Financial Advice

Emergency!!

I think it’s safe to say that many people, millennials mostly, are not set up to financially handle an emergency. If you follow Dave Ramsey, his first Baby Step is to have an emergency fund of $1,000. To be clear, I don’t necessarily follow his steps, but I do agree with having an emergency fund.

For some, $1,000 is a lot to attempt to save, while for others, like myself, $1,000 doesn’t seem like enough to save. If anything, I believe, to start, $2k-$3k is a good place to start. I know for many that will be a struggle, but in all honesty, it’s necessary.

Before beginning a debt free journey, while you’re being all gazelle intense (meaning throwing every cent at debt), it’s wise to have a cushion in case something was to happen. Outside of your bills, of you are throwing every cent to debt and working a $0 budget, that means you have no money left. If you don’t have an emergency fund, you are screwed. To literally have $0 in the bank, that’s ludicrous. This is why it’s best to have an emergency fund before starting this journey.

Things will arise, major things that you didn’t expect or plan for, that will throw a wrench into your progress. That’s life and you need to be prepared at all times for it. Unknown that when I started this journey, I had a car that was causing me problems. I blew threw my emergency fund for repairs. Despite having to empty my EF account, I was glad I had the money to do it. Had I not, I’m not sure how I would’ve been able to get to work and make the money to pay off debts.

I say all this to say, do not start any kind of financial journey that requires significantly large amounts of money to be spent, if you don’t have an emergency fund. Period.

My Life

I’m back!!

The holidays have past, and school has started again. These past couple of weeks have been nice being off from work. I am not one who cares much for holidays, but I do love spending time with my family. December was our first cold winter in a while. With temperatures in the 40s (that’s cold for us southerners). I stayed inside most of the break, which is what I normally do anyway.

I spent a lot of time working in my planner and getting things ready for the new year. I will show details of that at a later date in a YouTube video. I have recently gotten into heavy planning to really get my life together. I have a baby coming soon and I need to be prepared for their arrival. This will also help me to keep myself on track so that nothing changes when the baby gets here.

I also created a vision board (which will also be shown in at a later date in a video) so that I can visually see my goals and keep track as I achieve them. This method holds me accountable. I had a vision board on Pinterest but it just didn’t help because that meant every time I wanted to see it, I would have to log in to my phone. I should have created vision board before now, however, life sometimes gets in the way.

I have created a schedule for blog posts and YouTube videos, as well as planning out how I am going to work my Instagram. I have deleted a lot of photos (I have less than 100 now) and I want to start posting with intention, instead of how I was doing before (just posting to be posting). I want all content that I create across all of my platforms to be intentional and informational for those who watch, read and follow. I consider these to be leisure activities that provoke thought. I want to stay on a schedule and that is why I am intentionally planning with my planner.

Debthas been a burden on me for many years and now that my baby will soon be here, I have to stick to a strict budget in order to pay off debts and give my child the best life possible. I don’t want to struggle. Even though my child’s father is supportive and I have my family, I still need to be able to do things on my own so when my child grows up, they will know that mommy worked her ass off to make sure that they want for nothing. I have a budget planner, a debt thermometer and a snowball calculator to keep me on track and hold me accountable. I have already input my data for all of these tools as well as my projections for savings each month. I will succeed.

The above items are what I have been working on over the past couple of weeks to make sure that I entered 2018 with clear intentions, a set plan, a changed mindset, and a confident attitude.

What are some things you have been working on in order to make sure 2018 is your best year yet?

Financial Advice

Financial Check and Update!!

If you have been following me for a while, then you know I am on a journey to financial freedom, and I have been doing a damn good job. I have paid off so much debt since 2015 and I am happy that I am now in the place that I want to be – closer to my goal of being completely debt free. On this journey I have made a few unwise decisions that ended up not being costly, but they could have, so let me get real real with y’all. 

For past financial posts, click here.

Now, I have officially paid off one credit card, Texas Teachers (my alternative teacher certification program) and I am on a payment plan with another credit card that will be paid off real soon. In the midst of having no credit cards, I unwisely decided to get an Amazon credit card and a Capital One credit card, both with extremely high interest rates, I’m talking 24.99%. Yikes!

Now in getting the Amazon credit card, I figured it was a good idea because I shop on Amazon like nobody’s business. The downside is with a credit card, you tend to shop more because it’s not your money. With that being said, I became behind on payments and they lowered my credit limit. By the grace of the universe, I finally got my first unemployment check and with that, I paid off that Amazon card. Will I close it? Maybe, maybe not, but I will by using my own money from now on. 

With the Capital One credit card, I got that because I didn’t know if I was going to have a job and I had received my last check from my last job. I got it in case of emergency. Luckily, I ended up getting the perfect job and didn’t have to use it, though I did have to to pay my health insurance, but upon receiving that unemployment check, I paid it off as soon as it hit my account. 

Now I am back at a 0 balance with both cards. I actually will be closing the Amazon one and keeping the Capital One card for emergencies only. I am happy that I have become financial smarter when making decisions. The old me would’ve taken that unemployment check and when crazy with it. I also received a check from my bank for the hurricane, which was surprising, and that is just going to sit in the bank.

This last credit card that I have to pay off will be paid off by December. I want no debt other than student loans and the note for my new car, going into the new year. I vowed to myself that those would be my only debts for 2018, and look at me now, making it happen. 

So tell me, what were your financial goals this year and have you achieved them? If so, how? If not, what is your plan moving forward?

Financial Advice

Financial Friday: Cut Expenses, Add Hustles, Getting Out of Debt

I have been on a “kicking debt’s ass” journey for the past couple of years. I am so determined to be out of debt at 30 and so far, I am on the right road. In the past couple of years I have paid off a credit card ($2500), a personal loan ($3500), the IRS ($500), medical expenses ($200) and as of this month my teacher certification program ($400). Altogether that is $7,100 in two years. That may not seem like a lot to those who have paid off more, but for someone with similar debts as myself, that is a lot, especially considering my main sources of income.

If I still lived at home, I would be halfway through  my loans and my car would be paid off, but life happens and circumstances arise. How did I pay off these debts, you may ask? Here are somethings I did and somethings that others I know have done:

  1. Cut my cable and got an Amazon Fire Stick. It is the best decision ever. I was late to the game, but better late than never right? I know many people who have taken this route and noticed how much money they were spending on cable.
  2. Meal prep and cook at home more. This is a huge thing to cut money and to cut weight, being that we are the fattest country in the world. Meal prep saves you from cooking during the week and from putting on those extra pound.
  3. Upwork is a freelance site that I use to ghostwrite, edit novels, papers, essays and so much more. There are all kinds of freelance jobs on there from virtual assistant to graphic designer. Find your niche and get to work.
  4. GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats and Postmates are other ways many millennials are making money. They’re like Uber and Lyft, but for food. Someone orders food, you pick it up and deliver it.
  5. Kick your Starbucks habit. I would be afraid to see how much some of you spend on Starbucks in a year and I am sure y’all are too.
  6. Apply for odd jobs like dog walking, babysitting, personal assistant, in home cleaning jobs, etc.
  7. Buy clothes from thrift stores and secondhand shops. $300 purses and shoes are not necessary and will not add value to your life.

There are so many ways to save and make money to get out of debt, you just have to be willing to make sacrifices.

Other Financial Posts:

Financial Friday: Minimalism Saves Money

Money & Health (plant-based living)

Financial Friday: My Plan To Get Out Of Debt

Financial Friday

Financial Advice

Financial Friday: Debt, Debt, Go Away!

As of today, I have paid off two debts. Wooohooo! That is a huge accomplishment. I have paid off the IRS and a personal loan. Two steps close to being debt free! Even though those are two milestones, I am not ready to celebrate just yet. When I pay off my two credit cards, I will really celebrate. Those are the most important things right now (other than moving out of my mother’s house).

I am so happy to no longer have these two debts hanging over my head. Now I can really focus and go for the gold. I am in the process of getting two new hustles so I can have more sources of income. Right now I have three sources of income and I am working on a fourth and fifth. My hustle game will be strong this summer.

I have so many goals that I want to accomplish on my vision board. Even though that’s only $3000 that I have paid off in three months, it is still an accomplishment. That extra money that was going towards those debts, will go towards these credit cards. I am so serious, like y’all don’t even know how hard I am about to hustle to get these debts paid off as quick as possible. Then to top it off, I still have student loans. This will be a summer of absolute grinding.

Let me know if you have paid off any debts and if you have some tips for paying them off faster.

Journey to Financial Freedom,

Afro Hippie Vegan

Financial Advice

Financial Friday: Everyday I’m Hustlin’

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A FINANCIAL COACH OR ADVISOR.

I have been told that I work like a Jamaican (yes, Jazzie, I’m talking about you, lol). I have several different forms of revenue, and so should you. It’s important to not rely on one form of income when you are trying to pay off debts or for whatever you’re trying to do. 

I’m going to list the different forms of revenue I have now and then those I want to obtain.

Current Revenue:

1. Teaching – I am a substitute teacher, which is my main form of income. I have been doing that a little over a year now and that pays all of my bills.

2. Tutor – I’ve been tutoring almost two years and that pays for things I’m trying to pay off and it acts as side money.

3. Author – I have been a self-published author for four years now and I don’t make much but it’s something. 

4. Freelancer – I am on Upwork and I do a lot of editing freelance work. 

Revenue I am working towards:

1. YouTube – I would like to make a little money off of YouTube. I don’t make videos so I can make money. A lot of research and effort goes into my videos. It’s my passion to educate people. It would just be nice to get paid for my passion. Everyone wants to get paid from doing something they love.

2. Author – though this was in the above list, I would like to be a bestselling author in order to not only make money, but to reach more people and educate them about being vegan.

3. Blogger – I went to school for journalism to be a journalist, but blogging is what came of it and I wouldn’t trade blogging for myself about what I want to write for someone that will control what I write.

4. Business owner – I do have a shop on Etsy but it is closed at the moment until I can bring in enough revenue to open it back up. I make oils, shampoo and all sorts of bath and body stuff.

It is always good to have side hustles when you are trying to achieve a goal. Right now, I’m working on paying off debts so I can free up money to invest in myself and do things that I want. This is why I work so many jobs. 

Happy Friday!

Afro Hippie Vegan