Should You Have Lots of Credit Cards In Your Thirties?

You know it’s true: You’ve been tempted by credit card sign up bonuses in the past. And you’ve maybe even signed up for a credit card solely for the sign up bonus… and then canceled it? Or have you been scared that opening up or canceling lots of credit cards in your thirties could hurt your credit score?

There’s a lot of mixed information in this area that might leave you puzzled. Here’s the deal: credit cards can be really helpful and pretty benevolent unless you can’t use them wisely. It’s like anything: if you develop an unhealthy (overspending) addiction, you need to stay away. Otherwise, proceed wisely and happily. There are lots of benefits to having multiple credit cards.

Here are some tips for having various credit cards in your thirties:

  1. Pay your credit cards off in full every month

This is pretty self-explanatory, but the real trick to benefiting from credit cards, and especially from having multiple credit cards, is to make sure you pay the full balance off every month, not just the minimum. If you can’t pay the full balance off every month, stay with fewer credit cards until you can. Sign up bonuses and points aren’t worth the crazy expensive interest charges you’ll have to pay if you rack up debt.

2.  Don’t cancel the random credit cards you opened in your early twenties

Part of your credit score is calculated based on length of credit history. If you cancel the first card you ever opened, you’re shortening your credit history, and this will hurt your credit score. Unless a card has a high annual fee that you don’t want to pay, there’s no reason to cancel. If you don’t want to use the card anymore, pay it off and cut it up.

3. If you’re opening multiple cards for a point bonus, make sure you can meet the minimum spend in the correct amount of time

If there’s an American Airlines card that will give you 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in 3 months, make sure, if you get the card, that you’re gonna spend the $3000 in 3 months. I’ve screwed this one up before and have actually forgotten to meet the minimum. Put all your other cards away and solely use that one for awhile. If you can pay major bills, like your rent, on your credit card, you should be able to easily meet the minimum. There are actually services that can help you do this –this one is called Plastiq. Though Plastiq charges a 2.5% service fee, it can be helpful if you need to meet a minimum.

4. If you can meet multiple minimums at once, it’s best to open more than one card on the same day

Even if you have great credit, you’re more likely to get denied for a card if you open a new card every few weeks. I’ve actually opened and been approved for three cards in one day (I’m really good with credit cards and pay them off in full every month). If I’d opened one card and then waited a week to apply for the next card, I would have probably gotten denied. Wait at least 90 days to apply for the next credit card(s).

5. You won’t ruin your credit from having multiple cards

In fact, the opposite is true. Your credit score is partially calculated from something called a debt-to-credit ratio. If you have more credit available, you’ll have a better ratio.

6. You won’t ruin your credit from canceling a card

If a card has a high annual fee and it’s not worth keeping, go ahead and cancel it. Your score will only drop a tiny bit from your lowered debt to credit ratio. And it will come back up again as you continue using your remaining cards wisely. The annual fees aren’t always worth keeping the card. The only exception to this rule is if you cancel your oldest card- that will definitely lower your score more than the others because it will change your length of credit history… as I mentioned above.

There’s a lot more tips for enjoying multiple credit cards safely, but I hope this is helpful! As always, please comment below with any questions you may have! Thanks for reading!

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“Second-Class Citizen” in Hollywood – At 38?

Do you have personal beauty icons? Those people who have a “look” you love and would want for yourself – and a lot of times, it’s not just their physical attributes, but rather, this unexplainable glow or draw they possess. Though they evolve, my beauty icon mainstays are Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman and Liv Tyler…

So, I was really disappointed to read an interview with Liv Tyler in the October issue of More magazine. Not because of her, she’s as awesome and lovely as ever. No, I was disturbed by something she said about being a woman in Hollywood.

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Liv Tyler

In the article, she says that thirty-eight “is a crazy number. It’s not fun when you see things start to change. When you’re in your teens or 20s, there is an abundance of ingenue parts which are exciting to play. But at [my age], you’re usually the wife or the girlfriend — a sort of second-class citizen.”

Ack. I think Liv Tyler is undeniably gorgeous. I would imagine most men from age 18 and up would agree. And so, while not surprising, I think it’s sad.

Maggie Gyllenhaal also recently said this to the Hollywood website The Wrap, “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

The big problem for me is that we’re not going to see a richness of women on screen if this doesn’t change. I don’t want to spend my 30s going to movies about gorgeous 22 year old female protagonists. I want to see more women like me on screen, especially as I head into my mid-30s.

Thirty-Something and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Mood

Earlier this week I woke up on worse than the wrong side of the bed. I woke up on the wrong side of the planet.

A black sticky cloud had descended upon my usually happy-go-lucky outlook. My eyes went dark and my blood turned ice. The outside world had become bleak and unfriendly. My favorite things felt traitorous. My favorite activities felt lifeless. Everything sucked. There seemed to be no turning back.

There’s been some tumult in my life lately that could’ve caused this blackness to fall upon my days. A big change recently happened with my job that left me horribly upset. Someone said a few things to me recently that shook my trust in people. I’ve been a bit overtired. However, I’ve been through way worse things before, and I don’t usually get this moody.

Sometimes the perfect storm occurs in your life, and no matter how good you’ve been feeling in your thirties or how good things are going, your mood will drop into the negative range. It’s normal and it’s okay.

I’m just starting to shake this feeling, but I’ve come to a few conclusions about it. Here they are.

  1. Sometimes you’re in a black mood. It’s okay. Feel it and don’t beat yourself up.

Really feel the bad mood- give yourself permission to not be okay. You don’t have to always be okay. Try not to explode angrily at other people, but otherwise go ahead and live with the feelings for now. They will pass. When I just pretend to be positive and push away my mood, it usually prolongs the badness and makes me more upset.

2. Sometimes it’ll take a bit of time

Just because you don’t feel better the next day, or the next week, doesn’t mean you’ll always feel off. Give yourself time and don’t freak out or go down a rabbit hole of thinking “everything will be bad forever”….it won’t. I have a bad habit of going down that rabbit hole when I get upset- fearing that I’ve backtracked from all the progress I’ve made in my life. It’s really a terrible habit- but I have to remember that the progress I’ve made is real and won’t just go away because of a bad period. It’s hard to remember.

3. See if you can trace the bad mood.

Sometimes there’s a root cause to the negativity that you can actually work on. Sometimes you’re moody because you need to take action. When I realized that part of my bad mood was due to my job, I started talking about it. Talking things out is sometimes really helpful for me. I also have been attempting to brainstorm baby steps to work on the job issue. We shall see.

4. Be gentle with yourself

Give yourself permission to sleep extra hours if you can grab them. Take a long bath. Watch a movie you want to watch. Walk in nature. Read a book you like. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend who’s down. I recently went for a walk in the gardens of the Biltmore Estate, in North Carolina. It was calming to see such amazing beauty in nature.

5. Help someone else

Jane recently was talking to me about something sad going on in her life, and I attempted to cheer her up. While cheering her up, I remembered something that always made me feel better. I had forgotten about what made me feel better in the past- or rather, my bad mood had blocked me from it.

6. Your bad mood isn’t the real you

I’m gonna say something weird now. It’s gonna sound new-agey- but I’d appreciate you bearing with me for a sec. Here goes:

Something I’ve learned in the past few years is that the real you is always love.

I know that sounds weird and hippie-ish and is hard to make sense of, even for me right now. But believe it or not, I think love is what everything really is. Love is given to and received from you all the time, no matter what. Even when you’re at your most horrible, the real you is love. Even when people around you are total douches, their real selves are sending you love. Really.

Isn’t that sort of nice to think about?

Because there are so many blocks to feeling this love. So many. Like apathy. And boredom. And fear. And those darn bad moods. But the love is still there anyway. It’s crazy.

The blocks make it so hard to remember that they’re not what’s real- they’re just blocks to what’s actually real. I don’t know why there are these blocks, and why it’s so hard to get through them. But I guess life has always been mysterious.

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Yakudoshi – Or, Is Your 33rd Year Unlucky?

I’m in my 33rd year of life, and I can say it’s been one of the rougher years I’ve had in awhile. There’s been a lot of upheaval and transition in my personal life. The bright side is that I feel better equipped to handle these changes now that I’m in my 30s; nothing seems quite as dramatic as it did in my 20s. I’ve accepted that we all have u-turns in life, and I’m sure I’ll have more of them in the future. Strangely, they probably won’t be any less shocking when they happen.

So. Let me get to the point. I learned something fascinating this weekend. Apparently, in Japan, the 33rd year of a woman’s life is considered to be one of the most unlucky. This comes from something called Yakudoshi, which is a set of believed “unlucky” years (in a person’s life). For women, the unlucky years are 19, 33, and 37, with 33 being the most unlucky. For men, the numbers are 25, 42, and 61.

Yes, it is a superstition of sorts – based on no real hard facts. Wikipedia suggests that perhaps: “For women, rearing children and living a life of housework could cause unseen accidents and illness which again is proposed evidence for this theory.” Clearly, this stems from dated information. But still. I read that if you pronounce the number 3 (san) and 3 (san), it sounds like the Japanese word for misery (sanzan). With my own tumultuous year happening as I type this, I can’t help but wonder…Is there some nugget of truth here?

Perhaps. But, fear not if you’re still under 33! Aside from cleansing rituals and visiting a Buddhist shrine in advance of your 33rd year for blessings, the key seems to be to move slowly, don’t make any rash life decisions, and also…be grateful. As this article on Wow! Japan suggests, “Stop resisting your destiny. Leave your fate in the hands of deities. Just enjoy your troubles.”

And if there are indeed troubles, from the research I’ve done, it appears there’s a beautiful yin/yang quality to the idea of Yakudoshi. Yes, there are ‘unlucky’ years but they are balanced by great years of your life. And isn’t that the case in life, generally? There is no light without darkness. Happiness can’t exist without it’s counterweight of sadness, otherwise, what would it be but our natural status quo?

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How to Drive People Crazy On Facebook In Your Thirties (and Not the Good Crazy)

Sure, we’ve referred to the thirties here at OMG I’m Thirty as the “giving zero fucks” decade, but occasionally, it helps to give a fuck. If you’ve achieved the holy grail of giving zero fucks in your thirties, maybe skip this social media post.

However, my fellow still-fuck-giving-thirty-somethings, we’re the Facebook generation (and now the Instagram and Snapchat generation (because we’re cool enough to keep up with the young kids’ technology)), and we have a responsibility not to completely and utterly drive each other crazy on social media. You know it happens, I know it happens, and we might as well talk about it happening. We’re the generation that had social media foisted upon our otherwise Wow-I have- A-Real-Life-Computer lives. And now social media is everywhere and we can’t get away from it (well, we can, but that requires the willpower of an olympic athlete and/or the home set-up of a cave-dweller).

So without further ado, here’s a rant about the latest and greatest social media that has everyone I meet annoyed. (Disclaimer: most of this is a joke. Sort of. #KiddingNotKidding.)

  1. The Humble Brag– I think most people are guilty of this one, including myself. Think about how you’d react to something yourself before you post it. Putting up photos of yourself holding wads of money and writing: “when you want something bad enough and you put it out there, all of the universe conspires to help you” annoys most people. This was recently a real post from one of my Facebook friends. I hope she isn’t reading this.
  2. The Gym Selfies– “Can’t stop, won’t stop”, “Go ahead tell me that I can’t and I’ll show you that I can.”, “They said she couldn’t, she said watch me.” Okay, we believe you can. Can you just go do it and stop letting us know? Sigh.
  3. The Million Baby Posts- This one doesn’t really annoy me, but some of my friends have de-friended people for it. No more than a few photos of your baby a week, unless the baby was just born, please. And ‘a few’ is generous. At the very least, make an album and put them all up at once.
  4. The Vague Negativity Posts: “Ugh…”, “This has been the worst day :(“, “The darkness surrounds me.” These are intensely negative yet unspecific posts, and they scream ‘attention seeker!’ At least tell us what happened in the original post so we don’t have to ask! Or wait.. was your intention for us to ask? And please don’t reply after we ask: “I don’t want to talk about it.” Just no.
  5. The Non-Humble Brag: “I have the most amazing boyfriend ever!” “I’m so lucky I’m in Paris with my magnificent boyfriend and the cutest dog ever…here are all my photos!” “I have the best job that you’ll never get and I just got a raise!” Okay, we’re probably all guilty of this one in not so many words. But try to be conscious of all the green-eyed monsters this will awaken in your Facebook friends. If you post more than 2 brags a week, you’re cut off.
  6. The Bait and Switch: “Sometimes when no one’s looking I like to cover myself in Nutella and roll around on the carpet.” Woh, really?! But when I like or comment on your status you tell me ‘Psych! This is to raise awareness for Green And Blue Strep Throat Syndrome Disorder. Now you have 24 hrs to paste this post as your status or you’re a terrible person who doesn’t support the cause.’ Oh nooooooo you didn’t!!!
  7. The “I’m Gonna Leave Facebook, Goodbye World” post. Just leave, please. Go silently into the dark night. The world will keep turning. It’s very likely I won’t notice you’ve left.
  8. The Plethora of Selfies. I really don’t like selfies unless they have someone else in them…or unless they’re at least showing off a cool background. Maybe once or twice in a little while you can indulge your selfie obsession… but not all the time. This is super duper extra bad if it also falls into the Gym Selfies category… and I have a feeling I’m not alone in this. Pun intended. Please tone it down. Ugh…
  9. The Random Invite.  We haven’t seen each other in 7 years and you’re inviting me to your Best Gardener Award Ceremony in Spokane, Washington. Really? I’m obviously not gonna be there, I live in New York and you’re not really my friend. Come on now.
  10. The Constant Positivity Poster – “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” “You can do anything if you put your mind to it.”Do what makes you happy.” Shut up. We get it. You’re happier than me. Ughhhh… whyyyy???
  11. The Do-Gooder Evangelist: “If you’re not a vegan you’re going to hell.” “Candy and makeup are full of toxic chemicals and you’re gonna shrivel up, get terrible pimples and cystic acne and die soon, horrible make-up wearing candy eater.” Sometimes I love beautiful vegan touting posts, or posts promoting clean eating or animal welfare. But they need to be worded wisely and non-judmentally. Tread lightly. Not everyone is as saintly as you. Take pity on us mortals.

So that’s what I have for now. Haha, I’m gonna go humbly brag about this post on Facebook now. And then maybe post something politically polarizing.

What drives YOU crazy on social media?

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Something, Anything: A Gem of a Netflix Find

The other day I was scrolling through Netflix when I saw a film titled Something, Anything. It was described as: When tragedy shatters a Southern newlywed’s plans for domestic bliss, she leaves her husband and begins a journey of self-discovery.

It sounded like it could be a great Eat, Pray, Love situation (the book, not the movie) and I knew I could get down with that, especially since I’m going through a breakup right now. I’m voraciously intaking any culture and media that’s about self-discovery and fresh starts. Anyway, I start watching.

In the first ten minutes of the movie, we see a gorgeous woman in her late 20s/early 30s who is following the life script so many of us women (and men too, I suppose) have been fed. It begins when her boyfriend proposes with a fancy diamond ring, then they plan their lush wedding, picking out items at some fancy home good store for their registry, and finally, they get pregnant. I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but let’s just say, there’s a rub in their plan.

Here’s where it gets really interesting. Through a series of small encounters, the woman decides to pursue a more spiritual life, eventually entertaining the idea of perhaps becoming a monk at a monastery in Kentucky. She sells her car and all of her belongings, and heads out into the great unknown of life.

I haven’t seen many films about a woman’s spiritual journey that isn’t inspired by a man – be it from a breakup, unrequited love, etc. so this film was a refreshing, ambitious treat. As a caveat, I did find some flaws with the movie that were a bit distracting – namely it looked like the lead actress was wearing a wig the entire time and it drove me crazy. Unless people really do have hair that perfect. Who knows!

You can watch the trailer below. I’d highly recommend this movie, because how often do you see films about 30-something women ambitiously going “off-script” and doing something unconventional?

The US Open and Getting Better In Your Thirties

Next time you complain that your body’s getting old and wearing down in your thirties, think of Serena Williams and Roger Federer.

Two of the top tennis players in the US Open this year are both in their mid-thirties. Williams and Federer are both age 34 and at the absolute top of their tennis games. Serena is currently ranked Number 1 out of all women tennis players in the world and Federer is Number 2 of all the men. And neither has any intention of retiring anytime soon.

I’ve been working at the US Open for the past two weeks, and have been simultaneously watching Federer and Williams play their hearts out and listening to people in their 30’s complain that they’re old and tired. It’s sort of a funny dichotomy.

Serena came in first place in 3 out of 4 of the major tournament titles this year- the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon. She made it to the semi-finals of the US Open. At 34.

Federer was possibly about to retire two years ago. He was in a slump and his back was bothering him. But now, at 34, he’s not only made a comeback, but he’s changed and added to his tennis style and has been playing with ease and confidence throughout the Open. Federer is not only the second best tennis player in the world- he’s also the father of two sets of twins! Talk about balancing career and family! Federer plays in the finals today against the reigning Number 1 tennis player, Novak Djokovich.

So, as Jane said in a recent post, stop saying you’re old in your thirties! You’re only as old as you believe you are!

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