Friday, June 26, 2009

The Month of Change

Change is inevitable. In fact, everything changes in some way, shape or form. the month of June has been full of ever changing and developing situations for the masses. Yet, if change is nonnegotiable why do so many of us oppose it?

I am no exception to the rule, and change has met with me many times this month. Many of my friends and associates have expeirenced vast alterations in their very structured and secure lives. Many have had to cope with the death of a loved one. It's always a heart breaker to say good bye to a person who brings happiness to you, or an individual who has helped shape your life and your outlook on it but, it is suitably a part of life.

Although, all changes aren't downers, many result in a sense of thought. Reflection is key and a natural process when things gravitate towards unfamiliar territory. It becomes a matter of, where do you go from there? Unfortunately, one can't control most adversity but most can retrieve the benefits when adapting to reconstruction of ones comfort and familiarity. For instance, if you're loved one insist on more time apart, and it catches you off gaurd why waste energy getting mad? Recognize the shift, and allow yourself to adjust, perhaps you're now available time can be well spent with a friend or simply by yourself. The universe has its ways of sending messages, and often one door closes and another will open up.

Many Americans have lost their jobs, taken pay cuts or experienced a lay-off. As a reslut, they have to resume life with substantially less disposable income. Many of the activities, habits and hobbies are put on hold and a lifestyle transoformation is in store. As we become a more environmentally concious society, there is a need for change, becuase we should recycle more, carpool to certain places, trade clothing with friends etc., call our parents, wirte thank you notes, exercise, relax, cook, enjoy others company, write, reflect, travel, sleep and decrease our carbon footprints. In an effort to adjust to our new lives maybe we'll find more time to spend with loved ones, friends and family. The sudden changes could bring us closer to simplier lives and a more focused attempt at living the way we always dreamt. Anything that ensures thought and question is essential for prosperity and bliss. There may possibly come a day when people give gifts, not based on monetary value, but simply from the heart. Since, we are all human without question we will be affected change and that is exactly what makes up special, that we can acclimate.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Buying A Car? Be More Prepared

I recently purchased my first vehicle on my very own. What a liberating experience yet, intensely stressful. And still, after the most prolonged three days in my life, I bought a used car, that screamed Ashleigh! It spoke to me, as though we had a connection immediately. After I test drove it I knew it was for me. That, however, was merely the beginning of the journey in shopping for a new ride. While I went through the process of buying a car I kept a journal, that will hopefully outline the major items in purchasing your future car.


I. Before you visit any car lot, decide if you want a sedan, coupe, or truck etc. This will narrow your search. The more you are aware of what you want the more clear and concise your decision will be in the future. Not to mention manuals are cheaper so don't count them out if you can.

II. How much are you putting down? My goodness, this step is so necessary. In this economically challenged period, not only is your down payment you negotiating stick but it is also a necessity at many dealerships. Cash is the language to speak especially for those shoppers who don't have the highest credit score or haven't been on the job for more than a year. You may need a co-signer, good luck with that. I was unable to obtain one and I have a mid-sized family.

III. Obtain your credit report. Have an idea if your credit is bad, fair, average, good, or great!. By obtaining your credit score before they do, will ensure time to fix any unwanted or unknown activity on your report. Yes, the sales person will run it once you have chosen a car but at least you will be aware of why they give you the monthly payment they offer. Don't give them permission to run your credit until, you're 99.99% sure that's the car you want for at least, the next 3 years.

IV. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Use all the resources available, as a consumer. Look in your daily newspaper for local deals. Go online and explore the world wide web. Many prices online are immensely lower than on the lot. Simply print that deal out, and take it in with you, or call in to speak with their Internet sale department. TEST DRIVE your desired vehicle too. Determine if you can comfortably drive it, safety and my favorite gas mileage. (check the engine, knobs, oil, mileage (compare to Kelly blue book), wheels, stereo, wipers and anything else you want to ensure is working properly, especially if buying used. Once you have decided on the car you want, immediately visit the Kelly blue book website. Then you'll know an estimate of what the car is worth. The more knowledge you have about your future purchase the better deal you can achieve. Oh and if the car is used, obtain a Carfax report. The $15 you spend on it will determine if your car is a lemon and if its not you can save this for the future should you want to sale it.

V. You're half way to driving your new shiny new automobile!!! The sweet, reputable sales associate is most likely giving you a quote on your monthly payment, if you chose to finance, or their asking price if you are buying in full. Either way, say,"NO," politely to the first offer. Trust me, no matter how great it sounds or doesn't, say no. They will make adjustments and you can decide from there if that works for you. Two rules of conduct, be polite and optimistic, furthermore, have an adequate meal in your stomach too.

VI. Once you have sealed the deal explain to them you want a copy of all the papers you sign. Count them! Please don't rely on them to do this or you will be missing documents.

VII. Right about now, nerves are shot, and patience is limited so again drink plenty of fluids and eat. This is the step I didn't abide by at all. I forgot to eat and wasn't drinking enough water because I was nervous and on edge. Nevertheless, be better than me and don't repeat my mistakes. Pretty much, all that is left is to acquire insurance asap, but if you have time shop around ahead of time to get quotes. Depending on your purchase your insurance may have to be full or partial coverage. Ask if there are discounts, and explain your situation. The rules from step five still apply too.

VIII. Finally, be happy you did it! Pat yourself on the back and if you have the funds make an appointment for a massage. You deserve it. Oh don't forget to get organized while your at it, so you don't miss payments and stay on top of your added responsibility (online banking a plus).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Are You Drinking Hatorade?

Hatorade: a figurative drink that fuels individuals selfish behavior also known as "hater," activity.

An epidemic has occurred where more people now than ever are drinking, "Hatorade." The venues are limitless, at the workplace, at school, on vacations, while at the airport, and in many peoples homes.

When you see someone succeed, does that evoke anger? If your best friend gets a brand new car and hot boyfriend, are you suddenly jealous? Or how about you get a promotion or an award at work, do you feel like your co-workers aren't supportive? Do they give you agitated looks? Many of our friends, associates and acquaintances are hating in high volumes. Others success has become their entertainment and business. Unfortunately, they are unable to genuinely be happy for anyone other than their selves, with out questing and showing sign of envy.

Of course, many feel this description isn't relative to them however, here are a list of signs you've been drinking hatorade.

-A peer is doing well in some area of expertise. "You," go out of your way, not to congratulate them, but to clarify what they are doing and the means to which they obtain their success.

-Your face tightens up when anyone wins something that you didn't.

-You gossip to others about people who are doing better than yourself.

-You spend less than 25% of your social time talking about yourself and your achievements etc.

-You are always concerned with every ones life challenges, obstacles and drama. Therefore, you manifest in their problems and spread their issues like magazines.

Don't be embarrassed if you answered yes to some or all of these symptoms. It simply means, as mother use to tell me, you need to get a life. You're so wrapped up in others you're actually inhibiting your own success and prosperity. Don't be distraught because your neighbor has something you don't. It should be motivation to work harder to obtain the life and things you truly want. The more you show support, the more you'll have that positive reinforcement when you need it. Life is too short and unexpected to spend it hating, instead go out into the world and start congratulating. Focus on your own goals and try to achieve them. Have a plan, and try to stick to it. Finally, build you confidence, most hating is a result of low self-esteem.