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The importance of Financial Stability

Individuals and families are faced with the challenges of an economic crisis, while trying to maintain or achieve financial stability. Majority of people in the United States are either low and middle class, while 1% includes the upper class that makes up 40% of the nation’s wealth. In addition, almost 80% of families live paycheck to paycheck and are unable to maintain financial stability in the event of an emergency. For many this means receiving financial aid from federal, state or private funded programs.

One common goal for many individuals and families is to obtain financial stability; but, how can you achieve this goal, when you consistently face economic challenges? Many families are faced with limited income due to the lack of personal savings. No one’s situation is the same; however, many are faced with similar circumstances. Financial stability can also affect businesses.

What does this mean? This means that everyone is trying to survive economic loss without compromising their lifestyle. There will always be economical challenges, however individuals and families need to better prepare financially in the event of an emergency.

Financial Stability is being able to still pay your debts, bills, personal savings, financial goals and savings in the event of an emergency. One way to achieve this goal, is by implementing the following steps below:

• Make your finances personal
• Understand that the most important investment is yourself
• Earn income by doing something you enjoy
• Start a budget
• Live below your means
• Create an emergency fund
• Pay off your debt
• Invest for retirement
• Make sure you have some fun
• Stick with it!

Take charge of your personal finances to live life on your terms without living paycheck to paycheck. This seems like an unreachable dream, but it is very much within your reach. While I won’t make specific recommendations here, your local library has books that can help you reach your financial goals and add some financial stability to your household. Use the resources available to you to lighten the burden during economically hard times.

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New Year – Same Goal!

Happy New Year! I hope that your holidays were absolutely perfect and you are walking boldly into and excited about the year ahead of you.

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As you know, the onset of a new year is a time to reflect on the past, prepare for the present, and make plans for the future. Things are no different at Nspiregreen. While we relish in our success from the previous year, we realize that there are certainly opportunities for improvement in our business. One area that we are consistently working on is relationship building.

I have a confession. I am a business card hoarder. I can count the number of untouched business cards that I have collected at events over the years. Each of these cards represents an opportunity for a new relationship and opportunity for collaboration. Admittedly, sometimes the day to day of the business gets in the way of that followup; but, I, Chanceé, vow to do better this year. In fact, I have set aside weekly time just for this. It’s one of a few improvement areas that I am stretching into and certainly one where I think many of us can do a bit better.

What about you? Is there an area of improvement that you want to focus on for your business? What is it and how are you approaching it? Tell us about it in the comments.

Focus on making this your best year yet!

 Chanceé Lundy Russell is the Co-Founder of Nspiregreen LLC a community, multimodal, and environmental planning firm based in Washington, DC. The Selma, Alabama native received her BS in Environmental Science from Alabama A&M University and her MS in Civil Engineering from Florida State University. She is passionate about environmental justice issues and works to create healthy, livable communities for all.

 

Charitable Giving

Tis the Season to Give… Well Every Season is the Season to Give

Tis the season! It’s that time of year again when some of the biggest holidays in the American culture are celebrated: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. Also known as the giving season. It’s also the end of the year for tax deductions, so in November and December there is increase in charitable giving compared to other months throughout the year.  With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas just a few weeks away, it’s never too late to spread generosity. In fact, you should always think of ways to give back whenever you have the chance. Giving is not about how good it makes you feel but what you can do to lend a hand to those in need. Here are a few ways on how you can give back over the holidays and all year round:

Volunteer at a soup kitchen/feeding. Give a couple of hours of your day to help serve food at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or a feeding event with a local organization or church.

Pack care packages. Buy Ziploc bags and fill them with toiletry products, a water bottle, soft cereal bars, crackers, fruit snacks (or other manageable healthy food products), and a card of encouragement and give them out to the homeless with friends or family members.

 Donate clothes or toys. Find a local clothing or toy drive and donate gently used or new items to organizations. You may be able to find drives in a mall, the lobby of your office or apartment building, or even a nearby Starbucks.

 Adopt a family. Many local organizations can help you sponsor a family in need to shop for over the holiday season.

Donate to a food bank. During your shopping trip to the grocery store, pick out nonperishable food items to take to a food bank or a local bank. You can also see about volunteering at the food bank. Make sure to double check the type of food the food bank accepts.

 Visit a nursing home or hospital. With family or friends visit a local nursing home or hospital by spending quality time with residents or patients. Sing a few Christmas carols, bring personalized cards and decorations, or create activities and play games. Many people are without families. Coming with a warm heart can simply brighten up someone’s day.

 Create your own donation drive. Select a charity for you drive and specify the items that you want to collect. Determine the location and date for your drive. Make fliers and do a social media campaign, contact local business, and advertise by word of the mouth to family members, friends, co-workers, and business owners to donate.

 Donate to a charity. If there is a cause or a specific organization that you are passionate about donate money. You would probably spend that money on your daily coffee, an outfit, a movie ticket, or your monthly streaming service bill.

 Go online. Research local organizations in your community or city. There are plenty of organizations around you that you have no idea exists. Understand what they are about and the cause they are representing. Learn about their volunteering and donating opportunities.

I hope this list was helpful in providing you with many great opportunities to give this holiday season. Over the past several years I have volunteered at the Thanksgiving and Christmas feedings at my church back in my hometown in NY. This year I plan to donate to the toy drive at my local mall for a children’s hospital. Now that I told you my plans, it’s time for you to start thinking about yours if you haven’t done so already. Happy Holidays!

Jazmin Kimble is an Urban Planner and Urban Designer  from Long Island, NY. She has a passion for empowering and planning adequate, equitable communities through the lens of Geodesign, Urban Design, Community Development, Sustainability, Environmental Solutions, and Community Engagement. Jazmin believes the culture and the history of a community is what makes it unique. This approach allows her to design with communities from a holistic viewpoint.

 





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