Tag Archives: Simple Solutions

Who am I? Who’re you?

DSC_0006-001At this very moment, I am a wife, mother, sister, friend, cousin, aunt, niece, Financial Coach and aspiring personal coach.  My overarching goal in life is to define and live it on my terms in ways that align with my values and to help others do the same.  Whoa.

What are my values?  Above all, I value connection and collaboration.  Like it or not, each of us is part of an interconnected fabric involving all of the people, places and things in this world.  As creatures among those atop the food chain, we have tremendous power. With tremendous power, to paraphrase, comes tremendous responsibility.  We owe it to the other fibers of our fabric to be respectful and careful with our interactions with them.  I don’t mean careful as in cautious, I mean careful as “care full” full of care.  Considerate of the potential impact of our words and actions on those creatures and elements around us.    That means we do good where we can, when we can and in whatever ways we can.

For those of the Christian faith, and I’m just not sure right now but I believe this, take the words of Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  No matter how important society sees you, you’re just another part of the world with an obligation to sustain the resources we currently enjoy for our successors.  If you cannot do good, at least do no harm.   It’s a simple concept and the core of my self.

How does this value fit into my roles:

As a Family Member:  I do my very best to let my family know how much I love them every single day.  I show my children that love doesn’t mean lenient, it means teaching lessons, sharing my core value of treating others the way I want to be treated.  Whether they treat me that way or not, I treat them the way I’d like.  If the interactions continue to be negative, it’s okay – even healthy – to cut ties and establish distance.  It is my sincere hope that my love for my family is reflected in everything I do with and for them, every day.

As a Coach:  If I’m your coach, we’re a team.  We will work together as long as it takes to move from whatever place you are in to whatever place you want to be.    The key point is that you’re the driver.  I’m just helping you draw and read the map.  And I know you’re a great driver so I’ll help you see that too.

Sharing what I have is integral to me.  I’ve been blessed with a fantastic husband and some awesome kids.  We have learned a lot of life and money lessons the hard way.  It hasn’t been easy for the last 20 years but it has been worth every second.  And I now know things that can help you sidestep some of the problems that tripped us up along the way.

I am thankful for the blessings that come when my path crosses others and we can walk together for awhile.    Join me?  Leave a comment telling me “Who are you?” or write it up in your own blog and leave  me a link.

Make today Amazing!

 

Lisa

The Two Biggest Problems You’ll Need to Solve – Ever

 

DSC_0405

Did you take the challenge?  Where is your money going?  Remember the goal at this point isn’t to get ammunition for beating yourself up, it’s just to know how you’re currently putting your dollars to work.  Are you cool with it?  Do you wish you had more money for  (What?)?

On the flip side – do you wish you had more time for (what? – friends?  Hobbies?)?

If you haven’t taken this challenge yet, what’s holding you back?  The first step to financial happiness is knowledge.  Knowledge is POWER! When you have power, you can gain control.  When you gain control, you can put things in balance -tweak a thing here, tweak a thing there until, at least for the moment, things are how you like them.

The two biggest problems you’ll ever need to solve are being in control of your time and being in control of your money.  Thankfully, the entire universe is in the same boat.  To get things started, a great tool for tracking your money is Mint.com, it’s free and owned by Intuit – the company behind TurboTax and Quicken.  Use it all the time.

Time tracking is a little trickier, but there are countless apps out there to limit your FB time wasting, etc.  I use a simple timer on my phone, but there are lots of sophisticated ones out there.  What do you use?  Leave a comment and let me know!

5 Simple Ways to Develop a Healthy Relationship With Your Money

The best and worst thing about money is there’s no such thing as too much.  Nearly everyone, especially yours truly, can think of ways to spend cash that has yet to be earned.  Sometimes, the problem is nowhere near enough money and that can stress your health, your relationships and your work.  The most important thing is to develop a healthy financial view.  Here’s how (and like always, I keep it simple).

1.  Know where your money comes from and where it goes.  Simply put,  have a spending plan.  Spending plan is a kinder, gentler word for a budget.   Use it. Especially if “budget” leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth or, in extreme cases, causes  heart palpitations.  Budget seems strict and rigid.  A spending plan is a proactive approach to getting where you want to be from where you are financially.

2.  Understand your bank’s fees so you can avoid paying them.  I recently discovered a $5 “bill pay” charge from my bank.  I pay my bills online, but I don’t use my bank’s bill pay service?  Why am I being charged for that?  Don’t be afraid to ask the question.   I also avoid ATM fees at all costs thanks to a network of convenience stores that all feature “No Fee” ATMs.  Some banks refund out of network fees.  Learn your bank’s policy.

3.  Learn to read and understand your credit report.  You can get one annually from each of the three major agencies from www.annualcreditreport.com.  If you’ve never done this, get all three at once the first time.  Then, starting a year from now, pull from one agency every three months to make sure your reports are accurate.  If you need help, that’s why I am here.  Or any credit counseling service in your area will assist you. Your bank should too.

4.  Know your score.  Your credit score is available on demand from CreditKarma.com.  This great, free tool also shows you how to improve your score if that’s necessary.

5.  Relax.  These simple steps will put you in control of your money than having your money control you.  Knowing where you’re at financially will help you identify areas where you can save money or possibly bring more money into your life through making frugal choices, leveraging your talents to earn extra cash or deciding on other ways to increase income.

If I can help, you know where to find me.

Best Family Dice Games

I love games and the great thing about dice games is that they tend to be very portable, easy to learn and fast to play.  Some on this list take five minutes or less to play and learn.  All get the Lisa Sharp seal of approval for cost, playability and fun.  Some are even educational.

Zombie Dice is one of the best games of all time.  It’s compact.  Easy to learn, easy to play, fun for anyone who can count to 13.  I do carry it in my purse and we do play it at any opportunity.

Sequence Dice is deceptively educational. The manufacturer says 8 and up, but we played with our first grader. It is a great way to teach basic math and have fun as a family.

Rory’s Story Cubes is another fun, highly portable game. Keep them in your purse for entertaining even the youngest children while waiting for appointments. Simply roll the cubes and let the images inspire you and/ or your children to create stories. Warning: can get very silly!

Phase 10 Dice Game is another game that fits in a purse or backpack. Much like the card game, Phase 10 Dice requires players to complete phases to advance. Very fun, very portable game.

Yahtzee is a classic. Much like Kismet, another favorite dice game of mine, Yahtzee is both fun and educational. helping kids recognize sequences, pairs, add, and multiply single digit numbers.

Bunco is a wildly popular party game. You might not realize it can be played with as few as two players because it is so much better with a larger group. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Last, but not least, Pass the Pigs is a portable, easy to learn and score game for the whole family. Another dice game easily fitting in a purse or backpack, this game is suitable for any number of players of any age. Expect some good-natured disagreements about the position of the pigs while playing this game.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but represents some of my favorite Dice-based games.  Dice games are fun because they tend to be fast and easy to learn, play and enjoy.  Think about throwing one in your purse or briefcase to brighten up any day and make waiting less dull.

Make it Monday: Procrastinator’s Edition

Last week got weird quickly, but ~meh~  Today is Valentine’s Day and I’m certain I am the only mom in the world who put off making classroom valentines until the last minute, wanted them to be unique AND had to – just HAD to – work a pencil into the plan.  No store boughts for me, thankyouverymuch.  I have entirely too much paper to justify that one!

Since the “no candy” rule foiled my original plan AND plan B (future blogs, I promise), I had to dig deep down into plan C.  Plan C did not choose to manifest itself until yesterday morning.

Third graders like paper, right?  They write and draw and whatnot constantly.  At least the Khan does.  And his classroom is always crying out for pencils so I wanted to do something useful, cute, you get the idea.  These are variants of the classic notepad folder using supplies from my stash, my mother’s stash and the dollar store.

The one on the left involves a 3×5 notepad (from a pack of five costing $1), double sided tape or a tape runner, and scrapbook paper.  The paper is cut to the height and three times the width of the notepad.  Tape the notepad down to the right edge of the wrong side of the paper.  Fold the per at the edge of the notepad, fold the remainder in half (it is really folded in thirds).  Trim the corner out of the left hand edge – with a decorative edge scissors if you have one but a clean straight edge is just fine.  Attach the ribbon with tape (I switched to glue dots for this) and tie the bow with the pencil inside.

The option on the right is with preprinted cards – sold by the box at any craft store.  Just trim the card down to the size of the notepad (or skip it if it’s close), attach the notepad with your adhesive of choice, stamp the front.  Lazy? Yep.  But it was getting late and I got in a hurry.  I attached the pencil with a glue dot to the envelope.

The Khan was happy with them so I’m hopeful the rest of the third grade will too.  This is also a nice idea for a card party / game night favor, teacher gift or just a nice little “thinking of you” gift.  If you use the the preprinted cards and embellish them, they’ll have an envelope all ready for mailing, but you will pay extra postage.

Would you like to see a step-by-step tutorial?  Leave me a comment and I promise to make it happen.