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Well, it depends on who you ask…it can really be both!

Financial experts celebrate the New Year on October 1, while most of us operate contingent upon the calendar year from January- January.

Inevitably, the way that you manage your finances and manage your enterprise as a self-governed entity depends on when you elect to participate in the New Year. For my personal as well as business preference I prefer to operate with the fiscal New Year’s start date of October 1, and here’s why.

In preparation for the holiday season as well as the calendar start of the New Year in terms of financing and budgeting, I have always found it much easier to begin earlier than to start late. Think about it, from October- December we are essentially in holiday mode. Beginning with Thanksgiving and ending with Christmas. While most of us are attempting to adhere to a monthly household budget in addition to ensuring that we are able to celebrate the holidays without going into debt; while still maximizing our savings…the holiday season can certainly present its fair share of challenges! Having a financial ‘eg-up, so to speak on budgeting can and will set any savvy saver up for success when it comes to ensuring that their assets are protected during the holiday season as well as the duration of the year.


So, if you have been managing your finances based on the calendar year…No worries! Q4 is an excellent time to hit the reset button and put things in perspective for the remainder of the year, while simultaneously stepping into the New Year. Here are few steps to prepare you for success as we look forward to stepping into the New Year with purpose, comprehension of our finances, great credit scores, healthy relationships and so much more!

  • Check and re-check your bank statements

  • Is your account being assessed any maintenance fees? While free checking accounts are almost obsolete, there are ways to earn fee waivers with minimum account balances, qualifying transactions, etc. Reach out to your personal banker to determine banking options for you.

  • Are you carrying balances on any credit cards?

  • If so I am sure you are paying a TON of unnecessary interest. The good news is, almost every credit card issuer offers a 0% balance transfer as an introductory APR.

  • Utilize the 0% balance transfer to pay off balances for 12-18 months and save yourself some money!

  • There may be a fee affiliated with the transfer that is typically a percentage of the transfer so be sure to get all of the info upfront before transferring.

*you may want to consider dumping funds from savings on an extensive credit card balance… think about it, if your credit card is charging you 22% in interest and you are only earning 0.05% on your savings…are you REALLY saving? This brings me to my next point. SAVINGS.

  • Have diversified your retirement, emergency, and long-term savings?

  • IRAs both Traditional and Roth have considerable benefits…when is the last time you have reviewed your retirement plan?

  • Emergency funds should cover any unexpected expenses, flat-tire, kids need new shoes, medical expenses, etc.

  • Short-term savings should be the last place you invest money into for those desired items, vacations, new purses, new game consoles, etc.

  • Long-term savings may be an investment vehicle such as your 401 (k) or IRA.

  • Cable, Internet & Phone???

  • This is the perfect time to review your contract with your current service provider. Did you sign up for an introductory promotion that has now expired? If so, ask what the current offer is. If it is only available for new customers, SWITCH.

  • Carefully review the itemized version of your phone bill…how many add-on services are you paying for that you were unaware of??? There are a plethora of hidden fees!

  • Shop your banks/financial institutions.

  • What rate of return are you earning on your accounts?

  • Check out Synchrony, CapitalOne, & Barclays online accounts for the highest yielding savings.

  • Check on your insurance policy.

  • Are you eligible for any premium reductions?

  • Is there an option for cash out if necessary?


I hope that you were able to find value in the information presented in this week’s edition of #FinanceFriYAY. As with any other integral facet of life, finances desire to be reviewed with frequency and attentiveness. In addition to the suggestions included in the blog, please be sure to take your time to review your accounts for accuracy. Banks as well as other financial institutions make mistakes as well. The key to being a savvy financier is managing your finances in a timely fashion with accuracy! Drop a comment and let me know if this information was valuable or if there are any Finance FriYAY! Topics you would like to discuss! Remember to join the community!




Does debt keep you up at night? I sure hope not!

If you are reading this blog post, I will safely assume one of two things. 1.) You are savvy and insightful when it comes to managing your finances, or 2.) This is the first step that you are taking to create the financial stability you deserve as you govern your personal and professional enterprises. Before we delve right into debt pay-off methods, let’s touch briefly on the basics of credit.

Given the current economic climate as well as the myriad of Women operating as self-governed entities, the opportunities for personal advancement (including sound finances) are endless. With that said, strategically planning and implementing a cohesive process that includes deliberately leveraging credit. Let’s touch on the basics.

Credit is a culmination of these 5 components:

Character- Speaks to the story that your credit score and report relays to creditors. Think about it, future and prospective lenders do know you from a hole in the wall. Thus, your credit report and scores paint a vivid and descriptive picture of who you are as a creditor. Do you make timely payments? Do you carry a balance or pay in full? Etc.

Conditions- Please be sure to gain a comprehensive understanding of the terms outlined by the creditor. Examine and compare interest rates as well as payback penalties, excessive fees, annual fee contributions, etc.


Capital- What do you bring to the table? Do you have any skin in the game? Creditors like to know that you won’t run off on the plug…literally. Typically, three months of reserves allow the creditors to gain a certain level of comfort.


Capacity- Goes hand in hand with Capital. This essential speaks to your ability to pay creditors back. Can be measured by assets, viable income, or a combination of the two.

Collateral- In most cases, collateral describes an item(s) that can be bartered by the individual seeking credit to imply good faith. Further, the item(s) may be repossessed by the creditor in the event that payment defaults.


So now that we have that information under our belt. How do we manage the credit and/or debt that we have already amassed?

GREAT QUESTION!


One of my favorite methods to pay the debt down and off is the snowball method. When you find yourself staring at your credit card bills, car note, hospital bills, etc. and you don’t know where to start…the snowball debt method is a trusted ‘go to’. Here’s why: by leveraging the snowball method, the user is able to experience quick confidence boosters as the balances on debt owed begin to diminish.


Here’s how it works:

Sit down with your budget. Start by reviewing your monthly net (after taxes income), place that at the top of your list or worksheet if you’re a savvy Excel user. Then begin to list your non-negotiable items, your needs, such as childcare expenses, home loan or rental payments, car notes, etc. Next outline the items that you desire, your wants. Now some may argue that their cell phone expense is a need vs wants, and I am inclined to agree… sort of. Granted, in today’s world we all require access and communication. However, we do not all require the latest and greatest iPhone with all of the extended features. And while we are in the process of managing our finances, ascertaining what we can afford and what makes the most sense while we are paying debt down, reviewing your service providers for both phone and internet are definitely a great place to start. Once we have our needs vs wants clearly delineated, let’s head on over to the debt.

To begin the snowball debt method; take a look at the smallest balance you are carrying on a card or line of credit, list that first. Then begin to list the debts as the balances increase. Next to each debt listed, ensure that you are capturing the balance owed as well as the minimum payment required monthly. An example:


Now that you have established wish debt you wish to pay first, let’s discuss the way in which this actionable item will be completed. To be effective in this process, remain disciplined in the payment approach. Pay the minimum required payment on each of the cards, except the smallest debt. In the example used above, this would mean paying the minimum on the BOA & Macy’s cards while at least doubling the Capital one payment. As soon as the capital one card is paid off, you then take the amount that you were paying for that card’s minimum balance and roll it into the next payment. Referencing the example listed above, the Cap1 payment is paid off. Now take the $25 that would normally go toward the Cap1 payment and apply it to the Bank of America card payment, now you are paying at least $75 toward the card instead of $50. If it is in your budget, increase the payment to $100.00. Now your payment schedule looks like this:


Repeat the snowball debt method process until you find yourself completely DEBT-FREE!!!!


For additional assistance calculating debt and managing balances please see the link(s) provided below. As always if you have any questions or would like additional information on debt or any other topic drop a comment, like, and subscribe to the blog! Also, find me on IG @ __krownmeking__ or krownmekingllc@gmail.com

Calculators:

https://www.creditkarma.com/calculators/debtrepayment

http://www.youcandealwithit.com/borrowers/calculators-and-resources/calculators/debt-repayment-calculator.shtm



By definition, Postpartum depression is a depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.


Being a new mother, I can remember the exact day, December 30, 2020, I was battling. I had been struggling with a pain that had no definitive name at the time. As I began motherhood, pushing through for weeks, I instinctively knew something was wrong. What ‘they don't tell you about postpartum depression is that there is a thin line between the effects of becoming a new mother and simply when your body is trying to tell you that you are not OK. Though I was aware of walking a tightrope, this is something I had to find out the hard way. I spent countless hours searching on Google, looking on Instagram, adding myself to groups on Facebook, and yet there was no one to tell me for sure if I was dealing with postpartum depression. Through these short few months, now I realize this is a very sensitive and sidestepped topic. For some reason, women will talk about pregnancy, all the aspects of giving birth but when it came to your mental health after bringing the baby home the advice starts to get very slim. After doing my research, with limited success, I just decided to “get shit done” and figure things out as I always have. If you truly know me you already know I don’t tend to ask for or need help and I get things done no matter what, but we all need help sometimes and this was my turn. I was exhausted at the end of the day, which seemed normal, but the inability to fall asleep, consistent panic attacks, crying for no reason, an intense rollercoaster of emotions, overwhelmed. Taking care of my son seemed to become overwhelming but didn't want anybody to take him. I felt his absence would have caused more harm than good as a new mother.

I know some of you are wondering “Where my boyfriend at the time/father of my son was?. Well, that’s a story for another time but let’s just say we were rocky for a long time and the rollercoaster of our relationship was causing more pain than happiness, so I had to walk away. So here I am a single mom with a 7-month-old, living with my mother & trying to put all the pieces together of my new life.


Becoming a new mother in the midst of COVID-19 also contributed to my stress. This is something no one was prepared for, so bringing a child into this world during this time was baffling. Everything I imagined motherhood to be, was now impossible. Having a newborn during this time looked like a doctor’s visit by myself, no visitors, working from home, and the constant fear of getting Covid and giving it to my baby. I can’t say that it was all bad though. I was able to have more time at home with my son, and it forced me to put more energy into myself. I’m thankful I was able to invest in self but the feeling of being alone, when you need people the most is one of the worst things I experienced. I know my friends and family love me but due to personal lives and this pandemic, I didn’t feel like I had the support I needed. Not putting the blame on them because I also did not tell people what I had going on. I had painfully ended a friendship of more than two decades with someone who I considered my best friend for years. It truly was a time of sudden endings and new beginnings. Everyone talks about relationships ending but breaking up with a friend was just as hard if not harder. My entire life was changing, things were falling apart, I had people depending on me, & how dare I complain because “becoming a new mom is a blessing and the best thing that could happen to me.” Be that it may, becoming a new mom during this time was also stressful, hard, and overwhelming.

Fast forward and here I am flourishing and whatnot. I had to stand up and accept the situation I was in while wanting more and doing more at the same time. I started going to therapy, which helped a lot more than I thought it would. I started meditating, writing in my journal, and practicing some serious self-care. I am joyful to say I am now in my own place, my son is happy and healthy, ya girl is making moves and although I still have more to do LIFE IS GOOD! I say all this to say ladies don’t do like me. Although I am in a better place now, I made things a lot harder on myself than I needed to. I took steps forward, back, to the side, and back and forth again before I actually did the things, I’m going to tell you to do right now.

  1. If you feel like something is wrong talk to a doctor, your family, your friends. Ask questions, seek therapy, take the medication do whatever you need to do because PPD is more common than we think, and you don’t have to struggle.

  2. Take time out for yourself. You deserve it!

  3. Listen to what your mind and body are trying to tell you.

  4. Make lists and prioritize the things that need to be done. Don’t over work yourself.

  5. Don’t ever feel guilty for saying no or raising your child how you want to.

  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Take the time to allow yourself to make mistakes and learn. All of this is new for you. You may have had a life before the baby down pack but baby this is different.

  7. Being a good mommy doesn’t mean you are perfect.

  8. Finally, BREATHE YOU GOT THIS MOMMA!




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