Please Bethenny Frankel I’m begging you

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As you know I am a HUGE fan of Bethenny Frankel.  In case you don’t remember you can read about my admiration here and here.  I have loved her for years and now I want her to be my employer.  So what did I do? What any sane person would do who really wants a new job. I sent a letter to every single Bethenny-related email that I could find on her website in hopes that one would fall into her lap.  Bethenny, if you are reading I hope you see just how awesome I am and just how hard I will work for your team.


This is my letter/job application to Bethenny Frankel…



Dear Team Bethenny,

My name is Tahnya Kristina and I really want to work with Bethenny. I want to be your expert on a topic that is usually considered taboo…money.  I feel my personal experiences with money, my great personality (If I do say so myself) and my education as a Financial Planner are a perfect fit for Team Bethenny.

I am a huge fan of Bethenny’s new show, but the one thing missing from Bethenny TV is the topic of money.  I love talking about making money, saving money and spending money, but not many people do – so let’s change that.  Call all your girls and let’s get talking about everything related to money.

Why I’m your girl

I am the perfect candidate to write about money for and answer viewer questions because I had my share of dirty little money secrets from almost being bankrupt to hiding money from my boyfriend.  I had my share of personal financial struggles and I know that Bethenny has too, but no one talks about it because we are ashamed – but we don’t need to be.

I want to talk about money because no matter how much or how little we have, money is always in our lives and affects everything else that we do from dating to starting our own business. I want to help women afford the lifestyle they want to have and it has nothing to do with how much money they make – it all has to do with a little thing called financial planning.

I will do whatever it takes to work on Team Bethenny – from stopping people on the street and asking them how much money they have in their wallet to following people into Starbucks to see if they pay for their coffee with cash or credit and why.  I will work in New York or California…where ever Bethenny sends me I will go.

My money story

In my early 20s I found myself tens of thousands of dollars in debt ($50,000 to be exact) and as much as I would like to blame it on my family and friends or even my job, it was no body’s fault but my own.  I finally hit rock bottom and had to start making changes in my life – so that’s exactly what I did. I sold my car, moved to a cheaper apartment and got a second…then third job.

Now I consider all my purchases, I still use my credit card (but a lot less) and I always look for creative ways to save a buck.  I live without “stuff” and at 30 years old I actually started living my life because I didn’t have the stress of the debt burden. Let me tell you that I (and my relationship) have never been happier.

So why is my story so different?  Why should I be the money expert for team Bethenny? I accumulated thousands of dollars of debt and I did it while working as a Certified Financial Planner.  Yep that’s right, every day I help people set a budget, manage their money, pay off their debt and save for retirement– and I did it while my personal finances were falling into a black money hole.

I couldn’t take my own advice, but I came to learn that spending money is just like any other addiction…you have to hit rock bottom and realize you have a problem before you can start to make changes.  So let’s make changes ladies.

Ok so let’s do this

I really want to join the Bethenny team and I feel my story, money advice and savings tips will help women everywhere live a happy money life.  I have been writing professionally since 2003 and blogging since 2009.  My work has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, H&R Block, BlogHer and Business Insider.

No topic is off limits with Bethenny so let’s start talking about money and let’s make it fun.

I hope to hear from you soon. Please contact me anytime.

If you were Bethenny would you hire me?  Please say yes and tell her on Twitter @Bethenny

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I’d rather go to Starbucks

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Good morning Dinks.  Today we are talking about something that I really don’t like…wasting money. If I pay for food that’s not good or go and see a movie that I don’t like I get really upset about it and it bothers me for at least a day or so.  I don’t mind spending money on good food and quality clothes but I really really hate wasting money.

Don’t waste money, just do what you love

Think about the last time that your friend asked you to do something that you really didn’t want to do, now think about what you would rather be doing.   9 times out of 10 when my friends ask me to spend $15 on a movie that I really don’t want to see or $25 on dinner at a restaurant that I really don’t want to go to I always think to myself, oh I don’t want to spend money on that, I’d rather go to Starbucks.

Yesterday I had lunch with one of my colleagues at a new cafe-style restaurant that opened up near our office building where we paid $10 for half a sandwich and a bowl of soup, $13 including a drink.  The soup was warm and the sandwich was not filling.  After we left the cafe I looked at my co-worker and said “We should have just gone to Starbucks because we could have bought a coffee and a scone for half price.”

Trying something new could be costly

Starbucks never disappoints.  In all my years of drinking Caramel Frappuccinos and Spiced Pumpkin Lattes I have never thrown out my drinks or food from Starbucks.  I have been in Starbucks cafes all over North America and not once have I ever regretted my purchase.  Why is that? It’s absolutely because Starbucks is always a good decision.

Related: How to Deal with a Bad Day

I’d rather go to Starbucks is a little game that my friends and I play when we really don’t want to go somewhere but don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  When you say “I’d rather go to Starbucks” it means that you would rather spend that money on something else, something better than the offer. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you absolutely want to go get a latte at Starbucks; it just means that you would rather be doing something else.

What would you rather do with your money?

The next time your friends, co-workers and family ask you to do something that you really don’t want to do and spend money on  something when you would rather spend the money on something else, just tell them…”No thanks, I’d rather go to Starbucks.”

I would rather go to Starbucks than…

1. Seeing the Steve Jobs movie again. I would definitely rather go to Starbucks.

2. Eat Indian food.  I really hate curry and anything spicy.

3. Discount shop at outlets.  I love a good deal but shopping in crowded stores drives me crazy.

Love Always,

Photo by Loris

Originally published on DinksFinance

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Friday Faves: The best reason EVER to call in sick

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Good morning Loves.  I read an article this morning on MSN about the best (or worst) reasons to call in sick and it was just too funny so I have to share it with you.  We have all been there in the morning when our alarm clock rings and we just don’t have the energy to get out of bed, hop in the shower and be on our way to work.  So what do you do? Well, you call in sick of course.

Did you know that 36% of people who call in sick to work are NOT actually sick?

I have personally never done that, but so I’ve heard.  I am actually not at work today as I write this – but I did not call in sick, I took a few vacation days to go home to London.  As you read this I am on VIA Train 53 on my way from Quebec to Ontario.  HELLO extra long weekend!

If you call in sick to work but you are not really sick please let me give you a little bit of advice – just stay home and stay off the Internet.  Don’t go out for lunch with your friends and don’t post your status or pictures on Facebook and Twitter.  Remember that social media sites are public domains and if your employer has doubts about your sickness they may try to look you up.  It will be really bad news if you call in sick and then your boss sees a picture of you and your friends at the zoo on Facebook.

Here are the six best, or worst excuses to call in sick, I guess it depends on how to look at it.

6. My dead grandmother’s coffin is being dug up for a police investigation.

5. My toe is stuck in the faucet and I can’t move.

4. I am ovulating and I want to get pregnant today.

3. My dog is having a nervous breakdown and I have to stay with her.

2. I’m still drunk from last night.

The #1 reasons to call in sick- I am in a bad mood and I will punch someone if I come in.

What is your best excuse to call in sick?

Have a great weekend.

Love Always,

Photo by BaileyRae

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Friday Faves: How to deal with a bad day

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Happy Friday Loves.  At 9 am I already spilt my coffee, I forget to put on deodorant and I was half an hour late for work. Today was just one of those days for me – one of those days when I should have just stayed in bed.  Nothing dramatic happened to me to today, it just seemed that nothing in my normal routine went as planned and I really hate that…especially on Fridays when I am usually at my happiest.

How do you make it through a bad day at the office?

1. Pretend you are on a reality TV show.  If your co-worker is bothering you, just pretend that you are going to vote them out next.

2. Take a little break.  Sometimes we get so into our zone that we can’t think anymore.  So get up, leave your desk, walk around and grab a bite to eat or a drink. It gives you a change of environment for 15 minutes and you can come back to your desk refreshed and ready to work.  Remember that cold drinks keep you awake while hot beverages make you all warm and cozy.

3. Find something you like to do and do it all day.  The day will go by a lot faster if you are doing something you love. So put off those tasks that you dislike and start doing something you love – even if it’s on your to do list for Monday…it’s ok to get a head start.

4. Picture yourself as the boss.  A little daydreaming never hurt nobody.  So picture yourself in that corner office.  Thinking about a promotion or a raise always gives me motivation to keep working on those days when I just want to be in bed.  PS – I always want to be in bed because I love napping.

5. Plan your next vacation.  Having something to look forward to, especially a vacation, always makes me smile and feel better.  Next weekend I am going to Vermont for the day (it’s only an hour from Montreal), at the end of the month I will be in Toronto and in October I am going to NYC for my birthday week…all vacations to look forward to.

Love Always,

Photo by beaufoto

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It’s time to help the economy: I’m hiring

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Good morning Loves.  It’s getting pretty busy over here at My Diary Entry as I get ready to launch my next venture so I’ve decided to hire some help.  Who better to help My Diary Entry grow then the readers who love this blog just as much as I do.

Do you love to read? Do you love to write? Are you super organized?

Then I want you.  If you are looking for part time administrative work that you can do from home or if you know someone who is then please leave a comment below with your email address.

If you’ve got the skills and experience required

- Must have a passion for writing and experience with WordPress

- Excellent English written communication skills

- Able to pitch ideas and write within deadlines

- Marketing and branding knowledge

- Organization skills and able to work independently

- An interest in healthy living, personal finance and becoming a better you is a must

- Education in communications, marketing, journalism or business (students are welcome!)

- Experience working with websites and coding is a major advantage

- Experience blogging is a plus

What you’ll be doing if you’re hired

- Engaging readers on social media including Facebook and Pinterest

- Maintaining a presence on blogger networks

- Interacting with bloggers through comments on various sites

- Snapping photos and posting them online

- Maintaining websites including posts, sidebars and other esthetics

- Writing posts on various websites

The advantages of working with My Diary Entry

- You will gain real world work experience

- You will make valuable industry connections and build a network

- I will be an employment reference on your resume

- You can work at your own pace and on your own time

- Flexibility and no fixed schedule

The next step in the hiring process

If this sounds like you then Contact Me asap because I would love to hear from you.  Only those selected for the next round will be contacted.

Thank you for your interest in My Diary Entry and good luck to everyone.

Love Always,

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Blog Better with our Book Giveaway For Dummies

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Good Morning Loves. Today we are giving away 2 amazing books for dummies.  No I am not calling you dumb, I just want to give you two For Dummies books that will help you invest your money better and grow your business or your blog through social media marketing.

Last week I wrote a diary entry about the profession of blogging and how it has become a widely accepted profession over the past few years.  Since that day my inbox has been flooded with questions from fellow bloggers who want to know how to grow their business online and make their blog better.

It’s so easy a dummie could do it

Do you remember that I went to Las Vegas in January? Well I did.  I went to Las Vegas to attend the New Media Expo and while I was there learning all about how media can help grow My Diary Entry I met two great ladies from a company called Wiley.

Wiley is a publishing house, they are the creative genius’ behind the For Dummies brand of books. Wiley believes in the profession of blogging and they have published several books by authors who started out as bloggers.

Grow your blog without spending any money

Many bloggers want to grow their blogs to be the best that they can be and that means reaching new audiences.  But how can you do that? The answer is simple, with social media.  Social Media Marketing is a cost efficient way for blogs and online businesses to reach a wider variety of clients at no extra cost.

Start up businesses and blogs most likely don’t have big budget for advertising so they choose to take to the web.  Online marketing through social media is a great way to spread the word about your business, it doesn’t cost anything and it can actually be a lot of fun.

Time to enter the For Dummies giveaway

My Diary Entry and Wiley publishing are teaming up to give you two great books that will help you earn more money through social media marketing and better invest your money.

With Investing in Your 20s & 30s For Dummies you will learn to:

- Determine your investment timeline and goals

- Make sense of investment lingo

- Invest according to your unique investment style and financial situation

- Build a retirement portfolio

With Social Media Marketing For Dummies you will learn about:

- The Social Media Mix

- Cybersocial Tools

- Measuring Results

- Building on Success

- Blogs, Podcasts and Vlogs

- Social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest

This giveaway is open to all U.S. and Canadian residents.

Good Luck to everyone who enters.

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Yes, blogging IS a profession

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This week I am celebrating my blogging anniversary. I can hardly believe that it’s been four years since I started blogging; to say that I have learned a lot about writing, blogging, being in business for myself and building a network would be an understatement.

I have enjoyed every moment (well most of the moments) during this great experience we call blogging.  I originally started blogging as a way to supplement my income after the market crashed and since then my blogging career has turned into so much more than just writing. Who knew that replying to an ad on Craigslist could open so many doors of opportunity?

Blogging is contagious

Unlike many other bloggers who get into the business by starting their own website, I started writing for other company websites before I started my own blog.  I actually didn’t start My Diary Entry until two years after I originally started blogging. Most of my blogging experience (and my writing experience in general) was in personal finance but as I went through life’s struggles I needed to find a creative (and healthy) outlet for all of my emotions.

Since I have always loved writing and I express myself well in words, blogging seemed like the natural choice to let out my anger, sadness, happiness and excitement.  And there you have it…that’s how My Diary Entry was born. I can honestly say that I don’t know how I would have expressed my emotions without writing, I don’t want to be cheesy and say that blogging saved my life…but it has definitely made me a better (and calmer) person.

My passion for writing and my blogging career has inspired me to be a better writer, a better person and a more profitable business owner. Yes, in case you didn’t get the memo, blogging is a business.  Five years ago if I told my family that I was a blogger I probably would have spent hours trying to explain the ins and outs of it all, but nowadays blogging is a wider accepted profession.

Personal Confession: I should say that blogging as a profession is accepted among the younger generations.  I tell my grandmother that I am a writer because the conversation is just a lot easier that way. After all, bloggers are writers.

The benefits of blogging

One of the great things about blogging is the sense of community that comes along with having an online presence; I have made some amazing friends through blogging and social media.  Some of them I have never even met (yes I know how crazy that sounds) but I consider them to be some of my close friends.  We chat everyday and we help each other out during tough times.

One of the other great things about blogging is that the possibilities are endless.  I feel that blogging is the business equivalent of golf; we are always competing against ourselves to be better.

So all in all I can say that I have greatly enjoyed the last four years and I look forward to seeing what the future of blogging holds for me.

Love always,

Photo by (my homeboy)

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TD Bank crosses banking borders

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(This interview is featured in this month’s Money Magazine, get your copy now on newstands and in Chapters Bookstores)

As the value of the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar continue to fluctuate on a daily basis and with the ever growing trend of online shopping there are more and more Canadians who spend money in U.S. currency.  If you have ever needed to exchange Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars you know that it can be a game of timing. If you exchange your money too early you may be hoping for a better rate down the road and if you wait too long to exchange your money you may be forced to purchase U.S. dollars at an unfavourable rate.  Trying to exchange Canadian dollars into foreign currency can not only be a hassle, but it can also be very costly in the form of transaction fees – until now.

TD Bank Group has recently introduced some very innovative cross border banking services that allow Canadians to exchange and transfer their money to the United States at preferable rates and without fees. Greg W. Quinn is the Vice President of the Cross-Border Customer Experience at TD Bank Group.  He says that Canadians will now have the same comfortable banking experience regardless of which side of the border they are visiting.  Canadians can expect the same great customer experience from TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, as they have come accustom to from its Canadian counterpart TD Canada Trust.

TD Bank’s Cross Border Services

TD’s cross-border banking program has several products and services that can help Canadians manage their finances on both sides of the border.  The current cross border services include:

· Easy access to your money in the U.S. through over 1,875 TD Bank ATMs and over 1,300 TD Bank stores (branches)

· Simple and easy ways to transfer money between TD Canada Trust accounts and TD Bank U.S. accounts

· The ability to open U.S.-based accounts at TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank while in Canada

· Hassle free access to U.S. dollar personal credit products such as mortgages and credit cards

· Simplified access to both your TD Bank and TD Canada Trust accounts online through one sign on access

Different Country. Same Great Experience.

Quinn says the need to create cross border banking solutions was important to TD Bank Group because the number of Canadians who conduct U.S. dollar business has doubled in the past 5 years.  With TD Canada Trust’s new cross border services Canadians can get support 24/7 from anywhere within North America.   Canadians can move money across the border either in-branch or by the phone.

I am one of those Canadians who requires U.S. banking for business needs.  I often receive payments from U.S. employers and I often have to pay bills in U.S. dollars; the cost of exchanging my Canadian dollars into U.S. currency was becoming an expensive) and unnecessary) expense of doing business across borders. After researching several different banks in the United Stated I finally decided to open an account with TD Bank for the convenience of transferring money to and from Canada.  Admittedly the transition from the Canadian banking system to the U.S. banking system was a learning experience, but the friendly staff at TD Bank and TD Canada Trust have always been very helpful in answering any questions and suggesting products for my individual needs.

If you would like to obtain more information on TD’s cross border banking services please visit your local branch, visit their website or call TD’s Cross-Border Banking line 24/7/365 at 1-877-100-2913.

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Today I start my Dream Job

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Dear Diary,

Today is the first day at my new job and I have to say that I am both a little bit nervous and a little bit excited. I am nervous because starting over can be terrifying.  A new job means new people, a new office and a new professional experience.  I am a little bit excited because this is my dream job, after over a decade of working in personal finance I am making the career move to communications.

So how did I get my dream job?

I parlayed my personal finance experience and my blogging expertise into my dream job working in corporate communications. Starting today I will be writing financial communications 8 hours a day 5 days a week.  You may remember that for quite some time now I have been enhancing my education, gaining writing experience through freelance work and making valuable connections by attending social media and blogging conferences.  Today I am excited to tell you that all of my hard work has paid off because today I start my dream job.

My blog helped me of course!

When the market crashed a few years ago I needed to find a way to supplement my income and I didn’t have time to learn a new skill or trade because rent was due on the first.  I decided to combine my love of writing with my experience in personal finance and in 2009 I started freelance financial writing.  I started to book freelance jobs writing material for finance and insurance companies who were looking to outsource their work due to budget cutbacks.

I used my personal blog to showcase my portfolio of work as well as let out my personal emotions from time to time. I currently write for several different personal finance blogs and corporate financial websites so I use my personal blog as a place to display all of my accomplishments; it’s a better then sending potential employers to several different websites to view my work.  My most recent personal accomplishments are the release of my first book and being featured on our local news in a feature about how to help people stay out of debt.

The magic dream job formula…

I absolutely love writing and I decided that I wanted to write as a full time job but since I don’t actually have any corporate writing experience I didn’t know where to begin.  I visited a resume building website and I asked my friends and my mother (who works in HR) to give me some resume marketing tips for someone who is thinking about switching careers in their early 30s.  The response (and helpfulness) from everyone was overwhelming, I guess it’s because everyone loves a good success story (aka my new book A Better You).  Soon enough I had a brand new resume outlining my experience in personal finance and highlighting my writing skills as a blogger.

There you have it…

ambition + an action plan + a great support system = getting your dream job – that’s priceless.

Love Always.

Photo by muffet

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A Second Chance at Financial Freedom

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Good morning everyone. Today’s post is the next topic in my “A Second Chance” series.  This series is all about improving certain aspects of your life and righting any wrongs; A Second Chance is a do-over for some aspect in your life that you want to correct or change.  Personal Finance is also one of the topics discussed in my upcoming book “A Better You” which is expected to be finished later this year. We don’t have to be the best, but we can be better. So keep reading and find out how to find financial freedom.

Almost everyone has experienced financial difficulties at some point in their life.  Whether you are a struggling student who lives on a budget, a single parent who is trying to do the best for your kids, or you are a young professional who is struggling to pay off your debts; the truth is that almost everyone can improve some aspect of their financial lives. Maybe you want to save more money each month, maybe you want to pay off your debts as quick as possible, or maybe you want to increase your monthly income.  Improving your financial situation doesn’t take much, but it does take dedication.

4 Easy Steps for Financial Freedom

1. Recognize the problem.  As with any personal problem the first step towards improving your financial situation is to recognize that there is a problem. If you are having difficulties making your monthly debt payments you have to realize that you can no longer afford your current lifestyle and pay off your debts at the same time. Making cuts in your monthly spending, allocating a larger percentage of your income towards debt repayment, or finding ways to increase your monthly income will all help you pay down your debts sooner and achieve financial freedom.

2. Find out how you got there.  Maybe you are in debt because you live beyond your means on a monthly basis, maybe you are in debt because you are a compulsive spender, or maybe you are in debt because you loaned a family member (or friend) money and they have yet to pay it back. Before you can achieve financial freedom you have to make the conscious decision to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them in the future.

3. Make an action plan. If your financial goal is to save more money each month you will have to make an action plan to achieve your financial goal which includes setting a target date, making a personal budget to determine how much money you can afford to save each month, as well as possibly determining where you can make cuts in your monthly spending so that you can save more money each month. Having an action plan with a defined goal and the necessary steps to take towards achieving the goal will make our dream a reality and our goal attainable.

4. Check in on your action plan regularly. There is really no point in making an action plan if you don’t check in on your plan regularly to make sure that you are staying on track towards achieving your goal. It is a good idea to break down your ultimate goal into smaller goals because as you achieve your short term goals you will be motivated to continue working towards your ultimate goal. It’s also a good idea to check in on your action plan on a biweekly or monthly basis to make sure that you are still on the right track towards changing your financial habits and achieving financial freedom.

What is your secret for financial freedom? Tell me on Twitter @TKBlogs.

Love Always,

This post was originally published on Credit Karma

Photo by borman

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