Want better credit? Do THIS.

My credit score used to be below 600, now it’s over 800.

I was stressed out over money the first 40 years of my life.

In the last 8 years I shifted my INNER thinking about MONEY, lowered my costs and totally revamped my finances.

In doing so I finally reached some financial peace and equilibrium.

BTW, everything I wrote in this post is what I’ve taught my 2 daughters, and both my gilrs have decent credit, zero college debt and they are working in jobs with a decent income.

That’s my oldest daughter, Claire, in the pic above.

THIS is what I’ve learned in taking my credit from 600 to above 800:

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#1. Look hard at your current work and ask yourself “Am I EASILY REPLACED?”

The easier it is to REPLACE you the easier it is to pay you peanuts as an employer. At Tampa Bay Solar we pay experienced solar installers up to $30 an HOUR because GREAT INSTALLERS are really hard to find, hire and replace. Installing solar is hard work, in tough conditions, but the pay matches that hardship.

If you work as a barista or a janitor or an unskilled ditch digger you will NEVER be paid well. If you can manage a TEAM of ditch diggers you’ll get a raise. Maybe you can LEARN to operate a ditch digging machine?

If you learn how to build a business that digs a million ditches each year you’ll be a millionaire.

I make a strong income at Tampa Bay Solar because I’ve spent the last FIVE YEARS becoming skilled at closing solar deals. When I started with TBS in 2017 I had NO IDEA what I was doing, but by the time I had closed 100 deals (a few months later) the owner had enough confidence in me to put me in a leadership position.

BTW, I was 43 when I got started at TBS, it’s never TOO late to find success and fix your finances.

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#2. Can you earn MORE where you’re currently at?

If you work a low paying job ask your boss about management opportunities. How does one move into management and get a pay hike? What does it take? The answer might surprise you. Being able to manage knuckleheads is a skill, and companies need people with management skills who can lead a team.

If there is ZERO path to management at your crappy company go work elsewhere, your ladder is leaning against the wrong opportunity.

Do not keep working as a waiter or bartender thinking you’ll make $100K a year someday, move onto a more skilled opportunity. If you don’t do that you’ll still be hustling for tips when you’re 50, when you’re body is broken and your feet hurt, and that really sucks.

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#3. Are there a bunch of credit cards in your wallet?

Credit cards are financial CANCER, each credit card you carry around is like a malignant tumor growing on your ass. If you had a gnarly tumor on your left buttock you’d go get it removed. Chop up your credit cards and use your raise at work to evaporate your balances.

I’ve used a DEBIT card for the last 8 years. My debit card is tied to a business account (owned by my LLC) that tracks my expenses, which helps me pay LESS federal taxes at the end of the year.

When the computers at Experian and Equifax figure out that you have multiple credit card outstanding loan balances your credit score will go down. Same goes for high balance amounts on auto loans… I bought several cars in the last decade and paid them off EARLY, and this raise my credit score really fast.

Paying off all your credit card balances and NOT having auto debt is a sure path to a higher credit score.

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#4. EAT OUT LESS.

$20 in groceries will buy you a few basic meals, but it will barely buy you one sit down meal at a restaurant. PLUS you have to tip the server.

If you’re broke? Eat at home before you go out, it takes a minute to make a salad or fry some eggs, but it is FAR cheaper than even the crappiest fast food.

Also; getting drunk at the bar is expensive… especially if you get pulled over after 6 or 7 drinks….

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#5. DITCH THE EGO PURCHASES!

If you’re broke, and live in a shitty apartment yet you drive a $40,000 Lexus (on lease) and rock a $10,000 Rolex (on a payment plan) you’re only fooling YOURSELF.

Folks who finance luxury goods usually have poor credit and pay 14% interest on dumb stuff THEY DON’T NEED. Do you earn $50,000 per year and drive a $50,000 SUV? This is why your credit sucks.

I drive a used Chevy Volt that I bought for less than $20,000… and it has 110,000 miles on it. Luxury cars, luxury watches, fancy clothes… that’s all bullshit to impress other people. Don’t try to impress people who don’t give a shit about you.

The people who CARE about you don’t give a rip about your luxury goods, and if they DO you might want to reconsider your social circle.

A luxury car (or big SUV) has more expensive tires, maintenance, fuel costs, payments and insurance.

The fancy Rolex on your wrist is just plain stupid…. especially if you have lingering credit card debt.

I made ALL these dumb mistakes, but when I finally ditched luxury / ego purchases my credit started to go up. Good credit, no debt…. your will have financial PEACE when you get there.

My inexpensive Chevy Volt with lotsa miles costs me very little to own and drive…

Paying OFF my home is my main financial priority this year.

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#6. Housing is freakin’ expensive.

As I write this in February of 2022 real estate prices (and rents) are through the roof in Tampa and this is a BAD time to buy real estate. Many of you are renting… and the struggle sits between finding an inexpensive place, but one that is NOT in a ghetto neighborhood where you won’t be safe.

My daughters are 22 and 24, so I feel your pain here… if you can find roomies who have a steady job this might be a way to parse your expenses.

One solution to this……………………

Wait out the market… when we get into a deep recession in two years buy a house cheap, then rent out 3 rooms to your friends and BECOME THE LANDLORD. Your three friends will cover the mortgage, you’ll live there for free, not a bad deal.

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#7. STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR CRAPPY BROKENESS.

First of all, no one gives a damn if you’re broke.

I was listening to a young comedian bitch and moan about being broke… I offered him a job at Tampa Bay Solar and he did NOT take it. He’s probably STILL broke.

Silly goose…

If you talk about being broke you attract that crappy energy into your life. Talk about the future in a positive way, from your mouth to God’s ear, right?

When I started Balloon Distractions back in 2003 I would talk about having 100 restaurant clients when we only had 15. Once we had 100 clients I would talk about having 400 clients… you get the idea.

If you change your (broken) thinking about money it will be ABUNDANT.

Alos, don’t hate on successful people, instead use that energy to ask them how the hell they did it… you might learn something you can use to change your financial scenario.

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#8. Find a creative solution.

In 2003 I was twisting balloons on the street in Ybor to pay my mortgage… I was 29 years old… and in the next 9 months that goofy idea was making me over $100K a year. NO ONE thought it would work, yet that business went on to grow all over the United States… giving me a decent income until I sold the company in April of 2018.

That totally goofy idea got me on Season 5 of Shark Tank…

Need to make an extra $300 on weekends?

Buy a pressure washing machine and start handing out business cards… that’s better than complaining about your lack of money on social media. We all have a finite amount of energy, are you using your energy to grow, learn and earn… or are you just complaining about stuff?

You can complain, or you can promote the tar out of your side hustle.

My buddy started a post office store 20 years ago… then he franchised the idea and has 130 locations around the United States… you never know where a creative idea will take you.

Just google “Marcus Price, Goin’ Postal”

Note here: Marcus recently tapped me to help him sell GP franchises at $5K commission per sale…. so I’m doing that in addition to closing solar deals. Yahtzee!

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#9. Exercise a little more, LOOK better, feel better, get STRONGER.

It can’t hurt to slim down, look a little sharper, be in better health.

There are a ton of studies showing how obesity and poverty are strongly connected.

If you LIKE how you look in the mirror you will reflect that out to the world.

I’ve been lifting weights lately in an attempt to slim down and look better… I’m not happy with the 30 extra pounds I’m lugging around, so I’m taking action to correct that issue.

My 2017 Chevy Volt, with over 100K miles on it……

#10. Finally. DO NOT INCREASE your lifestyle.

When you increase your income you can either buy nicer stuff, or pay down your debt.

I could have bought a much bigger home in the last few years when my income increased, but I’m holding steady and paying off what I have.

Many young people live WAY OVER their means, especially when they start making more income.

If you made $15,000 per year in college and THEN you graduate and earn $60,000 it feels like a fortune… but in reality you can get caught up spending 100% of what you earn.

In my 30’s I made $100K most years and SPEND $100K, I was still BROKE, just at a riskier level!

KNOW where your expenses are and KNOW your income after taxes.

Earning $60K a year and living on $35K is far more peaceful than earning $150K and spending $150K!

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Ok, that’s TEN ideas that will improve your finances AND your credit score.

When your credit hits 800 let me know!

Ben Alexander

February : 2022

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