Posted in Building Wealth, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Lifehack – Truth About Credit Cards

Back in the day, I always associated credit cards directly with debt. If you had a credit card, you were in debt. If you didn’t have a credit card, you were wealthy.

During my journey, I learned the real truth about credit cards.

Credit cards are simply a form of payment – the same as cash, checks (for us older folks) and debit cards. That’s it – plain and simple. The feature of credit cards that is our downfall is the fact that the bank they are issued through gives us a special “limit” that they will allow us to spend without them saying “no more”. This is where people, and I was one of those people, turn a simple credit card into debt. We make purchases with an intention of paying for it when the bill comes, but when it comes, something new has come up and we can’t pay in full. And after a few months of this, we find ourselves on the hamster wheel of debt and paying interest.

Here is the truth about credit cards – credit cards have great benefits if they can be used as intended, as a form of payment. This means that you pay for something using your credit card and once a month, you make one payment to the bank, paying the bill off in full. This is what I do with all of our monthly bills. They all go on one card I have – a Disney Chase card – and once a month, I pay it in full. This has several benefits: Disney points to use on our vacations, one payment per month instead of multiple and it automates all of my payments, giving me one due date instead of 12.

For many years, I was unable to use a credit card as intended. And in the process, accumulated a butt load of debt. When I paid the debt off, I still shyed away from them because I never wanted to go back on the hamster wheel again. Once I knew, for sure, that I could use a credit card as intended, I decided to take advantage of the benefits.

Here’s the moral of the story – if used as intended, as a form of payment, a credit card can be beneficial. However, if using a credit card is causing debt in your finances, then stop using them immediately. It’s not about the card – it’s about how it is used.

Posted in Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

We all have seen or heard this saying before.  Every time I hear it, I picture the elderly lady laying on the floor, alone and helpless.  Until she hits the button and asks for help.  Do you feel like you have fallen and can’t get up?  Do you think you’ve made mistakes in your finances, your career, your relationships, and your life that are so big, you are stuck where you are?

That is simply not true.

Yesterday, like most Sundays, I was sitting around in my pjs, relaxing and watching football.  I happen to be watching the Washington vs. Atlanta game since my Eagles had a bye week.  For the last several years, Atlanta has made it to the post season.  They have been one of the top teams.  However, this year, just a few weeks ago, they found themselves with a record of 1-4.  This record is not good when you have Super Bowl dreams.  Basically, the Falcons had fallen.  And the question everyone was asking was would they get up.

The team answered that question with a resounding “Yes!”.

The announcers were talking about what Coach Quinn had done to rally his team out of their slump.  They talked about how members on the team stepped up and said this is not okay.  They begin making changes – what they had been doing wasn’t working.  They came up with a new plan, a new way and in the process, found success.  Their record after this week is 4-4 – they beat Washington (who is leading their division).  And Julio Jones, one of their key receivers, made a touchdown after 343 days.

So what can we take from all this jibber jabber?  We all fall – even the best fall.  The key to success and winning is whether you decide you get up or keep laying there.  When the lady fell, she reached out for help.  When Atlanta fell, they developed a new plan.

So back to the questions I asked in the beginning – have you fallen?  What are you going to do about it?  Are you going to get up or just lie there?  Are you going to develop a new plan or just keep doing the same thing over and over?  Are you going to ask for help or just stay where you are?

The decision is yours to make.  When I found myself over $200,000 in debt, a single mom, making $10,000 a year, I had these same choices.  I decided to get up.  I decided to develop a new game plan.  I decided to ask for help.  And in doing so, I found success.  Now, what are you going to do?

If you need to press the help button, simply click here and reach out to Debbi and her team.  They have developed products, books and services to serve you anyway that they can.  Personal finance is personal and Debbi and her team are here to meet you where you are and help you reach all of your goals and dreams!

Posted in Building Wealth, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Building Credit Without Debt

 

There is a big myth out in the money world – you must have a credit file and the only way to get it is to go into debt.  Both are simply not true.

You can exist with a zero credit score just fine.  However, if you want to get a mortgage, it can be a little more tedious than if you have a credit score.  But it is possible and as a matter of fact, many millionaires have a zero credit score simply because they do not ever borrow money.  If you never borrow a dime, your score will be zero.  If you have borrowed in the past, it will take many years to get down to a zero credit score, but it can be done.

Most debt free people however have a high credit score.  How do they obtain this without going into debt?  It is simple – you get a credit card that you use for something like a utility, cell phone or any recurring monthly payment and then you pay if off every month.  This will give you a great credit score because your credit utilization will be low (and it will be zero if you pay before the statement date) and you will pay everything in full every month.

Having a credit file of some kind does make life easier and less expensive.  Insurance companies, utility companies and even some employers are using credit reports to determine your rates, to see if a deposit is necessary and even to see if they should hire you.  I highly recommend a credit report, but you don’t have to go into debt to obtain it.

Credit cards were designed to be a form of payment – just like a check, cash or now, a debit card.  However, over the years, we have let that get out of hand and we use them to get what we want now instead of waiting until we have the money.

So as you can see, you can build a credit score without going into one dollar of debt.  If you are already there, it is not too late.  If you already have debt, the best thing you can do for your score is to pay it off and never use cards again (at least until you can use them as a form of payment).  If you are new to the money thing and don’t have any credit yet, don’t hop on that hamster wheel.  Simply get a small card, use it once a month and pay it off immediately.  Voila – credit with no debt!

Learn more about Debbi’s journey from having $200,000 in debt to becoming financially free and debt free.