Candice Marie is a fellow blogger but unlike me, her expertise is in finance. I value her content because with bloggers and social media, we easily get caught up in how we can spend our money to look and feel good knowing good and well we work regular jobs and live regular lives. Conversations about how to handle our money are so necessary. Candice started the blog Young Yet Wise as a way to document her own money journey. As a result she’s managed to bring her net worth from the negatives into the positives and wants to help others do the same.
In order to celebrate her newly launched book The Debt Slaying Challenge, Candice has answered some of the most relevant finance questions asked by you young ladies.
I’m 24 and have made it this far without a credit card. Now I’m finally realizing, I should have built credit. What do you suggest as the best way to build a healthy credit line for someone starting from scratch?
If you’ve made it this far without a credit card, but have signed up for store cards, paid utility bills, and even student loan debt you have a credit history. To check out your credit score you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com. In order to build good credit, you want to make sure that you’re paying your bills on time each month. When you do get a credit card be sure you keep your balance low, better yet I like to pay my balance in full each month that way I don’t get hit with any interest charges.
If after you checked your credit report and you have a blank slate getting a secured credit card may be the best way to go. This card works just like a credit card, except with a secured card you will make a cash deposit upfront which is usually equal to the credit line on the card. You can look for secured credit cards here: http://www.creditcards.com/
I was always taught to have a savings for emergencies. How much money should I put in an accessible savings account (credit union or bank) versus a nonassessable one (CD or money market account)?
Just start saving. I find that many people use not knowing as a way to procrastinate not saving. Some people recommend saving 6 months of your monthly expenses into an account others recommend a year. It is completely up to you. In order to get a small win for yourself, you could just set a goal of $1,000. Then once you save $1,000 save for 3 months. I like to give myself small wins so that I’m not overwhelmed or discouraged with unrealistic saving goals.
I was told that student debt isn’t necessarily bad debt to have, but I’m 60K in the hole. Is it OK for me to hold off on paying my student loans back, or should I get to it as quickly as possible?
There are some people that will argue and say there is no such thing as good debt. In my eyes, good debt is debt that will help you increase your wealth over time. So getting an education will help you increase your wealth, in the long run, however, $60,000 is a lot of debt to have. I graduated with $38,000 worth of debt and I’m trying to get rid of it as soon as possible because the longer you have debt. The more you will end up paying in interest.
Let’s say you decided to take your sweet time in paying off your student loans. I used money.cnn’s calculator http://money.cnn.com/
In my debt new debt book, I talk all about the strategies that were used in my debt challenge where 10 people paid off 39,500 worth of debt in 11 weeks. To learn more about The Debt Slaying Challenge: Eliminating Debt Fast book click here.
It seems as though even with my small annual increases at work, I never have enough to put any money up! What are your top tips for saving?
Pay yourself first. Usually, people wait until they pay all their bills and there’s barely any money left over to pay yourself. I always leave room in my budget to put something aside in my savings. Although sometimes even after you cut back and squeeze everything that you can out of your budget the only option left is to find extra ways to make money. Are there any skills that people will pay you for? Is there anything that people are always asking you for your help with? If you can turn that into your side hustle and use the extra money to save, invest, or throw towards your debt.
For someone with absolutely zero knowledge of investment, where’s the best place to start? #InvestingForDummies101
Funny you ask last year I wrote an investing all about how to get started investing. The best place to start is to realize that you’re already an investor. Every day you invest in a ton of different brands. From the clothes you wear to food you’re eating. Start paying attention to the brands that you’re already using on an everyday basis (what toothpaste brand do you use? Toilet paper etc.) Or even better brands that your grandmother would use and still uses. Then start doing your research on the company’s stock right on Google. The street.com has a great list of 10 questions to ask yourself before buying a stock. https://www.thestreet.com/