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I still remember the month I started my blog. I don’t really remember the exact first day, but I remember the first month and how excited I was.
In August of 2011, I started Making Sense of Cents.
That was exactly 9 years ago!
Back then, I had no idea what I was doing, and I also had no goals for my blog.
I didn’t even really know what a blog was, or that they could make money.
I also didn’t even like to write at that time!
In the past 9 years, so much has changed for me.
It’s crazy to think that I started my blog nine years ago, especially when I consider all of the amazing things it has done for my life.
It was something I started and worked on in addition to my full-time day job as a financial analyst, and around two years after I started this blog, I quit my day job to blog full-time.
Some numbers on Making Sense of Cents:
- My first blog post was published on August 10, 2011. You can read it here.
- I have published 1,878 articles here on Making Sense of Cents. That number was higher about a month ago, but I recently deleted several hundred articles that I thought weren’t good enough.
- I have 70,816 comments on my blog posts.
- I’ve personally replied to 21,080 comments.
- It took me 6 months to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents.
First, a little backstory on how I began.
You may have heard this from me before, but the funny thing is that I created my blog on a whim after reading about a personal finance website in a magazine. It started as a hobby to track my own personal finance progress, and I honestly didn’t even know that people could make money blogging!
I knew NOTHING about running a website.
At that time, I was working as an analyst at an investment banking and valuation firm. I chugged along working the 8-5, Monday through Friday grind and didn’t see myself having an enjoyable future there. I had a stressful job filled with lots of deadlines and responsibilities that just didn’t interest me. Yes, I know this is the norm for some people, but I just couldn’t imagine myself living like that for 40+ years.
Blogging was an outlet for my stressful day job, and my interest quickly grew, even though it was just a hobby. It gave me space to write about my personal finance situation, have a support group, to keep track of how I was doing, and more. I did not create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of earning an income, but after only six months, I began to make money blogging.
A friend I met through the blogging community connected me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that advertisement deal.
That one deal sparked my interest in taking my blog more seriously and learning how to make even more money blogging.
I now earn a great living from my blog, and it all started on a whim, not even knowing that blogs could make money.
Blogging completely changed my life for the better, and I urge anyone who is interested to learn how to start a blog as well.
Blogging has allowed me to take control of my finances and earn more money. It means I can work from home, travel whenever I want, have a flexible schedule, and more!
- How I Successfully Built A $1,000,000+ Blog
- Welcome To Paradise – We’re Living On A Sailboat!
- How To Start a Blog Free Course
- Should I Start A Blog? Here Are The Top Reasons You Will Love Blogging
- What is a blog post?
And, all of this happened because I started some random blog nine years ago.
I made so many mistakes, and I still make mistakes today. But, I continue to learn and improve, which has shaped this blog into what it is today.
I was so afraid to quit my job when I did, especially for a blog.
So many people thought I was absolutely crazy and making the worst decision of my life. Especially since my husband quit his job at the same time!
Today, I want to talk about the the 9 things that I love and have learned about blogging over the years. I feel like what I enjoy about blogging as well as what I’ve learned go hand in hand.
Oh yeah, if you haven’t yet – please follow me on Instagram.
Here’s what I love and have learned about blogging.
1. I love being my own boss.
When I first started my blog and realized I could make an income from it, I quickly learned how much I love being my own boss.
I love being in complete control of what I do, and becoming self-employed may allow you to feel that way as well. I enjoy deciding what I will do each day, creating my own schedule, determining my business goals, handling everything behind the scenes, and more.
I actually have a rule in my life/business where I don’t do anything unless I want to. While I still say yes to many amazing opportunities, I’m not doing anything that feels like a total drag or is against my beliefs. This has really helped improve my work-life balance, which is great because being able to choose how you earn a living amounts to making sure you love everything you do.
I honestly love each and every service I provide – writing online, promoting, networking, interacting with readers, and more.
Running an online business (and being your own boss) may not be for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy.
2. A flexible schedule is one of my most favorite things.
One of the best things about working for yourself and being a blogger is that you can have a flexible schedule.
I can work as far ahead as I want to, I can create my own work schedule, and more.
I love being able to work for a few hours in the morning, do something fun during the day (such as a hike), and then work later at night when I have nothing planned. I can also schedule appointments during the day and it’s really no big deal.
I can work at night, in the morning, on the weekends – I can work whenever.
But, this can also be something to be careful with as well, as it can be difficult to have a good work-life balance.
3. Location independence is AMAZING.
Being location independent for so many years has been great.
I love being able to work from wherever I am, and it’s allowed me some of the best experiences I’ve had, like living in an RV and now on a sailboat. All I need is an internet connection and my laptop.
The only problem with being location independent is that it can be hard to separate work from the rest of your life. You may find yourself working all the time, no matter where you are, and while that may seem great, being able to take a true vacation can be a hard task.
However, I’m not going to complain because the work-life balance I’m rocking right now is great.
4. Remember, success takes time!
Many bloggers quit just a few months in.
In fact, the statistic that I’ve always heard is that the average blogger quits just 6 months in.
I completely understand – starting a blog can be super overwhelming!
But, good things don’t come easy. If blogging was easy, then everyone would be doing it.
It took me 6 months for me to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents. If I would have quit at that time, I would have missed out on so many great things!
Remember, success takes time!
5. Don’t write when you feel forced.
One thing I have definitely learned about myself over the years is that I write best when I’m not forced – i.e. when I’m on a deadline.
Instead, I always try to write content ahead of time.
I used to write content for Monday on the night before (Sunday!), and I found that to be super stressful. Even a week in advance was too stressful for me.
I like to be at least a month ahead, as then I can truly write when I feel inspired and happy to write.
6. Get ready to learn.
Pretty much everything about having a blog is a learning process.
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, and anyone who tells you that it is (or acts like it is) is lying.
Blogging is not easy.
And, you won’t make $100,000 your first month blogging.
Blogging can be a lot of work, and there is always something to learn. Something is always changing in the blogging world, which means you will need to continue to learn and adapt to the technology around you. This includes learning about social media platforms, running a website, growing your platform, writing high-quality content, and more.
This is something that I love about blogging – it’s never stale and there’s always a new challenge.
7. Stop seeing other bloggers as competition.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly something that I’ve learned, but I want everyone else to learn!
I have always had this mindset – that there is plenty of room for everyone in the blogging world. However, not everyone feels the same.
So many bloggers see other bloggers as enemies or competition, and this is a huge mistake.
I mostly see this in newer bloggers, and this can really hold them back.
Networking is very important if you want to create a successful blog. Bloggers should be open to making blogging friends, attending blog conferences, sharing other blogs’ content with their readers, and more.
Networking can help you enjoy blogging more, learn new things about blogging, learn how to make money blogging, make great connections, and more. If you want to make money blogging, then you will want to network with others! After all, networking is the reason why I learned how to make money blogging in the first place!
The key is to be genuine and to give more than you take, which are the two main things I always tell people when it comes to networking. I receive so many emails every day from people who clearly aren’t genuine, and it’s very easy to see.
I’ve made great friends who are bloggers and influencers, and it’s truly a great community to be in.
8. You don’t need previous experience to be successful.
To become a blogger, you don’t need any previous experience. You don’t need to be a computer wizard, understand social media, or anything else.
These are all things that you can learn as you go.
Nearly every single blogger was brand new at some point, and they had no idea what they were doing.
I’m proof of that because I didn’t even know that blogs existed when I started Making Sense of Cents, and I definitely didn’t know that bloggers could make money. I learned how to create a blog from the bottom up and have worked my way to where I am today. It’s not always easy, but it’s been rewarding!
With blogging, you’ll have a lot to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s challenging, but in a good way.
9. You can make a living blogging.
This is probably one of the best things that I’ve learned since I first started my blog.
You can actually make a living blogging!
No, not every single person will become a successful blogger (it’s NOT a get-rich-quick scheme), but I know many successful bloggers who started in a similar way as I did – blogging as a hobby and it just grew from there.
For me, I have earned a high income with my blog, and I have enough saved to retire whenever I would like. I am still working on my blog, though, as I enjoy what I do.
I’ve never really been much of a planner, so I don’t want to commit to anything HUGE haha.
But, for Making Sense of Cents, I do have some plans. I am working towards improving traffic and readership, and coming up with more and more high-quality content.
I am so grateful to all of you readers, and I want to continue to help you all out by writing high-quality content.
That is really my only goal for now!
If there’s anything you’d like me to write about on Making Sense of Cents, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Thank you for being a reader!
There’s a ton of valuable free resources.
I know I’ll be asked this, so I am going to include this here.
One of the great things about starting a blog is that there are a ton of FREE blogging resources out there that can help you get started.
In fact, I didn’t spend any money in the beginning in order to learn how to blog – instead, I signed up for a ton of free webinars, free email courses, and more.
- First, if you don’t have a blog, then I recommend starting off with my free blogging course How To Start A Blog FREE Course.
- Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet – With this time-saving cheat sheet, you’ll learn how to make affiliate income from your blog. These tips will help you to rapidly improve your results and increase your blogging income in no time.
- The SEO Starter Pack (FREE Video Training)– Improve your SEO knowledge in just 60 minutes with this FREE 6-day video training.
- The Free Blogging Planner – The Blogging Planner is a free workbook that I created just for you! In this free workbook, you’ll receive printables for starting your blog, creating a blog post, a daily/weekly blog planner, goals, and more.
Do you have any questions for me? Are you interested in starting your own business?
The post 9 Things I Love and Have Learned After 9 Years Of Blogging appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.
Everyone wants to have more money, less debt, and greater financial freedom, but very few will attain it. Simply telling yourself that youâll earn more cash and clear more debts isnât enough to realize those goals, but writing those tasks down, setting realistic targets, and steadily working towards them can significantly increase your chances.Â
Nothing is guaranteed, but someone with clearly defined financial goals has more chances of attaining financial freedom than someone without.
Types of Personal Financial Goals
Financial goals come in many forms, but they all revolve around money and acquiring as much of it as possible. Some of the most common short and long-term goals include:
Establish a Budget
The first step to fixing your finances is to create a budget. Itâs a short-term goal and itâs also one of the simplest, but that doesnât make it any less important. Many Americans underestimate how much they spend and overestimate how much they earn, making a budget essential for adding a little clarity.
Clear Credit Card Debt
Americans have an average of $38,000 worth of debt excluding mortgages. A small percentage of this is allocated to credit card debt, but it often carries the highest interest rate and has the worst terms. Clearing this debt is an honorable and sensible goal for anyone with mounting debts.
Save Money for a Big Purchase
The average American family under the age of 35 has between $2,500 and $4,000 in savings. Thatâs barely enough to cover a used car, let alone a mortgage down payment or college education, which is what most families are saving towards.
Save for Retirement
This is the ultimate long-term financial goal. Saving for your retirement will give you something to look forward to and make life easier as you enter your old age. Many retired Americans regret not saving more money, with some experts recommending that you have at least $1 million tucked away to cover you for an average of 18 years.
Thatâs a lot of money, but it comes from a lifetime of saving and means you can enjoy plenty of cruises and vacations when you call time on your career.
Fix your Credit Score
Next to your Social Security Number, your credit score is one of the most important numbers you have and one you need to pay close attention to. Build a good score and a world of opportunities will open for you, making it easier to get low-interest loans and secure high credit limits.
Create an Emergency Fund
You can never underestimate the benefits of an emergency fund. Itâs essentially a savings account without an end goal and itâs used to cover you in the event that youâre hit with an unexpected bill or expense. It will also help if you lose your job or become ill.
Improve your Financial Situation
This incorporates many of the goals discussed above, one can be both a short-term financial goal and a long-term one. The most common goal is simply to have more money for an easier life or an early retirement, but there are also those who save so they can move abroad, start a dream business or simply become a millionaire.
These goals are a little harder to achieve than simply clearing debt or have some extra money in your pocket, but theyâre not unreasonable. If you have a detailed plan and work hard to realize it, thereâs no reason why those lofty long-term financial goals canât be realized.
Why Should You Set Personal Financial Goals?
Goals give you direction and purpose. They provide a detailed outline of what you need to do, what you have achieved thus far, and what remains. This adds a sense of accountability that simply wouldnât exist without those goals.
If you simply tell yourself that youâre going to do something, youâre more prone to procrastinating and moving the goalposts whenever it suits you. If you write all your goals down and separate them into clear and manageable chunks, thereâs no room for denial or deviation.
Think of it as a visit to the grocery store. If you have a list, you buy what you need, donât forget anything, and are more inclined to focus on the purchases that are within budget and will actually be eaten and enjoyed. If you visit without a list, youâll end up with a bunch of unnecessary foods you bought just because they were on offer and will forget all the things you went there to buy.
Our minds need direction, purpose. When the road is long, itâs easier to traverse if there are milestones, checkpoints, and clearly defined borders; without all that, itâs just a chaotic mess and youâll never make it to the end.
Short vs Long-Term Goals
A short-term goal spans days, weeks or months; a long-term goal stretches things out over several years and even a decade. Itâs important to have both, but short-term goals should have priority as long-term ones can get lost and forgotten about.
As an example, letâs suppose that your goal is to save a lot of money for your retirement. A long-term goal would be as simple as:
- Save $500,000 before retirement
This doesnât really help. However, if you break it down into multiple short-term goals you can focus on each of these in turn, ticking them off as you go and motivating you to keep going. As an example:
Increase Debt-to-Income Ratio
- Cancel unused subscriptions
- Sell unwanted items
- Ask for a pay rise
- Get a part-time job
- Clear credit card 1
- Clear credit card 2
- Repay student loans
- Repay personal loan
- Open a savings account
- Save $500 a month
- Make a sound investment
You can break these debts down even further and focus on making extra cash every single day. If thatâs what gets you up in the morning and pushes you towards your long-term goal, thatâs what you need to do.
How to Track Your Progress
As the saying goes, there is an app for everything and where financial goals are concerned there are actually multiple tools and apps to help you out:
- Mint: Track activity in real-time after connecting bank accounts and credit cards. Monitor spending, create budgets, and learn how to manage your money. Mint is one of the highest-rated budgeting and financial management apps on the market and is well-deserving of the praise it has received over the years.
- Wally: A great little budgeting tool that can keep track of your savings goals and tell you when certain bills are due. Itâs free and if your goal is to save and cover your debts, it does everything you need.
- Every Dollar: A simple but useful app designed to help you escape debt and manage your finances more effectively. It literally lets you see where âevery dollarâ is being spent.
- Clarity Money: A useful app to help you manage your subscriptions. The average consumer has dozens of subscriptions and itâs easy to lose track, but Clarity Money keeps everything in one place.
- Spendee: Manage family finances with this shared budgeting app. Itâs ideal if youâre saving along with a partner or want to keep track of what everyone in your household is spending.
How to Meet Your Financial Goals
Whateverâs on your to-do list, just set a goal and start working towards it. Take a look at these tips to help you:
Debt is crippling and the less you repay, the more damaging it becomes. Credit card debt, student loans, medical debt; it creeps into your life, it grows, and it never seems to go away. Before you focus on your savings and build towards a brighter future, you need to focus on clearing those debts.
Debt relief methods can help you with this, including consolidation, debt management, and debt settlement. In the first instance, however, you should try debt payoff strategies like Debt Snowball and Debt Avalanche, both of which rely on you generating extra money to meet more than your minimum.
Every time you meet the minimum payment on your debt, youâre paying a lot of interest and a little principal. The interest compounds, the debt grows, and if you keep sticking with just the minimum payments it will take forever to repay. When you repay more than the minimum, however, youâll clear more of the principal, reducing the compounding interest, amount, and term.
It doesnât matter how substantial your net worth is, how much money you have in the bank and what sort of long-term financial goals you have, it always helps to have an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is a sum of money put aside for a rainy day. Unlike a savings account, which might be used for retirement, a vacation or college tuition, an emergency fund has no predetermined purpose and is designed just to sit, grow, and wait for a rainy day.
An emergency fund can help you if you lose your job or have a medical crisis. We live in times of uncertainty and exist under one of the costliest healthcare systems in the world. A short stay in a hospital can bankrupt you if youâre not insured and even if you are, there are still costs to consider.
Budget to save and invest but keep some money aside to build an emergency fund and make sure youâre prepared.
Successful savings goals are built on careful planning and sacrifices. If you want a new home, you need to say no to luxury purchases, eating out, vacations, and other expenditures.Â
The average American family wastes about $1,500 a year on uneaten groceries, $3,000 on restaurants and takeout, up to $500 on gambling, and thousands more on vacations, smoking, unused subscriptions, and more.
You donât need to eliminate these expenditures entirely, just look for cheaper and more sustainable alternatives. Save on wasted groceries and dining out by going for a picnic; swap an expensive vacation abroad for a family fun staycation.Â
Once you eliminate these expenses, you can start saving towards whatever goal you have, be it a retirement fund, a car or the down payment on a house.
Achieving a Huge Net Worth
Itâs okay to scoff at this one as it does seem a little far-fetched. However, itâs a dream that countless Americans have and one that is very attainable. Of course, itâs easier if you have a talent or youâre young enough to develop one, but providing you have a good work ethic, donât spend your days procrastinating, and have the right mindset, you can build a sizeable net worth.Â
Itâs about making smart financial decisions, acquiring lots of knowledge, adopting careful investment strategies, and working endlessly. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this lofty goal:
Donât Spend Frivolously
The world of the rich and famous is awash with stories of people who adopt unbelievably frugal lifestyles despite having millions or billions in the bank. There are stories of Warren Buffet going to great lengths to use coupons to buy fast food, even though heâs one of the richest men in the world.
This kind of frugality is a little extreme, but it comes from the right place. Rappers, rock stars and sports stars like to throw money around when they have it, but theyâre the ones declaring bankruptcy and being arrested for tax debts when their careers enter a slump. Thatâs not a sustainable lifestyle for anyone, even the super-rich.
Learn how to manage money properly and accumulate as much as you can. Donât scoff at the end of saving a few dollars just because you have a few hundred; donât throw away a few hundred just because you have a few thousand.Â
Adopting this frugality will hasten your journey to becoming a millionaire. It will also allow you to manage your money effectively when you eventually make it, preventing you from being one of many sob stories of people who came into lots of money and then blew it.
Treat Life Like a Business
To become rich and successful in a way that doesnât rely on good fortune, you need to treat your life like a business. A business, for instance, is very wary of accumulating expenses and will instead try to invest additional cash into assets. These assets increase the value of the business, whereas expenses reduce it.
As an example, letâs assume that youâre 18 and have a talent for writing. A good investment would be an education in literature or creative writing, a laptop, a writing course, even a home office. An expense, however, would be a holiday, a flashy watch or lots of designer clothes. None of these things will grow your wealth and most will hinder it.
Take a look at our guide on good debt vs bad debt to learn more.
Read, Learn, Fail
Read as many books as you can on your chosen subject and on similar subjects. Youâll learn about the world, the English language, and more. All these will help to improve your reasoning, logic, and knowledge, which will help with your goals.
Learn New Skills
Knowledge doesnât just come from books and it shouldnât be limited to specific subjects. If you want to be rich and successful, you need to devote every minute of your spare time to working, learning, and acquiring new skills.Â
Learn a language, adopt a craft, research into a niche subjectâall these things can broaden your horizons and increase your earning potential.
Find a Specialty and Stick with It
While itâs good to read many different subjects and learn many different things, when it comes to actually making money, you need to stick with a single subject. The world is filled with wannabee millionaires who spend their days writing music, books, and screenplays, and their nights trying to juggle freelance careers and businesses.
Specialize in one thing, be the best you can be, and once you have the money and the success you can start venturing into other areas.
Stop Making Excuses
Generally, people who dream of becoming rich and successful will fall into one of two categories. In the first, there are those who spend their days dreaming, partying, and procrastinating. They assume that being rich is simply a case of having a great idea and then waiting for the riches to descend. In the other group, youâll find people who work every minute of the day and are always willing to take risks and make sacrifices.
If you want to accomplish great things, you need to work for it. Donât assume that all the rich and successful people you see on social media have it easy. If theyâre not working every minute of every day, thereâs a good chance they worked that much to get where they are.
Set Financial Goals for Yourself is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
There’s nothing fun about declaring bankruptcy, but those who emerge from it can be thankful for the opportunity to rebuild their personal finances without the burden of debt. Unfortunately, bankruptcy also does damage to your credit, making it difficult to get approved for credit cards and other lines of credit. Since credit cards are a good way to build or rebuild credit, we have the details for some credit cards to get after bankruptcy.
Secured Credit Cards
Secured credit cards generally have lower credit score requirements and often can be obtained post-bankruptcy. While they do require an upfront security deposit to open, they otherwise work just like traditional credit cards and can help you rebuild your credit. When choosing a secure credit card, look for one that lets you build toward unsecured credit status and reports to all three credit bureaus so it helps you positively impact your credit.
Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Secured credit cards are often considered bad debt credit cards because they’re targeted to people with poor or no credit. But you can also find credit cards that are approved for people with less-than-stellar credit and don’t require a security deposit. In return for the chance to get positive reporting on your credit report via one of these cards, you might have to pay an annual fee or deal with a high interest rate.
Credit Card for After Bankruptcy
Thereâs no single best credit card to get after a bankruptcy, but there are many options to consider. Carefully review the details of relevant credit card offers before making a decision for yourself.
OpenSkyÂ® Secured VisaÂ® Credit Card
OpenSkyÂ® Secured VisaÂ® Credit Card
- No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
- The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
- Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
- We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search âOpenSky Cardâ in Facebook.)
- OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
- *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card
Card Details +
Annual Fee: $35
APR: 17.39% (variable)
Why we picked it: This card helps you build credit while still offering a fairly low interest rate and a refundable deposit for as little as $200 (some restrictions apply; see cardholder agreement for details).
The details: There is no credit check necessary to apply, and you can apply in less than 5 minutes. Your responsible use of the card is reported to all three credit bureaus each month. And when you need extra credit, you may be eligible for a credit line increase.
Drawbacks: There is an annual fee, which isn’t necessarily bad in exchange for building credit.
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card
First Progress Platinum Elite MastercardÂ® Secured Credit Card
- Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
- No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
- Full-Feature Platinum MastercardÂ® Secured Credit Card
- Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
- Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
- Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 — $2,000 Submitted with Application
- Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
- Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
- Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI * See Card Terms.
Card Details +
Annual Fee: $29
APR: 19.99% Variable APR for Purchases
Why we picked it: With responsible use, this card can be a good place to start working to rebuild your credit. There is no minimum credit score required for approval, and it also reports to all three credit bureaus each month.
The details: You can secure your credit line by putting down a fully refundable deposit of $200 to $2,000 during the application process. When you pay off your balance, you can receive your deposit back. Its expedited processing option lets you receive your card more quickly, and you can apply in minutes with no negative impact to your credit score.
Drawbacks: While the APR isn’t super high for a bad-credit credit card, it’s still high enough to run up hefty interest charges. You’ll want to pay the balance off as often as possible to avoid that extra expense. The card is not yet available in all states.
Milestone Unsecured Mastercard
MilestoneÂ® Unsecured MastercardÂ®
- Easy pre-qualification process which does not affect your credit score
- Choice of card image at no extra charge
- Less than perfect credit is okay, even with a prior bankruptcy!
- Mobile friendly online access from anywhere
- Accepted nationwide, wherever Mastercard is accepted
- Unsecured credit card, no deposit required
- Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
Card Details +
Annual Fee: $35 – $99*
Why we picked it: It is possible to be approved with poor credit and a bankruptcy on your credit report, but you don’t have to start with a security deposit. Plus, you can choose your card image at no extra charge!
The details: Prequalification doesn’t require a hard credit inquiry, so you can find out if you’re a likely candidate for this card without impacting your credit. You can access your account via mobile to manage it, helping you stay on track with positive payment history and balance management, and the card comes with decent fraud protection.
Drawbacks: The annual fee can be pretty high depending on the terms you’re approved for. The interest rate is also fairly high, so you might not want to carry over large balances between statements.
Indigo Mastercard for Less Than Perfect Credit
IndigoÂ® MastercardÂ® for Less than Perfect Credit
- Less than perfect credit histories can qualify, even with prior bankruptcy!
- Choose your card design with chip technology at no additional cost
- Quick pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
- Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
- 24/7 access to your account, even on mobile!
- Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
- Accepted nationwide wherever Mastercard is accepted
Card Details +
Annual Fee: $0 – $99*
Why we picked it: You can prequalify for this card without impacting your credit, and thereâs no security deposit required.
The details: The APR is fairly steep, so you probably want to limit what balances you carry over each month. How much the annual fee is depends on your credit profile. However, it doesn’t require a security deposit.
Drawbacks: A potentially high annual fee and less-than-stellar APR make this a potentially expensive way to build credit.
Avant Credit Card
Avant Credit Card
- No deposit required
- No penalty APR
- No hidden fees
- Fast and easy application process
- Help strengthen your credit history with responsible use
- Disclosure: If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00. Cash Advance Fee: The greater of $10 or 3% of the amount of the cash advance
- Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC
Card Details +
Annual fee: $39
APR: 25.99% (variable)
Why we picked it: Thereâs no deposit required, no penalty APR, and no hidden fees.
The details: What you see is what you get with this card. With responsible use, you can strengthen your credit history.
Drawbacks: There is an annual fee and the variable APR can be a bit steep. You may also need fair credit to qualify.
Surge MastercardÂ® Credit Card
- All credit types welcome to apply!
- Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
- See if youâre Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
- Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
- Use your card at locations everywhere that MastercardÂ® is accepted
- Free online account access 24/7
- Checking Account Required
Card Details +
Annual fee: See Terms*
APR: See Terms*
Why we picked it: All credit types are welcome to apply, and the pre-qualification process wonât impact your credit score.
The details: Surge can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. , and the card reports to all three major credit bureaus.
Drawbacks: You need a checking account to apply. Because the card is specifically for people with less-than-perfect credit scores, interest rates and terms may be a bit high.
How to Choose a Credit Card After Bankruptcy
After a bankruptcy, improving your finances and rebuilding your credit should be a priority. Do some research and pick a credit card that helps you achieve that goal. If you feel that you can’t responsibly manage credit right now, you should wait until you’re in a better place to submit a credit card application.
Since secured credit cards require an upfront security deposit, you’ll need to determine how much money you can afford. Most secured cards will give you a credit line that equals the amount of your original deposit.
While high APRs and annual fees are common with all of these credit cards, you should compare rates across several cards to find the ones that are best for your spending habits.
Some cards for bad credit are designed to exploit people using unfair terms or policies that make it difficult to rebuild your finances. You may even start receiving multiple credit card offers in the mail after your bankruptcy is discharged. Watch out for red flags to avoid getting burned.
And remember: A credit card can only build credit if you use it correctly. You should keep your credit card balance below 30% of the available credit limit and make all your payments on time to help build your credit.
The post Easiest Credit Cards to Get After Bankruptcy appeared first on Credit.com.
Hello! Enjoy this post from my friend Martin. I know this situation applies to many out there (the possibility of what you or others may believe to be useless degrees), so hopefully this post can help someone out!
“Why did you waste your time on that degree?”
The most ignorant question in the world. You deserve a smack across the face if you’ve ever asked anyone this. There’s no such thing as a waste of time if you learned a few things and opened your eyes a little. Also, it’s none of your business what someone else studied, unless you of course paid for their full education.
Why would you ask someone this?
The person with the degree doesn’t possess the power to time travel and change things. It’s already too late. They have the degree proudly hanging on the wall. There’s no need to be a ruthless jerk who puts down their friends. The person on the other end will get highly defensive and the argument won’t be pretty.
Why would you ask such an ignorant question?
Sadly, European relatives ask this all of the time. So do friends on Facebook. Most people will ask about why you studied what you did. It’s fairly standard small talk.
Do you need to earn a highly targeted degree?
All stats out the window, the answer is no.
You don’t need to do anything. You can’t force yourself to study a topic that you despise for four years of your life. This never ends well. If you do complete your studies and find work in the field, you won’t be happy because you never wanted to do this in the first place.
Can you imagine working in a field that you despise until you’re 65? That’s at least 40 years. That would be one miserable existence.
While I highly suggest that you study a subject that can open up opportunities for you after college, I also realize that not everyone has life figured out in their teens.
When I had to decide what I wanted to study I was 17. Due to my late birthday, I had to figure everything out at this young. I remember choosing a community college because I had no clue of what else to choose. I started at a community college at 17 and somehow managed to survive. I was completely clueless about why I was even there.
You can’t be expected to have your life figured out in your teens. It’s okay if you don’t study the most specific topic.
How do you use a degree that’s not in demand?
Well, you don’t have to find a work in your specific field. There’s no rule that states you need to work as a Historian just because you studied history.
You don’t have to find work in the exact field that you studied. You have other options, such as:
- Totally changing gears. You can pick up a trade or find work in a totally new field. Some of my friends have become bloggers and front line management.
- Starting your own business. Do you have a business idea in mind?
- Graduate school. My friend went to graduate school since they had high grades and found work in management.
- Using your alumni relations connections. Your alumni department could open your eyes.
- Travel. Have you thought about teaching English abroad?
If your degree isn’t in demand, that’s okay because you can still be in demand. You don’t have to live and die based on your degree. You’re not your degree. You have more to offer this world than the piece of paper that you picked up on stage.
Should you feel guilty about having useless degrees?
There’s no rule that states you must work in the field that you studied. Most of my friends are in completely unrelated fields. I don’t really know anyone that went to directly find work in their specific field. The only friends that are using their degrees 100% are my friends who became teachers and nurses. Those fields are very specific and you can’t get in without the correct credentials.
Everything else can’t be taught.
Do you think there’s a four year program for bloggers like Michelle? Hell no.
Do you think there’s a program that teaches you how to solve problems? Not really.
Is there a college degree that encourages you to take risks? Nope.
College is a wonderful experience. This is your first taste of the following:
- Massive hangovers.
Very little of what you study in college will be used in your real life. I hate to admit this, but I don’t remember anything from the classroom lectures when I look back.
Why did I attend college?
I earned my degree in business so that I could tell people that I got my degree in business. Plus, I was the oldest boy in my family and the first to attend college. Making my parents proud was priceless. Oh, and I didn’t want to get kicked out of the house.
The world’s not going to end because your degree isn’t in the most profitable field. You’re not a failure because you studied something that interested you. It’s your life. You did what you wanted to. If you didn’t study anything specific then that’s okay because you’e not restricted to one field of work. You just need to decide on what you’re going to do next.
Are you using your college degree? Why or why not? Do you have useless college degrees?
The above is a post from Martin of Studenomics, where you can read about financial freedom and not have to worry about missing a party. Martin has just launched, Next Round’s On Me, where he helps you with your financial journey in your 20s.
The post How Do You Use a Degree That Isn’t Very Specific? appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.
We continue to live in unprecedented times—there's no playbook. We’re living and working differently than ever before, and we’re breaking some eggs as we go.
Whether it’s making a Zoom faux pas, accidentally bringing a political view into the workplace, or missing a deadline because you were distracted by homeschooling your kids during your workday, there's a whole lot of “I’m sorry” happening around us.
But the thing about apologies is that if they’re not done right, they can backfire. An “I’m sorry” that feels disingenuous or patronizing may leave the other person feeling resentful, mistrustful, or uninterested in working with you again.
So next time the moment arises—because it will—how can you deliver an apology that feels genuine?
What are the five apology languages?
For their book, When Sorry Isn't Enough, Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas researched the many ways in which we apologize. They discovered the five apology languages that are effective when it's time to step up and own a mistake.
So let’s talk about each and how you can make them work for you.
Apology Language #1: Express regret
When you realize you’ve done a thing that you just feel bad about, and "I feel bad about this" is the gist of what you want to say, this is the apology language you need.
Something as simple as “I’m sorry X happened” can achieve your goal.
When might you need this one? Imagine you’re hosting a Zoom call. One of your colleagues asks a question, and you dismiss it flippantly and move on.
Not unforgivable. But upon reflection, you feel bad that their question got passed over. Give them a call and put Language Number One to work. Offer a simple apology:
I realize you asked an important question during our call, and I’m sorry it didn’t receive the attention it deserved.
Be specific about what you’re sorry for, and then end your sentence. No "I'm sorry, but …". When you qualify your apology with a "but," you effectively cancel out the apology.
Apology Language #2: Accept responsibility
This second language may be seen as an extension of the first.
Let’s hang with the same situation. A Zoom meeting, a question posed, you moved on.
And now, upon further reflection, you realize that you not only regret what happened, but that you had a particular responsibility in it. You were running that meeting, and you had the power to pause and address your colleague’s question. You chose to plow ahead.
So, maybe take some responsibility. What might that one sound like?
I realize you asked an important question during our call, and it didn’t receive the attention it deserved. I should have paused the conversation to acknowledge your question. I'm sorry I didn't do that.
When the offense feels small—and that’s a subjective judgment—often, taking responsibility will be enough as long as that ownership is genuine.
Avoid shifting the weight of the offense back onto the other person by saying some version of, "I'm sorry you felt that way." That's deflection. And it's just not cool.
Apology Language #3: Make restitution
The third apology language is the one that pushes you from feeling regretful and responsible to knowing you need to make things right.
Let’s imagine a different scenario. A friend reaches out to let you know she’s applied for a job in your company. She has an interview scheduled and she’s asked if you’d be willing to put in a good word for her with the hiring leader. You know her work, and you say, “I’d be delighted to do that!”
She calls you again next week to say she’s just had her interview and it went … OK. When she asks if you managed to put in that good word, you realize you totally dropped the ball.
You know you owe her an apology. But that may not feel like enough. The stakes are high and you want to make things right.
This is your moment to show off your Apology Language #3 skills. You might say:
I am so sorry. I promised I would do that and I dropped the ball. I know how important this opportunity is for you. I’m going to speak to the hiring leader this afternoon—you have my word.
Putting in your recommendation for your friend after the interview has already happened may not be exactly the thing you promised. But if it leaves both you and your friend satisfied that all is right with the world, then you’ve made your apology work.
Apology Language #4: Genuine repentance
This brand of apology is about not only being sorry but taking accountability for preventing the same mistake from happening in the future. It’s about taking ownership and committing to behavior change.
In this case, let’s imagine you lead a customer service team for your company. A customer had a not-so-hot experience with one of your representatives and sent a complaint email to a customer service inbox. An inbox you’re supposed to check daily, but boy have you been busy!
A couple of days later, that same customer, having heard nothing from you, tweets something ugly about their experience with your company. And your boss is fuming.
You dropped the ball. You need to own it. But more importantly, you need to leave your boss feeling confident that this will never happen again.
Your apology might sound something like this.
I am so sorry this happened. I got overwhelmed and didn’t make time to check that inbox. But that’s no excuse—I could have asked for help. I take responsibility for this customer’s experience. And starting today I’ve put a twice-daily reminder on my calendar to check that inbox. And if I’m too busy to do it, I’ll ask someone on my team to check. This way, every customer concern or complaint will be seen in hours, not days.
I don’t know about you, but I’d feel pretty good hearing that apology. You’ve owned it and you’ve convinced me that you broke just one egg and it won’t become a dozen.
Apology Language #5: Request forgiveness
You’ve said what you came to say. The wounded party has given you the gift of their attention.
But now there’s something more you need from them—forgiveness. This part requires a level of vulnerability that can be hard to access because your request for forgiveness doesn’t require the other person's gift of it.
They may say no. They may need to think about it. They may say “We’ll see how things go over time.”
For some people, an apology won’t feel genuine until you’ve asked their forgiveness. So you may need to go out on a limb and ask, even knowing you may not receive it.
Don't apologize when there's nothing to apologize for
Before I close the conversation on the five apology languages, I’d like to add my own note of caution. Apologies are important when they’re warranted—when you’ve done something wrong or let someone down.
But for many people—and more commonly for women than men—apologizing is something we do too often in moments that don’t warrant an “I’m sorry.”
Here are a few examples:
- I'm sorry, but I have a question.
- I'm sorry; I have a full plate and I can't take on that extra project.
- I'm so sorry, but I have to pick up my kid so that 6 p.m. meeting is too late for me.
Please don't apologize for situations like these. Instead, say:
- I have a question.
- I have a full plate and can't take on that extra project.
- That 6 p.m. meeting is too late for me.
You have the right to ask questions and set boundaries. I will never stop reminding you of that. Sorry, not sorry.