Category: Lifeing

Part 1: How to Get Your Budget in Check

Let’s talk about the “B” word. You need to figure out how to get your “B” in check. No not the one you may “accidently” call someone who cuts you off in traffic. The one that is hindering a lot of our lives but we refuse to talk about and dicusss. BUDGET !

how to get your budget in check, budget, budgeting, budget tracker, budget plan

We are still in the first quarter of the new year, so this is a fine time to sit down and realize how out of whack your budget may be. My husband and I have been attempting to get our budgets in check for quite a while now. This year we took a leap, we are taking some budgeting classes, and we are going full course ahead to get that “B” in check. How are we doing it? The same way others before us have done it. If you’re prepared to make a change in your life and get some things on course for the future, here is how you can get your budget in check.

Understand your income

First, you need to understand your household income. You cannot adequately make a plan to get your budget in check if you don’t know where your money is coming from and how much. If you are single, this will be a little bit easier than if you are married. Married couples need to get a snapshot of the total household income, as well as independent owners.

For many of us “millennials” when we got married we threw out traditional roles and kept most of our money separate. No? Just me? Okay. Trust me, it is so hard to account for every dollar when everyone is doing their own thing. You are trying to see the big picture but you are missing pieces of the puzzle. Get all the money in one place to fully understand your earning power. Once you understand your income, you can identify debt and identify the budget killers.

Identify debt

Next you need to identify your household debt. Debt is the enemy of budgets! We all have some debt, and we need to be frank about how much we owe. This is a crucial part in getting your budget in check. Identifying you debt allows you to create a plan of attack to irradicate that debt. Think about it, the longer you owe money the longer you will not have the money you thought you were earning.

Take that number and write it down, put it in a place you and your spouse see on a daily basis. This is not to remind you of the debt shadow looming over you head. But this should serve as a reminder of the goals you have to eliminate your debt and will encourage you to stick with your plan, stick to your newly planned household budget.

Devise a plan

If you have taken this time to understand your household income and identified all areas of debt, you are well on your way. The next step is to devise a plan. Planning your budget will be tough. You need to sit down and consider how much money you are already spending in several different categories. Print out your monthly statements and look at each line item and place them in categories. If you have a bank app that does this for you, even better.

Next, determine what percentage of your income you are currently spending in each category (for example, 30% on housing, 5% on entertainment etc). Then, calculate how much you should be spending based on your income. If you are having trouble on this step, be sure to download my free budget check up to get you going.

This will be the basis of your new budget. Stop at this point and take the time to get this in order using my free budget planner and come back. In parrt 2 of how to get your budget in check we will talk about idenitfing budget “killers”, executing your plan, and reassessing and readjusting your budget.

Keep doing (the best) you boo!

xoxo Lani

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25 Things to do With Your Spouse

Running out of things to do with your spouse? This list is going to provide you with quick and easy, budget-friendly solutions to get out of the dating slump. If you are confused about dating your spouse, read this post.

Doing the same thing every time you have date time can get boring and old really fast. If you are stuck in a rut, take the time to create a list with your spouse of things to do. Here are some things to do with your spouse to jump-start your creativity and insert some variety into your dating life.

  1. Cooking class
  2. Indoor rock climbing
  3. Geocaching
  4. Picnic in the park
  5. A day at the beach
  6. Couples massage
  7. Dance class
  8. Roller skating/ Rollerblading
  9. Rent city bikes
  10. Silent party
  11. Trampoline gym (think sky zone)
  12. Karaoke 
  13. Michael’s make and take classes
  14. City tour
  15. Attend a local festival
  16. Art museum
  17. Beginners photography class
  18. Kayaking
  19. Improv comedy show (or class)
  20. Rent and ride river bikes
  21. Segway tour
  22. Paintball
  23. Nature walk/hike
  24. Distillery tasting and tour
  25. Paint and Sip

What’s on your list of things to do with your spouse?

Be sure to pin this page for your future date night reference.

Keep doing (the best) you boo!
xoxo Lani

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How to Date Your Spouse

Dating your spouse is a must! We spend so much time getting to know one another and planning the perfect dates when we are in the “courting” phase of our relationship. Once we have each other trapped committed for life, we seem to lose the need to date one another. When life gets going, spending quality time and having fun together seems to take a back seat. The truth of the matter is, the children will grow up and leave. The jobs, the city, and friends may change. But at the end of the day, you are left with one other. Don’t look up and see a total stranger. To help you avoid “stranger danger” here are some tips to help you date your spouse.

5 ways to date your spouse

Set a consistent time

This by far is one of the most crucial detail in dating your spouse. Time is at a premium, but you must make time for the things that are important to you. Carve out a certain day of the week or month to do something special with your spouse. Most couples can at least find the time once a month to do something together. If you have an unpredictable schedule, impromptu dating is also encouraged, but do your best to set a specific time.

If you choose to have a date night once a month, do not allow anything to alter that schedule. Your friends? They can wait. Your job? That can wait. Your kids? Yes mama bears, they can also wait.

And finally, put it on your calendar! Usually, when we have something on our calendars, it is set in stone and you schedule other things around it. Why is dating your spouse, not on the calendar? Add it to the calendar to strategically and visually block off a time frame and to prove to yourself that you are commited to your special time together. You are committed to dating your spouse.

Do something different each time

We all know as time progresses, and you grow in your relationship, things can get a little stale. So, if you are committed to dating your spouse, commit to try something different each time (or most of the time). Going out to Ruby Tuesday’s is all good and well, but who wants to do that EVERY SINGLE date night? Okay, some people might. If that is your thing, go for it. To keep it interesting, try and choose different activities that the other person will enjoy. For instance, I enjoy riding roller coasters, so this time we will visit a theme park. My spouse enjoys movies, so next time we will do dinner and catch a movie.

No matter where you live, the date options are endless. A critical part of a successful relationship is communication. Communicate to your spouse what activities you’d like to try, listen to their wishes and create a “dates to try with my spouse” list together.

Get a sitter

In-home date nights have to happen from time to time. But let’s be honest here, we do not truly “unplug” from our families when they are just in the next room. Our minds continue to race in regards to what we need to do for them and…blah blah blah blah blah. One way we can help to ensure we are truly taking full advantage of the time we have to date our spouse is by getting a sitter. Where you find the sitter is your choice, but get one for as many date nights as you can. I won’t say I told you so, but you can thank me later.

Go solo and with friends

The first step in dating your spouse is, dating your spouse! Spend time alone to talk, bond, and strengthen your connection to one another. Make sure you have a solid and healthy personal dating life before you double date. If you only have one date night per month, I would caution against including other couples with you. But, if you have the opportunity to date your spouse multiple times a month, I would include another couple on one of those occasions.

Having another married (or dating) couple around allows you to be a soundboard for one another. You can ask advice, catch up on married talk and just hang out with like-minded individuals. Successful people typically go to other successful people when they want to bounce ideas off them or seek advice, couples should do the same thing. In addition, this helps you stay committed to dating your spouse because others will be around to ensure you keep your word.

Don’t stop dating

This one is very obvious but necessary to discuss. We cannot allow our relationships to go stale and dwindle. We cannot let the humdrum of life drown out the need for continuous maintenance and reconnection. Of course, we have a million and one responsibilities, and dating your spouse is an absolute priority. Do everything you can to keep your marriage growing and moving forward. One easy solution…date your spouse!

Tell me friends, how do you date your spouse?

Keep doing (the best) you boo!

how to date your spouse

xoxo Lani

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10 Books by Black Authors

  • 10 books by black authors

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Black History Month is the month we celebrate the achievements of Black and African American people from the past, present, and future. I want to celebrate Black Authors in support of #BlogBlHistory. If you’ve been following my blogging journey thus far, you know that I am in support and encourage minority children to have books that represent themselves and showcase their culture.

In a collaboration with Kathryn T. Hall, we are working together to Blog Black History, #BlogBlHistory . Check this list of both established and up and coming Black Authors. If something catches your eye please add it to your “books to read” list and share it with a friend. 10 books by Black Authors.

10 books by black authors
  1. A New Me by LaToya Desamour

LaToya was a colleague of mine. She is both an educator an an author ( a woman after my own heart).

2. Lottie Paris Lives Here by Angela Johnson

3. Kace Learns to Fly by Laymon Hicks Jr.

This Black Author exudes greatness and the go-getter spirit. He was the President of Student Body during my tenure at FSU.

4. June Peters, You Will Change the World One Day by Alika Turner

June Peters, You Will Change The World One Day by [Turner, Alika]

5. The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

6. Dirty Love by Kenya Wright

7. Plight of the Savage by Reggie Cuyler Jr.

This is Black Author is a college classmate of mine and wrote this novel (his first) while we attended University. It was so interesting to see the process from beginning to end as he launched his first novel.

8. The Proposal by Jasmine Guilory

9. I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

10. How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs

Some of these books I personally own and have read. Others are either on my wish list or to be read lists. I love a good book (I actually even enjoy okay books), but I especially appreciate excellent books by Black Authors.

What Black Author are you supporting during this Black History Month.

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Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her

Valentine's Day Gifts for Her
Valentine's Day Gifts for Her
Valentine's Day gifts for her
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her | Lani on Life

With just a few days left until Valentine’s Day, we can’t forget about the special women in our lives. We need to find some quick and purposeful Valentine’s Day gifts for her. Yeah, chocolate and flowers are on sale, but please don’t get your special someone chocolate and flowers if she’s not into that. Personally, I like Valentine’s day gifts with a little more thought and effort behind them. Running to your local Walgreens 20 minutes before you walk in the house is not cool. But have no fear, I’m here to help you choose some stellar and affordable Valentine’s Day gifts for all the special ladies in your life.

Face Masks

Most ladies have some form of a facial or skin care routine. And to be honest, most of those items are expensive! Do a little research to find out what your loved one typically uses or is interested in trying. There are literally thousands of options out there. Although this could be a little overwhelming, I’m sure she will love the extra thought and effort that went into finding masks that fit her skin type and personality for Valentine’s Day.

Edible Arrangements

Valentine's day gifts for her- edible arrangements
Edible arrangement

I am not the chocolate in a heart box type of girl, although I do love good chocolate. When you blend fruit and chocolate together, you have a combination sent straight from heaven! The only true effort you need to put in is getting your order placed in enough time to have it delivered or picked up, as they are especially busy around Valentine’s Day. This is a great Valentine’s day gift option for ladies who like healthier options during the all-out candy fest we know as Valentine’s Day. Plus the fruit arrangement comes in a cute vase that can be reused or repurposed.

Accessories

Every chick is different when it comes to their accessory game, but we all like something. Whether that is earrings, necklaces or sunnies (and diamonds of course). A low costs option is to shop with your local paparazzi accessories consultant to choose several pieces. Each piece is only $5, is nickel and lead-free and looks fab. Imagine that big smile when we walk in the room and see our vanity covered with accessories. Yes! And the smile you’ll have when you think about how much money you saved. I love to mix and match my accessories with my outfits and paprazzi gives me the ability to do that without spending hundred of dollars on one piece.

IPSY

I love ipsy! This is truly the gift that keeps on giving (as long as you pay). I already have my monthly subscription and I’m loving it. If you choose this option for a Valentine’s Day gift for her, she will get a new glam bag every month. Each month you get a cute little makeup bag filled with sample sizes of several different products. This subscription program does require the recipient to fill out a profile so they can try and tailor the items to their liking. Being that this is supposed to be a gift, you can take the survey yourself based on what you know about her. She can always take the survey herself later which will change the items sent.

So there you have it, a quick and affordable list to help you show your loves some love on Valentine’s Day. Remember this “holiday” is just an extension of the love and affection we should show to one another on a daily basis, so don’t stress. Check out this post if you also need some ideas on Valentine’s day gifts for him.

What’s on your radar this season ?

Keep doing (the best) you boo!

xoxo Lani

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One Month Blogging Update

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  • One Month Blogging update
  • one month blog update

So after a month of blogging, it is time that I reflect on my goals. I started my blog with an idea, concrete plans, and realiztic goals. I must say that after the initial research of what it takes to run a successful blog and the habits of successful bloggers I was overwhelmed by the amount of advice but confident I could consistenlty tackle those tasks.

Along with my blog, I also launched my social media profiles, so there has been a lot going on on this side of the net. I am learning how to balance all the mediums and get them to work in my favor.

Without further ado, here is my one-month blogging update.

One Month Blogging update

Blog posts: 8

Page Views: 227

Not my finest accomplishment, but I am a new new blogger. Like, learning how to blog and how to get it out there and seen by people type of new girl. I am proud that I broke over 100 page views because I was not sure if that was going to happen!

Instagram followers: 136 Follow me —> Lani On Life

Facebook Page Likes: 97 Go like me —-> Lani On Life Facebook Page

Twitter:

Twitter has been an awesome stronghold for my blogging journey. In just this month I have made some great connections with other bloggers and can see myself building my online support tribe. I am truly excited to see what Twitter is like in the next month. I went from starting a new account to 80+ followers, and 17.8K impressions.

One month blog update - twitter analytics
One Month Blogging Update: Twitter Analytics

Pinterest:

Pinterest came through in the clutch as I decided later in the month to begin creating pins for my post. I have seen amazing growth with Pinterest in just the 2 weeks I have begun using it and I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface just yet.

one month blog update: Pinterest analytics
One Month Blogging Update: Pinterest Analytics

Hot Post:

My best posts were Why Black Kids Need Books with Black Characters and Making Homework With Your Kids Easier. Both shared over 20 times.

Blog Subscribers/ Email List: 76

This is the best accomplishment of my one month blogging update. There is no way I could have fathom reaching 76 subscribers so quickly. E-mail lists are hard to build up and I am so blessed mine is on its way to greatness already!

As a new blogger I thought this was pretty cool to see some evidence that people are reading, sharing, and enjoying the blog. I hope that month two is even more successful than the this first. I have set my sight high for month two and I plan to crush it!

one month blog update

Thank you to everyone who has supported the blog thus far, it truly means the world to me. I am excited to see this journey unfold and I am humbled that you are here with me.

What are your blog goals for next month?

Keep doing (the best) you boo!

xoxo Lani

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