Cocktail Hour Gone Rogue: Three Ways to Beat a High-priced Cocktail Bill

Here is a copy of my new Huffington Post article found at

I’m not going to “lime” to you. Drinks out on the town are downright expensive. Margaritas, tequila shots, Cosmopolitans, Moscow Mules are among the worst budget busters. They look so good on the menu, and they taste even better. Even a bad margarita is still a good margarita. What gives with the high price of cocktails these days? Blame it on the lime!

That tiny little fruit is causing quite a stir in the cocktail hour price all over America. Think about it. Lime or lime juice is in virtually every mixed drink. Did you know that Mexico’s drug cartels are primarily to blame for driving the price up on your favorite citrus infused drinks this year? Cartels, knowing the importance of limes in the U.S., have been causing all sorts of havoc on the exporting of limes. The price of limes stands at approximately $100 per 40-pound box, up from $25 a box. Talk about some serious inflation… and it’s just a little lime.

Obviously, we can’t do much about the drug cartels, but we can go rogue with our cocktail hour strategy. Here are three strategies so you can have your lime and drink it too. Continue reading

Survey Says…Groupon Can Make Your Budget Sing!

I’ll admit it. I am a savings junkie. My job is to scour and search for good deals. It seems like there are a million sites that claim to help you save money on lifestyle stuff- vacations, food, activities, etc. Every credit card is trying to entice you with points. (Yes, I love points.) Don’t get me wrong, all of these discounts and free items are music to your already taxed budget, but beware not all sites that “claim” to save you money actually do.

Pause. Survey says Groupon is still a clear winner!

Living in Long Beach there are a ton of cool places to eat out and see, but without an unlimited budget you can go broke…quickly. I took a smattering of things that I would like to try and do and compared them with and without Groupon to see where I would end up. Even I was pleasantly surprised

Continue reading

P-to the-D-to the-O: Three Important Factors To Know Before You Choose Your Health Plan

I can’t think of a bigger hot button topic right now than the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). As if we needed something else in this country to divide people’s opinions even more. Yes, I’m one of those people who don’t like to talk about politics because no one can play nice anymore. Somehow we’ve all lost the art of being polite and would much rather cram our opinion down the throats of others. I digress.

There is little grey area with the ACA, as it seems like people either love or hate this new health plan. Let’s take away the politics right now and look at what I feel are the three most important pieces of each health plan that you should understand with no exceptions.

I call this the P-to the-D-to the-O: premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket max. Continue reading

How To Answer The “What Do You Do For a Living” Question in 3 Easy Steps

“It’s nice to meet you… what do you do for a living?” That is my least favorite question of them all. Entrepreneurs, can I get an Amen? How in the world do I describe myself? I am part Certified Financial Planner professional, part branding and marketing expert, part product creator, part expert at connecting people together, part writer, and part speaker… not to mention I can make a mean risotto. I finally figured out though that I must not be the only one out there that feels this way, or that hates that dreaded question.

I built my first business when I was wet behind the ears at the age of 19 in college. If only I could re-create that fearlessness everyday! If anything, the many years of networking where the “what do you do for a living” question has been asked taught me a few handy lessons in just how you answer that question. Perhaps, fellow entrepreneur, you can find some value in my chaos. Continue reading

Finding Your “Sweet Spot”

-written by Shannah L. Compton, CFP, MBA

Take a former Miss USA (Susie Castillo), an amazing interior designer (Yvonne Randolph), a make up artist to the stars (Kristina Duff),  one kick-butt financial planner (ME!), a top-notch producer (Jessica Petelle), and a Director destined for greatness (she’s already great) (Zoe Robyn) all working on a top secret TV projectwell, quite simply that’s one amazing pack of women joined together to create some serious change!

…you’ll have to wait to find out what we are up to, but I promise it will be worth the wait! Continue reading

Cupcakes and Real Estate

by Shannah L. Compton

Real Estate. Owning it is the “American Dream”, but is it really? Not all real estate is the same. I urge you to think outside the box on this one and stretch your mind. What if, there were other, better ways, to get in the real estate game?

To make the analogy, let’s look at cupcakes (YUM)!

There not all the same, and shame on you if you think they are. The cupcake craze has forever changed our cupcake taste buds, and how much we are willing to spend for this little yummy treat. Some like butter cream frosting and some like cream cheese frosting (my personal fav). Some are classic white cake, chocolate frosting people, and some are more adventuresome.

And just like gourmet coffee, many people are content spending $4+ on a cupcake. Which is fine, as long as you have examined all the cupcake options. But I want you to think twice about the special cupcake that has a reduced price (50% less) sitting all by itself. Maybe it’s a better buy and might taste better than the rest. Suddenly you’ve gained 50% profit in your cupcake experience.

Have you ever thought about why all these cupcake shops are popping up? Let me make this simple. Say the cupcake costs $.50 to make, and they are selling for $4.00. That’s a huge profit margin!

My point is that real estate is a lot like the cupcake market. Follow me on this… Continue reading

The True Value of Money

by Shannah Compton

It’s 2013. We all make resolutions and goal lists and do our best to “better” ourselves in a new year. But how often do we just sit and say thank you for exactly where we are right now?

I found this comic with the wise Dalai Lama about the true value of money and had to share it. Moral of the story: live with what you have now. Don’t spend time fretting over your  past, and don’t worry about the future. Your health and your pocket book will thank you!

courtesy of

Bay On A Budget

written by Shannah L. Compton

Have I mentioned that I LOVE to travel?! My favorite time of any trip is that first morning, when you explore a city, learn the streets, and you let the “feel” of the city sink into your veins. It’s infectious. 

I love to travel. I love to eat good food. I love to explore. What a treat it was to dive further into my neighbor up north for a weekend.

San Francisco is a city with disastrously good food options to satisfy every taste bud. My challenge: a full day of non-stop eating for under $50.  Continue reading

Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Worried Wednesday…It’s Time For A Challenge

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a good sale. In fact, I always go straight to the sale section in any store first. Maybe that’s the financial planner in me. But today, I had over 50 emails in my inbox for Super Cyber Sales. Has it all gotten too out of hand?

So we have Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday (does anyone actually do this), and then after all this spending, it turns to Worried Wednesday!

Here’s a thought- what if just everyone in my Facebook network, 507 contacts, all donated $10 this week to a good cause? What if everyone donated $10 this week to a good cause? Could we really change the world, one $10 bill at a time? I’m up for the challenge, are you?

That’s one way to change Worried Wednesday, into Wildy Awesome Wednesday!