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Improve Your Credit Score

29 Jan

First and foremost, to improve your credit score you should eliminate debt. Stop using a credit card for purchases or don’t just pay the minimum balance at the end of the month, instead pay the whole balance. If you are not capable of paying the whole balance, then cut your credit card in half because you are living beyond your means. Try to avoid opening up store cards. Many department store offer incentives and discounts that lead us into getting a card, however the interest rates are outrages. If you have newer cards, close them, but keep the older ones even if you choose not to use them. What affects your credit score positively, is the length of your credit history.

Everyone is entitled to receive one free credit report a year. Review your credit score annually and take the necessary steps to improve it.

XOXO,
The Stylish Girl

Smart Women Invest in Roth IRAs

10 Jan

Sometimes we have to make small sacrifices to have a better future. Passing on buying a pair of shoes might seem very hard to do, but investing that money towards your 401K will be so much more rewarding in the long run. The best way to invest in your future, is to convert your 401(k) or traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. The current disadvantage is that you will have pay taxes on the amount you invest, but if you convert a small portion at a time, it won’t be that bad.

How is a Roth IRA different from a traditional IRA in the long run? Since you have already paid taxes on a Roth IRA, when retired, you get to take out all the money in your Roth without paying any tax on it. It is better to pay taxes now rather than later because there is every reason to believe that tax rates are going to be higher in the future. If the account has been open for at least five years and you are 59 1/2 when you take it out, your money will not be taxed. Another bonus, you can always withdraw any money you originally contributed to your Roth at any time without any penalties. Only the growth must stay until you reach the specified age. Also you are not required to make any withdrawals unlike with the traditional 401K, you can leave the money growing and eventually pass it along your heirs as a tax-free inheritance.

A small sacrifice today such as investing a small portion consistently and paying taxes now on a Roth IRA, will yield significant gains in the future.

XOXO,
The Stylish Girl

Fashionistas need to think about retirement too

9 Jan

According to the Urban Dictionary, a fashionista is “a person devoted to fashion clothing, particularly unique or high fashion”. Being interested in fashion and beauty means forking out a lot of $$$$$! Sometimes investing in key pieces of clothing or high brand makeup, means better quality and longer lasting. While spending money in things that make us happy is very satisfying, we tend to forget about our future. The earlier you start investing towards your future, the more money you will have when you retire. But who likes to read about retirement when it’s more enjoyable to read about what the celebrities are wearing, the new clothing lines and the makeup trends?! That’s why retirement investing is simply summarized below, so it won’t take much of your time or effort to start thinking about your future.

Have a 401(k) from your employer? Do an IRA rollover that way you are not restricted to a handful of mutual funds offered in your 401(k). You want to be in total control of choosing the best low-cost investment. Pick a discount brokerage or no-load fund company. Complete an easy rollover application form and choose the option for a direct rollover. Set up an automated monthly investment for the growth portion of your retirement portfolio. The money should be invested in a mix of stocks and bonds, even though how many years you have till retirement determines your risk tolerance. If you are in your 20’s it is recommended that you invest 100% in stocks. However, individual stocks are riskier than mutual funds or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) which include a number of stocks and make a great diversified portfolio. A solid long-term strategy is to put the majority  of your stock money in a broad U.S. index fund or ETF and a small portion in an international stock fund or ETF. If you have less than 20 years into your retirement start thinking about investing a small percentage in bonds, but it is recommended to invest in individual bonds rather than bond funds. A high quality bond will get the amount you invested back once the bond matures. During the time you own it, you also collect a fixed interest for all those years. Stick to bonds and Treasury notes that mature in 5 years or less to avoid higher interest rates in the future.

XOXO,
The Stylish Girl

Women Entrepreneurs

6 Dec

Starting a business takes time, innovative ideas and start-up cost. We tend to think that those who start their own business, come from a wealthy family and have inherited a lot of money or have some sort of financial support, however, in the study, “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur”, the opposite proved to be true:

-The average age of women starting their own companies: 40.

-Less than 1% came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds.

-70% were married when they launched their first business.

-60% had at least one child when they launched their first business.

-75% worked as employees for other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies.

Let this study, from the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship, be an inspiration to all women out there who have the drive and ambition and would like to follow their passion.

XOXO,
The Stylish Girl

Dress For Success

2 Dec
“To build a positive first impression, it’s better to air on the conservative side. You don’t want to wear something that you’d leave with the interviewers … that all they remember is that tattoo or nose ring.”
– Kelly Van Aken, recruiting director for Aerotek
According to Wikipedia, “business casual is a kind of middle ground between formal business wear and street wear.” That’s the reason we picture business casual as a mixture of business pieces with trendy everyday items. Even though every workplace is different, a rule of thumb is to stay away from denim, neon colors and sheer or shiny materials. Stay away from spaghetti straps, plunging v- necks,  ruffles and above the knee fashions. It is recommended to wear closed-toe shoes. Makeup should be kept neutral. It’s best to steer clear of false eyelashes, chunky mascara and ultra shiny lip gloss. Keep hair clean and avoid excessive products.
It is easy to look professional and stylish even in a conservative work environment.
XOXO,
The Stylish Girl

10 Facebook Facts

11 Jun

1. As of January 2011, Facebook has more than 650+ million active users.

2. FB tops Google for weekly traffic in the US.

3.  FB added over 20 million users in less than a year.

4. If FB were a country, it would be the world’s 3rd largest.

5. More than 1.5 million pieces of content are shared on FB daily.

6. 1 out of every 8 minutes online is spent on FB.

7. 40% of Fb’s user base age is 35+.

8. 64% of FB users have become “fans” of at least 1 company.

9. 51% if FB fans are more likely to buy the brands they fan.

10.  Fan pages can be indexed by the search engines and will be visible even to unregistered people.

XOXO,
The Stylish Girl

Word of mouth on steroids

19 Mar

Social media truly is like word of mouth on steroids. This is why:

-Youtube is he 2nd largest search engine in the world. 100,000,000 YouTube videos are viewed per day.

-New York Times calls Twitter “The fastest-growing phenomena on the internet”.  Twitter  added more than 100 million new registered accounts and saw 25 billion Tweets in 2010 alone.

-The Washington post calls Facebook “A class-act website”.  Facebook gets more traffic than any other website on the internet.

-There are over 200,000 blogs. A new blog is created somewhere in the world every half a second.

-Kindle ebooks outsold paper books on Christmas.

-Wikipedia has over 13 million articles.

-Flickr now hosts more than 4 billion images.

-80% of companies use social media for recruitment.

-1 out of 8 couples married in the US met via social media.

-In 2010, advertisers spend almost $1.7 billion on social media marketing in the US.

-Social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the web.

Social media has changed the world of marketing and advertising from monologue to dialogue. No business should exist without actively participating at least in one social media.

XOXO,
The Stylish Girl
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