Thursday, February 22, 2018

How I Built My Credit Score from Scratch

Excuse all the sh*t I talked about in
the previous blog!

First things, first! For those of you in South Africa, I have a ton of Designer Shoes, Jeans, bags etc coming your way soon! I have posted a sneak peak of some photos on my social media sites. Please follow me on Facebook: Babalwa Brook as I have reached the maximum number of friends and can't accept anymore friends but you can click the follow button that's next to the Add Friend button to see the posts of items I am selling as those posts will be made public (the rest of my post are private). Thanks for your support!

I hope you're having a warmer day than I am. It's 42°F / 6° Celsius in Los Angeles this morning and I am dying! My fingers are frozen! Why then am I typing this blog now, you ask? opportunity my friends! This is the chance I have to do it! And love! My love for you is deeper than the depth of any ocean. Did you recognize that line from a Dolly Parton / Kenny Rogers song? Yep! I went there!

February 2017

End of January 2017, my application for change of Immigration status was moving along. I got response from USCIS. That inspired this outfit:

USA Flag colors
USA flag colors, or British, haha! 

As soon as I was able to, I applied for a credit card to get my credit score situation situated. First, I asked my husband of 6 months, Calvin to squeeze me into his credit card. He was hesitant, thinking that I might run us both to the ground. I love to shop but I'm cheap and responsible! You're credit 's sage with me boo! As he was still deciding, I went online and started entering my information, applying for credit cards myself with my zero credit history. I got approved for a secure credit card. That means a credit card for people who either have bad credit or no credit history. People like me! In this case, you would have to 'secure' the card by putting in a down payment. They start you off at a low credit limit like $200. Your down payment will be anywhere between $50, $100, $150, even $200, which would suck, because, what's the point, right? The point is, you get to build your credit score! I don't know what criteria they use to decide who gets to pay how much but I was lucky enough to pay the least amount of $50. Thank you, stars! My card would arrive in approximately 2weeks.

Within five minutes, I had a card on the way. Hubs was like, huh? I was like, Yup! I couldn't wait to show him how good I am with finances. I thought he knew that already but I guess he wasn't without reasonable doubt. (too much crime documentary watching!)

It was still the beginning of the year. I still had that drive of achieving stuff for the year. I sat in front of that (this) computer and applied for jobs. I didn't want a real job because I still have my real job, acting. I wanted to make money on the side while waiting for acting jobs. I applied for flexible jobs. Sadly, they don't pay amazingly but money is money, right?

In a few days, I got calls from two companies that were my first choices. Simple jobs; one was to be some form of a brand ambassador with different stores. I liked that because you don't work same location daily. The other, was inventory or stock taking in different stores. They work all kinds of hours in different locations including out of town. I was eyeballing this with hope that they would take me all over Southern California and to Vegas. The former offered me their job first. When they told me I would be placed at the same store three times per week, I lost interest. Also, they asked if I had a white shirt. I didn't like that. I am not a big fan of white shirts. They look good on people, I have one, but I am not about to be washing that thing and ironing it daily. Heck no! That was too jobby for me. I wanted a job that didn't feel like a job. I held out for the inventory job. They offered me that jobs as well. They gave me a navy blue Golf Shirt, a name tag and told me to wear back pants. Deal! 

Things were looking up! This might be my year after all. Speaking of which, many years ago, something happened in my life that changed the course of my life, as I saw it. I decided to write a memoir about that period in my life. I had been doing this this time last year, with intentions to have the book done by the end of the year. 

My new job sent me training ASAP at the office. They had a mock store there and trained myself and two other folks at the same time. They then booked me the very same afternoon for doing inventory (stock taking) at The Dollar Tree the following day. I was very excited about that as this is a store I am very familiar with. Unfortunately, they cancelled, which, to my surprise, had me relieved. What? I thought I was excited about this! 

They paid weekly. Which is nice because a lot of the jobs I know of around here pay fortnightly (every two weeks). I'm gonna have money coming in all the time! This will be good for that credit card I'm about to get in the mail! 

While waiting for another booking from new job, an acting booking and that card, Calv and I went funning by the lake.

Pedal boating

This, for me, was a nice way to test my fitness. All those Zumba and Yoga Lessons were coming in handy! The lake was wide! I got to relieve the ever so energetic husband in pedaling and I felt good about it. This wasn't as scary as out Kayaking escapade in that, the boat was bigger than the kayak. And the lake, more sturdy than the ocean. Whew! No waves! 

Look at those ducks in a row on the left!

Fun times! We drove there in the van (kombi), which is always fun to back up in cos it plays an annoying ice cream / nursery tune when you do. 

We worked up an appetite and went to eat after. Speaking of food...

pink lemon, pink lemonade
Pink Lemon
Pink lemonade anyone?

Wasabi Peas

Hubs buys this from the Japanese market. He likes all things! When my sister was here, she fell in love with this. I eat them, when there's nothing else to eat. The wasabi is too strong  for me!


Credit card arrived in the mail. Whoot! Whoot! Shout out to all my independent ladies and gents! I activated it and got to swiping. Just kidding! I only had $200 limit, so, baby steps. If you want to be in good standing with your credit people you want to use no more than 30% of your credit limit. To fill my car with gas, at the time, cost $62. I would then only use my card to gas my car up. I paid it as soon as the amount cleared on my card. It wasn't a matter of not have sixty bucks for gas but building credit score. My score at the time was non existent. I kept doing this, using my card as often as possible and paying it off as soon as possible. I would also use it for groceries and pay it off the following day. 

In a few months, I had a credit score! It was average! You score is either poor, average, good or excellent. Mine was average. Yass! I kept doing what I was doing, in hopes of upgrading my score. It was still very early though, but I was excited.

I got booked to work at Victoria's Secret in Hollywood with my new job. Awesome! I'm going to be counting G-Strings all night! What could be better! I packed a small lunch, big bottle of water, a pen and put on comfy shoes. The store is on Hollywood and Highland. Very central Hollywood. I stayed around there at some point and lived up the road at another with Creepy Speedy, remember him? We worked at night. It was to be a 6 hr shift. I didn't know anyone but the lady who interviewed me. She was nice. The store was packed, between all the people I was working with, they had put us in a van and took us to the store. We left our cars at the office. It was a cold night, I arrived early at the office, but there were already others there. I waited in the car for a bit, then went and talked to the others. The office was locked. nobody knew what was going on, 30 minutes, still no world. Before it even got to that point, I messaged the supervisor, the lady to interviewed me, and asked her to confirm starting time. She did. She also told me she couldn 't get hold of the driver. Long story short, the driver told us she was told to pick us up at 8pm. We, the staff, we all told to be there at 7. MY question was, who's going to pay ME for the hour I spent in the car, freezing, when I could have been at home blogging?

My first night on the job went well. The people I worked with were OK. We were on our feet for the better part of the night, I mean, you're scanning price tags on panties and bras that are on shelves and display, of course, you're on your feet! It got to a point, where from seeing others, I sat on the floor when I was doing bottom drawers. The following morning, I had pain in parts of me I didn't thing were capable of pain. I needed a massage. Do I spend my first day's pay on a massage or do I quit? That's the question. First, let's see if they will pay me for that hour. Supervisor had apologized for the misunderstanding and told me it was totally her fault. What I wasn't clear on was whether that meant she was going to pay me from her own pocket seeing as it was HER fault or what because I was going to get paid for being at the office for an hour on a cold February night. Or was I?

We had a 30 minute lunch break. People went to the nearest fast food restaurants to eat. I ate the snacks I had taken to work with me. There was nowhere to sit, so we just hung out outside in the cold and went back in as soon as possible. Fortunately, Victoria's Secret has nice, pink sofas inside, I sat there with two other ladies. That's all the people the sofa could accommodate. I had asked one of the VS staff members before we went out to eat if I could sit in their break room. He looked at me like I had a contagious disease. When I mentioned this to one of our people, they looked at me like, 'you can't ask that! You should know better than to think you deserve to sit at a table to eat'

blister in eyeball
Blister in my eye

I mentioned this in one of my YouTube Videos but if you know what causes the blister in my eye, please let me know as I was told by medical people, that it's normal and would go away on its own. Which, it did, but came back and and and. I did use Apple Cider vinegar to kill this blister, try it at own risk! It burst like a mutha! I also used castor oil. I don't know if any of these helped or the thing went away on its own. 

Off to Church
Churching with boo. I've since sold the pink shoes on eBay and will be selling the jumpsuit with the stuff advertised on Facebook. I only wore it this one time.

I hope yall had a nice Valentine's day

Calvin always picks the best flowers for me. Gotta love a horticulturist.

Amongst other things, I had a head shot photoshoot. Two of my faves from that...

I took these shots myself

Do me a favor, and check out my Youtube channel under my name, Babalwa Brook; Please subscribe, watch, like and comment on my stuff. It'll make an African girl Smile. Also, if you comment on my blogs, it'll make me smile really wide.

Love you for reading.