The 2 & 3 Job Culture aka “The Jamaican Hustle”

I got “tree jobs mon!” “TREE!”

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Photo by Evieanna Santiago on Unsplash

Yeah not one, not two, but three jobs. That is the norm now-a-days. Many folks that I run into say that they have at least two jobs. For those who don’t work a traditional 9-5 job, they could have up to four side hustles going at the same time.

Is this your reality?

Does this sound pretty familiar for the folks that you run into also?

It does for me. I know many people who leave their standard 8-9 hour Monday through Friday job to head straight to their part time gig work at night. Some folks even put in laborious hours over the weekend, never even getting a day off to recover from the work week.

So why all the grind?

Well if you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll inform you that it has become increasingly difficult to live a life (in a large number of places in the world) with just one income. Long gone are the days of a family of four thriving off a one income earner. Heck, a single person most often can’t even survive, let along thrive off a single income. That is of course, unless their income exceeds the average threshold of 75k+ earnings. This still is a misnomer as many single people earning even this much are drowning in a debt load of bills; most likely involving student loans and current housing. Check out this BET special which shows how this student debt crisis has swallowed up the lives of many recent post-graduate students.

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Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

For those not in the student loan repayment game, mere “adulting” in today’s economy has got them roller skating around from job to job trying to make ends meet. With the cost of living doubling over each decade, many are finding it is imperative to land, at the very minimum, a second source of income. No matter how small.

But how long can a person sustain the 2-3 job lifestyle? Is there any point to which it becomes counterproductive to one’s life? Well, I imagine the answer to that is largely based on each individuals set of circumstances. However the case, making a strategic plan for the additional jobs is key. Blindly and haphazardly signing up for a second job just to make a little extra cash can end up causing you to seriously “hate life.” The lack of sleep/rest, family/friend time and simple enjoyment of the day can be a burden no one wants to voluntarily sign up for.

Thus, having intentionality to a 2-3 job hustle is key. Make those extra hours count, by finding high value, high reward income earning opportunities. More work, does not always mean more financial progress. You might end up breaking even or taking a loss if you don’t budget out your time and spend surrounding this second or third job. Spend that includes: gas, food, uniform, additional doggy or childcare expenses, etc. Who knows, it may even be a cost-savings to simply budget tighter and work less.

Ultimately the goal should be to build towards freedom. If any of those second or third jobs do not show actionable results in financial freedom/quality of life I would seriously consider exchanging that Jamaican hustle for the Jamaican beach vibe – No probl’m mon!

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Photo by Virginia Johnson on Unsplash

 

Financial Progress ….the Key to Social Identity?

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Photo by Sabine Peters on Unsplash

You’ve heard the saying: “You are how much you bring home”….well actually no…I haven’t heard this saying put quite like this but I’m sure someone out there has. Whether you’ve heard this euphemism or not, I’m most assured that at some form or fashion you’ve measured yourself and others in this manner. What I believe is that most of us do this unconsciously. Meaning, no matter how much we disagree with this financial benchmark stratagem we still base our worth and other peoples value based on their level of financial progress.

Oftentimes, we won’t even listen to anyone unless we see them “doing it” or have “done it.” We won’t take the life tips of a person whose life does not at least on the outside reflect financial success and stability. We elevate those who show a level of “progress” as the gurus we should all be listening to, because they obviously have figured it out.

Many of us, including myself, have progressed in tremendous ways in a multitude of areas except financially. So why then does the financial stagnation seem so weighted and still so important as it pertains to our identity, value and worth? Again, no matter how much we try and say to ourselves and others:“oh well I know my worth and I don’t base my life on my financial success”…we still at the very core have a slight inner ache regarding this matter. We often say to ourselves in a quiet whisper: “Why don’t I have the success I’ve worked so hard to achieve? Why does it seem like a large number of people I see seem to be progressing in this area and I’m not? 

If we are honest with ourselves, we do ask these questions and wonder what it is we can do to make this not be a part of our story.

Now if you’re wondering if I have the answer to solve this inner tension that most of us face…here’s the short answer to it: Um…no. What I do know is that the first step towards any kind of progression is self-awareness. Honestly recognizing the truth of how we feel about ourselves as it pertains to this dynamic and beginning the inner work there. Will this revelation of self-awareness change your external financial situation in this lifetime? Maybe. Maybe not. Can you end your life knowing that at the very least you tried to reconcile this inner tension and gain peace closer to where you started?

Oh yeah.

In fact, the chances of this happening are much greater than your financial situation changing for the better. But hey, life throws us a ton of surprises so you never know. So if you do in fact reach a more advantageous financial place in life, hopefully you will remember to keep even that “progress” at bay for what it is.

Just a moment in time.

How To Avoid Choosing An Incompatible Job: Using a Career-Based Personality Test to Understand if You Are in the Right Job

How do you know if you are in the right job?

We all want to know if the job that we are waking up to every morning at 5, 6, 7 am is the right job for us? For many who are prospecting a new position, the question instead becomes is this potential role a win in the compatibility department? Yet others who are reading this, who do not fall into either of these ponderings, are probably saying to themselves:

I already KNOW that I am in the WRONG job. I just don’t know WHAT job I want to do!

Thus, the issue lies not in trying to figure out if you are in the right job or not, but figuring out WHAT job IS “right,” or should I say better, for you.

So where do you begin?

Take the time for self-discovery

One of the first steps towards assessing whether or not a job is right for you is to examine who you are in a deeper context.

No really……who are you?

When was the last time you truly asked yourself this question? So many of us have suppressed our identities for the purposes of Corporate America assimilation and survival. We do this, because this is the path we were taught. Go to school, graduate and get a good job. We are told to find out what it takes to keep the company happy and master that. Discarding much of what we think as it pertains to self-growth so as to focus on career and professional development instead.

Yet, how can we continue to ignore our personal journey in the place where we spend the majority of our waking hours? When will we cease to ignore our true selves at the cost of workplace acceptance? For many, the thought of doing this scares them to pieces. It is much safer and easier to neglect personal exploration than it is to take the path of self-discovery. Because self-discovery may lead to enlightenment. Enlightenment could lead to awareness and awareness could then lead to change. Change that could mean taking a pay cut or leaving an “easy” but unfulfilling job. Or, on the upside, a change that could lead to a much more satisfying work life.

So then, what self-discovery strategies can you use to begin understanding how to tackle this question?

Using a Career-based Personality Test to Help find Job Compatibility

Life coaches are great. Yet many of us do not know where to find one, let alone a spectacular one that truly helps us get sure-fire solutions. One of the quickest and (most importantly) cost-effective ways to find out what type of work best suits you is to take an online personality test.

Taking a test such as the one offered on 16personalities.com or www.truity.com are two fantastic ways to learn more about job compatibility. For the skeptics out there immediately discarding the idea of leaving their future up to a “manufactured survey,” at the very least you should give it a whirl before you knock it. If after you take the test (seriously) you find that the answers are inconclusive or completely inaccurate then by all means take the plunge to find the ultimate life coach.

While there are many personality-based test such as Myers-Briggs, Human Metrics, and DISC profile that provide an overview of your day-to-day personality. The best thing about taking a test such as the 16personalities questionnaire is that it shows how your personality responds to certain career environments and it provides you with several specific career path options.

For example, let’s say your personality test results show that you are a “Campaigner”

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of 16personalities.com

The test outputs show the following career paths for this personality type:

Campaigner personality types are able to apply logic to human interactions and networks, using their exceptional social perception to find out what makes people tick. This lends Campaigners a solid foothold in any human science or service, from psychology, counseling and teaching to politics, diplomacy and detective work.

Many more career options satisfy these needs, and not just the scientific ones – writing, journalism, acting and TV reporting all give Campaigners a chance to explore something new every day and stir the pot a little while they’re at it. It may come to pass though, that the best way forward for Campaigner personalities is to establish themselves as entrepreneurs and consultants, blazing their own trails and taking on whatever project is most fascinating.

The next set of results detail the Workplace Habits or environment that best suite this personality:

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of 16personalities.com

Campaigners would prefer that there be hardly a hierarchy at all. People with the Campaigner personality type possess warmth, creativity, and an open-mindedness that makes them excellent listeners. If these qualities are recognized by their employers, they will always be able to count on their Campaigner employees to innovate and boost morale.

The test results then spell out how “Campaigner” personality types are most likely to respond to and interact with subordinates, managers and colleagues. This is extremely helpful intel as it not only gives language to a person struggling to find out how to best express how they feel in their current work place environment but it also helps them to best understand what type of environment they should strive for. Whether that be communicating it to a current office setting or vocalizing it in a future interview as something that is vital for their success.

Let the Data Work for You and Not Against You

Do not fight the data. Let the outcome of the test sink in and bounce the results off your colleagues, friends and family members. Ask them if they agree with the evidence of the test results. While 100% of the findings from the test may not match up, if you truly took the test with the utmost sincerity – a large percentage of it should. Thus, there should be some sentiment of truth present in the results. Once you get the clarity, begin taking steps towards income-producing work that could lean itself towards a more compatible lifestyle.

Be Cognizant of the Ebbs and Flows of Life

Know this however, that just as the seasons change throughout the year, so do our lives and personalities; particularly as a pertains the effects of our life circumstances. So you may be surprised (or not) to find out that who you were five years ago is not the person you are today; which will influence the type of work that you may be now suddenly yearning for.

You may have even taken a test similar to this a while back and do not realize that if you took the test again today that you could quite possibly test out in a completely different category. Do not fret. Most importantly, do not automatically discard the findings as erroneous. Find out why you may have answered the way you did and what descriptors in that personality type are true. Any conclusive evidence is good evidence. Knowing more about who you are (today) will only help lead you closer and closer to finding a better match as it pertains to your work life.

Finally, while you may find the type of work that you enjoy (as a result of taking this test and doing the work of self-discovery), keep in mind finding the right company is still a crap shoot. Job satisfaction takes a healthy combination of company culture, managerial style, department dynamics and job function/position to achieve ultimate balance. While it’s certainly more difficult to control the first three of this list, you can at least have some sense of resolve by seeking opportunities for roles that better fit your personality.

I Can’t Afford Almond Butter ….or Living in America for That Matter

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Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

9.78, 11.53, 10.99 no those aren’t the winning Powerball numbers but the cost of three of the top brands of almond butter. Eleven dollars and fifty three cents?! Yes, sadly this is what we’ve come to where a 24 ounce plastic jar of ground up almonds and salt cost most Americans 30-60 minutes of day labor. This is, of course, a huge leap of assumptions that bank on most Americans making anywhere between $9-$25/hour. Thus the hit to the wallet for a taste at almond bliss comes at a huge price tag. A price tag, that many are not willing to take. Including me. I just cannot justify buying a $10 jar of almond butter no matter what the advocates say. This along with other products such as raw honey, cashews, and sometimes the price of avocados I find myself skipping right over because the price tag is just too steep. Food prices are just one drop in the bucket of a larger issue as it pertains to the cost of living steadily increasing each year. With wage earnings stagnating (unless you are in a technology or medical arena) it has become increasingly difficult to keep pace with the suffocating prices of American society.

Ironically, when I’ve traveled or spoken to various individuals from all over the globe, the resounding conclusion still arises across the board: “I would love to live in America!” Every time I hear this from people who do not live in America when I travel I think to myself “why??….if they only knew!”

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Photo by Josh Johnson on Unsplash

While America has it’s pros…the cons are becoming insurmountably prevalent. One such copious detractor is the overall cost of living. Make no mistake it will cost you a lot to live in the United States of America. Period. If it’s not food prices it’s certainly housing costs. In most metropolis cities across the nation housing figures are, to put it lightly, increasing like an elephant on quicksand. Heavy and fast. This is not to say that other countries are not experiencing a similar narrative, but out of the 195 countries in the world there are several who do in fact have a different status. So for those who cannot escape America and relocate to these foreign territories as an expat finding ways to work within the current climate has been the key.

My strategic plan to do just that has originated over the past year which has re-shifted my approach to living here. Ultimately, the plan consisted of me living and being more intentional about my overall financial state. Whether that be moving in with family or sticking to a food budget my quest to “survive” these rising costs have surprisingly been met with resiliency; even through two firings this year. I’ve been able to avoid getting wiped out completely due to the financial intentionality that I had begun living months prior. I also started the quest of looking for alternative but viable housing solutions. While I am still on the arduous cycle of saving, budgeting, living….saving, budgeting, living I can say that the beginning stages are looking promising despite all the obstacles ahead. I hope that you can be encouraged today to begin putting at least one thing in place to help change the way things are going for you if you are not in the “place in life” that you ultimately desire to be. Of course, not many of us will ever “get there” but we can at the very least get just a little bit closer.

Is Acorns Really Worth It?

Acorns…have you tried it?

If you don’t know what Acorns is, it’s a downloadable financial investment app. You can create multiple portfolio accounts set to the risk level you are comfortable with. You can also activate what’s called a “round-up” investment account. Where every purchase you make on any card you link to the account gets rounded up to the next .50 cent or 1.00.

I tried this for about three months this year and was able to “save” $78.69 in the Acorns account. As you can see from the screenshot below the investment account took a dip in the market so I lost $2.04 from my total round-ups account. I had also signed up for a weekly $5 deposit from my bank account that would auto draft about mid way through the test run. Somehow I also mistakenly signed up for a separate retirement account, that would also auto draft $5/week. As you can see below, that account also took a loss in earnings of .02 cents.

So here’s what I think you are wondering….well was it worth it?

I’d say yes and no….Here’s why I say yes. It was a simple, no frills, easy to sign up, use and navigation financial tool that I was able to easily access and manage. I found out you can also invite others to sign up similar to Cashapp and earn a $5 bonus into your account.

Now the downside was that when Acorns was ready to deduct my bank account from the round ups I had accrued, it was a noticeable and inconvenient amount that I always had to plan for. The person who originally introduced me to do the round-ups pitched it in a totally sweet way that made it sound much better than I actually found it to be. They said “well you don’t even notice the money is gone.” Um no ma’am…not in my case. I DEFINITELY noticed when the money was taken. Now if you are a person like me where you watch every penny in your account on a daily/weekly basis…. you notice. Now if you have play money to spare and a little $5 or $10 deduction here or there doesn’t matter to you then maybe this is a viable solution/option for you to start “investing” or risking for a return on your money.

I’m just still not at the point where I have money to risk being randomly deducted by every change of the wind just because it’s a Tuesday….and we (the stock market) feel like it. No, I’d rather take the slow and often old school, frowned-about method and just put my money into a high yielding online savings account.

Let me know if you had a different experience using this platform in the comments below!

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Photo Credit: In App Screenshot

Podcast Episode – How Long Should You Do a Side Hustle?

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Click here to listen!

Transcription:

In the age of mobile app side hustles, ranging from grocery store deliveries to ride-share driving the opportunities to make some extra cash certainly are out there. But the question becomes how long can one sustain this hustle and at what point does the hustle become financially counterproductive? Do you know when to set a target date for how long you will commit? I believe it’s important to set closed-ended goals for side hustles. Having a viable time and financial strategy is key for you to work the side hustle w/out having the side hustle work you. For example, examine why you even need a side hustle to begin with…is there a short term goal you are trying to reach such as paying off debt or saving for a large purchase? If not, truly examine why you want to start this side hustle outside of “I want to make a little bit of extra cash.”

When you start the side hustle with a refined purpose, your scheduling and commitment levels become more defined and advantageous to you. This way you have a clear understanding of your intended outcome. You may say to yourself, okay I have $5k in debt and I want to reach the goal of paying that down in 15 months, therefore I will work this side hustle for that length of time. Depending on how lucrative it ends up being, you may even choose to work it 3-5 months beyond that time to create a bit of savings for an emergency fund to set aside. But picking up a side hustle without some sense of purpose can actually be counterproductive. You may end up doing a poor job of managing your time and allowing this side hustle to consume you or vice versa only doing it here or there and never earning enough money to make the side hustle worthwhile. Studying the pay structure and examining the ROI or (return on investment) can make or break a side hustle. You may find this is difficult to determine beforehand, which is why before fully committing to a set amount of time for this one particular side hustle if may be wise to set a short amount of time doing a trial run or test period. The one great thing about a side hustle is that, unlike a permanent job you can test out the work and if it’s not for you then you can silently remove yourself without any frills.

Another bit of advice when considering a side hustle is to understand the tax implications of earning that additional income; especially as it relates to any other income you maybe already earning. If I’m not mistaken, federal tax laws do not require you to report any income earned under $600. So maybe this can be your strategy. To work this side hustle until you reach that amount and then pick up another one. But don’t take my word for it, read up on your state and federal laws to set yourself up for success come tax time. Finally, while having a business-minded approach to a side hustle will aid you in your success, know that side hustles should not be used or thought of as a long term passive income earning business. A side hustle is a business – it’s just not yours. Remember you still work for a company which at any point can go out of business or terminate your financial relationship. Therefore, work the side hustle with this mindset and have a viable end in mind.

Podcast Episode – Personal Finance 101

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Click here to listen!

Transcription:

Many of us have dreams of either getting out of our current financial situation or being able to do more in life. We talk about what we wish to do. Whether that be owning a home, buying a car, taking a trip or simply saving more for the future. With the myriad of YouTube videos, self help books and advice or should I say opinions from friends and family one can be overwhelmed with how to go about getting to where they wish to be financially. Should I invest more? What should I invest in? How much can I actually afford to save? What about charitable giving? Forget all that, what about these bills?! I can’t even begin to think about a strategy when I’m barely keeping up with the basic bills that are coming my way. I get it.

Trust me. At some point, however, there comes a point when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. And you start to realize, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. So in order to change you must first tackle the mental barriers that are currently causing the biggest duress. Understanding your relationship with money and what “money mind” you have is a good first start. Do you have a fear money mind, happiness money mind, or commitment money mind. There is a great book called Emotional Currency that will help you to first understand your historical and current view of money. If you decide that hey “I’m good” I think I have a solid view of money and it’s purpose – I still challenge you to read the book because it may jog a few things that you may have never considered. I have been taking this journey over the past 2-3 years of truly understanding how I’ve spent my money and what this says about me. I have taken both a high-level approach and a detailed audit of my spending and how seen areas where I can improve. Of course it has all been choice whether or not I stayed the same or changed my financial decision making. Thank God I have been given the internal push to do the latter. Knowing the alternative to not changing has been a key catalyst for much of this drive.

Now is the time. Not next year or sometime in the future, but now. I think the jarring recognition of now is so key to behavioral changes in personal finance (or anything really for that matter). when I reached the point where my current actions weren’t getting me to where I wanted to be…I decided enough was enough….let’s start now! One of the first things I did was take a detailed audit of my monthly bank statements over the past year. I looked to see what and how much I was spending my money on. What I saw that was the most egregious was in the area of food. As a single person with no kids, I saw that I was spending upwards of $3-400 a month! For some of you this is not a red flag but for me I saw where I could fine tune this area and get on a more contained budget. I then immediately set my goal on $50/week ($200/month). In order to achieve this, I knew that I had to grocery shop and meal plan. For all the lazy people or people who don’t know how to cook…I encourage you to learn how/start. Now the food would last me about 5-6 days out the week and that last day I would treat myself to a meal out of the remaining amount (and sometimes less). This new behavior has dramatically changed both my finances and my lifestyle.

The next thing I did was take a look at my monthly housing expenses. This is probably going to be the toughest thing for many people because of the current state of the housing/rental market. It has been said that the majority of people living in America spend roughly 30-40% (I would even say it’s 50% in most cases) of their annual income on just their housing expenses. Many people are unable to do much of anything because the bulk of their money goes to simply keeping a roof over their heads. I get it. Trust me. Last year I spent 12-14k on rent alone on an less than $20/hr wage. My neighbor even asked me “how are you making it?” He had asked me this because at least in his situation he had a roommate to split the bill. My response to him by the way was – by the grace of God! It truly was, I don’t even know how I was able to sacrifice half of my monthly take home to rent and bills and still travel, eat, etc.

Anyways, I knew that after 8 years of renting I was tired. I no longer wanted to sign another lease. So I made a conscious decision to move back in with family in order to save money. Now I know this option is just not available for many individuals for many reasons, but if it is an available option, please take it! And be intentional and communicate with they person you are moving in with how long you plan on staying. While you are there, don’t get comfortable with the free or low rent from your family. Be intentional. If you are undisciplined enough to save in your current bank account, open up a separate one that either auto-deducts or your manually transfer money that you would have been spending on outside rent each month. The goal is to maximize your time there so that in 6 months, 1, 2 or 3 years you don’t look up at your account balance and go “what happened”? I still cannot go anywhere or do what I wish to do …I’m stuck. If you are at a place where you have no wiggle room at all for any of these things…consider selling your material possessions to either bank the money for an emergency fund of 1-2k or to pay off debt. There are many different strategies you can take to start changing the scope of your personal finance. The biggest key is starting now and being committed to being committed. Many of us are good “starters” but our perseverance is lacking gravely. Some of us can stick to the plan but don’t know where to start.

One of the best things about today’s Information Age is that there are many free learning resources that can do both (help you get started and keep you motivated). Instead of watching the latest Netflix series or Youtube gossip…why don’t you search for how I paid off 100k in debt or how to save for an emergency fund? All in all the concept of personal finance is simple: spend less – save more….but in order to do this you have to be ready to finally sit down and be intentional about your life goals. Because more than we’d like to admit our life goals are largely tied to our life finances and our life finances are tied to our mental and behavioral decisions. This is not dreadful though! In fact, it’s actually quite freeing to take a deep dive into the belly of our finances and chart out a strategy. Even when “life” hits you in the gut and you get off track from your strategy. Know that a “deadline” can always be moved. In fact, I would even plan for what some call a “curveball” fund. Meaning, you are planning for life to throw you a financial curveball at some point in the near future. So instead of being surprised or less prepared you can already have this in your sights as you allocate your finances.

All in all, personal finances can be overwhelming at best and depressing at the very least. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can still choose to do things of high value with the money and resources that you currently obtain/manage. While it may take you longer, don’t get discouraged or envious of others seemingly “doing it.” Stay in your lane and stick to your plan. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, read books, compare stories and strategies and see what works for you.

Podcast Episode – Personal Finance 101

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Click here to listen!

Transcription:

Let’s talk about debt baby! Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that make me – let’s talk about debt ….let’s talk about debt! Yes that was a spin on the classic 1990’s Salt-N-Peppa song Let’s Talk About Sex. But let’s talk about it! Debt that is. I know almost everyone listening to this podcast has at some point gotten themselves into debt; whether that be student loans, credit cards, auto or home loan. When I hear the stories of some peoples debt balances I often cringe internally and wonder how in the world they sleep at night. Because I hate debt – with a passion. I hate the concept of owing someone more than what I borrowed. Now, I know many of you are saying well all debt isn’t bad – sometimes debt is good. I’ve heard speakers such Robert Kiyosaki and Dave Ramsey say there is such a thing as good debt. This good debt includes paper assets, real estate, and business ownership. And the goal is to use “good debt” to build wealth. Well for many people, the thought of actually getting to “the other side” of “good debt” is a fantasy. Many people are just struggling to maintain and keep their sanity in the midst of it all.

We’ve heard the many reports of the shrinking middle class and the wealth gap being widened more and more each year. Yet, our personal finances do not have to succumb to this fear. While there are tons of external factors that are prohibiting us from reaching our financial potential – I still believe we can do our best to maximize the income we do get by wisely managing what we have. One of the ways to do this is to educate yourself. You cannot be passive about money and expect to reach your mental goals and dreams. I’m sorry it just doesn’t work that way. The only people who can afford to be passive are those individuals who were born with a silver spoon. They at least have a head start at financial passivity but even they cannot do that for long. So with that said, we all have to educate ourselves. Start listening to financial videos or reading personal finance books. If there are terms you hear in those mediums that you aren’t familiar with – look them up! Understand those definitions and how they can work for or against you. Now I know I said we were going to talk about debt, but I have to lay the groundwork of financial education down first because it will be incredibly difficult for you to tackle debt without first educating yourself on the system set up to entrap you in debt in the first place. Whatever debt you have, one of the first things you need to do is locate what the finance rate/charge is attached to that account.

For instance, if you have a credit card find out with the apr is on the card. Typically the apr is over 14% and it is a revolving rate. Which means every month your credit card company is charging you an additional 14% of the balance on the credit card. Ouch! How can you win just paying off the minimum? You can’t – the credit card system is designed to keep you entrapped in debt. Now what you can do is educate yourself and find ways to beat them at their game. I can give you two that have personally worked for me. The first strategy I used is what I call the balance transfer game. Now the key here is to find a credit card that is offering a zero balance transfer fee AND a zero percent apr introductory offer for 12-24 months. If your credit is good enough to qualify to get approved I would sign up for that card and transfer the balance over. If you don’t get approved for the full amount, I would still transfer the maximum amount possible to get the existing credit card debt balance down. From there you can focus in on accelerating your payments on the card that still has the higher balance while simultaneously paying the minimum on the zero percent credit card. Now of course this will only work if you stay committed, because I know many people who have done this but played around and looked up 1-2 yrs later when that introductory offer was up and got right back into debt because they were not intentional about maximizing the time they had.

The other strategy that has worked for me in paying off a credit card has been to open up a line of credit at my bank and get qualified for loan amount that covered the balance of the credit card at a fixed interest rate that was lower than the credit card balance. For example, I had a credit card balance of 4K with a 18% apr and got approved for a 4k loan from the bank at a 12% fixed interest rate. After the bank cut me a check for the 4k, I paid off the credit card and began re-paying the line of credit which had a much smaller interest penalty. I saved hundreds of dollars doing this, because the fixed rate was a flat interest charge on the total lifespan of the loan amount. Unlike the credit card that kept hitting me with a high interest charge on the monthly balance that wasn’t going down fast enough. There are many other strategies that can work for you I’ve merely given you two to get started. The whole point is to educate yourself about your options if you are serious about getting out of bad debt. Even if you never cross over into good debt fantasy land – at the very least you will have a better handle on your past and present finances.