Debt Diary- Page 1: Bank Debt Goes ALL WRONG!!!!!!

Dear Diary,

Today is payday! One would I think I would be excited…. Right?!?! NOT!! I won’t be excited until my automatic debits come out of my account. Automation is very sexy if you are trying to pay certain bills on time. I have my car insurance, LA fitness, and cell phone bill on auto debit on my account. Those are my absolute necessities in my life…. Transportation, Communication, and Fitness. I also have a bank debt that is on auto debit as well. UGH!! Bummer… I know… I know…

I got hit with a lawsuit from a bank debt that I owe from an old bank account. I used to work for a company that gave their employees paychecks that would bounce… YES ! MY PAYCHECK BOUNCED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS!! NO, I AM NOT TELLING A LIE!!! I was fresh out of college. That was my first “real job”. I never knew that people or companies were capable of doing such a thing…. I was sooo naïve!!! Anywho, I began to incur fees because of these bounced checks. It got soooo bad that I had open another account at another bank in order to actually see a paycheck without being absorbed by fees. I incurred about $1000 worth of bank fees.

Did the company give me money in order to help with the fees that they caused? NO!!

Should I have sued them? Sure!!! But then I would have to take a number because a lot of people were suing them… Thank goodness I work at a real company now…. (Blessings!)

I received a summons in the mail to attend court from a lawyer about a bank debt. Once I got to court, I was able to negotiate a payment plan in order to pay it off in 6 months. Currently, I am on Month 4!! I am two months from knocking this debt out! Go me!!! I will have one less debt in November.

Moral of the story: Research the company that you work for. If you paycheck bounces for ANY REASON, GET OUT OF THERE!!!! It only gets worse from there…

It shouldn’t have gotten to this point but that’s what happens when you don’t stay on top of all your debt. First, I called the bank where I previously had the account with to handle this debt. They told me that it was sold to a debt collector. I left it alone after that. I should’ve done more research with it to see what debt collector bought the debt. A lot of times your debt can be sold over and over again. It can be a confusing process but it is a necessary burden that you must bear in order to pay the right company and get it off your credit report.

Diva Dollars Tip: Research your debt. Even though it may have one company on your credit report, it may be in the hands of another debt collection or law firm. Be thorough. Google is your friend. Sometimes your info maybe on search page 15 but it is soooo worth the hassle. Also, read consumer forums if you come across any. They will have stories or examples about dealing with the same debt collection agency that you may have to deal with.

Until next time…. Keep Eliminating those Debts Divas!!

Best Regards,
Miss Diva Dollars

Introducing: Debt Dairies

Hey Ya’ll (in my semi-Southen Belle voice)!!!!

I know…. I know…. Where have you been? Locked up in my library…  LOL!! But I am a free woman now.. I graduated with my M.A. in Economics on May 2, 2014!!!! YAY!!!! YAY!!!!  

Now you guys will have my undivided attention!! In the midst of me trying to obtain my Master’s. I have been keeping up with my finances. I have been doing better about budgeting and savings. I recently opened up a second savings account but that’s another blog post. 

Now another thing that I must tackle is………..DEBT!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone hates that word!! I know I do. Webster describes it as money owed to someone. This diva would describe it as a thorn in my side that needs to be removed. 

Instead of talking about I am going to do something about it……..INTRODUCING “DEBT DAIRIES”!!!!! I will feature me paying down my debts as apart of my financial journey so that everyone can see me taking down debts one step at a time. Join me divas on this journey!!!

What I learned from the Financial Fast!

Hey Guys!

I know that it has been a while since I posted. Life and grad school is taking over (I graduate in May! YAY!) Even though I haven’t posted, I still endured the financial fast. I ended the fast on Feb. 3. I saved almost $200 after I paid my bills during this fast (WOW!!!!).  Below are some other major lesson learned during this fast. 

  • God wants you to be prosper but also be wise with your financial choices. Don’t let the pursuit of money distances you from your relationship with God. 
  • Give when you don’t feel like giving. There is a blessing that will come from it.
  • Be content with what you have. Be grateful for what you have. Remember, you get in bed in go to sleep every night while someone is sleeping on the ground outside.
  • Prudence begets Prosperity. I already had a budget but now I am going further to include social activities in my budget so I will able to save for concert or theater tickets. If you fail to plan; you plan to fail. 
  • Debt/Credit is Dangerous. I disagree with the book in regards to debt/credit being evil. There are some purchases that you need to use a line of credit for (home, car, surgery, etc.) I would say I am going to be more careful and manage my debt better. I have created a debt dash plan because I got to get SallieMae off my back ASAP!!! 
  • Diversify your investments (if applicable). I have diversified my 401K. I do need to do a better job of managing my investments. 
  • New Bible Verses that I need to memorize in regards to financial freedom. Proverbs 3:9, Luke 6:38, Proverbs 13:18, 1 Timothy 5:8

I highly recommend this book if you want to get your financial life in order. This might just become an annual ritual for me. 

Happy Saving!

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Day 3: Financial Fast

God is generous to us so why not help others? You know the cliche saying “To Whom much is given; much is required.” Well it rings true in your finances. This book chapter highlights the responsibility of prosperity. We have a responsibility to help others financially if we can. It doesn’t necessarily have to be money. It can be time. When was the last time you babysit your cousin or friend’s kids?

My thought process toward giving was based on a person’s effort. I like to help people who have made an effort to help themselves. I have discovered in this chapter that I have the wrong attitude. Think about the times God has blessed us financially even when we didn’t deserve it?! I know he has bailed me out financially many days. (Thank you Lord!!) That is the same approach we need to have with people. You know that begging cousin that always need $5 and you know they are not going to give it back?! GIVE IT TO THEM ANYWAY!! I know… I know… Easier said than done. We are all a work in progress! (I know I am!!) God will give it back to you ten-fold!

 

This chapter also opened my eyes to the word “miser“. Do you or someone you know hold on to money for dear life? Do you or someone you know making your family miserable with their cheapness? You or them might be a miser. A miser use money for their own selfish good. Miser have a great fear about not having enough. You must pray for the miser so that they can rest in knowing that God will provide all their needs.

Challenge: Think about one person you can help financially and DO IT!!

Day 2: Financial Fast

Day 2 is about the Promise of Prosperity. We want God to bless us with wealth but we are not willing to submit to change. Our finances are the foundation of which everything is based on. Sometimes we are so busy chasing money that we don’t even realize we are running further away from GOD and His Will. This day examines commandments that we have broken in regards to our finances. Below are some of my offenses:

You shall not make for yourself or things an idol. 

I have made an idol out of clothes and concert tickets. Sometimes I wouldn’t give offering just to ensure that I got those front row tickets or the latest outfit.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

I have chosen to work on the Sabbath in order to make some extra money.

You shall not murder.

I have said that “I will kill for a pair of Christian Louboutins or Prada shoes. Words have Power!! Use them wisely!!

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

There have been times where I social media stalked (Yes, I am woman enough to say it!) someone just to see their latest purchase (In my defense, there person was materialistic and posted everything they ever bought!) I know…. I know… That still doesn’t make it right. I’m a work in progress.

Day 2: SUCCESS! I redeemed my Christmas gift from co-worker and got a FREE LUNCH! Therefore, I didn’t have to buy anything. It’s the little things in life. However, I got an email from Nordstrom’s that the shoes that I waitlisted are in stock…. Le Sigh!! 

Pray for my strength!

Financial Fast: Day 1

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DIVA DOLLARS IS IN THE BUILDING!!!!!!! I am nervous and excited about doing this fast. I want and need to do better financially. It really shouldn’t be this way (I have a finance degree for crying out loud!) I mad silly mistakes (as most twenty-somethings do!) and incurred unnecessary debt. This year, I will become a better steward of my coins. I am approaching my thirties and being financially unstable is not cute. So I will begin my journey on this financial fast. It will not be easy. Anything worth having is not easy to obtain. 

  • What I learned from today’s chapter: God wants us to be prosperous and make wise decisions about money. In order for us to prosper, we submit to God’s will. 
  • What was hard about the fast today: Nothing..Really. Except I spent about $5 in extra moves on Candy Crush… I think I may have a problem :-(
  • I am going to apply what I learned in the following: “P.A.Y. Regime” Pray, Act, and Yield

Where have I been?

Hello World!

It has been a year since I posted. I know… I know… Terrible of me…. I can honestly say that school and life got in my way. It’s a new year. I am turning over a new leaf. This year will have more consistent posting and some videos. I might also have some products that you can utilize on your financial journey to debt-freeness as well.  NO MORE EXCUSES AND NO MORE LAZINESS! 

 

STAY TUNED!!!! 2014 will be the year of AWESOMENESS!!!

 

-Miss Diva Dollars

52 Week Money Challenge

As most of you have read, seen, or heard about, the nation is participating in the 52 Week Money Challenge. It is a year-long challenge to save money on a weekly basis. Ideally, a person should have saved $1378 by Dec. 31. Below is the chart and a link to the Facebook page.

52week-money-challenge

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Weave-Shop-Illinois/174882699262700?ref=stream#!/groups/Kassondras52WeekMoneyChallenge/?fref=ts

Miss Diva Dollars is participating in this challenge! Will you?

Brown Consumerism: Who cares about the Joneses’ anyway?

As I reflect back on the holiday season, I think of the major money that was spent. The money spent on buying Christmas gifts for families, co-workers, friends etc. We as people spend a ridiculous amount of money on items that we barely wear or use. This is very true in the African-American community. African-Americans spend almost $1 trillion dollars annually. The buying power of African-Americans was compared to that of a small country (See graphic).

BlackConsumerChart

What do we spend it on? As far as I can tell, the money is spent on frivolous things such as clothes, cars, tvs, and other electronics. Not to sound cliché but we try to keep up with the Joneses’. Who the heck are the Joneses anyway? Could it be our Caucasian counterparts, basketball wives, or rappers? It grinds my gears to see women buying Christian Louboutin shoes with a Pre-Paid Rush card or guys tweeting pics of their Louis Vuitton receipts then texting me if I know of any jobs openings?!?! Something is not adding up! Disclaimer: I am guilty of conspicuous consumption as well. The question is why? It seems like material things symbolizes success or progress in our community. Is our self-worth determined by the size of our rims or the logo on our belt buckle? The media plays a part in our excessive habits. Rappers, video vixens, and thoughts of popping bottles and shopping sprees is seeping into our minds to a point where we perceive it as reality. We must realize that rap videos and reality shows are selling us a dream. A dream that is unattainable on annual salary of $36,000.

Brown Consumerism wouldn’t alarm me as much if I didn’t look at the wealth gap between African-Americans and other races. If we were savings as much as were spending, then I would not have a problem. The sad truth is that we spend more than we save. A LOT MORE! According to Census Bureau Information below, African-Americans net worth is 20x less than our Caucasian and Asian counterparts. That is alarming and disturbing.

chart-racial-wealth-gap-3_top

What happened to saving more and spending less? Think about the generations that came before us. Ideally, Grandma and Grandpa worked hard to buy a home in a decent neighborhood, worked 30+ years at a blue collar job, and then retired with a nice retirement nest-egg. Is that idea not cool now? Ask yourself, do you have a savings or money market account? If not, why? We as a community need to get back to those solid financial principles that our grandparents instilled in order to create wealth for ourselves and our families.

This is why my blog and other personal finance blogs are so important. Imagine if the $1 trillion that we spend on material things was used for savings and investments. We would be a force to be reckoned with! We must share helpful financial information and create wealth for ourselves. Join me on my journey to becoming financially stable. No, I am not trying to sell you anything. I am just sharing my financial story with you in return that you will tell someone else so they can live a debt-free life.