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Surviving the Storm – Hurricane Harvey Finance Tips

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonGreetings! The past week has been tough for the city of Houston. As you know, Hurricane Harvey made some serious damage in Texas and hit the Clutch City hard. To say we were prepared was an understatement.

My family and I returned from our summer vacation Saturday night on 1 of 3 flights from New Orleans to Houston. We were grateful to head home but had no idea what we would come back to. Storms and winds swept freeways, lightning flashed, and flooded roads made it difficult to get to our final destination, home.

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonI can’t even describe the feelings I felt while driving from the airport. I couldn’t see the road ahead and I was unsure what areas were underwater but all I kept thinking about was my precious nephews and my beautiful family in the backseat. My heart stopped a few times when I couldn’t see the road or how much water was in front of me but thank goodness God guided us home. Here’s what I learned from the flood in regards to finances:

Stay ready, never to get ready

This is my business motto but it can be applied to any situation or circumstance. I know things can get tight but keeping gas in your tank and having groceries are critical. These essentials go a long way and can really make a difference when you get trapped or in our case, flooded in. A charged phone is equally as important. One phone call, text, or social media post might save your life or change your situation.

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonHouston Helps

As of last month, I’ve officially been in Houston for 10 years! I love this city and the humility of Houstonians. Everyone’s eager to lend a hand and help when in need. I saw this firsthand this week when my home was affected as a result of the storm. I wasn’t able to assess the damage until Wednesday night but friends who lived nearby offered to check on the house. There was damage to the front and back entrance of my home but nothing that can’t be repaired. I know I was a bit down at first, but can’t begin to imagine what it might feel like to be completely flooded.

I’m so glad to know there are resources available for those affected by the flood. If you need assistance or have been displaced by Harvey reach out to these agencies.

FEMA – Apply for disaster relief help. You might qualify for hotel vouchers or financial assistance if your home was flooded.

Texas Workforce – If you were unable to work this week you could be eligible for assistance.

If you own a home contact your mortgage company and request they provide your home owner’s insurance information. Reach out to the company and enter a claim as soon as possible. I contacted my insurance company earlier this week and an adjuster will assess the damages from Harvey this weekend. I’m hoping by getting my claim in early I can get the ball rolling on repairs.

If you rent and have renter’s insurance contact your service provider for disaster relief help.

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonHouston Heals

We can and will recover from Hurricane Harvey. My heart goes out to those who lost everything. Last year, Baton Rouge was devastated by a terrible flood. I remember pooling together with family, friends, and coworkers to donate clothing, household items, diapers, and toiletries. Now those same giving individuals will need help to rebuild their homes.

What can we do to help? Volunteer, donate to flood victims and pray for everyone who was affected by the storm. The next few months will be focused on rebuilding and reviving the culture of Houston. Let’s do it with love! Leave a comment with recommendations on where to donate and let me know what you’ve learned from the flood.


The Banging Benefits of a Summer Staycation | Finance

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Finance Houston Staycation Hotel Derek Hotel Sorella VacationHappy Finance Friday! July is flying by and if you haven’t taken a summer vacation yet, it’s time. Can’t afford a getaway? Don’t worry, you can still plan an inexpensive staycation this season. A staycation is a vacation spent home and may involve day trips to local attractions. Here are a few ways to make the most of your summer break!

3 Ways to Date & Not Break the Bank | Finance

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It’s Friday and I’m so excited for the weekend! I’ve been jamming the Top 50 hits list on Spotify all week. Despacito has been on repeat and I can’t wait to hit the dance floor with my handsome guy this weekend! Spending time with your significant other can definitely add up but don’t worry you can still splurge a little on date night. Here are 3 ways to have fun and not bust your budget.

How to Slay & Stay on Budget this Season| Finance 

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It’s the weekend and I’m so happy to be concluding a crazy work week! The past fourteen days have been nonstop busy with styling, work, and gearing up for summer travel. I have three trips planned in the next two months with a couple getaways to Austin on my radar. With lots of travel comes a bigger budget allocated for clothes and miscellaneous pieces. I rounded up a few tips to help you kill it this summer while staying on budget!

Save first

I know what you’re thinking, she always says this lol. Saving for me is essential and falls in line with my life motto, “stay ready, never to get ready!” A week ago, I lost my phone at work. I almost shed a few tears, almost. After three and a half years of the same phone, I finally decided to upgrade my device and then I lose it within a month. No way!

That’s life.  I thank God for insurance and a backup phone. Instead of charging the replacement to my monthly bill, I saved up and will purchase a new gadget this weekend. What better way to slay summer than with a phone that can capture sweet memories all while leaving my emergency fund unbothered!

Shop with a list

When I first started styling, my mentor recommended that I make a wishlist for clients. While going through closets, I do a rundown of what can be added or replaced to make shopping super easy. It’s really become a great tool and keeps you focused on what you need.

This week, I put this tip into practice when I ran into Ross, Marshall’s, and Burlington to grab pieces for my upcoming trips. I snagged new sleepwear, undergarments, workout clothes, loungewear, coverups, perfume, and travel-worthy candles straight from my list. Yay, for stress-free shopping!

Style with what you have

Can’t afford to buy new clothes for the season, don’t worry! Style with what’s in your existing wardrobe. Now before you say I don’t have anything to wear, I suggest being creative and open to changing things up. I’m guilty of saying the same thing but then I take another look into my closet and realize I have a few hidden gems.

Spruce up an old pair of high waisted jeans by cutting into shorts. Add a few slits throughout, toss in the wash, tumble dry, and voila you’ve got a pair of on-trend shorts! To keep things fresh and up to date, I like to sell my clothes at resale shops like Buffalo Exchange and Encore. I then take the proceeds from the sale and purchase new pieces. Recycled funds for new fashions, winning! I mean saving lol.

What are some of your tips to save and slay? Feel free to share below.


3 Tips to Become an Expert Bargain Shopper | Finance

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Hey y’all, welcome back to Finance Friday! I’m so excited to be sharing tips on how to get the best deals while shopping. With summer officially weeks away, it’s easy to find the need to pick up new clothes for the season or update home electronics for get-togethers with friends. Here’s my take on how to get the best bargain without breaking the bank.



Shop on Sale

Shopping on sale really does save a ton of money. The reduction from the original price to sale can be dramatic leaving cash to spare. Growing up, we never purchased full price pieces and always hit the sale rack. In addition to scooping up items on sale, we’d use coupons to save even more. (Be sure to read the fine print of all coupons. Exclusions may apply).

Keep track of sales by subscribing to your favorite stores or following on social media. With time, you’ll learn the sales cycles and know when to shop. For example, my favorite grocery store, Sprouts has the best sales on Wednesday’s. They feature double ads on Hump Day and this allows shoppers to save the most in the middle of the week. You can also maximize savings by using mobile coupons.

Ask for a Discount/Price Match

Shopping in store versus online does have a few advantages. Although online shopping is way more convenient it doesn’t allow you the chance to ask for a discount. If an item is damaged or has a little wear and tear this might be additional savings. I recently went shopping and found a super cute maxi romper on sale at Agaci but it was missing a button, bummer. Luckily, an extra button was attached making it a quick fix. When I got to the checkout I asked the sales associate if she could take anything off for the missing button and she took half off the lowest ticket price. I snagged an originally priced $50 piece for $4.32 with tax, winning!

Price matching is another way to catch deals. I recommend calling your preferred store ahead of time and ask how their price matching policy works. Who knows it might possibly lead to major savings. It seems as if it’s archaic but the ability to have a face-to-face exchange with a sales associate gives an opportunity to negotiate and ultimately save money.

Shop off Season

One of my favorite hobbies is shopping offseason. I absolutely love picking up last year’s fall/winter pieces in the middle of summer. It’s the only way I buy $200 boots for under 50 bucks. Shopping offseason helps you transition seamlessly into cold or warm weather. Also, it allows you to keep up with trends without breaking the bank.

With these tips, you’re sure to get the best bargain with each new purchase. Feel free to leave your shopping tips below. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and happy shopping!

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Top 3 Reasons to Check Credit Scores Weekly | Finance

Sometimes, it’s hard to look at our finances each month. It’s certainly a chore to review our debt to income ratio every week. Whether it’s that lingering student loan debt, crazy credit card balance or previous financial hiccup weekly credit checks can help you stay on top of things.

That myth that we’ve always heard, “credit is everything,” is somewhat true. It’s not everything but it does play a major factor in whether you get a fair car or home loan or potentially land that dream job. Credit can quite often make or break you. Here’s why I check my scores week…

Save More, Spend Less | Finance

Happy Friday! We made it through the first week of April and I’m so ready for the weekend. I’m headed out tonight to celebrate a close friends birthday, yay! Before I dive into weekend mode, let’s take a glimpse at the importance of saving versus spending. If you know me, you know how much I love going out to dinner, attending events, and enjoying live entertainment. Experiencing life is essential but often times requires spending money. Here’s how to stay on top of saving more and spending less:

How to Begin Investing for Retirement at an Early Age | Finance

Happy Finance Friday! Who’s ready to leap into April?! Me! Before I jump into all of the wonderful new adventures to come this season, I want to make sure I check on my investments and conduct a review of my retirement accounts. My goal is to retire early and spend my latter days really enjoying the fruits of my labor. Lately, when I discuss saving up for retirement with my peers and pals the same questions keep popping up…

6 Ways to Maximize your Tax Refund | Finance

Tax time is coming to an end and the first quarter of 2017 is almost over. That means we might be seeing some extra cash from the government and/or our employers. Tax refunds and bonuses can really help our financial situations. In the past, I’ve used funds to pay off medical bills and save for a downpayment on my home. Here are a few more ways to maximize your refund:

More Green, Please | Finance

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m sure a lot of us are hoping to get lucky by nightfall and receive a pot of gold from a leprechaun. That’s always been a fairytale to run off with a bucket of money at the end of a rainbow. They say money makes the world go round, at least that’s what we’ve always been told. With time I’ve found it to be somewhat true.