Our Future Entrepreneurs


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By CNN Money

Lizzie Marie Likness
Company: Lizzie Marie Cuisine
Age: 11

An aspiring chef since age 2, Lizzie Marie Likness is well on her way to becoming the next generation’s Rachael Ray.

At age 6, Lizzie Marie Likness yearned to take horseback riding lessons. She wanted them so badly that she offered to help foot part of the bill.

When her parents asked where she would get the money, she replied,”I’ll sell healthy homemade baked goods at the local farmer’s market.” From that moment on, Lizzie became the founder of Lizzie Marie Cuisine.

”Lizzie Marie Cuisine is unique because I teach kids how to have fun cooking healthy meals and how to live healthy,” said Likness. “My company teaches people that it’s not all about eating healthy, it’s also about living healthy.”

A few short years later, word about her original recipes and ability to empower young people had spread beyond her local community. She soon began receiving invitations to demonstrate her cooking prowess alongside celebrity chefs at major live events, such as Taste of Atlanta.

She also was asked to become a spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s ”Go Red For Women,” campaign, and the Atlanta Falcons’s ”First Down For Fitness Program.” She also has appeared as a guest on the ”Rachael Ray Show.”

Today, Likness is the star of the WebMD Fit Channel’s series, ”Healthy Cooking with Lizzie.” She also just signed a branded entertainment and TV development deal with N.Y.-based production company, DBG, and global digital marketing agency, Digitas.

The mini-preneur, who hails from Georgia, expects to launch a series of healthy cooking cookbooks, packaged food products, and new digital media shows in the near future.

Her best advice: ”The greatest reward is doing what you love for the good of others.”

The Gina Koerner Team   www.StLouisHomesByGina.com   636-229-8746   “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”

July Special Expenses: Don’t Blow Your Budget


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By Dave Ramsey

Making a rock-solid budget is key to getting out of debt and saving money. But just like Independence Day—which comes at the same time each year—there are always expenses that pop up regularly to blow your budget like a big fireworks finale.

This year, be ready. Go ahead and work special expenses into your July budget now and don’t get stuck picking up the pieces in August.

Cookouts: The mother of all cookouts is your Fourth of July party. After all, it’s the day the country was built around! So if you’re planning on putting some boom in the sky, put some money in your budget.

Pest Control: In case you haven’t noticed, the bugs are out—from giant mosquitos to ants by the dozen. Now is the time to schedule your next visit from the exterminator. And heads up, he usually doesn’t work for free.

Vacation Extras: You’ve planned your vacation, but maybe you forgot about all those little extras like parking, tipping and rent-by-the-hour beach chairs. Factor in the fees now so they don’t take away from the fun stuff later.

Wedding Gifts: Before you RSVP to that next wedding celebration, make room in your budget for a special guest named George Foreman and his great line of kitchen appliances. Showing up without a gift is typically frowned upon.

Camps and Mission Trips: It’s great that your kids are getting away to serve and grow, but it’s not free. From bug spray to shower shoes, there’s plenty more to buy. And don’t forget their pocket money!

Pet Boarding: Hiring a pet sitter or boarding your animal isn’t a cheap endeavor. Make sure your four-legged family member has a safe and trustworthy caretaker while you’re away.

Houseguests: It’s fun to be with your family during the summer—until they eat you out of house and home. If your in-laws or cousins are planning a visit, be sure to beef up the grocery and entertainment budgets now.

Sweet Splurges: It’s way too easy to drop $20 at the gourmet yogurt or ice cream shop. Multiply that by two outings per week, and bye-bye food budget (and waistline)! Treats are fine, but not every night.

The point is this: Spending just a few minutes looking ahead to the next month can save you money and peace of mind. So take a moment to decide what else needs adding to your July budget. Then stick to it!

It’s time well spent, and the results might just, well, blow you away.

The Gina Koerner Team   www.StLouisHomesByGina.com   636-229-8746   “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”

How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City: 8 Fun, Affordable Ideas


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Low budgets and a lack of time can put a dent in the fun of summer traveling, without doubt. But just because you can’t go far doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Lovingly called a “staycation” by some, we call it being a tourist in your own city. Here are eight ways how to do it.

1. Head to any hotel or motel lobby or welcoming center
Find one of those brochure kiosks in a local hotel or motel lobby, and take home a few for local attractions or activities that grab your attention, especially the ones that seem like something you wouldn’t normally pay attention to. Ask someone behind a desk for what they recommend to tourists who have one day to spend in your city or town. And then be sure and call and ask if there’s a discount for locals or residents (you’d be surprised to learn how many places offer discounts like that!).

2. Get a friend to show you around like you’re a tourist
Call up a friend you know who usually loves showing visitors around town and ask them to take you to some of their favorites places that make the city you live in special! They may take you to a place you would have never thought about visiting.

3. Move through it differently than you usually do
Consider taking a tour on a bus (in Austin we have these things called duck tours, and I couldn’t recommend more) or some other form of transportation. You’ll see your city with fresh eyes when learning about interesting points and fun historical facts. Bonus points if you can find — and take — a Segway tour.

4. Take cheesy photos of yourself in front of tourist spots
That well-known statue in your town square. A view from the park downtown. The famous graffiti. Your city’s welcoming sign. Even if you’ve already seen a lot of your city’s tourist spots, embrace the cheesiness of visiting them again by taking photos of yourself in front of them.

5. Grab a meal at the most touristy restaurant in your town
Get the dish they swear they’re the best at making and that your city’s known for. Revel in its tasty (or greasy) glory. But also take a look around when you get there. I’ve found a lot of the touristy spots actually have cool history to them, with old photos decorating the walls and stories about your town waiting to be discovered.

6. Do something outdoors that only your city can offer
Is your neck of the woods known for fly fishing? Do it. Your city the home to the world’s largest urban bat colony? See it. Tons of farms open their “doors” during particularly lovely parts of the seasons? Take advantage! Is there a public fountain or water feature that you can take the kids to? Have fun! Chances are there’s something outdoorsy your city does well and promotes to tourists; discover it.

7. Cheer on a local sports team
You can go to a game, or even find a popular sports bar to watch a game on a TV, surrounded by passionate locals and tourists alike. It’ll give you a good feeling of the spirit of your city.

8. Embrace a bit of history
Depending on the size of your city, there might be a museum that illustrates an exciting part of your hometown’s history that might be worth checking out. Think about stopping and reading any roadside markers with interesting historical facts. And check to see if your city has any historical collections at local libraries — sometimes you can find a whole collection of cool photos showing what your city looked like years ago.

Looking for ideas for kiddos in tow? This post is about things to do in Los Angeles, but might give you some ideas of places to check out with your kids in your city. More inspiration for being a tourist can be found here, too.

The Gina Koerner Team   www.StLouisHomesByGina.com   636-229-8746   “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”

Budget Decorator: 15 No-Cost Ways to Invigorate Your Space


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By Laura Gaskill
Got the itch to make some changes around the house? Before you head out shopping or hit the online stores, why not first see what can be done with what you have? Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration to see your space with fresh eyes. Let these 15 ideas spark your imagination and motivate you to see your own space anew.

The Look for Less: Emma’s Bedroom on a Budget


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Paint can be one of the most budget-friendly and impactful decorating decisions. The ceiling in Emma’s bedroom imbues the entire room with cool, confident color, keeps the mostly white palette from being too staid, and sets the tone for the rest of the room’s decor. To re-create this room on budget, check out the following finds.

  • Shallow Sea paint by Behr, approx. $25-27/gallon
  • OFELIA VASS white duvet cover and pillows Full/Queen, Ikea, $49.99.
  • Scour Ebay for a blue ghost chair. If you’re doing a children’s room and a smaller chair is an option, consider this Kids Ghost Chair, via Houzz, $110.
  • Union Jack Throw Pillow, Zazzle, $33.95.
  • Room Essentials 5-Head Floor Lamp in Pink, Target, $19.99.
  • Consider spray-painting a thrifted brass chandelier white with these instructions from HGTV.
  • MICKE white desk, Ikea, $89.99.
  • An Ikea RENS Sheepskin or two thrown over an armchair is a great budget-conscious option for the fur armchair.
  • Adele Waste Basket, Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99.

The Gina Koerner Team   www.StLouisHomesByGina.com   636-229-8746   “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”

20 Things the Rich Do Every Day


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By Tom Corley

1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.

12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.

The Gina Koerner Team   www.StLouisHomesByGina.com   636-229-8746   “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”



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By Jaymi Naciri

Memorial Day weekend is just about here, and that means packed cars, family picnics, and all-day get-togethers, all wrapped up in the remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

It also means great sales – which will come in especially handy if you happen to be the one hosting the weekend festivities. So we’ve gathered together some of the best home items on sale this week in this Memorial Day Edition of Steals & Deals.

Here is the best of the week for home…

Yosemite Home Decor 18-Gauge Double-Basin Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

You may not have time to redo your kitchen before this weekend, but if it’s in your future plans, check out the Yosemite Home Decor 18-Gauge Double-Basin Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink, part of Lowes’ Memorial Day Sale. Regularly $268.20, it’s 45 percent off this week, priced at $146.67.

We’ve been checking out this ThresholdTM Lowry 2-Piece Upholstered Patio Club Chair Set since it was priced at $403.20. Now offered on clearance at Target for 30 percent off at $282.24, we just can’t wait any longer.

Target also has select toys on sale this week at buy one, get one 50 percent off. Frankly, we think this sale is perfectly timed for kids who are going to be out of school on Monday.

If you need an outdoor dining set, Home Depot may have your solution. Certain patio items are offered for up to 40 percent off during their Memorial Day sale.

This Hampton Bay Cedarvale 7-Piece Patio Dining Set with Nutmeg Cushions was $899 and is now priced at $539.40 – 40 percent off – this week. It just may be the perfect set for your Sunday brunch, for this weekend or any this summer.

Maybe you’re planning an outdoor get-together of the more romantic variety. If you decide you need to add some easy ambiance to your outdoor space, these Solar LED Fairy Lights, just $28, down 72 percent from $99 on crowdsavings, can do the trick.

The Gina Koerner Team   www.StLouisHomesByGina.com   636-229-8746   “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”


Save Money on Summer Entertainment & Activities


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By: Take Charge America

Many consumers spend more money during the summer because we’re surrounded by more temptations. Too hot? Head to the cool mall. Kids bored? Head to a theme park. Summer blockbuster? Have to get to the big screen. You get the gist…

To help you save more money, we’ve compiled some cost-conscious tips and affordable alternatives to popular summer activities:

  • Don’t Eat Out, Eat Outside – “Eating out” doesn’t have to mean eating in a restaurant. On a warm summer night, hit up the grocery store and purchase treats for a picnic or barbeque. You could supply a week’s worth of picnics for the cost of one date night at an upscale restaurant. Plus, picnics and outdoor dining can actually be more intimate and enjoyable.
  • Sign up for Group Deals – Group deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, which offer big discounts to local hotspots, are gaining huge followings. Sign up for daily emails and learn how you can save 50 percent or more on spa treatments, restaurants, community classes, leisure activities and more.
  • Skip the Big Screen – You don’t really need to see movies on the big screen if money is tight. For around $10 a month, you can watch all the movies you want with mail order subscription services, such as Netflix. Host a marathon movie night where you and a group of friends catch up on old movies or TV shows. Marathons last longer, and microwaved popcorn cost pennies in comparison.
  • Seek out “Staycations” – You don’t have to travel far for some R&R. Many resorts and spas offer “staycations” with big discounts for local residents. You get all the amenities without transportation costs and travel time. Search resort websites and discount travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline. If you do plan on traveling, learn how you can save more money on your summer vacation.
  • Take a Trip to the Library – Remember those days before computers, cell phones, hand-held games and iPods? Many kids swarmed public libraries during the summer. You can spend hours browsing the children’s book section. Libraries also host author readings and other events popular with kids. Check with your local library for a community calendar.
  • Enjoy the Great Outdoors – There are a ton of activities you can take advantage of outside. Try fishing, Frisbee, camping, swimming, biking, star gazing or get creative with a scavenger hunt or homemade obstacle course.

6 Ways To Save More on Groceries!


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By: Karen Cordaway

These Methods aren’t extreme, but they’ll save you a lot.

If you have promised to do a better job slashing your grocery budget, you don’t have to do anything extreme to improve on your supermarket saving skills. Try implementing these simple tips to keep money in your wallet.
1. The early bird catches the sales. Maybe you looked through the store circular, planned your meals, wrote a grocery list and even cut a few coupons to plot out your future savings. There’s nothing worse than taking time to do that only to have other shoppers beat you to the store and buy up all the stock. To beat serious shoppers at their own game, get there early so you can get the deals. It’s also easier to shop when it’s less crowded and it permits you to get in and out faster.

2. Shop without distractions. Don’t text or talk while shopping unless the conversation has to do with grocery shopping, especially at the checkout. It’s easy for an item to ring up differently than you had expected. If you are chatting or texting away, you and the cashier may not catch the error. If you have kids that tend to derail your best-laid plans, shop when you can go alone.

3. Staring can save you money. If possible, try to put all of your groceries down on the conveyor belt before the cashier starts to ring items up.

This way you won’t have to load the items while the cashier is scanning. This frees you up to watch the price of each item flash on the register during checkout. Monitor each item as it is scanned. Limit small talk and pay attention to the screen. A prolonged gaze at the register can help you spot potential mistakes and keep you from throwing off your spending.

4. Give yourself a limit. You may have picked up a few items that aren’t a real priority for this grocery trip. Though you might have done some mental calculations and thought you had enough, you might quickly discover that you made an error and the bill is now higher than you thought. Put these items that I call the “maybes” toward the back of the conveyor belt. You can even rest them on the metal at the end of lane so they don’t move ring up accidentally. Based on the subtotal, decide at that time if they stay or go. In an effort to not go over budget, hand those items over to the cashier if you run over.

5. No zigzagging allowed. Have you ever aimlessly wandered up and down each aisle of the grocery store only to end up with a cart full of items you weren’t planning on getting? This can throw your budget into a tailspin. If you don’t need anything in a certain aisle, then skip it. Also, analyze the grocery store layout when shopping to discover the most budget-friendly areas. Marketers know how to get you to grab things that you otherwise weren’t planning to buy. If you want to place it safe, the perimeter of the store is usually safer and healthier.

6. Beware of multiple deals. Consumer expert Andrea Woroch explains, “When you see a sign promoting ’10 for $10′ or ‘five for $4.50,’ you are often tempted to load up on the bulk savings. However, these aren’t necessarily the best deals available and such offers can trick you into thinking you are getting a great deal. Get your calculator out to test the per unit cost and compare with other brands to find the cheapest price. You don’t need to buy all 10 or all five as promoted to get the savings. Supermarkets know that shoppers feel they are getting a better deal. The bigger the number, the better the value appears. But, one for $1 is still as good as 10 for $10, so limit it!”

Get Your Household Budget up and Running in 30 Minutes or Less


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By Joanna and Johnny with DailyFinance

Few activities are more hated than standing in line at the DMV — and one of those is budgeting. But how did budgeting get such a bad rap? Well, for one thing, many of us avoid it because it’s seen as a chore that will take up at least half our day, fighting tooth and nail with our inner spending demons (or our spouses). But that, friends, is a fallacy.

Or at least it should be.

It’s time to clear up some misconceptions and get to the heart of what budgeting really is — quickly. We’ll show you how to set up your first budget, or get back on the budgeting horse, in 30 minutes or less. Ladies and gentlemen, start your stopwatches:

Step 1: Understand What a Budget Is (1 minute)

Simply put, budgeting means putting a name to every dollar that goes in and out of your bank account. Usually, a household budget is broken down monthly, as spending needs fluctuate, and regular benchmarks can be tracked and compared. Get it? Got it? Good.

Step 2: Calculate Your Projected Monthly Income (5 minutes)

If you have just one consistent source of income each month, this step will take just a few seconds. If you have multiple sources of income, it might take a few minutes. And if your income varies from month to month, you’ll need to use the figures from previous years or months to estimate what your monthly income will be.

Step 3: Estimate Your Monthly Expenses (20 minutes)

You can be as detailed or general as you’d like to be in calculating your expenses: The important thing is to make sure every expense is accounted for. For instance, you could set down a rough estimate for your overall spending on utilities.

Or you might prefer to break it down by individual bills such as electricity, water, gas and phone.

You may have only a vague idea how much you spend each month on some categories, such as food. So start by taking a guess. Remember: Your first month on a budget is a trial run. If you end up spending more or less than that amount, adjust your target number for the next month. You’ll likely need to reallocate money among categories early on.

Right now you might be thinking, “But I don’t even know what I spend my money on!” That’s OK. If you need help breaking down your spending, take a look at the types of expenses from your most recent bank statements. Here are some common categories to get you started:

  • Mortgage/Rent
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Entertainment
  • Debt Payments
  • Medical
  • Insurance
  • Clothing
  • Savings
  • Pet(s)

Here are two other categories for couples:

  • Personal (We give each other $25 of “whatever” money each month to spend as we please.)
  • Miscellaneous (There’s always at least a couple of expenses that don’t quite fit in any category.)

The goal here is pretty simple: Spend less than you earn.In order to estimate your savings for the month, add all of your expenses together and subtract that number from your monthly (net) income. The number left is your projected monthly savings.

Step 4: Decide How You’re Going to Keep Track (4 minutes)
Now that you’ve given every dollar a name, figure out how you’re going to hold yourself accountable. Will you keep a spreadsheet? A notebook in your purse? Or will you use a smartphone app? Whatever you choose, it’s important to record every expense as it happens. (I hear you harrumphing in your cubicle. Yes, you with the bag of Funyuns. But recording your expenses is really quite painless if you do it as it happens. It takes a matter of seconds.) We use a phone app, which means we just enter the expense, and the app does all that math stuff for us. Can I afford those expensive chocolates for Valentine’s Day? This month, my budget and my waistline are both saying “No way, Jose.” But that’s not my name, so it’s still up in the air. Still, if I do get those chocolates, I’ll record them in our budget-tracker right afterward.

1, 2, 3, 4: Now, you’re a budgeting pro. And you can do all that and still have half your lunch break to waste as you please. Keeping a budget may take some getting used to, but you’re already on your way to smarter money management.


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