Investing Basics 101

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Am a huge stock owner, do I know everything about the stock market, can I make you millions with $10? No, but I am just like you working a normal job(well sorta I’m a SAHM) making average pay and had no idea about the stock market. That’s the reason I believe I can not only help you understand it but, can get you excited to start investing. First lets dive into simple terminology that is used on wall street.

Terms

Stock is a representation of a piece of ownership one has in a company. Stock is what you buy on the market to have this ownership. Think of stock like an orange, you go to the market and you buy the fruit, once you make the purchase you own the orange.

Portfolio: A collection of investments owned by an investor. You can have as little as one stock in a portfolio to an infinite amount of stocks. When you start buying stock you then have a “portfolio”.

Broker: A person who buys or sells an investment for you in exchange for a fee (a commission). I will later on show you ways to buy stock without paying fees to a broker.

Initial Public Offering (IPO): The first sale or offering of a stock by a company to the public, rather than  just being owned by private or inside investors. Whenever facebook decided to go public it was called an IPO, the “new kid on the block”

Rally: A rapid increase in the general price level of the market or of the price of a stock. Sometime certain events can cause the stock market to go up fast in a short time this is when a “rally” happens.

Sector: A group of stocks that are in the same business. An example would be the “Technology” sector including companies like Apple and Microsoft. A fancier way of saying category. Like retail is a “sector” that most investor are staying away from due to low sales.

Best graph for reference (image source)

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Now this may seem like a lot of information at one time, but this is just the basics and you learn most of the definitions when you actually dive into investing. Now I have been investing for 2 years now, and I haven’t invested alot of money. However, I have gain a great return and I plan to increase every year. There are 2 ways I to go about investing, you can either spend the time and look deep into a stock you want to own. Or you can let someone create a portfolio of stocks they believe will earn you a great return. Well I tried both, and got different outcomes.

 

Acorns

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This app is AMAZING! I love it and always rave about it. It takes my spare cash rounds it up and deposits it into my portfolio. Where they have hand picked stocks and bonds for me. I don’t spend time looking for stock to own or what bonds to buy. This apps way of investing, is good for someone who wants to put there money on auto pilot. You will earn a return depending on the stock market and not have to worry about doing the heavy lifting. However, you don’t get to control what you own. So if you hate apple and would rather amazon or another stock you will not be able to change where your money goes. For those who like a certain company and want to pick where there investment goes I would recommend my next tip.

 

Robinhood

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I’ve had this app for about 6 months. I own 5 stocks ranging in different sectors. I study which stocks to own, at what price to buy, and how long I should hold them. This way of investing takes more time, but if you are good at it you can make alot of money. It doesn’t take a warren buffet to know whats going to hit. My husband who doesn’t have a passion for investing picked a few stocks and some months they are outperforming the stocks I spent hours on studying. This app is easy to navigate, I was able to get my mom into it and she loves it.

I plan to keep both app, and increase the amount I invest in each year. My main focus is paying down debt but the interest rate on my car loan is 4%, while the money I have invest has yielded me over 11%. Just remember to keep a balance and take it slow. Don’t put all your eggs in 1 basket.

I handpicked, Target, Fitbit, Square, Phillips 66, Teladoc. Want to start investing use my link below to get $5 started in your acorns account.

https://acorns.com/invite/YCGCCH

What “NOT” to do with your refund check

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So here I am thinking of many ways to tell people to maxamize there refund check, and it hit me let me first cover what not to do with your extra money. Now I had to do some research and what does the common person do with there money and how much does the average american save. Now there is no black and white anwser, however I have asked a few people, seen many post on my fb timeline, and have a good estimation where this money goes. Lets dig into where you shouldn’t spend that extra cash.

 

CAR

So, funny story I went to a rather diverse school when it came to income amounts. While my friends were not rich I always knew when there mama got there refund check. Either my friend or my friends mom would be rolling in a new vehicle. Now is buying a new car wrong. No, but if you didn’t have a need for new wheels then why are you wasting money on it. Was 2017 so dreadful that getting a new car in 2018 will change things. Okay I drive a 2005 Nissian sentra 188k miles one of my rims is missing I have a massive crack in the window My engine light is on as much as my heat is. Now does it still drive yes, so as for 2018 I will still be pushing my rough looking baby around! I understand that you may crave a new whip or see a great deal on a new car. However saving money should be priority number 1. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go without a car note? I still drive my car because It allows my family to live on 1 income and sets us up financially better for the future. We could not be a family of 3 living on 1 income with 2 car payments. So keep rolling what you got and move that money to the bank!

 

RENT

I have heard the theory of paying up a few months on rent. Now if you have 0 self control and you could see yourself buying gucci bags rather than paying your rent. Then go ahead but if not and you have better self control (I pray you have self control). Don’t pay up on something that isn’t debt. Paying next months rent does nothing when you already have the money. Now if this was a mortgage then yes, a car note yes. But a lease NO! Try to save the money and in the future if you cant make rent you will have it saved. This is a poor mindset, you are in the state of thinking of today. I have money today so I need to spend what I have. I read lots of articles on how the poor think differently from the rich. Living for today and spending all you have for the moment you receive it, is number 1 mentality of the poor.

 

VACATION

Don’t we all need a vaca. I know I am up for one at any moment. However if my goal is to get out of debt or buy a house right now isn’t the time for one. Wait to you achieve your goals before you spend time “celebrating”. Before I had my son me and my husband wanted to travel but we knew I would be on leave for 3 months and not receiving a full check. We ended up staying at the house, thank goodness because I quit my job a week before giving birth.

 

NO PLANS

If you know that you are receiving a tax refund and you have 0 idea on where your going to spend it then you got a problem. No plan usually ends in a disator. Try to look at your finances and see where the money would go best. If its savings or debt. Opt to have at least 1,000 saved before you start paying down debt. This is just a safety net just in case things go bad. I try to tell people to have 3-6 months of living expenses saved. If you don’t have an emergency fund or 3-6 months saved, put your refund to either one of the causes.

 

RESEARCH SAYS:

After spending time looking into what people actually do I am suprised. However they said it depends on the economy. Just remember your refund check is money you already put in the system unless you have kids or are receiving the Income tax credit. Make a plan and execute! When me and my husband got married we worked ALOT! I had 2 jobs and so did he. Our first year we received a small amount mostly due to the fact he was still in school working fast food. We took the money and threw half in savings the rest went to his student loans. But once we started working full time jobs with higher pay, that next tax season we owed the IRS. This is a testament to how life works sometimes your up and sometimes your down. But if your savings always stays afloat you can maneuver through life no matter the valley! So take that extra check and let it work for you, save it or get out of debt!

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.

 

How To Eat For 2 on $200 A Month

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I did some research on how much the average american spends on food and the USDA states, those with incomes of $75,000 or more per year are averaging $180 per week, compared with $144 for those with incomes of $30,000 to $74,999, and $127 for the lowest income group. I almost fell out of my bed when I read this. What could Americans be possibly buying. I have found lots of way to slice this amount to $100 per person. Please understand as I do live in the midwest (oklahoma) and prices may differ(according to USDA the midwest is $60 cheaper a month compared to the east and south), but the actions I take are more on principle than on price. Now some of you will say I like my name brand I love whole foods, and what not. I understand, in my

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dreams I go grocery shopping at whole foods I don’t look a price, I buy new spices every week. If your looking to do this on a budget then you will be highly disappointed. The point of saving and building wealth is to get to those goals but first by sacrificing; so let’s dig in and see what steps you can take to lower your bill.

 

1.Leftovers

No more leftover dinners for lunch the next day. Have you notice when you go out to eat the lunch menu is cheaper. When you eat what you cooked for dinner for lunch you have just had a really pricey lunch. Opt for what I call a no meat lunch. You will be surprised by how much cheaper it is to not buy meat and how healthy it is for your diet. Below Is what I cooked my husband for a week (recipe).

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My husband loves his meatless lunches and he still has all the energy he needs if not more. Now I am breastfeeding and my pediatrician wants me to keep my weight up so I eat hot dogs, chicken salad, or chicken with mac and cheese.

 

 

2. Plan your meals by sales

I don’t get ads but I have this app (here) that shows me all the sales going on in my area and at my favorite stores. I love trying new things and with making a meal list catered to sales I can not only save money but my family gets new, and different foods all the time. Are mango’s on sale, then google meals with mangos and maybe make a mango salsa, “you get the point.”

 

3.Go in with a plan

Are you walking into the store without a list, did the list you make start out with meals first. So yes I will admit meal planning takes forever. But it will save you time during the week when you need ideas on what to cook. So first start out by writing down the meals you want to cook then all the ingredients needed to make those meals. Scratch off what you have then create a list of the things you need to get from the store. This tip is the most important as we are going to these stores with no plan, no strategy. Grocery shopping is a serious things you have to look at it as such. Plus when you make a meal list it gets the whole family involved. Here is the meal board I have in my kitchen (here), My husband loves knowing whats on the menu. Normally he will be like oh drea Thursday night can we have wings it’s a big football game on. Or hey I really like this meal lets put it on the schedule. Get the whole family involve mark certain days as daddy cook days.

HOT TIPS

No juice– We don’t need soda or juice to survive so don’t waste money purchasing it. Not feeling this, then buy yourself the packets of tea and make your own juice. Its cheaper and you can control how much sugar you put in each batch.

No water bottles– Buy a brita filter and just filter the tap water you already have. My husband loves bottle water so I allow 1 case of 24 from aldi only $2.19 and it has to last the whole month.

Frozen Meals/Pizza– I usually have a few frozen pizzas or pre-cooked meals in the freezer. At aldi they run from $3-$4.00. These are my cheat days for when I dont feel like cooking and it keeps us from going out to eat. Pair the pizza with a salad and your good to go. Also after I spend all day at the store carrying a 10 month old while putting 2 weeks of food in the cart I am way to tired to cook that. Grocery day is usually pre cooked meal day!!!

Homemade– I don’t buy ragu or pre-made pasta I make my own, that also goes for Alfredo sauce, and when I am feeling fancy I make my own salsa.

Less Is More– As American’s we already have over-sized proportions, try increase vegetables and decreasing the main dish.

Pantry– You must I mean must have a pantry, I have mine stocked with pasta, rice and black beans. Build one on the needs of your family and you will always have food.

No Name Brand– opt for the off brand, unless it makes your skin react or you physically cannot have it, buy it. My kitchen is full of the aldi brand and sprouts brands and my meals still taste great.

Slice Chicken In half– I buy chicken breast when they go on sale for $1.99 or less a pound at sprouts. I then slice them in half. They are usually super big and thick so 1 can easily fill up a grown man and breastfeeding woman on 1 chicken breast.

 

Meals & Prices for the month

Here is what we had for breakfast, Lunch and dinner. I linked a few recipes that I tried and were cost efficient.

Breakfast Meals- Waffle, Scrambled/Boiled Eggs, hash browns, Yogurt with granola, Cereal, Malt-o-meal, Oats with fruit.

Lunch Meals- Chili dogs, Quinoa and sweet potato mix, Homemade pizza rolls, Chicken salad, quinoa and sausage with bell peppers.

Dinner Meals- Chicken spaghetti, tacos with corn, beef spaghetti with Brussels sprouts, baked drumsticks, Crogrilled-bruschetta-chicken-101.jpgck-pot barbecue sauce drumsticks, skillet chicken with brown rice and veggies. Chicken tortilla Soup, Chicken with fresh cooked asparagus, Baked chicken with brown rice and veggies, Frozen pizza (3), Chicken pesto with mash potatoes and veggies. Hamburgers with homemade fries, Quesadillas with black beans,

Snacks- Chips and salsa, Chips and queso, Ice cream, Cookie mix

 

As you can see, we eat alot of chicken, I try to only have 1-2 meals with ground beef (its not healthy to eat red meat all the time). Seafood only gets on the list when its on sale at $6.99 a pound (I get only 1 pound). I dont get crazy with coupons unless I go to target. As for this month we only went to sprouts and aldi. Jeremiahs food runs around $40 a month. I puree and cook all his solids its cheaper and I know exactly whats in his food. Plus I can make combinations that Gerber may not sell.

 

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CONCLUSION

It will take some time to get to $100 a person a month but its worth the savings. Focus on meal planning and whats on sale for the week then go from there. Take baby steps and try cutting $50 off a month until you get to your destination! Comment below on how you save on food a month or how you are trying some of the hot tips from the blog post!

 

 

 

7 Tricks to save on utilities

 

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So its almost the end of October and if you live in a normal state where fall means sweaters and booties and all the cute clothes then you should be seeing a savings in your utility bill. But if you live in the Midwest like me, then you may still be running your air. Here are a few tips me and my family have taken to save money and cut our bill down.

 

 

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  1. KNOW YOUR LIMIT

So, yes you could totally turn off your a/c or heat and tough it out. But that’s not for everyone. My friends electric bill is no more than $30 a month no matter the season. However when I go over her place I am either sweating it up or freezing. So of course your home should be comfortable but know your limit. We use to have a cheaper bill until our son was born. He doesn’t sleep at night if it isn’t at least 72 degrees. I will rather pay the extra than have to deal with a crying baby.

 

 

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2.LEARN ABOUT YOUR ELECTRIC

Once you know the desire you want your home to feel, call you utility company and ask them if they have smart hours, or is there a certain time that your electric could be cheaper. When we moved, the new place didn’t have a smart hour system but when I called they said that my electric is the highest between 2pm-7pm. But on weekends its a flat rate and the cheapest. So what this means is from 2-7 I do my best to either run the fans and turn the a/c off (besides nap time lol) and wash clothes on weekends or early in the morning.

 

 

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3.UNPLUG, UNPLUG

Stop wasting money on electronics plugged in. I try to make sure at night I go through the house and unplug all my electronics. With my computer I have it on smart save mode  where it shuts down every night at midnight and reboots at 8 am.

 

 

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4.SHORTER SHOWERS

Are you letting the bathroom get steamy before you step in, do you take showers longer than 7 min, are you wasting time picking out your outfit while the water is running? If yes, then stop and save the water. Its eco-friendly and money savings.

 

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5. FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CROCKPOT

Running your oven is so expensive especially in the summer. Opt to use the crock-pot and or microwave its cheaper.

 

 

 

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6.REPLACE AIR FILTER & LIGHT BULBS

The dirtier the air filter the harder your a/c or heat have to work to circulate your air.Also switch all your light bulbs to the energy efficient bulbs. These can be found anywhere and will pay themselves back and more once you make the move.

 

 

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7.WASHING

Try washing your clothes in cold water, this will not only save you money, it wont shrink your clothes as well. Are you cleaning your lint trap after every load, the method behind the air filters is the same in the dry. When you keep that clean its easier for the heat to dry the clothes faster.

 

Every state and location is different. I learned this after living in a 500 sq foot apartment that was old and moved to a 1200 sq foot townhouse that was brand new. The townhouse electric and water bill was cheaper. All due to the fact it had energy saving appliances and was sealed off better. This is something to think about when buying a house and deciding on a place to stay. Newer usually means saving on utility bills. Find small ways to save water and electric, it will not only save you money but it will help the environment.

 

How To Save With A Baby

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While I may only be 6 months in and haven’t been a mom for too long I can still tell you great ways to save with a child. The latest report estimates having a child will cost roughly 233,610 from birth to graduating high school. Which may scare you, however I have a few tips that can lower that cost and set your family up for wealth building. Plus having a child is more than about money, its about the memories and the joy of bringing life into this world.

 

GENDER NEUTRAL

First, you must think about how many kids do you plan on having. If you have one now and are open to having more kids later on, remember to buy gender neutral items. For example I got a crib that is white with a brown base. When I registered for a crib I wanted to make sure It would not only stand the time but also if we were to be blessed with a baby girl I wouldn’t have to go buy a new crib. The stroller, car seat, bassinet, diaper bag. Are all either black or grey. The only thing that screams boy is his clothes, the rest is up in the air and on lock for the next baby.

 

BRESTFEED (if possible)

I will be completely honest, most women are like I breastfeed because of all the health benefits and it so much better than formula. Ummm….. well ya that’s great and all but I initially breastfeed because I knew it was free milk, all the other additives were just bonus. The fact that my son is 6 months and we have never had to spend a dollar on the expensive formula helps out so much in his first year. Not to add, with breast-milk his immune system is stronger so less trips to the doctor in the future and no ear infections. If your child has issues with latching on, or your don’t like the idea. Try to pump, you may not be able to make enough milk for all his bottles but it will cut down the amount of formula you have to buy. Plus you can mix breast-milk and formula.

 

HAVE A BABY SHOWER

We got 90% of all Jeremiahs baby stuff at our baby shower. We were blessed enough to have 2 plus, my job gave me a gift card and a mamroo swing. Especially if its your first child people are very open to buying you lots of gifts, that’s why its so important to go ahead and get gender neutral items just in case your family isn’t too generous on baby #2. Also jamals football team that he coaches got us enough diapers and wipes to get him through the first year. Which brings me to my next point.

 

DIAPERS

While you can get away with free milk by breastfeeding, diapers is another story. Many women have opt to do cloth diapers. While I am not against it, its not for everyone. If you are dedicated and passionate about doing cloth diapers then go for it. If not, you must be on the look out for deals 24/7. Try to stock on sales but always remember to keep your receipt. My son was in size 1 diapers for maybe 2 months before we had to move him up. This left us so many unused diapers in his stock pile, luckily the people who gave us the diapers had gift receipts with it so we were able to exchange it. Check places like Tjmax and Marshalls they carry bulk sizes of honest diapers for cheap cheap! CVS, and Walgreens have the best deals as well, make sure you always check them out.

 

FREE SAMPLES

Just google free sample for baby items and a list of great sites will pop up with many good items. Jeremiah has over 4 bottles formula toys, soap, anything you can think of he got from a free sample. And I am talking about the free, free stuff, where you don’t even have to pay for shipping. Places like target, and Walmart will try to get you to register at there store in return they will ship you a sample of items. We registered at both even though we didn’t technically use Walmart we made a list added 2 items and had free bottles ship to us. If you have amazon prime, create a baby registry and they will ship you a box of samples. This box was amazing full size wipes, toys and alot of great goodies. Just remember your email will get slammed with ads from baby companies so you might want to use an email that is just for this.

 

LIBRARY

This is a great resource if you are a stay at home mom, or you work hours that allow you to be off in the morning. We go to our local library every Tuesday for babytime and my son loves it. They read to him let him play with toys plus he gets to meet new babies and I get talk to new moms.

 

MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD

So my child isn’t on solids until the end of this month but we are already prepared for food. We are going to puree all his fruits and veggies. There are tons of information on pinterest and youtube on how to do this. Its not hard just a little more time consuming but not only will you save money but you will also feed your kids food without all the preservatives and chemicals in jar food.

 

Remember that kids don’t have to have the latest and greatest, at this age they don’t even know the difference between an expensive toy and a plain box. Get creative and stick to a budget, your child will be more grateful of an interactive parent then some lavish toy.

 

Paying Down Debt VS Savings

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If you are young you probably have some form of debt. I believe one of the hardest thing about finances is deciding where to start and what to focus on. Sometimes you can be so far behind you feel hopeless. Although you may have no savings and a lot of debt there is an answer.

So if you don’t already know I graduated debt free and I was blessed to have a car given to me in high school with no car note. So yes I have no debt but my husband has a car and student loans, so we have been faced with dilemma do we pay the debt down or save money? The short term answer is pay debt, all the big financial advisers will tell you debt first. But I believe its much harder than that. Depending on your narrative will ultimately choose which path to take first. Look at all the elements I raise for you to ask and this will be a guide to let you know where to start.

 

GOALS

What are your short term and long term goals. Me and my husband want to have a house and we want it rather soon. After talking to a loan officer for a pre-approval letter, he wasn’t pushed back by the amount of loans we had. He was mostly focus on our credit and how much we made. When we told him how much we were going to put on the down payment and he ran our credit and was like ya “your good”. And in seconds we were on our way. Small hiccup it was contingent I went back to work making similar to my old salary, (but that’s another story). This goal we had showed us that we should be focused on the down payment, rather than paying loans. So if a goal of yours requires money right now then go for the savings.

 

INTEREST RATE

This one is rather simple, a good savings account can yield you 1.0% on your balance, an average credit card loan can be 15%. So if you have a huge balance on your credit card you should opt to pay that down first because it will net you more money in the end. You can also get savvy with the interest on things. My husband was able to put his loans in forbearance and have the government pay on the interest, and we put our money to the car loan which is at 4%. Its all about finding the most efficient way to make your money work for you.

 

KIDS

Do you have kids? If so save save save, those little suckers are so cute but can literally brake anything in your house, get sick, etc. You will defiantly need a small savings to make sure you can cover small emergency. Also if you go ahead and save 3 months of living expenditures and you lose your job you wont have to worry about putting everything on credit. When your single or married with no kids, your focus should be a “debt free” mindset.

 

BEING BLACK

Yes I said it, if you are black I would push for you to at least get 1-2 months of living expenses saved. Why? Well our income disparity is out of whack, last ones to get picked for a job and a whole bunch of other stuff that shows how racist this world is. I say all that to encourage you to make sure your money is okay. If your boss calls you the N word, and you have $0 saved with a child to feed your less likely to leave. If you find out your getting paid half the salary as someone without the education as you but you wont make rent if you leave then you will compromise. As someone once said “black people always make sure you have some F-U money. “

 

TRY BOTH

This can take some practice and I will admit its A LOT of work. But if your up for the challenge do it. Make a goal you want to have save and how much debt you want to pay, then rotate each amount every month. So lets say you have $300 each month to either save or put towards debt. One month delegate it to savings the other month double up on your car note or student loan. This way you will have a little money saved but feel like your one step closer to being debt free.

 

Confused? If so, its okay which ever option you choose will be better than doing nothing. The difference is buying an item on sale and being happy about it, too find out next week its 10% cheaper. You might be mad that you didn’t get it at it lowest, however you didn’t buy it full price. Looking back on your financial decision you will be glad you started either path even if your like darn I should of paid the car off first. You live you learn and that’s the beauty of life!

Are you still wasting money on a car note?

 

car note

Now I am no expert on cars and by all means I am not a mechanic. However I do know that america is trading in there cars way to fast. The average time an american has a car is 6 years, although all modern cars can last 11 years (consumer report). So why are we only getting half the life out of our cars? I believe it has something to do with pressure of America telling you, you need better, faster, newer, and you need it now.

 

CAR PAYMENTS

It should not be the norm to always have a car payment. We must break the idea that we have to have a car payment all our lives. This is not true. The ultimate goal of buying a car is paying cash for the full amount so you don’t have to worry about interest and then keep the car for 11 years plus. According to Edmunds.com, the average monthly payment on a new vehicle is $479. Just think if after your 4 year note you were able to save that amount for 7 years, the duration of your cars life. That’s a savings of $40,236! You could use that money to buy another car in cash, or you could invest in buy a home. The possibilities are endless.

 

UP-KEEP

With anything, if you want to keep it awhile you have to treat it with respect. So if you want to be able to push your car the whole 11 years. You must keep up the oil changes and maintenance on the car. And I know you might think, well if I had a new car I wouldn’t have to worry about maintenance. This thought is true in you might not have a major issue but your paying 479 to not have one, vs paying 30 for an oil change or maybe $600 a year in car fixes.

 

NEW VS OLD

This is a big one that many argue over. So here is my synopsis, buy new if you plan on keeping that car for 11 years. Therefor you have all the warranty and 0 miles on the car. Me and my husband bought our Honda new, but we plan on having it until the wheels fall off. If you find a good deal on a used car then go for it. I don’t know much about cars so me finding a good deal and knowing if the engine and transmission is okay, are slim. So I leave the bargain hunting for someone else.  We all understand the concept that a car loses value when it leaves the lot, but that’s only if you decide on trading it in for something else soon.

 

180,000

I am not saying all this and rolling in a brand new car stunnin’. My car has 186k miles on it and I am still pushing it. I do have a child and we do have a 2015 Honda that we use as the family car and my husband drives my car to work. He works 30 min away and my car does just fine it may not have the sun roof or the really good air, but it does give us the freedom not to have a car payment every month. We are praying we can put 250k on it, so the Honda can be paid for and we wont have to worry about 2 car payments at one time. But if my car does give out you better believe we will go to a 1 car system and do what we can until we have the means.

 

Save now, so you can ball later. If you keep pushing your Nissan, Honda or Toyato. You will be able to either buy your next car right out or get a luxury car. I want a Acura RDX but I know to have that car I must be patient and wait. Remember everything comes in good timing just wait and push your car until it says its time for a new one.

5 Reasons Your Still Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Paycheck

 

Annoyed that your having the same problems you’ve had for years? Feel like the second you get a raise you can’t see progress? At the end of the month still confused on where your money went? You my friend don’t have a money issue you have a lifestyle problem. I see and hear so many people tell me they can’t survive on their salary or why they need a raise and yes, wages are crap, but I could probably guess your issues.

 

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#1 YOUR PLAYING VICTIM

You heard a lie and ran with it. You believe that all of america is like this, so its normal. Countless times on the news they will state how everyone is in the same boat, wages are low and cost of living is high. Why yes that’s true however that just means you have to adjust your budget. Which brings me to point 2.

 

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#2 YOU HAVE NO BUDGET

I know you don’t have one because if you did you would be able to state, ya I am short at the end of the month because (insert reason). A budget exposes the truth of where your money is going, and it wont say its your income, it will say its your spending habits. If you spend the time to see the problem you could work on a solution.

 

 

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#3 YOUR CLUELESS

You let your money control you. You have no idea of how much you need to stay afloat, you can’t recall how much you own on a credit card, or loan. If you don’t know these numbers then they are ruling your life. You should check your account everyday put time in to understand your finances, you work so hard to get a paycheck each month. I hate when people are oblivious to their money, you cant mistreat a person and expect them to care for you. Don’t treat your hard earn money like a second thought and be mad its gone by the 19th.

 

 

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#4 YOUR IN THE WRONG SIZED DRESS

You cant make a size 10 woman fit in a size 00 dress. Then don’t try to make the same for your check. Yes there are ways to slim down your budget and make things fit but you need to be honest with yourself. Can you afford the BMW, or is the toyota more acceptable, do you have to have the iphone 10 or is your 7 doing you just find. Dont buy something you cant afford to just blame it on your income. I cant be mad my income doesn’t allow me trips to hawaii, to go around and take a trip and get frustrated at the outcome.

 

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#5 KEEPING UP WITH JONSES

Social media sites are throbbing with this. You see someone post about buying the new and latest item, next thing your doubting why you don’t have it. Its so easy to get caught up in this game, but the winner wont be the one rocking the hottest clothes or driving the nicest car. The winner is the person with the net worth. I always hear that I need a new car and to be honest I would only get one to stunt A. Mine works fine, B. I am a stay at home mom( who doesn’t get out much). Me buying a new car would not only hurt my finances it would put a strain on my family.

 

Feeling like this post is coming at you hard? Well your right. I want to get my point across that we need to stop living like this. Its not healthy for you or your family. I want to see everyone prosper and living paycheck to paycheck is a scary thing. You should have a feeling that if I lose my job today, I wont lose my car and house/apartment tomorrow. Check out my other post on how to stop the cycle and begin saving money. The first step is realizing you have a problem and putting ACTION to fixing it.

 

How to enjoy TV with no cable bill

cable bill

If you are trying to save money and you have a cable bill then please pay attention and cut it. Since marriage me and my husband have not had a cable bill. We work off a group system. I believe cable is a luxury and lets be honest you should be so busy saving money and working to gain wealth that you don’t have time for 200+ channels.

NETFLIX

While yes its obvious and I know that everyone has netflix and it has became the choice for must cable never-ers like me. But do you have a buddy that has it as well. Netflix allows 6 accounts, with a $10 monthly membership fee. Try to exchange service with someone or go half and half with someone you trust with your netflix account.

HULU

So I use to hate on netflix and hulu was my number one choice when it came to streaming however hulu takes some getting use too. The idea that you have to wait a day after something premiers can be odd, but once you start streaming you wont even know the day a tv show comes on. TV will be on your schedule not the other way around. Hulu is only 7.99 and I exchange my hulu account for access to my cousins netflix. That way we both only pay $8 a month and get both services.

ANTENNA

Do you love football?? And are you worried that you will miss all your teams game. Well check into buying an antenna, click here for the one I have. We get 40+ channels and the most important ones include abc, nbc, and cbs. So as long as your team is in your network your good. And you wont have to worry about paying a monthly bill.

AMAZON FIRE & APPLE TV

I have both devices the apple tv is in our living room and I love it, but we recently bought the fire stick. If you have the extra money get the apple tv but since this is a blog about saving money I would obt for the fire stick. It gives you the same channel decent interface and voice control for half the price. If you know someone with a cable package look towards your grandparents, ask them for there email and login to access channels provided on the apple tv and fire stick.

MIRROR

If you have an iphone it allows you to send whatever you are looking at on your phone to the apple tv. This is cool because sometimes many shows are streamed online or on twitter. you can just play it on your phone and click apple tv mirror from the dock screen and watch it on your tv.

ADAPT

With any new thing it takes time. If you are use to watching 200 channels and having so many option it will be difficult, but if you are open to saving money each month and watch tv on demand then go for it. I like having the freedom of watching my shows when I want to. I dont have to be in front of the tv on a wednesday at 7:00pm. I can watch my shows when I want where I want and only pay 7.99 a month.