The greatest and most effective way to create wealth is by creating passive income. But creating it is not enough. You have to change the way you spend your money FIRST or you will be (temporarily) rich but still broke. I was shocked when I saw a new “financial advisor” on the Steve Harvey show recently who was suggesting that passive income was all about having as many jobs as possible. My jaw dropped. Nothing could be further from the truth. Having as many jobs as possible will KILL you. That’s not “passive income” it’s suicide. Passive income is NOT working yourself to death, it’s putting your money to work FOR you and you might be amazed how easy it can be. It all boils down to the way we THINK about money. Let’s just say in the Black community, we have a LOT to learn. You MUST commit yourself to a plan to save which after about a month, will become a habit, otherwise, you will go right back to wasting money over and over again. I’d like to share with you some of the things that I have learned over the years when it comes to saving your OWN money that surprisingly, many people don’t know about and/or don’t practice.
When it comes to money, it’s incredibly easy to live paycheck to paycheck which most of us do. Many of us have no idea where our money is going and at the end of the day, we all could be one or two paychecks away from being homeless no matter how much we make. If you don’t have at least a year’s worth of living expenses in an INTEREST BEARING ACCOUNT (NOT a savings account at a bank where they are making the most money off of YOU) then you ARE in debt.
Giving money to a financial advisor or beliving the big barrel of horse dung that commercial banks consistently push on consumers about being the best bank is almost comical. Have you noticed they sell “service” more than anything else? That’s because they are all sucking your savings dry with fees. If your money is just sitting in a bank, you’re leaving money on the table.
It’s Not What You Make, it’s What You Keep … AND WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU KEEP!!!
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Bank Statements – You Don’t Get What You Don’t Ask For
You can keep your money in a savings account all day but if it’s not bearing interest, you are only making money for the bank. Here are a few ways to KEEP more of the money that you earn AND ADD TO IT.
Did you know that most banks will refund all, most or some of your returned check item fees once a year just by calling them and asking for it? Especially if you have been a good steady customer.
Many people opt out each month on reading their credit cards and bank statements. After all, we are too busy arent we? Many of us have opted out of getting the paper version and because of this, we are not aware of what’s coming in and what’s going out. Seeing a detailed list of this can help to keep track of your money. You would be amazed at how much money you waste on fees, overdraft charges, and subscriptions you never use or forgot that you signed up for. Too busy to do that? The good news is there’s an app for that… (click next to see the next segment)
Clarity Money App
There are MANY apps out there like YNAB (You Need a Budget), Trim, Mint (a Quickbooks free service with a LOT of credit card ads) and more that help you keep track of all of your accounts in one place. While some people may not be comfortable about giving their bank info to an app, you will be glad to know that when you open your bank account and you sign all those papers where the clerk is telling you what each page means? (NEVER fall for that READ WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING) you are giving the bank permission to sell your info when you sign those papers anyway … and they do. This is part of the reason you are getting so many solicitation calls. Yes, commercial banks are selling your information and making an additional profit off of you and you give them permission to do it.
I would recommend, out of all the apps, Clarity Money. Why? Because it not only keeps track of all of your accounts but it also keeps track of how you are wasting money like unused subscriptions that eat away at your budget year after year that we keep forgetting to cancel. Some Gyms, for example, not only charge a monthly fee but they also charge a yearly fee that is much more than the monthly fee, they call it a “cleaning fee” and you may not even be using the membership. The Clarity app has an option to simply cancel the subscription by taping “Cancel” and you don’t have to go through the hassle of signing into the bank account to do it. Clarity also sends you reminder about paying your bills a few days in advance. (click NEXT for next segment)
Capital NONE: Cash Back Credit Cards, Worth it or Not?
Never be fooled by credit cards that offer cash back for what they REALLY do. Yes, you can get cash back BUT their goal is to get you to use the card as much as possible to the point that you can NOT pay the entire balance before 30 days is up. What happens then? You get hit with a very high-interest charge and lose all the cashback and pay additional costs for every month that you don’t pay the entire card off which makes the “cash back” amount a joke. Credit card companies LOVE to lure uneducated consumers who like to waste money, it’s how they stay rich.
If you HAVE to use credit cards, NEVER overextend yourself with cash back cards. Make sure you can pay the entire balance back within 30 days. That’s the only way that YOU benefit. At the end of the day, the money that you make or the points that you get may not even be worth the stress of trying to keep up with all the blackouts and how to use the card. Read on for better ways to keep your own money
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Call your credit card company and ask them to reduce the interest on your credit card. It’s that simple. If you are a good customer, most will do it without a problem. The problem is, most people never ask.
Better than Amazon PRIME
I am not a big fan of Amazon Prime for a couple of reasons, they charge you a $100 plus fee at the beginning of the year or a $14.00 monthly fee then they send you your ordered items withing two days postage for free. But it’s NOT free. If you explore the same item from other sellers, where Prime is not attached, you will see that Amazon hikes the price up for many Prime items to build the shipping costs into the price of the item. In addition, many retailers like Walmart actully DO offer free shipping and they DON’T hike up the price on a lot of THE SAME items without yearly fees. Save your money
One of the greatest joys in life is seeing that message on your phone that says “A direct deposit has been made into your account.” ESPECIALLY when you didn’t expect it and here is another way that can happen with YOUR OWN MONEY.
I don’t know about you but I love getting cash back, which is better than just saving money when the purchase price remains the same or is discounted which is why I love Rakuten.
Rakuten (formerly eBates) is a site (or you can get a chrome extension that pops up when you shop online) to let you know if you can get cash back with certain items or companies. I just got 12% cash back for a hotel room that I booked and it’s enough to pay my internet bill. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate this app a 10. The other thing I like about Rakuten over sites like Booking.com or Travelocity is it takes you directly to the merchant’s site to purchase so you should get your hotel points too. If you use your cash back card you get another benefit. While Capital One offers a great cash back card called “Spark” know that there is a $95.00 fee each year for it.
You don’t get points when you shop for a hotel room from a 3rd party site BTW. Find out more about Rakuten
My brother is very proud of the fact he has always rounded out his change from his spending and saved a ton of money. I was telling him not only is there an app for that it ALSO INVESTS the money for you. You can decide how you want to invest it, be it light investing or with more risk. It’s like having your own financial advisor but with fewer fees. They charge a small fee for the service but you don’t even miss the change and you would be amazed at how it grows so quickly. You have to submit the credit cards that you want to round off and it does the rest of the work for you. This is one of my favorite apps. Find out more about Acorns.
If you want to play around and learn how to invest on your own, Robin Hood is your best source. There are no fees for trades like all the other online sites and the site design and information is less constipated than sites like Etrade, it’s easy to read the latest news, analysts’ reports, recommendations and trends. There are no minimum deposit requirements and you can fund your account directly from your bank. Find out more about Robinhood
I’m not sure how many people know that airlines not only change prices daily, they change them several times a day. If you have at least a month before your trip takes place, log the information into Google Flights with alerts, and you will be notified every time the price changes.
There are MANY apps that can help you save on hotels like Hotels.com, Booking.com etc but at the end of the day, you would be surprised to learn that the prices on the hotels’ actual site are not much different and the benefit it, you get points when you book on the hotels actual site. Go to Rakuten and find out if the hotel is offering cash back as an added bonus.
It’s better to get the money you were going to spend BACK then to get a fake discount that is the same price across all platforms INCLUDING the actual hotel booking site. Be careful when booking a hotel room from the hotel booking site. Some 3rd parties companies are unscrupulous in creating duplicate sites and pages where you THINK you are booking from, for example, “IHG Hotels” but you are actually booking from Expedia. You can resolve this issue easily by looking at the domain name of the site that you are on and what it says after “https.”
One of my mentees was shocked when I told him that using Uber or Lyft for the airport is a complete waste of money. He said self-parking was the same fee but it’s actually not. It’s MUCH less in most cities by simply doing one thing. Book in advance at my favorite site Rakuten, simply type in “Parking reservations” after you go to https://rakuten.com and you will you pay anywhere from $7 to $20 a day at parking facilities very close to LAX, for example, you also get cash back for your purchase. If you drive up on the day of your trip you are not only risking the lot will be full, you are also going to pay the most money which is what most people do. While Uber and Lyft have their advantages it can also be an incredible waste of money. A ride to the airport can cost you close to $200 back and forth for a 5-day trip that could actually cost you $50.00 to park on your own. Book your parking in advance.
Ditch Audible for …
I used to use Audible as I am an audiobook junkie, but I realized I was paying $14.00 a month for one book that may actually cost $10.00. F that, I discovered Scribd.com and I pay $8.99 for UNLIMITED books both audio and text. You can also download the audio and textbooks. Check out Scribd
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