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, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

When It Rains, It Pours

There is one thing I can guarantee you – no matter where you live, it is going to rain.  Maybe just one day a year, but it will rain.  When it rains on you, are you prepared with an umbrella or are you going to get soaked?

The same way it will rain on you literally at some point this year, it will also rain on you figuratively.  Something unexpected is going to happen.  An emergency is going to happen.  Life is going to happen.  Do you have an umbrella or are you going to get soaked?

Right now, many people in this country are wishing they had an umbrella – even a small one.  It is raining on them right now.  They are not getting paid because of a situation that they couldn’t control.  Some were prepared, but many were not.  Some will be able to continue to pay their bills and put food on the table, but many will not.  This is just an example of what happens everyday in this country and in our lives.  Life happens – some things we know might happen and some things we have no clue are going to happen.  This is why an emergency fund (umbrella) is so important.  If really should be the number one priority in your finances.

So how big should your umbrella be in order to not get soaked the next time it rains.  Ideally, you want to have one year of expenses set aside.  But start somewhere, even $50. And just keep building it.  You want to get $1000 to $1500 as soon as you can.  This way you can handle a sprinkle if it comes through.  Next, set aside 3-6 months of expenses.  This will cover a regular rainstorm.  And then save up to one year of expenses.  This size umbrella will cover any storm that comes your way – sprinkle to hurricane.

It is going to rain this year.  Are you ready?  Today is the day to start.  Whether you are starting at the bottom, or building what you have into a bigger umbrella, today is the day.  As people find out each and every day, you never know when a storm is coming.  The best thing you can do is be prepared.  Having an umbrella can be the difference in the rain being just a little nuisance and it being a drowning storm.

Listen to Debbi’s podcast on this subject and so much more.  

 

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!