Are you struggling to create or manage a budget? If so click the button above to watch the video of the #CreditChat conversation I had with the Experian team.
We discussed everything from creating a stable financial future, establishing budgeting best practices, staying on top of your credit, starting an emergency fund, and choosing the right insurance.
You can download the Budget Sanity Saver worksheet to get a head start with creating your budget automatically. You need Microsoft Word to use it.
Chat Q & A
Here are the questions that were asked during the conversation and my answers:
Q1: What are the first steps a single parent should take when creating a stable financial future for his/her family?
Access where you are, decide where you want to be and create a written plan. Ask for help. check out Financial Planning Days for free financial planning in your area.
Q2: How should a newly single parent establish a budget? What are best practices? Write all current expenses like rent, food, car, etc. Subtract those expense amounts from your income. Best practices: Live below your means. Budget each paycheck before you spend. Pay yourself first.
Q3: What steps should single parents take to ensure they are staying on top of their credit? check your credit report regularly. Your bank may offer free monitoring. Get your annual credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. Spend only what you can repay immediately. Pay your bills on time or at least make arrangements to pay.
Q4: What financial documents should newly single parents review when creating a financial plan? Review your bank statements to see the history of your spending.
Q5: Are there any tax credits or deductions that can help reduce the amount of taxes single parents pay? earned income credit. child care credit. Student loan credit.
Q6: What are best practices for establishing an emergency fund? Pay yourself first in each paycheck. Add most or at least half of your tax refund. Sell items you don’t really need and put it in the fund.
Q7: What insurance considerations should single parents take? Term life seems to be a good policy to have since it covers you for a specific period of time while your children are still in your home.
Q8: What should single parents know about creating an estate plan? Talk with a financial planner who has information and/or an attorney. Get your will made so your family and the state knows what to do with your property and your children in case of your death
Q9: What advice do you have for a single parent who is struggling financially? If it feels like you are drowning stop the leaks. Take a deep breath. Remember it is temporary. Create an action plan to slow your spending, increase your income, focus on what you have instead of what you do not have.
Q10: Do you have any final financial tips for single parents? You have the power to become financially free. Learn all you can about money management. Focus on increasing your income rather than cutting everything from your life. Get the kids involved and teach them the value of money but more importantly the value of life and family.
The nine-to-five office grind isn’t for everyone. Some people are more productive when they’re at home. Luckily, the internet has a way of providing new opportunities for almost everyone, especially SAHMs.
If you are looking for ways to earn extra income without sacrificing your time with the kids, here are online jobs you can get into:
If you have a way with words, freelance writing is a viable option that you should consider. A lot of industries are in need of writers especially when the products, services, or topics involved are niche. There is a wide variety of subjects to be covered such as travel, sports, fitness, housekeeping, and more. The write-ups needed usually come in the form of blog posts, journalistic articles, and online lists. Starting out, you can expect around $15 per post, but with more experience and better connections, you can make a lot more.
Blogs that generate a lot of traffic can be turned into a profitable side business. If your blog shares the same interest and direction with a company, they may be willing to pay you to run ads that link to their site. For example, if you have a home cooking blog, companies selling kitchenware may ask you to connect with them (or the other way around). Pay is usually based on how much people click on the ads via your blog and it ranges from $10 to $50 for every 1,000 hits.
A lot of people are in need of other’s help to stay organized. You can monetize on that by becoming a virtual assistant. From reading and responding to emails, scheduling meetings, managing websites, and more, it is a position that requires you to do just a little bit of everything. Rates usually start out at $10 per hour and can get to up to $30 if you are more experienced.
As technology develops so does the need for companies to go digital. Businesses and professionals are always looking to establish a web presence, and if they already have one, they are may be looking to update it. If you are adept at creating custom graphics, then designing online can be a lucrative source of income with a rate that averages about $45 per hour.
Your proficiency in English can be used as a means of income. Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is sought after in countries with locals trying to learn it such as South Korea or the UAE. Rates are about $25 per hour and can go north of that. It also might open doors for you to travel across the world.
A lot of people have things lying around their home that they want to get rid of, but they are too busy to do so. You can actually reach out to them and do it yourself. With various sites at your disposal, you can sell anything from appliances to mint condition toys, or you can create your own site for selling used clothes. As a seller, you can take a percentage off the total sales or have a “per-item” fee that varies depending on the value of the item being sold.
With smart phones developing more and more, apps play a bigger part in our daily lives. Developing one is another way of making money. There are some hobbies and niche areas where apps have no presence in yet, and acting on it can yield a profitable reward.
Google Paid Ad Specialist
The world of paid internet marketing is as lucrative as it is huge. If you are familiar with your way around Google’s Ads, you can make extra money managing a company’s campaign. The better you are at optimizing ads, the more you will start bringing in more clients.
Social Media Manager
There are companies that look for individuals adept at maintaining a social media presence. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, these platforms help with a company’s or professional’s internet exposure. Some are too busy to build their brands online, and they are in need of people who can do so.
I hope you enjoyed and got a few ideas from 9 Online Jobs that Pay Well!
If you are struggling to make ends meet you don’t need to cut expenses and try to save more. That’s just the God-honest truth! You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip but you can use your cooking, cleaning, writing, computer, fashion, photography skills to make extra money!
You can use those coins to pay your bills, update your car, clothes, kids’ clothes and shoes, and so much more.
But what if you don’t know how to get started? Would you pay someone to show you how to do it step by step?
✨You could get the help from someone like me who has done it many times before or you can struggle to do it in your own.
✨You could go the DIY route and spend months researching, testing, searching for the right tools, begging family and friends to help or buy from you.
✨You could hire a coach and pay $500-2500 for one on one guidance. If you had that kind of money lying around you wouldn’t need this course.
But you do need this course to help you decide what Side Hustle to choose and how to get started.
🏦You need help setting up the business.
💰You need to stop feeling financially helpless and start feeling financially hopeful.
💸You need financial empowerment and economic stability.
🎢You can take the long free route or you can take the short expensive route.
The good news is there is a happy alternative!
You can invest a small amount and get a step by step video guide with worksheets to help you Get Your Coins.
If you can watch a video, write notes based on video instructions, and read a step-by-step guide you can get started in the next 14-30 days, maybe even less time.
All it take is a willingness to get started. The best news is it less than a week’s worth of Starbucks ☕️ and less than the latest pair of sneakers 👟for your kid.
I’ve had a side hustle or two since I was 10 years old. I baked and sold pound cakes for $10 each. Back then that was a lot of money for a kid but it was fun. Not only did I learn how to bake and sell cakes but I also learned how to count my money as well as keep a balance sheet to see how much I was making, spending, and keeping for profit.
Since then I’ve had a few other side hustles and side businesses. I’m a born entrepreneur and I love it. It’s not just about the money but about using my skill and talents to do things I love to do for money. Plus I get to help a lot of people in the process.
Do you want to start a side hustle? Have you been thinking about it but are not sure how to start?
You are not a kid, but you may be inexperienced when it comes to choosing and starting a side hustle. You may feel excited or nervous. You may know exactly what you want to do or be clueless. It’s okay. This is why I create this masterclass.. I’m here to help you push through the fear and come up with the best idea for you.
When you sign up for the Get Your Coins: Side Hustle Masterclass I’ll guide you through the process of creating a side gig that will generate an extra $250-$1000 per month. You can pay a car note, extracurricular activity fees, vacation fund, and so much more with the extra money.
Sign up now to get access to the videos, worksheets, and motivation to get your creative juices flowing. After you sign up you can head over to the Side Hustle Challenge Facebook group where we will share our ideas, ask questions, set goals, and celebrate each other’s success.
What will you create during the masterclass?
The objectives for the Get Your Coins: Side Hustle Masterclass include:
Module 1 – Get clear on vision and set the goal
Module 2 – Develop and validate the idea
Module 3 – Create the plan
Module 4 – Set up your system
Module 5 – Test your hustle
Module 6 – Launch your Side Hustle
Bonus: Side Hustle Discovery Worksheet, Deliciously Simple Online Business Guide, Exclusive Access to Side Hustle Support Group!
I bought a car from Carvana.com and it was the easiest, most pain-free experience I’ve ever had. Now understand, I’ve only bought two cars in my life from a dealer. This purchase makes three times but it was totally different from what I experienced and even what my daughter recently experienced a few months ago when she bought a car.
The car-buying experience is notoriously long and according to an Autotrader survey, only 1% of consumers enjoy their experience. The average person spends three hours in the dealership to buy a car with a 56% satisfaction rate. You could do so much in that space of time. Might as well bring a book or get some work done.
I had been thinking about buying a car because my 13-year old car, a 2004 Honda CRV named Taffy, is hanging on by a thread. Well not really. It’s in good running shape though it needs a tune up and new tires. It was hit in an accident a year ago and technically totaled because the value of the car is less than the cost to repair. It is still damaged in the back and there is likely some structural damage but it keeps going. It is time to retire her. It’s the kindest thing to do for her after her faithfulness all these years.
The Search for a Car Begins
I work in the auto industry so I have access to deep discounts for a new car. I can lease for next to nothing but I couldn’t help but think about how reliable my old Honda has been for the last 13 years. I just can’t imagine another car doing that well. I hesitated to buy a car outside the Honda or Toyota family (my daughter has a Toyota) so I waited and prayed about it a bit more. I waited for the right timing, a hunch, a still small voice to tell me to go ahead and go to a dealership. I never got the feeling to go so I waited a bit longer. I got the control number to buy a car below invoice and I’ve had co-workers tell me they would let me use their family and friends discount. I thanked them and I waited.
Checking Out Carvana.com to Buy a Car
One day at my desk Carvana.com flashed through my mind. I went to the website and signed up for an account. They did a soft credit report pull and I could see the available cars, how much the monthly payment would be, and the down payment. There were quite a few $0 down payment cars on the site which was shocking to me. These were quality cars with great ratings. I could see how much I’d have to pay monthly.
I went home and called the Carvana to ask questions. I wanted to be sure there would be no bait and switch tactics if I decided to pursue purchasing a car. The representative said the financing was 90% or better accurate. There would be no drastic difference. I asked a few more questions about how long it would take for the financing to be completed. It would usually be within 24 hours. I asked one or two other questions and then I ended the call. They assured me they would answer any other questions I had.
Taking the Plunge
The next day I chatted with a co-worker during lunch. I mentioned that I was still using Lyft to get around and that I planned to buy a car in a couple of weeks. We talked about the kind of cars that were available through the company and even looked a few in the parking lot that other employees owned. I went back to my desk and felt the nudge to go back to the Carvana site. I logged in and looked around. I asked God which car should I choose. I kept looking and then I saw a Honda CR-V EX-L. It was a 2014 model with one scratch on the hood but it was otherwise perfect.
The website is designed to give you a 360-degree view around and inside the car as well as under the hood. This car had great features including seat warmers, satellite radio ready, USB and Bluetooth connections. The engine was a nice size and it had a sunroof and leather seats. The color is also nice too. The price was within my budget range and it was $0 down payment. Perfect! I added to my saved vehicles then added a second CR-V along with a Buick that I had my eye on. The Buick was only 2WD but the Honda was 4WD so that bumped out the Buick.
I kept searching but came back to the EX-L model. A voice said to buy it so I clicked the Get Started button. From there it was smooth sailing.
The Easiest Car-buying Experience Ever!
It took less than 30 minutes to do everything from start to finish. I went through the steps and then uploaded my proof of income. The next page asked me when I wanted to pick up the car. Wow! This was too easy!
There was an address for me to pick up the car but I clicked the delivery button instead. I could choose a date within two days and a time. I had two time slots to choose from so I chose the 6-7pm time slot. The next screen asked me to review and sign the contract or download to review. I waited until I got home to review and sign. I couldn’t believe how easy it all was going.
About 15-30 minutes later I got an email requesting proof of residence which I sent then shortly after that I go another email saying my delivery was confirmed. What!?!?!?!
The next step was to get insurance on the car so I would have proof when the car was delivered. I planned to get insurance the next day but Providence had other plans. My insurance company called me 5-10 minutes later about my current car and setting up the safe drive feature. I said I would do it that weekend and then I told her I would need to put another car on my policy. A few minutes later I had insurance on the new car. It was all so easy.
I am over the top excited about the new car and still in disbelief about how easy the process was from start to finish. There was no haggling, waiting, worrying, or anything that looked stressful. I would absolutely, positively recommend that all my friends buy a car this way. Carvana made the car buying process stress-free and amazingly fantastic! I know I’m using a lot of adjectives but it was freaking awesome! Ok, so back to the story…
Car Delivery Day
My car was delivered two days later on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The poor lady (Jamaica) who delivered the car got all wet but she was a trooper and had a great attitude. My car was gently rolled off the hydraulic lift and driven up my driveway. I had to sign the paperwork to get my tag and title mailed to me. This is one of my favorite parts; not having to go to the DMV to register my car. Yes!!!!
Jamaica gave me a goodie bag and the keys to my car. She was there less than 15 minutes and I had my new car to drive around for seven days to be sure I liked it. On day five Jamaica from Cavana called me and asked if everything was still going well. I absolutely loved driving my car around and enjoying the new car smell.
Since I didn’t request a return or exchange the car is mine. My first payment was in one month and I can pay it online. There is no pre-payment penalty if I want to pay it off. I just call to add extra payments to the principal so I get the credit. This is a great way to pay down a mortgage payment too.
Buying a car with Carvana was the best buying experience I’ve ever had. I know I said this already but it truly was. My daughter bought a car a few months before I did and it was a 4-hour process!! Ugh!!! She was blessed beyond belief but the time spent in the dealership was soooo loonnnggg!!! For her next car, we will definitely buy online.
How to Get over the Intimidation of Buying a Car Online
I realize some people may be a little intimidated with buying a car unseen. You don’t get to test drive it or spend hours waiting for a finance manager to call up 10,000 finance companies (just kidding) to accept your application. You may or may not get a friendly, helpful, and genuinely interested person on your side.
The things that made my car buying experience amazing are:
– I had an idea of what I wanted in terms of specific type of car and amenities
– I had been monitoring my credit over the previous months so I knew what the possibilities were for financing monitoring my credit over the previous months so I knew what the possibilities were for financing
– I am comfortable buying things online
– The return policy was acceptable to me
– I trusted God through the process to lead me to the right car
– I know the value of buying a gently used car over a brand new one
– I am good at making a choice once I have all the answers I need to make an intelligent decision
So, if you are comfortable with doing the things I did you can buy a car online too. If you have a problem with unknowns, then this might not be for you. If you are scared to do anything outside your comfort zone this might not be for you. If you are suspicious about every doggone thing, this is definitely not for you.
If you have a million and one hang-ups about life in general, this is not for you. You will make yourself miserable and worry yourself sick throughout the process. I’d recommend you get some serious help and call on Jesus for that… Seriously you are making your life a living hell with that kind of drama. Buying a car or buying a trip, home, or anything that is going to change and/or enhance your life should not cause you pain.
If you have questions about my Carvana car buying experience shot me a message or leave a comment below. If you are in the market to buy a car then head over to Carvana.com and see what the possibilities are.
I had a fun interview with Cassie Parks, author of the new book, Manifest $10,000 recently. She shared a few tips with me about how to manifest $10k that I know you can use and take action on. It will surprise you how easy it is to attract more money in your life. Watch the interview and her her tips.
I was excited to do this interview because a couple of years ago I manifested $9,000 into my life. I promise you, it won’t come in the way you typically think, but that’s the beauty of it all. Money doesn’t have to be a struggle if you can learn how to release the old way of thinking.
I also want to mention that Cassie has a program you can join to help you manifest $10k. It is only $1 to join then you simply donate 10% of what you manifest. How awesome is that! There is no excuse for you is there?
Cell phone bills can be expensive, on par with the monthly costs of powering your home or keeping your car gassed up. Of course, your cell phone can help you build your credit, but only if you aren’t strapping yourself with too large a bill every month.
So if you’re sick of shelling out a small ransom to call, text and watch YouTube cat videos on your smartphone, you should know there are ways to cut your bill. Here are 11 options:
1. Choose the Right Plan
If you’re signing up for a new cell phone plan, make sure you’re only paying for the plan you need. Unlimited texting, calling and data plans are nice, but you may use your phone less than you think.
Take a look at your phone usage over the past few months to determine if average usage is way under the allowances you’re paying for. If so, you can save some money by switching to a downgraded plan.
2. Keep Your Phone Longer
Many wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T dangle the carrot of a new phone upgrade every year or so. Of course, you like new devices, but you might end up shelling out hundreds for a new phone or rolling the cost into your wireless bill, which sounds tempting in the store but will add to your monthly cost.
If your current phone works, hold onto it to save money.
3. Skip the Insurance
Device insurance sounds appealing when you’re about to drop hundreds on a new phone. But in many cases, it isn’t worth the cost.
“At $11 per month from Verizon, you’d still need to cough up an additional $50 to $200 for the deductible, depending on your device. It’s more cost-effective to invest in a sturdy, protective case and screen cover and treat your device with care,” said Kendal Perez, Savings Expert at CouponSherpa.com.
It’s also worth checking with your credit card issuer to see what, if any, kind of extended warranty options they offer on new purchases made with your card, or if you pay your cellular bill with your credit card. Learn more about your options with this handy guide to getting your money back when you break or lose your phone.
4. Use Family Plans
If you need more than one phone line on your plan, you may want to check if your wireless carrier offers family plans. Family plans offer savings for additional phone lines, decreasing the average cost of each line. In some instances you may be able to split the costs with a friend or family member you trust.
5. Don’t Surpass Your Data Limit
Seriously, don’t do it. Wireless carriers often impose steep fees when you surpass your data limit, so if you’re regularly bumping up against your limit, you may want to comparison shop for an unlimited plan. It could end up being cheaper than going over your limit several times.
6. Reduce Data Usage
If that’s not an option, consider reducing your data usage. Use secure Wi-Fi wherever available, especially when you’re engaging in data-heavy activity like downloading podcasts or watching videos. If you can reduce your data, you can potentially switch to a plan that charges less.
“Unlimited data plans are making a comeback…however, it’s better to track your usage and pay for the data you actually use. Compare plans between carriers and read the fine print,” said Perez.
7. Do a Bill Audit
Many providers charge for things you’ll never use or already have, such as emergency roadside assistance or 411. Next time you get your bill, go through every fee and charge to make sure you know what you’re paying for. Some unused services could be removed from your bill.
8. Look for Employee Discounts
Many employers and jobs have discounts available with major wireless carriers. Examples may include active-duty military members or state government employees. Find out if your employer or wireless carrier participate in such plans.
“If your employer has a business plan with a carrier, employees are typically eligible for a discount,” says Perez. “Ask your supervisor or HR department about this benefit and the amount of the discount.”
9. Make It Tax Deductible
If you have a home business and use your phone to conduct business calls and emails, you can deduct some or all of the cost of your wireless plan at tax time. This will indirectly reduce the cost of your cell phone bill.
10. Cost Share with An Employer
You also may conduct business on your personal phone for your employer. This could include phone calls, email and any other work activity. Ask your employer if they participate in phone reimbursement or cost-sharing policies.
11. Negotiate With Your Provider
Like many other service providers, wireless carriers face stiff competition from other wireless giants and smaller providers. As a result, they may be willing to negotiate to keep your business. Call your wireless carrier, tell them your bill is too high and that you’re thinking of switching to another provider. You may want to be ready with offers from other wireless carriers, and you’ll have some negotiation power if you’re a long-time customer and always pay your bill on time.
Also, keep in mind, the better your payment history, the better chance you have of negotiating, so don’t wait until you’re making late payments to begin talking. If you’ve already made some late payments, for your phone or other bills, you can see how they’re affecting your credit scores by reviewing your free credit report summary on Credit.com.
Switch Wireless Carriers
Competing wireless carriers are constantly trying to lure customers away from each other. If you can find a better offer from another carrier that provides the service you need, you have a compelling reason to switch. You can even look for budget alternatives, such as prepaid plans.
“Prepaid, no-contract plans from Boost, Virgin Mobile, Ting and Page Plus are all cheap alternatives to big-carrier plans… compare costs between big carriers and no-contract providers before you buy.”