January 2018 Debt & Life Update

What's going on everyone? I hope all is well with you. Today's post is my January 2018 Debt & Life Update. This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.

January 2018 has been a great month for me. The side hustles are going pretty well. I feel like I’m the most focused that I’ve been in a minute. I’ve had four days off this month due to the weather, the Dr. King holiday and the College Football National Championship game (yes, they shut the city down for the game).

I made my first sale on Facebook Marketplace this year a couple of days ago. Below is the picture of the item. It sold for $30.

My friend Chonce of My Debt Epiphany and I had a webinar on side hustles earlier this month. The webinar went very well. We discussed several ways to make extra money. Due to the success of that webinar, I’ve decided to do one eBay. Look for more information on that shortly.

Posts That You May Have Missed

What to do During a Snow Day

How I Made Nearly $12,000 Side Hustling in 2017

How to Have a Vision Board Party

20 Blogs to Motivate You in 2018

I’ve been blogging for a few years now. I still enjoy it a lot. Blogging has helped me generate more income and has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. It could do the same thing for you.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, the time is now.  Check out my step by step guide to creating a website with Bluehost. Use my link to get your hosting for as little as $3.95 per month (this low price is only available through my link). It usually costs $7.99 per month. You also get a free domain when you sign up through my link.



January 2018 Debt Update

January’s update is much better than December’s. The debt did not increase this time. It decreased.  It went from $61,428.64 to $61,126.76. That’s a difference of $301.88. I guess I’m satisfied with that. Next month it will go down even more

BOA – Down from $1200 to $1064.60

Loan 2 – Down from $2340 to $2260

Navient – Down from $23,093.39 to $23,009.01

Nelnet – Down from $34,795.25 to $34,793.15

The credit card debt is something that I’m really focused on getting rid of. By the time you read this, it will be lower than the amount that you’re seeing.

Once my credit card is gone, then I’ll be able to get the focus back to Loan 2. I can’t wait until that one is gone. I’m stepping up my eBay and other side hustles. I’m ready to get to the point where I can start throwing $500 or more per month on the loan.  The way things are going, this will happen sooner than later.

How was January for you?

Debt, Life , , ,

What to do During a Snow Day

We've had a couple of snow storms and multiple snow days. A lot of people just chill and watch TV during the unexpected time off. In this post, I share with you what to do during a snow day. This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.

This has been one the coldest Fall/Winter seasons that I can remember. I live in Atlanta, so we are now used to snow. We’ve had a couple of snow storms and multiple snow days. A lot of people just chill and watch TV during the unexpected time off. There is so much more that you can do during that time. Today, I want to go over several things that you can do on a snow day instead of just chilling.

Work on a Side Hustle

This is my favorite thing to do during the snow days. I worked on my side hustle a few hours each day that we were out. If you have the means to work on your side hustle during a snow day, do it. Below are a couple of side hustles that you can work on.

Freelance

If you’re a freelancer, take some time to work on your articles or designs. You can also use the day to find more clients. Check out a site like Upwork or Craigslist to help you get started. You can also pitch to companies or publications that you are interested in writing for.

eBay

If you sell things on eBay, a snow day is a perfect time for you to take pictures of your items and list them. You can also update the descriptions or change the titles if you need to. You can also research different products to sell.

Related Reading: 100 Things to Sell on eBay

Virtual Assistant

If you’re a Virtual Assistant, take this time to catch up on any work that your client has for you. If there’s a project that you’ve been putting off for the weekend, do it now. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Virtual Assistant, check out the post below.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

Read a Book

Something else that you can do on a snow day is read a book. According to Bustle, the average American reads four books per year. That’s pretty low. Reading keeps your brain fresh. I try to read several books each year. To be honest, last year I didn’t even read the average number of books. This year I’m going to do better. I’m already a third of the way complete with my first one.  Here are a few books that you can read to get you started for the year.

You Only Live Once

Jason Vitug wrote this book. It’s a guide that will get you through life by making smart money moves.

The Millionaire Next Door

In this book, Thomas J. Stanley & William Danko discuss different traits of millionaires.

Decoded 

If you’re a fan of Jay-Z, you should add this book to your collection. It’s an autobiography that features the lyrics to some of his songs.




Clean Up

You can use your snow day to clean up your home or apartment. Figure out what room or rooms you want to work on and get started. If you start early, you could be finished by lunchtime.

Review Your Goals

The next thing on the list is to review your goals. Many people created goals or resolutions at the beginning of the year. Not everyone completes them. Some people lose focus by the middle of the month. Before that happens to you, take the time to look at them.

Are your goals attainable? Do you really want to accomplish them or are you just playing? Do you have S.M.A.R.T. goals? Below are two great posts that discuss those type of goals in detail.

Eric from The Black Market Exchange wrote a post titled “How Akeem Makes SMART Money.”

Tia from Financially Fit & Fab has a post that goes over 8 SMART financial goals to set for a financially fit 2018.

Check those posts out when you get a second. I’m sure that they will help to keep you motivated this year.

Apply for Jobs

If you’re not happy at the moment at your current place of employment or if you need a change of pace, apply for jobs. You can check sites like Monster, Indeed or Snagajob. Before you apply, make sure that your resume is up to date. You don’t want to apply with a resume that is a few years old.

Plan a Trip Somewhere Warm

I’m sure that I’m not the only person that’s tired of the cold weather. I damn near hate it. I thrive in the spring and the summer. I know that I’m not the only one. If you’re really tired of the cold weather, it’s time to plan a trip somewhere warm. Below are five places to consider.

San Diego, California

San Diego’s average high during the winter is 65 degrees. That is enough to make me look at hotel reservations right now.

Miami Beach, Florida

I love Miami. It’s my favorite place to visit in the country. Winter highs fluctuate in the high 60’s and 70’s. Besides lounging on the beach, you can check out a Miami Heat basketball game.

Related reading: 5 Things to Do in Miami

Orlando, Florida

Orlando is another pleasant city to visit during the winter. They have an average high of 72 degrees. Orlando has a special place in my heart. I interned at Disney World several years ago. From what I can remember, the winter was very mild.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas is the next destination. Their weather averages between 75 and 84 degrees. That is perfect. For more information about The Bahamas, go here.

Cancun, Mexico

The final place on this list is Cancun, Mexico. Winter time is the peak season for travel to Cancun, but it’s worth it. The daytime highs are usually in the 80’s. That sounds like my type of place. Book your hotel here.

To get more info about each destination. check out TripAdvisor here.

I hope you enjoyed this post. There are several things to do during a snow day.  You don’t have to do everything. Pick one or two tasks and get them done.

What do you like to do during your snow days?

 

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Things Debt Free People Do That You Don’t

Today's post is titled "Things Debt Free People Do That You Don't". Does anyone want to be debt free? I can't be the only one that raised my hand.Today I have a post from Hellen McAdams, enjoy!

There’s much more to life than working 9 to 5 and relying on just your salary to make ends meet on an everyday basis. With all the banking services available today it’s almost impossible to find someone who didn’t resort to taking a loan at a certain point in life.

Sometimes it can be more difficult to repay a loan than one would realize. Lots of people are struggling to pay the money back to the lenders. Living as a financially independent person seems like something that’s unreachable to those who owe money to the bank.

It’s easier said than done, but don’t stress! Usually, it takes just a little more discipline and changing some of the rooted spending habits to push things forward.

Ever wondered what separates debt-free people from the others? In this article, we will pinpoint just a couple of skills they developed that helped them regain their financial independence. And just as a quick heads up and a pinch of inspiration – plenty of people who are debt-free today used to be troubled by bank loans and were living in debt.

So, how did they find their way out of the debt spiral? Let’s find out!

They Are Knowledgeable In Finance

Ok, so this is a common one. You don’t get to learn something until you actually need it in your life. People who owe money to the bank really need to know all about how banks work and how their services really work.

Therefore, people who are debt-free truly understand all the business stuff, and they know how to take advantage of economic and industry trends. They know how to read the market. Getting knowledgeable in the field of finance will not only help you get out of debt, but it can also show you how to exploit the finance market to make a dollar out of it.

With everything being said, debt-free people know how to improve their credit rating which will give them access and the possibility to take loans from the banks when the interest rates are on the low end to give it back later.




So, what’s the bottom line here?

There are plenty of options you might want to resort to when handling your debts to the bank. One way of doing it will be trying to consolidate it. If you have more than one loan, you can merge it into one big loan, and you can pay off only one interest on it.

They Are Hustling on the Side

Is your regular salary enough for you to live a comfortable life? If you are among the lucky few, who can answer positively to this question than – congrats to you! But, the odds are that your regular salary can’t cover all the expenses you have, and for all the items you want and need on a monthly basis.

How to work more productively and help yourself make more money on the side?

A lot of people know how to handle their finances. They don’t have much trouble when it comes to getting and managing money. They believe in their instincts and capabilities. That doesn’t particularly mean that they will jump on every occasion. This means that they won’t hesitate much to try their luck if they see a possibility to work less for even (or even bigger) money.

Every man’s dream is to become his own boss. I bet you thought about it also! Well, what kept you from trying?

There are really countless ways to get money on the side today. Whether we’re talking about working remotely from home and running your business online or starting your own gig from your garage, possibilities go on and on.

Remember: the final goal is not only to get out of debt and pay the money back to the lender but to empower yourself. You need to find viable living solutions that will give you enough time for yourself while at the same time providing enough money to live a comfortable life.

Keep on hustling!

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How I Made Nearly $12,000 Side Hustling in 2017

 Side hustling is a way of life. Today I will be sharing information on how I made nearly $12,000 side hustling in 2017.This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.

What’s going on everyone? I hope things are going well for you. I recently calculated my side hustle numbers from 2017. I made nearly $12,000 side hustling last year. The exact number was $11,947.26. Before I go into detail about that, I want to share with you my 4th quarter income numbers. I usually do a separate income report for each quarter of the year, but I decided just to add that amount to this one.

I made $2234.54 in the fourth quarter of 2017. That was much better than what I made in the third quarter. You can view my previous income reports below.

First Quarter of 2017 Income Report

Second Quarter of 2017 Income Report

Third Quarter of 2017 Income Report

2017 was an up and down year for me. I started the year off killing the game in the freelance category, but by mid-year, all my clients were gone. I began to put my focus somewhere else and work other side hustles. After all of that happened, I still made more than I did last year. That’s amazing to me after everything that happened.

I’m not the biggest fan of sharing my income reports. That’s why I only do them once per quarter. I do it to show my readers my results. I want them to know that if I can do it, they can as well. I’m happy to say that I made more money in 2017 than I did in 2016.

Here’s the breakdown of how I made my money last year.

Freelance Writing – $6368.10

For the second year in a row, freelance writing was the highest paying side hustle that I did. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that won’t be the case for 2018. While I am still freelancing a little bit, I am focused on increasing my income with a couple of other side hustles. The crazy thing is that I never thought that I’d make money with freelance writing. My blog is a HUGE reason I was able to start this side hustle

If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, the time is now.  Check out my step by step guide to creating a website with Bluehost. Use my link to get your hosting for as little as $3.95 per month (this low price is only available through my link). It usually costs $7.99 per month. You also get a free domain when you sign up through my link.




EBay – $2431.58

EBay was my second highest income stream last year. I branched out and started selling different items. It paid off. I made nearly $1000 more with eBay in 2017 than I did in 2016. That’s the type of growth that I want to continue to have. If you’re interested in learning how to sell items on eBay, check out my course titled “The Beginner’s eBay Course.”

Related Posts: 10 Posts That Will Help Your eBay Business

Sponsored Posts – $1663.96

Sponsored posts are next on the list. I made more money with them in 2017 than I did in 2016. The crazy thing is that I decline many of the requests that I get. I only accept posts from companies that I believe will provide value for my readers.

Affiliates – $546.67

My affiliate income grew by over $100 in 2017. I have plans to make it grow even more. I promote items that I either use or can vouch for. Some of the programs that I promote are Amazon, Bluehost, and Stockpile.

Other – $384.94

This section includes t-shirts, course sales, and other things. This is another area that I’m working hard to grow this year.

Ads – $347.11

I didn’t even have a section for ads on last year’s income report. They were included in the other section. With my traffic getting better, I’m expecting to make even more money with ads.

Other Sales Platforms – $204.90

Besides eBay, I sell items on Bonanza, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Offer Up. The more places that I have items listed, the better chance I have of more things selling.

2017 was a good year for me when it came to side hustling. 2018 will be even better. I know that I’ll be able to make even more money this year.

How was your side hustle income in 2017? What side hustle are you working on this year?

Money, Side Hustles , , , , ,

How to Have a Vision Board Party

How to Have a Vision Board Party

This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.

I am a big fan of vision boards. I’ve been creating them for years. A vision board is a collage of images and phrases that show you what you want to accomplish in your life. I first heard about them after watching the movie “The Secret.” There was a scene where a person realized that he was living in the house that he put on his vision board a few years ago.

I have been doing vision boards for several years now. On a board that I made in 2012, ten things have come to pass. On my 2015 board, six things have happened. I honestly believe that seeing things that you want to happen stays in your subconscious mind. Then, they manifest themselves when you work. Last January, I had my first vision board party. I had 16 attendees show up. Everyone had a great time. There may be someone out there that wants to have a vision board party later this year or early next year, but they may not know where to begin. In today’s post, I will be going over how to have a vision board party.

Find a location

The first thing that needs to be done if you’re having a vision board party is to find a place. This will depend on the number of people that you want to show up. If you plan to have a small gathering, you may be able to have it at your house or apartment. If you intend to do something bigger, it’s best to hold it in a venue. Some places that you can consider having it are community centers or restaurants. I had mine at a community center.


Contact People

Decide whether you want to have a large or small event. Once you do that you have to let people know that you are having the party. That can be done by word of mouth, e-mail, social media, or even through a newsletter if you have a blog or business. I used each of those ways when I promoted mine.

Supplies

Decide if you want to have people bring their own supplies or if you want to bring them. The supplies that you will need are as follows:

Poster Boards

Scissors

Glue Stick

Magazines

I provided most of the supplies for my vision board party. I did ask a few of my homegirls to bring some of their magazines because I didn’t have particular types of them. You can view more examples of the supplies here.

Food & Drinks

The next thing that you need to do is to decide if you will have any food or drinks. At my party, I had both. One of my friends brought pizza. We also had chips. For drinks, we had wine, whiskey, vodka, water, soda, and juice. People thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Depending on your funds, you don’t have to go all out.

Work on your Board

The next thing that you need to do is work on your board. Take about two hours to go through the magazines to find different pictures. Then arrange the pictures on the board before you glue them. Once you have them looking the way you want to, then it’s time to glue them.

Present your Board

The final thing to do is to show your board. It doesn’t need to be mandatory. Some people really don’t like speaking, or they get nervous. Allow the people that want to go over theirs to do so.

It’s pretty easy to have a vision board party. If you’ve been considering one, do it. A vision board could help you take your life to another level.

How to Have a Vision Board PartyHave you ever been to a vision board party before?

Life, Motivation , , ,

6 Easy Ways to Stay out of Debt

Easy Ways to Stay out of Debt The amount of debt that the US has is over 16 trillion dollars. That amount is ridiculously high. As I previously posted I have some debt that I am working on paying off. In the next few months, I will go into overdrive and work even harder to pay it off. I know that I’ll be able to make it happen. I just have to stay focused.

Unfortunately, I know that I’m not the only one in debt. You might be in debt and is having a hard time coming up with a plan to pay it back. In today’s post, I want to share with you six easy ways to stay out of debt.

Create a budget

Creating a budget is very important. A budget is a spending plan that shows you where your money goes. If something is not in your budget don’t buy it. It might be hard to get used to a budget at the beginning, but if you are focused, it will work. There are multiple apps out there that can help you with your budget.

Pay bills on time

Paying your bills on time helps to keep you out of debt and it also helps your credit score. At one point I used to pay several bills late each month. Most of those bills were collecting interest and late fees. My finances were not a pretty sight. I took the time to go through each bill and I wrote all the due dates in my planner. Then I contacted the creditors that I was behind on and started paying them. It took me a few months, but I was able to get current on all of them. If you’re in a similar situation, I want you to know that you can get on track too.



Don’t spend money you don’t have

Sometimes people buy stuff even if they don’t have the money for it. Whether it’s using a credit card too much or allowing your checking account to become negative, don’t spend money you don’t have. I have made mistakes in the past by overspending. Having to pay your bank or credit union an overdraft fee is not fun. I’m not 100% against using credit cards. I just think that people should use them in moderation. People get in a lot of debt and they truly don’t need to be in it.

Forget about keeping up with the Joneses

This one is tied into #3. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses”It means that you are trying to match someone’s social status.  Don’t do it. The Joneses are usually broke. You don’t have to be like them. Don’t spend money that you don’t have. Nothing positive will come out of it. The people that you are spending to impress don’t give a damn about you anyway.

Avoid credit cards or loans that have high interest

When applying for a credit card or loan, you should make sure you choose the one with the lowest interest rate. If you can’t pay your credit card off each month, the low-interest card is the best option. I hate paying interest, but I’d rather pay it on a credit card that has an interest rate of 12% instead of one with 22%. The interest will add up quickly.

Seek Help

You may not be able to get out of debt by yourself. National Debt Relief may be able to help you. They are one of the largest debt relief settlement companies in the country. National Debt Relief has an A+ rating with the BBB. They may be able to significantly reduce your debt.

You’ve just read six easy ways to stay out of debt. Paying attention to your money. Don’t get caught up trying to be like someone else. Debt is a huge problem for millions of people in this country right now. If you can, try not be like everyone else. Strive to be debt free. I am looking forward to the day when I can say that.

What other ways do you know of that can help people stay out of debt?

Debt, Money , , , ,

What Is A Good Credit Score?

Today's post is titled "What is a Good Credit Score?" I hope you enjoy it.This post is sponsored by our friends at CreditRepair.com.

As you work to build your credit score, it pays to gain knowledge as to what is regarded as bad, good, and excellent credits score. This will give you an idea of where you should aim.

What is a Good Credit Score?

A score between 700 and 749 is considered to be ‘Good’ while a score above 750 is regarded as ‘Excellent’. The average credit score falls between 600 and 750. A high credit score shows better credit decisions. It builds confidence among creditors that you will be able to repay your debts in full as agreed.

Lenders such as credit card companies, banks, and mortgage loan providers use credit scores to determine whether or not they should offer credit to you. They also use credit scores to assess what the terms of the offer will be, in terms of down payment and interest rates.

The Importance of a Good Credit Score

Having a good credit score can help make your life a lot easier than when you have a bad score. Have a look at some benefits of having a good credit score.

It Can Come in Handy When Getting an Apartment

In the recent times, landlords have been using credit scores to screen their tenants. Therefore, a bad credit score, especially when caused by an outstanding rental balance or eviction can really reduce your chance of renting an apartment. On the other hand, with a good credit score, you can save yourself the hassle and time of finding a landlord who will ignore your damaged credit.

It is Easier to Get or Keep a Job

A lot of employers usually conduct credit background checks as a way of determining whether they should hire you or not. If you have not shown financial responsibility, then an employer might show hesitation I hiring you. For instance, they might believe that your debt level is too high for the salary they are offering you. Additionally, employers will also have a look at your credit score before offering you a promotion or pay rise. This mostly happens for executive and financial-related positions.

Better Negotiating Power

A good credit score offers you with the ability to negotiate a lower interest rate on your loan or credit card. If you are in need of more bargaining power, then you can refer to the amazing offers you received from other companies in regards to your credit score. Nevertheless, if you have a low credit score, creditors will not be interested in discussing loan interest rates. Additionally, you might not have the liberty to shop around.

It makes it Easier to Get a Loan

With a bad credit score, you will most likely avoid making new loan or credit card applications since you fear your offer will be turned down. Having a good credit score doesn’t always guarantee approval for a loan or credit card as lenders will always have a look at other factors. However, it offers you with a great chance of being approved. When you have a good credit and you decide to apply for a loan or credit card, then you can do it with a lot of confidence.



How to Maintain a Good Credit Score

As seen, there are a lot of benefits to be accrued with maintaining a good credit score. Here are some tips regarding how to maintain a good score.

Know What a Good Credit Score Entails

The first step to maintaining a good credit score is to know what it really entails. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be for you to maintain. Factors such as your level of debt, recent credit, payment history, credit age, and mix of credit play a very important role on your overall credit score. Therefore, you have to keep these factors in mind when planning to boost your credit score.

Pay Your Bills Early

This tip applies to all your bills, and not just loans and credit cards. While some bills are not reported to credit bureaus after paying, they could be reported if you don’t pay. This applies even for a small library fee. Due to this, you should consider paying all your bills before deadlines to have a good credit score.

Keep Your Old Credit Cards to Maintain a Long History

There are several reasons why you should keep your old credit cards. Doing this can be of benefit to you as the length of your credit history accounts for 10% your overall credit score. This is mostly critical for older cards since they provide a longer record, which is good when working on your credit score.

Check Your Credit Report For Errors

Having errors on your credit report is not unheard-of. In fact, they are quite common. Due to this, you need to keep an eye on your credit reports and fix those small issues. Doing this might help you maintain a good credit score. It might be worth it to check out sites like Creditrepair.com who can help you improve your credit score.

Keep Your Balances on the Credit Card as Low as Possible

The higher the balance on your credit card, the worse your score is likely to be. Your balance should be around 30% your credit limit for you to maintain a good credit score. Charging over 30% your limit is risky even when you have plans to pay what you owe the issuer after getting your billing statement. Your card issuer normally reports the balance immediately your statement closes. Therefore, if your balance is high, there will be an effect on your credit score even when you pay your balance in full.

There are numerous benefits of having a good credit score such as enjoying lower interest rates on your loans and credit cards. Additionally, a good credit score can help you save a lot of cash on security deposits on utilities, and also on insurance. With our tips on how to maintain a good credit score, you should be well placed to achieving the many advantages associated with a good credit score.

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