Friday, April 29, 2022

Creating Your Own Finance Strategy (Part Two)

If you didn't want to hear the lengthy tale of my own unique money management experience, in a sentence - never become complacent in your current financial situation unless you are well-schooled in how to make money repeatedly work in your favor.  And this has nothing to do with income itself but being physically and mentally secure in your existence.  I've seen people with low-paying service jobs buy houses while those with a bachelor's degree or higher are holding on to some godawful job just to make rent on a place that's not worth the money.

Although health is more important than wealth, videos like the one above can provide some good basic information without trying to sell you something. One thing to always take into consideration is that the pennies do eventually add up.  However, if you find your current job has you in a money quicksand, it may be time to change careers to one that's less stressful.

How the Heck Can a Person Change their Money Situation?

My first theory after learning how to save pennies (then dollars) is to learn how to enemy operates.  While banks and other financial institutions aren't bad people or have evil intentions, many of their policies don't work in the favor of the consumer.  Excellent examples of this are interest charges and miscellaneous fees.

Although the concept of second-chance credit is good for those recovering from extreme hardship, it shouldn't be a way of life.  The thing is creditors don't always see it this way...either you pay off the balance or take a hit if you close the account.  Unfortunately, if a consumer pays off the balance and closes the account, their credit rating takes the hit.

Right now, I'm trying to lower my credit interest rates with the intention of closing in the near future.  While there may be agencies that will do this for you, I believe that if can heed simple instructions and maintain a follow-up schedule, this credit card closure method can serve you well.

Why Does Learning About Money Management Seem So Technical?

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Creating Your Own Finance Strategy (Part One)

via GIPHY - Throwing away money hurts at one point or another.

If you're someone who's been in the working world and not been affected by the recessions of 2008 or the post-pandemic economic state - consider yourself very fortunate.  The past 15 years have proven that very few of us not born into wealth can afford to live frivolously all of the time. In other words, if you have to go to work for a living (or to live by a certain standard), you're not immune.  It doesn't matter if you perform on a stage, sports arena, or even have one of the "safe" jobs like an engineer or registered nurse.  Even if you managed to invent and patent that "next big thing" that changes our world as we know it, you could still find yourself in a situation once the glory has faded.

For the past couple of decades, I've been all about taking advantage of money opportunities that I'm legally entitled to - as well as those that may require a little extra legwork.  That latter part mostly refers to instilling the services of someone who can see loopholes and work things in my favor.  Sometimes, it takes quite a bit of networking (as well as developing a decent rapport) to reach this point.  However, when it comes to reaching a certain level, the effort is certainly worth it.

The Art of the Hustle (My Humble Story)

Nope, I'm not going to share the latest side hustle that you probably know about already.  Also, not every hustle is meant for everyone or congruent with every living situation.  Often you need a greater return than a few hundred bucks a month, which may not be consistent if there's no opportunity available at the moment.  What I'm speaking of is making a reasonable plan for a frugal living AND finding ways to generate income.

Back in the day, I was a career clerical temp whose typing skills were under 40 words per minute.  One would think this alone is the perfect reason to return to college but this didn't come until much later.  While I hated some of the breaks in between assignments, I learned to take advantage of complimentary software training.  Once I was willing to be tested in accounting/bookkeeping basics, MS Office, and other proprietary software, I not only got more money but I could pick and choose my assignments.

Although I was eventually able to live on my own (and I reside in L.A., mind you) I still did things like clip coupons, buy work clothes from off-price retailers and department store clearance sales.  The one thing that got me teased by some co-workers was brown-bagging it to work.  Some days I brought a house sandwich that costs less than $2, cheese and crackers, or my diet go-to instant brown rice and salsa.  While those giggly-butt co-workers stressed out over needing $50 or $100 right before payday, I was stacking and willing to move up.

Using Business Resources

I started this whole thing under an SBDC, which stands for small business development center and can be found in most major cities.  They work with the Small Business Administration and while many operate differently, most offer free or low-cost business operations training.  There are also one-on-one consultations with someone who has knowledge of a certain industry or protocol.