I know…shocking right lol. I have never ever had a credit card. I have had store cards but never anything I can use to buy from multiple stores. I would get store cards and pay them off within 6 months and then close the accounts. I know thats bad but I remember my moms teaching….you don’t need a credit card to live in this world. My mother never had one and my bestie and I don’t have one. We are the few select people who are able to function without a credit card. So the question you might ask is….how do you get credit to buy a car and a house? Easy….when I first moved out of my dorm room with my roommate back in my college days my grandfather cosigned for her and I to get an apartment. After a year of paying on time the apartment people took the cosigners off. After that everything was in our names and we began to build credit. I also took that opportunity to buy my second car (my first car was paid for cash by hustling in college) and made payments on that. I was also working a full time job (which I sat out from college a year to do) and was able to get financed through that time frame. I remember going to the car place and them saying….you are 20 and you’ve never ever had a credit card lol. Believe it or not my credit score went down because of student loans…..so at one time I had a -500 (just playing but it was low at one point) and there was a time that my credit wasn’t up to par. I worked through that and by hustling and doing without I managed to pay off my private student loans (I still owe navient there payments) and get my credit back in shape. I was also able to buy my first home last year because of the hard work I put in. Now my goal is to build wealth and to help others to stop living paycheck to paycheck through the non profit that I have started in honor of my husband. The Decarlo Allen Foundation is an organization that helps families pay a big bill so that they can take the money and pay down their other bills so they can stop living paycheck to paycheck. In other words…..let’s say you are behind on your car note but you have to still pay your rent. We will pay your rent for you so that you can take that money that goes towards the rent and pay the car note up. More on the foundation later but today….I want to talk about ways to manage money and build a better life. First I want you to watch this video……
People who look like money don’t always have money…..it’s the ones with a 5 year old car looking plain that has money. Don’t ever judge a book by it’s cover! So here is how I am trying to build my wealth….
Only purchase an item if you have the money for it. – So if you want to go on a trip save the money for the trip. Don’t put it on the credit card even if you have to put it on the credit card. Have the cash value of the trip in the bank (along with spending money) so that when you get back you can pay the credit card right on off. If you need a new wardrobe…save up for it. If you put it on the credit card pay it right off. My motto…if I don’t have the cash for it I don’t pay for it…..period
Say no to credit cards – You know the drill…every time you go to the store they ask you to open up a credit card to save 10%. Happens when you go to Old Navy or Target….oh you can save some money buy opening up a card. I always say nope I don’t do cards….are you sure…..the look I give them lol. I always say no although I had a Macy’s Card and a JcPenney card I no longer have them because I paid them off and closed both accounts. I have 0 plans on getting anymore store cards.
Track your spending – My mom use to have a notebook that she used to track spending. She would write down how much she got a month after paying herself first (which went into savings) and then pay money from that. If she went over she would take from another bill. I remember my mom would set aside the light bill of what she thought would be the total for the month and then if it was below that amount she would leave the access money there for the next month so that her light never got cut off. I recently started tracking my spending and found out that I was spending a lot of money unnecessarily for things I didn’t need. I was paying for people to create flyers for me when I can create them myself. I was paying for people to do videos for me when I can create them myself. See what goes out each month even down to a bill that may be 10 bucks….my dropbox service and stock photo service….costs me so much a month and I didn’t add them in last year because I thought oh…it’s just a few dollars but those few dollars add up!
Pay what’s important first – My rent, water, light, internet, car insurance, and cell phone bills are paid first. Everything else takes a seat and I make sure I pay other bills last. I am not late but I don’t make other bills a factor. The amount for the above is taken out of my bank account every month as a recurring payment so I don’t see it. I have a special account just for my bills…I pay that bank account from what I make so that I can pay my bills for the month….automatically. I use to hate recurring payments but I find that they are easier to do and keeps me on track
Build an emergency fund – So photography and my blogging money is my extra money for the month. Since those two aren’t guaranteed money (social media marketing is my main bread winner and I am under contract with various companies as a contract worker) I take money from that and put it in my savings account. I can’t depend on photography or blogging on a steady basis so that is where my savings come in at. If I don’t make money doing either I am not worried because that money doesn’t pay my main bills. I also know that I have it in savings for an emergency. Find a way to build a savings account by hustling for extra money or doing extra gigs. Working overtime helps or finding a way to cut bills so that you can put more money into a savings. In this economy you should have a savings account even if it’s just $50 in there….start one today!
Don’t shop at expensive places – I love expensive things but I also love seeing money stay in my account. I don’t buy expensive clothes or expensive shoes. My friend bought me a Pink from Victoria secret for the holidays my first pair of designer sweats lol…..me….I buy them right from walmart in the men section. Why would I pay 60 bucks for something that says pink….you have got to be kidding me. I also buy shoes from shoe carnival…buy one get half off. Buy whats on sale…I grocery shop every week at two different places and base my meals by whats on sale for the week. If ground beef is on sale this week guess what we are eating burgers, tacos or spaghetti. I create my list the day before I shop and only buy whats on sale! Now I am not a huge fan of thrift stores but I will go in there for items for my home. Clothes wise…I shop on sale and use coupons.
Protect what you work hard for – If you rent please please please have renters insurance. I have an expensive camera…you best believe I have insurance on that bad boy. I work hard for the expensive things that I do have and I want to protect my investments. Make sure you hire people who know what they are doing in the stock markets so that you can invest. Make sure you are banking with someone who has your best interests in mind.
I am in the season of trying to build wealth because I am so tired of being broke. I took steps into making sure that I have more money coming in than what I have going out. I am not all the way where I want to be but I am slowly getting there. How are you building wealth? Any tips or people we should follow to learn more?