Tag Archives: Money

MOTIVATION MONDAY: You HAVE NOT because you ASK NOT

As I’ve navigated and continue to navigate on this financial journey of mine (it’s never-ending you know,) I’m always learning something new along the way. One thing my mother always tells my sister and me is “You HAVE NOT because you ASK NOT.”

Have you ever told yourself “No” to something before you bothered to ask the question, even of yourself? Case in point: The man who discounts his chances of scoring a date with a young lady because he doesn’t think he’s “her type.” How does he know what her type is? Now granted there are ways a man can tell if a woman is what some consider “high maintenance,” and whether or not he can keep up with her “lifestyle,” but as not to get too technical, let’s keep it simple for all practical purposes. Allow me to tell you my story:

Last week, I wrote in my Tip Tuesday post “What’s in your Valpak Envelope” about a coupon from a bank where first time customers opening a new checking account could get $150 just for doing so. Read that post here:

https://thefinancialhack.com/2015/10/14/whats-in-your-valpak-envelope/

Here was the catch: The coupon was to be presented at the time of opening the account and an EFT/direct deposit must be established and deposited into the account within the first 60 days. I was behind the eight ball because 1) I didn’t have the coupon at the time I opened the account which required the coupon code, 2) The account in question was now 30 days old and the main problem 3) The coupon would be expiring October 16th. I in essence had TWO DAYS to do all I could to take advantage of receiving $150 of F-R-E-E MONEY.

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Some people, because of the odds stacked against them, would have automatically told themselves “No.” I refused to allow my circumstances to dictate what I thought would be the outcome. Remember: EXCEPTIONS CAN ALWAYS BE MADE. I knew this was a decision that only the Branch Manager could override, but I still went through the proper chain of command. Attitude and tone is everything. As the saying goes, “you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.” So I flashed the banker my “colgate smile,” explained my situation and presented my coupon. He attempted to use some creative tactics to enter the coupon code, but was unsuccessful. He called an 800 number and was given a few additional creative tactics to try but was still unsuccessful in his efforts. I explained to the banker this wasn’t just about the $150 (which is what I WANTED,) but also about establishing relationships and building customer loyalty (which is what the bank NEEDED.) I told him if the bank could do this for me, they had a life-long customer. DUH DUH DUNNNNNNN… Enter the Branch Manager.

I allowed the banker to explain my situation to him, and the Branch Manager asked for my coupon. Upon reading it, he told me he was unable to override the transaction because the monthly EFT/Direct Deposit amount had to be at least $500. UMMM WHAT? I read the fine print when I first saw the coupon in the Valpak envelope, read it a second time before heading to the bank, then one last time in the parking lot of the bank. No where did the coupon specify a monthly Direct Deposit dollar amount. I asked the Branch Manager to show me on the coupon where a dollar amount was specified and I would not take up any more of their time. HA! I’ve got him in a trick bag now, because he couldn’t substantiate his comment. What now? Awkward silence, at least for the Branch Manager. Sitting with a smile on my face, I began to reiterate how I know the bank values customer loyalty and overriding this transaction was certainly a great way to gain mine. At the end of the day, the Branch Manager said because I was so persistent as well as knowledgeable, and only on occasion do people like me come into the bank and ask for/challenge the rules, would he override the transaction. I’d like to think it was my reference to customer loyalty that caused the override. Perhaps it was because the Branch Manager erroneously assumed I hadn’t read the fine print. Perhaps it was a combination of the two. WHO CARES! It’s a WIN/WIN situation. I got the $150 and the bank now has a life-long customer.

RULE OF THUMB: Never tell yourself “NO.” Let THEM answer. It could very well be a resounding “YES!”

~The Financial Hack ©2015

WHAT’S IN YOUR VALPAK ENVELOPE?

Have you ever stopped to open your Valpak coupon envelope that comes in the mail?

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I can honestly say EVERY TIME I got a “Valpak” envelope, it went STRAIGHT to the recycle bin. Why you may ask? I’ll tell you….

I opened one once (insert eye roll.) I saw so many coupons for dry cleaning, which I rarely took advantage of, discounts on garage door repair and service (which I don’t need because as a Property Manager, I have a contractor who does all the work not only for my properties, but those that I manage as well,) oh and let’s not talk about the endless coupons for local restaurants not to mention the Quick Lube/In and Out oil change locations in the area. I say all of that to say, perusing Valpak coupons to me was a HUGE WASTE OF TIME… Or so I thought.

Since I’m really focused on meeting financial goals by saving money where I can, I decided on a whim to open a Valupak I received a couple of weeks ago. Let me tell you about the TOP 3 TREASURES I found inside:

  1. BANK COUPON: I received a coupon from a local bank that would give me $150 for opening a checking account as long there was a monthly EFT going into the account. POW!!! Right on time. I was able to pick up a job (yet another stream of income) where I set my own work schedule, hours and guess what? IT OFFERED DIRECT DEPOSIT!!!  So guess who received $150 in addition to the opening balance that was placed into the account. (High fives myself here.)
  2. LOCAL SPA: Although I take care of my skin, I like to treat myself to an occasional facial. I found a coupon for a $45 facial (which includes a 15 minute shoulder massage.) Excellent!! This will be a “treat myself for remaining vigilant in reaching my financial goals” reward.
  3. LOCAL HIBACHI RESTAURANT: I found a coupon that offered a GIGANTOR discount on the final bill. This restaurant is very special to me for “personal” reasons. We plan to go at the end of this month. ALL OF US. 😎
So you see. The Valpak isn’t that bad. The Valpak is your friend. Before you toss the next one that comes in the mail, open it. It’s like going to the thrift store. The treasures are hidden…. YOU JUST GOTTA DIG FOR THEM!!!
~The Financial Hack ©2015

MONDAY MOTIVATION “The Art of Saying NOPE”

I took a trip to H&M Store this morning. There was a location nearby that opened over the weekend. A 10 minute drive to Uptown Village sounded a whole lot better than a 25 minute drive to the nearest location at Northpark Mall. I heard the prices were reasonable and the clothing was trendy. Ehhh. I’m not really a “trendy” dresser. I opt for more “classic” pieces which I believe compliment my personality. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not some snot who turns my nose up and frowns upon things that don’t suit me. For those that remember me from my YouTube vlogging days, YOU KNOW ME…. AND THAT AINT ME, but I digress.

I made a pit stop at Starbucks for a Venti upside down Caramel Macchiato with extra whip then headed for the ATM. I gave myself a $100 budget. That was NON-NEGOTIABLE. If my purchases totaled $105.32, something was going back on the rack. Seriously. Unfortunately, I didn’t purchase anything. Or maybe good fortune was on my side. I probably would have had buyer’s remorse before I got to the car. I tweeted earlier this morning although I saw a few attractive items in the store, nothing grabbed me. I refused to make a purchase just because I was there. I did walk around the store twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I saw some button down shirts that could have worked for me, but decided against them. Then I saw a couple of blouses that may have worked, but they looked a little flimsy and thin. I’m sure I would have found fault with any and everything that caught my attention. Could it be I wasn’t in the right headspace? Could it be since meeting financial goals is my focus, not to mention I already have a closet FULL of clothes, something didn’t “feel right.” Something was off. I instantly felt the guilt of wasting $100 just to say “Hey! I went to H&M and this is what I purchased.”

One thing I look for in clothing is “quality.” I’ll take quality over quantity any day of the week. To be honest, the higher-priced items were of better quality than the lower-priced items. I saw a couple of dresses in the $50 range that would have worked for me, but in all honesty, I could find the same style of dress at one of my many favorite thrift stores I patronize for half the price and the dress would most certainly have a label in it. See where I’m going with this?

I left the store empty handed and stopped at a nearby Target which carries career clothing in my style and price range. No luck there either. Again, it’s the headspace I’m in. I’m wasn’t in “shopping mode,” I was in “saving mode” and had been there since BEFORE I left home. I’ve got a good system going so why disrupt things now? Honestly, I didn’t want to spend my money on clothing. Was my mission today based on a NEED or a WANT? Well, that’s a “no brainer.” At least it is if you’ve read this far. I WANTED to buy clothing from H&M, I didn’t NEED to. I WANTED to buy clothing at Target, I didn’t NEED to. I did however purchase this sweatshirt:

I purchased it as a reminder of what to say, when I’m about to make an UNNECESSARY PURCHASE:

How befitting…. For me. $21.64 spent just to make a point. 

Practice “The Art of Saying NOPE” and you won’t have to wear THIS SHIRT instead:

  
 Catch my drift? 

~The Financial Hack ©2015

CLASS IS IN SESSION: NERDS VS FREE SPIRITS

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I know I’m behind on my postings regarding Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. If you’re new to this blog, I explained I was taking this class to reinforce what I already knew about finance and to learn additional principles and new techniques and to simply see a picture of financial freedom through someone else’s eyes. Now, I don’t claim to know EVERYTHING about finance, but I do know how to handle money. Although I was irresponsible with it when I was younger, I promise you, I’ve got a GOOD GRASP on my money now. More like I’ve got in a “headlock.”

Even though we are in our FOURTH WEEK of Financial Peace University, and I did tell you I would post weekly about my takeaways from each class session, I thought I’d better get you guys up to speed…. There’s so much information and so many thoughts and ideas running around in my head, I can’t wait to share them with you, but “baby steps” I must take. I thought about bringing you guys up to speed in this one blog, but I get so excited and passionate about the possibility of helping someone else, I’ve got to literally blog one class session at a time. I’ve been known to be quite long-winded when blogging, so brevity shall be my focus. I’ll save the wind-bag for my book.

NERDS VS FREE SPIRITS.

Think about that for a minute and if you ponder it long enough, you can figure out which is which. What may surprise you is which category you fall into. Or not. I knew I was a NERD before we even completed the questionnaire. I answered 9/10 questions, NERD. Yep. 100% Grade “A” NERD. And I wasn’t surprised.

NERDS are your “do it by the book” kind of people as it relates to money. They set goals, create budgets and follow them to a tee. If you’re married to a NERD, the NERD can create a monthly budget and tell you, “There’s no need to discuss this, it’s correct. BECAUSE I CREATED IT.”  The FREE SPIRIT… Not so much. FREE SPIRITS are just that, FREE SPIRITS and they don’t like to be micro-managed and told what to do especially when it comes to money. I’m not in any way suggesting FREE SPIRITS are careless and irresponsible with money. A FREE SPIRIT will take care of their necessities and save as well, but what’s “left over” is theirs to play with. If the FREE SPIRIT sees something they wish to purchase, a piece of art, home décor, tools from Home Depot or whatever tickles their fancy, if their business is handled, they feel entitled to do so, and technically, they most certainly are. The problem is, the rigid, strict by the book Taurus (strike that,) I mean NERD, may become frustrated and deem the FREE SPIRIT as being frivolous. Quite the opposite.

When I was married, my ex-husband and I had many disagreements over finances. He was a FREE SPIRIT. He was the type that wanted a front loading washer and dryer when there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the washer and dryer we had. He did his part and contributed, but when it came to saving, I felt he could have done more. It was more like me telling him “YOU NEED TO DO MORE!!!” Yes, those caps lock were intentional. We all know the majority of marriages that end in divorce do so not because of infidelity but because of money issues. Now money wasn’t the only issue my marriage faced. It just seemed to be at the forefront of every argument. I was trying to build and save and it seemed as though all he wanted was to do was spend.

One would think a union between a NERD and a FREE SPIRIT is an unlikely one, but that simply is not true. As long as there is a little thing called BALANCE and COMPROMISE, it can work. There have to be some discussions about money and budgets… You have to discuss who’s going to handle making sure the household bills are paid monthly, how much you intend to save, and where your money is going. AND YOU CERTAINLY DON’T WAIT UNTIL AFTER YOU SAY “I DO” TO HAVE “THE TALK” ABOUT YOUR FINANCES. Lay all your cards on the table. YOU ARE A TEAM and as the saying goes, “There’s no “I” in team.”

TIPS FOR THE NERD: Once you’ve meticulously prepared your ZERO monthly budget (meaning all monies for the month are accounted for.) When you subtract monthly bills, household/car expenses, entertainment, etc. even down to your FREE SPIRIT’S “play money,” you should have a zero balance because all income for the month, yes EVERY penny, is accounted for. In a perfect world for the NERD, the FREE SPIRIT agrees to, signs off on the budget and the round table discussion is over. Umm Errm. It’s not that simple. If you attempt to force a budget you’ve prepared on them, your FREE SPIRIT will probably have some FREE CHOICE WORDS for you. Here’s how you side-step a potential land mine:

DEAR NERDS,

Present your budget to the FREE SPIRIT FIRST, explain why you believe certain changes if any should be made, THEN SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE HELL UP! As Dave Ramsey said during the webinar, the NERD has approximately 17min27sec of a FREE SPIRIT’S attention, then they’re totally checked out. (HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME!!!) Your budget meeting doesn’t have to turn into a weekend summit where you don’t leave the kitchen table until a resolution is agreed upon. Allow your FREE SPIRIT the chance to give their input and my precious NERDS, LISTEN TO THEM. Don’t be so quick to dismiss their ideas and suggestions, otherwise, that may be your first and last budget meeting.

TIPS FOR THE FREE SPIRIT: Yes your NERD tap dances on your last good nerve every time there’s a meeting regarding money. Understand, your NERD doesn’t mean to be bossy and unreasonable (hopefully not,) it’s just that they want to be secure and financially stable, not just for themselves, but for the both of you. Remember. YOU ARE A TEAM. Compromise. For example. Are you able to cut your play money to $300 a month as opposed to the $500 a month you’ve allotted to appease the NERD? The NERD may have originally suggested cutting your play money to $250 a month. You countered and suggested $300. By compromising, the FREE SPIRIT STILL has a significant amount of money to play with, and the NERD is happy because they got their way (which was reducing the amount of your play money to contribute more towards savings.) This is how successful budgeting in relationships should work. It should always be a WIN-WIN situation for both the NERD and the FREE SPIRIT.

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Remember: HAVE DISCUSSIONS, FIND A MIDDLE GROUND AND COMPROMISE. You’ll have a much happier and successful marriage when you do.

Whelp. So much for the brevity I aimed for. I pray you enjoyed this blog posting just the same. Wishing you much success on your financial journey.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Told Ya… Those Singles ADD UP!!!


On a previous posting (September 15th) I mentioned a faster way to save your money was to save your singles (as in dollar bills.) As of yesterday’s count, I have saved $30. That’s an average of $10 in singles saved per week. If I continue to save at this rate, in one year, I will have $520. That money can be used to take a mini-vacation, invest, buy Christmas/birthday gifts, add it to my emergency fund or just simply save it. The options of what to do with the money are endless.

The way to accomplish “saving your singles” is to use the cash method. Withdraw your budgeted allowance at the beginning of each week… AND STICK TO SPENDING ONLY WHAT YOU’VE WITHDRAWN. Today, it is so easy to whip out and swipe our debit cards. My bank has the “Keep the Change” program, where the remaining change from a debit card transaction rounded up to the nearest dollar, is deposited (usually into a savings account) that’s tied to your checking account. I’m sure your bank has something similar. “Keep the Change” can be beneficial because it is often used as overdraft protection. The problem is, some banks charge a fee each time overdraft protection is applied. I try to keep  a “cushion amount” of $200-$300 in my checking account to avoid these fees. The “Keep the Change” program works for some people, but how many people do you know actually allow the money from the program to accumulate over time, then withdraw it? I don’t know any. For me, the temptation to spend it is too great. Technically speaking, the only reason I keep the Keep The Change/overdraft protection savings account is to avoid paying the monthly fee for my checking account. I prefer the “Keep the Singles” method better. Truth be told, there’s something about the “tangible.” I can see the dollar bills, I can hold and count the dollar bills, and most importantly, I can sock the dollar bills away in my piggy bank… Then hide the piggy bank. Out of sight, out of mind right? Problem solved. Money Saved.

Let me know if you incorporate the “Save Your Singles” method or a similar method of saving money by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

TIP TUESDAY: The Benefit of Purchasing Certificates of Deposit

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TIP TUESDAY: If you’re leery about “playing the stock market” and may be looking for a “safer” way to grow your money, consider purchasing a Certificate of Deposit (or CD for short.) CD’s are issued by banks, credit unions etc. and have the advantage of offering more competitive interest rates (APY) than traditional savings accounts. Check your banking institution for minimum amounts to purchase CDs as they can vary with each institution.

Some people may think you need large sums of money to purchase CDs. FALSE. $500 can easily get you started. REMEMBER, build your emergency fund of $1000 FIRST, then save an additional $500 and purchase a CD to start. Again CDs are a great way to save money because they yield higher rates. Wouldn’t you rather your money earn in upwards of 4% or better as opposed to <1% on a traditional savings account? I would. NOTE: The longer the duration of your CD, the higher the interest rate.  For example, a 30 day CD may garner an APY of 1.75% whereas a 60 month CD may garner a higher APY of 5-6%. Keep in mind the percentages given are approximations ONLY. Unlike a traditional savings account, there is a penalty for partial/early withdrawals which will hopefully keep temptation at bay. Once the CD has reached its maturity, you’ll have the option to cash out, roll it over for the same duration of time or change the duration of your CD based on current interest/market rates. If you do nothing, the CD will automatically roll over for the same duration of time at the current market rate of interest.

Now, I am by no means advising anyone to take their savings and put it all into CDs. A Financial Advisor wouldn’t advise that. As a matter of fact, they would advise against it. NEVER put all your eggs into one basket. A well balanced financial portfolio is certain to yield pretty “decent” returns.

What has been your experience with CDs? Please let me know below. If purchasing CDs sounds like something that may be of interest to you by all means, visit your banking institution for more information. GOOD LUCK!!!

~The Financial Hack ©2015

CLASS IS IN SESSION: REINFORCING INCORPORATED PRINCIPLES THROUGH “FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY”

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Excitement for me still lingers in the air and I have yet to come down from my “financial high.” Last night was the first night of a 9-week webinar series with Dave Ramsey. The widely talked about “Financial Peace University” was being offered at a location that was a five minute drive from where I live. I call it fate. With work kit in hand I strolled into the classroom with my “learning hat” on. Dave spoke on the 7 “Baby Steps” we needed to take as we started on the path to financial freedom. I thought, “Wow, I’m already doing/have done these things so I’m in good shape,” but there’s always room for improvement. There’s always room to learn more, or to build from what you already know. One word that remained a continuous emphasis during his webinar presentation was the word “DISCIPLINE.” This is something I’ve stressed throughout my Financial Fitness Boot Camp postings. Discipline is the key to financial freedom. Delaying gratification is a key to financial freedom. Sticking to a strict budget is a key to financial freedom. Eliminating debt is a key to financial freedom. Now who wouldn’t want those keys in their possession? These are my words, not Dave’s. Sometimes however, reinforcement is needed to show us we’re on the right track…. that we have the right mindset.

Dave’s presentation was filled with so much useful information. His passion and enthusiasm is what keeps me hanging on to his every word. I will share STEP ONE of the seven baby steps:

BABY STEP 1: CREATE AN EMERGENCY FUND ACCOUNT OF $1000 ($500 if your income is less than $20K per year.)

I’ve spoke of maintaining an emergency fund in previous blog posts. Your emergency fund account is for just that…. EMERGENCIES. This account is NOT for purchases. It is for the unforeseen mishaps that occur in life. Car and/or house repairs, an unexpected medical expense, or perhaps a school or extracurricular-related expense regarding your child(ren.) Whatever the case, having an emergency fund alleviates the pressure and stress of wondering, “How am I or how are we going to pay for this?”

FYI…. BE SURE TO REPLENISH THE ACCOUNT.

I could say so much more about what was said in last night’s class but I chose to highlight what I thought was most important and each week for the next nine weeks, I will share with you what I believe is the most important takeaway from each session. I could have easily mentioned how DISCIPLINE was most important or how taking responsibility was important as well, but I would hope by now, you’ve already taken responsibility, are serious and you’re ready to implement the necessary “discipline” to reach your financial goal(s.) You’re way past that. It is now time for action.

This is an excellent class for the person who’s “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” It’s for the person who wants to control your finances instead of allowing your finances to control and dictate you. The Financial Peace University kit comes with so many useful references, I can’t wait to sit down and go through it all.

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I highly recommend couples take advantage of this class. A fairly large percentage of marriages fail not because of infidelity as most people think, but because of money-related issues. It only strengthens your bond if you’re not only on the same page spiritually and mentally, but on the same page FINANCIALLY as well. Remember, you’re working as a team.

Some of you may be thinking, “Oh, we’ve heard this type of story a million times,” or “It’s the same recycled message,” which in a lot of cases is true. What differentiates each story is the way in which it is told. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Although I don’t know him personally, I look up to Dave Ramsey as a mentor and I admire him greatly. His story is unique, but so is the story of anyone who was once drowning in debt, attacked that debt “head on” and was triumphant in its defeat (if you haven’t guessed, I’m always brushing up my writing skills) and everyone, including myself, has a unique story to tell.

I hope my postings will prove useful to you. It is my goal to educate and coach those who may not know where to begin on their road to finding “financial freedom,” “financial peace” or my personal fave, becoming “financially fit.” I would also like to focus on the “financial fitness” of our youth as it will prove beneficial to them in the long run. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) says: Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. The sooner the child is educated about money, the more sound decisions he will make regarding it when he is older. The longer that child has to save, the more he will have to invest and “give back” whether it’s through the church and/or to others.  

If ONE person finds the information I provide beneficial, I’m doing my job. It is my sincerest prayer I am doing just that. Thank you all for reading this post.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

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CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO FIND A DAVE RAMSEY “FPU” LOCATION NEAR YOU!!!

http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/locations/org/55893/class/279713

TIP TUESDAY: An Easy Way To Save

A couple of months ago, I mentioned how I save all my coins and cash them in yearly. This year, I deposited approximately $300+ in coins into a separate savings account. But why should I stop there? Truth is, I don’t have to. In addition to saving my coins, here’s yet another easy way to save….   
SAVE THOSE DOLLAR BILLS!!! 

If I save my coins, why not save my dollar bills too? Starting today, I’m going to see how many singles I can save by September 15, 2016. Who dares to accept this challenge along with me? Are you ready? Synchronize your watches in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. GO!!! 

Cha-Ching…. Now watch those dollars add up.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

FINANCIAL FITNESS BOOTCAMP WEEK 9: MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT… CREDIT CARD DEBT, THAT IS

As we gear up for the Labor Day weekend, let me finish Part 2 of “Charge Now, Pay Later: Overcoming Debt.” As I stated last week, I know everyone may not have the option to withdraw/borrow from retirement plans or even borrow against the equity in their homes, but never fear….

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WEEK 9: MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT…. CREDIT CARD DEBT, THAT IS.

People that know me know not only am I a huge football fan, but a huge fan of boxing as well so what better way to illustrate getting rid of credit card debt than with a boxing analogy. At face value boxing looks like a no-brainer (no pun intended.) One would think the goal is to knock your opponent out as early as possible. Pretty cut and dried right? Not quite. Boxing requires skill and it requires quick thinking. The old “bob and weave” routine may not always work if your opponent is good at anticipating your moves. A boxer’s opponent is watching his eyes, he’s paying attention to his boxing stance. One boxer may have an orthodox stance, another may have a southpaw stance and still another may be able to switch up between the two. Unless you outsmart and/or outbox your opponent, you may end up being the one down for the count. The same applies to “the bout” you’re about to have with credit card debt. And credit card debt WILL NOT be your sparring partner. This isn’t practice, this is the “Real Deal” Holyfield (if you know a little bit about boxing, you understand the lingo.) If not, look it up. There’s nothing wrong with learning new information. You can still overcome credit card debt but once again, this will take some sacrifice on your part and you may be in for a real fight. Don’t underestimate knocking out credit card debt the way some boxers may underestimate their opponent because they’ve been labeled the underdog. Underdogs have been known to upset champions. We see it all the time. Not just in the game of sports, but in the game of life.

By now you should have long tracked your spending and found ways to cut costs. Here are links to a couple of prior posts you may want to reference.

WEEK 2: KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING: https://wordpress.com/post/96150968/19/

WEEK 3: IT’S TIME TO TRIM THE FAT: https://wordpress.com/post/96150968/22/

The extra money you found can be used to pay off credit card debt. Here’s the best “ONE, TWO PUNCH” I recommend for “knocking out” credit card debt:

  1. Start with the credit card that has the LOWEST balance. Others may suggest starting with the card that has the highest finance charge rate however, paying off the card with the lowest balance FIRST gives you a sense of accomplishment when you make that final payment.
  2. Use the “Domino Effect” to pay off the next card and so on and so forth. The “Domino Effect” is simply taking the monthly amount used to pay off the FIRST credit card balance and apply it to the amount being paid on the SECOND credit card, the THIRD and… hopefully you don’t have more than three major credit cards. The goal is to pay larger monthly amounts with each card until you have paid them all IN FULL.

Depending on your credit card balances, the process can take a few months or a few years. Think of boxing. Some fights end within the first few rounds, while others go the 12-round distance. How aggressively you attack your credit card debt, as a boxer attacks his opponent, is strictly up to you. Once your credit card balance is paid in full, you can move to other areas of debt such as student loans, car loans and even mortgages (if applicable.) The satisfaction of saying “I have no credit card debt,” is one of the best feelings in the world, especially if that debt was causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. You did it, you stayed the course. VICTORY OVER CREDIT CARD DEBT BELONGS TO YOU!

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So there you have it. A simple one, two step plan to overcome credit card debt. I know. It’s easier said than done, but the moment you become sick and tired of being sick and tired, is the moment you take action. The question you must ask of yourself is “Am I sick and tired of being sick and tired?” When you are, you won’t have to ask the question. You’ll already know.

I hope you benefitted from this posting and as always, I greatly appreciate you reading it. Feel free to SHARE. Your commentary is always important so ALL FEEDBACK IS WELCOMED. If there is a specific topic you’d like me to talk about regarding “Financial Fitness Boot Camp” on this blog, feel free to shoot me an email at Andrea.Coleman@TheFinancialHack.com. Don’t miss a posting so be sure to follow me at http://www.thefinancialhack.com.

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HAPPY LABOR DAY!

~The Financial Hack ©2015