2015 Miss Diva Dollars Goals

Happy 2015! The Diva has made it to another year! I am excited for new beginnings. With new beginnings comes change. This year my goal is to continue on my journey to being debt-free and make my money work for me. Below are my goals:

1. I will pay off my credit card. My balance is not high but I need to be more manageable with my credit. A credit card is essentially an open loan. Think about it…. When you use your credit card to buy shoes; you are taking a loan out to buy those shoes. Do you really even need those shoes? I’m preaching to the choir. I know that I need to do a better job of utilizing my credit only for REAL EMERGENCIES! I must tell myself that Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale is not an EMERGENCY!

2. Pay off at least 1 student loan. With my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I am least $70K in the hole with that heffa Sallie Mae. SHE MUST BE STOPPED!! But that’s another blog post for another day. I am on an income-driven repayment plan so that is helping me pay it down. I am going to challenge myself to make an extra payment of $50 monthly so I can get her off my back slightly quicker.

3. Start another savings account. I know… I know…. Why another savings account? You never know when a rainy day will come. I had my fair share in 2014. I just want to be prepared for anything. I have a savings account at a credit union. My next one will be probably be at my primary banking institution. I like to call it my “Five Dollar Holla Plan”. I will begin with a deposit like $100 and then have an automatic debit of $5 every pay period to the account. The automatic debit will increase by $5 quarterly. Automatic Debit is VERY SEXY especially for forgetful people like myself. By first quarter, I will save $30. Second Quarter, I will save $60. Third Quarter, I will save $90. By Fourth Quarter, I will have saved $120. You can join me on my journey to savings! You don’t have to start with $100. You can start with the minimum amount it takes to start a savings account at your bank or local credit union. Even start it at home in a jar, you should have saved at least $300 by the end of the year.

savings plan 2015

4. Obtain Life Insurance. It’s never to early to start thinking about death! LOL! I know that was a bad joke but you can’t stop the inevitable. This is the BEST TIME for millennials to get life insurance especially if you are a single person. Your monthly premium will be very manageable. The time to plan for your financial future is NOW.

I am approaching 30 therefore I need to get it together! The same problems that I had in my 20s WILL NOT be carried into my 30s. The time to plan for your financial future is NOW!
Tell me…. What are your financial goals for 2015? Eliminating Debt? Buying a House? Paying off credit cards? Share in the comments below.

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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

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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Why Diva Dollars?

I entitled my blog “Diva Dollars” because this blog will serve 3 purposes. First, it will document my journey to financial freedom. NO…….. I am not trying to be a millionaire! (Although, that wouldn’t be so bad!) I just want to be comfortable with my life and be able to do what I want without thinking about how it will affect my bank account tomorrow. It will also help to educate others about financial literacy. (one of my many passions!)

Second, I will highlight some pertinent financial/economic news. That may sound boring to most but as a economic graduate student, it screams cool in my book! The global economy has a profound effect on a person’s financial well-being than most people think.

Lastly, I will give some awesome investing and financial tips along the way. I want to be your financial resource. Ms. Diva Dollars will NEVER put out bogus info (BELIEVE THAT!) I am firm believer in doing your due diligence and checking references. You’ve probably heard some of these things from Suze Orman or Jim Cramer but it will be so much cooler getting the info from me. 😉

Well if you got this far in reading……then you are ready to join in my quest for debt-freeness!! (I know that’s a word but so what?!)

The most important thing to know is that I want to share my financial story so people who come after me do not make the same mistakes that I made.

Thanks for reading! Welcome to Diva Dollar Land!!!!!!!