Category Archives: RANDOM

Hello My Name Is…. AND I’M A PROCRASTINATOR

procrastination

NOTE: This should have been posted as yesterday’s “Motivation Monday,” but because of my persistent procrastination, I’m posting it today. Read on to find out what the triggered my “call to action.”

It has taken me 15 minutes to get started writing this post. Let me tell you what I’ve done during that time.

  1. Sent a Tweet.
  2. Responded To a Tweet
  3. Sent a couple of Text Messages
  4. Put a clear coat of polish on my nails
  5. Searched Google images
  6. (You get the picture.)

I did everything I could do to avoid this posting. Procrastinating is something I have always done and had yet to master, to my detriment of course. I always work well under pressure, but is it necessary to put undue stress on myself as a result? Of course the answer is a resounding “No!”

Why do some people procrastinate? I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you why I do. I suffer from Type “A” personality. No, I’m not an A-hole, but when I complete tasks, I want them to be perfect. Flawless. Almost effortless. I’m one of those people who gets agitated because of a misspelled a word I catch AFTER posting on my website, posting a tweet, or sending a text message for that matter. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t make these kinds of simple mistakes. In MY world? Forget about it. The result, is wasted time, stress and anxiety. I’m used to it, so I should have adapted by now and should also be able to deal with it right? Yes and No.

Case in point….

As you know (if you don’t, I’m telling you now,) I’m taking classes to become an AFC (Accredited Financial Counselor.) Keep in mind. I received my last degree, an MBA, in 2002. That was 14 years ago this month. Distance/Online courses are NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING like they were over a decade ago. Back then email is what kept everyone connected. No FaceTime, Skype, Lynk, Google Plus or any other methods for face to face communication. Matter of fact, there were no smartphones back then either. Technology has come a mighty long way, but I digress. A couple of days after being registered for my classes, it was important to sign up with a school id and password. I’ll do it tomorrow became the next day and after about 4days (and an email from the Program Coordinator,) I set it up. Now that that “chore” is completed, it’s on to the syllabus for both classes right? Wrong. I’ve got time. I can look at it tomorrow. Oh wait, the weekend is here, I’ll get everything done Sunday. This is the self talk of a “Professed Procrastinator.” HUGE MISTAKE on my part.

Allowing an entire week to pass cost me TWO CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS OF STAYING UP PAST 3am. After reading through the syllabi, I discovered assignments/exams are due by 1pm in the afternoon, NOT the normal midnight that I was accustomed to. OH NO… What have I done? I’ll tell you. I screwed up by procrastinating. Here’s a glimpse of my initial reaction….


Once I saw the work required, I immediately got my ass in gear. One of the professors gave us a “crap ton” of assignments to complete. The practice assignments were even brutal. Word of advice… Never underestimate a professor who is teaching a class and also working on a Doctoral Degree at the same time.

From that moment on, I was OVER IT!!! Over procrastination. Over waiting until the last minute to complete my assignments, blog postings, anything that required time constraints be placed on them. My “struggle glasses” were past over it refusing to stay on my face, somehow punishing me for the sin of procrastination.


At the end of the day, I am pleased to say, I completed ALL the assignments including the extra credit for BOTH classes. It only cost me two nights of decent sleep. Having a Type “A” personality can come in handy especially when it motivates us to excel. And when it comes to exceling, it doesn’t take much for the “Type “A”

So how does procrastination tie in to personal finance? IT DOESN’T. Just felt like sharing. Well, I could tie in a lesson to it, but not on this posting. It’s random. What I will say is procrastination and poor planning IS NOT a habit successful people employ. Successful people create “To Do” Lists and STAY ON TASK. I too create “To Do” Lists. The problem is, the lists would be much shorter if I wasn’t constantly moving tasks I procrastinated doing from the previous day/days to the current day. You get what I’m saying.

Never again will I do this. I have created a schedule where I block off time during the week to complete important tasks whether it’s my class assignments, reading, writing blogs etc. It’s somewhat robotic, but for me it’s a necessity to keep me on task. This schedule allows me to balance school, community service, maintaining my website/social media, my social life, and just life in general. I can now remain consistent, stay on task, and most importantly, keep my weekends. I’ll work hard during the week… The weekend however belongs to me.

Have you found yourself in this situation? I hope this posting helped you understand procrastination and what you can do to avoid it. Does procrastination leave you feeling powerless, stressed and anxious? If so, how did you overcome it? Leave your feedback below. I’d love to hear from you.

~The Financial Hack ©2016

 

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ALL THAT… FOR NOTHING

overthinker

Sometimes I have a tendency to “overthink.” Overthinkers tend to create problems that don’t exist which at times can cause undue stress, strain and anxiety on oneself. This can be manifested in your behavior or in some cases, your body. If you’re in tune with your body, you know when it’s in distress. Let me explain further.

After last night’s Periscope Session ended (Knowing Where Your Money Is Going,) my lower back IMMEDIATELY began aching. It wasn’t that rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, pinch nerve kind of pain, but that “you’re stressing yourself out and this is ONE way I’m going to show you” kind.  I knew where the stress was coming from however, I didn’t immediately address it. I was so drained. I was bothered. I felt defeated. I didn’t even call Mista to say goodnight as we normally do. I sent a text instead. I just wanted to crash out. The problem is, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up the first time. It was almost 2am. I hadn’t been asleep three hours. The second time? UGH OH! Here comes the anxiety. I knew it because an hour later, I woke up in a state of panic. I hadn’t had one of those episodes since my “drowning in debt days,” but somehow I managed to fall asleep once again. My alarm went off at 5am. I tried to lift my head and it felt like a ton of bricks. “Please no,” I said as the pain pulsated from temple to temple. A sinus headache? How can this be when my humidifier is right next to the bed?

I knew what this was all about. As I lay there, I began thinking (because I do that sometimes,) “Why are you stressing about the scope session?” The “Overthinking Perfectionist” in me  didn’t believe the Scope Session went well. Why some of you may ask? I wasn’t getting the positive feedback I normally receive. If you are familiar with Periscope, you know giving “hearts” lets the “Scoper” know someone agrees with what you are saying or likes what you have to say, or likes you period. In a nutshell, hearts can be used to measure a person’s “likeability.” Likeability? What the hell? I’m not on Periscope for followers to “like” me per se. Don’t misunderstand me. Likeability certainly helps. My goal however, is to present information that I pray other people can take, use and benefit from. Perhaps, I stepped on some toes last night, or maybe, just maybe, those that were tuned in were actually LISTENING to what I was saying.

Usually, I will rewatch my Scope Session before bed and critique my presentation, but I didn’t do that last night. I had already made up in my mind the presentation was “craptastic” therefore resulting in a “craptastic” Scope Session. 

What a “craptastic” way of thinking.

Self-talk is so important. It can make or break you. When you are confident in your abilities, you have to trust and believe in them regardless of the feedback you may or may not receive from others. Simply put, had I watched my scope session as I normally do, I’m positive I wouldn’t have awakened this morning feeling like I wrestled with a grizzly bear in my sleep.  

I’ve always said over the years no matter what I was engaged in be it my “marathoning” days, making people laugh on YouTube, teaching my students, or giving back to the community, “If I can touch the life of ONE person, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”

This morning, as I scrolled through my Twitter mentions (I like to go back and individually thank those who share my Scope Sessions,) one person I thanked in particular said, and I quote, “I am loving your work. So many people need this.”

There it is… The affirmation from God that confirmed what I already knew. I did what I was supposed to do. 

To you Shawn S…. Thank you.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

TO WATCH LAST NIGHT’S PERISCOPE SESSION CLICK HERE:

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aVwDxDFheWpWWUFkcExLcHJ8MWxER0xZYXpuUnpKbaAmVbLid6XwrHJHRInjOIrrzOmAtfcLil5XptfvwXew

 

 

EXCEPTIONS CAN BE MADE….

IF…. Your purchase can be justified. This one can:  My very own 7ft 12th Man Aggie is definitely a JUSTIFIABLE PURCHASE!!! Texas A&M University is my Alma Mater for Pete’s Sake!!! Talk about a return on your investment. Football watch parties, alumni gatherings, student recruiting, and the list goes on. This is a purchase that keeps on giving. Year after year.

GIG EM AGGIES!!!! 👍

~The Financial Hack ©2015

RANDOM POSTING: YOUR COMMENTS MATTER

PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME. I’m still learning the ins and out of being the webmaster of your own site. I’m still “fine tuning” certain areas. I blame my Madden Mobile app for that. Remember I’m a huge football fan, the app is FREE and I am totally addicted. I can already see a time management posting on the horizon, but I digress….

Some of you guys are leaving comments on certain postings that are either being marked as spam or are waiting for my approval. I just discovered this within the last week or so. I’m trying to remain vigilant in my efforts to check on a daily basis. Please bear with me as I continue to familiarize myself with the Site Admin functions.

I thank all of you that have read, liked, shared and commented on my postings. I am eternally grateful.

~The Financial Hack

MINI VACATION HACK- The One Day Get-Away

I hadn’t gotten away from Dallas in a good while and sometimes a “one day getaway” is all I need to recharge. Austin is usually my “go to” city of refuge but this time, I headed east. Hot Springs, Arkansas was the destination and I was determined to go even if for only a day. Road trips are what I use to clear my head. Driving the open road is so therapeutic. It gives me time to think which is sometimes difficult to do in the hustle and bustle of the city. With me being on a strict budget I figured the day AFTER Labor Day would be an ideal time for travel. Schools have reconvened and most people have taken their yearly vacations. This means low hotel occupancies which is always a bonus for the frugal traveler.

Embassy Suites, or any Hilton Affiliate Hotel for that matter, is where I often stay for the simple fact I’m a Hilton Honors Member. One day, these points will add up and eventually I’ll get a free night or two of hotel stay. I can’t wait for that day to come.

Traveling during non-peak times is ideal if you’re able to do so. Fuel prices are low so that means low prices on airline flights, gas, car rentals, hotel rooms, attractions, you name it. For all practical purposes, I’ll focus on hotel stays. What you MUST KNOW is you’ve got to ask for hotel upgrades. Some front desk agents will upgrade you because the’re feeling gracious but mostly do it because they want your continued patronage. For example, knowing local hotels in the city would not be at more than 50% occupancy (remember I’m in a tourist town the day AFTER Labor Day,) we knew we had leverage. Upon check in, my mother, (yes I traveled with Moms this time) was quoted a price of $160. I asked if that was the best rate they could give us. They knocked off $30. She’s a member of AARP which gave us an additional discount so let’s just say we got a double bed suite with a great view on the top floor for dirt cheap. Of course they hit us with the local and tourist tax. If you’ve stayed at an Embassy Suites Hotel (my favorite location is Downtown Chicago,) they have a complimentary happy hour every evening and complimentary breakfast every morning. You can’t beat that with a bat. The bed was so comfortable, I blew my budget of spending zero dollars on this trip, to purchasing two of the hotel’s down feather pillows from the HiltonToHome.com website. Although this purchase was a budget setback, after the good night’s rest I got, blowing the budget for the month will be well worth it.

Ask for upgrades. If a hotel doesn’t have free wifi and it’s off peak season, ask them to include it. Hotels can and will offer all sorts of concessions from upgraded rooms, free wifi, room service vouchers, keys to the mini bar (if that’s your thing) complimentary spa treatments, free conference room use (for business travelers) and the list goes on. As my mother always says, “Don’t tell yourself no. Let THEM tell you no.” 

I could have easily stayed in the room and relaxed with a book, watching television, or enjoying the mountainous view, but my mom and I hit the Hot Springs streets. As we strolled down Central Ave, we visited several quaint shops and boutiques, one in particular was Snazzies Inc (find them on Facebook) where I fell in love with this baseball shirt:

  
Now here’s where the “frugal me” comes in. I just HAD to have this shirt. Non-essential items was NOT  in the budget but I purchased it anyway. It hit me after I got back to the room: I could have designed this same shirt for the same amount of money. Just on general principle, when I got back to town today, I went on a popular “design your own” t-shirt website and came up with this:

  
I like my version better…. It should arrive early next week. 

That goes to show impulse purchases are a “No No” when budgeting. I definitely didn’t think that one through. Oh well. I still LOVE the shirts.

The downside of the trip: The bathhouses were closed. We didn’t want to get in the water, just put our feet in. Also because of the off-peak season, a lot of the tours weren’t available to us. Had it been a weekend, they would have. It didn’t matter. That meant less money to spend and I didn’t care. I was enjoying myself.

The upside of the trip: I had one of the best cupcakes (an Ooey Gooey Buttercream Cupcake) from Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcake Shoppe as featured on the Food Network.

 
  
Sooooo Good.

To work off the cupcake, me and my 69 year old mother hiked some 2mi… Uphill.   

The view was beautiful. And guess what? It didn’t cost us a thing. I’m glad I packed an extra pair of sneakers. She was such a trooper, I rewarded her by dropping her off at the casino and gave her my $10 voucher the hotel gave us. Now she has $20 to play the penny slots. What is it about old ladies and slot machines? Snickering, I’ll never understand. I won’t even begin to try.

After feasting on pancakes, bacon, potatoes, omlettes, various pastries and fresh fruit this morning, it was time to head out. We couldn’t leave without taking with us what Hot Springs is best known for… ITS NATURAL SPRING WATER. We purchased a couple of two gallon jugs and proceeded to the local water dispenser. Poor Moms. Her spout was defective, the splatter leaving her shirt wet. She mumbled under her breath as she moved to the next spout. The water flowed much smoothly. I filled my jug, gave Central Street one last glance and smiled. We did a lot in 24 hours and I wasn’t tired. Window shopping didn’t cost a thing, watching the sun play peek-a-boo with the clouds while we hiked didn’t cost a thing and most importantly, the time I spent with my mom didn’t cost a thing (with the exception of a slight headache or two.) But at that very moment, the feeling of calm and inner peace I had within, my friends, certainly didn’t cost a thing. 

~The Financial Hack ©2015

RANDOM: EVERYTHING IS FALLING INTO PLACE…

“Understanding “seasons” helps you understand how and why everything is either falling into place or falling apart.” (Posted July 28th- via Twitter)

easy breezy
FOCUS on what is in front of you…
This is a tweet I posted a couple of weeks ago and it rings so true. My mind is clear. I know what I want, I know how to obtain it and I am taking steps to obtain what I want. BIG STEPS. Each and every day is a learning experience for me. I don’t pretend to have or know all the answers because I am always learning something new. A thought. A revelation or simply a feeling.

I had the pleasure of attending a “preview” of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University yesterday evening (which I have already signed up for.) This 9-week webinar will hopefully reassure me I’m “doing something right” when it comes to my finances. It’s funny when we “know” but need “confirmation” from others.

My goal with this blog as mentioned on my “About Me” page is to share what I have learned through my triumphs and mishaps of handling my money. What’s ironic about attending Financial Peace University is the meeting location is literally FIVE MINUTES FROM WHERE I LIVE. Coincidence? I think not. God has a way of placing opportunities, situations and people in our lives at just the right time. How we choose to handle what has been placed in front of us is strictly “up to us.”

Unfortunately, the class doesn’t start for another month but I’ll be waiting… PATIENTLY. I look forward to sharing what I learn with you.

~The Financial Hack ©2015