About Me…(January)

Sorry for the break in financial content (actually, sorry I’m NOT sorry) but I have a few things going on this month that have really impacted my life and work and I wanted to take a moment and share them with you.

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Wasn’t it Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities who said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I effing love that quote, mostly because it is SO true. Every time in my life that I thought was bad, was actually great for me in a lot of ways (2014 in its entirety excluded…), for example, my time in New York. I was miserable, poor and cold 90% of the time, but I often look back on that “era” in my life with a lot of nostalgia. Surviving that city made me tougher in a lot of ways.

Anyway, January has been both the best of times and the worst of times.

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Let’s Talk About Tax Baby…Let’s Talk About..(5 Tips for Tax Time)

Many thanks to Free Tax USA for sponsoring this post. 

It is almost the end of January, and taxes aren’t due for another ten weeks or so. But for all of you business owners, side hustlers, and organized maniacs out there, mid-winter is an excellent time to start thinking and talking about..taxes. (See what I did in the title there? Cute, right?)

As unsexy as taxes are (and trust me, as a freelancer I KNOW how much they suck) preparing early and often can take a lot of the burden off of you. Here are my top 5 tips for tackling tax season.

Make a Check List

If you are the type of person who works for one company and that is your only source of income. Great! But if you are a side hustler, or someone who has multiple income streams, you are probably pulling out your hair wondering what W2’s, 1099’s and other documents you are waiting for.  (more…)

Q4 2014 Net Worth Update

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Well….it’s finally here. My last Net Worth update for 2014. Since revealing my deepest, darkest secret on the blog last week, (Spoiler Alert: I’m horrible at debt!) you shouldn’t be too surprised by what you see and read here today, so let’s get started!  (more…)

My Darkest Financial Secret

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This will be a tough post to write. Not because the news contained within is shocking or surprising, but because it is the first time I’ve been completely, totally, 100% honest my own money choices. Here is my deepest, darkest, dirtiest secret about my finances…. (more…)

5 Things I Learned About Money in 2014

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It’s no secret to anyone who keeps up with me regularly that 2014 was a tough year for me: both personally and emotionally. 2014 was also a year rife with financial missteps and money lessons well learned. Since writing helps me process my feelings, I thought it would be fun to get “on paper” and share the 5 things I learned about money in 2014.

I Learned More About My Own Relationship With Credit

Some folks love credit cards: they churn, burn, and rack up rewards points like pros. I am not this kind of a person. A) Because it is too much for me to keep up with and B) because I don’t have a great track record when it comes to handling credit. (That’s why you will never..ever.. see me repping credit cards or posting affiliate links for credit cards, even the ones I use and like.) (more…)

The “Grow Your Money Tree” Tool Kit

I hope everyone had a great holiday! I’m technically still supposed to be relaxing/not working, but since I plan to take a few extra weeks to shore up the blog in the new year I wanted to leave you with some information about a new piece I’ve written.

Shortly before the holiday, I unveiled my new “Grow Your Money Tree” tool kit to email subscribers new and old. In case you find yourself missing the old L Bee in the weeks to follow, I highly encourage you to check out this FREE tool kit.

In this tool kit I reveal:

-The 3 Important Steps to Earning More Money
-How to Start Your Own Side Hustle
-Why Income Diversification is Important (& How You Can Start Doing It!)

and more. It’s a short e-book, but (in my humble opinion) definitely worth a read. Sign up for the email list to get your free download.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful new year! See you in Mid-January 2015!

Get the “Grow Your Money Tree” tool kit!

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Psssst– I’m also planning on writing an e-book but I need your help on narrowing down a topic. Click here to take my one question survey about the type of book you’d like to see!

A Peek At My Annual Holiday Party

Thank you Yahoo! for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Yahoo!, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This holiday season flew…FLEW by, but I managed to sneak in my second annual holiday party just before all of my favorite people left town for the holidays. I like hosting people over at my house. It makes me feel warm and fuzzies about my house and the people I love, and this year I wanted to elevate the food/decor over what I put together last year. So I took a look at Yahoo! DIY and this is what I came up with. Here’s a peek at some of the party highlights!

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The Top 10 LBMT Posts of 2014

Strap Yourselves In folks, It’s about to get funky. I’m time warping through the 125 posts I wrote this year to bring you the top 10 of 2014. I got this little idea from former staff writer Michelle, and thought it was so cute I had to get in on the fun!

The Lifestyle Section

#10 – The New Rules for Wedding Gift Etiquette – You can’t see them now since I switched to a new comments plugin, but I got A LOT of comments on this piece. Seems like everyone has an opinion on what is/isn’t acceptable when it comes to gifting come wedding season. I broke down what I have/haven’t heard and what I PERSONALLY feel is acceptable. Check it out!

#9 – The LBMT 2nd Blog Birthday (or as I like to call it- my “blogversary”) – The infographic showing my blog’s growth since year one makes me happy.  (more…)

The LBMT Fuss Free Holiday Guide

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Ah. The holidays. They’ll creep up on you if you don’t watch out. Last year I had the stomach flu on Thanksgiving, and the actual flu on Christmas Eve and Day, and just generally felt like poo because I’d called off my engagement. Thankfully, I’ve had a bit more emotional bandwidth this year and was able to prepare, so,  I love the holidays and this year I’m back with a vengeance.

But for me, holiday merriment is always a low key affair. I can see how people get swept up in it, but don’t understand why they allow themselves to do so. It’s meant to be a season of togetherness, and I try to bear this in mind with most of what I do. So here’s what I do to keep my holidays frugal and fuss free.

Mail Holiday Cards

Hands down this is my favorite part of the season. I love sending and receiving snail-mail all throughout the year (it’s a lost art, really..) but Christmas is the one time where everyone seems to love it just as much as I do. Every day I come home to either a Christmas package on the front stoop (more on that later), or a lovely holiday card from friends and family in the mail. (more…)

Holiday Giving Spotlight: National Ugly Christmas Sweater day

L Bee Note: In the spirit of the Season, I’d like to focus on giving back. So when Brent from NationalUglyChristmasSweaterDay.org (Say that five times fast, huh?) asked if he could guest post to raise awareness, I lifted my ban on guest posts for just today. I never knew there was a movement behind ugly christmas sweaters..I thought it was just something cute Greeks did at Christmastime, but I’m glad to know they are using the idea to raise awareness. Let’s hope this catches on like the ice bucket challenge. Check back tomorrow for my weekly post and my fuss free holiday guide. Happy Monday!

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes an incredible amount of spending—between presents, decorations, and holiday feasting, you might find your savings starting to take a bit of a hit. Hopefully, you’ve got enough in your money cushion to both cover these expenses and participate in a growing trend among those who happily embrace the bright, cheerful side of the holiday season—National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. On the second Friday of every December, people across the country leave their stiff work suits in the closet, instead exchanging them for those gaudy knit sweaters that always scream “holiday spirit.” This December 12, you can “Make The World Better With A Sweater” by donating to Save the Children in honor of this day.

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Participating in Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is as easy as pulling Grandma’s decaying sweater out of its dusty corner in your dresser. If you can’t seem to find it, you can always order one. Of course, if you’d love to see the world bedecked in their tackiest Christmas garb, you can organize a larger gathering of your fellow sweater lovers. This can be an office party organized around the day, or you can throw an Ugly Sweater Party at your house. Any ugly-sweater-wearers can chip something into a fund for Save the Children, which has been working for over 80 years to improve the lives of kids the world over. They have achieved some truly impressive results in their mission to provide food, education, and clothing for the most destitute children in the world, and they are working hard to care for children affected by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

Even if there is little room in your personal budget for charity, you can always team up with those in your community to help the people most in need. If you get to wear a gloriously tacky sweater in the mix, well that’s the icing on the cake. Probably that awesome red velvet cake someone always makes at Christmas.

Brent Foreman is an ugly Christmas sweater advocate behind the National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day holiday. When he’s not sporting an ugly Christmas sweater, he’s a marketing communications specialist and enjoys beach volleyball.

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