Tag Archives: Dreams

Financially Fearless: A Levo League Event Recap

This past week, I finally attended a Levo League event. Levo is a community of passion women working to help one another. They sponsor all types of events across the country to better professional women. Tuesday night I attended one such event called Financially Fearless, which was led by Alexa Von Tobel, the CEO of Learnvest, a company centered around affordable financial planning. What a great night discussing an important topic!

First, it was great to network with the Levo ladies. All poised and energetic, they were so welcoming and happy to hear my story. After some chatting, Alexa began her talk, centered around the her, Financially Fearless that ties to her company. In short, Learnvest is a budgeting tool with help from a certified financial planner. The book (and the Learnvest plan) provides simple but effective tools to help you manage your money. Alexis broke down each step, with charismatic humor and true passion.

Alexa sharing great tips at the event hosted by Levo League

Alexa sharing great tips at the event hosted by Levo League

Step 1: Focus – You need to sit down and figure out where your money is going. Track all of your spending (the Learnvest app can help). You should look at your credit cards and how often you use them as well as your 401K plan and credit score. My personal favorite points from Alexa on this topic included setting up a separate email account for all your bills and for having calendar alerts for all payments.

Step 2: Focus – Know your after taxes income and your expenses. Remember there should be money left after paying your bills. Another great point: Just because you make more money doesn’t mean you’ll save more. If your pay and spending both continue to increase, that won’t solve any financial problems.

Step 3: Plan – Make sure you have an emergency savings account that you do not touch. This should be for true emergencies, not needing a new dress for an upcoming event. The goal should be to constant financial stability.

Step 4: Build – Alexa described this as the dream phase. Set financial goals for the future and plan out all of those crazy things you want to go and do later on in life.

Step 5: Protect – Alexa emphasized that this probably the most important phase. Look at all of your insurance policies (home, health, car, etc) and make sure you are getting all benefits of the policy. Once you have a full-time job, health insurance is a must and so is renter’s insurance if you rent. Favorite quote here? “Unused credit cards are a hacker’s dream.” Amen!

Step 6: Maximize – This part was all about investing, which honestly gives me some anxiety as I don’t fully understand every piece of it. The most important concept here is to invest money in a variety of assets but only do it if you can afford to leave it in the market for a five-year minimum. This way, you’ll have a shot of investments turning a profit.

Alexa's best selling book!

Alexa’s best selling book!

Step 7: Achieve – The final phase is about being prepared even if life changes. Alexa gave a great analogy: The way you manage your health meaning going to the doctor, taking vitamins, etc., should be the same way you approach being financially responsible. You need to pay attention to it!

Alexa’s 45 minute chat was jammed packed with information, realistic examples and helpful tips. Her passion for making financial planning affordable is clearly apparent. I can’t wait to read her book and start using the LearnVest app. Expect an update once I do!

Motivation Mondays: Evita on Broadway

About two weeks, I went to see Evita on Broadway. Growing up, I was lucky enough to attend shows and have grown to love seeing them live. But, this performance was different. My fabulous cousin Christina was playing the lead Eva Peron aka Evita. I was so excited I could barely sit still during work that day, anticipating nothing short of an amazing performance.

playbillI’ve seen Christina perform before on Broadway in Sister Act. I saw her in the Marvelous Wonderettes, an off-Broadway show as well as several of her performances at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. My favorite was watching her play Belle in Beauty and the Beast, my favorite Disney movie. She was also beyond awesome as Glinda in the National Tour of Wicked. The list of fabulous accomplishments goes on and on but the best role Christina plays is cousin.

While we haven’t grown up together since day one, Christina has been a part of my life since I was about ten. She grew up in Long Island and attended Wagner College in Staten Island, where my other fabulous cousin also went to school. She was and always will be one of us, which is why are stardom is even better. She is a living, breathing example of hard work paying off. She took her dreams and made them a reality. She is humble, always thanking her family and friends for their support. She is everything all of us can hope to be one day: successful and living out our dream.

Watching Christina light up the stage as Eva Peron was nothing short of magical. She was absolutely amazing and left me speechless. This is my cousin, who I goof around with at family parties. There she is, singing her heart out on Broadway and signing autographs for a huge crowd outside the theater. What a completely surreal experience.

As you can tell, I am super proud of my cousin, of all her hard work and of her ability to staychristina real and humble. I didn’t write this post today to brag (well, ok maybe a little), but to remind everyone that dreams do come true when you believe in them. Christina embodies that statement and proves that with passion, dedication and hard work, anything is possible. I am so proud of you Christina and cannot wait to see what’s next!

Motivation Mondays: Thank God Even Crazy Dreams Come True

I apologize for the lack of posts last week. But, I promise I have a good reason! For the last week, I was in California working a program for my job. It was six days of awesomeness and I still can’t believe that I got to be a part of something so inspiring. The location was breath-taking and the sessions really made you think. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people from different places and backgrounds. It really was one for the books.

In the month I’ve been working, I’ve gotten to participate in some great programs and work with some insanely talented people. The amount of experience and exposure I’ve gained in the last month is unbelievable. Everyone I’ve met has the patience of a saint and is so willing to help. To think, just a few short months ago, I thought all hope was lost and that a job would never be found. Lesson learned.

Two weeks ago, I attended the Carrie Underwood concert. She put on a fantastic show and reminded me how lucky I was. Her song, Crazy Dreams, really sums up the whirlwind last month of my life. Maybe having a satisfying job and being happy isn’t a crazy dream, but after 400 applications and a handful of rejection letters, it really feels like one. While in California for the week, I kept sharing my story of finding a job with many and received tons of congratulations and words of encouragement. My response was always how lucky I am to have such a great job with a supportive team.

While having a job is not the only aspect of life, it certainly plays a large role. I’d like to remind anyone looking for a job or struggling with their current employment to keep the faith. Everything truly does happen for a reason and I am a living example of that. Hard work and continued faith will ultimately lead you to your end goal, whatever that may be.

Below is Carrie Underwood’s song Crazy Dreams. Listen to the lyrics and remember all of your crazy dreams. You are the only one that can make them a reality.

Motivation Mondays: Empire State of Mind

For the last three weeks, I’ve gotten to walk through the streets of Manhattan on my way to work. As much as the congested streets and cold weather can be annoying, I feel extremely lucky to be walking these blocks and avenues. There is something about the bright lights of Manhattan that captivate me and bring me to life.

Since a very young age, I’ve walked (or ran on some occasions) through the streets of Manhattan. Both my parents brought my brother and I into the city, to bring your child to work days, to see the Christmas tree and to go to New York Rangers hockey games. My mother even took us to the Ground Zero memorial only three months after the attacks. I’m so glad I was raised in the city and am blessed to be a part of it every day.

Not everyone is a city person. Some don’t like the noise and others can’t stand the traffic. I completely understand that but there is something about the city of New York that rejuvenates me. When I walk through the city, passing Radio City Music Hall, glimpsing at the Empire State Building, I become inspired. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but the city speaks to me, telling me that anything in the world is possible. So many people came to Manhattan to start new lives; the city gave them the same hope and promise of opportunity that I feel everyday.

I can wholeheartedly say I am a city girl. I love the hustle and bustle of a city and find all the bright lights magical. This love affair with cities even impacted my decision to attend Temple University. As you probably know, Temple is right in the middle of Philadelphia, another city I left in love with over the last four years. The view of City Hall from Temple’s main campus was on of the best views I’ve ever seen. That being said, nothing will ever compare to NYC. Sorry Philly friends, but Manhattan will always be #1 in my book!

There have been several songs written about the great city of New York. However, I am partial to one in particular: Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. Both parts of the song refer to New York as a place where dreams are made and where people are inspired. Perhaps the most inspiring part is hearing these lyrics come from two artists who grew up in the streets of New York. You can tell that the city made them who they are; their passion for the city they love is contagious.

The next time you happen to be wondering around Manhattan, take a look around and see all the opportunities that lie ahead you. I can almost guarantee that some part of the city will inspire you. Until then, both parts of Empire State of Mind are below!

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