3 Vacation Money Saving Tips for Summer Travel

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Mom & daughter on pexels.com

Vacations are fun but let’s be honest, they can be quite expensive.  Depending on where you travel and how long you will vacation there, families can spend close to $3000 including transportation, food, souvenirs, tours, and hotel.  But there’s hope.  Whether big or small, start saving money for your next vacation with these tips!

  1. Enroll in a frequent stay program with your favorite hotel chain.  For example, Hilton has the Hilton Honors program where you can collect points for every stay at a Hilton brand hotel.  You can use these points later towards future stays and enjoy perks such as late check out, free snacks, or premium wi-fi.  I’m a Hilton Honors silver member so my points values are high, and I get at least two free stays per year through the amount of points I collect.  My favorite Hilton hotel is Embassy, where I enjoy a delicious free breakfast, afternoon social and the best comfortable 2 room suite.
  2. Travel to a nearby city and enjoy some of the local tourist attractions.  Often we think our vacations have to be to some place exotic or some exclusive destination when there is so much to do and learn right in our own backyard.  This year we are taking a two day trip to Helen, Georgia, a cute little quaint town located in the mountains of Georgia with good food, a good river for tubing and some relaxation.
  3. Plan one day adventures.  You can take the family to a drive-in movie.  How about visit the lake for a family picnic and games.  There are so many adventures that you can do in one day whether you travel 5 or 50 miles outside of your city.  And guess what, you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy them.

With these tips, you are bound to have a great time with your family or friends all while keeping some cha-ching $$$ in your pockets.  Summer time is always a fun time to embark upon a new adventure. However, don’t forget about traveling during the off-peak seasons where places like the beach resorts offer super low rates and shopping at outlets and boutiques are so exciting.

What are your summer plans and how do you save money on travel? Leave us a comment and help someone else.  Don’t forget to share & like.

Remember, it’s a faith journey y’all!

Tamika W.

P.S Many of the reward programs offer vacations at 60-80% off.  Yes, you’ll have to watch a presentation and answer a million questions about buying a timeshare (do NOT buy one) BUT hey, who wouldn’t enjoy Disney for $165 for 3 days/2 nights.  I know I did AND I received 5000 points for attending as well as some discounts on food and future travel.  BAM!

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Your Plate is FULL. Please Tell Them No.

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This past weekend my cousin came by to visit and we chatted about careers, love, church and life.  Lately, I’ve been reflecting on everything that I’m involved in and looking at revising my schedule to make time for things are a priority in my life.

I remember attending this workshop many many moons ago where the presenter asked us “how full is your plate?”  We actually had a paper plate and had to write everything we were involved in on that plate.  I remember looking at my plate and it was FULL.  Back then, I didn’t know what to prioritize because I felt all of those things at that time were important.  Someone needed me to do this because no one else could do.  Someone asked me to help with that because I had the experience.  But I didn’t think about the time, effort, and responsibility of having multiple tasks while trying to live life.

Do you remember the story of Martha and Mary when Jesus came to visit.  Martha was so distracted with cleaning, serving, and household duties that she failed to see that none of those things were important as a visit from Jesus.  Sometimes our life is so busy, we can’t see some important things that God has in store for us.  Sometimes our life is so busy we even neglect the One who is most important to us.

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3 Ways to Keep Your Faith In Check

eye-female-funny-glass-41558.jpegLet’s admit it girls. Some days, weeks, months or seasons get so busy we may forget to check in with God consistently.  I know as a mom, if I’m not conscious about how I’m spending my time, prayer and devotion just might escape me.  Not good. But we are human.  Sometimes we get caught up in the rush of life that we limit our relationship with God to a few minutes here and there just to check it off the to-do list. Done.  But you and I both know when we put God on the to-do list, life seems to get a SUPER crazy. Out of whack. And when the dust settles, we look at how we have put God on a shelf like a book. The thing I like about our God is that He knows and He will definitely nudge us to remind us when we are drifting away.

I keep telling you that I’m working on being calendar driven-some days are better than others.  What is important is that we carve out meaningful time with God.  Maybe you don’t know where to start and honey that is ok as long as you start.  Or in my case restart.  The time we spend with God has be intentional and consistent as it helps us draw closer to Him, grow in our faith, and experience everlasting peace and joy in Him.

There are many ways to spend time with Him-prayer, reading His word, singing His praises, joining a women’s group or even sharing His goodness with others.  If you feel that you are drifting away or need quick ways to keep your faith in check, how about this:

  1. Set aside some time each day to read a devotional or simply open the bible and read it.  There are a million devotionals online and in print that are connected to God’s word and His principles for life. Try this FREE 30-day devotional and bible reading guide created just for busy women like us.  Click here for your FREEBIE ====>> 30 Days with God
  2. Spend the first 5 minutes of your day in prayer and giving thanks to God for His many blessings.  What a great way to get your day going.  But… if the first 5 minutes does not work for you (not a morning person like me), be sure to carve out some quiet time throughout the day-on your lunch break, when the kiddos are napping, when the household is sleeping. You get it.
  3. Share your faith and testimonies of your experiences with others.  Not only will you inspire someone else but you will be reminded of just how good God is to you.  You can do this by joining a group online or in your church or posting your blessings instead of your messiness.  Doing so is a great way to stay connected to the Master and a way to get people connected to Him.

Maybe you are not in a dry season in your faith. Or maybe you know someone who is. Whatever it may be, I would love to hear from you on ways you keep your faith in check.  Leave a comment, like, & share. I’m sure it will inspire others 😉

Remember, it’s a faith journey y’all.  No matter where you are in the hustle of life, you got to have faith!

Tamika W.

 

Are You Busy? You Still Need a Budget!

business-money-pink-coins.jpg“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7 NKJV

Anytime someone hears the word budget they automatically assume that the person is struggling financially or that they are BROKE. Not always the case.  According to a Gallup poll, only 1/3 of Americans have a household budget yet 80% of Americans are DROWNING in debt.

In 2015, my husband and I looked at our finances and determined we wanted to leave a legacy of financial freedom to our children.  We made up in our minds that we no longer wanted debt to have a lifelong grip on us so tight that we could not enjoy life. After a friend introduced me to Dave Ramsey, my husband and I decided to embark on this journey to financial freedom and peace.  I would highly recommend everyone to take his Financial Peace course to learn the ins & outs to financial freedom.

As consumers, I don’t know what it is about having the latest and greatest but that is the mentality that often puts us deep into debt.  And with the world of entertainment, keeping up with the Jones’s and blowing money faster than we can make it, our income spirals out of control to the sunken place, a point of no return.

Well don’t ever think that there is a point of no return because there is a solution for the problem.  Let me say this as well.  You may not be the person who lives in “the sunken place”.  You may be reading this and saying to yourself, “I have money in the bank and I pay my bills on time and I get to live life to the fullest.” Great.  Round of applause.  Read the list below and if you have any of the items listed, you’re in debt.

  1. Credit Cards
  2. Loans (student loans, auto loans, furniture, pay day loans, etc.)
  3. Mortgage and/or Home Equity Loan
  4. Hospital Bills
  5. Collection Notices
  6. Department Store Charge Cards
  7. Personal Bank Loan
  8. 401K, Retirement, 403b Loan
  9. Business Loan
  10. Do You Owe Someone? Ok, you get the point

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because life is fine, you’re ok.  That mentality will keep us all a slave to the financial system. So here is what I find that works for our household- a monthly budget.  Now you can google budget forms and you will get soooo many hits and links.  Here are some quick steps to get your money designated for specific areas of spending AND doing so will help you find ways to eliminate your debt faster.

1. List all of your debts, smallest to largest. Once you pay off a debt, roll that amount into the next debt.  This is called the SNOWBALL effect.  Read about it here.

2. Obtain a credit report to make sure you have not been a victim of fraud and to make sure you have accounted for ALL of your debts.

3. List all of your household expenses- charities (tithes, charitable giving), mortgage/rent, utilities, groceries, entertainment, clothing, gas, auto repairs, health & medical (i.e medicines, doctor appointments, etc.), outside insurance policies, personal care (i.e toiletries, baby supplies, tutoring/music lessons, child care/babysitters, organizational dues), and debts you pay.

4. List your take home pay and subtract it from ALL of your expenses.  If the number is positive you have money left to start paying off some debt FASTER.  If the number is negative, you will need to look at what you can eliminate from your expenses to ensure that you are not living above your means.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 each month and have a household budget meeting.  Make a vision board and take control of your financial life.  After all, God wants us to be lenders and not borrowers.  He wants us to prosper in all areas of life.  Finally, DON’T LET ANYONE make you believe that because you are budgeting your way to financial freedom, you are broke and busted. Start the journey and keep going if you’ve already started.

There are a thousand ways to get out of debt and to budget your household.  What are some ways you budget?  What are some resources you recommend? Share your strategies and share this with someone.

It’s a FAITH journey y’all! No matter where you are in life, you gotta have faith!

Tamika W.

P.S. I do not get paid to promote Dave Ramsey’s products.  I’m on the journey to financial freedom and peace.  As of today, I’ve stopped using all my credit cards, paid them off, and will be tackling the remainder of my car loan and the BIG student loan.  I’ll keep you posted! 😉

#winning #debtfree #onefaithjourney #financialpeace

 

 

Sunshine Blogger! Yeah, That’s Me

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I’ve been out of commission for the past two days.  Baby clinging to me.  Cleaning my house. Doing laundry. Catching up on work. All that stuff that keeps the every day woman BUSY! So, when I saw this post on the blog I follow, I had to read it several times.  “Like am I reading this?”  Yes. I. Did.Read.It.  For some people it’s small but for a new blogger like me, it was definitely motivating to know someone nominated me for this award, a peer, dope blogger you need to follow now, Mz. Imperfect. Follow her. NOW. I’m so serious!

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?  It’s an award presented to bloggers by bloggers for creative and outstanding content that inspires readers everywhere.  And it is a super way to connect with new blogs and be inspired.

A part of accepting this award is to answer some questions about me and nominate a few blogs for bringing some sunshine.  And guess what, you should follow them too 🙂

Blog Nominations:

  1. deannastilwell.com
  2. cherishingsecrets.wordpress.com
  3. mysimplyunique.com
  4. ruthinrevolt.com
  5. sweetandsimplelife.com
  6. unspokenvows.com
  7. tlyncompositions.org

 

Questions to Answer

1. Do you prefer ocean or lake? Ocean- love hearing waves

2. How long have you been blogging? I started a blog in 2015 but never finished.  So since March 28, 2018

3. What is your favorite hobby? traveling

4. What would you do if there was no chance of failing? That’s so hard to answer right now…hhhhmmmm???

5. If you could have lunch with 1 person, (alive or not), who would it be? Why? Dave Chapelle.. I love HIS comedy and I love laughing.  He is a genius folks!

6. What’s the most challenging thing about blogging? Reaching the masses through a passion

7. What is your favorite junk food? Spinach and artichoke dip and chips

8. Where are you from? Columbia, South Carolina, Soda City, The Metro!

9. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? Barcelona, Spain

10. What is your favorite type of music? Anything with a positive message that inspires

11. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Living and giving like no one else because I WILL have financial peace….Shout out to Dave Ramsey & FPU

 

Rules

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog in your post.

2. Answer the questions at the bottom of this post in your own blog post.

3. Nominate  up to 11 blogs with 11 questions

4. List the rules and Sunshine Award Logo on your post.

 

Be inspired & remember, its a faith journey, y’all!

Why One Faith Journey: Episode 2

Well ladies, I’m still on the journey as of April 30th.  Check out this podcast to find out why I started the journey.  I hope you are inspired in some way!  In the podcast I mentioned my friend Tonja Davis and I totally MESSED up her youtube channel name (forgive me Tonja).  Below are three blogs/vlogs to follow and I hope to connect with these ladies soon to put them on the calendar for May, June and July.

For those of you in a relationship, wanting to get married or are already married, check out Unspoken Vows. Hands down, this is the BEST blog on marriage.  Here you can find advice on so many topics and even things for you and your mate to apply to your relationship/courtship, marriage, etc.

If you are looking to grow in many areas of your life, check out this new blog I started following, Mz. Imperfect, where you can find some encouragement and advice on life, health, and join a conversation with someone who keeps it all the way real!

For you parents who need a pick me up and some real faith parenting advice check out T. Lyn Compositions on Youtube and subscribe to her channel.  You will laugh and walk away with some thought-provoking moments about your parenting journey.  She is a minister, writer, speaker and author.

I can’t wait to connect with these ladies and I hope you join me in following them too!  Remember, it’s a faith journey y’all!  Be inspired and have faith!

P.S. If you are not a subscriber, you are missing out on some good stuff.  Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @1faithjourney and tell your girlfriends too.

Tamika W.

Disaster: Seek Shelter

pexels-photo-932402.jpegHow many times do you put an outfit together and when you put it on, it is a total disaster? This is a weekly adventure for me.  My mind visualizes one thing and my body screams, “No ma’am!” As I rip open drawers, clothes fly chaotically throughout my room.  I look at the clock and it says leave now or you’ll be late.  I ignore it in search of the perfect outfit.  After several changes and mean looks in the mirror, I often settle for something.  I rush out the house like a madwoman.  Those are the days that my wardrobe defines my day.  Rushed. Frantic. Discombobulated. Chaotic. I approach my day with uneasy feelings of how will other see me or questions about my outfit, seeking approval from others. And then somehow, God sends me an instant message that says “why are you worried about your outward appearance? Why have you let this define your day?”  Matthew 6:25 reminds us to not be anxious about life nor about what we will eat or drink.  So why do I find myself panicking over my appearance?  Furthermore, Gods word reminds us that He is not like man, looking on the outward but on the inward, our hearts.  When my days are rushed, frantic, and chaotic because of my wardrobe, it is often the days that I forget to hold God’s word near and dear to my heart, first thing in the morning. Instead of focusing on my outward appearance and allowing my wardrobe disasters to ruin my day, I know I need to tune into God so that he can direct and guide me along the way.  Have you had days like this?  If so, it is ok.  God is just to forgive and guide us closer to Him, if we will only let Him.

Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” So spend more delighting in God and not things of this world and He will give you blessings and more blessings.

How do you overcome “disaster days”? Leave reply & inspire others!

Remember, it’s a faith journey y’all!

Tamika W.