During my latest financial planning workshop, I had the pleasure of meeting a few millennials. It was refreshing to see their hunger for financial knowledge. As we talked, some problematic issues of their generation surfaced, one being how to build a credit history. They conveyed that friends wanting to rent their own apartment were turned down because they didn’t have a credit history. Here’s one of life’s ambiguities. Like applying for jobs that require experience when you can’t get a job to gain experience, how do you build credit when you’re just starting on the path to financial adulthood?
Related Post: Your Life Partner, Your Credit Score
To start building credit:
Start out with a store card or gas card.
Bank money in advance before making purchases.
Pay your bills on time.
Continue reading “Build A Credit History, Not A Credit Mystery”
I’m conducting a personal financial planning workshop at a local bookstore. In three sessions, I plan to provide an overview of the following aspects of financial planning: saving, spending, investing, retirement, and insurance.
The first session, this past Thursday, was a success. A small group showed up representing all age groups. I started with my usual introduction, explaining how each person’s mentality towards money drives their money habits. With the following visual, I outlined the topics that, when combined, result in balanced financial management.
Continue reading “Financial Planning Workshop Is A Success”
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Everyone knows what credit is, right? It’s a happy word. Credit, in its contextual sense, has a positive connotation. Credit connotes having credibility, right? That’s right, I’m credible – just ask me. Everyone is credible in their own mind.
Americans love credit and credit cards. I think some people believe that a credit card is a magic bridge to avarice. Isn’t it fun to go into a store and not have to look at prices, fill up your cart, and walk out with all that stuff? Everyone wants to look great and be surrounded with nice things. But, the big façade associated with credit cards is that once that card is swiped, you have traded your soul. Your soul is traded for the debt that you just created.
To me, debt is a four-letter word. Oh, wait it is a four-letter word, but I mean the bad kind. As I took a break from writing this piece, I saw a political cartoon in the newspaper that expressed my sentiments about credit. It’s a large image of It, staring down at a person with a caption of “A national horror: DEBT”. “It” is the star of that gruesome clown movie that continues to break ticket sale records. I burst into laughter when I saw the trailer. This is what constitutes entertainment?
Continue reading “Money Learning Checklist 3 – Credit”
When you reach adulthood, you automatically get a new life partner. Tall, dark, and handsome? Or, tall, blonde, and beautiful? Keep dreaming, you won’t meet this one on Tinder. This alter ego determines where you work, your standard of living, and what you can buy. Basically, it runs your life. It hides behind your couch, if it allows you to have one, and can edge you out of your bed. This friend shows up uninvited to cramp your style in countless ways.
Meet your credit score, your ethereal mate. Just about every area of your life is impacted by this relationship. And talk about being pushed around. You can get much more flexibility out of a human.
Continue reading “Meet Your Life Partner – Your Credit Score”
I like reading the latest financial tips as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s redundant. I know how to budget, save, and spend responsibly. I don’t need a daily article telling me to do all those things, I can write a book on that. (Oh wait, I did – How Ally Found Her Financial Freedom.) Anyways, instead of dwelling on the next money crisis or offering another seven-point list on how to side-hustle, let’s celebrate some financial success.
Yes, things are tough when you’re young because, like most, you may have started with zero, or negative zero, if you had student loans. After some time goes by, the small actions count. Little by little, the emergency fund gets funded, the necessities are bought, then the pleasures can follow. One day, going to work may not feel so bad and your life won’t depend on your next paycheck. It’s when you realize that you have money left over from your last paycheck. You get a few raises and promotions and there’s finally more money than month with a small checking account buildup. The money gods have smiled on you and you can start moving on to bigger and better. This is what’s known as financial satisfaction.
Continue reading “Financial Happiness”