Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The truth of the matter is, life is about processing information, lots of it. Every day-‘er-day.  A minute doesn’t pass without us hearing something that we have to think about.  But not everything we hear is information worth keeping.  Sometimes it’s, junk in – junk out.  You have to know what to ignore, what to use and what you may need to file away for future use.  And then there are pieces of data that is for information only.  It’s one of those, now you know deals, no further action necessary.  It’s not everything that we hear or every piece of advice that is given, that we must adhere to either.  We have to pick and choose, and that is an essential process.  What is important is that we are open to absorbing information and that we process the information appropriately.  At the end of the day, no one should think for us.  I’m pretty sure there is a reason for the thing between our ears, we simply have to use it. 

We are living in a world where people often have hidden motives and agendas, trust me, you want to think for yourself.  Come to your own conclusion based on facts and evidence.  So if I say, your interest is my priority, but everything I say or do, never takes your interest into account, yeah – that’s a junk in, junk out moment.  Don’t believe the hype.   Analyze data/information for yourself.  Some folks tend to interpret things with a slant in their favor.  It may sound good, but what is the motive.  Once you figure that out, you’re on your way to the truth.  Give me the info, I’ll come to my own conclusion, thank you.

And then there is the good stuff.  Information that gives you life diva.  Information that guides you and leads you into truth and a better way of living.  When we have to make important decisions, I believe that there is a greater power that is always working to lead us on our best path.  Signs are everywhere and we would be silly to ignore them all because there is a lot of worthless info out there.  So, take the time to listen, learn and process information for yourself.  It’s not all trash.  Sometimes you have to process a lot of coal, before you get to a diamond.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I’m moving back to a family photo album.  Like most people, a lot of my family pics are on Facebook and other social media.  I thought to myself, suppose Facebook goes down or away.  Same thing with books online, what if all that stuff went away.  It really won’t matter if it’s the government’s decision or a system crash, we could technically be out of the loop for a while or forever.  Let’s face it, worse things have happened. We and our parents have lived through crashing economies and all kinds of political mayhem and madness.

Hence my favorite hardcover books are going nowhere and my family album, let’s just say I’m loading it up as we speak.  My family memories are irreplaceable, so having a hard copy of our experiences is priceless. There are fabu family albums made by Cynthia Rowley.  Cynthia Rowley has become one of my fav designers for lots of stuff.  A bought a picture frame made by her the other day – to die for.

The wonderful thing about having a family photo album you can touch is, you can look at it whenever you want without turning on your computer and you can share it with family and friends. And when you have one as fabulous as mine, just having it sit there is a fashion statement – serious it’s so cute.  So having pics on line is a backup now, my pics are looking lovely in their new home.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Last year, many of us started out with a financial plan but somewhere along the way we overspent and moved away from our goals.  Well, it's a brand new year and time to get back on the wagon. There are many people that feel a new year’s resolution is pointless because no one ever sticks to it. Not true.  Some people do but if you don’t it’s a great time to refocus. The New Year is just a great starting point for change.  You are better off making some attempt towards improvement, even if it only lasts a few months, than not to make any changes at all.  At least you would be a few months ahead compared to doing nothing at all.

While it is important to have some goals, rules and perimeters, it won't hurt to step out of that to do something sporadic and fun.  Or purchase that one of a kind find item. You do have to enjoy your life, everything can't be about the practicality of bills and saving for the future.  It is and always will be about balance diva. And the person that gets back on track after the holiday expenses is about it.  So we have had our fun, but now it’s time to get back to the concept of a budget.

I won’t bore you to tears with a whole bunch of details just a few important things to consider when structuring your budget to improve savings:

1.    Create a few savings accounts.  One for long term, one for short term, and one for emergencies.  (Yes fund them all)
2.    Make a list of your monthly expenses, deduct that from your monthly income.  What you have left is what you can save.
3.    If it’s not enough, then find ways to cut back on your expenses (i.e. Bring lunch, eat out less, shop around and compare insurance prices, internet prices etc. Try to get your interest rate lowered by your credit card company – everything is negotiable or you can get another card at least that is what you can tell them.  Cut coupons, etc., Get a part time job – 3 to 6 months won’t kill you girl.
4.    Every saving account is important so whether you put $10 or $1000 in each account per pay period, put something in there.

If you don’t plan, then you plan to fail.  When it comes to your family’s financial health, failure is not an option so take the time to come up with a plan and get movin’ on it.  Live well!!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Let me start out by saying that looking cute is not the only thing that diva’s do honey. Our style, working relationships and taking care of ourselves is only the beginning.  We pay close attention to everything going on in the world.  We understand that in some way, shape or form, it affects us - every one of us.  We certainly pay attention to our finances after all, we worked pretty darn hard for every dollar.  And therefore, we also invest. 

When gold investments go up, bond investments will go down.  This is what I was told years ago by a trusted investment banker.  This simple principle of investing that was shared with me some 30 years ago was accurate, until now.  Some of the investment strategies regarding gold and bonds are standing on its head, since all traditional bets were off during and after the great recession that took place around 2007.  In 2016, gold and bonds were literally twins a strange phenomenon.  These two investments going up and down in unison is unprecedented.  I was also advised to diversify investments to gain, regardless of which way investments moved, this strategy is still on point.

Lately, there has been some speculation that gold prices will go up with the trump presidency.  What do I think? Girl your guess is as good as mine.  I'm a wait and see kind of Diva, especially now, but best believe - I'm paying close attention.

I guess if there is a lesson in all of this it is, it's time to keep a closer eye on the market, your investments, the world and especially the American economy.  It's also important to understand that things have changed and we can't expect the rules of investing that were tried and true years ago to continue to work in this economy.  There is a definite need for re-education.  We have to take the time to learn about the current state of the market.  Sometimes we want to cut corners to save time.  My daughter always says, when you cut corners you will be going around in circles.  In this case, each lap will cost you. One thing this diva knows for sure is, diversification is still a great investment strategy, but there certainly is a need for caution.  There is no reward without risk, but for this diva, this is not the year to jump from ground zero on an investment.  I kinda need to see some upward movement before I dive in.  Are there deals to be made, of course?  Finding the right few in 2017 and beyond is the dilemma.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Okay, so it's been a few years since the great recession....what I want to know is, when is the housing market going to make a full recovery?  This soft market business is a pain in the neck. Can a sister get ahead?  Years ago, before the great recession, the average person could buy a house and if they played their cards just right, they could sell it in a few years and make a nice profit.  Oh, it's not so easy any more.  The last few years have been rough.  Some folks who had to sell their house for one reason or another were lucky to break even.  Many people sold their house at a loss.  The amount of foreclosures still out there is ridiculous.  Could this be an opportunity for the average investor – maybe sister girl.

There has been signs of some slight improvement in the economy, which lead to a slight improvement in the housing market - not by much.  It's going to be interesting to see what happens over the next few years.  Get your seat belt on diva, you are going on the ride of your life. People investing in real estate will have to keep their eyes on the prize.  You may lose out if you're planning on selling unless the housing market turns around, but there is always the option of renting that house until things turn around.  At the end of the day diva, read, read, read and watch, watch, watch.  Decisions will have to be made, but the wrong decision can be costly, so watch the market and plan your strategy.  This is the real game of life, but you can’t win it, unless you are in it.  So move cautiously but do move.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I'm back from a little holiday break and I'm wishing all my readers a Happy New Year.  I trust you had a wonderful Christmas.  I have a lot of new interesting topics to discuss this year.  Thanks to my readers, there is plenty of material to cover.  The thing about life is, it has many facets and Diva's want to keep that diamond sparkling.  So, yes, we will discuss the many nuisances of Diva Living.  See you on the other side....