Pay off Credit Card Debt Without Selling Jewelry or Getting a Second Job

If they made a movie about paying off your credit cards, it would be called “Mission: Impossible.”

Seriously, paying down your credit card debts is a Herculean task. It can feel like you’re trying to climb a mountain that’s made out of quicksand.

You reach a point where you’re paying so much interest, you can’t pay down the principal.  

It’s tempting to take drastic measures. Sell off all your jewelry. Take a second job and say goodbye to your free time. You don’t have to do that. Don’t despair.

We’ve Got Ideas You Haven’t Thought of

Before you drive to the pawn shop or check the job listings, we’ve got eight tips for how to pay off your credit cards.

1. Let This Company Cut Your Interest Rates

When you think about how much debt you have, you might feel a little anxious.

That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.

Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit cards and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.

You can borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) and compare interest rates, which start at 4.99%. The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands. Repayment plans range from 24 to 84 months.

Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $ 12,000 in credit-card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $ 12,000 in interest.

If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $ 14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.

So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, know that checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.

2. Get a Strategic View of Your Debt

One of the toughest parts about paying down debt is knowing where to begin.

To get yourself out of this hole, first you have to know what you’re dealing with.

Your credit report will give you this information. You can get a free copy of it once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus — but they can be tough to decipher.

If you want to keep a closer eye on your credit, get your credit score and “credit report card” for free from Credit Sesame. This website breaks down exactly what’s on your credit report in layman’s terms, how it affects your score and what you should do about it.

It offers personalized tips for how to deal with your debts. Folks who’ve used it tell us it’s a lifesaver.

3. Find out If You’re Paying Too Much for Car Insurance

Woman posing in front of a mural of a car.

You’re probably overpaying for car insurance and wasting money you could use to pay down debt.

Have you shopped around lately? Have you compared rates from the 20 largest auto insurers that do business in your area? That sounds kind of difficult and time-consuming, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, a service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work.

Once you link your insurance account to Gabi, it will:

  • Scan your existing insurance plan.
  • Analyze what coverage you have.
  • Compare the major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
  • Help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Gabi says it finds an average savings of $ 720 per year for its customers.

It is a true apples-to-apples comparison at the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have. Once you sign up, you never have to shop again. Gabi’s software has your policy on file and keeps on monitoring for savings as your life changes.

4. Find Some Hidden Cash

Before you start hashing out a plan to tackle your debt, it might make you feel better to find areas in your life where you can save. Then you can funnel that money directly toward those outstanding balances.

For consistent savings, download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees. On average, Truebill says it saves customers $ 700 a year.

You can also try digging up some extra cash with Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

One of our favorite ways to save on everything is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on online purchases at Walmart. Plus, you’ll get a free $ 10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

5. Earn Rewards When You Repay Your Debt on Time

Woman on laptop.

When you were a kid, your mom probably gave you an allowance for washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. Now all you get for doing that is a kitchen that’s clean for, like, 15 minutes.

Now that you’re a grown-up, you no longer get rewarded for just doing the things that are expected of you — like, for instance, paying bills on time.

Not until now, anyway. MoneyLion, a free app for managing your personal finances, will reward you for things like paying your bills and monitoring your credit — even just setting up an account in the app.

Much like that childhood allowance, it’s basically bribing you to be good.

You’ll earn points in the app’s rewards program, and you can redeem them for gift cards to more than 15,000 retailers, including places like Walmart, Applebee’s and Amazon.

If you want to take it a step further and work on paying down debts, for example, MoneyLion can help with a loan to consolidate your debt and potentially reduce your interest rates. And it’ll reward you for that, too!

6. Start Saving Without Trying

Saving money is tough. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?

Digit makes that possible.

This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $ 5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

7. Make Extra Money While You Watch TV

For those times you choose the frugal route and stay in for the night, why not cash in on your free time? Survey sites aren’t the fastest way to earn money, but they’re a great way to build a little savings while you veg out.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Swagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get a $ 5 bonus when earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
  • InboxDollars lets you actually get paid to watch TV online. The site hosts a ton of stuff to watch, including cooking, entertainment, news and health shows. The shows are sponsored by brands that need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Every time you watch one, InboxDollars will credit your account with a little bit of cash.
  • MyPoints: This platform lets you earn gift cards for taking polls, answering surveys and other things you do online — a great way to cash in on long lines or an endless commute. You’ll earn a $ 5 bonus when you complete your first five surveys.

8. Negotiate Your Bills

Remember what your grandma used to say when you wanted a cookie? “Ask nicely!”

It turns out that’s amazing life advice when it comes to tackling your debt, as well.

Sometimes you can lower your bills, especially crippling medical bills, just by asking to have them reduced. Let your provider know a good reason why you can’t pay what it’s asking. You might get a little relief.

Also keep an eye on late fees and other sneaky charges that are added on to your bill. Those are easy for your debtors to remove if they choose.

It doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Mike Brassfield is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories 



Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese

Propelled to the limelight after Michelle Obama wore several of he designs, Tracy Reese is one of the brightest light in the fashion world. In an interview with Black Enterprise, she said her designs, “reflects my own vision and continually yields looks that are timeless and wearable, yet fun and feminine.”

 














 

I AM HER Apparel

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: iamherapparel.com)

I AM HER Apparel is a collection of unapologetic, trendy clothing that makes powerful statements.


Nubian Skin

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: nubianskin.com)

 

Nubian Skin launched with a carefully edited collection of lingerie and hosiery to provide the essential underwear needs to women of color. Headquartered in London, Nubian Skin delivers worldwide. (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Butler, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)

 














Mahnal

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: mahnal.com)

Mahnal is a collection of delicate and contemporary jewelry that accents the natural elegance of a woman. Mahnal takes inspiration from the places we find most meditative, exploring themes like silhouettes in nature, the repetition of lines in architecture, or how light plays against texture. Hopefully, with each piece’s organic imperfections, we’re inspired to slow down and feel again. (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Butler, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)


Tradition

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Image: Rae-Vaughn Lucas )

Rep your HBCU with apparel from Tradition, a collegiate and lifestyle brand.


828 Clothing

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

828 Clothing is a clothing line with a name inspired by the Romans 8:28 Bible verse. The line features versatile styles with the modern mother in mind.


Naja

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Naja)

 

The Nude for all Collection by Naja is redefining the color nude for all races and ethnicities. The lingerie line features three styles of seamless underwear with a matching bra; underwear sizing from XS-XXL and bra sizing in 32-40 with cups A-DDD–all in seven shades of nude. Nude for All is also a movement that empowers women; the products are made by single mothers or women heads of households.


Off-White

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Off-White/Instagram)

Designer Virgil Abloh’s “Off-White” label has been named as the “Hottest Brand on the Planet” by The Lyst Index, a quarterly ranking of popular fashion brands and products. Off-White is known for its extremely expensive T-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers. It’s also noted for placing signature quotes on its clothes. The brand is often flaunted by celebrities like Rihanna, A$ AP Rocky, and Julia Roberts. 


Treason Toting Co.

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

(Treason Toting Co./Instagram)

This Baltimore-based company’s products has caught the attention of NBA star Stephen Curry, who was seen wearing the Charles backpack from the original spring/summer collection, not to mention J. Crew and Nordstrom both having previously featured Treason Toting Co. for pop-up shops.










LaQuan Smith

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

LaQuanSmith.com

At just 29 years old, designer LaQuan Smith is making waves in the fashion industry. The native New Yorker is responsible for the sleek, body-hugging dress that Beyoncé wore as she presented Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at Sports Illustrated’s Person of the Year Awards in December. Smith’s signature sexy, show-stopping pieces have also been flaunted by fashion trailblazers such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian West.


Pyer Moss

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

pyermoss.com

Kerby Jean-Raymond, the founder of the Pyer Moss label, is renowned for using fashion as a fierce weapon of force to address and combat social injustice








Lyfestyle 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

lyfestyle.com

Born in Brooklyn, Lyfestyle captures the essence of New York City urban art, style, and flavor. The brand was birthed from the imaginations of four friends who loved the lavish fashion on Fifth Avenue but were limited to shopping on a SoHo budget


Abdju Wear

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

abdjuwear.com

Abdju Wear is a clothing line that sports high-end clothes and sneakers at affordable prices. The brand offers everything from polo-style shirts to high-top sneakers in traditional Pan-African flag colors.


Sassy Jones Boutique

Custom Bags (Image: Sassy Jones Boutique)

Custom Bags (Image: Sassy Jones Boutique)

Sassy Jones Boutique’s inventory consists of everything from earrings to bracelets, handbags, and much more, all customized, unique, and stylized. The boutique has also expanded its glamorous repertoire by introducing an ultra-luxurious mosaic handbag collection under $ 100. Exclusive to Sassy Jones Boutique, these bags are hand-crafted by women artisans in India.

 














Made Leather Co.

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

www.madeleatherco.com

In November 2016, Lenise Williams, an Atlanta-based mom, entrepreneur, and attorney traveled to Marrakech, Morocco, as a guest speaker for a United Nations conference. Little did she know, she would turn her newfound love of Moroccan leather goods into the Made Leather Co., a product-based business that would leave a legacy for her children and attract the attention of several NFL players.


Agbara Life

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Agbara Life

Agbara Life creates highly functional and fashionable powered backpacks that feature a sleek matte black look complemented with gold or silver hardware and triple USB output power to keep you connected while on the go. Their Type-C with Power Delivery option allows you to charge the latest phones and laptops including the MacBook Pro.


Mo’s Bows 

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

mosbowsmemphis.com

Mo’s Bows is a line of handcrafted bow ties sewn from scratch created by teen-aged entrepreneur Moziah Bridges.




Curvy, Curly, Conscious 

These whimsical holiday sweaters feature a meditating “Santa Bae” and a meditating “Santa Zaddy.” Order them online.


The Hairbrella

Hairbrella

The Hairbrella is an innovative way to protect hair and makeup from getting ruined in inclement weather. Think of a rain hat for your hair, but the company stresses that “this is not your Grandma’s hair bonnet”






No Sweat Liner for Headwear 

The No Sweat Liners are disposable moisture wicking liners that stick inside any hat, visor, helmet or hard hat. The patented SweatLock technology offers sweat protection from sweat marks, yellow stains, and odors.

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

The No Sweat Liners are disposable moisture wicking liners that stick inside any hat, visor, helmet or hard hat. The patented SweatLock technology offers sweat protection from sweat marks, yellow stains, and odors.


Blended Designs 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Blended Designs offers backpacks and travel backs celebrating the culture.

 


Vertical Activewear

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Vertical Activewear is “a contemporary, multi-active lifestyle brand for both traditional AND alternative workouts, such as pole and dance fitness, barre, and various forms of yoga.”


SLAPS by Grace Eleyae

(Facebook)

 

Keep your hair game tight with this assortment of stylish, yet protective, satin head wear.

 














Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses: Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Boy Who Made Meghan Markle a Macaroni Necklace Now Taking Jewelry Orders from Around the World

Meghan Markle is known for being a style icon, even when it comes to the homemade accessories she wears.

While greeting fans in Melbourne during the Royal Tour last week, Meghan was approached by 6-year-old Gavin Hazelwood, who gifted the Duchess a homemade pasta necklace. The royal, 37, instantly put the adorable necklace on, and now Gavin is becoming just as well-known with jewelry order requests coming in from around the world.

“We had a lot of people saying to Gavin, you should make more, you’ll make lots of money from this, everybody will want to buy her necklace,” his mom, Rowan Hazelwood, told Network 10, as reported by CBS News.

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RELATED: Everything You Need to Copy Meghan Markle’s Chic Style

The family decided to create a website for Gavin, where fans can purchase the dinosaur-shaped pasta with gold paint necklaces for $ 20. The kindergartener has since received orders from Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.

Gavin intends on donating all of his profits to a stillborn research charity, CBS reported, as his mother previously lost a baby girl.

“She’s a part of our lives still, even for the kids, and they talk to her every day,” she told Network 10.

The Melbourne native, who was adorably dressed as a Qantas pilot, crafted the ribbon and gold-painted pasta necklace earlier that morning after telling his mom he was feeling sick so he could skip school and make the necklace for Meghan.

“I did the pasta with gold paint. Mum helped me thread through the necklace,” he told Fairfax Media.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle Stylishly Declares Her Love For Prince Harry With Customized Necklace

After receiving the gift, Meghan immediately put it on over her navy Dion Lee dress. The royal mom-to-be, who is expecting her first child with Prince Harry, proudly wore the gift during the rest of the outing until she arrived at a formal reception inside Government House.

Meghan often wears jewelry that has sentimental meaning.

Earlier in the tour, she wore butterfly earrings that once belonged to Princess Diana. And when Prince Harry and Meghan first began dating, she was spotted wearing a gold, personalized necklace with the letters M and H on it.


PEOPLE.com

Fashion Deals Update:

Marie Antoinette’s jewelry on display in Dubai before auction

Held in private collections for more than 200 years, jewelry that once belonged to France’s ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette has gone on display in Dubai ahead of its planned auction in Geneva next month.


Reuters: Arts

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