Guest Post- 4 Reasons Why You Are Still Broke

Today’s Guest post comes from Kara Stevens of Fabulous and Frugal, 1/5 of the The Frugal Fab 5. Kara mentioned this post while speaking on our panel last week and the title alone blew me away so of course, I had to share it with you all.

how to manage your money, how to properly manage your money, how to manage your money wisely, how to manage your money worksheets, broke

You have worked too hard— getting your (numerous) degrees, navigating Cubicle America, and building your brand to be broke. “Being broke”, though, seems to a recurring theme among black women, who, for all intensive purposes, with the exception of their financial lives, embody intelligence, progressive thinking, resourcefulness, and discipline.
But in order to live a full life, you have to first gain insight into why are still broke. Here are four reasons for why a woman as fabulous as you, is still broke:

1.You are broke because you have yet to establish financial boundaries. How do you feel when someone gets too close—all in your personal body space—when you are in a restaurant, store, or on public transportation? You probably feel like they need to back up because they are making you uncomfortable. Right? Well, the same thing applies to your money. When someone in your family or in your close circle of friends comes into your personal “financial” space, they are crossing financial boundaries.

Establish your financial boundaries by making your opinions and policies around borrowing clothes and money, cosigning loans, and extended visits, clear to your moocher friends and family members. If you want to be direct, say, “ No, I am not wasting my money on that.” If you want a little more finesse, try this: “ I wish I could, but my finances are not allowing me to do that right now.”

2. You are broke because you have not aligned your values to your spending. A lot of us walk through life in a financial fog spending haphazardly because we are not paying attention to what we really care about, what we really love, or what we really need. Instead of customizing our lives and, by default, our budgets to reflect our priorities, we emulate the financial habits of friends or those on the media who are overtop in all things: clothes, entertainment, homes, dining, and travel.

To identify what you should be spending your money on, jot down what you love doing in your free time and the items on your “bucket list” and see how much of your money is currently funding those passions. If you find that you love “fine dining,” but do not care much for movies, clothes, or a fancy apartment, then you should focus most of your discretionary (guilt-free) money to that activity and eliminate spending in the other areas. On the other hand, if you are dying to travel, but are spending a whole heap of money on an apartment that you don’t really care about or paying a hefty car note, it is better to trade-in the costly rent and monthly car payment for a cheap place and sell the car so you will have money to explore the world.

3. You are broke because you equate celebration with big spending. Whether it be landing a new job, a birthday milestone, or a graduation, it is assumed that you have to go out and celebrate; “going out” makes things seem more special and more important when that is not necessarily true. When it is time to celebrate in a big way, consider taking it ol’ school and invite people over to your beautiful home or appointment to revel in your success and happiness. Besides, when you entertain at home, you don’t have to worry about mandatory gratuity, feeling rushed to leave after eating, or sharing public restrooms with strangers.

4. You are broke because you don’t manage your emotions. The concept of retail therapy is usually associated with a woman needing to shop because she needs an emotional pick-me-up or a confidence boost. We just don’t shop, though, when we are depressed. We also shop when we are bored, happy, feeling lonely, or feeling naughty.

Since experiencing emotions is part of the beautiful human experience, we don’t need to feel less; instead we need to identify healthy and cost-effective alternatives to shopping when our emotions start to surge. Try a hot shower, calling a girlfriend, dancing in the mirror in a bikini, doing something nice for someone else, or taking a nap.

As women destined for greatness, we have to manage our finances in a way that empowers our lives, brings us joy, and enriches our souls. The first step on this journey to greatness begins with self-reflection and a decision to no longer be broke.

Now readers, how do you feel about this list? Can you identify with any of the reasons?

Is PoshMark a viable side hustle?

Aside from budgeting, my biggest money issue is that I do not have diverse streams of income. Considering that most of my free time is accounted for between growing MyFabFico and Graduate School, a part time job isn’t really an option at the moment. That is if I want to keep my sanity.

MyPoshProfile

So when I heard about Poshmark I was down to give it a try. What is Poshmark? According to the founders it is a fun and simple way to sell fashion.  It’s essentially a stylish app that allows you to sell items in you closet from your phone. It’s like Beacons or Platos Closet 2.0. Think eBay meets Instagram. I have been using it for a little over a month now so I guess that’s a decent time frame to give a review.

Poshmark is super duper easy. Astonishingly easy. Shipping is built into the price. They have a camera with filters to make your items look great. Within my first two weeks I have made $100. No complaints here.

 

For me the downfalls were:

A) The amount of sellable items I have in my closet. I am habitual closet cleaner and clean out my closet before every move and after every season. Living in NYC doesn’t afford one the most closet space. Compared to other women’s closet from middle America and other parts of the country with 100 item closets, mine is bite sized with 20 items. I think some of these women shop just to have items to put up, which totally defeats my purpose for signing on to Poshmark.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 11.16.41 AM

See what Im saying? 217 items! Note her kid on her hip. I’m guessing she’s a stay at home mom.

B) You have to commit. I’m talking photoshopped pics, hosting online shopping parties, and going the extra mile to show your appreciation. People even gather offline and have parties.

Poshmark-Hosts-1-600x899

I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy creating life changing workshops with the Frugal Fab 5.

C) People on Poshmark are cheap. Well at least my buyers are. They will try to pay you $10 for a dress that cost you $150. I spend a lot of time telling people no, I wont go down in price, or no, I don’t want to trade with you. You’re not going to make a lot of money on here unless you are selling luxury items or volume.

Despite those downfalls, I’ll continue to use Poshmark and list items I am willing to part with. ITs so quick and easy, and people are really nice on there. Going forward I am also going to decide what to put my revenues towards. Whether it be paying down debt or dropping it into my savings.

You May Need a Credit Card to Raise Your Credit Score

*Disclaimer, this article is primarily for those of us who don’t have a fab Fico just yet. This one is for the readers with, and I say this with love, a foul Fico. 

If your credit score is considered low or poor ( in my gracious opinion this is anything under 610), you know its very hard to get approved for a card whose APR isn’t going to be through the roof. Pretty much no one but Capital One is willing to throw you a bone. Don’t worry, there is hope, the irony is that you may actually NEED a credit card in order to raise your score. Let me introduce you to  *Drum-roll Please*

The Secured Credit Card

A secured card works the most like a debit card. You must have the cash up front. You make a deposit into a CD account- let’s say $1,000. That deposit now becomes your line of credit. With your new $1,000 credit line, you now have the chance to prove yourself, by making payments on time and paying off your entire balance every month. The Secured card reflects on your credit report as any other line of credit, and it doubles as a savings account as well. Honestly in my eyes this is a credit rebuilding WIN-WIN.

There are a few things to look out for to make sure you are getting the most out of this secured card.

1. Your  card needs to report to all 3 credit bureaus. You need all three  to see that you are doing your thing with this new line of credit. Don’t assume that every trade line is reported to all three- that is the reason you have 3 different scores in the first place.
2. The card should have low or no annual fees and no application fee. You are already coming out of pocket for the credit line, get the most out of your investment.
3. The card issuer should have other credit cards available that are unsecured. You should be on the path to upgrading to an unsecured card with higher limits as your credit improves.

In my research I really like the secured card USAA offers. (Yes that’s Tonya’s bank) This whole time she has been gushing over them, I thought they were for military people only. Fortunately their services extend to the rest of us.

Another card to consider is the First Progress Platinum Elite Master Card Secured Cardsacurity.

Go ahead and comment below with your favorite secured card offer!

Beauty on a Budget

Today’s guest post comes from one of my close friends, Naja Matthews. She’s vibrant, beautiful, glamourous, and her make-up is always on point. I adore her and she has introduced me to a few of my favorite Cheapies but Goodies, so of course I had to tag her for a guest post on MyFabFico. 

Naj

I used to be a faithful MAC girl, until one of the makeup artists at a MAC store let me in on a little secret! Many of the products, from high end to low end have the same ingredients! The packaging and marketing costs account for the huge gap in pricing. True, many of the celebs endorse Mac, but now lower priced brands are being supported by famous faces as well! (If you’re into that sort of thing).

If you are not familiar with NYX cosmetics (pronounced Nix), I suggest you take a look at the website http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/. Although it is not as intricate and expensive looking as MAC’s website, the NYX product assortment is just as fab!  The colors are just as bold and pigmented and the quality is comparable. NYX can be ordered online or found in your local drug store or beauty supply store.

EYES

Check out the drastic price difference in the eye shadows below. They are the exact same size and both have an equal  pigmentation level. Proper application and blending are very important factors in making your look work for you. Start having fun with bold colors and styles. Maybeline and NYX both carry great liquid liners and mascaras. My favorite mascara is Maybelline Voluminous lash! It’s bold and long lasting! If you are in need of further instruction, Youtube has tons of freelance artists that give tutorials on different makeup looks as well. Start your research there!

GLAM SHADOW $4.50 NYX Cosmetics Eyeshadow

mac_eye_shadow$15.00 MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow

 

FOUNDATIONS

Your foundation is the biggest part of a refined perfect face. As long as you know your skin type, finding the perfect match is no longer considered rocket science. As opposed to $35 coverage products, opt for Maybelline  http://www.maybelline.com/Products.aspx . It’s effective and boasts a hypo- allergenic formula. If you love Mac Studio Fix, try Maybelline’s Queen collection for the same coverage! I’m also a long time user of Matte Mouse by Maybelline. It will forever remain a staple in my beauty routine.

 

BRUSHES   

z_brushesNow that you have all this amazing product, how do you get it on your face? Well, brushes are the deciding factor between a professional look and a poorly done job. One of the best investments I’ve made this year is the Sonia Kashuk brush set from Target. I noticed an EXTREME difference in how my makeup turned out before and after investing $25 on a set of nice brushes. The set includes a foundation brush (not a sponge like I previously used) 5 other useful brushes. I now have a more uniform look because the brush fibers glide fluidly across my skin providing even distribution. If you want minimal use, the key necessity is the multi-purpose brush! It can be used for foundation, blush and bronzer application!

$13 Mutli- purpose brush http://www.target.com/p/sonia-kashuk-core-tools-large-duo-fibre-multipurpose-brush-no-115/-/A-11909446?reco=Rec|pdp|11909446|ClickCP|item_page.new_vertical_1&lnk=Rec|pdp|ClickCP|item_page.new_vertical_1

$25 Brush Set http://www.target.com/p/sonia-kashuk-gilded-cage-holiday-brush-set-6-pc/-/A-14255725#prodSlot=medium_1_14

 

STARTING FROM WITH IN

Your inner beauty is a reflection of your outer beauty, therefore a proper skin care regimen is key. With proper diet, exercise and a special attention to your face, makeup becomes a fun extension of your beauty NOT a necessity.

While at a day spa, I noticed a lady of 70 years+ with unbearably perfect skin. She was void of wrinkles, blemishes and the wear and tear of age. She caught me staring at her and so I was prompted to inquire about her secret to the fountain of youth. She told me that she avoided heavy alcohol all her life and had minimal amounts of red meat (It may be too late for me on these two). She also said that she constantly drinks water and exfoliates every day!

From that day forward, I began exfoliating. I do not do harsh micodermabrasions or peels. I just use a light apricot scrub and a facial brush. I have seen a change in skin texture and I rarely have breakouts because my pores are cleansed thoroughly quite often. Check out this quick clip! It demonstrates how you can get the products you need to start your own $10 facial care treatment.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psAmr7Ddcs8

A good moisturizer also helps in retaining elasticity in the skin. This can be a bit challenging, but remember, no matter your skin type, you should choose an alcohol/fragrance free moisturizer. I’ve tried tons of day creams, night creams and all things in between and I’ll admit that this time, I’ve gotten the best results from the $32 MAC Studio Moisture Cream.  It can be worn at bedtime or you can use it right before you apply your makeup.

 

Check out Naja’s Youtube channel for health, beauty, hair and makeup tutorials! http://www.youtube.com/user/BeautyBar22

You can also check out her blog HERE

Naja Matthews is an author, social critic and lifestyle blogger. She hails from Memphis, TN but can currently be found in Harlem televising the revolution.

NajaFace

Should you enlist the help of Credit Repair Company?

People approach me all the time with this question and I get it, sometimes navigating the credit scoring and repair process can be a little confusing, but I am absolutely against paying someone to correct your credit report.

Namely because as Neal Frankle said in his Huffington Post article, “In truth, there is nothing that a credit repair firm can do for you that you can’t do for yourself, and do so in less time and at less cost. But there is nothing that will hurt your credit score more than working with a credit repair firm that is not reputable — and there are plenty of those.”

There are only three ways items can be removed from your credit.

1. They age off after the statute of limitations has passed
2. The creditor agrees to remove or correct an item on your report
3. The debt is removed after a successful dispute.

This is the only thing they can be done and rather than paying a company to do it, how about you take a Saturday morning to sit down and type up the letters and take them to the post office.  That’s what you’d be paying a legitimate company to do and god knows what you’d be paying an illegitimate company to do.

Now do not confuse Debt Counselors with Credit Repair companies. There is a difference although people use the terms interchangeably. Debt Counselors usually work for a non-profit entity and do not charge you for advice. Credit Repairs Companies charge you immediately. If they are asking you to whip out your wallet for result, that is a BIG RED FLAG!

I’m a film believer in not paying others for things I can do myself and its one of the ways I have really kept my overhead low.

Have you enlisted the help of a Credit Repair Company? What was your experience?

Guest Post- 5 Lessons From Your Mom That Can Teach You About Money

After a long weekend, I’m going to show a little love. The following is post that was featured on the blog my new fabulous friend, Tiffany aka The Budgetnista. Aside from being an amazingly inspirational individual, Tiffany is the author of the Best selling book The One Week Budget

Here are  5 favorite lessons from your mom that can teach you about money

Lesson 1) Clean-Up Your Mess:
Who’s mother hasn’t chastised them about cleaning up their room? Many of us with cluttered rooms as kids, are now money-messy adults. We have no budget, no system for saving or paying down debt, and no plan for our credit. Most of us are just winging it, well…. not me (kidding, kinda).  Just like a messy room leads to less productivity, so does a chaotic financial life.
The Solution:
Begin cleaning up by creating a financial file system. Stop groaning… It’s pretty easy. Financial guru, David Bach, details how to do so in his bestseller, the “Finish Rich Workbook”. I used David’s system in my mid-twenties and still use it now that I’m a super, young–looking 30-something.

Lesson 2) A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place:
Candi Sparks, CEO of Sparks Fly, mother of two, financial literacy consultant, trainer and author of the kid, money, book series, “Can I Have Some Money?“, got this lesson from her shero, her own mom. She says, “this lesson reminds me that we create our own financial atmosphere by putting money where it belongs, or in other words, allocating assets. These days, most people live in a financial atmos-fear, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  We can take control of our money by putting it in its proper place.”
The Solution:
Candi suggests that we first put our money into categories: spending, saving, donating and our long-term goals. Take it a step further and separate your money into multiple bank accounts, then re-name each account online, so you and your funds stay organized.

Lesson 3) Finish Your Food
Moms understand the value of not being wasteful, especially when it comes to food. According to United Nations’ data, as much as 40% of food in the United States is wasted. That’s a lot of green, and I don’t mean spinach. Wasted food, equals wasted money.
The Solution:
My friend in college invented a game called, “Clean the Cabinets”. She would refuse to go food shopping until she’d eaten virtually all of the food she had available at home first. Most of us buy stuff we already have and therein lies the waste. Play your own version of “Clean the Cabinets” and watch how much you save on groceries.

Lessons 4) Mind Your Business:
Author Hannah Seligon, in a New York Times article asserts that, “that entrepreneurship can be a viable career path, not a renegade choice. Chike “EntreprenuerCoach” Uzoka, business coach and author of the “Young Man’s Guide to Entrepreneurship“, agrees.  He credits support from him mom for helping him make the leap from Wall Street to owning his own business.
The Solution:
Chike tells his clients to find their passion first. He says this may take awhile and that’s OK.  After identifying what you love, Chike suggests new entrepreneurs begin to think about how your passion can make you profits. This is your business model. Nothing kills a passionate venture faster than lack of revenue.  These first two steps are only the beginning of the journey that is entrepreneurship.

Lesson 5) Be Nice to Your Brother (or Sister):
Most moms would agree, giving is receiving. Aren’t they always reminding us to be nice to our “brothers and sisters”? In this age of perceived lack, the best way to activate abundance is through genuine, generosity. Helping other people is essentially helping yourself. It’s good for the soul and good for the wallet too.
The Solution:
Pick a charity, organization, religious group or individual that you can commit to helping for the next 6 months. Define what that help looks like. Will you give your time, resources, funds or expertise? Each year my company, The Budgetnista, donates 10% of its gross profits to a new nonprofit in my community. It’s awesome to see first-hand how my gifts make a difference.

– Tiffany Aliche

MEandMom

Me (Tonya) and My beautiful mother taking a break from walking down the Eiffel Tower.

What are some of the lessons you learned form your mother that you can apply to your finances?

Beauty & Health on a Budget- Lemon Water

As of the past month, well sporadically throughout my adult life, I have been on a health kick. I have been exercising or practicing Yoga at least 5 times a week. My boyfriend and I have eliminated all refined sugars, are cutting down on processed foods, drastically reduced our fried food intake and have incorporated more greens and vegetables into ALL of our meals. So in our research we came across the benefits of adding lemon to your water. This information was supported by my personal trainer who swears by drinking a glass of Lemon Cayenne water to kick start his mornings and prior to every meal. Lemons are cheap as hell and I drink water by the gallon anyway so what did I have to lose by trying it out?

I have a lovely infographic created by PostiveMed.com to share, but I just want to share my personal experience.

My body has responded remarkably to lemon water. As someone who has suffered with digestion issues and adult acne, its has improved these conditions by at least 85% in a period of 2 weeks. During the first week I used the bathroom a lot more, but it was very apparent toxins were being removed from my system. For the first time since college I have gone 2 weeks without a pimple. My boyfriend has commented repeatedly how clear my skin is. That in itself is amazing considering I spent so much money and time on skin care regimes in attempt to calm my temperamental skin.I also am not as bloated as I was and I definitely have more energy despite an rather unforgiving schedule.

I seriously recommend trying it for two weeks. Be careful though when ordering lemon water at restaurants. Reports are surfacing that restaurant lemons can carry bacteria due to improper handling and failure to discard unused lemons in a timely fashion.

Is this part of your regimen? I would love to hear how your body responds to this super cheap addition to your diet.

LemonWater

And our Sweepstakes Winner is…….

Courtney B. From Georgia!

rihannnagif

Courtney Congratulations on winning My Fab Fico’s First ever giveaway! We hope that the book helps you grow as a professional woman and that you buy something really fabulous with your gift card.

Thanks yo all whom participated and be on the lookout for another giveaway in the fall 🙂

Happy Monday!

We’re giving away $25 and one of our Favorite Books!

Happy Monday!

What better way to start the week off than with a giveaway? This week we are giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of one of our favorite books Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Career. While some people think career is highly overrated, I happen to think it plays a vital role in economic success. Reading isn’t your thing? BAMN! I also happen to LOVE Amazon, which is where the gift card comes in. So there’s the reasoning, as if you needed any. Think of it as My Fab Fico’s Favorite Things 🙂

For your chance to win just enter below. Winners will be announced next Wednesday!

Register HERE!

Good Luck!!!

ABOUT
Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.
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