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April is Financial Literacy Awareness Month. What better time to take a look at your relationship with money and begin to make small, easy steps towards creating habits that empower and enrich you?

We at Rena-Fi have created this simple, easy, but powerful 21-Day experience for you. It will give you clarity, motivation, and confidence as you seek to become more mindful about your money habits. It will help you learn to align them with your most cherished values. And it will empower you to approach this important subject with intentionality and purpose.

Does that sound like a tall order? Well, we all know that deep and lasting changes take consistent work over time, sometimes hard work. But the truth is, the best way to approach that work is in baby steps. Quantum leaps tend to backfire, because we changed too much too fast. Just think back to all those times you joined a gym on January 1, signed up for a personal trainer, started a rigorous exercise program, and told yourself you would go every day for the rest of your life? What happened?

Small, consistent steps over time can create profound and lasting positive changes precisely because they are small and consistent, and build on each other. In the beginning, the results will be subtle. Only you will notice them. As your momentum builds, others will begin to see the changes. And before you know it, an aspect of your life will be transformed for good. Which means you, too, will be transformed. For the better!

Do you want to get control over your financial life, and create wellbeing for yourself and your family? We believe you can do that, and we invite you to begin now. This 21-Day program is just the beginning.

Starting in May, we will be providing 30 days of similar prompts each month, based on that month’s Financial Literacy topic. As a Rena-Fi subscriber, you’ll be able to use these prompts to keep yourself learning and accountable, and to reinforce your mastery of the topic.

The program is simple and straightforward. Each week has a theme, a guiding quote to keep you inspired, a guiding principle to keep you focused, a core exercise, and a daily prompt you can do in about 10 minutes. We encourage you to find a time when you’re able to relax and focus.

What you learn about yourself will be information you can use going forward, so it’s good to keep all your responses in one place—a small notebook or a folder on your tablet or phone. Stay tuned on social media for prompts posted daily and use the hashtag #upliftchallenge on your journey.

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While there is no real way to fix damaged credit fast, there are quick tips to help you improve your credit sooner rather than later.

Quick ways to improve your credit

Pay down your credit card to a zero or low balance. If you’ve had a higher balance and you pay down your card, with no other changes, your credit score will bump up noticeably within one billing cycle.

Set-up bill pay reminders. It takes only a few minutes per account but if you’re notoriously late, paying on time will definitely help your credit as it equates to 35% of your credit score. One late payment can drop your score drastically and alter your score for years to come.

Get credit if you don’t have any. If you don’t have a history, then you can’t be scored on it. You can get a credit card and only charge one or small things to it, paying it off immediately.

Increase your credit. If you’re not looking to borrow right now, consider opening up an additional line of credit, or credit cards.  You are judged on the percentage of your available credit you are using. Increasing your credit lines, and reducing your balances will help bump up your numbers so long as this method is followed.

Need more tips? Become a subscriber where you’ll gain access to courses offering in-depth approaches to ‘quick’ fixes and suggestions for foundational habits that will set you up for long term success.

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Are you getting a tax refund this year? Have you planned out how to spend it? If the answer to the second question is no, then we urge you to read on.

Don’t treat your refund like found money, remember, you’ve been paying towards this all year long in the form of taxes. Rather than treating it like going to the grocery store hungry, have a plan in place prior to that refund showing up.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Smart ways to spend your tax refund

  • Start with a crisis fund. Keep one month of expenses in liquid savings for true emergencies, like hospital bills, your roof caving in, or discounted Beyoncé tickets. (Okay – not that last one.) The crisis fund should be separated from your checking account so you reduce the temptation to spend from it. You can use IRS Form 8888 to designate your refund to a particular crisis fund account.
  • Get matched. Have an employer match for your 401(k) or 403(b)? You just landed on the only free lunch in the investing world. If you plan on sticking with the company and they would keep matching contributions in your name based on the matching vesting schedule, don’t let free money pass you buy.
  • Tackle high-interest debt. Prioritize paying down any debt that has a high interest rate, generally 7% or higher. The amount you could earn investing is unlikely to rival the cost of the interest payments.
  • Stash away a freedom fund. Put away enough cash to cover you for at least three months. This will allow you the freedom to go – or be let go – from a job without the added financial stress.
  • Stockpile a retirement fund. Aim to save 15% of your income for retirement (or whatever you can afford). Outside your employer-offered retirement, open an IRA, too. When it comes to retiring, time is your best friend – and everything helps!
  • Invest in other long-term goals. Once you’ve got everything else covered, now you can think about those long-term dreams: a loft in a great neighborhood, paying for your kids’ college, sailing around the world.
  • Camille Williams has been preparing taxes since 2011 and has worked for several large tax firms including Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax Service. Ms. Williams was compelled to start doing taxes as a way to offer a tax service that operated with integrity due to the sensitive information that tax preparers handle.

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    We are continuously working to enhance the benefits of being a Rena-Fi subscriber. Are you ready for this new feature? Unlimited access to workshops!

    Workshops are registered events limited to a certain number of people on a particular subject done via video conferencing. An qualified educator will moderate and teach basic principles on each subject and then work with individuals based on their interaction. Think of it like a crash course in each subject (everything you need to know), but delivered within the intimacy of a small group.  Our goal is to deliver personalized, hands on training complete with accountability features, all directed by an experienced coach.

    These workshops are designed to give our subscribers access to instructors and information as it relates to them. Many of our workshops will be repeated over the course of the year.  With different participants, no two workshops will be the same. We encourage you to attend as many as you want!

    Workshops will vary based on the instructor. Some will be eight ongoing weekly sessions while others will be single session events.

    The workshops listed below are open for enrollment, with new workshops being added weekly. As of this post, workshops will be driven by student availability (filling out a form with best times). After we get a general indication of best time slots, we will start scheduling them on the calendar.

    Richard Webster, CEO of Rena-Fi, Inc. will be offering workshops on Coaching Entrepreneurs, Real Estate 101 and ADHD Friendly Financial Management.

    We have also brought on Steve Samson from Samson Speaking who will be coaching participants through workshops like Presenting Like a Pro, Deep Hooks – Making Your Delivery Memorable and Slide Secrets – A Guide to Your Best Presentation.

    Keep an eye on our events calendar, or on our website via workshop catalog link on the front page.

    We hope you’ll take full advantage of your subscription and participate in these workshops.

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    A tax refund isn’t “found money,” so don’t treat it that way!

    I have seen that people who would normally set aside paycheck dollars for the future tend to treat dollars that come from a tax refund differently. This tendency, referred to as mental accounting, means that we don’t treat all of our money as one big pool. We break out each dollar based on somewhat arbitrary factors e.g., where it came from, to make spending decisions in isolation of the rest of our finances.

    Because money comes into our lives suddenly and with no clear destination, it’s often viewed as “found money.”

    What do we generally tend to do with found money? We blow it, of course.

    If you expect to receive a big fat check (or electronic transfer) from Uncle Sam, and most tax returns resulted in one last year, it’s important you understand both why you’re getting this windfall and the best way to use it.

    Pro-Tip: Plan or budget every dollar from your refund before it hits your bank account.

    Brought to you by Rena-Fi, Inc. in conjunction with Camille Williams, a Certified Tax Preparer. Camille has been preparing taxes since 2011 and has worked for several large tax firms including Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax Service. Ms. Williams was compelled to start doing taxes as a way to offer a tax service that operated with integrity due to the sensitive information that tax preparers handle.

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    More isn’t always better.

    I often find myself reminding clients that tax refunds are your wages, not gifts from the government. You didn’t get free money from the government. You gave it to them.

    A return of taxes you already paid could occur for a few reasons.

    • You claimed too few allowances on your w-4 which resulted in too large a percentage of your income being withheld from your paychecks.

    • You didn’t account for deductions like IRA or HSA contributions which can lower your adjusted gross income (AGI) and taxable income.

    • You didn’t account for credits like the child tax credit, which directly reduce the dollars you owe in taxes.

    By overpaying your taxes all year, you gave the government an interest-free loan. The larger the refund, the more money you could have put to better use sooner.

    Pro-Tip: Track your tax averages as they vary year to year. If you notice a trend (a refund every year), consider adjusting your W-4.

    Pro-Tip: If you adjust your W-4 for less allowances, be sure and adjust your budgeted paycheck towards your financial goals.

    Brought to you by Rena-Fi, Inc. in conjunction with Camille Williams, a Certified Tax Preparer. Camille has been preparing taxes since 2011 and has worked for several large tax firms including Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax Service. Ms. Williams was compelled to start doing taxes as a way to offer a tax service that operated with integrity due to the sensitive information that tax preparers handle.

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    Have you been unsure as to who Rena-Fi is and why a subscription is something to consider? We listened, and wanted to give you a taste of what to expect.

    Mindshare Webinars are  hosted video conferences wherein Rena-Fi brings in speakers focusing on financial and behavioral topics that are relatable, current and awesome. Mindshares are supplemental to the regular Rena-Fi program and offered to non-subscribers on our social media.

    The format for the Mindshare Webinars is a presentation given by the speaker, followed by an audience Q&A segment. Just one more great reason to tune in live so you can be a part of the discussion!

    There is no specified date or time. As we book speakers, and their schedule with ours for streaming, we will book on the date on the Rena-Fi calendar. Some months we may have one, other months we could have a dozen.


    Full replays will be available to subscribers only, so these webinars are like limited edition flavors – once they’re gone, they’re gone.

    Keep an eye on our events calendar, or our social media for these limited time events.

    We hope you’ll watch and participate in a few to get a flavor for what a full membership in Rena-Fi has to offer.

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    How does a financial education company offer something more, something unique, something captivating? It’s called the Rena-Fi Mastermind Series and is a benefit solely reserved for our subscribers.

    If you search the term ‘mastermind,’ you’ll come up with definitions such as a person with an outstanding intellect, or a brilliant thinker with original ideas, or a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members.

    As it relates to us, here’s our official definition: Mastermind Series is where Rena-Fi brings in educators, coaches and professionals who are highly respected in their fields. These individuals offer unique and educated perspectives in which they will present on a relevant subject. Each month the subject will change.

    Speakers will present via video conferencing with a question and answer segment which is open to attendees. There will also be the occasional panel discussions through video conferencing on the monthly subject with educators and professionals in addition to the weekly webinars in the Mastermind Series.

    The Mastermind Series is scheduled to  be live every Sunday starting at 5pm EST. Complete replays of these webinars will be available within one month of their live airing, but we encourage live attendance as to give you the opportunity to interact with our guests.

    If you’re interested in attending, keep an eye on our events calendar for the upcoming Mastermind Series which will focus on Financial Literacy in April.

    We hope to see you there!

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    We’ve all been there – starving and in the middle of a store that sells nothing but food. The aromas entice us, everything sounds good, and any notions of a budget or a list are thrown by the wayside.

    Do you know the definition of a plan? It’s a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. Plans go awry when hunger strikes or kids aren’t cooperating, BUT if you were more mindful of making sure everyone was fed prior to shopping, a detailed list was in hand with just the right amount of cash – how likely do you think you’d be to stick to your goal? Probably a lot more likely.

    Kat Nielsen, our VP of Operations knows organization and food. She has two kids that are with her 24/7 while she does all things Rena-Fi. She makes pretty much everything from scratch and has a food blog. Kat wanted to put together a master plan for getting in to the grocery store, sticking to a budget and having the pantry fully stocked for all hunger cravings till the next shopping trip.

    This guide covers tons of tips, meal planning steps, setting budgets, shopping the sales and heading to the store. It’s THE ultimate guide. Without further delay:

    Ultimate grocery budget and planner

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    april, 2019

    01apr10:00 am11:00 amOpen Hours10:00 am - 11:00 am Open Hours Event Organized By: Achsha Jones

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    05apr1:00 pm2:00 pmOpen Hours1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Event Organized By: Richard Webster

    07apr5:00 pm6:00 pmMastermind Series: America is Failing at Financial Literacy5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST Webinar

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    14apr5:00 pm6:00 pmMastermind Series: Education vs. Life Resume5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST Webinar

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    19apr1:00 pm2:00 pmOpen Hours1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Event Organized By: Richard Webster

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    22apr10:00 am11:00 amOpen Hours10:00 am - 11:00 am Open Hours Event Organized By: Achsha Jones

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    26apr1:00 pm2:00 pmOpen Hours1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Event Organized By: Richard Webster

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