Month: November 2015

S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goals for 2016

Smart financial goals 2016
S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely)

Happy Friday! Can you believe that 2016 will be here before you know it. I know we all have goals for the new year, whether it is to be healthier, learn a new skill or become more organized, there is something or thing’s that we are striving to improve in the coming year. One area, I hope you have started to set goals in is your finances. I don’t want you to just set any old goal, I want to you set S.M.A.R.T. goal’s.

S.M.A.R.T.stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Let’s break those letters down a little further so you can :

S-Specific. A specific goal has a better chance of being achieved versus a general goal. For example, I want to save money, is a general goal. A specific goal would be, I want to save $500 in my bank account by March 1, 2016 to go toward my emergency fund. A specific goal answers six “W” questions:

  1. Who? Who is involved?
  2. What? What do I want to accomplish?
  3. Where? Identify a location
  4. When? Establish a timeframe
  5. Which? Identify requirements and constraints.
  6. Why? Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

M-Measurable. Establish concrete criteria to measure your progress to your goals. When you measure your progress toward your goal, you tend to stay on track. You reach target dates and experience the gratification of achievement that keeps you pressing on in your efforts to reach your goals. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself these questions: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

A- Attainable. When you identify what financial goals are most important to you, you begin to figure out way’s that you can make them a reality. You develop the attitudes, the abilities, and skills to reach them. You begin to see previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of reaching those goals.

You can achieve any goal you set, when you plan your steps wisely and set a timeframe that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that previously seemed unattainable, suddenly seem attainable not because your goals shrunk, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals, you build your self image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and you develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

R- Realistic. To be realistic, a goal has to represent an objective that you are both willing and able to work toward. A goal can be both high an realistic. Only you can determine just how high your goals should be, just make sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is oftentimes easier to achieve than a low goal, because low goals don’t take much motivation. When it does not take much motivation to accomplish something; then you are more than likely not motivated to accomplish it.

T-Timely. A goal should be rooted and grounded in a timeframe. Without a timeframe attached to it, there is no sense of urgency. If you want to save $500, when do you want to save it by? “Someday” won’t work. Anchor that goal with a timeframe, “By March 1” then you are setting the wheels of your subconscious mind in motion to begin working on that goal.

I have included a FREE S.M.A.R.T. goal financial financial printable, where you can start setting those S.M.A.R.T. goals today.

Additionally, I am hosting a S.M.A.R.T. financial goal workshop Sunday November, 22 at 4:00 PM on Periscope. I hope you can join me. My handle is @TThreadford

S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goal Worksheet






Out With The Old In With The Almost New: Skirt Refashion 101


out with the old in with the almost new skirt refshaion 101
Carwash Pleat Skirt-Refashion

As many of you know, I am the fashion editor of The WOW! magazine. In honor of my first article, I wanted to dress in an outfit that style coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth and I talked about in my interview with her. For more of what we talked about be sure to read WOW! magazine. I wanted to try the trend called car wash pleats. I personally don’t buy every trend out there, but if there is a trend that I want to try, I take the cheap route. In this case, I was a bit apprehensive about these car wash pleats, but Megan made me feel comfortable enough to try them out.

Instead of buying a car wash pleat skirt, I decided to call my niece Jennifer Threadford, who is a seamstress, and have her refashion a skirt that I almost decided to give to the Goodwill. I think she did a wonderful job in taking my old drab denim skirt and breathing new life into it. Check out the tutorial below and tell me what you think.

In this first pic, Jennifer is measuring the length that I told her I wanted the skirt to be. This skirt came to my ankles and made me look like an old grandma. I am a GLAMMA, not a grandma. So I had her cut it to just above my knee.

out with the old in with the almost new skirt refashion 101
Measuring the length

Next, she had to cut the skirt on the seams, to make the actual carwash pleat. As you can see the bottom of the skirt looks like the flaps in a carwash, thus carwash pleats.

out with the old in with the almost new skirt refashion 101
Cutting the pleats

Final product! I was excited to wear this skirt to debut my first article. Thank you Megan, for your input on this trend. After her interview, I felt confident I could pull off this trend. Thank you to my beautiful niece, Jennifer Threadford, for making auntie fabulous. Keep reading the blog, Jennifer and I have a few more collaborations that we will be sharing with you in the future! Please don’t forget to share this post on your social media platforms.

Have a great day,

Your, Money Make-Up Artist,

Tracie B. Threadford

out with the old in with the almost new, skirt refashion 101
The Carwash pleat!

Procrastination May Be Sabotaging Your Finances

how procrastination may be sabotaging your finances
Is Procrastination Sabotaging Your Finances?

Hello and thank’s for stopping in. I know we all have fallen victim to procrastination; I will be the first to say, that in some instances I procrastinate. But when it comes to my finances, I don’t miss a beat. I am alway’s looking for the most inexpensive way to do things. Whether it is furnish my house or travel out of town, I always try my best to save money.

We all know flight tickets become pricier as the date of travel approaches. We plan to buy our tickets early, but it slips our mind or life happens; that happens to me all of the time. As the date of our trip draws near, we check the price and lo and behold the price is through the roof. Because of, procrastination, we have to buy our ticket at a higher price.

Did you know that procrastination is sabotaging your finances? I spoke with a friend the other night and she was telling me that, at the latest, she wants to start her budget and get her finances in order January 1, 2015. I thought to myself, why so long, why not NOW?

We all have reason’s that we procrastinate, but when it comes to our finances, why can’t we ever just get the ball rolling? The longer you wait, the longer you will be in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, or as I like to call it po’check to po’check, the longer you will not be investing and so on and so forth. Tomorrow is not promised, so we should stop sitting on the sidelines waiting for the perfect time.

Be it the time to take a shower, time to wake up in the morning or to pay the bill before due date, delaying on things cost dearly. In the financial domain, prices soar, demands change, stocks sky rocket higher or plummet lower. Time decides how much money you can make from stocks. Time determines if you need to pay late pay penalty on your credit card bill.

People are aware of the undeniable ways that procrastination can impact their life, but they continue to ignore it. While it is true that money is not the only thing that really matters in a person’s life, still, I prefer a secure and stable financial life and you should too.

Sadly, procrastination is a difficult habit to break. As a matter of fact, some people delight in an elated rush of a last-minute push to complete a certain task, like Christmas shopping. In the same way, there are people who are enthralled in what is known as, analysis paralysis, which conveys that they over think a certain thing and don’t take the proper action.  

In actuality, regardless of the rationale why people drag their heels, it is definitely high time to be wise about the financial impacts of procrastination to reveal in real dollars how it actually brings about chaotic situation on your wallet.

How procrastination negatively affects financial life

1.You don’t plan well enough. When you fail to plan you ultimately plan to fail. Failing to plan says that you are not fully aware of immediate and long-term consequences of your present financial decisions. In reality, it is a must for us to contemplate on the fact that financial planning is not only about having a better future but it is also about having a better “present”.

2.Putting off the opening of a retirement account. Perhaps you don’t like completing documents. Some feel overwhelmed by their options or some delay this process until they are in a better position financially. Whatever the excuse is, take into consideration that every day that you are not able to open a retirement account will only lead to having more financial troubles in the future.

3. Delay in healthcare. Skipping your regular medical or dental checkups and delaying the practice of a healthier lifestyle can cost you more. It may be even worse if you end up having a terminal stage of a certain disease due to procrastination. So instead of being treated earlier and paying less medical bills, you end up critically ill and spending more on hospitalization, medications and other treatments.

4. Delaying bill payment. The late payment of your bills can cost you more money since you will be charged for penalties for delayed payments. This is a clear example of when your bills have bills. So, avoid late payment fees by paying your bills on time.

5. Procrastination can affect your career. Essentially, the manner a person works directly affects his or her results, how well he or she did the job and how much he or she achieves. Procrastination inhibits a person from achieving his or her targets and meeting deadlines; what result will this have on their career? They may miss out on opportunities like promotions or may be at risk of losing his or her a job.

6. Putting off home and car fixes. When you can no longer put them off, it costs tremendously more than the it would have cost if you had taken care if it when the problem first occurred. Instead, you sit on it and make the problem worse.

7. Procrastination can result in significant stock market loss.  The stock market is all about timing. Making money out of stocks, especially those who trade frequently, depends largely on timing. Your extent of profit and loss depends on the time you buy a stock and the time you sell that. Procrastinating on a buy or sell order might change your fortune altogether.

Please share this post across your social media platforms, don’t procrastinate share now!

Have a great evening!


Money Mindset: How Your Mind Is Messing With Your Money

Change your mind; change your money! Photo cred flickr commons

Snoop Dog said it best, he was rolling down the street…..with his mind on his money and his money on his mind. I get it, budgeting and managing your money may not be fun for you — especially if you’re always in the red. There are 7 common money mindset myths that, in the words of the Geto Boys, have your mind playing tricks on you. I think I just showed my age with those two recording artists.

If you change your mind you can change your money. It sounds simple, but I am here to tell you it works.

Money Mindset Myth #1 – A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned

We have all heard that old saying, but it takes more than not giving that penny to the cashier to create meaningful sustainable wealth. In addition to saving, you must also multiply those cents you’re saving to truly feel the effects. Although the adage may be accurate, it’s also incomplete, and certainly not something you can base your future fortune around. Saving pennies, or any amount of money is good, but that’s another blog post for another day.

Money Mindset Myth #2 – I Don’t Need Money Help

Paying for a fitness coach is a want for some and a need for others, but if you have zero experience straightening your finances, then going solo will absolutely stifle your growth. Investing in a finance coach will lead you down a safer road lined with superior choices, better decisions, and ultimately, a finish line you’d probably never reach alone. There are also websites and apps out there that will help you manage your accounts and financing and you can also integrate them into other services that you use for your business. A prime example of this is salesforce quickbooks integration. All this helps you streamline your money and make it easier for you. Note: I am not saying this because I am a financial coach, I am saying this because it’s true and I wish I would have had one when I was broke. Invest in a coach and train for financial success.

Money Mindset Myth #3 – Budgeting Saves Me Money

As noble as that might be, it isn’t accurate. Write down everything you earn, subtract everything you spend, and allot a certain amount towards savings. You might even be trying to save money when it comes to your lunches by using something like this mealpal coupon, you might be trying to save another way completely though. Then you’re golden, right? No, not really. You can record your pluses and minuses all day, but if you’re not acting on what you write, your budget means nothing. Carefully plot and plan, then follow through on your budget to see optimum success. Here is a sample budget for you and I even gave you a copy of my budgeting e-book below, to help you get started

Money Mindset Myth #4 – If I Earn More, I Can Spend More

You worked 60+ hours last week. You are so tired that you can’t see straight when you come home, so you collapsed into bed. You don’t mind the exhaustion; at least your paycheck will be fat. When it’s time to reap the rewards, you happily head out, paycheck in hand, to shop or spend frivolously. “Look at all this overtime! I deserve a ‘little’ something for working so hard!” Is what you say. That’s why you’ll stay right where you are in your finances. I know that was harsh but someone has to tell you and because I love you, I will tell you. That “little” something extra is called overtime pay, and THAT is your reward. Stick all your “extra” earnings in a special fund or savings account, then leave it there and watch it grow, rather than disappear. It often amazes people when I tell them how I still live off of $12.88 an hour, what I made when I started working at my job 8 ½ years ago, yet I make substantially more than that.

Money Mindset Myth #5 – If I Don’t Risk It, I Can’t Lose It

Having a smart financial game plan means taking intelligent risks. You’ll never make a mint if you don’t make smart investments. Fail to take SMART risks with your money, and the branches of your money tree will be bare. Stock valuations are volatile, but individual investors can still profit on the expansion of the economy by buying into a broadly diversified index fund that tracks the total market — as long as they have a long term vision. Know a good investment when you see it, and be smart enough to make it.

Money Mindset Myth #6 – I Make Enough

You bring home your check every two weeks. Your house payment is always made on time, and your bills are current. Yet, you have nothing left for savings, and little, if any, for life’s extras. You might make enough, but you’ll never reach financial independence if you can’t get ahead. You don’t want to be 50 without any retirement assets, and you don’t want to retire from your job at 65 years of age and have to pick up a few hours here and there at your local Wal-Mart. Assets determine your net-worth, and if you want to grow your financial portfolio, you must find a way to start saving and investing.

Money Mindset Myth #7 – My Today Is Taken Care Of

Too many people live in the moment. In today’s economy, it’s difficult to look past now to see the promise of tomorrow, I get that. Yet, right now is when it’s essential to plan ahead. What will your reserves be like as you head into retirement? Not putting away what you can now is a guarantee that you won’t have enough when you need it in the future. Start saving into a retirement fund today, so that you can start planning for future success. Now it’s your turn, let’s start a dialogue. Tell me what money mindsets may be messing with your money. If you wouldn’t mind, click the click to tweet above and share this post along all of your social media platforms.

Money Mindset: How your mind is messing with your money
Click image for download

Thrifty Fashion: $5.00 O.O.T.D.

thrifty fashion $5.00 o.o.t.d.
Thrifty Frugal Fabulous Fashionista

Happy Monday! I hope you all are enjoying the behind the scenes look at my fabulously frugal lifestyle. I am NOT a fashion blogger, but I am an AVID thrifter. I was feeling myself today in my thrifty $5.00 outfit, so I decided to blog about it. That’s right, my outfit was $5.00, excluding the accessories.

I have always instilled in my children that you don’t have to break the bank to look good and be stylish; you only have to be neat and clean. Now that they are all adults, I see that they still follow my instruction. Proud mommy!

This dress was originally from The Gap and cost me $2.25 and the shoes are Sam Edleman and were $2.75. I was looking good today, if i must say so myself. Thrifty Escapades will be a regular feature on the blog. It won’t always be clothes, so you will have to come back weekly to see what I find.

thrifty fashion $5.00 o.o.t.d.
Foxy Tracie!
thrifty fashion o.o.t.d. $5.00

MUST READ Spending Freeze Update

must read spending freeze update
Spending Freeze Challenge

Welcome back! I never thought I would make it this far in #BlogLikeCrazy but I did! I am so proud of me. Yesterday I posted an update of my spending freeze. If you have been following along, you know that my husband and I are freezing our spending during the month of November.

Yesterday, I posted an update on how much I had spent this month. Well I have a revised total today, that I forgot to mention yesterday. My grand total is $162.84. I am ok with that, because only $5.84 was non-essential to my health, life and well-being. I am still on target for my $1500 goal as I am already at $800 saved for the month. Not too shabby!

Here is a breakdown of what I spent and why.


Total $5.84. I had a meeting with my blogging coach at a local cafe and their almond tea gives me life. The coffee isn’t that great, but I just wanted a cup of coffee as well that day.

Why: Well, simply because I wanted to. I know that is not a good reason but it’s the reason. This is the way most people get trapped into spending money that they don’t have. Did I need that coffee or that tea? No I didn’t, but I wanted it. Could I have had coffee and tea when I got home? Yes, I could have, but it wouldn’t have been almond tea. 


Total: $60.00 Sponsorship for a networking event.

Why: I spent this money, because as an entrepreneur it is vital that I network with other businesses. It is imperative that I connect with people that either need my services or know someone that needs my services. $60 well spent.

Total: $97 Blogprint Class

Why: As a blogger, I want to ensure that I am bringing you relevant content that enhances your life. I want to ensure that as I continue to blog, my readership and reach increases.I want to ensure that I am doing everything I can on my end to make my blog a success. $97 well spent.

As you can see, I am very intentional in my spending. If it does not benefit my family as a whole, then it is likely something that I don’t need.

Have a great day!!



How I Scored 83 Books This Week For Free!

how i scored 83 books for free this week
Books, Books, Books and More Books

Hey there and welcome back! I know I promised a peek into my bedroom, but my husband does not want our bedroom all over the inter-webs, so I decided to tell you all just how I scored 83 book’s this week for FREE!

I know you all probably think I don’t pay for anything, but I do. However, if I can garner things that I am looking for, for free, then I do. My daughter-in-law requested books for my grandchildren for Christmas. In the past, I had received books for my older grandchildren from my former supervisor, Gail, so I went back to her and asked if she had any books that would be age appropriate for my younger grandchildren. Lo and behold, she did! I scored 31 book’s for FREE! London and PJ will be very happy Christmas morning, and so will my wallet! Thank’s so much Gail!

how i scored 83 books for free this week
Merry Christmas London and PJ
how i scored 83 books for free this week
London and PJ Will Love These

My dear friend, Mandy Shunnarah, of Off The Beaten Shelf, is moving to another state. She posted a book give-away on her blog. I was encouraged by See Jane Write founder, and my personal blogging coach, Javacia Harris Bowser, to read books outside my niche. With Mandy’s offering and Javacia’s encouragement, I scored 52 book’s for FREE! Thank you Mandy, I will miss you!

how i scored 83 books for free this week
Thank You Mandy

There you have it, 83 book’s for $0.00, I think that’s a great deal!

Update on my spending freeze. I have spent a total of $65.84 for the month. I purchased a sponsorship for a networking event and I had some coffee and almond tea at my last meeting with Javacia. I am on target with my saving’s and to date, I have saved $800.


How I Furnished My Entire House For Less Than $500 Part IV

how i furnished my entire house for less than $500
Sweet Dreams


Welcome back and T.G.I.F! I know furnishing a home can be a monumental task. There are so many personalities in the home, and everyone wants their own bit of comfort and their own flavor in their own space. To me, my home exudes comfort, love, safety and frugality. I am surrounded by people I love and furnishing’s that didn’t break the bank! This week I have been showing you exactly how I furnished my entire house for less than $500. Today we will take a look at my grandson’s room. I am just glad that it was clean enough for pictures. My granddaughter’s room was not; so hers won’t be featured, too bad so sad, maybe next time T’Aliyah! If you missed the rest of my series on how I furnished my home for less than $500, then go back and check it out.

My grandson’s room is simple, a  queen sized bed, a dresser with a bookshelf hutch and a chest of drawers, all for $75. With this deal I bought my granddaughters bedroom suite as well. She has a queen sized bed, dresser, chest of drawers, chifforobe and nightstand. That’s correct, both bedrooms for a total of $75.

how i furnished my entire house for less than $500

One of my co-workers was upgrading her son and daughters room’s and by now, you should know me, I asked, “What are you doing with the old furniture?” Her answer was, “If you can get it today, you can have it all for $75.” She didn’t know that my husband has a truck and will travel. When I told her that I was going to feature the furniture on the blog she said I got a steal. Yes, I did!

how i furnished my entire house for less than $500
Dresser & Chest of Drawers
how i furnished my entire house for less than $500

My grand total so far for the home is $160. You see, I am well under my $500 and my house is not too shabby! Join me tomorrow for a peek into my room.


10 Way’s To Save On Christmas

10 way's to save on Christmas
Merry Christmas


Does Old Saint Nick spend too much of your hard earned money? I used to break the bank when it came to Christmas. Of course, having five children and two with birthday’s in December, you would expect my piggy bank to be empty. Alas, I figured out a few ways to save money on my Christmas budget and since this is the season for giving, I want to give you 10 way’s to save on Christmas.

  1. Make a list of people to shop for. Years ago I used to buy gifts for EVERYONE in my and my husband’s family, special co-workers, my pastor and his wife, the mailman, my children’s teachers and special friends. There were over 100 people on my list and it was quite costly, not to mention, gifts for my children, a gift for my husband and a gift from each child for my husband. You get the point. After about five years of doing this, I made a list of people that MUST receive a gift. I cut that list down to about 30 people.
  2. Make a spending plan. Set a certain amount of money to be spent per person on your list and don’t go over that amount.
  3. Shop all year. Since I know my husband likes anything to do with football, about a week after the National Championship game is over and football has come to an end, I hit Bama Fever Tiger Pride to search for his gift. My mother likes cash so I set aside a certain amount of money each month and in December I purchase her Visa gift card. I am a sweater fanatic, so I search for cute sweaters in the summer on the clearance rack. Those make great stocking stuffers for my grand children.
  4. Use discounted gift cards. $100 worth of gas for $80 sounds great doesn’t it? You can purchase discounted gift cards from hundreds of on and offline retailers such as the Apple Store, Radio Shack, Sears, Home Depot and others. Discounts are usually between 5% to 30% off of the face value of the card. Also checkout sites such as and
  5. Use Social Media. Before you start shopping. Follow your favorite retailers on all of their social media platforms. Many retailers offer special discounts to their social media followers that non-followers are not privy to. Also they may allow you to stack the social media discount with an in-store discount for an even greater savings. This is also helpful throughout the year when discounts are offered as you may be able to find that perfect gift for that special someone on your list long before Christmas.
  6. Find discount codes. I never purchase anything online without trying to find a discount code first. I’ve literally saved hundreds of dollars and it doesn’t take more than a minute. Simply go to, and to pull up all of the available discounts for your store. Use the discount code during the checkout process to get free shipping or to save 20% or more. Another one that I use is but at the time of this writing they are down for website renovation.
  7. Don’t shop for yourself. This is one I struggle with. Make a promise to yourself that you won’t buy anything for yourself while shopping for others. Make it all about the people on your list and not about you. Besides, you can catch all the fantastic after Christmas sales to shop for yourself.
  8. Do a cash only Christmas. If you know that you have had trouble with paying off credit card debt after the holidays, then do a cash only Christmas. That way you won’t be in debt once the holiday season is over..
  9. Don’t overlook intangibles. In a family with a special needs child, I can attest to this one. Do you know someone who is a caregiver for a family member? Offer to give them a break by maybe sitting with the person they care for while they enjoy a night on the town or a relaxing day at the spa. I know this one may be a stretch but offer to clean their home or do a few loads of laundry. You really don’t know how much they will appreciate that. Do you bake or cook? While you are whipping up a batch of cookies, bake a batch for the kid’s teachers or the postman. These are very cost effective and from experience, are greatly appreciated.
  10. Remember the reason for the season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keeping the holiday’s spiritual message front and center is a good antidote to the holiday gimmies. Instead of spending weekends leading up to Christmas in the mall, it would be a lot better gift to spend your time with your family.

Don’t break the bank for the holidays, use these tips to make sure that you have more green in your pocket and your bank account is not in the red.

I would love to hear from you, what tips do you use to save money during the holiday season? Comment below and share with your friends.

Your Money MakeUp Artist



How I Furnished My Entire House For Less Than $500: Part III My Office

How I furnished my Entire home for less than $500
I wish this was my office


Happy Veterans Day and to all the Veteran’s out there I salute you and thank you for your service! Special shoutout to my son Paris Bledsoe! Mommy is so proud of you! Today, we will take a look at my office. In the past two how I furnished my entire house for less than $500, we looked at my living room and kitchen and our total is $25.

My office is not much right now, but it will get better, as a matter of fact, I wish my office looked more like the one in the featured picture. The desk I have had for about 3 year’s. My husband gave it to me as a Christmas gift and knowing him the way I do, he didn’t pay over $50 for it. $50 is our cap for Christmas gift’s as we wait until after Christmas to catch the sales. However, we do like to have something to open on Christmas morning.

The chair was free, as my husbands friend had two and was about to throw them away. He has one and I have one. They are in great condition and are very comfortable.

The stool I found at the thrift store for $10, this is where I will be sitting to shoot video. It won’t be seen so it didn’t have to be anything special.

how i furnished my home
Blogger On Board

See, simple cost effective and get’s the job done! That’s my office!

So far my total for home furnishings is $85, not to bad. Join me tomorrow for the next edition of how I furnished my home for less than $500, when I show you my grandsons bedroom, that is if it is clean enough for me to take pics.


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