From the time you graduate high school, besides going to college, the only thing that any one ever talks about is credit. You would think since credit is such an important factor in our lives the powers that be would teach a course on money management in high school or personal finance in college but they don't. That just makes you wonder if the system was designed to keep those who don't know down and generational wealth up.
As a young woman, I always had a decent job(sometimes two or three) and I made sure to save my money for a rainy day. At the age of 19, I had a 710 credit score and at the age of 22 that score was 730. I paid my bills on time, my credit cards had high limits and I was able to pretty much keep myself afloat. With the progression of time, and my desire to be self sufficient, I ultimately drowned in debt. I ran away from the mail lady, man, UPS, FedEx and even DHL. I learned the names of bill collectors, their sneaky tricks to get you to open their envelopes not limited to sending envelopes that looked like checks or packages marked "sensitive", "urgent" or "you don't want to miss this". My credit score plummeted. It was like the SATs where you get 300 points just for writing your name. Besides the agony of the low numbers, I couldn't get a bank account. I couldn't apply for a loan and when my family needed help, I couldn't have any utilities in my name. Having a low credit score not only fucks up your borrowing life but prevents you from going back to school. Possibly buying a house, getting certain jobs. And definitely forces you to put up more money when renting an apartment. I seriously considered doing bankruptcy so much so that I went downtown Brooklyn to the courts to start the bankruptcy proceedings in New York. After one of my debts magically disappeared off of my credit report(good ol 7 year rule), I decided to re-evaluate my stance and make a sizable effort to diminish the amount of my debt or at the very least increase my credit score.
Regardless of all that, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can still live after fucking up your credit and you can be proactive. Since I was no longer able to get a bank account at any of the normal banks, I got a prepaid debit card. It became my primary card, 3 years later I still have it today. There are no fees associated with the card except ATM fees. No overdrafts for being poor. 7 months ago, I opened a savings account with my prepaid debit card. Allowing all my accounts to go to collection put me in a position to barter with them significantly bringing down the amount I owed them and almost 100% of the time avoid paying the exorbitant interest fees. I learned the laws regarding credit. I fought every MCN creditor that came my way. I disputed all the stuff on my credit report. Your credit score is a numbers game but cash is king. There are things like THISISALICE which helps you build your credit while you pay for your transportation. They don't deny you, they won't send you a letter explaining their decision. I also make sure that I save 35% of my income. 17% of that 35% goes to my 401k that I can withdraw from in case of an emergency. A 401k plan is a no frill loan account for those with terrible credit. As of now, my student loans are up to date, I pay $5 per month. In September, I will be able to return to school and that will put a freeze on my loans accruing interest.
Here are some tips for people who are struggling with credit. CreditKarma is a great place where people who have beaten the odds go to share their various experiences.
1. Get rid of your bank.
The fees that accumulated from being poor was more often than not an additional bill. One time, I had a accumulated $150 in fees that the bank refused to give me a pass on. Prepaid debit cards are more feasible for people who have a problem planning or those who like myself love to swipe without looking.
2. Set realistic goals
One of the most prevalent issues I had with saving after my credit score disappeared was being realistic. I was 24 years old with a rent of $800 bringing home $900 a check. It was impossible to save $600 every pay period when things needed to be paid. So tell the truth, don't lie to yourself success comes easier that way.
3. Don't procrastinate
The famous saying is good things come to those who wait but that's not always true. The longer you wait to dispute or take care of credit card claims, the more detrimental it will be not only to your financial health but your mental health as well. Oh the anguish!
4. Apply for a CreditOne card
If all else fails and nobody is approving you for a card(not even Victoria Secret) credit one takes EVERYONE. Be sure not to abuse it and pay it off in a timely manner. Don't bite more than you can chew.
5. Creditors are bullies, don't be afraid to fight back
Collectors are trained to ask you what can you pay today. Don't be ashamed to say nothing. Don't be too afraid to say I don't owe you because you sold my debt. These small statements can be the difference between unknowingly admitting to a debt and winning the battle in court.
6. Credit is not a one size fits all
What worked for your best friend's debt may not work for yours. Exploration through trial and error is the only way to know what works for you. It's perfectly okay to turn down advice and it's normal to question things you read on line.
How's your credit? Have you had any issues in adulthood with school loans or credits? How did you manage?
Also, check out this article on the balance for some necessary information on credit.
We've been bouncing around for the past few months. Now that we've finally settled in the fun begins. Now we're in the process of redoing our new apartment(DIY only) which happens to be my dad's old apartment. On the list of things to re-do is the bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen. The kitchen is definitely a top priority because of the build up that my dad accumulated over the years, the stove is next to the window in the kitchen which is great for eliminating the smells of cooking but kills the curtain and the wall. Many people tile their wall but I think an acrylic splash back is more fashion forward and colorful. Simply Plastics has affordable back splashes and an array of colors to match any kitchen. The acrylic is also easier to install noting that all you need to install it is screws and stain protection is easy.
*This is a sponsored post!
*This is a sponsored post
If you know anything about me then you know dressing up is one of my favorite past times. Whether it's getting sexy for yourself or your spouse in the house, or choosing a new restaurant to show off your new garms, getting dressed takes the monotony out of life. You get to step outside of the daily rigmarole and transform into a different person. I love going to formal balls and playing Cinderella but more exciting than the actual dressing up part is finding the perfect dress. There is no one size fits all approach to dress shopping but some of these new, overseas websites make it a little more manageable to shop by offering things such as specific sizing, customize-able colors and 24 hour customer service.
Chic Mall is no different. You can check out their array of beautiful and elegant evening gowns by clicking the link.
I have a love affair with shoes but after Sai came, my shoe size increased and for the last 3 years I have been trying to re-build my shoe closet. I love unique and comfortable shoes. One of my best friends Shauna and I had a shoe website that ended up dissolving over time due to a number of things. As many of you know, I do a lot of shopping at stores like Rainbow and Dr. Jays but I also do high end shopping as well. I limit myself to one expensive pair of shoes a year. For me, there is no in between. It's either really expensive or super cheap. I love stripper shoes for the bedroom, a good pair of flats for work, and a good wedge for a BBQ. Lately, I've been going to tons of balls so crystal or sparkly wedding shoes are a must. FSJ shoes sent me an email and after looking at their website and looking up some reviews, I decided I would give them a try. So this is the preview post to the review post. They have a good range of designer inspired shoes and some really unique leopard print shoes. I haven't been wearing stilletto heels lately because one who wants to run behind a toddler in 4 inch heels and two I have a bunion so if I do wear them they have to be open toed. I picked out a few of my favorite shoes from the, check out the site let me know if you like my picks or if you see anything on there that you like.
*Tip they also make custom shoes so if you have an idea in mind they can do it for you!
If you follow me on my snapchat, you know that in the midst of screaming good morning, talking about work and the weather, I often spit a few gems that I have found helpful and might assist other people navigate life. This particular lesson I was going to speak about a few weeks ago on my snap. I believed someone desperately needed it, like I so needed to hear it at the time it smacked me in my face. However, after a conversation with Corey, I did not want him to think that the sermon was about him so I diverted from posting about it and a few weeks later here we are again with the same theme.
The one thing I miss about pre-motherhood was experiencing the freedom to, well be free. I loved getting up when I felt like it, going where ever the wind took me and not having single responsibility besides my rent and occasionally eating food(seriously I was like 100 pounds). I've never not had a job and in between the few but very brief periods of traditional unemployment, I had the flexibility to decide when I wanted to go back to work, where I was going to work and how often. I successfully controlled that aspect of my life. Being a mom and being in a relationship means that I am not free not in any sense of the word. My decisions do not belong to me. I can not get up one day and decide something is not for me. I can not create my own plan to get where I want to in my career because my plan includes more than me and my life is no longer solely my own.
This is not a #ihatemylifeandwishiwassomethingelse post. I'm getting to the good part so allow me to get there.
I was reading this self help book about two years, the name of it is not important. At this time, I was dealing with post-partum depression, quitting a job that I loved, a spouse who was mean spirited and didn't understand my life. Just a bunch of eye rolling experiences at once. Anyway, the entire book pissed me off starting from the first sentence. It said that every thing that happens in the world is your fault. Every thing that happens to you is your fault. Starting from the weather extending to your failures in life, your shitty job, your 30 cent promotion, all of it can be traced back to you. You ultimately have the power to change the weather. When I first read it, I thought "wow, the author of this book must be on some good crack to think every thing is my fault and I can control the weather" but what I wasn't realizing at the time was the underlying meaning was not to literally change the weather where you are but change your location which in turn changes the weather. This was not a book that said you had hypnosis powers like the Secret. Instead it was more logical, look at something that you have no control of, alter the parts you do have control of and carry on from there.
Learning how to change the hand you've been dealt doesn't just happen overnight. I'm still struggling with this. I blame myself for many things that happen in my life. I blame myself for starting my career over at the age of 26, I blame myself for being a mom, I blame myself for writing this post. This life of mine is my fault. The tipping point is turning the whole this is my fault thing into a positive. Making the things you're responsible for a great thing, something you can gloat about.
Claiming your faults allows you to be proactive, foresee events and prevent fires instead of putting them out. I know the MTA is going to fuck up today therefore, I'm going to leave 20 minutes earlier than I should and if I should end up late it's my fault because I probably should've left an additional 20 minutes earlier. Accountability is half the battle of being prepared.
There ain't nothing like a Brooklyn girl! When I tell you guys I love Amra, I fucking love her. #rezyrider for life. She started from the bottom and when she gives life she makes all the girls gag. Her resume is impressive from Instagram baddie to full out business owner(hello Lipland). Amrezy is setting the Instagram trends before they even become outfit trends and is inspiring a whole new group of boss bitches through her confidence. I've personally been following her life since I first got on Instagram back in 2012 and she's slayed from then. There's been tons of negative things said about her including her choice to get some plastic surgery(key words here, HER CHOICE) her glow up pictures have surfaced but she doesn't give a fuck and I love it. Below are some of my favorite looks (trust me there's more), her whole closet is #goals. There's some #glamrezy in here too. Enjoy and hopefully you get some fashion inspo from it.
*photos taken from Instagram
*** This is a sponsored post
I think I have spoken about this previously on my blog but this website is for my Aussies. If you are considering getting married at the courthouse, consider the Amoda Bridal website for beautiful, simple and elegant wedding dresses. You can click the link for wedding dresses Australia|cheap wedding dresses online sale.
As with all websites, check reviews before purchasing and always use PayPal if possible to protect yourself. Happy shopping!
A friend of mine asked me if I knew any places she could pop some tags on her dresses. After I started compiling the list, I thought oo this would be a bomb blog post and here we are.
Some of these places are Michelin Star restaurants and if you're broke like me, you go once in a lifetime. Others are on the lower end but just as magnificent. There's also an array of food types on here suitable for any palette. The stars indicate the rating, the $ indicates the price and what type of food.
1. Blend on the Water in Long Island City - has a view
*** 3.8/5 $ Latin Fusion
2. Penthouse 808 - has a view
*** 3.7/5 $$$ Asian Fusion
3. Le Bernardin
**** 4.6/5 $$$$ French Restaurant
4. Chef's Table At Brooklyn Fare
*** 3.7/5 $$$$ Japanese
5. Daniel by Daniel Boulud
**** 4.5/5 $$$$ French
****4.3/5 $$$ Seafood
7. Del Friscos
**** 4.3/5 $$$$ Steak House
8. The Capital Grille
**** 4/5 $$$ Steakhouse
**** 4.4/5 $$$ Italian
10. Gotham Bar
****4.5/5 $$$$ American
**** 4.4/5 $$$$ American
12. ABC Kitchen
**** 4.4/5 $$$ Organic
13. Catch NYC
*** 3.8/4 $$$ Seafood
**** 4.4/5 $$$$ Asian
**** 4.2 $$ Tapas
I hear so many women who don't know where to shop online for decent quality clothes, for good deals and for certain types of events including weddings and work. I have a shop with Raye tab that has not been updated for 2017 but I thought I would tell you guys my honest experience with each of these stores and why I love them still in 2017.
Missguided.com has been one of my online destination shops since 2014. They offer an array of fashionable, trendy clothing some suitable for work and some suitable for date night or going out with friends. I usually only buy their clothes on sale (balling on a budget) but I love their shoes and I bought at least 4 pairs last year. This is totally Instagram Baddie approved #babesofmissguided.
DressLily.com is a Chinese website similar to Sammydress, LinkeShe, Romwe and others... Be warned I do NOT buy clothes from here but I do buy trendy jewelry I see on Instagram and Youtube from here. They have tons of beautiful accessories for super cheap and affordable. They also have one of those programs where you can receive huge discounts and free stuff if you post reviews/pictures of the stuff you bought.
PublicDesire.com has quickly become one of my favorite shoe destinations on the web. They have high quality, trendy shoes for affordable prices. They also do that points thing where you save more when you spend. I got $5 plus 20% my first two purchases and I bought some bomb over the knee velvet crush boots with a silver heel that I will post on youtube once they come in.
TBdress.com is my go to for ball gowns. Last year I went to 3 balls and I always want my dresses to be beautiful and a affordable. They also have dresses for Quincineras and Weddings. They almost always have a discount.
Lulus.com is the place I go to for day time weddings, they have beautiful dresses that can fit any body type and has great stretch. They also have clutches for weddings so while everyone is shopping at Aldo, you'll find something one of a kind for your event.
SheIn.com has taken over my life for the 99 and 2000. If you scroll on my blog, you will see at least 1 post about them per month. Even though they are China, they have high quality clothing for really good prices. They also have designer inspired shoes and bags which are of the highest quality. They have a blogger program for posts in exchange for clothing. Don't get it twisted though, I have spent my own money at SheIn.
Windsor.com and Boohoo.com are my version of FashionNova.com. Similar to HotMiamiStyles, Windsor and Boohoo provide that glam instagram outfit at yummy prices. I think that both of their qualities are better than FashionNova and they have some exclusives that I can't find anywhere else.
My bfs Jas put me on NakedWardrobe.com and they have all the basics that you need for your wardrobe. That's it. Nothing spectacular but everything you need. It's delicious.
Of course there are other stores that I shop at but these are the first ones I put in my URL bar when I'm looking for clothes. All of these sites fit my post baby body(and feet) and I never have to return anything. Share your favorite sites below!
*THIS IS A SPONSORED POST!
A while ago, I did a video on YouTube about some wigs I purchased from DressLily. Since then, I have been in a wig frenzy even rocking lace front wig for a brunch ball I attended on New Years Day called Sparkle(see pic above). This new website called Coco Wig features some affordable wigs modeled after celebrity styles. To see their cheap celebrity wigs|celebrity style wigs for sale, click the link. Below is my favorite celebrity style, Rihanna with a messy, curly hairstyle with dyed tips. Which one do you like best?