F U $

As a woman, I naturally want to dedicate this post to women but I believe it resonates with both men and women so I won’t be biased and talk directly to us.

I want to talk about the importance of having F U $. Of course, you heard of this but probably not in this way. You probably heard someone say “save for a rainy day or just have a savings.” So if the title bothers you, just insert a phrase you’re comfortable with but today on PMH.com this is what we’re sticking with! Okay?! So, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get on to the good stuff!

It’s so important to have F U $ because let’s be honest life happens and when it happens, you want to make sure it’s something you’re comfortable with facing. Just a little back-story as to what made me talk about this on today. Last week I took myself on a date to a very classy restaurant just me and my journals and the table next to me was talking loud enough that I could hear their entire conversation although it wasn’t that interesting, one thing that was said really made me listen harder. Two sisters and one of the sister’s husband was dining in and talking about a lady named Rachel. I overheard one of the sister’s say, “Rachel doesn’t know what’s going on financially, and her husband works and pays all the bills.” I immediately said to myself, “Oh Rachel GIRL!” now no judgment against Rachel at all because I grew up in the same type of household but I believe in THIS day and age you should at least know what’s going on financially. What if something happens to Rachel’s husband and he’s unable to work? I’ll paint the picture that Rachel’s husband has a 401k or some type of retirement account so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that it’s something they could live off of until he either finds another job, or he’s well enough to go back to his old job but RACHHHEELLLLL! Why are you putting your entire life into someone else’s hands without having a clue about what’s going on financially? Which brings me to the title of this post.

Now let’s paint this picture…

What if one day Rachel’s husband just magically decides that he no longer wants to be married? Now, I’m not saying he’s not a good man and he’s leaving her and the kids high and dry, so he will let her have the SUV and the home. He will also pay the house bills for 6 months but after that, she’s on her own. However, he will pay child support but that doesn’t cover household expenses, car note, and day-to-day necessities. What will you do Rachel, girl? Well, Rachel has to get a job or create her own. And I believe we all can learn a thing or two from Rachel. The lesson in this is to never depend on anyone to provide you with life’s necessities both male and female especially if you’re in good health and you’re able to work. Always remember it’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you save. Rachel doesn’t have to make more than her husband but if she was building a little side hustle when things were all good, she wouldn’t be pressed to figure something out before he rips the rug from under her and the kids in 6 months. Sometimes, it takes something dramatic to happen to us in order for us to wake up and see that it’s time to make a change and you know what, that’s okay too! You can learn to build your wings on the way down just don’t get down and stay down, figure out a way you can build yourself back up. How does that look? Well, I’m glad you asked! It looks like you taking a hard look at yourself in the mirror and affirming that no matter what it may look like now, things are getting better.

Pray and ask God for guidance and to help you to remain positive while going through this.

  • Write down your goals. Things you love to do, things you’re good at doing and something you’d do for free if you had to.
  • Write down action steps next to each goal.
  • Write down an estimated deadline next to each goal.
  • Whatever money you have, only dedicate it to necessities which means you may have to sacrifice and bring your own coffee from home before you go and work on the computer at Starbucks. Pack a lunch too.

Basically, start making sacrifices and eventually while you’re persistent, you’ll see yourself knocking out each goal and when you feel yourself rising up don’t forget to invest into your F U account!

 

Making Steps To Become An Everyday Millionaire

On today, I took advice from the book “Everyday Millionaires” and decided to increase the percentage I’m allotting to my 401k and ROTH plan. The company I work for matches up to 3.5% so I decided to invest 10% total to my retirement for a total contribution of 13.5% I figured that now is the perfect time to increase my contributions due to me not having any children at the moment, my expenses are low (I paid off my car in 2007) and I am not married. Also, along with contributing, when I first started investing into my 401k last year, I didn’t contribute to my ROTH at all but it was one of my goals for 2019 so I decided to start now because the best time to start investing into your future is yesterday.

If you haven’t already, check out the “7 Books That Has Helped Shape My Mindset.” 

“79% of Everyday Millionaires became millionaires by investing in their companies retirement plans.” -Chris Hogan

How My Credit Limit Increased By Thousands In Just One Year

This year I’ve been very intentional with ensuring my credit score increases and growing my retirement account. I can honestly say, I am proud of myself because just a year ago, this was just a plan on my to-do list and now I’m starting to see the fruits of my labor.

On Monday, I woke up to an email from Capital One stating that my line of credit increased by $1,000 without me ever contacting them and requesting an increase!!!!

If you’re not familiar with a credit line increase and how it works, then I am here to help!

Credit card companies only increase your credit limit as you demonstrate you can handle credit responsibly. That means charging only 30% or less of your total credit limit and making your payments on time each month.

I choose to share my credit line increase as motivational purposes, only. I want you to see from someone who started off at just a $500 credit limit has now risen to $3,750 in just a year. I want you to start setting goals for yourself for the New Year and take steps daily to ensure you’re reaching those goals. I want you to know exactly what I did to increase my credit limit and prove to you that it’s possible for you too if having excellent credit is your goal.

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I have the Capital One Quicksilver One Card and when I first applied for the card, the limit started off at $500. To be honest, I was fine with that amount and I was even better when it increased to $750. It showed me that I was on the right track by keeping my balance under 30% and paying it off before the due date. If you’re not familiar with the 5 components of how your credit score is determined, then be sure to check out the post here where each component percentage is broken down for you.

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In September I used my card a lot but I did pay off the balance in full before the due date. This card also gives me rewards cash but I haven’t used any because I’m enjoying seeing it grow.

The main thing to remember about credit cards is: It’s important that you don’t use more than 30% of your credit card limit BUT, things happen so if you must, do your best to pay it in full. Never be afraid to use your card because you don’t want to be in debt, ONLY use what you can afford to pay off in full before the due date. Take the limits off of yourself and let’s raise our credit scores together!!!

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The Key Word Is Preparation

I wanted to share this here because I received so many direct messages after I shared it on my Instagram stories and it’ll be deleted within 24 hours. One today, I shared how I contacted my mother’s life insurance company to ensure I was listed as a beneficiary. I found out that I wasn’t because it was a policy my dad set up for her when he was here so naturally, he added himself as the only beneficiary on the plan as she was for him. If you’re not familiar with my story, my father was called home to be with the Lord this year in April. My mom was the only beneficiary on his policy but I handled everything on her behalf. I am my mother’s only child so I am the go-to person for all things related to finances, investments, etc., a role that I love and take very seriously.

Furthermore, the reason for this post is to shine a light on the word preparation. Are you prepared for life’s unfortunate situations? When I say prepared I mean do you have a life insurance policy? If so, do you know the policy amount? Are you familiar with the type of life insurance policy you have? Do you know if you’re listed as a beneficiary on your parent’s or your spouse’s policy? If not, find out who’s listed and think about if that person is one of the responsible siblings/family members. Now is the time to start asking your family members if they’re covered. Also, be sure to find out if there’s a Will in place. All of these things are so important to familiarize yourself with now instead of when it’s too late. No matter how we are living today, unfortunately, death will come but the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to ensure your affairs are in order. This post isn’t to sell you on anything, this is simply to inform you that it’s time to wake up and pay attention to details.

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Below is what I shared on Instagram.

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7 Retirement Plans You Should Know About

This year I started investing in my 401K but I have plans to turn it into a Roth IRA before this year is over. I remembered when I first started on the journey of financial literacy and I didn’t know what any of the retirement terms meant because yeah! It’s not taught in school but that’s a post for a different day. So after reading and researching, I finally was able to make an intelligent decision as to where I’ll invest. Therefore, if you’re like I was in the past and all of this sounds foreign to you, this post is for you!

Let’s get familiar with retirement terms.

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401k, A 401(k) is a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer. It lets workers save and invest a piece of their paycheck before taxes are taken out. Taxes aren’t paid until the money is withdrawn from the account.

 

401a, A 401a plan can be either a supplemental or core retirement plan for employees who meet eligibility rules. A 401a plan may provide for either mandatory employee contributions or voluntary employee after-tax contributions. However, a 401a plan does not permit employees to make 401k contributions.

 

403b, A 403(b) plan is a kind of defined contribution retirement plan. It may be offered to employees of government and tax-exempt groups, such as schools, hospitals, and churches. Employees who are eligible can defer money from their paychecks into their 403(b) accounts, which work the same way as 401(k) plans.

 

457, A 457 plan refers to a non-qualified, tax-advantaged deferred compensation retirement plan. Eligible employees are allowed to make salary deferral contributions to the 457 plan. Earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis and contributions are not taxed until the assets are distributed from the plan.

 

TSP,  The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan that offers Federal employees the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans.

Roth IRA An individual retirement account allowing a person to set aside after-tax income up to a specified amount each year. Roth contributions (but not earnings) can be withdrawn penalty- and tax-free at any time, even before age 59½.

Traditional IRA  A traditional IRA is a tax-deferred retirement savings account. You pay taxes on your money only when you make withdrawals in retirement. Deferring taxes means all of your dividends, interest payments and capital gains can compound each year without being hindered by taxes. IRAs can be opened at most financial services providers, online or in person. That includes local banks and credit unions, brokerage firms and big mutual fund superstores or discount brokerages.

 

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5 Components Of A Credit Score

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This is my actual Payment History from Credit Karma.

  1. Payment history (35%)
  2. Amounts Owed (35%)
  3. Length of Credit History (15%)
  4. Types of Credit Used (10%)
  5. New Credit (10%)

Payment History: Not all payments you make on time will help increase your credit score but late payments can affect your score. This is the most common reason why people have bad credit. Your payment history makes up the majority of your credit score. One of the easiest ways to start building healthy credit is to make on-time payments. If you cannot make a payment on a specific due date then you should contact your lender or credit card company to work out a date that works better for both parties. The worse thing you can do is consistently make late payments.

Amounts Owed: Credit card utilization. You should never use 30% of your credit card. For example, if your credit limit is $2500, then each month you’ll want to have a balance of no more than $750 that you carry over. Personally, what I’ve done in the past was used more than 30% of my card but paid the balance down before my credit card due date. By the time it was reported to the credit bureau, it looked as if I used less than 30% of my credit limit for that month.

Length of Credit History: Suppose you have a credit card that has a low credit limit and no rewards, you’ll want to keep that open and active, because it counts as your longest running line of credit. Never close a credit card just use it and pay down the balance. Length of credit history makes up 15% of your credit history. Using older lines of credit will help you build healthy credit. I have one credit card that I use for now but my older credit cards are still open.

Types of Credit Used: Having just a credit card isn’t enough to build up your credit. You’ll need different types of credit. Lenders want to see that you have experience using different types of credit such as Revolving credit lines (credit card) and Installment credit (car note). Revolving credit lines only require a minimum payment each month, but installment credit lines have a specific payment amount, payment date, and term length. By making a pre-determine on-time payment amount by a specific due date each month and for a specific amount of time, then you’re showing lenders that you can be trusted to use riskier financial products like a mortgage. My credit line increased tremendously when I had a car note.

New Credit: New Credit makes up 10% of your credit score. Make sure that when you apply for new credit that you only apply for one line preferably once a year, but if necessary then once every 6 – 9 months. When applying for new credit, a hard credit pull is instigated on your credit. The hard pull hurts your credit score and drops it a few points, which is normal. However, when you apply for too much credit at one time, your score can be seriously affected. Therefore, do your best to make sure you only apply for new credit if necessary.

*Building excellent credit takes time but as long as you’re taking steps in the right direction, it’ll definitely happen for you in no time. The good thing is, you now know the 5 components of a credit score.

Money Market Account! What is it Exactly?

Are you familiar with a Money Market account? Well, if you’re not, I’ll be more than happy to share with you what I’ve learned. A money market account is simply a high yielding savings account. The account may earn a higher annual percentage yield (APY) than a traditional savings account, but it might also have a higher minimum balance requirement than a standard savings bank account.

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I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts related to money and Journey To Launch happens to be my favorite. Although I heard the co-host and guest speak about a Money Market Account, it didn’t resonate with me to look into getting one until I sat down with Angie and she interviewed me for her podcast. After the podcast was done, we must’ve had a 3-hour convo about money, how we can get our money to work for us and ways to increase our credit scores. She told me about her money market account and it was on from there. She even allowed me to see the money that was being deposited into her account monthly. I was in shock because my bank didn’t give me anything worth bragging about. Granted, I just had a regular savings account but it was a pretty penny if I say so myself. After speaking with Angie, I went home and did some research on the best Money Market accounts and decided to go with CIBC Bank USA. It’s based out of Canada but there’s a US branch in Chicago. Everything is pretty much done online and via the app which is a total convenience for me! Before transferring my savings over to CIBC Bank I contacted my bank to find out their interest rate for a Money Market account and it was 0.65% APY if you deposit 10,000-24,000 and 0.60% APY if it’s 9,000 or less. I’m not certain what’s the minimum balance because at this point, I realized, I was wasting my time trying to grow my money with my financial institution. Therefore, I transferred over to CIBC Bank and now I’ll be earning 2.10% APY on my money, monthly.

I am interested in my money earning money for me while I’m saving. It’s a no-brainer especially if you’re a saver like me. I didn’t transfer everything from my savings to CIBC Bank but I’ll continue to deposit more as time goes on. I wanted to have access to something just in case I need it especially since my bank is local.

Learning about money, how to grow it and ways to invest is fun for me so I’ll continue to share with you all. Let’s grow our knowledge and money together.

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How To Save Mula All Year Long

One of my favorite past times is reading. Recently, while reading Ladies Home Journal Magazine with Michelle Obama on the cover I came across a Save Money All Year Long article. It’s a “cheat sheet” on the best times to get a great deal on stuff you may need. Immediately, I was eager to read the tips and found them all very helpful, therefore, I wanted to share them with you all.

January: Start the year with clean sheets. Score linens and towels at a discount during January’s white sales.

February: Stock up on winter clothes, coats and snow boots, which go on sale now to make room for the spring clothes coming in March.

March: Small electronics like digital cameras from last year are cheaper in March because this year’s new models are usually just hitting stores.

April: You can typically find deals on cookware and other household items because retailers discount them for the wedding-gift crowd.

May: Yard sales and flea markets are held year-round but they really get into full swing when the weather gets nice in May.

June: Look for deals on gym memberships during the summer months when people start flocking outside to exercise.

July: Retailers use July Fourth (and every other holiday, for that matter) as an excuse to hold big sales on everything from cars to carpets. Take advantage!

August: Most summer gear goes on sale in August to make way for fall items. Buy grills, lawn furniture, gardening supplies, air conditions, even bathing suits, now.

September: These days you can find back-to-school deals on pretty much everything, which also makes it a great time to buy a new computer at a discount.

October: New home appliances are often introduced in the fall so you can buy last year’s models at a discount (a good deal since appliances rarely change drastically from year to year).

November: Holiday sales are starting earlier and earlier. Score a bargain this month on gift items such as toys and flat-screen TVs

December: The week after Christmas is the best time to get seasonal items at super-deep discounts. Buy next year’s holiday wrapping paper, ornaments and decorations now.

♥ Hope you enjoyed  knowing when the best time to shop for deals as much as I have!! 🙂