August Round Up

augustWhat’s going on everyone? This is the last Friday in August, so it’s round up time. Today I have 5 great articles that I enjoyed this month. Check them out when you get a chance.

Michelle from Making Sense of Cents explains how You Can Save Enough For Long-Term Travel.

Chonce from My Debt Epiphany gives us Crucial Steps to Take Before Taking a Leap of Faith and Quitting Your Job.

Crystal from Sophisticated Spender tells us how to Travel the World Without Getting Into Credit Card Debt.

Kim from Work Hard Travel Well shows us How to Travel Debt Free.

Erin from Young Adult Money gives us 6 Steps to Take to Become a Full-Time Freelancer.

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How to Save Money Each Month From Your Salary

SalaryToday, I have a guest post from Samantha Jones.

In today’s economic scenario, it is tough to put away money from salary for the rainy days. Nowadays, most of us live from paycheck to paycheck; striving to meet sky-high living expenses. But even then we should have a saving goal of at least 3 to 6 months of living expense since an emergency like a job loss, or health issue can happen at any point in time. Saving money is difficult, but luckily there are some ways that we can surely explore.

Setting and sticking to a strict budget

Keep track of your expenses – Save receipts for all expenditures you make in a month. Accumulate all monthly bills and sort them into two categories – fixed and flexible. Categorize them further into two sub-categories – needs and wants. Be focused on your needs as you can’t compromise with them while you should be careful about spending to meet your wants.

Create a plan – At the onset, consider your net monthly income, in most cases your salary after deductions. First, subtract fixed expenses and then calculate what 10% of your net income is. This should be your minimum financial monthly goal. Now subtract the number from what is left of the paycheck. The rest amount is what has to work on to figure out your budget.

Avoid impulsive buying – Always avoid larger purchases which don’t need an immediate decision. If you’re not careful about your spending, even a short trip to a mall or just a few mouse-clicks can blow your entire money.

Reducing monthly bills

Reduce energy consumption – Electricity is a large expense that you disburse each month. Do your wallet as well as the environment a favor – cut back on your energy consumption.

Reduce service levels – Shop around for a different carrier for your phone, Internet, and even insurance. You may find better offers from the vendors that have introduced new plans. Assess if your present coverage level is right for you and if not, simply switch to the better one. Try to negotiate with your existing provider for a better rate. If you tell them your intention to switch to their competitor, they may provide you with a better offer.

Purchase a car with better gas mileage – If you’re looking for a new car, make sure your new purchase offers high value of your money. Opt for a model known to last a longer time with low maintenance cost so you can immediately start to save money with better mileage, especially if your car is your medium of transit.

Refinance mortgage – If the credit rating has improved since purchasing a home, it would be better to refinance the mortgage. Since many homeowners find their credit rating getting improved over time, they may get a lower interest rate than what they did a couple of years back. Refinancing may result in lower monthly payment and thus less money to be spent towards interest.

Curtailing your spending

Be smart with your food – Food is a necessity while it is a problematic arena for over-spenders. Cheap food doesn’t always mean to be unhealthy; there are plenty of options to pay less sans sacrificing the quality and nutritional value.

Spend less for entertainment – Most people spend a good portion of their income on entertainment. Fortunately, these are the ones where you can have the most control over and so the easiest to cut back on.

Appraise subscription services – Cancel everything you don’t use enough to be worth the expenses. For example, in the era of high-speed Internet, you can surely eliminate your cable connection. Eliminating beauty boxes, video game subscription, magazines, etc. may seem small initially but add up to a good amount over time.

Having extra income

Sell things you no longer need or use – Go through old items and consider selling things that you no more use or need. Sell big-ticket items such as furniture instead of throwing them away while you replace them.

Start a business – Make use of your extra time to start a simple and easy side business like dog walking or babysitting.

Sublet extra space – In many localities with high living cost, it is very common to sublet second or third bedrooms in your house or apartment. This can effectively net hundreds of dollars to put towards the savings.

Saving money each month is not a big deal; all you need to be a bit tricky and frugal. This is the rule of thumb for a debt-free, financially stable life not for the time being but for your future too. Discussed above are some easy to follow ways to put money aside from your salary and so enjoy financial freedom.

Money

30 Back to School Items




30 Back toSchool ItemsIf school hasn’t started back for you yet, it will this week. Whether you’re in grade school or college, you will need some supplies for school. In this post, I share 30 back to school items that students can use.

Book Bag

Every student needs a book bag to carry their supplies in. This Under Armour book bag might be the one that you need. It is a reliable, water repellent backpack

Ink Pens

Older students need ink pens. These TUL Prestige ink pens have a medium point. They come in packs of four.
TUL Prestige Metal Liquid Ink Rollerball Pens, Medium Point, 0.7 mm, Assorted Barrels, Black Ink, Pack Of 4

Notebook Paper

Next on the list is notebook paper. Students will use a lot of notebook paper during the school year. Mead notebook paper is the standard. This pack comes with 200 sheets.
Mead Notebook Filler Paper - 200 Sheets - Printed - Spiral - 16 lb Basis Weight - Letter 8.50in. x 11in. - White Paper - 200 / Pack

Pencils

Students should make sure they have their No. 2 pencils. Here is a box of 96 that should last you the whole school year.

Binders

Students need binders for different classes.  You can never go wrong with a classic three-ring binder.

Art Supply Set

This art supply set features pencils, paint brushes, sketch pads and other items.

Calculator

Every student needs a calculator. You can’t go wrong by purchasing a Texas Instrument.

Texas Instruments 30X Simple Calculator

Crayons

Younger students will need crayons. Crayola has a 24 count box that should fill your needs.

Lunch Box

If you bring your lunch to school, you will need a lunch box. The one below is nice, simple and very affordable.

Index Cards

Students need index cards to write down notes. Walgreens have them in packs of 100.

Wexford Ruled Index Cards 3 x 5 Inch - 100 ea - School Supplies

White-Out Tape

White-out correction tape comes in clutch if you make an error when writing with an ink pen.
BIC(R) Wite-Out(R) Multipurpose Correction Tape, Single Line, 26.20ft., White

Scissors

The next item that is on the list is scissors. Scotch has them for in packs of three.

Folders

Students need separate folders for each class. Office Max has some good varieties.
OfficeMax 2-Pocket Poly Folders, Navy

Subject Dividers

Subject dividers come in handy if you want to separate your notes in your notebook.

Planner

I’ve been using planners since middle school. They come in handy. They will help you not forget things. The planner below lets you plan things for up to 18 months in the future.

Combination Lock

If you’re in middle or high school, you will need a combination lock for your locker. Masterlock is the industry leader.

Pencil Sharpener

A pencil sharpener will be needed if you use pencils more than pens. Check this one below.
Black Radiance Dual Pencil Sharpener - 1 ea

Laptop

Depending on what grade you’re in, it’s almost a must to have a laptop. The Dell laptop might be what you need. It comes with Windows 10 and has a lot of up to date features.

Printer

In college, I had my own printer. It came in handy. I didn’t have to worry about going to a computer lab and finding out that the printer was broken. The printer below has a scanner and a copier.

Ink

What good is having a printer without having any ink? Ink can be expensive, but there are me deals out there.

Stapler

As you become an older student, a stapler will come in handy. You will need one in college.
Pointe International Economy Stapler, Black

Color Pencils

Color pencils will come in handy for your art class and special projects.

Paper Clips

Paper clips are another small item that you may need.
Office Depot(R) Brand Paper Clips, Jumbo, Silver, Box Of 100 Clips

Post-it notes

Students use post-it notes all the time, especially in college. They come in very handy.

Highlighters

Highlighters are good for students middle school age and older.

Hole Puncher

The next item on the list is a hole puncher. This one should be able to get the job done.
Sparco Transparent 3-Hole Punch, Translucent Magenta

Flash Drive

People don’t flash drives as much as they used to because of Google Drive and Dropbox. They still come in handy.

Dictionary

I dictionary will come in handy when you’re in college. It will help you when you’re working on those late night papers.

Hand Sanitizer

This one is pretty much self-explanatory.

Bonus Items

I have two bonus items that you can get while you’re out shopping for back to school stuff. You need something nice for the first day of school

Shirts

Baseball-Love-Great-Funny-Shirt

Shoes

Here are the Steph Curry One low top shoes.
Under Armour Men's UA Curry One Low Basketball Shoes

This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.
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Why I Like Groupon

Groupon (1)This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Groupon is an excellent website. They stay having great deals. Their site has been around for a few years now, and it seems to be getting bigger each year. There are a lot of Groupon goods  out there. Today, I want to go briefly over why I like Groupon.

Groupon has great prices. They have a lot of events and getaways listed for discount prices. I’m all about saving as much money as I can, especially since I’m paying off my debt. I was checking out their site the other day and saw that they had a great deal on hotels in Daytona. The original price was $100 a night. Groupon had a deal where the price was $79 per night.

Besides the great prices, Groupon has a huge selection of items to choose from. They have a section for local things such as concerts and plays. Some of the other selections that they have are beauty and spa, health and fitness, electronics and one of my favorites, which is travel. If you’re looking for things to do in your city, Groupon should be one of the first places you check.

Another reason why I like Groupon is because of their large selection of things to choose from. I can find gifts for people. In the past, I’ve purchased massage and food certificates for people at good prices. The people who I got the Groupon for enjoyed them very much. Christmas is only a few months away, but it will be here before you know it. When you get a chance, you should check out Groupon’s site. You never know what you may find.

Do you shop on Groupon?

Random

5 Alternatives To College

Alternatives to collegeI support anyone that wants to go to college. College was one of the best times of my life. I learned a lot in school and grew up while I was there. I realize that everybody may not want to go to college immediately after they graduate from high school. Some may not want to go to college at all. There is nothing wrong with that. Going to college doesn’t guarantee success. Below are five alternatives to college.

Military

Some people choose to go to the military after high school. You have five branches to choose from. They are the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines and the Coast Guard. I have family members who have been in the military. You can learn multiple skills, have the opportunity to travel and earn money in the military. Just because you’re in the military, it doesn’t mean that you will be sent off to war. The different branches have hundreds of jobs that you can get instead of being on the frontline.

Trade School

Going to a trade school is another option that people choose instead of going to college. In trade school, you have the opportunity to learn an individual skill and receive your certification in a certain amount of time. It’s usually one or two years. Trade school also is not as expensive as a 4-year university. These days people are trying to save as much money as possible. Attending a trade school can allow you to do that.

Jobs

Another alternative to college is to enter the workforce. There are a lot of jobs where you don’t have to have a degree to get hired. You just have to do research and make sure that you have all the qualifications that the job is looking for. Job fairs, word of mouth and networking are a few ways for a recent high school graduate to find a job.

Start A Business

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you could start a business. There are all types of business opportunities out there. If you plan on starting a business, make sure that your heart is all in it. Your company will move as you move. Make sure that you plan and hard to make your business a success. Your late teens is a good time to try and start a business because if you fail you have a lot of time to try again. If you succeed, you can change your family tree forever. If you’re still living at home, you can use that to your advantage. Since you don’t have to pay rent or many bills, you’re able to put money towards your prospective business.

Travel

If you have the money, you can take some time and travel. The possibilities are endless when you travel. You can backpack through Europe, or you can take a cross-country road trip. Traveling allows you to grow as a person, and it expands your comfort zone.

College isn’t for everyone. I know plenty of individuals who say that they would have done something different if they could back in time. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I understand some of the reasons why they would.

Do you know any other alternatives to college?




Disease Called Debt
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5 Job Fair Tips

job fairJob fairs can be pretty good depending on what company or organization is hosting it. I’ve known a few people to get hired after making the right connection at a job fair. I got hired for my bank teller job after meeting a recruiter at a job fair. In today’s post, I will be going over five tips that you can use at a job fair.

Dress the part

A job fair isn’t a job interview per se, but you still want to dress the part. Your appearance is everything. Shorts, jerseys, tank tops or jeans should be left at home. Business casual should be okay. Recruiters will see that you are serious about the job fair by the way that you dress and carry yourself. They may take the time to look at your resume sooner than someone who showed up in jeans.

Resumes

I’ve made the mistake of not bringing enough resumes to a job fair before. I goofed. Needless to say, I didn’t get any of the jobs at that fair that day. After years of attending job finals, I’ve found that ten copies of your resumes should be a good amount to bring. Every job fair that you attend won’t have jobs that you qualify for or are interested in. If you want to bring more than ten resumes you can, but ten will probably be enough.

Cell Phone

Make sure that you turn your cell phone on silent or cut it off. You don’t want to be talking to a recruiter only to be interrupted by your cell phone going off. That’s a bad impression to give to a recruiter. You don’t want to mess up any chances of getting a new job, so turn the phone off.

Look the part

The next tip on the list is to look the part. Besides dressing right, you want to make sure that your hair is cut or trimmed nicely. Ladies make sure that y’all don’t have too much make up on.

Be there on time

It’s good to get to a job fair on time. Some people like to show up to places late. Don’t do that with a job fair. Getting there on time will give you the chance to see as many job recruiters as you want to. Some recruiters don’t stay the whole time. Getting to a job fair late could mess your chance up of getting that new job.

In summary, the job fair tips that I discussed today were to dress the part, bring enough resumes, turn off the cell phone, look the part and be to the job fair on time. If you follow these tips, you should have a successful time at the job fair.

Do you have any of job fair tips?




 

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What Would I Tell My 22 Year Old Self About Money

22 year old self2006 doesn’t seem like it was ten years ago. I can remember parts of that year vividly. I was a third-year student at SSU. I was literally having the time of my life. Ten years later I think about the good times that I was having and can’t help but wonder how they could have been better. My financial was situation was great at 22. I was working at The Lady & Son’s Restaurant and selling mixtapes on the side. Somehow I still ended up in debt. If I could go back in time, there are a few things that I’d tell my 22-year-old self. In this post, I will share three of them with you.

Save more money

I’ve said this once, and I will say it again. I wish I would have saved more money back then. I had a little bit of money saved, but it could have been so much more. I had a messed up way of looking at money. Since I had a job and a side hustle I figured that I would just save later and that I’d be alright. The crazy thing is that I was all right doing that from 22-24, but once I graduated I needed more money because I had bills and student loan debt that now needed to be paid. If I would have been on my game at 22, I know things would have been different.

Those student loans will have to be paid back

Of course, I knew that the student loans had would have to be paid back, but at 22 I didn’t care. I thought I had all the time in the world. I figured that once I graduated from college, I would be able to get a good high paying job and knock them out in a year or two. Little did I know that I would graduate from college in 2 years straight into a damn recession. The economy was horrible. I’ve discussed on here before how I struggled the first couple of years after graduation. In hindsight, I would have applied myself more so that I could have regained my Hope Scholarship. That scholarship money would have allowed me to be in less student loan debt. I probably would have never been introduced to that crazy lady named Sallie Mae.

Pay off your credit card each month

I didn’t go splurging with my credit card back in the day. I used it to book trips occasionally and at the bar every once in a while. I should have used the money that I was making at my part time job to pay the credit card off each month. There was no reason for me not to do that. I guess it was a lack of knowledge.

I’m sure I made more mistakes at 22 than just those As a matter of fact; I definitely did, but they aren’t financial related, so I’m just going to keep them to myself lol. Seriously, I’m thankful for growth and maturity. Those money mistakes happened for a reason. They helped me become the person that I am today.

What is one thing that you would tell your 22-year-old self about money?




Disease Called Debt
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