Saving Money for Gifts While on a Budget

Do you consider yourself to be a giving person? Well, holidays are here, and many times we desire to do things for people that we aren’t in the position to give monetarily to during that time.  Many times we get upset or have the holiday blues because we wish we could do more for others but we can’t.  Which brings me to a response that I don’t feel is addressed enough…the word NO, CAN’T, or NOT AT THIS TIME. Are you comfortable with those words? Does it stress you or inflict uncomfortable emotions inside of you that you’d rather avoid? Below are some tips to get you through the holiday seasons so that you can avoid the negative perceptions you may feel others will have if you.


Tip ONE:


Let them know the truth. Acknowledge that you are limited on funds right now. I know this requires a lot of courage for someone that simply doesn’t want others to know they’re in the hole financially but it demonstrates that you trust them enough to share your concern with them.


Tip TWO:


Be giving of your time.  Social media has become a lot of our new best friends.  Many times friends go to social media before they call a friend of family member to even see who people are doing.  It’s taking over people’s lives.  Because it’s drastically changed the way people have face-to-face communication, it’s important to reach out to your loved ones with your time and do the fun things that won’t require money. My favorite inexpensive past time is game and movie nights. Be creative!




Do it yourself (DIY) gifts. Sometimes you can create a gift that can cost you nothing to make.  If you go online, you can find several ideas to show someone you care without spending any cash.  My favorite gift ideas are baked dishes, holiday cards, personalized music, and re-gifting/recycled gifts.


Remember that loved ones are going to be in your corner whether your gift was a perfect idea or not. Let’s be honest with ourselves; perfection is unattainable. Random acts of kindness beat out gifts any day when filled with thoughtfulness and love. People may not remember what you bought them, but they will remember how you made them feel.  So get together with your family and have fun! Happy holidays!

Three Tips for Reaching an Agreement

Negotiation skills are skills you should learn whether you’re in sales, administrative roles, customer service, supervisory roles, etc. But a lot of times when people think of the word negotiation, the word intimidates them.  An intentional effort must be made to want to negotiate successfully to reach an agreement. Below are a few tips to put you in the right mindset to negotiate with anyone, whether it’s in business or profession. The three tips to reaching an agreement:


  1. Have a goal in mind – When there are heightened emotions, the ability to think becomes affected and interferes with effective communication.  It’s best to go into the negotiation with a plan and an idea of how the plan will be implemented.  Because when you know what you want during a negotiation, your interests are clearer. When interests are clear, the ability to speak with a purpose is communicated effectively.  The feeling of being pressured to discuss a difficult matter is not as intense once prepared. Fix it Plan: Gather data, control your emotions, seek to understand their views, and brainstorm ideas to seek an agreement as an option for mutual gains.
  2. Don’t take it personally – People get so caught up in arguing with the other person that they become defensive when reacting.  Think about the fight, flight, or freeze concept when you’re in a crisis.  What normally happens is you lose focus of the problem and become desperate to defend yourself while under pressure. Instead, allow the other person to let off the steam during their moments of anger or frustration to get out of their emotions. Fix-it Plan: You must attack the problem with curiosity and avoid focusing on attacking and blaming the other person.
  3. Invent options – During a negotiation, it’s typical for people to leave opportunities left untapped to make things right.  To focus on the position prolongs fixing the situation.  The problem being the topic of discussion is now decreasing the chances of creating a solution for the situation.  People get so stuck on the problem that the focus on a solution is Fix-it Plan: Brainstorm ideas for mutual interests and encourage the other side to create ideas for a solution, as well.


In conclusion, negotiation skills can be implemented with sales prospects, hiring an employee, taking care of a complaint from a customer, communicating with a low-performance employee, etc.  Which means that now is the time to be an effective problem-solver. And to be able to communicate better with people during the conflict.  No matter what business you’re in will always require you to know how to negotiate within the situation, no matter what industry you decide. Start working on your negotiation skills starting today.

Are you positive, constructive, or destructive?

Words are powerful and impact others to make a grown man cry. Words uttered should be used cautiously, as it reveals a great deal about the person speaking. You can decide to be positive, constructive, or destructive when you’re responding to someone whose intruded or put you in an uncompromising situation.

If you want to make or keep a good impression and not appear careless or incapable of saying what you mean, be clear, confident, and positive to avoid eating your words. Showing appreciation and being kind also helps people feel good about themselves.

For instance, if someone asks you a question you don’t want to respond to it simply say, “I appreciate you wanting to learn more about the situation, however, that subject is uncomfortable for me to discuss at this time.”

That’s it! Just like that! It’s simple, clear, and to the point. The relationship is still intact and no one got hurt.

Have a great day!

Candice Merritt, Conflict Resolution Strategist

Letting Go of Your Ex

Life happens… and by not letting whatever happened in your past hold you back from your future will help you progress and increase your strength and power over yourself.

I’m sure it was a beautiful thing that you were able to share your life with someone special to you. So be grateful! No need to have a selfish attitude about it being over. Gratitude is more productive than being hurt. The chapter is now over for better things in store for you. When you are unable to appreciate the good times, it minimizes the entire relationship! And if it was not worth appreciating, then be grateful it ended so that you can move on with your life.

Create power over your life by healing from the situation. When you begin to heal, you’ll find peace from within.

No need to be unhappy. Be glad for all that God has planned for you regarding what is to come. It will require patience in the meantime.

Take some time to yourself and think about all the things you need to prepare to do for the next relationship. Consider even writing it down to generate momentum, as well.

You have a choice in the matter, create peace in your life or sulk about the past. When you make the choice to move forward with your life, you have decided not to resist your blessings so that you can instead receive them. Be ready for the next opportunity ahead but in order for the door to be open, you will need to be ready and in position.