6 Shrewd Secrets from Women Who’ve Fixed Credit, Paid Debt and Made Fortunes
Looking for some advice when it comes to managing your money?
We have stories from a woman who raised her credit score nearly 200 points, a mom of nine who overcame a job layoff and a college grad who was able to pay off $100,000 worth of debt — then start her own business.
They share their tips and secrets for financial success. You can even start using some of their strategies right now.
Secret No. 1: You’re Not Stuck With Your Credit Card Debt
You’re making good money now, but that doesn’t mean your debt magically disappears. If you need some help, we found a website that will pay your credit card bill this month. No, like… the whole bill.
No, like… the whole bill. All of it.
Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but a website called Fiona could help you pay them off tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online.
It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
You’re making great progress in your career. Don’t let your credit card company hold you back.
Secret No. 2: You Can Leave Your Kids $1.5 Million
If you have kids, you’ve probably worried about what’ll happen to them if something were to happen to you…
For single mom Rebekah Pearsall, this was difficult to consider. “Since my son doesn’t have a biological father in his life, I wanted to make sure he was secure if something were to ever happen to me,” she said.
That’s when she started looking into life insurance.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But this takes just minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1.5 million with a company called Bestow.
We hear people are paying as little as $10 a month.* (But every year you wait, this gets more expensive.)
It takes just minutes to get a free quote and see how much life insurance you can leave your loved ones — even if you don’t have seven figures in your bank account.
Secret No. 3: You Don’t Have to Have an MBA to Start a Business
If you dream of starting a business, don’t let the fact that you don’t have a business degree from an Ivy League school hold you back. (Yeah, imposter syndrome is the worst.) We’ve talked to plenty of women who’ve successfully started businesses on their own.
Here’s a story that really resonates with our frugal hearts: The Budget Mom.
After graduating college, Kumiko Love had $100,000 worth of debt — student loans, credit cards and medical bills. All that good stuff. Still, she had trouble sticking to a budget. So she gave up.
Then she started studying the psychology behind money and that gave her a renewed hope: She started viewing her situation through a positive lens. She combined several budgeting tactics and started logging her process through her blog, The Budget Mom.
And guess what? Love is now debt free and she recently quit her full-time job to focus on her seven-figure business, The Budget Mom.
Secret No. 4: You Can Have Experts Build You an Investment Plan — Even If You’re Not Rich
We all know millionaires aren’t doing it alone. They’ve got teams of experts giving them the best advice on how to invest and exactly what to do with their money.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get that type of direction — even if we’re not super wealthy? Luckily, you don’t have to be Warren Buffett to start investing and get some guidance. That’s just what Sallie Krawcheck, the former head of Merrill Lynch, had in mind with her company, Ellevest. In fact, you can get started with Ellevest for just $1 a month.
Ellevest will not only build you an investing plan, but it also gives you access to retirement experts and financial planners with certain membership plans. You can also set specific goals for things like buying a home, starting a business or making a big purchase.
And it’s way cheaper than you’d think. Membership starts at just $1 per month.
To get started, create an account and tell Ellevest a little about you and your goals, then choose your membership plan. It takes just five minutes, and you could be well on your way to your financial goals.
Secret No. 5: Be an Advocate For Yourself (and Your Credit Score)
It’s easy to pass your credit score off as some silly three-digit number — that’s what most of us did throughout our early twenties anyways. But what happens when you want to buy a car? Or a house? That seemingly arbitrary number starts to play a huge role in your life.
And here’s the unfortunate fact: You can do everything right, but if your credit report has an error (one in five reports do), it could be holding you back — for no good reason. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on things.
Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will give you your credit score for free and help you detect any errors on your report. If you find any, it will even help you dispute them.
Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana, found a major error on her report — a supposed unpaid medical bill that had definitely been covered by Medicaid. Using Credit Sesame, Buitureria fixed the mistake and took additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.**
Now? She’s focused on buying a home.
It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up with Credit Sesame.
**Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.
Secret No. 6: Invest Like a Tycoon (Even if You’re Not Rich)
Here’s one of our favorite stories: Meet Robyn Bri. When we chatted with her, she was 19 and had more than $85,000 saved.
How? She had a number of side gigs growing up and has been incredibly frugal. But she’s also been extremely savvy with her money and started investing ASAP.
Not sure where to start? A lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1.*
That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1. The best part? If a company profits, you potentially can as well. Some companies may even send you a check every quarter for your share of any profits, called dividends.**
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**
*For Securities priced over $1,000, the purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
** Not all companies pay out dividends. Please note, dividends may also be subject to tax implications.
You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.
The Penny Hoarder is a Paid partner of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.
*Bestow: Policies are issued by Bestow Life Insurance Company, Dallas, TX on policy form series BLI-ITPOL. Bestow Life Insurance products may not be available in all states. Policy limitations or restrictions may apply. Not available in New York. Our application asks lifestyle and health questions to determine eligibility in order to avoid requiring a medical exam. Prices start at $10/month based on an 18-year-old male rated Preferred Plus NT for a $100k policy for a 10-year term. Rates will vary based on underwriting review.
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.