5 Reasons to have a side job

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So here I am sitting at my job in an empty office. Everyone has went to lunch while I’m eating my salad and sandwich. While many people would be sad that they were not invited to the work lunch. Not me, I use that time to conjure up ideas for my side hustle so one day (hopefully soon) I can throw that peace sign in the air, and get the heck up out of here (I don’t hate my job I just know what my dream job would be and this isn’t it). My side grind is a simple release for me, its something I can work on and truly believe in and use my talents for. If you have a 9-5 that allows you to feel this way, GREAT. If not, create a job that does. Here are not only my reasons why, but the emphasis of numerous streams of income.

MORE MEANING

Ever feel like you are just letting life pass you by and your not letting your true talents out! Having a side hustle gives your day a since of meaning. Everyday you take a breathe always remember it is not promised to you. I just found out about a close friend who just lost her friend and she was the same age as me. It got me thinking if I was to go today, would I have fulfilled everyday with meaning and passion? You may not be at your dream job or your dream house. But are you striving for those things? If God was to take me today I want to be remember as someone who didn’t wait for the right age for things, who didn’t care about the status quo. I want to be commemorated as someone who knew what she wanted everyday, someone who lived each day as her last. When you have a side hustle you wake up with more than just a list of things to do, but you wake up with a sense of grit and love for the day.

GROW YOUR TALENTS

1 Peter 4:10-11  Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. God does not just give us love and grace, he gives us specific talent. Have you ever given someone a present and you found out later down the road they never even open the gift or used it, you would be really upset. How do you think God feels when he has carefully constructed us with great talents and gifts and we never even attempted to open them. When you have a side job you will grow and use the talent God has given you, this will not only make him happy it will help you build that strength. By me blogging and creating me own print shop, it has allowed me to grow my design skills and creativity while also improving on my writing with each post. With that being said, it is known for us to start a side hustle and we look at other people on social media and become jealous of their given talent from God. Always questioning why God didn’t give you that talent, or why your not as talented as someone else. Romans 12:6-8 states, In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Never let the devil get you confuse and try to march fear and envy in your heart. Focus on your talent and congratulate others.

 

LEAVE A LEGACY

Proverbs 13:22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. Now that I am about to give birth to a little boy I want to make sure I pass down some wealth. I am a firm believer in staying out of debt, and passing on wealth than a burden. I want me and husband to be the first to break the cycle of poverty and to leave something for our kids so they can start off better than us and so on and so forth. With my side hustle it allows me to build something that either brings in extra money, or allows me to grow this small business into something big that I can actually hand down to him. Even the idea of my son watching me grow and run my business is beneficial. He will be able to see an entrepreneur working on her craft for her family and herself. I grew up watching my mom have a 9-5 as well as her own videography business, hmmm odd I wanted to grow up having my own business just like her!

 

EXTRA INCOME FOR YOUR FAMILY

Not to brag but I know my husband loves when he sees my designs, or Etsy checks hit the checking account. Is it a lot of money NOPE! But is it amazing to have, YES! I just got a business account so that I don’t mix business money with our main checking and when I notice we are a little short or sometime I use the extra money to add to our sons portfolio, or pay some money on the student loan. This is a joy because it allows a sense of freedom. As well, if I am able to keep growing my business I can eventually no longer depend on my 9-5 and be at home with my baby and still bring in money so we can keep our goals on track. Most financials gurus say to have 7 streams of income, depending on what you can handle start out with getting 1 side hustle and believe me it will turn into many more streams. I started with blogging, then freelance design, then t shirt sales, Ebay, print shop, stocks. All in 1 year and while pregnant, YOU GOT THIS!

 

KEEP YOUR MIND ON WHAT MATTERS

Having a business or side hustle, you are more interested in growing your bottom line or providing better products for your clients. This will take your focus off the Nordstrom anniversary sale or those new boots on sale. I love shopping but I am more excited to buy things for my business so I end up not focusing on items that cannot grow wealth for my family. One day, yes when my business has blown up I will be able to buy those $400 boots but for now I must spend $200 on a printer that will bring in some income rather than some boots that will just look good on me. A side hustle will allow you to see whats really important and how to really manage your finances.

These are just a few of many reasons to have a side job. Open your life now to new possibilities and levels. Push your mind to learn new skills and mess up sometime. I will be writing a post on the many mistakes I made the first year in starting my print shop, because you will make mistakes. But don’t let that cease you from using Gods gifts to not only help your family but to inspire others to do the same.

 

5 Questions to ask yourself everyday

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1.In what way am I helping my community.

I believe as an African American we must start helping each other. I was once in the mall and I was so busy into my thoughts I didn’t notice the black mall security guard smile at me, he gently approached me and said, dang black people cant even smile at each other anymore. I apologized and we laughed it off. It got me thinking of the days my grandpa would sit on the porch and wave at everybody in the neighborhood. It was like being black was a sense of belonging, like a special club. The more we help each other, the stronger our community will be.

 

2.How long can I survive without my job

This a tough question that usually leaves you to start saving immediately. Nothing is promised and having a J-O-B defiantly ain’t certain. Add up all your expense for the month, take that number and multiply it by 3 if your married with two incomes, and 6 if your single. This is how much you should have in your savings. You should be able to last 3-6 months without a job or unemployment. If not you could be 1 paycheck away from HOMELESSNESS!

 

3.AM I STRIVING TOWARDS MY GOALS

When I think of this in the morning I am less likely to spend money on countless items I don’t need. I know what my goals are and making sure each day I keep them fresh on my mind allows me to stay focus and determine to get things done.

 

4.HOW CAN I INCREASE MY WEALTH TODAY

I love this question, every morning I check my stocks and investing apps to see how much I may have earned or lost, and if some stocks that I want to buy have gone on sale(not literally, just dropped in the market). Checking my accounts and net worth are the next things to follow. I see what coupons are out and what is a new way I can add money to my stash! My favorite apps usually send me an email saying how much my net worth has dropped or risen. Also stay in the know of your finances you work hard everyday it would be a waste for you to not know whats going on in your wallet.

 

  1. AM I STAYING HEALTHY

Now of course this is a financial blog, but health is very important. No point in saving money if you cant enjoy it when you are financially free. I also believe when you take care of your body that mindset will pour into your finances. When you feel good you do good.

 

How to invest like a boss

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So we all know that white america has more wealth than black families. However did you know we are the last race to invest. I have found that many black people are afraid of the stock market and run away at the thought of investing. I will try with all my might to break down investing and how easy it can be for not only beginners but people with little money.

 

DEBT

Before I started my blog, I listened to Dave Ramsey radio station everyday at work. His method states that you should first get out of debt then start investing. And that is great but I am going to challenge you to do both. Look at your debt and obviously start paying off the one with the highest interest and slowly introduce the idea of investing. Example of what that looks like is:

Car loan is $329 at 4% interest. Start paying  $350 and an extra $50 at the end of the month( I notice the more small payments you make to debt rather than massive chunks it feels easier rather than a burden). Then get a mutual fund or portfolio account and invest small change in it. Confused on how to get a fund started… keep reading

 

ACORNS

I LOVE this thing, I started investing with it about a year ago. I just did the min, invested my spare change and now I have $471 in it. Which I know your like that was more than spare change, and yes your right sometimes I would add $25 in it from random refunds and bonuses from apps. But for the most part its spare change. I have earned 8.56% which is a return of $37.15.

 

DO THE MATH

So if my car interest rate is 4% and I just earned 8% on my money in my acorns account then I am not only earning more money I am getting out of debt. WIN WIN!!! You must make sure you have a balance, I shouldn’t have $20,000 in my acorns account and owe $10,000 on my car. That’s when the math gets out of whack. The stock market shouldn’t scare you if you use the method of warren buffet,  “Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” Slow and steady wins the race so investing small amounts over a long period will gain you more money then waiting until your 50 and investing large chunks of money.

 

CONCLUSION

So its the 21 century and we no longer have to walk into a dreadful investing firm, that makes you feel stupid and that you don’t have enough money to invest. You can literally download an app on your phone and begin right away. Use this code and get $5 to start your account acorns.com/invite/YCGCCH . I literally tell people ya I have real estate stock I own some apple stock and whatever else is in my portfolio. I had 0 experience in stock owning and it was breeze to start securing my future. Now is this the only place I invest.. no and it shouldn’t be for you either. But lets just take baby steps for now!

 

The truth about $7.25 an hour

While this post may alarm you, and you may feel like throwing your computer at me. But first read my post and try my method and see if it can help you out financially. I am only speaking to the states in the Midwest with a lower cost of living. If you are from California, or New York then ya, you cannot live on $7.25 in the major cities. Places like Dallas, Oklahoma city (this is where I live) in the middle region where your rent and cost of living is cheaper then this is for you.

1.WHINE WHINE WHINE

I LOSE my mind when people complain about how they need to make $15 an hour to live. Does anyone but me recognized that this is over $30,000 a year. I know women in their professions with a MASTERS degree that don’t even make that. But you got McDonald workers asking for $15. Can we be real for a moment. Minimum wage is only and let me emphasis ONLY for young adults with no kids to make a starting wage. If you think that a mother of 2 kids is living on min wage cant make it, well that’s because it was never designed for a family. A family should either consist of 2 incomes or 1 that is big enough to sustain a family. $7.25 was never meant to sustain a family and I think that’s where people are getting confused. And don’t get me wrong I am not trying to punish the mother (I came from a single parent) but you can’t confused what the wage was created for. If you are making minimum with no kids and cannot sustain your lifestyle, then your bills are TOO HIGH. If you are on min. wage and you have kids then its not the minimum wage that is your problem its your job. That job is not a career job, that job was not meant to sustain a family, therefor that job will not pay you more.

2. FINE LETS INCREASE MIN WAGE

So I really hope people understand if you increase min wage you have to cut all government welfare. This would only literally but you right back where you was but your now living on your own GREAT!! But, what about all the people who made $15, what about your manager whose salary was 30,000 there pay has to go up. You have to look at the economics. Should min wage be raised? YES, should it be $15 an hour NO! I believe if you don’t know how to manage $7.25 an hour you will not know how to manage $15. I want my people (the black community) to stop screaming at the politicians and find another way. If you feel like your wage is too low and your being cheated. Start on your grind, start freelancing, add another job. I had 2 jobs in college (the summer) while having school paid for. This was because I knew I wanted to have a nest egg when I graduated. Going back home and living with my mom was not an option.

 

3. STOP COMPLAINING & START APPLYING

I am all with venting, I really am, but now its time we wipe up those tears and start applying that great mind of ours. How can (insert your name) start making more money without having to beg someone for a higher pay. Now start to conjure up some ideas. You may be broke now, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel it just depends on if your willing to open your eyes and see it. I started my etsy shop last year and started selling random stuff on ebay, making over $3,000. Is this a lot? no but its a start. Make small steps and you will start to see your income grow.

4. NAS SAID IT BEST

In one of Dj khaled song “Major Key” Nas said something that has stuck with me ever since I heard it.

We get government aid
Spend it at they stores, puttin’ they kids through college
We need balance, so we can lease and own Ds in our projects
So I’m askin’ Gs to go in their pockets
The racial economic inequality, let’s try to solve it

Is this not INSANE. Its so true, we are playing into there hands. They love seeing us asking for money, they want us on government aid. They know the poor class are the masses that are buying their products. That is the only thing that is keeping them rich. When poor people receive food stamps they should only use the food stamps and the remaining money they have leftover from their check should go to savings. Not “their products” save that money up to climb your way out of debt, poverty. Not use the money to spend at their stores. I am like Nas I want to try to solve the racial economic inequality, but not at the route of asking for $15 instead of $7.25. I believe their is another way. I don’t have all the answers but I can tell you when I think one idea isn’t a good one and why! Hint the post. We are a smart group of people, we need to all come together to find a way to solve our communities financial problems.
5. YOU COULD BE THE EXCEPTION AND NOT THE RULE
Now someone people will read this post and think, I truly cant live on min wage and I have tried everything, then yes you are the exception but don’t let that ruin your life. Do not give up on trying to make more. If your a single parent and feel like you just cant make ends meet, you need to pray for direction and ask God to place you where you don’t have to live in debt or be on government aid. I want everyone to be able to live independently, either from the government or there parents. The best way to do this is change the way you see your income. When you decided I am going to make more and grind till you do, then your chances are a lot higher then complaining on capitol hill for higher pay.
CUT IT OUT
If you are currently living on min wage or you believe that it is impossible to do manage then make sure everything list out below shouldn’t be tied to your name.
cable
car note
gym membership
top wireless carrier (verizon,ATT, Sprint, T-mobile)
name brand clothes
starbucks coffee
Nails done
In the salon twice a week
Sounds mean! huh? I am just saying if your trying to get out of poverty or coming up short at the end of the month then all of these necessities are a no-no!!
INCREASE THE ECONOMY
Now I watch the news and many people argue it will increase the economy. And why yes I believe that. Sadly, if you give poor people more money they will just end up spending it and helping the economy. But aren’t we trying to help poor people from spending more than what they have! Raising the min wage will just make the top 1% richer and help get rid of the middle class.
MY SOLUTION
I think that every job should offer benefits to all its workers, part-time or not. Every job should come with PTO, Sick leave health and dental. And stop keeping workers at 39 hours a week, I have been there. And believe that will help more than dramatic increasing min. wage.
Whats your thoughts?

How To Live On 1 Income for (SAHM)

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So if you don’t already know, I am a stay at home mom of a 4 month old baby boy. And why yes it has always been my dream to be able to be at home with my child. I never really thought I would be able to accomplish it, and defiantly not at 24! Take a look at a few steps me and my husband do to make sure our goal is achievable.

 

 

DO THE MATH

First you must see how much do you need a month to live and not be on the street or hungry. So add up rent,food, car note, insurance, and utilities. I call this my core amount. So whatever this number may be this amount you need to always make, because when it comes to being at home your entertainment budget and shopping budget will be slashed in half or erased altogether. Lets say that number is 2500, look at your salary and see if the person working makes this a month. Remember when you have a kid your tax bracket changes so you will bring more home and you will not be taxed as heavy as you were with 0 dependents. If you are within 20% of that number then you should be able to stay at home.

CUT IT

I never knew how much me and my husband went out and spent money. Weekends were the death of us. Before we had our son we went out to eat every Saturday, and it wasn’t just fast food, we were going downtown and ballin!! We just recently went out to eat at a nice place and that was 4 months after Jeremiah was born. It may seem difficult now but believe me once you have a child, you will be so busy being a new family going out will be a nice treat but not a necessity.

MOVING

If you are like us, we were in a 1 bedroom apartment. Many people told us to save money and stay in it till my son was ready to pop. However I stress a-lot, so I had to already be moved out and in my new place so I wouldn’t have to worry about the hassle of finding a new spot and getting the nursery ready. I will admit we could of went cheaper but at the time we thought I was going back to work, so we moved into a 2 bedroom 2.5 bath with a bonus room, 3 story and a garage townhome. It was double the rent of our small 600sq foot apartment. So definitely look for something that is only 30% of 1 person income. Make sure before you move look into the list below they will make A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

Call and see what services they allow, if they only let you use AT&T, browse online and see what there prices are. Check and see if it is a new place. Our townhome was brand new so the appliance were energy efficient so even though we doubled in square feet we saved in electric from our previous place being old and badly insulated. See how far it is from work will you save in gas or is further. These small things will make a difference. We moved to a nicer neighborhood and our insurance drop dramatically. So although we doubled in rent we saved over $300 a month in changing apartments.

 

SAVE BEFORE

Assuming you know that you want kids and they were not a “HUGE” surprise when you got the news. Sit down and see what all you can do to save more money a month and put it another account you can’t touch. The great thing about having kids, is that even if it was a surprise you have 9 months to figure out the logistics. Also try to live on the 1 income for a few months see if it is possible. Don’t get discourage if you cant it alot harder when your pregnant and you want tacos and saving money doesn’t out weigh a craving, believe me I understand.

BABY SHOWER 

HAVE ONE HAVE ONE HAVE ONE! Have as many as people want to throw you one. I got almost everything needed for my baby’s room at his baby shower. Make sure to check out other baby bloggers that will walk you through items that were a waste of time. It best to see what other moms think about a nose sucker or baby rocker before you go crazy in babies R us. Dont buy anything for your newborn until the baby shower is done. You will get so many gift cards and cash that you may be able to skip paying for his nursery all together. My husband coach at a christian academy and they all bought him diaper all the way up to size 3, which was amazing! We haven’t had to buy diapers, wipes or clothes so far, and by the looks of it he has enough diapers and wipes to get him through 9 months.

PASSIVE INCOME

Try to see if you can work up some passive income or side hustle jobs that wont take away too much time and will earn you some extra cash. With my husband coaching on the side and my t shirt line we are able to not only live on one but put some money towards debt and stay on track for buying a home in the next coming years. However I will admit if you think you can just work from home while taking care of a newborn, then expect to be a terrible employee or a exhausted mother. Infants don’t get easier until around 4 months, when they take naps without fighting it and they will start getting on a routine schedule.

BREASTFEED

If only possible! But you can save over 2000 a year when you breastfeed, plus it will help you save in the future with less ear infections and doctor visits. Plus since you are at home it wont be as much as a hassle. To be honest I HATE BREASTFEEDING, It makes me sleepy, I feel like he always needs me (lol). But I love how much it saves my family and that its so much more healthier for him then formula.

Now yes this list may not work for everyone and, every household is different. However you can still apply the tips to help save money while having a child. Being a mom has been not only a blessing but the most fun I have ever had. Going to the pool or just chilling on the couch with my husband and baby boy have been the greatest joy, I pray I can continue to be at home to experience and grow everyday with my son.

 

How To Pimp Your Credit Card

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I love, I mean LOVE my credit cards. And not the “rack up the card and pay monthly payments” type of love. I enjoy the points and the cash back you get from them. Credit cards have to offer you something to get you to sign up. Before you read these please DON’T get a card if you have no self control and had issues with credit cards in the past. This is not an affiliated post all content is my personal opinions of the credit cards I talk about.    Here are a few tips I use to pimp my cards.

 

1.SIGN UP WHEN THEY OFFER A SPECIAL DEAL

Now most will always give you 1 year 0% interest but ignore that, you should NEVER carry a balance from month to month on a credit card, if so you are literally burning money each month. Many cards will run a special and give you a $100-$500 bonus or a set number of points if you spend $1,000 in 3 months. Depending on who you are, this is what you would normally spend each month anyway. I signed up for my american express card when I was about to pay for my wedding. Also I was able to keep up with how much I was spending on my wedding without my household items interfering. I also got the card, because I got so much cash back on items I was already planning to buy. Plus we took a honeymoon in St. Thomas so I didn’t really want to use my debit card. By signing up when they had a offer I got 15,000 points which really means $150 towards a gift card. Yay! and with american express you can just get a general gift card that can work anywhere so that could be your groceries for the month!

 

2. ONLY SIGN UP FOR CARDS WITH $0 ANNUAL FEE

You shouldn’t have to pay to use a card EVER. I look at credit cards like you should be happy to have me, not the other way around. My American Express card, Bank of America cards both have $0 annual fees, and I love it. If you have cards with annual fees you better be getting more back in money and rewards, that it actually pays off. But to be safe stay away from annual fees.

 

3.USE THE CASH BACK PROGRAM

So here is my favorite way to start pimping your cards. Try to have at least 1 card that offers cash back on purchases that you normally would spend on a regular day. So I have the Bank Of American Cash Reward Card.You get 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas. So for me and husband we use this card only to get gas and groceries. Just for having the card about 2 in a half years I have earned over $100 dollars. Just by paying for my normal expenses with that card. Also many cards are offering special cash rewards on top of that. Every month they update  the stores and allow you to add them to your card they range from chili’s to places like Starbucks and AT&T at 10% cash back. The great thing is I can easily set a budget on gas and groceries for the month then use this card when they send me the statement I will know exactly what I spent and the exact cash back I received. I don’t really care for the 1% cash back that is created to get you to spend the card on anything when you may not have it. Focus on the cards with more than 2% cash back.

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4.USE THE POINT SYSTEM FOR ENTERTAINMENT 

This may sound like a lot but bare with me. I have another card that earns me points for purchases. At the end of the month the points just keep adding up and you can use them to go shopping in there “online store”. This mostly will have gift cards to restaurants, clothing stores, etc. After you have built up a healthy amount of points every month, plan a special day and use your points for that day. We normally get a gift card to the movies, or we buy a Groupon and then use the Groupon to pay for an activity or a new restaurant downtown. This helps us have a little date night and its FREE!!! Try not to go over board and rack up the card for the points. When the car breaks down, gifts, or a big item you have  PLANNED to purchase put that on the point card. The point system isn’t my favorite but if you sign up when they are offering a special then it can really help. Also I like to have 1 card that has a massive credit limit to lower my credit usage but I will explain that more in another post.

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While using a card that earns 2% on groceries and 3% on gas will not make you rich, it will add a few dollars to your account, and the points will allow you to go out and have fun without the worry of going over your budget. Please do not attempt any of these tips if you have an issue with spending more than what you can pay in cash. If you fall into the trap and charge items you cant afford you will just start a tall order of debt!