Make this your new anthem: $ave Dat Money

 

Rap game got it all wrong
We ain’t ’bout to go and spend money just to flex on them
We ain’t really got it like y’all (Yeah, baby!)
I’m a type of motherfucker that’ll check the check
Do the math, I ain’t never gettin’ robbed

 

F@#! what they’re talking about on TV and in songs. I have learned that resisting temptation is essential to survival as an adult. Before I spend any money, I stop and ask myself, “Do I really need this? Is this going to improve my quality of life? What am I supporting with this money I am about to spend?” The media has us brainwashed into thinking we need to buy unnecessary things.

Don’t perpetuate the bullshit.

What you spend money on and where you spend your money sends a message to the world about what you value.  Hold on to your bread.

Photo: a bunch of credit offers strewn all over the floor

Don’t worry about your credit (too much)

I have shitty credit. Okay, according to the credit bureaus, it is Very Poor.

Graphic: Screenshot of my credit scores at CreditKarma.com

My credit is bad from a series of very bad, lovestruck decisions prior to 2010, when I filed bankruptcy. And then some more stupid, lovesick choices that have been really keeping me down.  A lesson I have learned through all of this is: Don’t let your money (or anything) get you so stressed out you can’t think straight and make smart moves.  I made some dumb decisions trying to figure out how to make ends meet and make people happy at the same time.

Now that I’m a little older and wiser, I have made it a goal to get myself out of debt.  One important first step is to get a clear picture of what is going on with your finances.

I have managed to raise my credit score 50 points in the last three months alone.  I use Credit Karma to monitor my credit.  You can look at collections that are outstanding, view your open accounts, and even dispute items right there.  Credit Karma gives you recommendations (which you can follow, or not).  Credit Karma has another great feature I really like, which is reviews of credit products (cards and loans) by other users.  And all of this is completely free!

You can receive a free credit report once every year from each of the credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Make sure you are going to the right website.  Other sites will want your debit card info so they can charge you fees.

If you aren’t eligible for credit right now, make some steps make it better.  One day, before you know it, you’ll get it back.

Last summer, I went to a Maurice’s for the first time.  They offered me a credit card.  After years of being convinced that I would never be able to get a credit card again (I filed bankruptcy in 2010) and telling myself I didn’t need any credit (well, nobody needs it, but it is extremely helpful), I accepted their offer, and they approved me.  Ever since then, I have been getting offers in the mail like crazy.  I definitely learned that stores are eager to get people to sign up for credit cards, so if you are ready to start working on rebuilding your credit responsibly, I’d start with one of those.

The moral of the story is don’t give up hope!  Anything is possible if you do your research and take the proper steps to make it happen.

Stick with me and I'll put you up on all kinds of game

Related topics coming soon:

  • How Collections Actually Work
  • Avoiding Creditors
  • Getting out from underneath payday loans (online and in-person)
  • To bank or not to bank? Getting an account when the banks won’t let you in
  • Bankruptcy: Is it right for you?
  • How I pay my bills in 10 minutes
  • Budgeting 101