Remember how you claimed 2016 as your year?
Your beautiful vision board?
“New Year, New Me” persona?
I have honestly heard it all and done it all. Have you seen the popular “My 2016 starts in February. January was just a trial month.” memes? Here’s one if you haven’t. (Don’t worry. I feel the same way!)
The start of this new year means making some serious changes. “If you want to have what you’ve never had, you must be willing to do what you’ve never done!” We can continue to justify almost every purchase like my mom does when she decides to buy 10 purses in a month. Sorry, mom. Or we can change our mindset and understand how these money myths are leaving us broke!
I believe in the phrase “When you know better, you do better.” So, lets learn, ladies.
First money myth . . .
“When I start making more money, then I can save!”
Say what? When is that gonna be? Next year? Next month? What about now? Saving money is not limited to what you earn. It starts with your habits! Most of us are spending more than we earn, splurging on Jimmy Choos, Christian Louboutins and coveting that Chanel purse before we handle the basic necessities. These are the types of habits that are going to be hard to break regardless of the pay increase we may see. One personal rule I have set for my finances is to pay myself first and name every dollar! So, what if you move from $2,000 a month to $20,000 a month? If your habits have not changed, neither will your circumstances.
“It’s normal to be in debt.”
Girl. All debt is not good debt. But, if you think so, how is that working out for you? It hasn’t worked out for me, so I decided I didn’t like normal. My dad always reminds me that using a credit card is like paying for money. Translation: Don’t carry a balance month to month. Use only 30% of your credit limit. Thanks, dad.
Verify EVERYTHING on your credit report. This includes names, addresses, and accounts. Dispute any errors you find on your credit report. We are entitled to 1 free credit report per year per credit bureau. (Meaning, we can receive up to 3 free credit reports per year.)
Pay ALL bills on time. Yes, even ifs it just the minimum payment! This is the most important! Credit age and bill payment history have a huge effect on our credit scores. Try to keep the credit inquires down to a maximum of 2-3 per year.
Protect your credit! Last year, I built my credit from 600 to 740 only to have someone steal my identity and apply for loans and credit cards during the holidays. What a Christmas present. This took my credit score down tremendously. I have since added a credit freeze to my accounts and I am in the process of rebuilding. If you are not or have not been a victim of identity theft, you can add a credit freeze for $10 otherwise its completely free.
P.S. Bad credit is NOT sexy.
“You can’t take the money with you when you die.”
Eh. Well, this one isn’t so much a myth, per se. Most of us hate to talk about death and I am definitely one of them, but as a mother to a toddler, I have to make sure, that in the event something happens to me, he is well taken care of. While you can’t take the money with you, you can leave behind a number of worries and burdens for your family. So, instead of standing in line for the newest iPhone or those nude Christian Louboutins, purchase some life insurance! I don’t want to see a GoFundMe account in your name. No shade.
Life insurance affords your family the ability to properly bury you. Or your children could easily use the money to enhance themselves professionally and personally.
Now, let’s really claim the remainder of 2016 as our year!
Say it with me:
“I am a magnet for money.”
“Prosperity is drawn to me.”
“I use money to better my life and the lives of others.”
Once you change your habits, you change your life! I believe in you! We are all rooting for you! You got this! Regardless of where you are on your financial journey, dedication and commitment are the keys to financial success! Start small if you have to but don’t give up.
Cheers to the freaking weekend.