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.

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

My Life

My 15 Expectations of 2017

I made a video on my goals for 2017-2019.  So now I want to go year by year and we are going to start with 2017, which begins tomorrow. With 2016 coming to an end, I’ve been reflecting on all of the things that the year has brought me. I got my first apartment and a damn nice one at that and I also became a teacher. Those were two very big steps I took in my adult life; getting my own place and starting a career.

These were things that I have been working on for years and I never thought that they would happen within months of each other. Now that I am settling into things, I do have some expectations of the upcoming year.

  1. To be a bestselling author by the end of the year. I know it’s possible.
  2. Be able to write full time.
  3. Be able to begin the process of building a tiny home.
  4. Connect with my soulmate, fall in love and get pregnant.
  5. I want yoga to become more proficient in my life.
  6. My passport needs some loving so I am definitely all for chances to travel.
  7. Blogging has been a passion the past few years so if that could take off, finally, I’m all for it.
  8. Be a brand ambassador for Black brands that are relevant to me and beneficial.
  9. Collaborative efforts with other like-minded individuals.
  10. Network with other Blackpreneurs such as poets, bloggers, writers and authors.
  11. Move to a more climate friendly place for melanin rich people.
  12. Financial stability is a huge one for me. That was something I began working on in 2015 and so far, I am doing very well with it. I have paid off so much debt in 2016, it’s ridiculous and I have a little way to go before I start working on my student loans.
  13. Save more money for emergencies. I have never been a good saver, but I am also not a huge spender. I spend most of my checks on debt and now that I am coming to a good place with that, I can save more money.
  14. Build friendships and better the ones that I already have.
  15. Lastly, to step out of my comfort zone and go for what I want. I’m specifically talking about my dreams. In order for me to achieve them I have to push myself to do things that make me feel uncomfortable like open mic night at the poetry lounge, telling whoever I am in a relationship with exactly how I feel, be more aggressive with my wants and needs and put forth more effort into things.

These things I want to achieve by the end of 2017 and I have created a checklist and will make a video/post as I accomplish them. I want to keep track and record my accomplishments so I can look back on them and see how far I have come. See you all in the new year.

xoxo, Afro Hippie Vegan, Last day of 2016