5 Simple Ways To Tackle Your Credit Card Spending

BY: - 2 Oct '13 | Money

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Over the weekend, I took a look at my last credit card bill and realized that I have been a bit too free with the plastic. With my husband’s most recent layoff, I realize that every penny counts toward my family’s financial goals and financial freedom.

So, in the last 31 days, I racked up $500 in credit card charges. And NOT $500 spent on important things/necessities like my Metrocard for transportation or planned purchases like my carpet from The Home Depot. When I seriously eyeballed my last credit card statement, it showed how irresponsible I was, with respect to spending on wants and whims. When I accounted for the important or the essential, my bill still showed that I had charged $250 on things that I couldn’t remember even buying.

Sound familiar?

If I am being honest with myself, I did not mindfully spend this month. I know that I have to be a bit more vigilant and circumspect when it comes to using my credit card so I don’t make it habitual.

Using credit cards is basically borrowing from your future wealth to pay for something today, which usually is not worth it.

Over the weekend, I learned so much about my financial self by just doing the following. Try doing the same with your next bill and tell me what you learned about yourself.

Count the Number of Purchases That You Made Last Month

Ever really sit down and look at how many times you were quick to swipe in a month? For me, I was feeling happy enough to pull out my plastic twenty times this past month. On one day in particular, I used my credit card four times to buy food and buy shoes.

Use a Highlighter to Categorize Purchases as Either “Wants”or “Needs.”

I used two highlighters to give me a visual of my spending for the month. With a blue highlighter, I highlighted all of my wants: stops at Starbucks, clothing stores, and convenient stores. With a yellow one, I highlighted all of those important and/or necessary purchases. My statement looked like the insides of a blueberry pie. This was a big sign that I have to rein in my spending for next month.

Remember that Financial Freedom Is a Lifelong Commitment and Requires Work

Were you one of those kids that never had to study to get good grades…. until that one test kicked you in the booty and reminded you that though you were gifted, you still had to work for what you got? Well, this analogy applies to me when it comes to my personal finances.  I have been good about saving and eliminating debt since 2008, but I, too, have to keep my nose to the grind when it comes to ensuring that I am making smart money moves all of the time….in all areas of my personal finances.

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Kara Stevens wrote 142 articles on this blog.

Kara is a motivational speaker, life coach, and founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista .

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Money Monday: Young Entrepreneurs That Will Inspire You

BY: - 7 Oct '13 | Money

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Have you ever wanted to start your own business but just couldn’t seem to get the ball rolling?

Well, the kids profiled below may provide you with the inspiration you need. While their classmates are busy with video games and Facebook, these kids are building their own business empires.

Jaylen Bledsoe – Bledsoe Technologies

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The fact that Bledsoe Technologies is worth nearly 3.5 million dollars may not surprise you. What is truly fascinating, however, is that the company was founded three years ago by then 12-year-old Jaylen Bledsoe.

Since then, Bledsoe technologies has become the number one information technology consultancy firm operated by a minor in the Mid-West. The company has grown from two employees to nearly 150 contracted workers in order to meet demand for its services.

Attending classes at his school’s gift-education program, Mr. Bledsoe developed an interest in web design which created the motivation for starting his own company. Jaylen’s company now provides online marketing campaigns, e-commerce solutions, corporate branding, and technology consulting to small and mid-sized businesses.

The young entrepreneur’s best advice: “keep going, move forward and always take risks.”

And the young man is just getting started. He is currently working on a new project that allows customers to check into their hotel rooms with their cell phones and use the phone as a room key. He eventually has sights set on attending Harvard University.

Jaden Wheeler and Amaya Selmon – Kool Kidz Sno Konez

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Jaden Wheeler and Amaya Selmon were not content with just starting another lemonade stand. The brother and sister duo wanted something bigger. They decided to start their own snow cone business right in their front yard. And so began Kool Kidz Sno Konez.

“We had a card table, a blender, a poster board, ice and a few flavors,” proclaims the pint-sized owners.

But the pair were not resigned to working from a card table forever. They purchased a transport van from Craigslist and brought it up to food truck standards. Soon after, they were licensed by the local health department and became the youngest food truck owners in Memphis.

Since then, they’ve added nachos and hot dogs to their offerings, and the pair have even bigger plans for the future. Jayden states that he wants to “work smart instead of working hard,” by eventually turning Kool Kidz Sno Konez into a franchise.

In the eyes of a child, anything is possible and the sky is the limit. Many of us could could take this lesson to heart in our quest for entrepreneurial greatness.

BMWK, do you know any pint-sized entrepreneurs?

About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 292 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of MochaMoney.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.

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