EnSPIRED: So, What Are You Doing With Your Tax Money This Year?

photo above courtesy of bing 

I featured this story last year in a newsletter I created called EL-SPIRED (God Spired). It was also featured in a magazine that I wrote for. Since tax season is in heavy rotation, I thought I’d share it again. This was a very inspirational and thought provoking story….check it out!

Continue reading “EnSPIRED: So, What Are You Doing With Your Tax Money This Year?”

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EnSpired: Little Girl Empties Piggy Bank So Classmate Can Have Milk…

photo above courtesy of Bing

Children are so powerful, they have a way of saying and doing things that most of us adults are still trying to figure out how to do; in which is why I love writing about children and their efforts. The ideas, inspiration and motivation that they possess as well as the things they’re capable of doing are amazing to say the least and this next story goes to prove just how powerful their thought processes can be.

5yr old Kindergartner, Sunshine Oelfke‘s piggy bank became alot smaller when she emptied it, not for toys or some special thing she saw on T.V. but for a much more worthier cost, to help a classmate in need. According to media site People human interest; Sunshine’s grandmother, Jackie Oelfke took notice of her grand-daughter as she was sitting on the living room floor stacking up nickels, pennies, dimes and a some crinkled up dollar bills, money in which she was saving for a snow mobile. After counting the money, the little girl then proceeded to put the money into her backpack.

Piggy Bank
Sunshine Oelfke – Photo courtesy of Bing

Curious, Sunshine’s grandmother began to question her granddaughter in regards to her actions, the answer she received afterwards – you can say, was PRICELESS! as Sunshine announced:

“I’m going to take it for milk money. I’m taking it for my friend Layla,” she explained. “She doesn’t get milk — her mom doesn’t have milk money and I do.”

Surprised by the response, Jackie took her granddaughter to school that morning to meet with the Principal to explain Sunshine’s efforts. Sunshine had $30 saved and wanted to donate the money not only to her classmate Layla (per CBS News) whom didn’t have milk, but to every other classmate whom also struggled with getting milk money as well.

There are 20 kids in Sunshine’s class, most of whom just like Layla, cannot afford to purchase milk which cost $.45 cents a carton, which adds up to $180.00 a month. Sunshine’s grandmother was so taken by the act of kindness her granddaughter displayed, she posted her reaction to Facebook, in which since posted on October 5th, has garnered over 15K views.

Since the inspiring incident, Jackie Oelfke started a GoFundMe page to help the now known as #SunshinesClassMilkMoneyMission; the page had a set goal of $5,000 dollars but has since generated over $11,000 dollars to date!

That’s a lot of Milk Money for a Classroom brought on by a little SUNSHINE!

See the inspiring video below in which was provided by Today Show host Hoda Kotb’s “Morning Boost!”

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire Often & Love Hard!

 

 

Whose the SCAM NOW!!

2017 came in so fast and with the blink of an eye, it looks as if it’s leaving us as fast as it came in. Summer is officially over, Fall is on the way and the next thing you know we’ll all be singing “Jingle Bells” as Christmas will be here and Uh-Oh, another year has snuck upon us. But, let’s slow things down a bit, even if it’s in our minds. Speaking of Christmas, this is the time of year in which layaway’s get full; its also the time in which Wal-Mart (at least they used to), open up the layaway option for people to put items away and pay for them until 2 or 3 weeks before Christmas (could be a little earlier)….

With that being said and while the Holidays, Gifts and Saving are on people’s minds right now, so is getting a second job. You see, this is also the time of year in which stores like JCPenny’s, TJMaxx, Wal-Mart and/or the Mall start looking for and hiring temporary employee’s for the upcoming season; in some places this starts in October. There are a vast amount of people who look for second jobs in order to splurge big for Black Friday and/or have a little extra income to be able to get their kids or loved ones nice gifts.

While the hunt for a second job gets underway, whether to buy more presents before Christmas or to supplement an existing income; there are also people out there whom are looking to increase their pockets as well, they’re called SCAMMERS. You see, while you may have all the good intentions in the world regarding your financial situation, you have people out there whom offer “To good to be true” job offers that promises a big payday for little to no work on your part. These ads look something like this, (see below)

fake_cnbc_work_at_home_scam_01

If you’re not careful and I’ve fallen for it many times myself, you’ll fall prey to such ads. I see it all the time on Facebook and you might have too – with people showing pictures of wads of money, saying things such as “Wanna know how I make this in a Day?, just message me to find out how” and depending on your current situation, you’ll begin to get tempted by what they offer, I mean after all, who wants to work a second 9-5 punching in a clock only to make no more than what you bring home on your first job and let’s not even get into how much money Uncle Sam (The IRS) will take out of it, so it’ll feel as if you’re really not breaking bank and suddenly the excitement, goals and aspirations you had with getting a second job, begin to make you agitated. So, when you see ads like above or a social media post of someone flashing all this cash, in which according to their claims, was made in a day; Our eyes see instant opportunity, Our minds get filled with excitement and our heart becomes greedy, next thing you know our fingers have hit the button to contact this supposedly great opportunity.

I’ve been there and while that money does look good and I can think of many things in which I could do with it, I had to come to my senses and ask myself a couple of questions; “Who’s really making that much money in a day?” “How are they doing It?” and  “Is it Legal?”  and let me tell you, there’s always a catch to that madness because, if it sounds to good to be true – then it usually is. You better watch out because up under that hundred dollar bill could be a boat load of one’s and fives. People display things like that to get your attention; their overall intention is to never actually show you how to get that sort of money but to take you on a roller coaster ride of options in which you yourself may have to invest money into, to get some sort of course that promises to get you thousands or even millions of dollars. The talk is good, but in actuality you’ll become a mouse who’s following the cheese….but never gets to eat it.

Mouse_Trap

My suggestion to you would be to forget those “Get Rich Quick Schemes” and go after jobs that are legit. Yes, you may have to work a couple of hours but at least your check will be honest and the only thing you would be out of, is the time it took you to complete the application. I recently looked into getting a second job and found great success on Sitter City – this website is for people whom want to take on a nanny role; in which includes babysitting, pet sitting and elderly care. There are people on there all the time looking for people whom can help them out, for instance; you may have a couple whom want to have a date night and need someone to watch their kids for a couple of hours or you may have someone whom needs a sitter to care for their pet, either to walk them or look after them while their out of town and If you love elderly people (like I do) then you’ll even find people whom may need you to sit, read or help take care of their special loved one.

The only thing you’ll have to do is complete an online application for either one or all services; you’ll set your own hours and indicate how much you’ll charge. All of this is free of course unless you choose to attach a background check to your application (now that will cost you a little something) but it won’t break your pocket, however; it does give great comfort for whomever choosing you to see that you are the real deal. If Sitter City sounds like something you’ll be interested in, then maybe you should give it a try. I have to warn you, just because you complete an application doesn’t mean, people will respond right away and please use your best judgment and instincts when it comes to potential clients because everyone is not in their right mind and can use such sites to seek out innocent people so, use your head. If Sitter City is not you thing, then check out the link below in which was first aired on The Mom’s Everyday Show and discover how to avoid a scammer when looking for secondary employment.

Here are a Couple of Tips to help you spot out a SCAMMER!.png

  1. If the proposition is to good to be true?, It usually is.
  2. Always check the business out with the Better Business Bureau.
  3. Check to see if the building is a Brick and Mortar place and not out of someone’s garage or other place in which you have never heard of or seen.
  4. Applications for employment are always FREE!!!! Never send money to anyone to complete an application – that’s a RED FLAG!!
  5. Don’t send your resume to a fax machine or an undisclosed number, if possible you can look the number up on Google to verify where it’s from and sometimes who it is.
  6. If someone is flashing that they made 1000.00 in a day and want you to sign up?, Disregard it, because that’s a SCAM!!

As stated above you can view more of these tips and stories on The Mom’s Everyday Show – Check it out and get wise about your job hunt.

Happy Safe Job Hunting!!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

** ** **

Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

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Vacation or Not – Ideas for the Small Budget

So, it’s officially summer and while the kids are out of school and you are off of work (or maybe not, if you’re like me) the question is “What are we Going to Do Now?”

At least that was my thoughts when my two children got out of school a month ago. Being a single mother of two children and one income, it’s hard to try and find outlets for not only yourself but for the kids to do during the summer on limited funds. Every camp sounded great, but was highly expensive; some were asking for more than $150.00 a week for only one child….YIKES!!!

And might I add, I started late this year in looking for summer camps for them to attend this summer (should’ve started in February), but there I was in May trying to get my kids in the local clubs around town along with a non-profit organizational camp, only to find out that they were already full and had a waiting list, that was as long as my grocery list (With having two kids, sometimes I feel as if I have to do two grocery list, one for them and one for me) long grocery list - helpeveryone knows that kids eat extremely more over the summer, especially if their just sitting at home with nothing else to do.

While my goal of getting them “active” this summer failed miserably, I had to come up with some common sense things that were fun and didn’t cost a lot of money for us to do together this summer. I don’t know about you, but I always want my kids to go back to school to talk about this “great” summer experience they had with their friends, I don’t want them to say “Well, I didn’t do anything this summer” because it’s the first thing people ask you, when you return either to school or to work whether from being off during the summer or taking a vacation – Everyone wants to know “How it Was” So, I set out to come up with economical ideas (a.k.a FREE) of things to do with the kids, so they’ll have a good story to tell their friends, it may not be the “I went to Disneyland or Six Flags themed story line” and that’s okay, because summer stories are all about having fun, no matter what your budget is or what you decide to do.

If your piggy bank is broken like mine, don’t fret – mend it up, because those pennies can and will come in handy or not. Listed below are the current things that I and my children are doing this summer – to make memories and maybe you’ll find either some humor or ideas for you and your little one’s or yourself in the mix. Let’s Go!!

INSIDE IDEAS

LET’S GET COOKING

Okay, so when I was younger my uncles, sisters and my aunt used to all get in the kitchen and make what we called “doughy cakes” we just took any ingredient that we could find in the cabinets and all tried to create the bPineapple drinkest tasting, I guess you could call them pancakes or flapjacks. We were in competition with each other to see who’s tasted the best. As I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money and with Food Stamps only coming once a month – we didn’t have much food either to work with. So we became creative with what we had…needless to say, I never won those competitions but it was nice to just hang out with the family and create something special, even if it didn’t’ taste good. Maybe you can do this with your kids or yourself, find things to cook with minimal ingredients and cook it, I just made this wonderful drink with the help of my kids last week , I got the recipe from here – I just added mango in with the pineapple with the ice and Viola! We were instantly taken to the beach, it was also very delicious. This week we’re going to do the pineapple with blueberry and another with kiwi.

BOARD GAMES, ANYONE?

I can’t tell you how many board games we had growing up, from Chutes and Ladders, to Life, Monopoly, Jenga and the list goes on and on. Make time to have a game night one night with your family. I loved it when we would all gather around the table for a good game of Bingo and to sweeten the pot, my mom would go to the dollar store and pick up candy, in which she would reward to the winner if they won that round. She would put the prize in the middle of the table and if you won, you won that prize. It was fun and something I still cherish and remember today. So, dust off those games and get to playing.

NEED A HOME MAKEOVER?

While being inside can be a drab, it doesn’t have too – If you’re like me, I love changing my house around every season. I don’t go out and buy new things because I don’t have it like that, but moving a picture from one wall to the next and moving that couch around and re-arranging where everything is, can be exciting and refreshing. If you have kids, you can challenge them to change their room around and offer a prize to the best look or let them in on giving their opinion as to where and how the living room should look, you might be surprised at what they have to say or how creative they may be.

CHECK OUT THE COMMUNITY

While at home, you can hop on the internet or your phone and check out your community’s calendar and see what’s going on. Since it’s the summer time, you’ll be surprised at what things are happening just around the corner from you. And most of those things are “FREE” of charge (which is my type of language). I’m taking the kids to a free event in Raleigh, NC this weekend.

OUTSIDE IDEAS

GETTING WET

So, when I was a tween; we had the slip and slide. This was a long, yellow banana looking runner that when wet, you could run and just jump on it and slide down all the way to the end. We loved that thing, until we left it outside one summer and the neighbor told us he seen some kids running down the street with it. But that didn’t stop us, we would put on our bathing suits and just go outside and get wet, chasing each other down with the water hose. This was fun and exciting and may pose to be for you too. Give it a try…

LET’S TAKE A WALK – A TRAIL WALK

It wasn’t until this year that I got a chance to walk a walking trail and I loved it. It’s great to do by yourself or with the kids, walking through the woods or the veered path just made you feel one with nature. The kids loved it as they discovered funny looking rocks and turtles. It was also nice to sit on a log and look at the pond together. If they had their skates and/or bikes…you could make it a family event and walk or ride the trail together. It’s a great form of exercise as well as socialization, “no electronic devices allowed.” Try out a trail in your local community, you can even pack a lunch and sit and eat together.

A TRIP TO THE LIBRARY

I didn’t realize how many people actually go to the library. This is something that I love doing with my kids, in which is a good thing for them to do with being out of school to keep their reading going even during the summer, but the library has a lot to offer doing the summer such as book readings and other special projects and it’s all “FREE” of charge. Of course, my kids also like to go to use the Wi-Fi but it’s a great outing and while you’re there, you could find a book on something that you always wanted to do such as improving your business or making your life more simplified or your next great read – while the kids are doing their thing, you could be doing something for you too. Check out your local library and see what they have in store.

SAMPLE SHOPPING

Okay, so I hate to admit this but a lot of times me and the kids go to the store and look for samples to eat. (Don’t Judge Me). They love doing it and so do I, just recently we visited our local Publix Store in which just opened up and while I did want to look around the store, I was also checking out the samples. It’s just a little fun event that we do – we search for stores that have the best ones and off we go. No money required and you get a little treat. Can’t beat that…

There are also museum, aquariums and theme parks in which you can visit as well – Most are free to get in; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking and browsing. A little gas in the car and you can go anywhere you want, sometimes for FREE.

Whatever you decide to do, make the most of your family time. Enjoy the small things and don’t fret about the big ones. So, get out that phone and start taking pictures of the small events that you do with your family and make a scrap book labeled “Summer of 2017” – Looking back on those pictures will bring a smile to your face a year from now and create family bonds that will last a lifetime. Remember, it’s all about making memories and that doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you’re having fun with the ones you love the most. Now that’s #PRICELESS

For even more deals and Ideas, Check out the links below:

Free Eats for the Kids! – If you put where you live in, it will populate local eateries where the kiddies can eat for free. I found out that both my kids can eat free at Captain D’s everyday as long as I purchase an adult meal.

Still Bored? Check out this list for even more ideas to plan your summer story…

For Even more deals – Check out Groupon, it’s the BOMB DIGGITY BOMB! (Don’t know if people still say that, but it sounded good)

 

Roshonda N. BlackmonCreator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

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