Browsing Category

Tips

mom life/ Tips

How to Build Credit as a Single Mom- 5 Easy Steps to Take

Thank you Lexington Law Firm for sponsoring this post. A high service partner and consumer advocate that will help you fight for the credit you deserve!

How to Build Credit as a Single Mom- 5 Easy Steps to Take

Today I’m discussing a topic that many people find taboo- personal finances and credit score. As a single mother, I am the sole provider for my family as well as the sole caretaker for my young sons (ages four years old and nine months). I know there are many single mothers in my position. Even the ones who receive child support often struggle financially. According to Census Bureau Reports, the average child support payment is $430 a month. Given the high cost of childcare, lack of support, and the pay wage gap, single mothers seem destined to struggle financially.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. One way for single moms to get ahead financially is to have a good credit score. When I was younger, I never gave any thought to my credit score. I never even had a credit card. I saw countless people get into credit card debt (including a few acquaintances who had 6 figure shopping debt!). I figured the best way to stay out of debt was to never get a credit card. Good idea, right? Not really…

No credit history meant I had no credit score. As the sole provider in my family, I’m responsible for everything, including all kinds of unforeseen expenses. If I ever had to take out a loan, I’d run into major problems with my lack of a credit score. A good credit score shows lenders that you can responsibly borrow money and pay it back in a timely manner. My credit score told lenders that I’m a risk.

Several months ago, I decided to get my finances in order and to build credit.

How to Build Credit as a Single Mom- 5 Easy Steps to Take
How to Build Credit as a Single Mom

Get Real About Your Finances
Credit repair is life-changing, even more so if you’re the sole financial support for your family. One of the great things about your credit score is that no matter how bad it is, you can take steps to improve it – it’s never set in stone. The first thing you should do is call Lexington Law Firm. They’ll give you a free personalized credit consultation. They’ll provide you with access to your TransUnion report summary as well as a credit report review. Finally, Lexington Law Firm will give you a free score evaluation and make recommendations to improve your score.

Watch Out For Errors on Your Credit Report
Errors on your credit report can affect your score- sometimes by many points. Errors on your credit report can prevent you from taking out a loan for a home or a car. On average, these errors can take four months to correct. Errors can and need to be fixed, but repairing credit errors on your own can be confusing and time-consuming.
The credit repair industry has surged in recent years. It’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to credit repair. The team of lawyers at Lexington Law spearheaded the creation of a reputable, legal-based solution for the credit repair industry. Their credit repair legal knowledge can help the everyday consumer fix errors on their report.

How to Build Credit as a Single Mom- 5 Easy Steps to Take
Get a Secured Credit Card
Several months ago, I got a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires a cash security deposit (usually a few hundred dollars). Secured credit cards are a great option for people with no or bad credit.

Pay Your Credit Card Bills on Time
If may not seem like a big deal to make a payment a few days after the due date, but late payments can have a big, negative impact on your credit (in some cases the bad mark can stay on your credit report for seven years)!
Each month I make a small purchase on my credit card (less than $50) and then pay it off when the bill is due. I also mark the date the bill is due every month on my calendar, so I won’t forget. In a handful of months, I’ve watched my credit score jump from nothing to the “good” (690-719) range. My goal is to get into the “excellent” range (720-850).

Develop a Budget

I always avoided making a budget every month. Once I got into the habit, though, it became part of my daily routine and a huge help! Making a budget is simple- You have money coming in, so chose where you want it to go. List all of your expenses in a current column, then adjust them in a proposed column. You aim to make sure you have enough cash to go around for all necessary bills, plus at least a little extra for savings and emergencies.

Thanks for sharing my journey to build credit as a single mom. Improving your credit score may take time, but it can be done! My improved credit score (which raises a little more each month!) has given me peace of mind for my family’s future.

How to Build Credit as a Single Mom- 5 Easy Steps to Take Lexington Law is a CROA (Consumer Credit Protection Act) compliant business. They are regulated extensively with auditors and regulators. Just as one would hire a CPA or MD to manage their taxes or health, consumers should demand nothing less from their credit repair company.

If you want to take charge of your finances and your future, call Lexington Law Firm for your free personalized credit consultation!

DIY/ Tips

Overhead Camera Mount DIY for $15

Overhead Camera Mount DIY for $15

      Lately I’ve been more and more interested in creating video content. I have plans for knitting, small scale DIY and food videos. However, I’ve encountered a big problem- filming overhead is hard!!! Filming your hands, while trying to make something with a tripod angled oddly above you is next to impossible! After a few disastrous attempts I decided to look into overhead camera rigs. Most of the ones I saw were in the $150 price range so I decided to see if there was a cheaper alternative. Spoiler alert- there is….my Overhead Camera Mount DIY!
This overhead camera mount DIY is a must for craft, knitting and food bloggers/YouTubers!It’s made with pvc pipe which is inexpensive, sturdy and lightweight. This took me about 20 minutes to make and costs less than $15! I just filmed my first video with this mount and it worked so well! I hope you guys find this as useful as I do and expect to see more videos from me in the future!

Supplies for Overhead Camera Mount DIY

PVC pipe (2, 5 foot lengths)
PVC connectors (5 elbow, 2 “T”)
Flat head screw
Drill
Super glue

Overhead Camera Mount DIY for $15

Cut the pipe into the following length:

3- 14 inch sections

2- 12 inch sections

1- 23 inch section

(some of the big home improvement stores will cut the pipe for you, otherwise you can use a hand saw or miter saw)

Overhead Camera Mount DIY for $15

Join the pipes together, using the connectors as pictured. I super glued the corners of the stand so they would be extra secure.

Overhead Camera Mount DIY for $15

To attach the camera: Drill a pilot hole through the “T” connector. Using your fingers, twist the screw through the hole from inside the connector.

Overhead Camera Mount DIY for $15

This camera mount can easily accommodate a cell phone camera as well! All you need is a mini tripod (I bought this one from Amazon). It comes with a hole that you can screw to the camera mount.

Overhead Camera Mount DIY for $15

You’re going to want to angle the “T” connector at the base of the stand slightly back so the camera is positioned directly overhead.

 

Tips

4 Ways to Monetize your Blog

4 Ways to Monetize your Blog- grow your earnings with these proven revenue streams!

4 Ways to Monetize your Blog

     The #1 question I get about blogging is “How do you make money?” Blogging definitely isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme since it can take years to find your voice, create hundreds of original content posts and build up your readership. Honestly, at first you make very little money. I remember being excited to get $25/month from AdSense in the early days of my blog! As you grow your blog the amount of money obviously increases as do the opportunities. Below are 4 ways to monetize your blog. I recommend pursuing all 4 options since it’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket!

4 Ways to Monetize your Blog

Ad Revenue

     These are the ads you see in the posts, sidebar and at the top/bottom of blogs. This is the easiest and most low maintenance way to monetize your blog. You sign up for an ad network, install some code on your blog and then the network takes care of the ads.

There are a bunch of ad networks to choose from. Some require a minimum number of pageviews per month before you can join. The most popular ad network, AdSense, doesn’t have a minimum requirement so you can start placing ads as soon as you create your blog.

Ad networks pay based on the number of impressions and the amount of clicks the ads receive from your site. This is an easy way to monetize your blog but keep in mind- unless you have a large amount of traffic you’re not going to be making a lot of money off ads. That being said, ads are still a great way to bring in some passive income.

Sponsored Posts

     Sponsored posts are a fun way to bring in extra income from your blog. Companies pay you to feature their product/service etc. Most of the time companies want your creative spin (since you know your readers best!) on the campaign. Personally, I love coming up with a tutorial/DIY that compliments or makes use of a product. It’s a fun challenge!

There are a lot of Sponsor Networks available to bloggers. I wrote about this in detail (plus I listed the ones I use) here: How to Find Blog Sponsors

Keep in mind- companies will want to see that you regularly post new content and that you have an audience before wanting to sponsor a post. If you’re new to blogging it’s best to wait 3-6 months (most sponsor networks require this) before pursuing this option. During this time, build up your original content and engage with your readers.

Affiliate Links

     Affiliate income is earned through the sale of someone else’s product. You insert links (or pics) into your blog posts and when a reader makes a purchase, you get a percentage. The more you sell, the more income you generate!
There are affiliates for every type of blogging niche. ShopStyle and rewardStyle are the top affiliates among fashion bloggers. Amazon (my preferred affiliate), Share-A-Sale and ConvertKit (formerly Commission Junction) are great for lifestyle, DIY, business/tech bloggers, etc.

The key to successful affiliate marketing is to only recommend products that you genuinely love/use. Readers are smart and they’ll catch on fast if you’re promoting something that is forced or fake.

Products

     Creating and promoting your own products can lead to big payoffs and it can also be extremely rewarding. So many bloggers have their own products, from e-books/e-courses to fashion lines to printables. The trick is to take what you have to offer and turn it into something readers want to buy! Are you a whiz at graphic design? Why not sell logo templates? Are you an experienced sewer? How about an “intro to sewing” e-course?

Products (especially electronic ones like downloads and e-courses) are the ultimate passive income for a blogger. They require a (sometimes large) time commitment to create but after that all you have to do is market the product and watch the sales roll in!

Want more blogging tips? 

ExpoDisc- Best Inexpensive Tool you can Buy to Improve your Photography

I’d love to hear what monetizing strategies have worked for you!