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November 2015 archive

How I Made $2,247 USD with Passive Income

Today, I’m going to share with you how I made $2,247 USD with passive income.

Last week, I shared the below video about how I am an affiliate for my business coach, Natalie MacNeil’s Conquer Club (a yearlong business incubator for women).

I’m passionate about her program, so I want to share it. And as an extra incentive, Natalie offered an opportunity for her clients to sign up as an affiliate for her program. Natalie’s affiliates each earn 50 percent of the sale every time a person decides to buy the program through them. The total cost for the lowest tier of the program is $1,498 USD.

Why would Natalie do this, you may ask.

Essentially, by becoming an affiliate, I am a marketing arm for Natalie’s program. As I’ve built up trust with my friends and people who follow my adventures on social media, we’ve developed a relationship where they may now trust the products and services I share and am passionate about.

And whether a friend or follower purchases her program or not, they are now being made aware of Natalie’s work!

As you can see below on the LeadDyno software platform, 56 friends visited the site I shared, 22 friends officially signed up and three people decided to purchase.

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Here are the final numbers on the dashboard.

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The Truth Behind Being an Affiliate:

It may seem quite easy to simply share a link and make a few thousand dollars, but honestly, it takes a lot of work.

Firstly, I had to have built a brand and an email list of people who may be interested in the program.

Secondly, it takes quite a lot of mental energy (as I’m new to the affiliate world) to decide when to post, who to tag, who to personally email, and when to follow up.

Thirdly, I offered a special bonus (value $997 CAD) for people who signed up through my link. So as an extra incentive for ambitious women entrepreneurs to join the Conquer Club, they received this bonus to work with me as part of my Media Magnet Group Coaching Course.

And finally, I also invested $444.23 CAD in creating Facebook ads to promote a live webinar I was running with Natalie. So it definitely required an investment as well.

There you have it friends! That’s my first experience of being an affiliate for a premium priced program!

I’ve learned quite a lot, and know I have so much more to learn!

Any q’s? Email us at momoneymoprogress@gmail.com!

<3 Gwen

P.s. if you want to learn more about passive income head to my past blog post about it here.

Figuring out your Credit Score

Credit Score. You’ve definitely heard that thrown about somewhere. Today is the day we finally figure out what the heck it is and why we should care about it.

So here’s the fancy definition of it: A statistically derived numeric expression of a person’s creditworthiness that is used by lenders to access the likelihood that a person will repay his or her debts. A credit score is based on, among other things, a person’s past credit history. It is a number between 300 and 850 – the higher the number, the more creditworthy the person is deemed to be.”

Well, that sounds intimidating.

Basically, your credit score is a number that is based on how well you can pay back debt. The higher the number, the better.

So what factors come into play when determining your “creditworthiness”?

1. Payment History

Payment history is all about you paying off money that you’ve borrowed on time. If you haven’t paid your phone bill, rent, credit cards, student loans etc. it can negatively affect your credit score. If you end up being late with your payments, the longer the wait, the worse it will be.

If any of your accounts have gone to collections it raises an immediate red flag to potential lenders. Other things that will mess with your score is if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, been foreclosed, or had any debt settlements.

2. Money To Pay Back

Anyone who has taken out a loan (auto, mortgage, student loan) or credit card needs to be aware of how this will alter your credit score. You need to know how much credit you have used. If you’ve borrowed $1,000 but only use $500 it works to your favour, but if you borrow the money and use none of it it doesn’t help your score in any way. Lenders want to see you borrowing money and that you are responsible and financially stable enough to pay it all back.

3. Length of Credit History

The gist of this is that those with a longer credit history will have a better score. People with newer credit history will need to build it up over time. A blank slate makes it difficult for creditors to judge if you are responsible enough to handle a loan. Those who have a longer history need to make sure that they have been paying everything off on time to make sure they have a higher score.

4. New Credit

Your credit score takes into consideration how many new accounts you have opened, how recently you’ve opened them and if you’ve applied for any new ones.

The score will assume that if you’re opening multiple new accounts that you’re a risk. This is usually associated with people who are experiencing a cash flow problem or are planning on accumulating new debt.

You can have multiple accounts, but they need to be spread out over time. Don’t try to diversify all at once.

5. Different Types of Credit in Use

If you have varying kinds of loans out and different types of credit, it can positively affect your score.

Yep, you read that right.

If you have student loans and auto loans it can boost your credit score if you’re paying them back on time. The mix of loans shows that you can handle multiple types of credit and in the future if you need to borrow money it will prove that you can handle it.

*SIDE NOTE*: DO NOT TAKE OUT MULTIPLE LOANS IF YOU CAN’T PAY THEM BACK.
If you can’t pay them back you’re going to be hurting yourself. Diversifying your credit is a good thing but it doesn’t have a huge effect on your score. If you don’t need the loan, don’t get the loan. Plus, too many accounts is also a bad thing as it will negatively impact your score as well. Balance is key.

Your credit score is incredibly important when it comes to applying for loans, being approved, and getting the best interest rates possible. But how do you figure out what your credit score is?

In Canada there are two options, Equifax and TransUnion Canada.

If you need your score ASAP they will provide it for you… for a fee. If you have some time you can mail in your information and it will be processed free of charge.

Here are the forms for you to fill out for Equifax and TransUnion Canada.

Check out the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s page for more info about credit scores.

Karyn

 

You’re Drinking Coffee All Wrong – And it’s Costing You Big Time

It’s morning. Your alarm goes off. After pressing snooze about four to five times, you manage to drag yourself out of bed and get ready for work.

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The struggle.

8:30 a.m. rolls around. On your way to work, you stop by your fav coffee shop to pick up your daily Americano-frappa-whatever. That’s about $4 every day, $20 every workweek, $100 every month. Yowza.


“TODD. ARE YOU NOT AWARE THAT I GET FARTY AND BLOATED WITH A FOAMY LATTE?!”

“My mistake, Jacobim D:”

The thing with morning coffee is, you might be drinking it—and spending money on it— for nothing.

You see, we have this internal biological clock inside us called the Circadian Rhythm.

The CR’s job is to regulate how sleepy you are throughout the day by releasing cortisol, A.K.A. the ‘stress hormone.’ Cortisol is secreted in high levels during the fight or flight response we get when our bodies tell us, “It’s time to wake up, yo!”

From 8 a.m. to 9.am., cortisol levels peak, and drinking coffee during those times can diminish the natural role it plays in waking us up. It also increases your tolerance to caffeine in the long run, leaving you needing more to get a buzz and staying alert in the future.

No, I’m not telling you this so lineups will be shorter in the morning. Check out this video for all the deets if you’re not quite ready to break up with your AM cup of joe.

If you start drinking coffee after 9 a.m., chances are you’ve been awake for at least an hour, which allows the caffeine to kick in and do its job properly.

So remember, as much as you need that morning coffee, think twice, because your body’s got your back… and your wallet 😉

That was the worst.

SORRYNOTSORRY,
Gabs

Mo’ Passion, Mo’ Progress (Our Cosmopolitan Video Interview!)

We started Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress in January of 2015 as a way to publicly tackle our personal challenges with money, as well as learn how to earn more.

Over the past 11 months we’ve taken on personal financial challenges, shared tips we’ve tested that have worked, and have also shared some of the challenges we took on that didn’t work.

The spark of inspiration for this site was ignited at the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Life event in November 2014.

So it was an incredibly surreal and humbling experience to have been asked by Cosmopolitan and Maybelline to share our passion in a recent video project.

Take a look here:

This video definitely showcases the glamorous side of following your heart. What you don’t see is ‘the hustle.’ We all have multiple jobs and busy schedules, and have quite honestly had some of the biggest fights over differing views of the direction of the site and really, arguing over ‘sister stuff.’

But at the end of the day, our curiosity to create this site has become a passion that has changed our lives.

If you are curious about starting a project of your own (whether it’s a blog, podcast, event, book etc.) lean into that curiosity and GO FOR IT!

Now is the time to give yourself the gift of saying yes. And you never know who will be there to support you along the way.

Thank you so much to the Cosmopolitan and Maybelline team for the incredible opportunity!

  • Gwen

Living the Swedish Dream

It’s no secret that North Americans are some of the hardest working people in the world.

And our friends from ‘Murica claim they are the hardest working people in the world. Even more than the English, Germans, and until recently, the Japanese.

Okay, so we all work hard. That’s good, right? Isn’t that supposed to build character or something? Well, yes, but we also take fewer vacations and retire later, too. Not so good.

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Amen.

But it looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. To live the (North) American Dream, we need to start thinking like a Swede.

Last month, it was reported that companies in Sweden are introducing the idea of a six-hour workday.

Say what, RiRi?

Sounds like a pretty good idea to me! *writes blog post after-hours at the office*

Not only has research shown that people are happier, apparently it makes people work harder too. Shaving two hours off a workday makes people more productive, and gives us the energy and motivation to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Research has shown that workers engage in fewer staff conflicts, exercise more, and want to learn new things!

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With a six-hour work day, he’ll learn.

Not only does the six-hour work day improve the economy and generate more profit, it also has outstanding benefits on our overall health. According to The Guardian, those who work more than 55 hours per week have a 33% increased risk of stroke compared with those who work a 35- to 40-hour week.

Yikes.

Just imagine how much debt our health care system could avoid if we only worked two hours less each day.

How long do you think it’ll take before we smarten up and work less? Let us know your thoughts on the six-hour work day in the comments below!

NOW GET BACK TO WORK,

-Gabby

 

Preparing Your Holiday Budget

The winter holidays are right around the corner and that can mean a devastating blow to your bank account. I hate shopping in December so I start going hard in November. I know some of you may think that I’m a huge keener, but the reason I started so early was that I wanted to stick to my budget.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Karyn’s going to tell us to make ANOTHER budget… guhhhhh.” Yes, it seems like every time I write a post I’m suggesting  that you make a budget, but for the holidays this can be crucial for whether or not you want to start the new year off with tons of new (and avoidable) debt.

So bear with me for a hot sec and let’s get started with how to create your holiday budget.

1. Figure out how much you can afford to spend.
The worst thing you can do is just dive right into shopping without know how much you can actually afford to splurge on. This will require you to look at your money and be very harsh about it. You need to make sure you have money set aside for the essentials (rent, food, transportation, internet, etc.) and then decide how much you WANT to spend. The key word is WANT. Everyone wants to spend more than they actually have because giving makes you feel all warm inside. You need to recognize that you may WANT to spend $500 but in reality you can only afford $200. Don’t let the WANT cloud your judgement.

2. Make a gift-receivers list (and check it twice)
Lists will be your BFF this holiday season. It will keep you focused and your wallet merry. By making a list of the people you’re buying for, you can go a step further and write beside their names how much you are able to spend on them. Once you have their monetary assignments it will make shopping for them easier. You can even write what you want to get them and how much the item costs. Now you won’t have to worry if you’ll have enough money for each person because you’ve already divvied up your budget.

3. Make a holiday expenses list (check this one too :D)
Again with the lists, but gosh they are the best to keep you on track. Just like with number two, make a list of all the things you will be spending money on. If you are hosting a party you will need food, decorations, and drinks or maybe you’re being active and going skiing, taking a winter road trip, or are flying out to see the fam. These are all expenses that you will need to plan for. On your list it should specify what each thing is that you’ll be buying and how much it is. This way you can make sure you are within your budget or even see if there are things that you really don’t need and can cut back on.

4. Set a price limit with your friends/family
When you’re shopping for oodles of people it helps to create a set price limit. This way instead of worrying that someone is going to drop mad cash on you (cash that you may not have to reciprocate) you’ll be shopping within a set price that you’ve all agreed on.

Now I bet you’re thinking, “Um, Karyn it’s the thought that counts behind the gift, not the price.” And hey, I wholeheartedly agree with you, but by setting a limit of $30 it will give you peace of mind and help you stick to your budget. Plus, it will get your creative juices flowing when it comes to buying (or even creating) your gift.

5. Secret Santa/ Secret Snowflake it up
If you have a large family or friend group, buying a gift for each person can seem like an impossible task. Instead of worrying how faint-worthy your credit card bill will be, try Secret Santa/Snowflake. Get everyone to put their names in a hat and each of you choose a name. The person you pick out is the person you’ll be buying a gift for. Incorporate this with number four on this list to make your wallet joyful and triumphant.

6. Track your spending
Once you start getting into the swing of things it’s easy to get carried away. In the midst of all of those holiday sales and buying things online it’s almost too easy to go over-budget. To avoid this you should write down everything you spend. At the top of the sheet should be the amount that you’ve determined you can spend. With each purchase you should be writing down what you bought and how much it cost. You should also be subtracting from the grand total at the top and writing down the new total after each purchase.

It could look a li’l something like this.

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This will help you stay within your budget. If you have money leftover you can either save it away for a rainy day or get yourself a li’l sumthin’ sumthing for all of your hard work 🙂

The key is to start now. If you want to have a stress-free and debt-free holiday, the sooner you get started, the better.

Do you have any holiday saving tips? Share them with us in the comments!

-Karyn

 

#1 Tip to Turn Your Blog Into a Business (+ Passive Income ‘Tings)

Hi Ladies!

Are you interested in turning your blog into a business? Or perhaps you have a side hustle right now that you want to turn into a side hustle that actually makes mo’ money?

If so, you need three things:

  1. A plan
  2. A mentor who can help guide you
  3. A community to help you grow faster

For my side hustle (media strategy for entrepreneurs) I have an amazing coach named Natalie MacNeil who has helped me grow my business.

Here’s a short video sharing my story:

As I share in the video, having a plan, mentor and community to lift you up is so helpful in growing your company.

I’m now an affiliate of The Conquer Club (a year-long incubator for ambitious women entrepreneurs) and how I will share with you at the end of enrollment about how being an affiliate helped me make mo’ money and mo’ progress with passive income.

If you’re curious about The Conquer Club to help you accelerate your business and life, check it out here! And if you do want to sign up through my link, I will help you grow your business with help from mainstream media (my biz!) through my Media Magnet Group Coaching Program.

With 2016 just around the corner, it’s definitely the time to take bold action to help you end the year strong and kick-off the year bigger and better than ever!

-Gwen

P.S. If you have any questions about The Conquer Club, email me at ge@gweneliot.com!

Gabby’s October Challenge: Start Paying Back OSAP

This month I decided to really understand my student loan and exactly how long it would take to pay back. A while back my dad gave me an article written by Gail Vaz Oxlade about dragging debt around that was really useful in this process. As Gail puts it, there’s good debt and there’s bad debt. Good debt builds your assets. Bad debt doesn’t.

A mortgage is good debt if it’s not too big. A car is good debt if you need it to do your job. A student loan is good debt because it helps you make more money. Investing in yourself builds your assets.

Dinner that you put on your credit card is bad debt. As Gail Vaz Oxlade puts it, “you put dinner on your credit card… you go home, get ready for bed. You go to the bathroom. You poop! Dinner’s gone. The credit charge is still on your card two years later.”

Well said, Gail.

Prioritizing debt is the secret; specifically paying off the debt with the highest interest rate. At my point in life, I don’t have a house or a car, and the only real debt I have is my student loan which is only at 3.5% interest. But still. I don’t want to be dragging around $22,826.88 in debt for the rest of my life.

Here’s how I figured out how much I want to pay back every month:

1. I took the amount I owe, multiplied it by the interest rate and divided by 12 to get the monthly interest rate. So I would be paying $67 dollars each month in just interest. Ow.
$22,826.88 x 3.5% / 12
=$67

2.  Then I took the amount I owed on principal (the original amount I owed) and divided it by the number of months I want to have it repaid. I hope to get this out of the way in 4 years. (Wish me luck!) This number is how much I would be paying every month, interest-free.
$22,826 / 48
=475.54

3. Then I added the monthly principal ($475.54) and interest rate together ($67) to get how much I should be paying per month to get this done in 4 years.
$475.54 + $67
=$542.54

And there you have it. That’s the solution to figuring out how to calculate your monthly debt payments. $542.54 seems like a lot—and it is for what I make—but I can always change the amount if it ever feels overwhelming. It’s good to keep a visual representation of your debt, so that’s why I made this to keep me on track—and motivated 😉

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Let us know what your secret is to paying back debt in the comments below!

You can do this!

-Gabby

 

Karyn’s October Challenge: Halloween on the cheap

Halloween is my jam, so I wanted to take this opportunity to see if I could be a bit more #financiallyfearless when it came to my costume this year. In the past I have made some poor money decisions when it came to outfit choice. I have bought costumes online for waaaay too much and were such poor quality.

This year I decided to challenge myself to make or buy a costume for under five dollars. This made me get very creative and dive into Pinterest boards and A LOT of DIY pages. Luckily my search was narrowed down when I was invited to a party that was Disney themed. My wonderful friend Robin wanted to go as Mary Poppins so I decided to go as her faithful friend Burt the chimney sweep.

For those of you who need a small reminder, I’m talking about this guy…

I was able to borrow a hat from my Dad, a vest from my boyfriend, and raid my own closet for the rest of the outfit. The only thing holding me back from cleaning some chimneys was a chimney sweeper. I would have to make it myself.

Now, with a budget of five dollars I had to shop smart. After looking at some homemade sweepers online, I only needed to buy a few items. Luckily for me, Dollarama was feelin’ me that day and I was able to get all that I needed for four dollars!

Yes, that’s right! I was able to make my costume under budget! With the help of my ever-wonderful Mary Poppins, I constructed my sweeper in no time.

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On the night of the party I became curious to what other people had spent on their costumes. The majority of those attending were like me and were very thrifty in their costume budgeting, but there were a few who decided to break the bank.

There was a Hobbit who spent $10 on her outfit.

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A thrifty Dark Knight who spent $50 on his costume five years ago and has kept it mint condition (he wore it each year, so it comes out to $10 a wear).

Jax from Street Fighter made an appearance, but he ended up doling out over $50 on military gear and football pads he bought on Kijiji, though he did have some DIY thrown in there.

I discovered the most expensive costume was my friend dressed up as the crazy scientist Rick from the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty. He ended up spending over $80 on the wig, pants, shirt, lab coat and flask to complete his look.

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In the end I was proud of myself (and my Poppins counterpart) for having the cheapest costumes there!

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It just goes to show that some of the best costumes don’t need to be the most expensive. The only thing that limits you is your imagination and your skills with a glue gun!

– Karyn

Monique’s October Challenge: Apply for UK Visa

October was a month of massive change, and I finally accomplished a goal I have been working towards for six months: I have applied for my UK work visa.

adventure time - jake and bug - dancing

Applying for the visa in itself may not seem like a financial challenge at first, but it is the culmination of financial strategy, money mindfulness, and more obsessing than I care to admit.

This goal became almost all-consuming: it affected how much I worked, how I spent my free time, how I chose to spend any extra cash, and longer-term career plans. The main lesson I learned is that if you are working towards a life-changing goal, it is important to take the time and map out a strategy.

There is a reason why champions (in any field) write down their goals. The best of the best keep their goals written down on a piece of paper and carry them around everywhere they go. This simple practise keeps you focused and mindful of what is most important to you. In my case, (and I could have done this better) it provides a blueprint of each step you need to take to achieve your goal.

My November challenge is to calculate what I need as an emergency fund to cover six months of expenses and to find at least three ways to start increasing what I already contribute. Knowledge is power!

…And you can bet that I’m going to write this down 😉

How do you keep track of your financial goals? Share in the comments below or let us know on social media!

<3 Monique

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