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Beyonce and Solange Have Breakdown on Stage + Coming to Terms with Being Broke

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Coachella 2018: Beyonce and her sister Solange fell over on stage

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter aka Beychella has done it again and is further solidified her spot as the queen of live performance. For the second weekend in a row she has dominated Coachella with more electrifying energy and more style. There’s one but though… When Solange joined her big sister on stage, there was a minor breakdown.

We know that having twins gives you superpowers but Beyonce’ may have overestimated her strength when she tried to pick up her younger sister. While attempting to lift her sister off the ground while hugging her, it went wrong, and the two fell to the ground. Despite the setback, the two played it off like the champions they are by playfully kicking their legs in the air and smiling.

As it relates to our money sometimes in order to fix a problem, we have to recognize it then clean it up as soon as possible (In Beyonce’ and Solange style). Being broke financially is something one must come to terms with. Taking a serious look at your finances is the first step becoming financially free. The reason many are living paycheck to paycheck, barely making ends meet is the lack of confrontation with their money matters. Coming to terms with your wallet takes a lot but when done, leads to a very satisfying relationship with dollars and cents. Here’s how to come to terms with being broke and ways to combat this epidemic of broke-ness (not an actual illness).

Be Honest with Yourself. Look in the mirror and say I am broke, but I won’t be for long. This will be the last time you see yourself as broke. Once you do this, began to speak affirmations about being wealthy. Dwayne Johnson @TheRock said: “In 1995, I had $7 bucks in my pocket. I knew two things: I’m broke as hell, and one day I won’t be.” As you think, you will become.

Make a Plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Draft up a financial game plan on how you will get out of debt and grow money.

Face Debt and Bill Collectors. Stop avoiding the letters and phone calls. Included in your plan should be a strategy for paying off debt. Do what you can no matter the amount. There are also ways of getting certain accounts off your report like sending letters based on duration of debt.

Monitor Credit. Check your credit and check it often. After a while it will be exciting to see your score increasing over time.

Focus on Needs Before Wants. Chances are if your broke, you don’t technically have the money to go shopping every month or hang out with friends at the hot spots for every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Focus on your needs by literally writing a list of financial responsibilities including how much you want to put away each pay period. If there is extra, stretch it out over the longest period of time possible. Remember your financial goals are more important that running up a tab at the bar you can’t even afford anyway.

Once you come head to head with being broke… You can now fix it quickly by creating the new habits needed to take your finances to the next level. If we take a page from the Knowles book, we will realize that once you identify your problems quickly, the rest of the time can be spent being flawless and having fun.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

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Warner Bros Cleans Up Their Image + How to Clean Up Your Summer-time Finances

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ReutersWarn

Warner Bros. appointed its first woman CEO and chairto replace a male studio executive who resigned amid allegations of an improper relationship with an actress. Ann Sarnoff, president of BBC Studios Americas, will take the reins as the studio prepares to launch a streaming service after its acquisition by AT&T, as part of the $108.7 billion Time Warner deal. Warner Bros. is on a mission to clean up and tune up it’s image but how do you apply that to your finances? Especially during the summer?

You’re most likely looking forward to a nice break but summer is also a great time to tune up your finances. Here are five financial “to-dos” everyone should consider in preparation for a smooth and stress-free fall.

1. Review Your Spending Habits

Even with the ability to check bank account balances at any time, many of us forget to review where our money is actually going. People think that as long as they have a positive balance, they’re good to go. But taking the time to examine each of your transactions provides important “mental moments” that can remind you of how much you are spending and on what. It can be pretty humbling to see all those trips to fast-food restaurants or late-night takeout orders in writing. Add up a list of all those things that you really could have done without and imagine how that money would help you pay for next semester’s books or build up your emergency fund.

2. Get in a Saving State of Mind

 

Many college students think that there is no way to save while in school, but it’s really more about psychological and emotional hurdles that lead to overspending. Next time you are at the beach or taking a walk in the park, think about two or three mottos that will help you to visualize a more positive financial state of mind, such as “I don’t need things to make me happy” or “I have enough right now.” Place reminders of these sayings on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror to serve as daily reminders that you are working toward longer term goals that may require a little more sacrificing right now.

3. Set Some Personal Rules of Thumb

Let’s face it, we all like to shop or treat ourselves once in a while, and it is important to have fun and enjoy some of the money you may be earning over the summer. However, it can easily get out of hand if you are not careful. In a recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ad Council, over 50 percent of millennials admitted that they were impulse shoppers, meaning they make unplanned purchases of $30 or more on a daily or weekly basis even though they ranked saving as their top financial goal! One way to help avoid these impulses is to set some personal rules of thumb. These “rules” of course will vary depending on how your income, current living expenses, and family circumstances. Here are a few examples:

  • Never spend more than $30 a week on going out with friends this summer
  • Never pay more than $40 for a pair of shoes
  • Bike to work at least 3 times a week to save money
  • Only purchase things you really need and only if they are marked at least 50% off the original price

Again, write them down and display them somewhere you will see them every day. Or set them up as reminders on your calendar or other mobile app.

4. Make a Spending Plan

While it may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, you will thank yourself later on if you set up a budget for next semester before it begins. You can use the information you obtained when you reviewed your spending earlier to estimate what your monthly expenses are likely to be, with an eye on keeping those things you really don’t need to a minimum. You’ll also want to add up all of your expected income, including summer earnings, expected financial aid and other support (i.e. from your parents) and compare that to your expenses. Use a spreadsheet or budget worksheet such as the ones provided by CollegeInColorado.com or Mint.com to help you balance your budget.

5. Increase Your Competitive “Net Worth”

You should also be thinking about ways to increase your chances for landing that dream job after you graduate. If you are not doing an internship this summer, be sure to research opportunities for next year. Many internship programs have application deadlines that are earlier than you might think, so check with your school’s career counseling center for advice. Take time to either create or update your resume (and LinkedIn page) and include any relevant skills and abilities you may be developing no matter what job you currently have such as teambuilding, problem-solving or customer/client relations. Also, make a list of your job supervisors, college advisors and professors who you think would be good job references for you. Be sure to include their titles, contact information, name of the course or job and appropriate dates, and save it on your computer for future reference.

While summer is a time to relax and refresh, reserve some time for these important financial “5s” and you’ll be way ahead of the game for next year.

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American Are Wasting Money + How to Become a Smart Saver

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New cars, spacious homes, and morning coffee are some of the top ways Americans waste money, according to financial experts. The criticism comes at a time when 29% of Americans say they have more credit card debt than emergency funds, up 8% from 2018. Young Americans aged 18-29 have a combined debt of $1 trillion, and demographics show steady increases before petering out, with 60-69 year-olds in debt totaling $2 trillion.

So how do you become a smart saver? The best way to do so is to cut your expenses in ways that will bring more money to your bottom line. The following are tips on how to save money:

1- Stop Shopping at Convenience Stores.

Convenience stores are notorious for marking up the price on items significantly compared to grocery stores. If it isn’t worth the hassle to go to a grocery store, you probably don’t need it anyway.

2- Avoid Late Fees When Paying Bills.

Pay your bills on time so that you aren’t charged that unnecessary extra amount. If the problem is a lack of organization and forgetting the dates, use a reminder service like Google’s calendar feature that can send you a text or email to let you know when due dates are approaching. If you are worried about not having enough funds, call ahead and see about changing the due date or getting an extension.

3- Save Your Change.

Make it a habit to keep all that pocket change in a jar. Use cash to pay for most things and instead of trying to give the right change, only use the bills. When you get home, drop that coinage in a jar and let it accumulate. You will be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

4- Carpool as Much as Possible.

You can be doing yourself and others a lot of good when you decide to travel together. It might not be as convenient, but it can help in the long run. Carpooling to work or taking the kids to school are obvious ones to do. You can also get to know your neighbor and coordinate shopping trips.

5- Buy Used or Discounted

You can find a decent collection of clothes and other needs if you will buy used or at discount stores. Shopping at consignment shops or Goodwill will provide you with some good options. Discount stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls are good places to find good designer clothes at a low price. Yard sales are good places to look for things that you need for the home. Discount food stores will give you the most value on food products. The names of the brands may not be familiar, but you won’t notice much of a difference in taste or quality.

You can find many more ways to save money, but the keys are to get organized, be disciplined, and learn to sacrifice. There won’t be many how to save money tips that will save you much money on their own, but using several together will net you the results that you want.


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Amazon Is Helping People Build Credit + Credit Knowledge to Keep You on the Right Track

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Amazon is opening up its rewards credit cards to people with no or bad credit. The tech giant and Synchrony Financial are launching “Amazon Credit Builder” for people who don’t qualify for the company’s other reward cards. The cards will offer Prime customers 5% cash back on Amazon purchases, with the person’s credit limit equal to the size of the deposit they make before receiving their card. Since 11% of the U.S. population have credit scores below 550, the move could increase Amazon’s customer base, says CNBC.

This seems like a good move for those who are unbanked or underbanked, but without being of how to manage or maintain good credit, this effort might exacerbate the problem. Many people are aware of the important role the credit rating plays in their lives. However, understanding what goes into a credit score (the credit score breakdown) might present some difficulty. There are several different methods of scoring, but most lenders and banks rely on the FICO method that has been in existence since the 1980s when it was developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. The three prominent credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) all worked with Fair Isaac to come up with the FICO algorithm.

Your credit score may be any number from 300 to 850. The average American falls at about 690, which is deemed relatively good credit. However, while this score should secure you a loan, it will not get you the very best interest rates on loan. In fact, 300-640 = Bad Credit, 641-680 = Fair Credit, 681-720 = Good Credit, and 721-850 = Excellent Credit. Excellent credit should be the aim.

Following is the credit score breakdown:

Payment History

The biggest chunk of your score (35%) is derived from your payment history. This score is influenced by how well (or not) you pay your bills on time, how many have been sent to collection agencies, bankruptcies, tax liens, etc. Keep in mind that missing a payment is worse than making a late payment and that being late or especially missing a mortgage payment is a bigger blow to your credit score than missing a credit card or utility payment.

Usage Ratio

The amount of debt you have (compared to the amount of credit you have not used) accounts for 30 percent of your score. Try not to max your credit cards out. In fact, it is recommended that you only use 25 to 50 of the credit that is available to you. A way to balance this out is to obtain more lines of credit and not use them. However, you do not want to apply for a bunch of credit cards all at once as this is marked against you. If your credit is in good standing, apply for a reputable card every six months or so and save it for a rainy day.

Length of Credit History

Fifteen percent of your credit score is based on how long you’ve established credit. This is common sense. The longer your credit history, the better your overall score will be. More data about your past leads to a more accurate prediction of your future credit worthiness.

Credit Mix

Having several types of credit will actually boost your score if they are managed well. This counts for 10 percent of the overall rating.

New Credit

As mentioned earlier, opening new credit accounts all at once will negatively affect your score in the short term. It’s also important that you are aware that your score can be lowered for too many “hard inquiries” about your status. A “hard inquiry” is one that you have authorized a lender to perform. If you are inquiring about your own score, this will not count against you.

Understanding what goes into the credit score breakdown is the first step in improving your score and what will allow you to design your score and begin you on the journey to financial freedom.

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