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Put Away Over $200 a Month With Six Easy Money-Saving Tips (FREE Printable!)

Put Away Over $200 a Month With Six Easy Money-Saving Tips (FREE Printable!)

Saving money. Ugh, two words I’ve spent most of my life dreading.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been a terrible saver. The $5 bill my dad would hand me on Saturdays for finishing my weekly chores was never in my hand long. I would either spend it all on candy, or waste it attempting to get the claw to grab me something from the stuffed animal machine. Incidentally, I’ve never won anything out of those damn things!

 



Money tends to have a way of burning holes in our pockets. So many of us live exactly at our means. If we are able to save some money, doesn’t it seem like something unexpected and expensive always happens, like the car needs tires or there’s a visit to the emergency room?

Budgeting can be difficult as well, especially when you don’t have any extra wiggle room. Can you relate?

 

Creating a budget and saving money can be very difficult.

 

Although it may seem hopeless, I’m here to tell you it’s NOT. There are ways that even the WORST spenders can still manage to build up their savings account. I know this because I’ve done it. In fact, for the last year, the Mister and I have been able to put away a nice little chunk of money each month to use for vacations or large purchases.

To my delight, I’ve discovered that I actually CAN save money. So, I’m going to share a few of the best and easiest money-saving tips that have worked for me.

With a few small tweaks to your routine, you can achieve saving success, too. Try one, two, or all of the following money-saving tips, and I guarantee that you will grow your savings more than you ever thought was possible!

 

Make Coffee at Home

Did you know that if you buy one $4 coffee every day of the workweek (five days), you will spend $80 a month? The Mister and I tried saving money on coffee by getting the cheaper gas station stuff, but that was still costing us $4 a day between the two of us.

 

Make coffee at home to save money.

 

Instead, make your coffee at home, and throw it into a travel mug. We use a French Press and an electric teakettle to make our daily coffee. There are always plenty of travel mugs on hand in our house, so we don’t run out if we accidentally leave one at work.

A 20-ounce bag of our favorite ground coffee, Starbucks Breakfast Blend, costs $10.64 on Amazon. This lasts us about four weeks. Add to that our liquid creamer, which usually costs around $3 a bottle at most grocery stores. We use about three bottles in four weeks, which equals $9 for the month.

As you can see, by making these couple of small changes, our coffee costs went from $80 a month to about $20. That saves us around $60 every single month. Put that into a savings account and it will build up quickly!

 

Use Amazon Subscribe & Save

I love Amazon so much, and when I discovered Subscribe & Save, oh boy! A whole new world opened up to me. If you order an item on Subscribe & Save, you automatically save 5%. But, if you order FIVE items, your savings increase to 15%.

Write down any items that you purchase regularly. You are looking for items that you always buy the same brand/size/flavor of. Then go to Amazon and see if any of those items are available on the Subscribe & Save program. You can tell because you will see “Subscribe & Save” listed under the item’s price if it’s available. When you come up with five or more items, set them up in the Subscribe & Save program. It’s as easy as pie!

I currently have six items that I order on Subscribe & Save:

Amazon Subscribe and Save Items

As you can see, I chose items that I buy regularly, and that I always get the same brand/type of. That includes coffee, breakfast bars, dry shampoo, deodorant, cat food, and tampons.

The other great thing about Subscribe & Save is that you can set it up to receive the items as often you need them. For example, I get my six items every two months (except the coffee, which is monthly). This seems to be perfect timing so I don’t run out, but I also don’t have a big stockpile building up.

How much will this save you each month? Well, I save 15% off each item and the shipping is free, so that equals about $11.50 in savings every other month, or $5.75 a month. While that may not seem like a lot, think about the fact that I would have to buy all of these items anyway, so I might as well save a little on them. Factor in that it’s actually saving me almost $70 a year, and it seems much more worth the effort.

Also, consider the convenience factor. I don’t have to use my gas or time to purchase these items. They come straight to my door.

The amount you save will vary by what you purchase. Some people save hundreds of dollars using this service!

 


 

 

Have Extra Taxes Taken Out By Your Employer

This was actually suggested to me by my employer, and I applied her advice immediately.

When you fill out your W-2 form that tells your employer how many dependents you have and what you will be claiming on your taxes, there is a space where you can have extra money taken from your check for taxes. This can be whatever amount you want. In the beginning of the year, when you file your taxes, you will get that money back as part of your return.

 

Have your employer take out extra money for taxes on your W2 to save money.

 

There are a couple of reasons this method is so effective. First, you don’t see that money. It’s taken out before you even get your check, so it’s out of your hands (meaning you can’t spend it!). It’s almost like putting money into a savings account or giving it to a friend to keep for you, only you can’t ask for it whenever you want. It FORCES you to save.

Second, it adds up very quickly. I have my employer take an extra $40 out of each of my paychecks for taxes. So at the end of the year, I’ll get an extra $1040 on top of my regular return.

How’s THAT for saving money? This tactic adds up to an average savings of $80 a month.

 

Use Promo Codes When Shopping Online

Promo codes are rad (90’s kid here)! Seriously, I almost never purchase an item online without using a promo code. It’s so easy! Whenever I’m getting ready to check out, I quickly do a Google search for a promo code.

 

Search for promo codes before making online purchases to save money.

 

For example, a couple of months ago I purchased tickets to a Nascar race from a website called Tickets At Work. Before I finalized the purchase, I googled “Tickets At Work Promo Codes.” I found a promo code that saved me $5 off each ticket. Killer, right?

It’s not really possible for me to determine an EXACT amount that you will save each month by applying this tip. There are too many variables, such as how much online shopping you do, what items you are purchasing, and availability of promo codes.

What I can tell you is that I regularly save anywhere from $2 to $20 each time I use a promo code. It’s definitely worth your time.

 



 

Skip the Drinks at Restaurants

The Mister and I LOVE to eat out, I’m not gonna lie. However, I cringe to think of spending $20+ each time I eat at a fast food restaurant, or even more at a sit down place. However, we have really been able to reduce our food bill by not getting drinks.

 

Skip the drinks at restaurants to save money.

 

Instead of paying for cocktails or soda, just ask for ice water, which is free. When you eat at fast food restaurants, try ditching the combo meals, and instead order from the promotional or dollar menu, skipping the drinks.

If you are worried about missing out on wonderful delicious bubbly soda or your favorite martini, just remember, I’m not saying you can’t have them. I’m just saying don’t buy them at restaurants. They jack up the prices exponentially.

Keep soda or mixers and booze at home, so you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything. The Mister and I just bought a two-liter bottle of soda last night for 77 cents. That’s a WAY better deal than a $2 soda that’s a quarter of the size and watered down with ice!

As far as savings, we eat fast food a couple of times a week. If the average soda is $2, then we save $8 a week by not getting sodas. That’s $32 a month! There’s even MORE savings if you regularly drink alcoholic beverages at restaurants. You can get a six-pack of beer at the grocery store for the same price as ONE beer at most restaurants and bars. WHAAAT?

Of course, your savings will vary depending on your circumstances and habits, but I guarantee you will notice a difference if you cut out drinks.

 

Try The Broke Broad Savings Plan

I’m sure you’ve heard of the 365-Day Money Challenge or the 52-Week Savings Challenge. If you haven’t, I’ll briefly explain the basic premise.

The 365-Day Money Challenge has you save the same number of pennies as the day you are on in the challenge. So Day 1 you save a penny, Day 2 you save 2 pennies, and so on. In the 52-Week Savings Challenge, it’s the same idea, but with weeks and dollars. You save the same number of dollars as the week you are on. So Week 1, you save $1, Week 2 you save $2, and so on. These are great savings plans to help you create a nice little lump of money throughout the year.

Here’s the deal. I’ve tried the 52-Week Savings Challenge, and I did just fine, until I had a really difficult week financially. Toward the end of the plan you have to save more and more money each week. I just don’t have $40 or $50 every week to put away. So I failed.

The 365-Day Penny Challenge was way too much effort for me. I had to remember to put away money EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it drove me crazy having to store all that change. I gave up on that challenge as well.

So I created a new plan, The Broke Broad Savings Plan. This plan is quite simple, and by the end of the year you will have saved $702!

The Broke Broad Savings Plan worksheet!

Here is why this plan works so well:

1: You never have to save more than $26 in one week, and most of the time it’s much less than that.

2: You can choose how much you want to save each week. You don’t have to do the weeks in order. So when you have a bit of extra money, you can knock out the higher weeks, and when you’re struggling a bit financially, you can work on the lower weeks.

3: The goals are all in whole dollar amounts so you don’t have to mess around with change.

Give this plan a try and I bet you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to stick with than a lot of other plans out there. If you follow it for the whole year, you will be saving an average of $58.50 a month.

Click here to download your FREE PRINTABLE of The Broke Broad Savings Plan so you can track your savings!

 

The Savings Add Up!

I’ve given you six great suggestions to start saving money. But how much will you really save if you follow my advice? Well, obviously it will be different for each person.

By implementing each of these six strategies, I personally save about $236 a month! Your savings will probably be similar, or even greater, depending on your circumstances.

The very best part about all this is that it’s pretty easy to do. None of these tips are too difficult or time consuming. If you are anything like me, you love easy, and you can stick to easy!

Have you tried any of these tips? What kinds of strategies have YOU found that help you save money? I’d LOVE to hear your suggestions!

Don’t forget to download your free printable here——–>>>The Broke Broad Savings Plan 

 

Like this post? PLEASE feel free to pin it:

 

Put away over $200 this month with 6 super easy money-saving tips and tricks! You can also download a free printable Broke Broad Savings Plan!

 

 

Happy saving Broads!

 

 

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***We want to know your opinion on anything you read in this article, so please COMMENT. All opinions are important, whether they are positive or negative. We want to hear from you!***

***This is a new blog, so each time you share our posts with your friends or comment, it helps us to grow! Thank you Broads, because without you we are NOTHING!***

 



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I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

Bring It Like a Broad: Bitty-Broad Isis Brown Faces Her Bullies

Bring It Like a Broad: Bitty-Broad Isis Brown Faces Her Bullies

Today is one of my favorite days of the month! That’s because it’s the day we publish our monthly series, Bring It Like a Broad!  I love it because it’s a chance to celebrate females, and all we are capable of .

Remember, the purpose of this series is to highlight real ladies who are doing or have done the extraordinary. Our goal in celebrating these special people and their accomplishments is that each of us will be encouraged to believe in the possibility of our own goals and dreams. We also hope that seeing these women changing the world will blaze paths for all the little girls out there who will grow up someday and want to join their ranks.

 



This month’s Broad is actually one of those little girls. We’ll call her a Bitty-Broad. In fact, when the following events unfolded, she was only in 7th grade! Which just goes to show, we can learn things from our kids every day. Sometimes they display wisdom and courage far beyond their years, as did our Bitty-Broad.

 

THE BROAD

Imagine being named after an Egyptian goddess. Now imagine that goddess represents magic and healing, and was one of the most important deities in Ancient Egypt. Pretty cool stuff, no?

That’s how our Bitty-Broad, 14-year-old Isis Brown felt. In fact, people would often tell her how beautiful and unique her name was. She was proud of her name.

 

Statue of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.

Statue of the goddess Isis, courtesy of http://www.resurrectisis.org/

 

Then, around 2013, her name became famous. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, it wasn’t the kind of “famous” a 7th grader, or anyone, wants. The news outlets began extensive coverage of a terrorist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. If there’s one thing the media loves, it’s nicknames. So the term ISIS became a household name.

Little Isis Brown from Oklahoma was suddenly thrust into the spotlight at school. People no longer complimented her on her unique name. Instead, they called her a terrorist. They accused her of killing Americans, saying they saw her on the news. She could hear the kids whispering behind her back, calling her a killer and anti-American.

It began to have a detrimental effect on Isis. She started avoiding certain classes, hiding out in places where she wouldn’t be bullied. She would often come home from school crying.

 

Isis Brown, the brave 14-year-old who faced her bullies head on.

Photo courtesy of www.news5cleveland.com

 

But it didn’t just affect her school life. Kids took to Facebook to make fun of Isis. The bullying even began to destroy one of her favorite hobbies, deejaying. Many gigs she had lined up dropped her because of her name. Music was one of the biggest parts of her life. Can you imagine having so much of your life turned upside down, just because of your name? Now imagine that happening to you at 14-years-old. It would almost be impossible to bear.

Finally, our Bitty-Broad reached her limit. She could not go on letting these kids bully her, without sticking up for herself. Isis didn’t go to her principle privately, or ask her parents to intervene. No, she was even more courageous than that. She took to Facebook and created a video to address her tormentors.

In the video, she encouraged other people who share her name to be strong, remember what their name means, and not cower or avoid places where bullies will be. “No, you be the bigger person and show you’re not putting up with this anymore.” she stated. “That you can fight this battle, that you’re not going to let some wannabe bullies pick on you.”

She concluded the video by saying, “So you kids out there with the name Isis, “Love your name, cherish your name. I’m still learning – and I know you guys are too – but, in all reality, you’re named after a goddess. You’re not named after the terrorist group.”

Do you know what happened? The kids at school apologized! They now describe her as being brave and strong.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

There are a few things I really love about our Bitty-Broad’s experience.

First, it is incredible to see such a young girl gather the amount of courage Isis did, and face her fears. Remember, courage is not lack of fear. Courage is taking action despite being afraid.

Second, Isis went through three years of torment before she made this video. Sometimes, it takes us a while to get up the gumption to defend ourselves, and that’s okay.

Third, you don’t have to save the lives of thousands of people, or become the CEO of a huge company to be considered brave. Sometimes, a little girl in Oklahoma can show just as much courage as anyone else. In fact, when you show courage in the small things in life, it helps you to stand tall in the bigger things.

Lastly, you never know who you can learn a life lesson from. It’s not always the old experienced people that have profound wisdom. Sometimes we can learn as much from the bravery of one little girl, as we can from volumes of historical figures that changed the world.

Isis Brown is one of my personal heroes. She has taught me that your voice, no matter how small, can influence and help others. She also reminds me that your name isn’t who you are. No, it’s the way you live your life that defines your true character.

 

 ***Watch Isis Brown’s video response to her bullies here.***

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? Is there a woman from history that you look up to? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Be brave!

***If you like this post, PLEASE share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, or wherever the hell you want!!!***

***We want to know your opinion on anything you read in this article, so please COMMENT. All opinions are important, whether they are positive or negative. We want to hear from you!***

***This is a new blog, so each time you share our posts with your friends or comment, it helps us to grow! Thank you Broads, because without you we are NOTHING!***



 

I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

Musings from the Maestro: Music | Are You Really Listening?

Hello Broads!

I’m so pleased to introduce a new series on The Bonafide Broad blog! It’s called Musings from the Maestro. We have a fantastic new contributor, The Maestro, who loves all things music. His (yes, our first male contributor!) name in the real world is Ryan, and he has volunteered to share some his introspection with us.He will pop in with his musings every once in a while. We hope to share thoughts from The Maestro on all things music, including influential artists, historical styles, lyrics and their meanings, reviews of music-related products, and more. I can’t wait to see where this goes! Hope you enjoy!

 



Here is The Maestro’s introductory post:

 

Music | Are You REALLY Listening?

For centuries, all around the world, music has been the inspiring, uplifting, creative, consoling, angering, endearing, driving art form for many walks of life. From the long flowing strings of Mozart, to the short plucking strings of bluegrass, and from the twangy sounds of country to the upbeat foot tapping tones of pop, there is something for everyone to enjoy or be entertained by (whether they know it or not).

 

Man relaxing and listening to music on a stereo.

 

Music is powerful. It moves people, not just physically, but emotionally and intellectually. Whether you’re a head bobber, a sing along-er, a foot tapper, a dancer, or just a listener, you can find yourself hypnotized by the instrumentals or lyrics of your favorite artists or bands.

I often say that there is a difference between hearing and listening. I learned that from my mom. When I was younger, she would ask me to repeat what she just said to me, and usually all I could say was “Uh, I wasn’t listening.” Taking this little lesson and applying it to other aspects of my life has helped me to communicate better with people and understand things that are often overlooked.

 

Abstract Music

 

I really noticed my mother’s lesson in action when I listened to music; it gave me a whole new outlook and appreciation for the art form. These days people are moving so fast, overlooking the details and just accepting the short version of things. People don’t often take the time to stop and really listen. This is one of my fears, and a place I don’t want society going.

When we first become young adults, we start to realize how fast life goes by. What we don’t realize until we are nearing the end of our life journey, is that we maybe didn’t grasp or experience as many emotions, knowledge, or moments as we could have. These are often regrets, or missed opportunities, and we all have them. That’s why I want people to slow down and take interest and pride in the minute details of everyday life. A great place to start practicing this is with music.

 

Sheet music with headphones

 

Attention to detail is a rare attribute, but it’s one of the most important ones you can have. Being attentive towards all aspects of what goes into making music, especially from a producing and listening standpoint, has really been a saving grace for me.

I have encountered many miseries and obstacles in my life, just as we all have. I know I will continue to experience these kinds of things. In the past, I found myself struggling to deal with my thoughts and emotions. So I began looking for outlets and places to turn for relief. Sports were the most helpful for me, but I noticed that they only really helped when I was on the field or the court. At this point in my life, I didn’t want to vent or talk to anyone about my problems. This was because I had developed a horrible habit of demanding dominance over my emotions and not allowing them flow freely.

 

Vintage record player

 

But then I encountered an artist whose music changed my life, healed my emotional wounds, and made me fall in love with the beauty of creativity and self expression. Since then, I have been obsessed with the making of and listening to music. I am still constantly learning all I can about music today.

I want you to ask yourself: are you REALLY listening to music, or just simply hearing it? This is so important, because the difference can change your life. I’m not an expert and I certainly don’t know everything, but I want to open a door that can help others find a true passion and appreciation for music, just as I have. My hope is that we can spread the love of music. I’m optimistic that if we all work together, we can bring back the days of really listening to music, and not just simply hearing.

 

No music, no life--Neon Sign

 

So here’s to opening our minds and our hearts, not just our ears!

 

If you like this post, PLEASE share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or wherever the hell you want!!!

We want to know your opinion on anything you read in this article, so please COMMENT. All opinions are important, whether they are positive or negative. We want to hear from you!

This is a new blog, so each time you share our posts with your friends or comment, it helps us to grow! Thank you Broads, because without you we are NOTHING!



I am a 22-year-old guy, born and raised in Flagstaff, AZ. Some of my favorite things are sports, music, good beer and better company. I bring home the bacon by working for the Flagstaff Unified School District. My free time is spent with my family and close friends, sometimes coaching high school football, and, of course, watching sports.

Bring It Like a Broad: See the World Through Madelyn May’s Lens

It’s that time again, Broads!

Last month we introduced a new interview series here on The Bonafide Broad called Bring it Like a Broad! Each month, this series features a real life Broad who inspires those around her, by doing the extraordinary everyday.

We hope that celebrating these special ladies and their accomplishments will help each of us to believe in the possibility and the reality of our own goals and dreams.

 



 

In case you missed it, our December Broad was Grace Garfield. She is a totally rad 20-year-old who founded A Helping Hand Global, a nonprofit that creates Feminine Care Kits for women in need, and is expanding to do so much more!

The response was awesome, and confirmed to us that we are on the right track with this series.

It’s time to introduce our January Broad!

 

The Broad

Meet Madelyn May.

 

Madelyn taking a self-portrait

 

She is not only one of the most driven, determined, and inspiring Broad’s I’ve ever met, but I also have the privilege of being related to her. She is my cousin.

Madelyn and I spent quite a bit of time together before my parents were divorced, when we were girls. I have always reserved a special space in my heart for her, and I knew from a young age that she was different. She was going to have good life. Even if she didn’t know it yet. Because she was going to make her life exactly the way she wanted it.

I’m happy to say my intuition was correct. Although we haven’t been able to be as close as we were when we were girls, I’ve watched this Broad from a distance, and my heart swells seeing the person she has become.

She is stunning, on the inside and out, and I’m honored that she was willing to do this interview, so all you Broads can see what I see in her!

Let’s get to know her!

 

The Interview

ME: Who are you? Describe yourself to me, the person you are.

MADELYN: Oh man, this is a hard one. Isn’t this what we’re all searching for? “Who we are”… as if we aren’t constantly changing? I’ll try my best to answer.

 

Madelyn working at a wedding

 

My name is Madelyn. My friends and family wonder how I have time to do all the things I do. I guess that describes me, not just busy, but always trying new things and growing the things I love. I have a lot of “drive” as my family says. I get my energy from my grandmother.

I think people limit themselves daily and sometimes I catch myself doing the same. I don’t want the average life. I want the freedom to do what I want when it really matters. I am always hustlin’ and grindin’ but when I do get a break, I make sure that it’s spent with people that matter the most to me.

Oh, and I am a social worker and a photographer….yes both! Talk about stress and being busy. Keep reading to hear more.

 

ME: What projects/ businesses are you currently focusing on?

MADELYN: PHOTOGRAPHY….hands down.

 

Madelyn May Photography’s company logo

 

In photographer years I have only been doing this for a short time.  My fiance bought me my first camera as a gift and I just dove in head first.

I started with free/cheap shoots to build my portfolio and website, and then I started charging based off time spent. I found some photography mentors to help me with MANY questions, I took classes, and I sat on YouTube for hours and hours. Also, I found some Facebook groups with other photographers to learn from them.

But I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my fiance. Not just because he bought me my first camera, but because he is the one that taught me not to limit myself and not to have a basic life just because it’s easier that way.  When I’ve doubted myself he questions my doubts and helps me move past them.

What I love the most about photography is that my creativity is unbounded. I get to help couples capture the images they’ve always wanted, but didn’t think were possible. I get to listen to love stories and see couples connect through my lens. Photography will always be in my life. Even if I fail, I will never stop.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

What’s happening right now? My next project will be in the spring. I have another amazing idea for a shoot, so stay tuned! Madelyn May Photography will have a lot of changes coming soon. I am going to be focusing on adventurous epic shit! It will be life changing. I can’t wait!

Also, I have a super messy craft room full of stuff that I love to do. I love to hand letter, watercolor, knit (I am pretty fucking good and this was my first business), crochet, make candles, sew, scrapbook, and so much more. These are fun outlets for me.

Another outlet is the outdoors: camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, finding new locations for photo shoots.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What is your background?

MADELYN: I am a social worker and a photographer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon in Family and Human Services.

I went to college to be a probation officer for juveniles because I wanted to help those kids who were dealt a bad hand and had to find family in the wrong areas. I know how it is to grow up in an less-than-ideal environment and I want to give back.  Now I work with the same kids, just in a little different way. I am also helping the parents who were probably dealt an even worse hand.

When I said “I know how it is…” I meant it. I wouldn’t say I had a normal upbringing, or anything even close to that. At a young age, my siblings and I had to grow up VERY fast. People say I am an old soul often, but they don’t know why. I may be 28, but I feel like I am 38 (which can be a curse).

My childhood wasn’t peachy, but it’s exactly why I am who I am today. It’s all about perspective. I could use [my past] as a crutch, or I could use it to change the world. This is why I am a social worker, why I want a better life for my future children, and why I choose to do what I love. Because that’s the point of life, right? To not waste it?

Helping people is my passion, but what really keeps me going is being creative. It’s what gets my heart pumping and my wheels turning, to where it’s hard to sleep at night because I am so fucking excited! Photography is one of my creative channels, among others. Photography really has me asking myself often…”Is this real life?”

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What did you want to do with your life when you were young? How old were you when you began making your life plans and setting goals, and why do you think that was the magic age for you?

MADELYN: I didn’t have any idea until senior year of high school… and I thought it was either going to be in the military or college. I started college and thought I wanted to be a web designer. So I attended a class to write code and make a website, and I hated it.

I attended photography, drawing, and Human Services 101 classes and then I knew.  This is what is crazy to me: I was interested in the same things ten years ago. But now I know where I want my focus to be: photography, while still giving back to my community.

 

ME: What steps did you take when you realized you wanted to accomplish the things you did, to get yourself on track toward your dreams?

MADELYN: I got my transfer degree to save money. I went to Portland State University for one term and didn’t like it (location/majors). So I started researching undergrad programs and came across University of Oregon. The Family and Human Services program was amazing! They required a new internship that you chose each term, to get you ready for a job after graduation.

Now my goal is to start traveling and start doing photography all over the world.  ← Doesn’t this sound crazy? Check back in with me in a few. This will be true!

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: How have you learned what is needed to run a business, and to accomplish the things you have?

MADELYN: Research and asking a ton of questions to those who already do it. There is never a dumb question.

 

ME: What obstacles have you faced along your journey, and what have you done to overcome them?

MADELYN: This is a hard one, I don’t look back and think “Oh that was an obstacle but I am here now.” I just keep going. There were some jobs that I absolutely hated, but I kept going until I had another plan to get to my bigger goals.

Right now my lack of time is my biggest obstacle for my photography business. I would love to have way more time to grow my business and complete all my little goals that are still pending.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how do you pull through and move forward?

MADELYN: Yep. More than people may think.

“Oh I am just one out of millions of other photographers, so why try?” Then I snap out of it or my fiance helps me snap out of it.

I am different because my photography will continue to get better and I will be different because there’s no other Madelyn like me, that has dreams, a drive, and support.

 

ME: Do you have a quote, a song,  or a mantra that you tell yourself to keep yourself going?

MADELYN: If you’ve been on my Instagram you know I love me some quotes. I don’t have a favorite, it changes with my moods, but here are some:

“ You can have anything you want if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.”

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.”

“To begin, begin.”

 

ME: What has motivated you the most and helps you to keep moving forward?

MADELYN: Seeing my progress, and being able to be creative with my photography. But mostly, my fiance. He helps me keep motivated.

 

Madelyn with her fiance

 

ME: What is a typical day for you like? How do you balance everything and still have time for yourself, your guy, your family and your animals?

MADELYN: I wake up, listen to photography/business podcasts,  go to work, meet with children and parents, problem solve, go to court, come home, cuddle my pup, start dinner, edit photos, finish dinner, and watch a show with my fiance.  Repeat.

I don’t know how I balance everything. Sometimes I fail and run out of time for my deadlines. I think one thing that helps me is setting little goals to get to the bigger goals. I will feel more relaxed if I have made even a little progress towards my goal. Then I can do self care.

 

ME: Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire the most, or who has given you inspiration to accomplish what you have?

MADELYN: You already know, my fiance.

Also, my grandmother. I will always admire her drive and energy to get shit done.

 

ME: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

MADELYN: I already talked about my photography goals above. I see myself as a full-time photographer, married with two kids, with some property, and 2-3 pointers to keep Copper [my German short-haired pointer] company…and maybe a pig, too.

 

Madelyn with her fiance and her pup, Copper

 

ME: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

MADELYN: Be patient. Never give up. Let it be. Be aware of your perspective and how it might be running your life.

 

ME: What is your best advice for others who are going after their goals and dreams?

MADELYN: Keep going, no matter how many little doubting thoughts you have going through your head. If you want it, it’s yours.

 

 

Final thoughts:

Isn’t Madelyn awesome? I’m not kidding when I say she is one of the most resolute people I’ve ever met. She has taught me that you never have to be a victim of circumstance. If there is something you want, there is nothing that can stop you from getting it except yourself.

Madelyn has some major goals for the future. I absolutely believe her when she tells me the things she is going to do. So stay tuned! This may be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to meet Madelyn, but it won’t be the last.

She has already made her mark on this world, and she won’t be satisfied until she reaches every goal she has set!

 

More information on Madelyn and her current  projects:

Madelyn loves to travel, so if you have an upcoming event you would like photographed, no matter where you are located, don’t hesitate to contact her.

Also, that wonderful fiance she talks about? They’re getting married this year!  Follow her social media accounts to keep up with her wedding plans, projects and travels!

 

Madelyn May Photography’s website:

www.mmayphoto.com

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Instagram account:

www.Instagram.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Contact Madelyn:

madelynmayphotography@gmail.com

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Until next time!

 

 

We love to hear from our readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 

 



I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

Is Sharing Your Relationship On Social Media Destroying It?

Is Sharing Your Relationship On Social Media Destroying It?

We see it all the time: relationship oversharing on social media. Those perfect couples who constantly post mushy gushy love notes to one another, brag about how awesome they are, and leave the rest of us wondering what in the world is wrong with our own mediocre relationships.

Some days I sit there looking at these posts and just shaking my head. Hells yes I’m jealous! Who doesn’t want gorgeous selfies with their guy, and he actually looks HAPPY to be in the picture?

I have to beg Mr. OG to be in a selfie. Then if I don’t push that shutter button quick enough, I end up with a photo of me looking deliriously happy, next to a blur of the side of Mr. OG’s face, because he’s already bailed. Or I end up looking annoyingly perky next to him looking pissed at the world. Like so:

 

 

The point is, these kinds of overly-exuberant relationship posts can leave some of us feeling inadequate and dejected, because our regular old relationships don’t seem to hold a candle to the perfection we see everyday on our Facebook or Instagram timelines. Are those couples really that much more in-tune than the rest of us? Let’s find out.

 

 

What Oversharing Can Mean for Your Relationship

 

Guess what? Those indefectible couples probably aren’t as blissfully in love as they appear. Research says relationship oversharing on social media may not be the best thing for your partnership. There are many concerns that this type of behavior could be pointing to, and I am going to briefly discuss three of them.

 

Validation:

In an interview with Daily Mail, sexologist Nikki Goldstein points out, “Often it’s the people who post the most who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media.” She goes on to mention that by seeking validation outside of the relationship, you are taking away from the quality of the moments you spend with your partner.

“The likes and comments can be so validating that when someone is really struggling, that’s where they get their up from – not the person making the gesture, but what other people will say about it,” she states. “You see people who will focus so much on taking a ‘relfie’ – a relationship selfie – and getting the right filter and hashtags that they’re missing the moment. Couples are taking these photos, straight away putting them online and then watching the likes and comments instead of being with their partners.”

 

Insecurity:

It isn’t necessarily posting pictures of you and your partner that’s the problem. It’s what you are masking that becomes the issue.

Northwestern University researchers surveyed over 100 couples, and afterward, released a report on the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. They found this: “On a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships more visible.”

 

Possessiveness:

Goldstein goes on to mention that how a couple poses in photos, or how they label those photos can bring in an element of ownership. She uses the example of The Bachelorette’s Sam Frost and Sasha Mielczarek, who were constantly posting photos on Instagram of their “perfect” relationship. Sadly, they only lasted 18 months before they split for good.

 

 Source: Sasha Mielczarek’s Facebook.

 

Many of their Instagram photos were labeled “My man,” or “My bae.” Notice also that in the above photos they are displaying quite a lot of forced affection, and you can see that Sasha is almost always holding onto Sam in some way.  These all can be signs of possessiveness, which is never healthy in a relationship.

Goldstein says, “There are a lot of people out there who want to flaunt to their friends and the world that this person is mine.” Do you feel the need to show people that your partner “belongs” to you? That could be a problem.

 

What’s the Meaning?

So, according to the above information, if a couple feels the need to document every moment they spend together on social media, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple has to make themselves look way happier on the internet than they are in real life, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple needs constant reaffirmation from outside sources that their relationship is going well, it might not be a good thing.

Of course, this made me think about celebrities, those people we all follow on social media that look so fulfilled. How about we conduct our own little experiment here? Let’s look at a few examples of celebrities who stay private verses those who overshare  (because I don’t think my friends would like if I started comparing them on this blog).

I warn you, this experiment is EXTREMELY scientific.

 

 

Staying Private

Here is a short list of celebrity couples who have been together for 10 years or more, and who try to keep the nuances of their relationships private, especially on social media:

 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, together since 1988

 

Source: Rita Wilson’s Instagram

 

These two are known for being very private, yet they aren’t afraid to address their bond occasionally. They’ve been through a lot together: she is his second wife, he helped her through a breast cancer diagnosis. They credit honesty and humor as two of the reasons they are still together. They don’t hide their relationship from their social media accounts, but they do post sparingly, and generally the posts are not possessive or showy.

 

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, together since 2004

 

Source: Portia de Rossi’s Instagram

 

One of my favorite things about this couple is how supportive they are of one another. If you check out their social media accounts, you won’t see a lot of mushy posts about their undying love. Instead, you see a few pictures of them on vacation together, or supporting one another’s achievements. They definitely respect each other. You also don’t see them looking possessive or having to declare their undying love constantly for the world to see.

 

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, together since 1994

 

Source: Will Smith’s Instagram

 

It’s known the the Smiths have had their ups and downs, but one thing that they have always valued is privacy. While they are willing to answer surface questions about their relationship, they don’t talk about the ins and outs very often. Instead, they opt  to keep that between the two of them. Search through their social media accounts and you aren’t going to see a ton of pictures of them together. That’s not to say they don’t exist, but usually it’s pictures of them with their kids, or small discreet tributes on special days (like their 20 year anniversary).

 

Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn, together since 1983

 

Source: Goldie Hawn’s Instagram

 

I have always loved this couple! For one, like Mr. OG and I, they have never felt the need for a wedding (Goldie was married twice before they got together, and Kurt once). But that doesn’t mean they are any less in love and committed to one another. Their social media accounts are full of fun pictures of them enjoying life, together and apart (I want to be best friends with them, btw). What has been the key to their successful relationship? “Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex,” Hawn says. “If you don’t nurture that, and remember, you’re done.” These two try to keep their relationship out of the spotlight, and instead focus on nurturing their beautiful blended family.

 

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, together since 2007

 

Source: Justin Timberlake’s Instagram

 

These two have been extremely private since their relationship began. They rarely post photos together on their social media accounts. In fact, it’s almost always on a special occasion if they do. When it was leaked that Biel was pregnant in 2014, the two wouldn’t confirm or deny the rumors for some time. Timberlake is known for being very protective of his family. When they do mention one another, it seems to be with great respect and support, something we can all learn from.

 

 

Oversharing

I thought about making a list of couples who overshared on social media and ended up breaking up, but that’s not really fair. We never really know the all of the reasons for a breakup. The point of this article is not to shun posting your relationship on social media. Rather, it’s to caution that too much sharing can be a symptom of problems. So instead, I will mention a few celebrities who are known for oversharing. These celebrities also either can’t seem to make their relationships last, or are often in partnerships that are extremely volatile:

 

Taylor Swift:

 

Source: Taylor Swift’s Instagram

 

Taylor Swift is notoriously guilty of relationship oversharing on social media. Now, that may not have anything to do with her lack of success in long-term relationships, but it certainly doesn’t help. When she dated Calvin Harris, she constantly posted photos of them doing amazing things like vacationing in tropical locations, barbecuing, and riding inflated swans together. It seemed like it was meant to be. Sadly, it wasn’t.

This isn’t the first time Taylor can be accused of oversharing. She seems to be guilty of relationship oversharing with almost every partner she’s been with, including Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Even more, Taylor has a habit of writing songs about her ex boyfriends. Also, she is constantly in disputes with other celebrities (Katy Perry, Kanye West). She has no problem airing her thoughts about said “beefs” on her social media accounts. You’d think she’d learn.

 

Lindsey Lohan:

 

Source: Lindsey Lohan’s Instagram

 

Lindsey Lohan has long been known for her bizarre antics and strange relationships. She has had many a breakup unfold via social media, including recently with Egor Tarabasov. She posted quite a bit of personal information on Instagram. Basically the world was given a play by play of their entire relationship, including alleged physical abuse and infidelity. If that isn’t relationship oversharing, I don’t know what is. Then, to top it off, she got angry at people for commenting negatively about and “butting in” to her relationship. She went out of her way to make a statement (on social media, of course) to ask that people give her privacy. Go figure.

Of course, she has done all the same things in her other past relationships, with Samantha Ronson and Aaron Carter.

 

Kylie Jenner:

 

Source: Kylie Jenner’s Instagram

 

Again, we have a celebrity that can’t stop oversharing! This example is a little different than the previous two, because Kylie doesn’t necessary overshare when it comes to her relationships. She just overshares. This can still put a lot of unnecessary stress on a relationship, though. Of course, it’s to be expected, as she comes from a family that lives constantly in the spotlight. I’m going to inject my personal opinion here (shocker!) and say, Kylie drives me nuts! Almost every single picture she posts is so incredibly posed, it makes me want to puke. She is just trying way too hard to follow in her older sister Kim’s footsteps…..and Khloe’s…..and Kourtney’s…..

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t she look unhappy? That might be because she doesn’t believe in smiling, taking a note from Kim, who says it causes wrinkles. Hmmm….would I rather look like a zombie with no emotions, or have some small wrinkles around my lips and eyes because of happiness? That’s a tough one, and by tough I mean not tough at all. I’ll take happiness with a side of wrinkles please!

The main point is, Kylie seems to struggle in her relationships as well. In fact, don’t all of the Kardashian ladies? If they’d put their phones down for a moment and participate in the reality around them, they might be more successful in their love lives. Of course, they are laughing all the way to the bank, aren’t they?

 

 

The Bottom Line:

This theory behind relationship oversharing on social media clearly isn’t completely scientific. But any person with common sense can see there is a definite correlation between maintaining privacy and having success in your relationship. Of course, there is always the other side of the argument. Some researchers say that posting frequently on social media about your relationship makes you stronger. I personally haven’t seen this in action much, but it’s a valid argument that should be considered. The bottom line is, while oversharing doesn’t necessarily spell doom for a relationship, at times it can mean there is trouble brewing behind the scenes.

“But Amber,” you may be thinking, “I like posting about my partner for my family and friends to see!” Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. The key here is to avoid oversharing, maintain privacy, and stop trying to mask problems.

Many of those couples I mentioned earlier that value privacy still post about their partner on social media. There are a couple of key things to remember about the way  they post. For one, they usually save mushy posts for special occasions. Also, instead of needing to show possession, with a lot of PDA and labeling, healthy couples generally post photos of them and their partner having fun and enjoying life together. Nikki Goldstein (mentioned earlier) gives an example of a couple who posts about their relationship in the right way: social media star Pia Muehlenbeck and her boyfriend Kane Vato.

 

Source: Kane Vato’s Facebook

 

Notice they always seem to be having fun and laughing together. Their photos give us a peek into their relationship, and it doesn’t seem like they are trying reaffirm to everyone that they are SO into each other.

The takeaway here is this: Instead of trying to document every moment of your relationship for your Insta-feed, put that phone down and make some memories. When you do post pictures of you and your partner, stop trying to make all of us believe you are so excessively happy that blue birds follow you around singing all the time. Be honest. Be respectful and supportive. Have fun together, and while doing so,  if you happen to capture a moment of that on camera authentically, by all means, I’d love to see it on my wall.

Just don’t share too much, mmmkay?

 

Talk at ya later!

 

 

 

I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



 

 

Research for this article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4115946/Sexologist-Nikki-Goldstein-says-loved-social-media-sign-relationship-failing.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/couples-social-media-oversharing-facebook-instagram-twitter-relationship-insecurities-experts-nikki-a7530911.html

https://www.elitedaily.com/dating/posting-relationship-means-failing/1752552

http://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/news/a7116/over-sharing-social-media-couple-insecure-study/

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/8-reasons-why-happy-couples-rarely-share-their-relationship-statuses-on-social-m.html

 

I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to KEEP Your New Year’s Resolutions

Holy macaroni, it’s time to set our New Year’s resolutions again. What. The. Hell. Every year time seems to flow a little faster. It’s craziness!

 



Alas, it is what it is, and here we are. We have physically transitioned to a new year. The mental transition, of course, is a little slower (I promise you I’ll be writing the wrong year on everything until at LEAST June!).

Many of us have set ourselves some New Year’s resolutions. I know I have! I’m very excited about these changes! But I’m also a bit nervous. Let’s be real here (isn’t that what we do on this blog?). Less than 10% of the people who set New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.

 

 

What can we do to increase our chances of ACCOMPLISHING our resolutions? Here are some simple ideas you can incorporate pretty easily into your daily life. These will help you to keep your resolutions important and up front in your mind throughout the whole year, and not just on day one. These suggestions are great for any kind of goal you set, not just your New Year’s Resolution!

 

Make a resolution/goal in the first place:

 

 

This may seem like a “duh!” suggestion, but there’s a reason I not only included it, but made it number one.

Less than half of people even set resolutions. You know what you can’t accomplish if you don’t set them? Goals. Yep, the first step to accomplishing something is actually deciding you want to accomplish something. It’s SO simple…

 

 

Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often:

 

 

The value of writing goals down has long been known by researchers. Here is a great article on The Huffington Post that discusses the benefits of putting your goals in writing.

Basically, if you write your goals down, you are almost 50% more likely to accomplish them. This has to do with you introducing these goals to your brain through thought AND vision. If your brain SEES the goal you’ve been thinking about, it gets the message that you are more serious about what you want.

The more your brain sees this goal, the more the importance of the goal is reaffirmed. So write it down often, and keep visuals in high traffic places in your home, such as by your front door, on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror.

 

 

Set several small goals:

 

 

Remember when Bill Murray taught us about taking baby steps in What About Bob? While Bob took this a little more literally than his psychiatrist intended, there is value in the analogy.

It is much easier to accomplish several smaller, more defined goals than a single big one. So once you decide on your resolution, try to break it down into two or three micro goals that all work toward the bigger purpose. Make sure these are S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (Learn more about S.M.A.R.T. goals here).

For example, if your resolution for 2018 is to be healthier, try a couple of small goals, like drinking more water, only eating sweets on the weekend, or taking a 20 minute walk every day. Those are much more defined and actionable than a general goal of being more healthy. This also makes it possible for you to measure your success.

Let me give you another example. Here is my resolution for this year:

 

 

I’ve broken my resolution down into three S.M.A.R.T. goals. I’m going to go a step further and break each goal down into a couple of smaller steps to make them even more achievable. Notice I also posted them right there on my refrigerator so I see them several times a day.

 

 

Establish a reward for accomplishing your goals:

 

 

Set up a reward for when you accomplish each of your small goals. Let’s go back to our example earlier of being healthier.

Say you set a sub-goal of drinking more water. How about if you drink 8 glasses of water a day, every day for a month, you buy yourself a new water bottle (Enter our January giveaway to win an Infusion Pro water bottle here)? Or if your sub-goal is to walk more, after a month of walking 20 minutes a day, get yourself a nice pedometer.

Reinforcing your goals with a reward system significantly increases your chances of success. One big reason for this is that when you are rewarded, you release more dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the reward and pleasure centers of your brain. Dopamine helps you to see rewards and work toward them.

Interestingly, anticipating a reward can be just as effective in releasing dopamine as actually getting the reward. This is significant because studies have shown that go-getters release much more dopamine than slackers do.

So reward your accomplishments, because science and shit!

 

 

Don’t go telling everyone:

 

 

Sounds weird, right? I mean, doesn’t telling other people about your goals create accountability? Not so much, according to research.

When we tell a person our goal, they often commend and encourage us for setting the goal. This stimulates something called Social Reality, according to Derek Sivers (Ted X speaker).

Sivers says: “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a “social reality.” The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.” Learn more about this here.

This doesn’t mean you can’t share your goals with anyone. Just make sure if you do, that it’s a person who you have established mutual respect with, and who will help keep you in check.

 

 

The Takeaway

 

As you can see, setting and KEEPING your New Year’s resolution isn’t as easy as just saying you want to improve. If it were that easy, none of us would struggle with keeping our resolutions! No, this is something that will take time and effort. But it will be worth it!

Don’t let yourself feel intimidated! Remember, you wouldn’t be setting the goal in the first place if it wasn’t important. Aren’t all important things in life worth working for? Follow the tips above, and I guarantee you will increase your chances of your New Year’s resolution becoming a box on your life checklist you can finally check off.

 

Now go get ’em guys and gals!

 

 

I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



 

I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.