5 Money Habits to Avoid in a Mate!

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Choosing a mate these days has become so effortless.  This “microwave society” that provides just about everything instantly is partial to blame.  With online dating sites and social media DM’s, it hard to know exactly who the person you’re talking to really is.  Whether you’ve met your mate in person, or via the internet there are 5 money habits in a mate that need to be avoided or addressed as soon as possible.

5 Money Habits to Avoid in Mates

1. Impulse Buyers

Impulse buyers usually make big purchases randomly, unexpectedly, and usually without any logical explanation.  Such purchases may include new cars, boats, RV’s or more.  Impulse buyers may also make reasonable purchases, such as clothes, but spend excessively.  Impulse buyers may also partake in random trips that can be costly without planning and may even invite you along.

It’s difficult to know if impulse buyers are spending cash or credit on such big purchases.  Either way, if spending cash, the cash will not be around long and if paying credit…run!  Just kidding!

2. Big spenders or Ballers

Very similar to impulse buyers, mates that are big spenders spend excessive amounts of money the majority of the time.  Specific behaviors, in addition to those listed above, include VIP services at the clubs, excessive  dining out at expensive restaurants with crowds of people, and/or shopping trips with lots of purchases and/or purchases for friends or family.

Again, it may be difficult to know if the “baller” is spending cash or credit.   If you’re the mate to the big spender and receiving the benefits then it may not appear as a “warning sign” but it can be.

3.Lenders/Enablers

Lenders or enablers are a bit different, but still people should raise concerns.  Lenders/ enablers may be financially responsible, have good credit, and savings.  They may pay bills on time and make mature financial decisions.  However, they may continue to lend money or enable family members or friends financially.  Continuously lending huge amounts of money or supporting someone’s life style can become a finical strain.

Dating a lender/or enabler, I feel is the most difficult.  As the mate you are placed in a compromising situation.  You may be aware that your mate is being taken advantage but how do you tell him or her to stop taking care of or lending money to his mother, sister, niece, or adult child?

4. Avoiders

Avoiders will usually avoid their financial responsibility.  Specifically, avoiding debt collector phone calls and avoiding opening bill statements.  This group may also avoid paying certain bills to either make impulse purchases, spend big time, or lend money.  Additionally, avoiders may also be avoiding financial responsibility because they can not afford it, even though employed.

Avoiders may be the easiest to confront about their habits and convince to a make financially responsible decisions.

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5. Debt Believers

Like the name, debt believers, believe that debt should exist, it’s okay to have debt, and everyone has it or should have it.  Do not believe this.  Usually the “debt believers” will contain all the qualities above because they see nothing wrong their habits.  Debt believers may also be living way beyond their means and also think that it is okay.

 

What Now?

You may have noticed one or all of the signs above and wondering what to do now?  If you have noticed any of these 5 warning signs in your mate then it may be time to make a serious decision about the future and how it may be effected by these traits.  If you feel that the mate is worth continuing to be with or you are already married then a serious conversation may be necessary.  Below are some techniques to facilitate that conversation.

How To:  Financial Conversation

The below tips should be kept in mind when having the financial conversation.  It’s important to keep an open mind to try and understand your mates relationship with money, as well as being able to offer advice.  Additionally,  avoid jumping to conclusions when it comes to this conversation.  There are several books, youtube videos, and blog post that address talking about money with your mate.

  • Open body language
  • “I feel” or “I think” statements as opposed to blaming or defensive “you” statements
  • being respectful
  • Listening carefully and reiterating what you heard to ensure clear understanding.
Have you ever dated anyone in the above categories? How did that go?

 

How to Stop Spending Too Much Money NOW!

How to Stop Spending Too Much Money

Hello!

I’ve recently shared that I’ve been on my Debt Free Journey for a year now.  I plan to share exactly how much debt I’ve managed to eliminate within this year in a later post.  Now, however, I’m addressing what got me into debt and what exactly I’ve done to get out of debt. My first step was to stop spending too much money NOW.

By now you should know the key to getting out of debt is to earn more and spend less! While I definitely don’t consider myself an expert at earning more and spending less, I do think that the things I’ve done to stop spending too much are achievable and can be helpful to someone.  

What I did to stop spending too much money  

1. Track and Analyze my Spending

On a monthly basis, I review my bank statements.  I categorize my spending into gas, fast food, groceries, clothing, and bills and totaled my spending in those areas.  An additional category is miscellaneous which is where I payed close attention to see where exactly where I could cut cost.  I was able to realize just how much “little things” added up such as vending machine trips, candy and sodas from the gas station and random trips from the grocery store, Dollar General, and Target.  Afterwards, I would attempt to decrease spending in all areas by at least 10 percent.

2. Avoid triggers

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re aware of how tempted I was by Target.  I would take random trips to Target, browse every isle, and spend hundreds of dollars on things I did not need, and some I did.  After maxing out my card, I did the same to my Mister’s card until we had TWO maxed out cards for one household.  Shortly after, I decided to begin my debt free journey.

To avoid behaviors that placed me back in debt, I removed my Target from my pocket book and had my mister place at the top of my closet in a pocket book without me looking.  Afterwards, I cut it up.  Now, to continue avoiding triggers, particularly emotional spending, I’ve unsubscribed from email list to avoid the temptation of online shopping, removed all my cards from my wallet, and shop with list in most cases.

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3.  Use cash

It took me a long time, like a really long time, to develop the habit of using cash instead of swiping my debt card. It also took me a long time to remove my debit card from my wallet and use cash only or the cash envelope system.  The cash envelope system is not working so well for me right now, swiping my cards had become so normal.  I plan on being more diligent and consistent in my efforts.

4. Develop a Budget

I developed a budget about three months into my debt free journey.  That budget did not work out so well after one attempt and I went back to my old system of paying bills, however I made sure to assign an increased amount towards my debt snowball payment.  I’ve since developed a zero based budget, which continues to be a work in progress.

All the above techniques have been helpful in preventing me from spending too much money and paying off debt in this first year of my debt free journey.  It does require lots of determination and discipline, which I didn’t have in the beginning.  Which why, it’s probably called a journey!

In addition to the techniques above, I’ve stopped spending money on these 4 things as well:

  1. Dunken donuts coffee
  2. Manicures and pedicures
  3. Fast food
  4. Pocket books and shoes

Here is a video explaining exactly how much debt I’m in and why I began my journey!

Please add any tips you have to help people from spending too much money below?  Is there anything that you stopped buying that you added back into your budget?

 

Avoid Financial Regret

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Today’s post is a guest post from Michael.  Micheal blogs at Super Millennial.

Regret..it’s an awful feeling to have in your life.  I’m not quite 30.  I’m lucky to not have much regret, however this Business Insider article got me thinking of how much financial regret some people will have in their life. The article mentions five financial experts and the money regrets they look back on in their life.

Business Insider Financial Regrets to Avoid

  • Failure to do research to make an educated decision
  • Not listening to your gut if it doesn’t feel right
  • Not investing sooner
  • Living beyond your means & getting into debt
  • Ignoring a collection item

These are all very legitimate regrets and sure a lot of people are currently suffering from, or currently leading a life that will lead to these regrets. Let’s take a look at these five financial regrets and the necessary steps to take to make sure you never feel this type of financial regret in your future.

Failure to do Research

The article references a CPA who didn’t do his research when he bought their first house. Buying a home is most likely you’re biggest purchase ever and need to do your research. Before you even begin looking online at houses, do RESEARCH the following information:

· Use a mortgage calculator to find out what you can afford & the monthly payment amount (make sure to include taxes, insurance & HOA fees)
· Will you have any savings or will all your money be in your home?
· Evaluate if the house needs repairs, if so do you have the additional money?
· Is your credit score high enough to secure a low APR loan?
· How does it compare to other houses in the neighborhood?
· Would you be okay living there 5-10 years?

There are 100 additional questions to ask before buying a house but the same applies to buying or leasing a car. Make sure to do your research! These high-ticket items will be around in your life for a long time so make sure you really want it and can afford them.

Not Listening To Your Gut

The article references someone feeling pressured when meeting with financial advisors and the bad feeling they got during the encounter. Listening to your gut in most situations is usually the best solution; whether you’re unsure about taking a new job, feeling pressured by a salesman for a “limited time offer”, or hiring a financial advisor. In most situations you should at least sleep on big decisions for a night. If your gut still doesn’t like it the next day, don’t do it.

When it comes to financial advisors I think if you’re net worth is under $100,000 then you can manage your own finances. Paying someone to do it may be convenient but if you don’t learn now you may never. Most people who acquired wealth have had a solid understanding of their finances. That includes how much money they save, how much they spend, and where they invest. Here are some other ways to stay on top of your finances:
· Invest Enough in your 401K to match your employer match
· Open a Roth IRA to maximize retirement savings

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Not Investing Sooner

I’ve always been a saver but didn’t begin investing until I was 25. As the article mentions Jeff Rose, fellow blogger of Good Financial Cents said “if only I had started a Roth IRA at 18.” But let’s get real, from 18-22 the last thing on your mind is learning about low cost index funds and tax sheltered accounts.

Unfortunately after that age people then get busy with work, additional education, having a family, and keep up the same excuses. “I don’t understand investing, I don’t have the money right now, or I’m not going to retire for like 40 years.” While one or all of those may be true it’s important to take the time to learn about personal finance or investing earlier, rather than later. Not only will investing earlier compound your potential gains but it will create a habit for your brain to always invest a portion of your income and set up your older self for success. As mentioned previously start investing in your 401K and open a Roth IRA to ensure you can start benefiting from compound interest over time.

Living Beyond Your Means

How often do we all see this? People that make the same or less than you do but always seem to be living the life on Instagram…anyone can do it, but typically they’re just racking up high interest credit card debt trying to impress everyone.

Just STOP, do you need to buy bottle service every weekend? Or buy a car with a $500/month payment? Probably not. It’s important to understand how much you make, create a budget, and stick to it every month. Don’t rack up debt trying to impress everyone; you’ll create a vicious cycle that will be tough to climb out of when you realize how much interest you owe on your credit cards. Here are some other ways to stay on top of your spending:

· Track Your Spending with Mint or Personal Capital
· Track Your Net Worth (Download my net worth tracker here)

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses…they’re broke!

Ignoring A Bill

Finally the last example is ignoring a bill that eventually ends up in collection. If you get a bill, pay it off, no matter how small, get the receipt and store it away. Even one item can have a serious impact towards getting a loan or even negatively affecting your credit. Bottom line…pay the bills! To ensure you don’t miss any bills I also recommend setting up automatic bill pay for your cell phone,
Hopefully everyone can avoid financial regret by sticking to a few simple, easy financial rules. Always do your research for big purchases, listen to your gut (it’s rarely wrong), start investing, don’t overspend trying to impress people and always pay your bills on time.

What has been your biggest financial regret?  

MichaelMichael L. is the creator of Super Millennial. He teaches millennials how to evaluate their financial situation, simplify money management & learn how to automate your investments to reach their financial goals. Subscribe for his personal finance “Keys To Success” and blog updates here. For additional updates, follow me on Twitter!

3 Incredible Ways I’ve Made Money from Home!

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This article may contain affiliate links.

In a world where money talks, my personal finances are always under scrutiny. Things cost a lot of cash these days, and I need to be able to afford it. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen short often which resulted in me being in serious debt.  In attempts to get out of debt, make more money or both, I researched reading other blogs, watching Youtube videos, and reading to find ways to make money at home and even attempted these three below.

Freelance Writing

If like me, you love writing, then it pays to become a freelance writer. It’s great when you have a passion, and it’s even better when you can make money from it. Only after about three months I was able to make a small profit from freelance writing using GDTH as my platform.  There are also lots of other sites where you can create an account and look for freelance work, however I’ve heard good and bad things about those sites.  This will let you show off your writing skills and increase your chances of getting work. The great thing about freelance writing is that it can be part-time or full-time. Depending on your current schedule, you can either make this your proper job, or just something on the side. At this time, it’s more like no time for me because I haven’t earned a dime in about three months.  

February Side Hustle Report

Online Trading

When you hear the word trading, you tend to think of the stock exchange and businessmen running around frantically. And, yes, that is what happens in the trading world on a daily basis. But, it’s something that has become more convenient and available to the general public too. These days, you can trade from home using online brokers and apps. There are lots of broker reviews where websites give their explanation on how everything works. So, to save time, I’ll only give you the basics. You find an online broker, deposit some money, and start trading. There are loads of things you can trade; stocks, forex, even things like gas and corn. The aim is simple, you buy low and sell high. If you know some tricks of the trade, then you can make a lot of money. So much so that people are trading from home as their full-time job! Unfortunately, this isn’t me.  I’ve attempted it one time and made a $0.05 profit and never looked back. I’m not sure I completely understand the concept, or like the others, you have to have time to get up to the big cash.  

YouTube

Finally, I tried Youtube.  I’ve told you before that I have a channel and about 80 subscribers.  If you’re looking for a fun way to make money from home, then turn your attention to YouTube. This video sharing site has become a top way for people to make money. There is a variety of content creators whose full-time job is making videos for YouTube. Because of the ad revenue system, you can make a hell of a lot of money on this site. The hardest part is getting started and gaining a subscriber base. Once you’ve got lots of subscribers, you can monetize your videos. The more people that watch them, the more money you get. It’s an excellent idea if you’re comfortable behind the camera, have interesting ideas, and can remain consistent!

Of the three listed above, I enjoyed Youtube the most and about once a year I receive an adsense pay out.  If I had more time and less responsibility, I could definitely see myself doing it.  Who knows I may even start back up sooner rather than later!

What things other than blogging have you attempted to keep “your money up”?

4 Reasons Why You Are Still Broke

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“I’m broke.” Something people say so often, nearly every day at one point or another.  Being broke is no fun!  Living paycheck to paycheck with no actual rewards, happiness, or enjoyment and added stress, is NOT in my opinion, living.  You’re unable to eat out with friends, take trips, or even travel.  Being broke is MISERABLE!

Fortunate for you, it’s still early 2016 which means there is plenty of time to develop new habits and set new goals aimed at living a better life style.  However, in my opinion, it’s never too late to set new goals and dream new dreams.  In order to develop new habits, you must first stop or change bad ones.  There may be a bunch of reasons, in your opinion as to why you are still broke, I’m sure the reasons listed below are the REAL reasons and they don’t have anything to do with the amount of money you make, how “unlucky” you are, or your level of intelligence.

4 Reasons You Are Still Broke!

1.  You won’t evaluate your relationship with money.

The type of relationship you have with money is probably why you are broke!  How you think about your money affects how you spend it. These thoughts about your money and your relationship with your money is probably heavily influenced by how you were raised and how your parents talked, or not, about money as well as how you lived.

Some things to consider are how you use your money?  Do you shop on impulse or make emotional and/or irrational purchases?  Do you shop when your bored, hurt, excited, or all the above?  Are you presenting a façade, living a life style you can not really afford? If so, why?  These are all questions that should generate the evaluation of your relationship with money.

Once you’ve began to evaluate your relationship with money, you should then begin to develop thoughts about your strengths and weaknesses that can improve or destroy your finances.  For example, a personal strength for me is that I will not spend what I don’t see.  Which makes carrying cash a weakness.  To improve my finances and decrease my spending, I never carry cash.  For me, keeping my money in the bank helps me to apply the “out of site out of mind” mentality.

2.  You won’t change your mindset.

Changing your mindset about your money, your life, or ability can be difficult, as difficult as being broke.  However, changing your mindset can have such a positive affect on your finances, circumstances and overall life style.  Simply convincing yourself that something is possible, and making a plan can be life changing!

Additionally, positive self talk is considered a changed mindset.  Simply changing, “I’m broke” to “I’m in between financial blessings” or “I’m beating broke” or anything that is more positive releases the shame and other feelings that are attached to the consequence of your poor money habits.

3.  You won’t sacrifice.

This concept is really simple, well actually more simply said than done.  However, once you’ve taken the first two steps, then determining your needs over wants and learning to sacrifice the wants should begin to change your financial situation by freeing up money.

4. You won’t commit to a financial journey.

Committing to a financial journey can eventually change your financial situation.  Especially, if you are broke due to debt.  Committing to a financial journey, paying of debt, and creating positive cash flow can become life changing and change “I’m broke” to “I’m blessed

There is an abundance of information and resources that can assist you with beginning a financial freedom journey.  I offer my advice from a very personal (this works for me) perspective.  I also offer a Blog Roll full of personal finance bloggers, whom I personally follow and value their advice.  Finally, there are podcast that you can listen to as well.  I like listening to The Dave Ramsey Show, His and Her Money, and  Financial Conversation just to name a few.

I’ve been “broke” before

Now that I’m more financially wise, or least wiser than I was when I was 20, I feel like had I been more responsible and educated about money and wise financial planning, I would be much more comfortable now than I am.  I would not have to work as hard as I currently am.  Despite the annual salary you make, evaluating you relationship with money and determining your strengths and weakness with money could make the difference between living from paycheck to paycheck and living comfortably.

Four years ago, I made $35,000 annual income.  I had 2 credit cards, a car payment, and my mortgage.  I lived comfortably only getting paid once monthly.  Now making over $10,000 more, I live paycheck to paycheck to get out of debt.  As my income increased so did my debt.  I made decisions on what I could afford based on the monthly payment as opposed to the overall cost including interest.

What do you think contributes the cycle of “being broke”?  What helpful information would you add?

 

How to Accelerate the Debt Repayment Process

 

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In my 2016 Ready, 2015 outcomes post I discussed my goal to fully fund a home renovation and immediately jumped on the mini goals to accomplish  for January.  However, after receiving some depressing news before even getting started, we’ve decided to alter the focus until we can get professional help in running numbers and making the best financial move for the family.

Even though that plan has been halted at the moment, the goal to become financially free will be a benefit despite the direction we choose to take and continues to remain a major priority for 2016.

In October 2015, I posted my goal to be less $17,000 of debt.  You can read more about that here.  The $17,000 of debt I planned to have paid off included ALL of my credit card debt and one car loan.  I posted my my most recent progress here. I try to stay on target but somethings have gotten in way.  Some not so minor setbacks included, paying car taxes, getting new tires, getting a speeding ticket, and Christmas.  The silver lining of paying all those expenses which totaled over $1500 in the span of 2 months allowed me to come to the realization that I paid $1500 extra dollars in 2 months.  In other words, I could accelerate my debt payment process if I really needed to and/or could be better on track towards meeting my goals.  

I’ve been listening to a bunch of different podcast between Dave Ramsey, His and Her Money, Smart Passive Income, and Problogger.  After listening to several “I’ve paid off $$$ amount of debt” stories on His and Her Money, a couple of “debt shouts” on Dave Ramsey, I’ve decided to accelerate my debt payments as much as I can.

In October 2015 this was my original plan:
  1. Continue with my side hustle and bring in at least $350.00 a month.
  2. Establish at least 2 freelance clients to generate an additional $200.00/month.
  3. Complete over time at least 7 hours which should produce $220.00
  4. Apply my income tax refund to at least two credit card balances.
  5. Continue with the snowball method to pay of my credit cards.
  6. Develop a budget and stick to it!

January 2016 Accelerated Repayment plan

  1. Comb my budget and find extra money
  2. Earn at $400.00 in side hustle income/month
  3. Work overtime at least once/month and apply to debt payments
  4. Work to continue increase my freelance income and apply to debt payments
  5. Purge my home, attempt to sale items monthly and apply to debt payments.

Having credit card debt and brining it into 2016 has, for some reason, began to weigh heavily and be a more unbearable burden enough to drastically make me want to change spending habits to get out of debt much faster!  As a result be prepared to see significantly lower balances month to month so that I am able to reach my goal on or before October 2016!

Have your goals changed already?  Have you already discovered that a goal is not going to get achieved in 2016?  How are you adjusting?

December Online Income Report

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I’ve been blogging since late July 2015.  I started GDTH to chronicle my journey to financial freedom and be held accountable.  You can read more about that here.  Although my focus for GDTH is to document my journey towards financial freedom, being made aware of the possibilities and opportunities to make an extra income from blogging sparked an interest!

The income I make online is not at all comparable to the income of top, long term blogging gurus such as Michelle @ MakingSenseofCents or Carrie @ CarefulCents, or even Chonce @ MyDebtEpiphany but it’s a start. I share my income to encourage other bloggers, new and old, to work hard if making an income online is the goal.  My goal is to keep my blog, the information I share, and my experiences  authentic and relatable to others on a journey towards financial freedom or even entreprenuership.

I made $55.00 online for December!

The breakdown is below:

  • freelance writing $30.00
  • product review        $25.00

I’m not sure if the income and/or income reports will continue.  The freelance opportunity I had ended in December and the online review will probably post until after January, therefor will probably not affect or increase my opportunities.

December Side Hustle Income:

I earned $762.55 in side hustle income for December 2015. The break down is below.

  • Doing hair side hustle $480.90
  • Milage reimbursement $127.19
  • Shopping reimbursement apps $84.46
  • Selling items online $15.00
  • Online income:          $55.00

Most all income went towards Christmas.  I was able to apply an extra $25.00 to my AM card.  However if I have another lucrative month in January, the money will be divided amongst extra credit card payments, savings, and out-of-pocket renovations.

ongoing goals:

The thought of continuing to make online income is exciting!  I’d love to continue to grow GDTH, increase traffic, and continue to build my writing portfolio.  My ongoing goals are below.

Pitch

Of course this ongoing.  Pitching to find freelancing opportunities is very necessary to continue to earn online income.  I’ve already pitched to one client and have not heard anything back as of yet.  My plan is to pitch at least once per week until I hear something back and find the perfect fit.   My problem is I continue to struggle with rejection, not hearing anything at all, or provide feedback.

Invest

I’m still not at the point of justifying spending money or paying for assistance or resources to gain income to get out of debt.  I still struggle with the irony of some PF bloggers that tell you to “save money after you pay for my service to earn money.”  However, I do understand the concept of time being money.  As a result, I plan on spending more time blogging and writing more helpful and informative post that have helped me in my journey.

Network

I’m a major introvert which affects my eagerness to socialize even on the internet.  I’ve majorly reduced my social media time after reading an article about being a slave to the phone. I even deleted my FB app on my phone on December 27, 2015 and have not been on FB since nor have I had the desire to.  However, social media is essential in growing an online business and therefore returning would be beneficial.  I’m working on developing time frames or limits for social media interaction and how to optimize my time while on there.

Other GDTH goals include:

  • adding a subscribe widget
  • developing a news letter
  • coordinating a link up or collaboration

Do these income reports help or motivate you?  What are you ongoing blog goals?

 

How to save more and work less with financial fasting

 

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As a financial blogger, I’m often intrigued by anything having to do with finances. I read other blogs, watch youtube videos, and have joined Facebook groups.  When I ran across #financialfast, I reached out to learn more.

Shannon is a mother and wife of two lovely children.  She worked as a full time cosmatologist, however after successfully managing the finances has been able to work part-time and become more available for her family. Her and her family are currently participating in a 21 Financial fast and was willing to do a brief interview to educate the readers at GDTH!

Continue reading “How to save more and work less with financial fasting”