted to go out with me anywhere! During the holiday seasons, I would go into the funky blues because I didn’t want to look like a loner! As I get older, I am beginning to realize that being in a constant frenzy to be magically cuffed during the holidays is overrated!

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As a single person, I can see the positives with not having a significant other at this point in my life; holidays included! Being single during the holidays is actually an advantage to you my kings and queens! Can you imagine all that can be accomplished by the new year? The ideas are limitless. As the saying goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Rather in a relationship or single; the holidays are a joyous time of the year to celebrate love, life, and great parties! Don’t let your single status put you in a ‘ Ba Humbug’! Here are the top ten reasons why your single status is favored for the holidays:

  1. You can go to all the holiday parties and flirt with all the available singles!
  2. You can eat as much as you want without judgment or worry about your significant other looking at you eating your third piece of sweet potato pie!
  3. You can create your own traditions catered to your interest. Go to the Christmas bar with your friends or the winter town play; the choices are endless!
  4. You don’t have to split time between your family and your partners family.
  5. If you don’t feel like visiting your family; take a solo trip! No strings attached!
  6. You want to watch Christmas movies all day and blast the traditionally Mariah Carey Christmas album all night? Do you boo!
  7. You can go to as many dates as you want! There are so many singles that are available for the holidays! Why not entertain yourself and have fun. Santa won’t judge you if you’re being a ho-ho-ho!
  8. You want to catch up with your siblings and cousins? You can do it without the pressure to host your partner!
  9. Speaking of hosting; host your own holiday party! Invite your hometown friends, and tell them to bring their guest! You never know who you’ll meet. Don’t forget to have the space decked out in mistletoes.
  10. You can self-reflect your year with a clear mind. The winter makes our bodies slow down and I ‘hibernate’ in a way. Take this time to stay still, heal, workout and create plans to conquer for the next year!

 

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The holidays are not to be centered around the constant need to show your family and friends that you have a partner to solidify the idea that you are a hot commodity. This is the time to take advantage of your single status. Be selfish, be free and eat the extra food! It’s time to treat yourself, you deserve it.

Warmest regards,

A growing and glowing millennial: Shayna Lavàughn

 

Don’t Catch the Holiday Blues

 

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We sing carols and songs of cheer, bake cookies and watching movies filled with family gatherings. It must be the most wonderful time of the year! Everyone must be bursting with joy and gladness during this time of year, right? Wrong. It’s not uncommon for people to start feeling depressed during the holidays. The holiday season automatically brings joy to some and gloom to others based on individual perceptions, expectations, and relationships or lack thereof. Most people look forward to spending time with family and friends, traveling, exchanging gifts and sharing stories around an open fire. While there are others still mourning the death of loved ones, spending long hours at work trying to fill a void and refusing to spend time with family because they feel inadequate. 

This is why it’s very important to have the mind of Christ even more so during the Holidays because our thoughts dictate our actions, moods, and beliefs. The enemy’s purpose is to get you to focus on things you don’t have versus being grateful for all the things you do have. His job is to bring confusion and defeat into your life. It’s vital that you don’t allow Satan’s voice to overpower God’s voice, this holiday season. 

So, let’s look at the many reasons one would find themselves singing the “Holiday Blues” and how to overcome: 

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No money, just problems. Don’t go broke or run up your credit cards trying to purchase gifts for everyone. It’s okay to set boundaries and let people know that this year you will not participate in any gift exchanges. On the other hand, if you would like to still give gifts try tapping into your creative side and create something meaningful from the heart. 

Missing a loved one. It’s not uncommon to find yourself reminiscing about a loved one who has passed away. Instead of drowning in sorrow I would admonish you to find ways to celebrate life with your living loved ones. Instead of isolating yourself try creating a new tradition in your family where you share stories about your missed loved ones during the family dinner or create a conversation box to encourage everyone to talk about their emotions. 

The black sheep. In every family, there’s always one person who believes that they don’t belong. Although you may “feel” this way there are people who love you and all your uniqueness. If you are feeling like the black sheep, I encourage you to step outside of yourself and communicate to your family just how you really feel and let the healing process begin. 

Believing the lies of the enemy. Often times we find ourselves caught in a web of deceit that we’ve spun based on the things we decided to believe. The enemy’s job is to feed you a little bit of deception at a time until you’ve isolated yourself from friends and family. You overcome the schemes of the enemy by believing what God says about you and allowing him to make all things new 

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Written By: Ebony Parker

Overcoming Obstacles With Joy & Faith!

The good Lord called me to the DFW area of Texas 2 years ago. I moved from Tampa, Florida. Therefore, I obeyed the call. He gave clear confirmation. So, I packed up, sold all of what I could, gave away the rest and drove over 14 hours to Texas. I had Georgia on my mind, but God called me to Dallas, Texas for a purpose on purpose. He revealed to me (and continues to) that He has a plan for my life according to Jeremiah 29:11. Allow me to mention that when moving to the DFW area, I did not have any family or close friends. The closet family lives in Houston. I had to make new friends all over again. Before I left Florida, I went from driving a Mercedes Benz, living in a really cozy apartment, was a member of an amazing small church, then having to move to Texas and ended up becoming homeless. Being homeless happened over time.
Several months of living in Texas, I remember being in my bedroom reading a chapter from The Gospels. The voice of the Lord asked me what was I willing to lose in continuous of following Him? Whewww chile, I was puzzled like “God, what do you mean?”. That was a hard question to answer, but deep down, I knew what I had to do. I had to prepare myself to step out on faith once again. Yep! My faith was yet again challenged. At that point, I had already lost my job and was living off of my savings. Eventually, I ended up losing my apartment, but thank God they were willing to work with me. I am blessed to say by the grace of God that I do not have an eviction on my record. Shouts out to God and the help He sent to pay off the rest of what left per my lease. Once again, I was back on the road looking for work and a new place to live.
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Although I have a college degree, it was hard finding another job that was willing to pay me what I considered a reasonable salary per my level of education, etc. Bills were still coming in every month, so I put my pride to the side, applied for welfare, moved temporarily into a homeless shelter and I even applied to work at Burger King (yet never heard back). I eventually would get seasonal jobs here and there, but nothing really permanent. Things begin to get even harder, but I still held on to my faith. Experienced health problems, but I watch God heal my body. God kept making a way out of no way. I travel with my Bible in my car with me, so when I would cry out to God, I would read His Word and pray. Often times, I did feel forgotten about or rejected by others. The Holy Spirit comforted me encouraging me not to be bitter and to forgive those who weren’t there for me, etc. Despite what I was going through, I had a peace that I could not explain (I still do).   While living in the shelter, despite me being a little reluctant to go at first, however, I had a positive experience where I gained structure, discipline and even taught Bible study from time to time. God also used me to lead others to His Son Christ Jesus. I even enrolled in continuing education at Harvard (online) with a focus on Christian Studies. In addition, I’m excited to also announce that I graduated with honors from a Life Enrichment Program titled God’s Leading Ladies (via The Potter’s House-Dallas, Tx).
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Being part of that program was nothing short of a blessing. I’ve grown so much from it. Before graduating, I did share some of my testimony about being homeless and the church staff did reach out to see how they could be of service. Long story short, I didn’t qualify for any of their programs. For integrity reasons, I won’t discuss why I didn’t qualify, but just know that I’m not disappointed about it. They did, however, give me some helpful community resource recommendations. I am appreciative for the Agape love. God already revealed to me through prayer this: DO NOT WORRY. Therefore, I will not and can not. Everything at it’s appointed time. If we say we trust God, we have to trust Him even when we don’t get the answer we expect right away. Just know this, a delay is not necessarily a denial. I needed to mention that because I believe that there will be someone who reads this right now that may need to get that deep down into their spirit as encouragement. Beloveds, no matter what, be encouraged. I sure am. This is all part of my testimony. God is an on time God. His timing is perfect. I’ve learned how to BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD. He (GOD) HAS NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT ME (or you). He’s given me reassurance that everything that I’ve been through was only preparation, not a punishment. I at peace with that. Amen. I’ve learned to grow up in the process. The growing pains hurt but have been worth it.  JESUS HAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE ME (or you)!
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Here are some scriptures to live by:
Deuteronomy 31:6. Let us press on and continue to fight the good fight! For our faith shall move mountains! Do not worry! Trust God over everything! Trust Him over money. Trust Him over circumstances. Trust Him! Walk by faith and not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 King James Version (KJV) For we walk by faith, not by sight

Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Nehemiah 8:10 King James Version (KJV) Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Written By: Maishayn Wilson

Sister Squad Holiday Heroes: Now Available On Amazon !!!

 

It is so important for us to teach our children how to appreciate the difference in others. We are great, not because we are all the same, but because we are different. This book was inspired by my daughters, Jaylynn, Danielle and Eden. Their relationship has taught me that love always saves the day! Penelope, Lynn, & KiKi, show the residents of Eden Falls how to love again. – Elle Clarke

Get your copy here!