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

Your Financial Reputation

Your Financial Reputation

I get asked all the time “Do I need a credit score?”

Do you need a credit score to live? No. But is a good credit score beneficial – absolutely. Your credit score and credit report reflect how you handle your money. They are your financial reputation. And just like in life, we all should strive to have a stellar reputation. So what can you do to make sure that your financial reputation is stellar.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Make all your monthly payments on time – Being prompt on your payments shows that you take your committments seriously. You made a promise to pay a certain amount by a certain day and you followed through on that promise.
  2. Keep your credit utilization low – This shows that you can handle whatever is given to you and that you don’t need to spend everything you have access to. Just because you have a total credit limit of $10,000 doesn’t mean you need to spend $10k. 10% or less is considered excellent in the credit world and is just the smart thing to do. Don’t overextend yourself – it won’t end well.
  3. Keep your accounts low – You don’t need 10 credit cards to make your point. All it takes is one card paid every month on time to build your credit – as long as you keep your usage below 10%. Don’t have so many accounts that you need a “beautiful mind” to keep up with it all.
  4. Be patient – Building credit takes time and repairing credit takes even more time. Just keep doing the right thing and your reputation will speak for itself.
  5. It is not about debt – You can build credit without ever going into debt. Debt is owing more than you have. Credit is a source of payment. Using credit is not a bad thing – as long as you have the funds to back it up.

These tips work whether you are building credit or trying to rebuild your credit. I went from a 585 at the beginning of my journey to over an 800 now. It takes time and commitment but it is worth it for a stellar financial reputation. Remember the tortoise wins every time you read the story!

Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Raising Your Income, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Biggest Tool in the Toolbox

We all need a financial toolbox – tools we can use to win in the area of our finances. And as much as you are going to hate to hear this, a budget is your biggest wealth building tool in your financial toolbox. Give me a moment of your time and I will explain why in hopes that by the end of this blog, you will agree and begin to take seriously the budgeting process.

First, let me clear up a huge misconception – a budget is not designed to tell you no. Actually, the opposite is true. Of course, if you are living paycheck to paycheck, you are going to have to say no to some things. At least, you should say no to some things. However, when you have a budget, you know exactly where your money is going; therefore, you are able to say yes more. Maybe not in the beginning – it depends on how big your hole is. But as you begin to dig yourself out of debt and build wealth, the budget will allow you to say yes – a lot!

A budget (or spending plan as I like to call it) is simply a way to look at your income and your expenses. When you can see it visually, it helps you to see where to cut back on expenses, when to raise your income and helps you make awesome financial decisions that will move you forward in your getting out of debt and building wealth goal.

Now, if you don’t want to build wealth and you are okay where you are currently in your finances, then budgeting probably won’t work for you. However, if you are looking to get out of debt, save money and build wealth, then you definitely need to budget.

Budgets are a snapshot of your finances. Having this snapshot every month will help you walk in your truth and begin to make better financial decisions in order to reach your financial goals. So stop avoiding a budget! Now is the time to start – it will take a few months to get the hang of it and that’s ok. And if you have no clue where to start, head over to our short, easy course and learn everything you need in just a few short minutes.

It doesn’t matter how you learn or what methods you use. The main thing is that you start! Today is your day! You’ve got this!

Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, Buying Your Dream House, Car Buying, College & Student Loans, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Now or Never

In this world of social media, internet, and credit cards, we can have anything we want right away – whether it’s to know how old Taylor Swift is or to buy that Coach purse. Instant gratification is as natural as breathing.However, just because it is natural and all around us, doesn’t mean it is a good thing. “Back in my day”, we had to work for everything we wanted. When we needed to know when someone was born, we had to go the library, pull out a long drawer and find a resource that gave us that information. It took time and effort to get what we wanted. Today, it is easier, but as I have found out, easier isn’t always better.So, what have we lost in this instant gratification world we live in today? Here are just a few of the important skills we have lost with this change:

  • The work – When you don’t have to work for something, it doesn’t mean as much. When something is just handed to you or is easy to get, you lose the importance of the process. Working for something gives you the purpose that you need for the item to have value.
  • The filter – With everything being so instant now, we don’t take the time to run things through our filter first. We don’t take the time to think about whether we should buy something or not. We don’t take the time to think about whether we should post something or email something or not. And once it is out there, you can’t undo it. You need to make sure everything runs through your filter before you proceed.
  • The lesson of failure – With instant gratification, when something doesn’t work out right away, we give up. We lose the gift of time to try, try again. We expect it to happen immediately exactly the way we want and when it doesn’t, which most of life doesn’t, we give up. One of my mantras is never give up! I know some things work and some things don’t and I learned this lesson before the instant gratification era. But I never give up – I just try something different.

There are so many subjects, including personal finance, that have been removed from the schools simply because “they can look that up”. Personal finance is 10% math and 90% emotion – so Google can help with the 10%, but what about the 90%. With instant gratification, we have put ourselves in over $13 trillion – yes, trillion, of consumer debt. We believe if I don’t buy it now, I will never have it. How many of you have bought a house at the wrong time and have spent the last years in a nightmare? How many of you can’t live your dreams because you have a stack of bills filled with instant gratification? How do we overcome instant gratification when it is everywhere and seems to make life so easy? Here are a few tips:

  • Pause for 24 hours – for every decision, not just the money ones
  • Never give up – no matter what
  • Be willing to be the turtle
  • When you don’t get what you expect, try again or simply wait
  • Go old school and learn something not using the internet
  • Be ok if you don’t get your way right away

We may be an Instant Pot society, but you don’t have to live the Instant Pot life. Make one change today that will help you fight the instant gratification world we live in. You won’t regret it!