“Did Apple retail prices get too high in 2018? Consumers say yes.” – USA Today. View my Apple accessory picks.
“Did Apple retail prices get too high in 2018? Consumers say yes.” – USA Today. View my Apple accessory picks.
Are you setup financially to realize your dreams? What system do you use for money management? After traveling to Europe this summer, I developed a new strategy for money management to ensure my budget accommodated my travel goals.
I had been using Bank of America and Regions Bank as my bank accounts for bills and day-to-day expenses. Remember that Kevin Hart line? “I got a checking and a savings, but all the money is in my savings, So I gotta switch it to my checking, but it’s gonna take 3 business days…” Long story short, I needed a new system.
Some time ago I learned about Simple, Qapital, and Personal Capital. These apps have been financial game changers for me primarily because of their automation features and easy to use interfaces. See links below for app referrals. We both get credit if you sign up.
Simple has an awesome budgeting feature that lets you move money into budget categories and/or goals within the app. There’s a Safe-to-Spend feature that shows all money that’s not allocated to a budget item or goal. They also added a 2% interest-bearing savings account in the app. No more spreadsheets for day to day money management. I still do use the awesome spreadsheet I got from @drkishasimmons that gives me a high-level view of my financial goals. Download Simple.
Qapital is great for creating savings goals using a wide-array of rules. Save $100 every first of the month. Save $5 every time I buy something from Starbucks. I cut my Starbucks spending by about 75% after realizing how much I spent there each week. You can even say I want to save $1,000 for a specific item over 6 months and the app will determine the amount either daily, weekly or monthly. You decide. Qapital also has a savings feature. Join Qapital.
Personal Capital gives you a complete view of your net worth (assets and liabilities. You can input checking, savings, retirement and investment accounts. The app syncs account balances and transactions with most financial institutions. This is a must-have app for analyzing your complete financial picture. Get Personal Capital.
Holidays are great for me because of the time to bond with family. However, as the sole computer engineer in my family, holidays also mean I get asked to troubleshoot tech for my parents and others. I’ve realized over the years that most people lack a process for data backup. I tend to be obsessed with my data, and losing it would be catastrophic. Take time to setup a system to backup your data.
Here are some tips from my setup. Visit my Amazon shop for tech accessories.
The city of Nashville has been such a blessing to me. As a child, I used to travel with my parents to visit family in Nashville. I was living in Pine Bluff, AR at the time, and Nashville always felt like a big city to me. When I left Natchez, MS, to attend Tennessee State University in summer 1999, I was excited to call Nashville my new home. I left Nashville in summer 2006, equipped with two engineering degrees and ready to tackle the corporate world.
As fate would have it, I moved back to Nashville during the 2014/2015 holiday season. Unlike my journey to the city in 1999 that was filled with hope for a better future, my 2nd return was plagued with emotional turmoil and uncertainty about my future. In the three years that I’ve been back in Nashville, my life’s journey has aligned with the growth of the city, rapid and somewhat unexpected. Lots of amazing things have happened in my life over the past three years, and I credit that to Nashville’s amazing people and energy.
I have a vision for our city’s future that is rooted in equitable growth and change. My hope is that people of all backgrounds and ethnicities can tap into Nashville’s transformation in a way that enables them to reach their full potential. In order for us to get there, much work has to be done. I believe we can unite in way that benefits the Nashville community in totality. I’m committed to leading us a better future. Let’s get there, together!
One day, while pondering my life experiences, the proverbial light bulb when off. I realized that my various experiences were merely pieces of a puzzle. When I was a child, I took great pride in my ability to solve complex puzzles. I would dump all of the pieces on the table and attempt to create piles full of related pieces. Even with the puzzle pieces scattered across the table, I was still able to visually link them together. Applying my puzzle-solving logic to life allowed me to realize that my various experiences represented scattered puzzle pieces that fit somewhere in the bigger picture of my life’s journey.
We are often bewildered by the various events that take place during our life. Some events are joyous occasions, while others remind us of the worst aspects of life. Regardless, the experience we gain from dealing with various events can be simply viewed as another puzzle piece added to the picture of our life. Now that I am in my thirties, I’ve come to understand how certain experiences in my past fit into the overall puzzle. Some of these experiences are cumulative to a degree, and serve to prepare us for something greater that we may not yet understand.
With this perspective in mind, as we go about our daily lives, we must seek to understand how each of our experiences fit into the collective picture of our lives. While that picture may never be fully complete, focusing on the linkages between the various experiences can aid in achieving a level of clarity. I truly believe that we all have a destiny to fulfill, and that the experiences we gain through life are intended to bring us closer to understanding our purpose. If we fail to fit the pieces of our life together, we may miss out on seeing the big picture. So, the next time you experience something amazing, or heartbreaking, take a moment to think about how that experience fits into the bigger picture. Try your best to understand what you are supposed to gain from that experience, and how it can be applied as you move forward in life. It is then that we can truly understand not only who we are, but what we are destined to become.
Today my 2004 Honda Civic officially logged over 100,000 miles. Leading up to this milestone, I was planning to capture the magical moment and share it with my social network. Somehow I totally missed the 100k mark, and just so happened to glance at the dashboard as it was turning to 100,001. Oh well, that’s first world problem right?
As my car hit the 100k milestone, I reflected on the relatively problem-free duration of ownership. While somewhat dated (if you consider ten years to be old) the car has provided the reliability one expects from a Japanese brand. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles I desire, the car meets my basic requirement, safely getting me from point A to point B. I’m certainly looking forward to getting another 100,000 miles out of the car (unless I upgrade to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class I’ve longed for) and I’m definitely going to step up the care I provide to the vehicle.
After thinking about my car’s milestone, I began correlating its journey with my own life journey. Just like the car, throughout my life I’ve lived through many ups and downs, sunshine and rain, good days and bad. There are even times when I’ve neglected maintaining my physical health just like I’ve often skipped maintenance checks for the car. For the most part, I’ve taken good care of the car from an operational perspective, but I’ve also gone long periods without taking time out to keep the car in pristine condition with regular car washes, etc. I’m also guilty of pushing myself so hard at times, that I’ve failed to maintain the physical and mental health needed to ensure longevity in life.
Even though I’ve only lived around 30 years, it feels like I’ve crammed a lifetime of stress and strain into that timeframe. I recognize that I’ve subjected myself to extreme levels of pressure in pursuit of my life’s goals. What I’m now realizing more that ever is the importance of regular maintenance and care needed for a sound mind and body. In order to survive another thirty years, I’ll have to more effectively balance my family responsibilities with career and academic pursuits.
Unlike the car I drive on a daily basis, there is no way to easily replace me, or anyone else for that matter. We’ve only been given one life to live. As the world continues to change and the pressures to do more with less continue to be pushed upon us, it is critical to focus on maintaining sound physical and mental health. While providing the maintenance needed to push my car to the next 100,000 miles, I’m also going to increase the level of attention I give to my own health. Hopefully by the time I upgrade to the luxurious E-Class Benz, my own physical and mental health will be considered premium or top-of-the-line.
I’ve always known that my interests are vast and varied. Sometimes I even amaze myself in terms of the diverse knowledge that I possess, and my ability to focus on many different things. But what I’m now beginning to understand is the importance of being focused on fewer things. Whenever I see something that catches my eye, I tend to jump in with both feed to learn more about it, or get engaged in some way. However, if I continue this trend, it will prove to be problematic in the future.
Lately, I’ve been forcing myself to eliminate things from the forefront of my mind, and concentrate on the most important things in front of me. Given my belief in divine intervention, I always look at situations and circumstances as purpose-driven occurrences. Whether through a new network connection, or through the discovery of an interesting topic, I always feel that these occurrences happen for a reason. In the past I viewed these occurrences as things I needed to pursue, for one reason or another. As I’ve gotten older and taken on more responsibilities, I now consider these random occurrences as distractions. I view their purpose as motivation to hone my ability to focus, essentially teaching me how to resist Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS).
Not to be confused with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), SOS is less of a cognitive disorder, and more of an innate inclination to get distracted by ideas. I believe a link exists between SOS and the presence of an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurs, from the Kirznerian perspective, are considered to be alert individuals that are always scanning their environment for potential opportunities. Entrepreneurially-alert individuals are constantly evaluating environmental cues, in search of the next business opportunity, and can easily suffer from SOS. However, you don’t have to be a business owner to have an entrepreneurial mindset, as this perspective can be applied to all aspects of life. However, the fact that you do think entrepreneurially means that you may be likely to suffer from SOS.
I recently read an article on Addicted to Success that offered some useful tips for overcoming the effects of SOS. While the article is focused specifically on business ownership, I believe these four tips can be applied by anyone fighting the “shiny object” urge. Check out the tips below, and let me know what methods you implement to overcome SOS.