Monday, August 5, 2019

Excellent Advice from Women Entrepreneurs

Barbara Corcoran is one of my business sheroes.  Seriously, ever since I read her bio Shark Tales more than a couple of years ago, I think of her when things are down.  When women choose someone who inspires them to do better, it's more effective when there is a common ground.

For those who don't know, Barbara built her fortune without a lot of money (it was something like $1K, I think), college, or marrying someone rich.  While she's one of the most prolific, there are many others who are creating their own path to success...even if it strays from the norm or what others may expect.

This Entrepreneur blog post features three women who struck out on their own and give a realistic POV of what really goes down.  When a person starts a business, it takes the ability to balance many factors - family obligations, preexisting money issues, time management and most importantly -- self-care.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Are You Cheap or Frugal?

When I worked in corporate America and found myself dealing with the "office diva".  She made it known to anyone willing to listen that she spent near top dollar for everything on her person...all so that she could sit in the clerical pool with the rest of us cheap-ass peasants.  She once found it amusing that I chose to brown bag it instead of being seen at the numerous food franchises nearby.  Yeah right, lose money and gain more salt, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and animal oil in my diet.

So while munching on my instant brown rice and salsa (don't knock it 'til you try it), l slowly figured that my frugal living allowed me many freedoms this person didn't have.  For one, I wasn't trapped by my job and didn't have to sacrifice my principles.  When it was time for me to go, I was able to give myself a nice little vacay from the office and begin writing part-time.

Never Flip Backwards
Fast forward a couple of decades, I still use some of the same principles but have learned more about what to do with savings.  Starting a business is good for those with the stomach for it or investing can be a good idea.  However, long after leaving that job, I began to fall into the "cheapness" trap.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Bitcoin Email Hack Alert...Beware

If you received a rather vile message from in the last day or two, it didn't come from me.  Seems there's a new kind of asshole out there that wants to extort folks for watching "fun" movies (even if you don't).  And they want their compensation in the form of nice!

Anyway, I'm pretty pissed because this is a paid email account and I've got the latest paid malware.  Now, what I understood from many who've chimed in online as potential victims, this is a scare only.  No one has images of you doing strange things or whatever.

So, the essential 411 is to block the sender and delete the message.  Do not click on any parts of the message or reply to tell them off.  If possible, change your email password or any passwords to sites you feel will compromise your professional image.

The above video is a non-sales (yes, many freelance techies are using this unfortunate event to sell their services) account as to what to look for and how the consumer should handle things on their end.  If you don't have six minutes to spare I can sum it up - don't give these people SHIT.  Also, no account I looked up recommends contacting the host to solve the problem (too busy collecting your money, I guess).  I got one of these both my Gmail (free) and paid host what does that tell you?

While this seems to be happening worldwide, I want to express that I do understand your frustration.  Especially if you've come to know us over the years and suddenly run across this crap.  We're not part of the bitcoin movement and have nothing to gain by seeing what you (or anyone else) do under the covers.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April is Financial Literacy Month

Courtesy of

Yep, along with the deadline for filing taxes, this month is ideal for getting that cabbage together.  While some people need a reason to take a close look at their finances, taking control means monitoring more than once a month.  You may be looking to pay for a summer wedding, decorate right after spring cleaning, or make a large purchase but there's no feeling like having extra money without having to get a part-time job.

Extra money can make a difference in starting that business venture, take an extended vacation, or just prepare for the unexpected.  I'm sure you can relate to having to pull that dreaded credit card when it comes time for car repairs.  If you're young (or young-ish) you're in the perfect position to rebuild your finances.

For us well-seasoned hens, this takes a little more patience.  Especially if there are loans to be paid off or we're doing an aggressive saving plan to supplement retirement but there are some support groups that can help those transitioning from a divorce.  The Women's Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) has a lot of resources for those looking to get their footing back.

Speaking from experience, there's no one way for you to bounce back financially.  It's like cleaning a physical home where some need a little dusting and others may require a deep cleaning from the ground up.  If one were to start with the fundamentals, taking a good look at current accounts and credit score for any inaccuracies will certainly help.

While you may not have the time or energy to attend a live financial literacy course (a lot of non-profits and churches host these at low/no-cost), there are some online classes that serve the same purpose.  Visit the MoneySmart site for free classes and resources or the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB)if you have questions about a particular area.  The great thing about the latter option is they will investigate any company or institution with questionable practices.

Although the journey is seldom easy for those who have made not-so-great choices, it's possible to come out on top.  The best way to stay focused is to create milestones and keep going until you reach your goal(s). 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Celebrate the End of a Long Week with Popcorn

chicago popcorn day
Whether you like it salty, sweet, or loaded with melted butter, few snacks are as diverse and health as popcorn.  While it seems like every snack that tastes good is bad for a person, this versatile treat is the true exception, as it's loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and is safe for those who may have minor digestive issues.

In honor of Popcorn Day (yep, it's really a holiday), we'd like to explore the do's and don'ts of how this snack can be a regular part of any diet.  But let's get past some misconceptions, as these things can happen to the best of us.  Okay, let's go!

You're in the mall and after a long day of looking for that special something and finding it for less than expected (winning) decide that a post-lunch snack wouldn't be such a bad thing.  I mean, it's better than having that extra fancy coffee drink or cinnamon rolls drenched in butter and cream cheese icing, right?

Well, if the popcorn is covered with caramel, fudge, or copious amounts of powdered cheese, chances are strong that a bag that stands more than a foot tall will help with your mall workout.  In fact, making homemade ice cream may be a better bet.  Additionally, like most mall food, not everything is fresh.

Let's just say that you can learn things when talking that early morning stroll inside the mall before it officially opens.

Making healthy popcorn at home does not mean eating corn-flavored styrofoam.  There are some ways anyone can be creative without breaking the calorie count by too much.  You can try -

  1.  Cooking in flavored oil, like garlic, hot pepper, or rosemary.  Or use olive or sesame oil as a butter substitute.
  2.  Use raw honey as a substitute for caramel or chocolate.  These days, hot honey is the latest foodie rage but you can learn to make your own here.
  3.  Mix in a few roasted nuts like cashews, pecans, or walnut halves.  These can up the fiber ante and with your favorite water, can make you feel fuller after a couple of bites.
Lastly, popcorn is pretty economical.  Buy it in bulk and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Also, it's healthier than the those little bags that have been sitting in oil for months.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How's Your Resolutions Coming Along? Announcement from Crazations...

We're switching gears here...and you can read about it on our newly-revamped main site.  Yep, instead of ranting about pop culture and the dying feminism movement, we've found that more readers better respond to health and money matters.  These topics resonate with me now because:

  1. I'm almost 12 years older than I was when I first started this blog.
  2. I've undergone some major health issues (cancer and high blood pressure fluctuations) in recent.
  3. And, some of my problems (probably) wouldn't have existed if I'd eaten a little better and took advantage of better money opportunities.
If you're a person that sticks to their New Year's resolutions, you're blessed with the gift of willpower.  I used to be that person until someone close to me encouraged otherwise.  When that relationship went downhill, unfortunately, some habits stuck around.

Tell me if either if these scenarios sound familiar...

You get some money you weren't expecting and want to celebrate.  Do you...
a) Put in the bank or buy stock shares with great potential.
b) Give in to peer pressure and spend it in Vegas, where not only does it partially disappear but so does the money of your partner in crime.

If I had to choose a happy medium, I'd go somewhere local.  In southern California, there are plenty of options.  The great thing about choosing option A more often is that it can cover slow periods for freelancers or people that simply hate their job.  Here's another one.

You've recently made some changes to your social scene, as there's more fun along with more eating out or junk food intake.  Do you...
a) Not care that you can no longer wear your old clothes and the fat comments from others are more frequent than normal.
b) Get on the immediate bandwagon to start eating better and offer to go grocery shopping with friends to split the cost on higher-end items like lean beef, shellfish, or green vegetables that taste good and are high in fiber.

While some diseases cannot be prevented, health is all most of us really have.  When health is greatly compromised and there seems to be no end other than meds, this can be depressing.  Not an expert but sometimes too much rest can lead to bad things like lack of circulation.  The great thing about modern exercise is there are many ways to get fir without spending a ton of money.   Find out more here.

Hate to Exercise? Here's What You Can Do Instead!

 In an age when people over 70 are doing things like swimming, hiking, and yoga, there's no reason why women in their 20s and 30s should resort to getting "snatched" to have an hourglass shape.  While a small waistline has many benefits, surgical procedures don't last forever and if a person's cutting corners, it can be dangerous as hell.

Instead of uploading some gross images and being negative, I'd like to share some methods that are better than nothing.  That's right, the minimum exercise that most people need for weight loss is 150 minutes a week, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  While 30 minutes a day, five days week is recommended, how you break it up shouldn't affect your obligations.

Most people, including yours truly, will admit that it takes a minute to find a groove that suits them.  The most important thing is to not give up if it can be prevented.  Life happens and it's the small stuff that can lead the average individual to fall off the wagon completely.

Money is another issue.  As most people are turning to the freelance lifestyle, joining that expensive gym is becoming a thing of the past.  However, many will say that the cheap-to-average gyms are seldom worth the money.  Long lines, rude people, and most of the time, that cleaning solution is mostly water. Take that $10 a month and splurge at your local farmer's market.

So here are some ways I've come up with to workout without too much stress or money spent.

  1. Resistance bands - I just got one last week from Target for about $8 (tax included).  Had a set but I wanted a circular one for more variety.  These are portable, come in different resistance levels, and do not require a lot of jumping around.
  2. Walking around the mall an hour or so before they open - Don't get me wrong, I like walking in the park or doing marathon shopping but sometimes the latter is the safest (even if it does leave you in debt for that moment).  The reason is that some parks aren't safe and crowds can be distracting.  If you can choose a mall that's either very large or is no longer as popular, with taking stairs, anyone can burn at least 500 calories in less than 30 minutes.
  3. Housework - Not popular but necessary, as it serves a dual purpose.  If you don't remember the last time you wiped down surfaces in the living room or bathroom, chances are strong that your house is in need of serious cleaning.  However, the work is not in the task itself but how long it takes.  If it takes more than 20 minutes to clean a bathroom where the tub is only a few inches from the sink or toilet, then you're likely taking too long.  Speed not only burns more calories but gets the task out of the way faster.