Saving Money… DIY

I got up at 5:30 am. I took Apollo outside and then I had a craving for a frozen coffee at Dunkin. Oh, what I wouldn’t do for a frozen coffee. The memory of it made my mouth water. It soothed my tired soul and cheered me up. I felt like a prisoner to a new addiction. How did I even get this started? I was very disciplined at one point when it came to any caffeinated drink. I was that mom who did not drink caffeine while pregnant or breastfeeding. Now, I was suddenly depending on this drink to start my morning. And even though the drink is not super expensive, weekly trips add up. As I was working on my budget, I thought it would be funny to check my account and add up all the frozen coffees I had for a month.

65 dollars I said? Naw, this can’t be right. I went back and counted again. Yep, I was spending 65 dollars on coffee a month. And even though it is not much, compared to my salary, it was 65 dollars I could be saving.

Perhaps, I could make my own. Sure, it wouldn’t be like Dunkin, but it would be a great substitute. Plus, I would be saving money. I googled frozen coffee recipes and coffee smoothies. To my surprise I had all the ingredients in the kitchen. Coffee, ice cream, milk (almond milk), ice cubes and a mug. I put a table spoon of coffee, poured in a half cup of milk, two small scoops or ice cream and added a few pieces of ice. The texture looked very similar to what I had ordered at Dunkin.

Yeah right. I bet it will taste like crap, I thought before pouring the mixture in my mug.

I decided to put it in the freezer for a minute. I ran to the store and picked up a bottle of whipped cream. When I got back the mixture was a little frozen. I smiled because it looked so much like the little drink I ordered daily. I put the whipped cream on top and took a swig.

Wow, this was good. It tasted just like the drink I had been obsessing over. Hell, it might even taste better. I looked at the drink and remembered that I had plenty of ingredients left to make this treat daily. That would be 65 dollars I would be saving this month.

The moral of the story is: DIY. When you are saving for a goal, look up ways to do things yourself. You might just be pleased with the results. And if you get a chance, try this drink, its good!

-Tahnee Cole

What I did when I was laid off…

If you have been following me for awhile, then you will know about my story in 2017.

I got laid off in April, 2017.

Yes, two kids, single and I was back hitting the ratchet streets of job search avenue. In the beginning,

I felt scared. Scared to start over and start something new. Then I felt relieved…

Honestly, I had grew tired and stressed at the corporation where I worked. I was at the point in life where I didn’t really fit in. Having a second child had added to my discomfort. Not uncomfortable as a mom, but as a career woman. Being set free had created fear and relief at the same time.

During my time off, I had great pleasure in being able to spend more time with my kids. At the time, my daughter was 9 and my son was almost 2. That year gave me extra time with them and I soaked up every moment.

Then I felt pressured to find something new and solid. I had responsibilities, a home, a car, growing children and we needed medical care. So as you can see, being laid off can bring on a ton of emotions. I am in no way saying it will be easy at all. Especially, depending on your financial situation. I was lucky enough that I had a severance cushion, unemployment and a decent savings account. Some people are not as lucky, but I want to share with you some things you can do to help sustain your well-being. Especially, since many people have experienced lay-offs during the pandemic. Take a look at some of my tips below.

10 things to do when laid off…

  1. Seek a mentor– I met my mentor during my layoff and she gave me a pep talk. Not only did she talk me into returning to Corporate America, but to also create a solid business plan before I exited stage left. She also encouraged me to put a portion of my severance pay in an emergency fund. A mentor is there to encourage you, but also to give you tough love and solid advice. We have to seek counsel outside of our own thoughts. This is the time you need to seek help to make well thought out decisions.
  2. Update Resume- My resume went from basic chick to Rockstar. I made sure that I emphasized everything I had accomplished and contributed the last five years. It was no time to be modest. No more listing basic job functions, my resume set me apart. Straight, to the point and highlighting your strengths is what your updated resume should look like. Make sure to get someone to help or research ways to improve your resume.
  3. Attend job workshops– I attended a job workshop that not only helped with interviewing and resume writing. It also sent me direct job leads. Look for workshops that will help you improve your job skills and connect you to valuable resources.
  4. network– Now is not the time to be shy. LinkedIn, word of mouth, email, reach out to recruiters, etc. Its time to put yourself out there and connect with people who will help you achieve your professional goals. Networking can put you in places that sending just your resume online cannot. Get out there and get social.
  5. create a business or hOBBy– This is the time to go ahead and launch your idea or business. Not only is it a way to bring in money, but you have more time. Many people develop businesses during times that seem inopportune. Also, a new hobby could help activate your mind and hinder your job loss depression.
  6. spend time with family– In 2017, I spent so much time with my children. We spent time going to events. Being laid off is no fun and can be stressful. But as a mom, you want to make the best out or any situation. Don’t waste years and moments being depressed. Try to find joy in capturing moments with the kids.
  7. load up on positive self careAffirmations, vision board events and self care practices will help your cope with job loss. This is the time that you need to take extra care of your mind, body and soul. That your chances of into depression and develop anxiety is lessened.
  8. Take classes– If you can go back to school or take classes, take advantage. I took free PowerPoint classes at the library to sharpen my skills. I even enrolled in some free exercising classes. I know some moms who have finished degrees during times of being laid off. Anything is possible.
  9. Save money and downsize– Even if you received a huge severance pay, not is not the time to overspend. It is time to save, invest and watch your spending. If you can downsize where you live or move in with a family member, do it. There is no sense trying to stress yourself when you have the option to reduce some heavier burdens,
  10. Apply for the career you desire– Now is the time to go after what you truly want. Apply to the company you desired to work for. You were set free to go to the next level. Learn about your desire career, make connections and then go for it.

I used all of these tips, and before I knew it I was working for a better corporation. I hope these tips will help you. Please share any tips that I have missed. Thanks for reading!

Tahnee Cole

The Mommy Motivator

Teaching young ones to read…

Both of my parents worked at the Cleveland Public Library. That is how they met and after marriage a legend was born, (ME) LOL. My dad went on to work there and retire. So, I grew up extremely involved in the library and I grew a passion to read and write. It was also very important for my kids to learn how to read. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, we have not been able to go to the library. We are use to going to the library at least 2 to 3 times a week. I have a kindergartener who is still learning to read. He has an awesome vocabulary, writes legibly, but is in the process of learning to read.

Career moms, please don’t feel guilty. It is hard to work and put the extra time in with the kids. Especially, the consistency needed to help your child with a fundamental part of their growth. Reading is one of the most important things we all have to learn. I often wonder, if you can’t read, how will your survive? If you are a busy mom like me, I provided a few tips that I am using to help my littlest read. It worked wonders for my daughter, who currently reads on a college level. So, here we are again. Remember to develop some routines. Plus, stay consistent, patient and positive.

5 TIPS

  1. Read Daily– Kids learn by routine. Our reading time is usually at night when it is time to settle for bed. Nighttime stories are great for bonding. Sometimes we cuddle with snacks and knock out four books. When you make reading time enjoyable, kids want to do it often.
  2. Sight words- I use flashcards daily with Jr. Seeing the same words over and over helps to stay in his memory. Repetition is the quickest way to retain information. As we read books, Jr. is able to pick out the sight words. The more words he learns, the more sentences he can complete while reading.
  3. Reading programs– Jr.’s dad enrolled him in a phonics reading program. I definitely saw some results. Look up some online programs. It may take a little time to find free or low cost programs, but it is definitely worth the time and effort. If you don’t mind spending an extra buck try enrolling your child in a reading program. Most reading programs are successful at using techniques that can help encourage your child to read more.
  4. Older Siblings– Younger kids learn quick from their older siblings. They want to keep up. I remember watching my daughter show my son how to write his name. She used dots and it worked like magic. Before I knew it, he was writing his name without any assistance. The older siblings know tips and tricks. Most siblings love being involved. So don’t be afraid to ask for their help.
  5. Talk to your kids– It sounds weird, but children who are talked to are proven to have a more extensive vocabulary. I have never talked “baby talk” to my kids. As a result, they are little chatter boxes. My son uses very large words, that you would rarely hear from a five year old. Talking to them also helps with them picking up words and phrases. As well as, understanding sentence structure, which is all apart of reading.

I hope that you enjoyed my list, and can use this for your young readers. Remember, once the kids learn to read that it doesn’t just stop there. Encourage your children to always read and build their vocabulary. As they get older, we just have to motivate and encourage them in more creative ways.

Tahnee Cole