Tag Archives: money talk

eggs-diversify

Diversify Your Money

Recently I was a victim of debit card fraud and it reminded me of the importance of diversification. I am always saying, “Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket” and that is so true even when it comes to your bank account. Some jerk decided to copy my debit card and went shopping at a Walmart in Texas. I have never even been to Texas and I live in Pennsylvania. I have no idea how this even happened, but I am glad it was my credit union account and not my account with my other bank where all of my bills come out of.

My credit union was amazing at getting things resolved, but it took 3 days to have the funds returned back to me and I had to wait about 7 days to get a new card in the mail. If I would have only had one banking institution, I would have been so out of luck. Do they even still take checks in the store anymore? I can’t even tell you the last time I saw someone write out a check in the grocery store.

The point of me writing this short blog post is to encourage you to diversify your money. When I say this I mean all aspects of your money because you will never know when something bad will happen. You need to have multiple income streams, multiple bank accounts for checking and savings, a diversified investment portfolio, etc. I am working on that diversified investment portfolio so don’t you worry. I am building my empire one brick at a time to create lasting wealth for my family. The goal is to build generational wealth.

How do you diversity?

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soft cup

Product I Love: Instead Soft Cup

Ok Just His Mommy readers, I have a product that I love that is worth sharing with you. Not only is it healthier for your body, but I have found it to also be more economical. Sorry if I have any male readers, but this product is for the women out there that still get their monthly friend. The Instead Soft Cup has been a delight and I have used it for 3 period cycles so far. I can honestly say I like it better than tampons, which we know aren’t always the best thing for you. I have never been a fan of pads so this was a no brainier for me. Check out this chart below for the comparisons:soft cup comparison 2

 

Instead Soft Cup is literally a cup that catches everything so yeah it is kind of messy taking it out. The best thing to do is to make sure you are sitting on the toilet. I used the Nuva Ring at one point so insertion and removal was a breeze for me. Once removed you can empty the cup or dispose of it. The Soft Cup can be purchased in either the disposable or reusable form so it really depends on your preference. The color and material differ, but I can honestly say I reuse the disposable version at least twice before discarding. It seems to work just fine for me and I have yet to have an accident. I always wear a panty liner just as an extra precaution.

My box of 14 cups cost me $5.98 at Walmart and I don’t know about you, but to me that is a pretty good deal. Considering the amount of tampons I was going thru, the Soft Cup has helped me cut cost in this area. When using tampons, I have to buy the light, regular and super tampons for my monthly cycle. Plus I was using pads when sleeping during the really heavy days. The Instead Soft Cup has been a dream for me so far and I stumbled upon it when I was looking for a much healthier product.

Bonus Alert!!!! It is quite comfortable for my partner and I during sex which is amazing!!!! What other menstrual product do you know of that can be used during sex? He can feel it but says it isn’t annoying and yes we have a towel down just to make sure nothing gets on the sheets. Warning- Do not try to use this as a form of birth control because that is not what it is made for. This informative video will show you just how easy it is to use.

I hope you find this post beneficial and I would love to get your feedback if you have used the Instead Soft Cup.

 

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credit card

Credit Cards Are Not the Devil

If you recall I wrote a post way back when on how I was able to live life without using credit cards. It was actually pretty simple if I lived within my means and made sure I saved money for emergencies. I had gotten myself in big trouble by not being responsible with my credit card usage and I promised I would never do that again.

For a few years I swore off credit cards completely until I ran into one little problem. I’m lying because it wasn’t a little problem; it was a big problem because I wanted to buy a house.  The problem was I didn’t have any credit. When I stopped using credit cards, I closed the accounts when I paid off the balance so it was hurting my payment history. It was a safety net that I had put in place that hurt me in the long run. I had no car loan and nothing in my name, but my student loans. 15% of your credit score is the length of your credit history and 35% is your payment history. I would have done better by living the accounts open so I had some credit under my belt.

Fast forward I needed a new car and was able to get the loan in my name at a higher interest rate of course and with the on time payments, I was able to boost my credit score a little. Soon I started getting pre-approved offers for credit cards. Yeah how did they get my information anyway to know I might be able to qualify?

My mortgage counselor suggested I open up a credit card to help establish myself more so I did. I first opened up a Firestone card because I needed to have car repairs done and it was like a blessing since I couldn’t cover all the cost at the time, but I quickly paid that off. Trust me my past credit card experience still has my scared to death. I soon followed up with getting an American Express with a $1000 limit to use for gas and a Visa for any random purchases so I could collect reward points. The Visa card came in handy because I put my son’s school tuition on each month and paid the credit card. The cool part is I almost have enough points to get a tablet that I desperately need for my business.

So no credit cards are not the devil….my uncontrollable spending habits were the devil. I am not perfect, but I have learned so much from my mistakes throughout this financial journey of mine and I hope my experiences can help you as well. Although I now have credit cards, the cool part is I don’t actually need them. It is a choice of whether or not I use them. I can still hold true to what I said before and live my life without them if I prefer.

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What is Residual Income?

Residual or should I say recurring income is something you want to have in your life. It is money that keeps coming with little to no effort on your part. Don’t get it twisted though; you have to put in the work in the beginning stages to set yourself up for residual success. Essentially you are putting in the work now so you can continue reaping the benefits for years to come.

So how do you get this wonderful residual income? It isn’t going to magically appear in your bank account so yeah you are going to have to invest. You will have to invest your time, money or both. Here are some ways to accumulate residual wealth:

Royalties: Have you written a book or song? Or maybe you have an invention that you want to share with the world and can sell it to a company that will run with it for you. Put your creative genius to work and collect those checks.

Investments: Stocks, Bonds, Retirement Plans!!! Invest your money in something that has the potential to collect interest and grow your money. I have to get my stocks and bonds game up and running sooner rather than later.

Networking Marketing: This is one of my favorites and I can help you be successful in this area if you have an interest in getting healthy and earning. Join me and be my business partner with Total Life Changes. You can visit my site directly www.totallifechanges.com/5819311 and contact me for more information.

Real Estate: Not there yet, but this will be part of my income streams in the very near future. You can very easily hire a property management company to run things for if you would rather just sit back and collect your checks.

So again you would be crazy to not want to have residual income in your life. I am working towards that goal every day to have my residual income be enough to sustain me if I decide I want to become a hermit. I would probably never become a hermit, but you get the point. Making a minimum of a six figure income in my sleep is on my list of financial goals within the next few years.

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money and happiness

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But It Does Buy Choices

I believe in living a life that you are happy with and that is exactly what I am doing. Money is not going to buy me happiness, but it does buy me choices. I work hard at my 9-5 while I build my multiple sources of income. I do this because I know one day all of my entities and investments will allow me to replace my 9-5. Again money is not going to buy me happiness, but it will give me the opportunity to have more choices. No one wants to live a life struggling to figure out how to pay bills or give their children the things that they deserve and some of what they want. Yeah my little one doesn’t get everything that he wants just because I said he can’t and not because I can’t afford it. He has to learn how to work for the things that he wants. I may not be able to buy everything that I want at that exact moment that I want it, but with planning and over time I can have everything that I desire.

Not all wealthy people are happy just like not all poor people are miserable. The difference is the choices that each group can make and the opportunities that come along with the wealth. I can afford to send my son to a private school that is close to my job so I don’t have to kill myself rushing thru traffic to pick him up from the afterschool program by 6:00pm. Yeah most places will charge you extra if you are late. I can afford to buy healthier and better quality foods for myself and child because of the investments I have made for myself. When I go on vacation I am diffentantly not staying at the Ritz Carlton, but I’m sure as hell not staying at the Motel 6 either. Yeah money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it does buy you choices; choices that will make your life easier and help you enjoy it just a little bit better. I would rather buy a good quality $300 purse over a $10 purse that won’t last, but if I am shelling out $300 on a purse I’m making sure my bills are all paid and I have more than $300 that I can put into my new purchase. I am not a believer in living beyond my means because it is like a domino effect.

Yeah I know some of you are reading this post and saying it is better said than done and you are exactly right. At a certain point you have to stop blaming all of the outside forces as to why you can’t get ahead and start taking control of your life. If you can’t find a job than make your own; plenty of people do it every day so there is no excuse and the world owes you nothing. If you want something you have to make it happen; create your own opportunities. My 9-5 doesn’t pay me as much as I would like, but it gives me the flexibility that I need as a single mother so I had to be creative since I like it there. I have my own business www.happilynaturalyme.com and I am an independent business owner for Total Life Changes. Happily Naturally Me is growing and TLC brings me instant and residual income thru network marketing. I love what I do and so does my son. He is like my little business partner because he comes with me the majority of the time when I am conducting business. He is learning the art of selling at a very young age because he is always talking about selling the toys he doesn’t want any more at the Flea Market. That was my first stomping grounds when I was trying out how my Happily Naturally Me products would do and I would sell his old baby clothes. We would play games in between customers, watch a movie or he would ride his bike around the tent I had setup. Yeah no excuses because if I can do it, so can you.

If you want a life you love, you will have to create it yourself so stop waiting and start taking some action. If you are interested in joining a network marketing company to make extra income just contact me or signup by visiting my site directly www.totallifechanges.com/5819311. Make sure you use rep ID 5819311 and contact me so I can help you get started.

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kids clothes

5 Ways to Save on Children’s Clothes

I only have one child at the moment and buying clothes and shoes for him adds up pretty quickly so I can only imagine what it is like when you have multiple kids.  I have learned that I can dress my little one very nicely and not have to spend thousands of dollars to do it and here are 5 tips that can help you do the same.

  1. Clothing Swap- If you have a group of friends or family with children around the same age do a clothing swap to help with cost. Children can quickly outgrow things and often times wear things once.  I can’t even tell you how many times I found a clothing item that I completely forgot about that he can no longer fit.
  2. Consignment/ Thrift Stores- Thrifting is the latest trend and with consignment shops and events popping up all over the place it makes it so much easier. I have been able to find great deals at these places for the little guy. Sometimes I can find items with the tags still on.
  3. Shopping Out of Season- Why wait till the next season starts to begin shopping for it. Right now it’s spring and retailers still have winter items at discounted prices they want to get rid of.  If your kid doesn’t have a massive growth spurt, it should be easy to estimate his or her size for next year.  I just got him a new winter coat for $5 and sweaters for $3 each at Primark.  Primark is one of my new favorite stores.
  4. Discount Stores- The discount stores that I am referring to are hidden treasures. Normally you find these places because you happen to stumble upon it or word of mouth. These discount stores carry items from last season or they bought a batch that has a slight defect like a messed up stitch or something. Because of this, the items are so cheap. You really have to check these items before buying because you don’t want to buy something with a hole unless you plan on sewing it yourself. One of the hidden treasures I go to is called Rugged Wearhouse. They have a few locations throughout the US with 2 being in Delaware.
  5. Make your own- I do not have the time nor the talent, but if you do more power to you.  I did get crafty and make his birthday shirt with items I found at AC Moore.

Let me know your ways of saving on children’s clothes. If you have any hidden treasure discount stores in your area or know of a great consignment shop please share.

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Two Checking Account System

Keeping your spending money and bill money all in the same account can sometimes be dangerous. Can you count how many times you have over spent and ended up with a negative amount? Overdraft fees are not fun because that is money you could have used for something else. Now you have negative funds for over spending and a negative $30.00 if not more in overdraft charges. Let’s hope you didn’t have multiple transactions that put you in the hole or you will really be in trouble. Remember most banks will charge you an overdraft charge for each transaction processed that accumulates while you are in the negative.

The best thing you can do for yourself to keep your money organized is to have different accounts: 1 for bills and 1 for spending. Any monthly bills you have should be coming out of one account and all of your spending money whether for groceries, entertainment, etc. should be in the account associated with your debit card. Trust me; it will make your life so much better if you separate your money. Utilize the Two Checking Account System in conjunction with your budget and you should reduce the stress of over spending. Keep in mind you can’t spend what you don’t have so you will still have to keep a ledger of any checks you write and not go crazy swiping your debit card buying stuff that you want and don’t really need. Yeah I know that was a long sentence, but you get the point.

Stay organized mommies with your MONEY!!! I am paid twice a month from my 9-5 so I dedicate sitting down twice a month to pay bills and check my funds. I don’t spend unless I have it and I do not rob Peter to pay Paul as they say. It is really not that hard to keep track of your money if you discipline yourself because after a few months of doing this, it will become a habit. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the Two Checking Account System.

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2016

2016 Goals: Year of Focus

I absolutely love sharing my goals with you guys!!! It is like I have a whole bunch of accountability partners and I don’t want to let you down. So before I get into my 2016 goals lets recap 2015:

  1. Buy that three bedroom house with the backyard- Accomplished except it has a nice sized front yard with the back of my house facing a golf course. 3 bedrooms, 1 and ½ bathrooms and a finished basement that will basically be a playroom/office. I think I did a pretty good job how about you?
  2. Pay off one of my student loans- I sure did settle my loan that was in collections for a huge $7,000 lump sum. I almost cried when I saw it leave my account, but it was worth it because my credit score jumped drastically and I was able to get approved for my mortgage.
  3. Go on vacation- I said I wanted to take the little one to Disney/LegoLand, but instead I gave him a cool birthday party at the Philadelphia Zoo and continued saving for our house. This vacation has now been moved to the 2016 goals. Hopefully I will be able to give you that review soon.
  4. Have an awesome 30th birthday- I did say 2015 was the year of me so I treated myself to a trip to Dubai for my 30th birthday. Including spending money, I didn’t even spend $2,000 for the entire trip. You can reach out to me if you want to know how I pulled this off.
  5. Continue working on past goals I have yet to accomplish- This would have been me clearing up my credit which I did and any other random goals. Check out my Mommy Fix Your Credit post.

So as you can see from my recap, I did a kick ass job. So 2016 is going to be the Year of Focus for me. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish that require me to stay on task. Here are my goals and an extra bonus for you:

  1. Double my income- So throughout 2016 I am going to try out various ways of making extra money and share my experience with you. Hopefully it will give you some options to generate more money also. I am still building on my natural and organic skincare line so check out www.happilynaturallyme.com and I have added being a Total Life Changes Rep to my resume. You can check out www.totallifechanges.com/5819311 if you are looking to lose weight naturally or for wellness products. Lose 5lbs in 5 days with the detox tea.
  2. Divorce Sallie Mae- I will use my extra income to continue my journey in getting rid of that annoying bitch that takes a huge chunk of my money each month. The faster I can pay this off the faster I can purchase my next home and rent out my first home.
  3. LEGOLAND/Disney- This is something I truly want to accomplish for the little one this year. I told him after we bought a house we can go so let the saving and deal searching begin.
  4. Host financial literacy workshops- www.JustHisMommy.com will start to have more of a financial focus. I have not worked out the details yet, but I will be holding financial literacy workshops throughout the Philadelphia area to help educate those that want it. Sometimes you need help figuring out how to make it work financially in your household.

So there you have my focus areas. Help me help you by leaving comments on past and future posts. I want to provide you with the knowledge that you are seeking. Also, you can check me out under the parenting section of www.facephillymag.com.

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Mommy Fix Your Credit

Mommy Fix Your Credit

Being pregnant with my little one opened my eyes to a lot of things. At 24 I was young, but not that young, and still figuring things out for myself. I had credit card debt from college, mounds of student loans and my credit score was embarrassing. At the time I’m pretty sure it was like 505 which is horrible. I knew it was going to be a long journey so I needed to start immediately getting my shit together, not just for me, but more importantly for him. His little voice was screaming, “Mommy fix your credit.”

Credit Score Ratings

Cash is king, but if you don’t have cash than you better have a good credit score. A poor credit score can make buying a house and other “adult purchases” so much harder. It has been a long journey, mainly because I needed to clear up a student loan that was in collections, but my dedication and stubbornness has finally paid off. My credit score has made a drastic improvement and continues to rise. At my recent mortgage appointment, my credit score was 697 which is considered good. I was shocked because for the longest time I was stuck at the 620-630 range. Settling that Sallie Mae loan really helped boost my credit score. Here are 5 tips to help you fix your credit:

1) Education is Key- Before you can fix your credit it’s important to know how it is calculated. See the chart below

What-Is-A-Credit-Score

2) Getting to the root of the evil- Pull your credit reports so you know what is on them. Everyone is entitled to one free report every 12 months by each credit bureau. Use these as your guideline to fix your credit. Sometimes there are false items on your report and you will want to work with the credit bureau to get these things removed. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to pull your reports for free.

3) Stop ignoring your debt- Debt makes up 30% of your credit score. You cannot ignore this if you want to fix your credit. Gather all of your debt and devise a plan to eliminate it.

4) On time payments- Make a pledge to pay your bills on time. Scheduling online payments will help with this so you won’t forget. Create a budget to stay organized with your money if you need to.

5) Low Credit Card Balances- If you have been following me, you may recall my “Life Without Credit Cards” post so it is do able. If you have them, I highly suggest you not use your credit cards until you get the debt under control. Keeping your credit card balances 30% or less is best if you have to have them in your life. A lesson that I learned is to keep the accounts open and just avoid using the cards. The length of your credit history is about 15% of your credit score so the longer you have the account the better it looks.

So there you have it. Mommy fix your credit so you can stop making things hard for yourself. By no means will this be easy so you are going to have to be disciplined and remember why you are doing this. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions.

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