5 Ways You Can Improve Your Credit Score

5 ways you can improve your credit scoreA few years ago my credit score flat out sucked. I was in the low 500’s, and I couldn’t qualify for a $500 personal loan. I was shocked. I didn’t know it was that bad. That day I took a look in the mirror and decided to get serious about getting my credit right. By August 2015. My credit score had risen by 168 points. I was able to do that without paying for help. You can do the same thing as well. Today, I want to share with you with you five ways that you can improve your credit score.

Pay your bills on time

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you pay your bills on time. Your payment history is 35% of your credit score. That’s a little more than a third. When I was younger, I paid my credit cards and student loans late. That’s one of the main reasons that my credit score was so bad.  As soon as I started making payments on time, it began to rise. Yours will do the same. If you’re horrible at remembering your payment due dates put them in Google calendar or use a program like Mint. Mint sends out emails when you are close to a due date.

Stop using your credit cards

If you’re serious about getting your credit score, you should stop using your credit cards for a while. Your credit utilization is 30 percent of your credit score. Credit utilization is the ratio of your credit card balances to their credit limits. As one point my credit utilization ratio was at 99%. That was horrible. I’m currently at 30% and will be lower than that by the time you’re reading this. If you still want to use credit cards, make sure that you pay the balance off each month.

Pay down debt

I don’t care what anyone says, but debt is the enemy. I don’t want it, that’s why I’m working hard to eliminate it. Paying down your debt (credit cards and revolving credit) will help your score rise. Do what you have to do to lower it. If you don’t make enough, don’t worry about it. The next tip will help you.

Make extra money to pay the debt

Find a way to make extra money so that you can apply it to the debt. Interest is not a game. That’s part of the reason my student loan debt is where it’s at now. I pretty much ignored them and made the very minimum payments to them. I don’t want that to happen to you. Adding extra money to your debt will make them a thing of the past sooner than later. Below are a few ways for you to make extra money:

Sell items on eBay

Design logos

Sell something on Etsy

Create a course

Drive for Uber

Get a part time job

Become a freelancer

Do yard work for people

Be Smart

The final way to improve your credit score is to be smart about the situation. Check your credit score a few times each year. I like using Credit Sesame. It shows me my score. It gives me a credit and debt analysis. Did I mention that it’s free to sign up for? You can do so right here. Credit Sesame gives you tips on how to help you raise your credit.

Another way to be smart is to watch how you’re using your credit card. As I stated early, try to pay it off each month if that’s feasible for you. By doing that you won’t accrue any more debt.

As you’ve just read, those are five ways that you can improve your credit score. It took some time for the score to raise, but it did. I know that you can do the same thing. You just have to be serious about it and have some discipline.

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January 2017 Debt Update

January 2017 Debt UpdateHello, everyone. I hope 2017 has been good to you so far. It’s been alright for me so far. In today’s post, I will be sharing my January 2017 debt update.


My total debt went from $66,495.50 to $65,826.26. It went down by $669.24. That’s my second highest drop ever! This is a great way to start the year. Below are the details.

The Numbers

Loan 2 – Down from $5769 to $5750

Chase – Down from $1720 to $1200

Navient – Down from $24,150.20 to $24,023.35

Nelnet – Down from $34,856.30 to $34,852.91

The side hustling has been helping me lower my debt. I’m focusing on eliminating the lowest debt that I have right now, which is the Chase card. I’m still looking for more ways to generate more income. I have a few things up my sleeve that I will be sharing with you in a few months.

Previous Debt Updates

January 2015 (The Beginning)

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

If you’re paying off debt, how is it coming for you?


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January 2017 Round Up

Hello, everyone. Just in case you’re new here, the last Friday of every month I do a round up post. I feature five blog posts from around the web that I enjoyed. In this round up, I have ten articles to read. December was so hectic with Cuba and Christmas that I didn’t have the time to do one for that month. I hope you enjoy January’s!

Sandy from Yes I Am Cheap has a post on Adulting.TV giving us 4 Reasons Every Adult Needs at Least One Crappy Job

Chonce from My Debt Epiphany shares with us how she and her husband Paid Off $14,354.81 in 2016.

Amanda from AmandaBella.com shows us How to Go on a Date With Your Budget.

James from Creative Scale shares with us his 2016 Review: My Inception as a Freelance Graphic Designer.

Michelle from The Shop My Closet Project tells us why it’a Time for Some Real Talk About 2017

Rachel from Young Adult Money gives us 10 Tools that Help You Budget

Kim from Work Hard Travel Well shares with us her 2016 Travel Goals and Hacks.

The Debt Free Guys have a mega post featuring 65 Blog Posts to Solve Any Money Problem Now!

Tonya from My Fab Finance gives us 3 Ways to Increase Your Compensation Without Talking to Your Boss.

Tia from Financially Fit and Fabulous tells us The 5 Biggest Myths about Investing.

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Why SEO Off-Site Analytics is Important?

Why seo off-site analytics is analyticsWhen taking a look at the Google Guidelines enlisting the 9 main criteria when it comes to what attributes have the biggest role in defining the rankings, there is one point which is lesser discussed and that’s the off-site and off page analytics. The reason for that is simple: it’s just not that clear to understand how it pairs up with marketing and search engine optimization. Let’s get to see this time, what we can find on off –site analysis.

What does off-page mean?

Basically it means all the actions related to your business site which takes place outside of your own URL, they don’t directly involve any actions on your site. What are the other sites where these off page actions take place? Let’s see some examples to this:

  • Review sites: a business ought to have their reviews handled. This is very important in terms of rankings, also locally.
  • Directories: the worthy pages enlisting important companies according to their field of expertise
  • Blogs

Off page data basically means what others talk or write about you how they rank your service, what opinions they have and where they write this down. Longer time ago, there was no easy way to look for the proper data that’s being discussed about one’s website but today, the methods are so good, that they are able to detect and measure this.

How to ensure your off-page performance will be positive?

  • Using Local or geo-targeting methods, when and where applicable: when it’s about a smaller company or walk-in based customer handling, then optimization experts can greatly help to set the whole site for it to join the Local SEO ranked.
  • Working on increasing the traffic rates: these can do very good for rankings
  • Provide help with reviews – enabling more positive reviews to flow in and handling negative reviews to lessen their negative effects.
  • Using advanced link building methods to connect a client’s business with high profile sites, making sure the company is listed in quality directories. This is the bread and butter of real good optimization experts who can handle it with relative ease.
  • Making sure the website is compatible to use both with mobile devices and desktop
  • Trying to help in building authority on a specific content
  • Using schema (data) markup for the review pages
  • Using social media management and marketing which is great for brand building then for attention calling campaigns.

These are all very important off-page factors which will together help your website have a good reputation. Having a good reputation is essential for any business when talking about both website and business quality. That’s also the reason why it’s so important to tend to off page factors. Negative reviews, especially unseen or uncared for have the capacity to cause a huge damage in terms of reputation.

Get in touch with an accomplished Charlotte SEO service today, to make sure your content is optimized and if they give you the chance to learn from along the way, then it’s all the better.

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How I Made Over $11,000 Side Hustling in 2016

2016 was a banner year for me in so many ways. I put a lot of hard work into my side hustling. The year started pretty slow, but I ended it with a bang. In September, I discussed how I made over $1000 in side hustle income in August. I’ve been making over $1000 each month ever since.  I calculated my numbers at the beginning of January. In 2016, I made over $11,000 in side hustle income. Damn, that was pretty good for someone that made a fraction of that in 2015.  Below, I want to tell you how I did it.

Found More Clients

My freelance income was huge in 2016. I started off the year with only one client. Now I have four of them. My numbers will continue to grow as long as I add more clients. More clients will bring in more money. I’m at the point in my freelance career where I can pick and choose who I want to work for.  I’ve been lucky to find the majority of my clients through networking and through other bloggers.

Sold More Items

Another way that I increased my side hustle income is by selling more items on eBay. For a while, the majority of the things that I was selling was shoes, sports items, and coffee mugs. I started selling different items such as board games and magazines.

Promoted the Blog More

I promoted TBJ more, and that helped me reach more people. Some of these people purchased shirts or provided sponsored posts.  This wouldn’t have happened if I never started my blog. I’ve been blogging for nearly four years, and it has been life changing. I went from not knowing anything about websites to now having a legitimate side hustle. If you’re on the fence about whether you should start a website or not, do it. It can be life changing for you as well. If you are looking to make the jump and start your website, you should check out Bluehost. Bluehost has been my hosting provider since I started TBJ. It usually costs $7.99 per month to start your website with them, but they are running a promo right now. You can get your hosting and a domain starting at $3.95 when you click on this link. That’s a heck of a deal. It’s a small investment that could pay off big for you. I also have a step by step guide that will help you set it up.

Provide Value

In 2016, I started making sure that I provided value in all my posts. I got more in depth when I explained things. I’m actually in the process of editing some of my older ones. I also stopped writing about things that my readers don’t care about. As a result, 2016 was the best year as far as readership goes.

Below is a breakdown of how much I made in my side hustle income last year:

Freelance Writing – $7505.99

eBay – $1498.65

Sponsored Posts – $1364.32

Affiliates – $435.04

Other (shirts, eBook, Offer up, etc.) – $241.38

The total that I made in 2016 was $11,045.38. I am happy with that amount. That’s not bad for someone who didn’t start taking blogging seriously until 2014. I look at this number, and I know that there is room for growth. The way I envision things for this year, I should at least double this amount. I just need to continue to work hard and stick to some type of schedule. That’s exactly what I plan to do.

How was your side hustle income in 2016? What side hustling plans do you have in 2017?

This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.
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How to Sell Shirts on Teespring

What’s going on everyone? I hope 2017 has been going well for you so far. It’s been cool for me so far. This year I plan on taking my side hustles to another level. Once way I plan on doing this is by creating and selling more shirts. I use two websites to do that, which are Teespring and Sunfrog.  Today, I want to show you how easy it is to get started with Teespring.

What is Teespring?

Teespring is a platform that makes it easy for people to create items such as t-shirts. Teespring is a free service to use. If an item sells, you get a percentage of it. I love Teespring because you don’t have to don’t have to put any money down. You also don’t have to worry about inventory or buying things up front. I’ve taken some losses in the past by making shirts and then not selling enough. With Teespring, I don’t have to worry about that happening ever again.

Getting started with Teespring is very easy. I’m going to go over the basics today. You need to create a free account. That should take less than 10 minutes to do. After you create your account, you will see the words start designing. Click on those words.

After you click the words, you will be directed to the design area. The design area is where you will create your shirt. The box to the left of the shirt has a place where you can enter text. You have the ability to change fonts and colors. On the second tab on the box, you can add artwork. Teespring has different artwork that you can use for your designs.

You can also upload your own. The box on the left has different styles and designs. Teespring offers more than just basic tees. They have tank tops, hoodies, v-necks, totes, mugs and more. When creating a tee, they will give you three separate options. There is a budget friendly tee, a premium materials tee and a top of the line tee. You can also choose the color of the shirts that you want.

For today, I’m going to upload my own artwork.

Now that I have my image on the shirt, I’m going to click the green tab that says sell this and move on to the next step.

On this page, you can set a sales goal. For most shirts, if you sell three, the campaign will print. If I sell 50 of these shirts, my estimated profit will be over $243. In the area titled apparel options, I can add more colors of the shirts. I can also chance the selling price as well. It also shows you how much profit you will make off of each sale. Once you decide the price and figure out the colors you want to offer, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click next.

On this page, you create your campaign title and description. I’m going to call this campaign Dabbin Beer St. Patty’s Day. Below the campaign title is the description area. Then you can choose a category. For this particular shirt, my category is occasions and events, annual events. Next, I choose the length that I want to run the campaign. For this one, I will let it run for 22 days. Below that you will see the URL. If everything looks good, you will then click on the green “launch” button.

Above is what your campaign looks like after you launch it. The shirt will be on the left. The product info will be on the right. It also shows the days, hours, minutes and seconds left on the campaign. It shows your potential buyers how many are needed to print as well.

As you can see, it’s easy to set up campaigns. You have to put in some work with getting you campaigns to tip. Tipping is when you have the three sales so that it will go into production. It took me eight campaigns before I had my first one tip. I’ve had a few more tip since then, but they can be hit or miss. You have to have a niche or a proven market. Don’t allow yourself to get angry if your first few campaigns bomb. Just keep at it. Test some things out and figure out what people like.

Have you tried Teespring before?


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Xero Accounting: An Alternative to QuickBooks – A Review

When you are common person trying to keep track of your money, sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming. On the other hand, we are so busy with our professionals and personal lives; it is hard to keep a book that manages your cash flow.

Xero Accounting solves the problem for you. It is online software that is an alternative to the QuickBooks. It not only smartly manages your money but keeps you up to date about all changes. This way you have the peace of mind as you know what part of your money went where. Moreover, since it is online, you can have access to it from anywhere and any device.

Benefits of Xero Accounting


The platform can be accessed any time from any place. All you need is an account and you are good to go. Therefore, you never lose track of your money.

Real Time View

Xero Accounting allows you to have a real time view of your money. Your entire cash flow always remains updated so you there is hardly any risk of making a calculation mistake.


Xero Accounting is capable of working in combination with multiple applications. You name the business app and Xero Accounting can be integrated with it. You have the option to work Xero Accounting in combination with more than 500 business apps.

Features of Xero Accounting


You can import your latest bank account details to your Xero account. This way you can keep track of your credit card transaction without hassle. You will no longer have to continuously manage receipts and check your balance sheet every month. Moreover, you can also keep track of your PayPal transactions.

More than 500 Tools

You will find more than 500 useful tools within Xero Accounting. Each tool has been designed to increase your convenience. Tools like time tracking, inventory and invoicing are just a few. Those tools will help you when you need to work on your books.

Manage Bills and Expenses

With Xero Accounting, you will never lose the deadline of a payment. It keeps you updated about when you have to pay your bills or any other expense.


If you own a small business, then Xero Accounting will be your ultimate partner. With this online and smart platform, you can easily calculate payrolls for your employees without hassle.

Tracking Inventory

If you are having trouble with inventory tracking for your business, you need to give Xero Accounting a try. You can easily track your sales and purchase using its smart interface.
Managing money has never been this easy. Xero Accounting offers a simple but intelligent platform for accomplishing all of your money related tasks. It is perfect for someone who does not have a deep knowledge of accounting. Xero Accounting is feasible for small business owners as well. When you have a sound knowledge of how your money is coming in and going out, it becomes easier to make relevant decisions to increase profit and savings.

If you’re interested in trying Xero Accounting, check them out here.

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