Posted in Life

Money Taboos We Should Break

Money Taboos We Should Break
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Stop doing stupid things to sabotage your finances.

I can’t put it any more clearly. We can start becoming less uninformed, aka dumb, by breaking some of the taboos that surround the topic of money and finance.

Talk

It has been, in the past, considered taboo to talk about money.

We need to correct this now. The more we talk about money, and what does or does not work for us, the better for everybody.

And I, for one, would’ve appreciated people talking about money in high school. It would’ve been nice to learn about budgeting, saving, and earning instead of the Pythagorean theorem. I wonder how many bankruptcies could’ve been avoided if this had been implemented.

Cost

It has been considered in poor taste or vulgar to ask someone how much they paid for something.

I think that’s ridiculous because how are we supposed to know what a good deal is or if we’re getting ripped off if we don’t know what the normal baseline price is? So, when he asks, tell Tom how much that new lawnmower cost. What does it really matter? If they come asking you for money, just say no.

With this being said, I do not agree with telling people your salary or income information. That is nobody’s business but your own. Yes, I can make up my own rules. America is a democracy, but my house is a dictatorship run by me. Just ask my kids.

Marriage

Okay, ladies and men, please pay attention here. Luckily for us, it is no longer 1952 or even 1989. You don’t have to ask your husband to open a checking account, credit card, or for his input on any financial decision.

And, men, you don’t have to tell your wife about every little thing you buy nor do you have to hand your paycheck over.

I’m going to get in trouble for this comment, but all marriages work differently. You are not required to share financial accounts just because you are married. You are still entitled to your own independence and your own wealth.

My husband and I choose to share expenses, but stay out of each other’s personal accounts. It works for us. It doesn’t mean it would work for everybody. I’m well aware that marriage is an extremely complicated situation and needs to be personally built around each situation.


I cannot go back and yell at the teachers from 1993 to 1997 about not teaching me in high school what I should’ve been taught, but I can break the cycle by teaching my children about finances.

If we fix this now, the next generation will be more prepared to deal with the financial world.


Posted in Finance, Ideas, Life, tips

5 Ways To Make Extra Income

The circumstances in which one finds themselves living is not meant to be permanent. Every chapter of our life is equivalent to a different level and to grow you must level up. There is a strength from growing and gaining financially that people who have never struggled will never understand. I think to fully understand one, you must experience the other.

Awakening your prosperity is something anybody is able to do but few actually succeed in. It requires a little, old fashioned hard work and focus, which few have anymore. Those missing qualities have helped develop and maintain the bridge between the low income and higher income earners. Anyone is able to take their piece of the pie, but working for it and making smart decisions is the only way to get there.

  1. You can grow money on your savings by investing in a high yield savings account or CD so that you will earn a return on your investments. They are easy to find online and some are free. The difference between the poor and the rich is that the rich always make sure their money is working for them.
  2. You can also make, or lose, money by playing the stock market. If you decide to play the stocks, make sure you pick companies that pay a dividend. You can find this information by looking it up on the Internet. You can also find it, and much more information, in articles released daily regarding the stock market and business.
  3. You can sell downloadable forms and/or content on Etsy. You can sell anything homemade on Etsy. I have a friend that made a large sum monthly on just digital forms this way. If you have a need for something, then others do too.
  4. You can write for Medium or Vocal and earn money based on your output and popularity. This is something that takes time, much like compound interest. The more you put out, the more you will make.
  5. You can submit receipts on apps that will let you cash out with money or gift cards. A few to name are Coinout, Receiptpal, and Fetch rewards.

I hope this list will provide the stimulation someone may need to get the ball rolling on creating extra income. I will not call it passive income because passive income is generated by no work at all, such as returns from being a silent investor, etc. It is a widely overused and incorrectly used description for what I term found money.

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Posted in Humor

Doomsday Prepping 101: Post COVID Disaster Tips

The COVID-19, also know as the Coronavirus, pandemic will not be forgotten by any of us any time soon. It has wrecked havoc on my life from getting my wedding venue and honeymoon cancelled the day before my wedding to ruining my son’s baseball career. That was just the beginning of the nightmare we were all about to endure. A nightmare that seems to have no ending in sight.

I will be the first to admit that I used to tease and make fun of the zombie apocalypse, end of the world obsessed people. They would all watch that violent show on AMC and then really believe that stuff would happen. Not only that, but, they believed it would happen soon. I also spared no ridicule for the doomsday preppers with their bunkers and massive collections of canned goods. I’m not laughing anymore.

I took a good and hard look at myself during this virus and found myself to be seriously lacking. My survival skills, on a scale from one to ten, were at a negative twenty. I had no stores of canned goods or bottled water. And, even worse, I had never even thought about toilet paper being the first essential item to all but disappear. I was totally unprepared. That will not be me the next time this happens.

I will be locked, loaded, and ready from now on.

The TP

When shit hit the fan, I was not surprised to see evidence of hoarding start to happen. Much like when southerners see a snowflake, the supermarkets started getting low on certain items, mainly milk and bread. That was normal. This time, instead of bread and milk, the people panicked and bought all available toilet paper. This was not normal.

Months later, I am still confused by this. I bought bottled water and canned food. My butt was the last thing on my mind at the time. You can’t eat toilet paper for survival, but you can wipe your butt across the yard.

A lesson was learned this year. During these last few months of chaos, I have had to borrow toilet paper and, once, had to drive two hours to my brother’s house to find some. I will never let my toilet paper supply dwindle down again.

Reading

There have been a few good things to come out of all of this. I have always been a book hoarder, both paper and digital, but now I can hoard them with no backtalk from my husband! He now understands we might need these to fully educate all of our offspring in the future. I hope they like Stephen King and Ken Follett.

I might be taking advantage of this situation a little, but he has also stockpiled a few unnecessary items. Nobody needs that many tree stands.

Alcohol

This might not seem essential to some. Tell me that after trying to homeschool six kids and work a full time job. Retraction: Tell me that after trying to homeschool MY six kids and work MY full time job. I will make sure plenty of wine is on hand from now on, no matter what. I will use whatever methods I can find to prevent being defeated by my life. If I have to learn how to make my own shine myself deep in the woods somewhere, then so be it. My grandfather did it and he was not the sharpest tool in the shed. Probably because of his moonshine.

Tip: some types of alcohol can also be used to make hand sanitizer supposedly.

Back to the homeschooling debacle. I can not begin to describe the trauma this home schooling stunt has caused me or the learning disabilities it has caused my kids. School is on track to reopen very soon here and I have never been more terrified to send my kids back there. It feels like I’m sending them straight to COVID.

I am leaning towards making them stay home. I would rather have them dumb, but alive. Of course, they want to go back to school and life as normal as soon as they possibly can, so I have not discussed this with them yet. I keep hoping the schools will delay things a little longer.

Gardening

I started gardening after all of this in preparation for the next global pandemic or food shortage caused by fear mongering. I know now that I need to know more survival, cooking, and gardening skills if I expect to survive the hunger games.

However, if we should actually ever drop down to a short supply of food, my husband is an expert hunter and fisherman. For those of you that are not so lucky, I would recommend starting a garden or considering taking a course on how to loot. You can just go back and watch some old episodes of CNN for the looting lesson. I wouldn’t recommend coming to my house, though.

As I work on myself and the new life that has suddenly become mine, I try to be optimistic and positive outwardly. Inside, I am patiently waiting for my life to get back to normal. Deep down, I think we all will be learning a new normal. Life from before is over.

Posted in Humor

Tips for Repairing Credit

I spend most of my work week either selling homes, listing homes or helping people repair their credit in order get them into a position to buy a house. I also do financial consulting on the side. So if you follow me on Medium, you will notice I am usually joking around and writing humorous articles. But this time I thought I would actually lay out some helpful advice.

I learned about credit the hard way as many of us did that came from my generation. In school, they taught us how to make a good apple turnover, but not how to balance a checkbook. I turned eighteen, ran up a bunch of credit, and didn’t pay it off. What was the worst that could happen? Throw in a couple of bad marriages and I was prime bad credit candidate number one.

Luckily for me, and my children, I got my act together and figured out some tricks to make repairing credit easier than we think it is. Like anything else, there is a method to it. It is still a lot easier to ruin credit than it is to fix it, though.

Seven Years

There is a rumor that all debt falls off your credit after seven years and while some debts do fall off (and some don’t), one debt in particular never goes away. So please make sure your children know this before they get way more student loans than they need. Student loans do not ever fall off of your credit. It is extremely rare to have them forgiven. They are a government backed loan and as we all know the government is going to get theirs. Nonpayment of student loans will keep you from buying a house, even if your student loan is 35 years old. So first and foremost, pay your taxes and your student loans.

Credit cards

Reduce your debt to income ratio by only having one or two credit cards. Make the minimum monthly payment on all of these credit cards except for the one you owe the least amount of money on. Pay as much as you can on that one alone, the minimum only on all of the others, until it is paid off and then do the same for the next smallest one. This is called the snowball method.

You can pay them off according to the smallest amount or the highest interest rate. The highest interest-rate would be preferable, but if you don’t have access to that information or don’t want to spend the time to find it then just pay off the smallest amount first.

Secured credit

If you don’t have any open credit cards and still have a bad or low credit score, take $300 and go open a secured credit card with your bank. Do not open a secured credit card with a lender that is offering you a 47% interest rate!

Once you have opened your secured credit card, go make a purchase of $100 or so and then wait for the bill to come in. Once the bill comes in pay above what is due but do not pay it off. You want to make at least three monthly payments so it can reflect well on your credit score. You want to pay above the minimum payment to knock off some of the interest.

Do this every month until it is paid off. Please be aware that at the beginning, right after opening this new account, your credit score may dip before rising. This is normal. After that, you will see a steady rise as long as you make your payments on time.

Time

Think of the due date as the date you will lose points on your credit rating. Make sure that your payment gets there way before then. Allow for the mailman to be late or the post to get stuck in a pile on someone’s desk. In a perfect world, you would pay the bill online immediately upon receipt, but we all know that just is not feasible with debts and children and other bills. So just make sure you pay it before the due date.

Collections

I could write ten more articles on how to pay off collections, how to dispute collections, etc. I will keep this brief and just say use the snowball method mentioned above and pay off the most recent debt first and then refine that group to pay off the smallest balance.

Paying off old debt is not fun, but seeing that credit score rise is. And in today’s world, good credit will get you a lot further than just a nicer pair of shoes. Be diligent and you will reap the rewards sooner than you think.

This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decision