Opinion - Money Tip - Rain Money

Rain Money is that money you put aside in a “do not touch” account.  This is not an emergency fund but it is your very own security blanket to offer you warmth when you need it the most.  After computing your monthly income and expenses, the extra money left over, that you may spend on trivial things, save it.  This money can be a few dollars to hundreds of dollar, that little cash must be placed in a Rain Money account. This account must be treasured and revered and respected.  The hardest part in this plan is convincing you that the money does not exist and the need to be self-disciplined.

This money should be used in those die-hard situations and not just for what you want when you want things.  The catch is if you have to use that money for an emergency, you need to repay your Rain Money account.  This sounds crazy and impossible to do, because most us leave from pay check to pay check, a couple of checks from homelessness.  The more money you may save the more security you can build for yourself.

I can attest to this simple way of increasing your buying power.  You do not need to wait until you can make a lot of month, because this opportunity may never come for some of us. I am still a work in progress.  In my twenties I used to work in a fast food restaurant making I believe $4.85 an hour.  Minimum wage in those days was really that minimum, but I was armed with a dream to be financially independent from creditors.  Even though I was making about $4 an hour, I managed to save my pennies and dollars.  My Rain Money account still exists now twenty years and I am still moving forward with this tip.  Let me say my Rain Money account is looking pretty good now.

This account is not used as part of your daily expenditure.  It is only used when you have thunders and storms ahead of you.  Having extra money here and there helps build your financial stability and the building of your credit for that right time when you have a true emergency.  When you are ready to make your biggest investment-your home, you will need an immaculate credit to get the best deal.   Always remember that credit cards are not your friend, so please use them wisely and never let them enslave you.

Taken from the book, Emotional Makeover, A Practical Guide

By S. Pauline Zulu

Opinion - Money Tip - Check Balancing 101, Queen of the Household

As a woman, you are the queen of your household. One of your responsibilities is making sure that your kingdom “household” is solid financially. Curves and The City has tips that will help you fulfill this great responsibility.

Remember a queen operates on her on level, a higher level of thinking, and has a different way of doing thing, a different and better way that sometimes defies common ways.

All of us need to know how to effectively balance our accounts. You need to have a general knowledge of your monthly income and expenditures. Your monthly income should not include the money earned when you work overtime. This means the money earned during overtime should be used for those unsuspected emergencies or to be saved in a different account. If you find yourself needing to work overtime to maintain your daily living, that is a sure way to destroy your financial goals. Remember when you are too tired, you are less productive and that can be detrimental to your future and job.

Let us talk about your checking account. What you need to do, is to write every expense in the right column. Those who are computer savvy or those who have smart gadgets do the same. Just be mindful that you need to record what goes in and what goes out, even when you have a debit card. Another kicker for you is whenever you record your expenses; do not record the exact money you spend. What I am trying to say is inflate your outgoing cash.

For example if you write a check or use your debit card for $100, when you record the expenditure, record it as $110. This serves two purposes: (1) you can avoid being overdrawn in this busy society when you forget to record an expense because then the extra cash you have in your account would help you prevent a check that would otherwise have bounced all the way to Miami. Sometimes you might not realize that your funds are dwindling. (2) The other purpose serves is that you will have a savings account within your checking account.

Confused, well let me explain everything. When you write a check or use your debit card, you would in your mind, have over charged yourself $10.00. Remember that, that is what you recorded in your” checking account”. So your balance may read $100 when you actually have leys say $110. If you continue to inflate your charges, you might end up with an excess of over $200 or $300. You have to be faithful to your hard earned money. You deserve to indulge once in a while without you feeling the pinch of using the money that you would have used for other things. This is what I call your “non-existing funds”

Taken from the book, Emotional Makeover, A Practical Guide

By S. Pauline Zulu

Opinion - Money Tip - Mortgage

This should be your biggest emotional financial investment. Remember the previous money issues we discussed were about debt. The major focus is staying debt free, avoiding pitfalls of credit cards and the need for instant gratification, the need to keep some form of savings account (Rain Money), keeping your checking account balanced, overpaying on your utility bills, creating a source of extra money and increasing your credit rating (Check Balancing 101). You need to be at a point in your life that you are emotionally and financially stronger to take on the responsibility of a mortgage. Do not place yourself in this predicament to please or to prove a point to anyone, to show off, or compete with every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Once you find the property you love and can “afford”, with the operative words being “can afford, you can then purchase the property.” Do not go over your means, stay within your boundaries and you will grow in time if you are persistent and you will finally realize your dreams. All your past hard work will pay off when you are in a position to buy your first home. You should have built enough good credit to have wonderful credit rating and you would have saved a sizable down payment that would further give you the ability to negotiate a better deal that would decrease your monthly payments. This means more money in your pocket. I am not trying to give you steps on buying a house, I am trying to prepare you for buying a house in a smart way.  Always remember you should not acquire a mortgage that you need to work overtime to maintain. Let the overtime be for just that extra cash.

I guess by now your brain is fried with all this information. Make up your mind and do not quit even when things get tough. You will hit some high seas and you will be rocked by turbulence but just stick with your program because in the end, you will have your prize. You will gain a feeling of well-being and self sufficiency that you have accomplished what you have always wanted, a piece of the American pie.

Most people deep down in their subconscious, do not think that they deserve all that life has to offer, so they end up sabotaging themselves. If only you believe that you are capable of living a better productive life, then it can be yours with a little work on your part. I am living proof that a sense of well being, a total new way of valuing myself has led me to where I am now and is leading me to where I intend to go. Forget about the mountains stacked against you. If you are emotionally prepared, you will find a way to climb over and dig a hole through it. However, at the end of the day, you will find a way to be on the other side of the mountain, on greener pastures. Trust me because I am living proof that good things do happen to girls who are armed with a dream and determination.