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The Clever Way I’m Paying off Student Loans (Without using my own money!)

 

pay loans copy1Make that, I’ve found a clever way to pay my student debt while spending as little of my own money as possible.  Call me crazy, but there’s nothing I hate more than seeing my hard earned money go towards another student loan payment. So I’ve made it my goal to pay those bad boys off using means other than my money. And that’s without resorting to sugar daddies, Kickstarter campaigns, street solicitations or lottery winnings. Is it a lofty goal? Yes –  especially when I graduated from a private school with lots and lots of student loan debt. But it’s a goal worth chasing.  Leave it to me to do the impossible. Yes, I am on my way to paying of my student loans without using my own money.

So how am I doing it? By doing each of the following tasks.

1.Sign up for Gradible

Gradible has been one of the most lucrative methods I’ve used for paying student loans. It’s a website that allows you to do simple online tasks in exchange for student loan payments. Here’s how it works: You create a FREE account and login to see what tasks are available to you. Tasks include things like posting to Craigslist, filling out surveys, writing reviews, and transcribing videos. Once you complete the tasks to the best of your ability, loancreds will be deposited into your Gradible account. After you’ve accrued 100 loancreds which equals $10 you can apply them to your student loans. (Don’t worry, you won’t be working for weeks before earning a measley $10.) Since signing up last August, I’ve accrued more than $1,000 that has been applied towards Sallie Mae, Chase, Citibank and My Great Lakes. I really feel like I’ve hit the holy grail with Gradible! If that isn’t a great way to pay of my student loans without spending my own money I don’t know what is.

Sign up through my referral link and you’ll automatically get $2 deposited into your account. Continue reading

50 Amazing Life changing Freebies You Must Take Advantage of Now

50 Amazing Life Changing Freebies You Must Take Advantage of Now

A good bargain is always right around the corner.

Well, it’s official. Memorial day weekend – time for honoring our fallen soldiers and celebrating their courage all while bringing in the unofficial start of summer – has officially ended. The huddling around the grill has ceased, the beer has dried up and the gas has run out. You might be thinking the money has run out too. After all, with the cost of gas, tolls and beach fees rising, Memorial Day celebrations could be a bit pricey. So obviously a boat load of people will be doing everything in their power to cut back anyway they can.

Of course, I’ve been living in the frugal side of life and cutting back way before Memorial Day. As you may recall, I am aggressively working towards paying off my student loans. Like most people, I believe living debt free will change my life immensely. That means splurging on shoes, eating out, makeup hauls and random samples sales are a big no-no. As a of matter fact, spending money on anything at all is frowned upon until I get my student loan balance down to $0. I’ve been actively hunting down any deals, coupons and any bargains imaginable.  On my quest to spend no money ever, I’ve realized that it’s almost impossible.  Continue reading

Why 3pm will be the most important minute of your life this Memorial Day

It’s finally here. Memorial day – the unofficial start to summer. It’s the day 80 percent of us are too busy sitting in traffic heading to the beach, babysitting the barbecue grill and throwing back a beer to recognize all the fallen soldiers have done for us. Meanwhile, the other 20 percent recognize what  their fallen soldier has fought for, but struggle to remember that he or she is no longer there. Sounds crazy? Well, it’s not.

Time and time again it’s the survivors of the fallen that repeatedly tell me that remembering isn’t the problem; it’s the forgetting they aren’t there that’s the most painful. It’s never hard to remember what rights the soldier fought for. However, it’s the days you absent-mindedly set a plate at the family cookout only to remember your love won’t be joining that is hard. It’s the moment your grandkids say the silliest thing and you pick up the phone to excitedly call their grandmother forgetting that the call will go unanswered. The survivors will always remember the selfless act their fallen hero did for Americans. But they will forgot their presence can longer be physically felt from time to time. Meanwhile, 80 percent of us are too oblivious to notice their pain.

Thats why congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance act to honor those fallen heroes in another way. At 3:00 pm today, we are urged to stop everything for one minute to pay respects to those who served our country in such an honorable way. That means thinking about the major sacrifice soldier took when leaving their family, the sense of uncertainly they felt while on the battle lines and those they left behind who are hurting during those times they forget their loved ones are gone. At 3:00 pm today, you are urged to remember them, pray for them and thank them. It’s because of their selfless act that we are able to enjoy this unofficial start to summer.

And once the clock strikes 3:01 or anytime after that, make a conscience effort to support the widows, the children and other loved ones of the fallen as they continue to make sense of life without their family hero.

How to deal when people intentionally hurt you

 

mage courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hurt people hurt people. It’s a  popular quote most people know when referencing painful relationships. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any catchy quotes for dealing with hurt from that person you trusted. I know because I looked and failed. And it happened at a time I needed it most.

Just two weeks ago I was forced to deal with someone whom  I thought was a friend intentionally hurt me all over a misunderstanding. She questioned my character, belittled me and shamed me publicly on social media. And to make matters worse, she made it known that I was no longer welcome at a place I loved. If that isn’t called hurting you intentionally – I don’t know what is. Rather than doing what she did  – attack her character and publicly shame her on social media- I did what comes naturally to most Cancer women (or anyone for that matter). I cried. I cried for days wondering how this person I thought would be a life long friend could treat me so poorly. I cried for hours mourning the friendship and chapter of my life that had come to an end.  I cried for days wondering where I went wrong and blamed myself for this girl’s callous actions towards me.  And as the tears subsided I wondered how I would make the hurt end.

I’d be lying if I said that it still didn’t hurt sometimes. While hurting her just as bad as she hurt me would’ve made me feel better temporarily, I knew I had to find way to deal that had more impact. Luckily, all I had to do was look towards the people I admire most to realize the steps that I needed to take. I only hope the below help you as much as they helped me deal with someone who tried to hurt me intentionally.  Continue reading

Motivational Monday: Have You Given Thanks?

It’s almost 10:30 am. Have you given thanks as yet? I’m not talking about praying…. although praying in the morning isn’t a bad idea either. But what I’m talking about is giving thanks to those people in your life that help make life worth living and bliss. When was the last time you showed your mom how appreciative of her you are when it wasn’t mother’s day or her birthday? Or how about the last time you gave your doctor a shout out for her amazing bed side manner? No, covering the difference in your copay doesn’t count. Birthday or not, holiday or plain ole Monday, people like to feel appreciated. What better way is there to start the week than by showing your love to someone else just because it’s Monday? And I don’t mean just an “I Love You” text or “Thanks for being you,” email. I’m talking about a physically handwritten letter with your favorite pen on a piece of paper you carefully selected. Continue reading

Motivational Monday: The Problem with Eggs in Baskets

 

motivational monday

We all know that phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” yet we all do it once Monday comes rolling around. And we do it continuously throughout the day and week. Don’t believe me? Did you wake up today exhausted, drag yourself out of bed and convince yourself that you won’t rouse up until you have that cup of coffee? Or did you tell yourself that you can’t possibly have a good day if don’t make out to the gym before work today?

While neither of those quick fixes or paths to happiness are horrible ones, they both involve depending on one outside things to ensure your bliss mood. Sure it seems harmless, but it’s not exactly a good idea. What happens if you are running late and never get the chance to grab your coffee? Are you just gonna allow yourself to be groggy and unproductive all day? And it’s very likely that a previous injury could prevent you from making it to the gym. Does that mean you’ll have the worst day ever?

Just as we know not to put our eggs in one basket when it comes to finances, we shouldn’t do that when it comes to our wellbeing. In a perfect world, you’ll always be able to get the cup of coffee, go for that jog or take that long bubble bath to ease the day. But let’s face it; the world isn’t perfect and things won’t always go our way. It’s up to us be prepared for it, and roll with the punches. Otherwise, we’ll always be depressed.

Rather than separating with those eggs and placing them into that one basket, choose to devour the eggs as you make the choice to be happy and productive for the day. Instead, of putting your happiness in the hands of the barista making your coffee or the gym employees, wake up today and tell yourself, “Today is a great day and it will only get better if I get that special cup of coffee.”

 

A blissful day is always within your own reach and in your eggs. Never give someone else that power by allowing them to cook the eggs for you.

TERRIfic Quip: It’s up to you find beauty in the ugliest days.

Motivational Monday: Get Productive

motivational mondayMy job is deadline oriented. If work doesn’t get done on time, I don’t get paid. But that doesn’t always stop me from procrastinating when it comes to research and getting stuff done. Sometimes there can be an assignment sitting on my desk for one month but I don’t start working on it until a few days before it’s due. And of course that only stresses me out. It was becoming a big problem. I decided it was time to make a change.

I thrive on little accomplishments. Those little accomplishments motivate me to get the other big things done. So I decided it made sense to make a to do list. Every Sunday night, I sat down at my desk and wrote down the top five to six things I wanted to accomplish the next day. And then every Monday, I would wake up feeling charged and ready to tackle my well planned to-do list… until Rachael Ray came on. Of course, I told myself I’d get back to work once Rachael Ray was over and I did for a few minutes until I hear the ping of my email and decide I have to check my inbox right away. I return to work and then I realize Pinterest is calling my name, read more emails and than get an urgent text message I must respond to at that moment. By the time I finally dedicate my day to getting an assignment done, I realize it’s 2:00 pm and nothing got accomplished.

That happened daily for weeks until I found the Selfcontrol app.  Just as the title suggests, this app is all about helping you practice self-control and focus on the things you need to do. And the instructions are simple! All you need to do is input all the websites you visit that distract you when you should be working and set a timer for how long you want to stay away from them. During that time period, the app blocks your access to the website until the time you set is up. I first started by blocking the biggest time suckers like Pinterest, Twitter and my favorite shoe sites for 15 minutes during my workday. As silly as it sounds, I was amazed at how much I was able to get done  in such a a short amount of time. I’m not gonna lie though. I did have a few indiscretions in which I attempted to visit my trusty Pinterest only to get blocked by the Selfcontrol app. Slowly, but surely I was able to increase the amount of time I blocked certain websites on the Selfcontrol app without feeling withdrawal.

Selfcontrol is an app for Apple products. If you don’t Apple products you can still test your ability to focus by simply setting your own timer for 15 minutes. Refrain from using those time suckers for the set amount of time and begin getting things on your to-do list done. It works just as well!

What things do you do to keep yourself productive?

TERRIfic Quip: There are seven days in the week. Someday isn’t one of them.

The One Question You Must Ask to Save Your Marriage

marriage, go to bed mad

Image courtesy of photo stock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are certain questions most women ask their potential mates before marriage. They usually inquire about past relationship history, career choices, habits and family life. However, there is one question most people don’t ask, but probably should. This one question could make or break a marriage. You might laugh when I tell you the topic of this important question, but it’s important you heed my warnings. Ready for it….  It has to do with sheet thread count. No, I’m not joking.

I learned the hard way that there are two kinds of people in this world: sheet snobs and sheet neanderthals. I have no shame in calling my self the former. As a matter of fact, at a very young age, I learned that beautiful pink and frilly barbie sheets were no match for plush and smooth sheets with an impressive thread count of 650. Barbie sheets were nice, but there was no way I was gonna pass up the opportunity to sleep in a bed of lotion that reminded me of my mother’s touch. Yes, this probably made me a weird child, but I was a child with standards. That’s what happens when you are taught the importance of thread count at an early age.

Some people weren’t so fortunate. My husband grew up in a loving household where jersey cotton sheets where acceptable and anything less than 500 count sheets were suitable as long as it covered your bed. Hell, he barely knew about thread count until I asked him about it. As much as I love him, I sometimes wonder how this self-proclaimed sheet snob made a big mistake when she married a loving but very naive sheet neanderthal. How could I have not seen the issues this would cause sooner?

You don’t realize that it’s a problem until you come home from a day of work only to find out that the unthinkable happens. Your plush sheets have been stripped from the bed and replaced with something inexcusable.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life.” Well this woman was not a happy wife when she came home from a night of teaching Zumba to find sheets that felt like sandpaper on the bed. That’s right, my husband had committed the ultimate marital bedtime sin. He decided to make the bed up using sheets with a thread count that felt like 250. And I’m being nice by giving the sheets the extra ’50”. To sheet neanderthals 250 sheets would be just fine, but to a sheet snob like myself, those sheets felt like hell. Did he think I wouldn’t notice? Even comedian Aziz Ansari, understands the importance of silky high thread count sheets. Check it out:

Imagine climbing into bed and finding crumbs from your lunch all over it. That’s exactly how low thread count sheets feel – completely crappy. And crappy sheets mean crappy sleep, if you can manage to sleep at all. I was certainly not a happy wife that night. I stared at the ceiling for must the night trying to get comfortable on that sad excuse for sheets, wondering how I even managed to let them make it into our home. As I laid awake that night, I realized why studies show time and time again that women sleep better alone. Disagreements over sheets had to have something to do with it!

Meanwhile,  my husband had the best sleep he’s had in a while… so he tells me. According to him, his low count sheets are better because they keep you warmer at night and they are very comforting. I love my husband but he must be delusional.  I don’t know how he was able to get over the pilling. The whole time he was telling me why his sheets are better and that we should never go back to my 600 count sheets, I was contemplating ways I can get rid of them so I can sleep better that night.

Of course, I never followed through with any of my plans and ended up uncomfortable again for another night, tossing and turning trying to fall  asleep in that bed of sandpaper. Sleep certainly wasn’t the easiest thing to come by. At one point, I actually laid out on the living room couch to watch TV for a while. When I returned to the bedroom I was barely able to close my eyes since I spent so much time scratching my skin.

And again, when morning came I was tired, cranky and even more upset about the change of sheets. That lack of sleep caused me to be irritable, cranky and pick unnecessary fights with my husband for days. How could you blame me? I was not a happy wife! I couldn’t be when I was unable to sleep soundly. It was because of this shift in sleepwear that our marriage was no longer as happy as it once was.   That lack of sleep caused by irreconcilable sheet differences led to less cuddling, threats to sleep separately and bad attitudes throughout the day.There were several days that my well meaning but misguided husband was forced to watch chick flicks on TV instead of his beloved sports games out of my revenge from making me deal with unsatisfactory sheets.

We were truly living in marriage hell. I would never wish it upon anyone. After about the third night of my low thread count sheet misery, I couldn’t help but think this could have all been avoided. Had I not pulled the sheets over my marriage and asked what my husband’s preference in sheets were, we wouldn’t be facing these problems that led to many restless nights and even more quarrels. 

Luckily, my sleepless nights quickly ended when I did a quick sheet swap when my husband was working late. Oddly, enough I haven’t heard him complain about it yet… We’ll see how long that lasts.

Until then, I highly suggest all engaged ladies, newlyweds and even those dating have the important discussion about sheet requirements early in the relationships. Doing so could save you from a world of headaches and sleepless nights.

What sheet thread count do you prefer? Do you and your spouse see eye to eye when it comes to sleeping arrangements.

TERRIfic Quip: Go in with both eyes open.

 

No, it’s not possible to live a drama-free life

drama, argumentAvoiding drama is impossible. I don’t usually like to say things are impossible. But it is true.  It’s really not possible to live a drama-free life. However, you definitely couldn’t tell me that when I was in school.In fact, for a while I proclaimed Mary J. Blige’s song, “No More Drama” to be the soundtrack to my life.

I was THAT girl growing up. No, I wasn’t the girl that was always stiring up trouble and getting into fights. I was the self-proclaimed girl that was always so proud to announce I didn’t have drama in my life. Or I always made it known that I avoided those girls that created drama. Unlike, most teenage girls, I held headstrong to the belief that those who always had drama in their lives brought that on themselves.  Certain personalities just drew certain types of issues and attention, right? There’s a reason why some men always find themselves dealing with baby mama drama and it makes sense that some women are struggling with lying frenemies. It’s because they attract the bad company they keep. Or obviously they are horrible about making sound decisions.

How hard is it to weigh the consequences and pros and cons of some situations? Why do so many people have difficulty thinking logically; especially since some things are just common sense? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that perhaps lying to your parents about your college education, but still taking the “tuition” money they give you isn’t a good idea. And having the same IQ as Albert Einstein isn’t necessary when determining whether or not you should continue to con your best friend into paying your part of the hotel room for a vacation that was your idea even though you knew you couldn’t afford it. Some things are just no brainers. Or so I thought… Continue reading

Motivational Monday: Ides of March

If you’ve studied Shakespeare in high school and actually paid attention, you’ve dreaded the last few days. That’s because in many Shakespeare plays, such as  Julius Caesar, the words “beware the ides of March” were repeated throughout the play. We later found out that the ides of March, also know as March 15th, was the day that Caesar was killed. Since then people have associated March 15th and the days surrounding it with doom and misfortune. If you are one of those people who believed in the doom surrounded around the day known as “ides of March” or any Monday at that, I’m here to tell you there’s not need to worry. That’s because the horrible misfortune of Monday, is really just a figment of our imagination.

“How is it only a figment of my imagination when every Monday morning I wake up feeling like crap?” I know that’s the thought running through most your heads right now. The answer is, you willed it to happen. I’m willing to bet, you go to bed every Sunday night dreading Monday because Monday will be such a drag. And because you went to bed believing that Monday will be a drag, it was indeed a drag.

Monday will be whatever you decide it will be. It’s time you this Monday will be one to remember. 

TERRIfic Words: A few positive words is enough to turn your whole day around.