Let’s Talk About Prosper

While researching different p2p (peer to peer) lending platforms, I learned that the two most popular and mainstream options are Lending Club and Prosper. They have similar set-ups and goals, but they certainly differ in their requirements to be a lender. They’re both great, it just depends on how much money that you have to start off with. Lending Club requires a starting amount of $1,000.00. That also means that you could start to make a decent monthly return (don’t forget that return includes BOTH principal payment and interest together, not just interest). My financial situation does not allow for me to have a free $1,000.00 hanging around…yet. I’ll get there eventually. Patience is key in the financial improvement world when you have little to start with. In comes Prosper. Honestly, I know more about Prosper than Lending Club simply because I am able to invest with them. Prosper only requires a first deposit of $25 and the minimum to invest in a loan is $25.

 

So yay! You’ve ready to invest your first $25 into a loan! Where do you start? What’s your game-plan going to be? Don’t know yet? Neither did I, and I’m still learning and growing. Bear in mind this one awesome detail: you don’t have to fun an entire loan by yourself (and in my opinion you probably shouldn’t). You can put in as little as $25 per loan. These loans are funded by a large group of investors, not just one, so it’s less risky if you invest in many loans with smaller amounts, than one loan with a larger amount. How do you choose which ones to invest in? It’s tempting when you get on the list of available loans and you see that D grade loan with a 23% interest rate that looks so attractive…soooooo attractive. Then you see the A grade loan next to it that looks…not quite as attractive. You think to yourself: really? 7%? Ugh. But there’s something important about the difference between these two loans and it’s a huge deal when you can’t afford to lose any money. As attractive as that high interest loan might seem…it may not be the best option for you…or it could the be that the A grade loan isn’t right. I’ll tell you why.

 

When Prosper vets’ borrowers they have a multi-step process. Borrowers enter information about their finances including their income, what the loan is for, etc. Prosper also tells the individuals funding the loan valuable information that could sway an investor one way or another. Prosper rates each loan based on historical statistics of loans of its kind. The ratings go from 1-11, with 11 being the more secure loan to invest in, and 1 being the riskiest (according to Prospers algorithm). Personally, I know that people make mistakes just like I have, so I give a little wiggle room when it comes to the grade and I generally accept 7 or higher. I think about it like this: on paper I did not look that great in the past, but I’d not default on paying a private loan to anyone, as I know that people work very hard for their money just like me. Therefore, I know that Prospers number grade may not encompass the entirety of that borrower. Even with their advanced systems they can’t avoid a borrower who may default on their loan who may have a great numbered grade. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Then I look further because I need more info to decide, but Prospers grade is a good starting point. I’ll let that info sink in for now.

I know it’s a whole world of financial possibility that I’ve introduced you to, and we’ll talk about the next steps in my consequent posts. Remember, you can always message me questions and I’ll get back to you asap!

 

P.S. Also, please remember to consult a certified financial advisor when it comes to the big decisions that you need help with. Although I have knowledge in this area, I would not pretend to be an expert. Happy financial improving! 😊Holding-Hundred-Dollar-Bills_4460x4460

Let’s Talk About Love

Love is not a fairy tale…it’s so much better than that! It is such a beautiful sentiment to be shared between beings. I used to envision exactly what my love life would be like…and boy was I wrong. I wanted the typical fairytale. I wanted the knight in shining armor. I didn’t envision how that knight in shining armor would show me his love when I’m crying on his shoulder; or how he’d smile when I said something kooky that only the two of us understand because of our shared language; or how he’d cuddle with me at the end of a long day in complete silence, our eyes closed, and I could feel home and safe with him. I never dreamed that my favorite thing to do on a Saturday night would be to curl up in my Broadway themed pj’s (that he gave me) with Chinese food, a movie, and my awesome guy. The small moments are the best; the cute smile shared from across a crowded room just at the exact same moment; the eyes filled with love that are only for you, and even the middle of the night when you’re sick and at your worst…there’s that love who sits up with you and ruins their sleep to make you feel cared for. It doesn’t get any better than that! So…I say that love is in the small moments that build a lifetime of togetherness. I hope I never forget this, because real love is so much more exciting than the fairy tale.

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Scrooge

As I’m sure my fellow bloggers know, coming to the page can sometimes be hard, so here goes! At first, when I thought about Scrooge I went for the obvious: bitter about Christmas and life. To be honest, sometimes I can feel a tiny bit Scrooge-y during the holidays…just a tiny bit. Holidays can be hard. I also decided I felt like adding levity to my post because laughing is so much fun. Trust me, this one’s pretty unique. I can’t imagine anyone out there has this exact story, ha ha!

I was 18 years old. I was a senior in high school, and I was performing at a local dinner theatre in “Scrooge: the Musical” 4 nights per week. To me, it was so cool that I was doing professional dinner theatre while still being in high school! It was a lot of fun, and I’ll never for get it; especially one particular performance. During one of the party scenes of a Christmas in the past I was wearing a hoop skirt and there was a lot of spinning in the choreography. There were 3 of us girls on stage, all in hoop skirts. Now, I’m not sure how many of you are in theatre, but for those who are not, hoop skirt costumes don’t always have as many layers to wear underneath as regular hoop skirt outfits. I can now hear the collective groan as you, the reader, see where this is going, ha ha. Well, the spinning portion of the dance came around…and boy was there a lot of spinning…and I was in heels, too. Of course, when you’re spinning in that kind of dress it tends to take on a velocity of its own, so you better hold onto your partner tight! I did just that, but somehow…our hands came undone…and the world went wildly out of control. I saw the horrified faces of the other performers as I spiraled out of control, off the stage, skidded across the floor, and landed underneath the table at a poor older woman’s feet. Here’s the cherry on top of a fall that doesn’t seem like it could be more embarrassing: since I was flat on the floor my hoop skirt…well, you get the idea. There was more to be seen than I intended, that’s for sure. Without giving it a second thought I remembered that the show must go on, so I popped up, brushed myself off, ran onto the stage, and resumed…spinning with my dance partner, all the while smiling more so than I’ve ever smiled in my life so my embarrassment would be hidden. For the record, no one got hurt and now it makes for a fun party story! I’m glad, though, that this was not recorded.

I hope I have made you chuckle, as that was entirely my sole intention in telling you this story! Scrooge

Kindness is Contagious

I’ve been inspired lately to write about something that I feel can sometimes be taken for granted. I don’t really know what to say about it so far, so here goes. This is my brain drain about kindness. Kindness is contagious.

Have you ever noticed on the train how someone asking for money often goes ignored? Then, out of the many, one person donates…and it’s a ripple effect. People notice what is happening. Something in them encourages them to give what little they can. Automatically the heaviness on the train lightens just a little bit. A few smiles and kind words are exchanged. We are all reminded of the fact that others, too, are sometimes kind, in a world where it feels that not many are. For a brief second someones day has been made better, and that candle has been re-kindled inside them. The hearts of all involved have been pushed open just a little bit and warmth has been let in. It’s contagious; the best kind of contagious.

I’m a lover of inspirational quotes, so naturally I was looking up the perfect quote to share in this piece about kindness. There were way too many perfect quotes for me to share in one article; too much good material available, ironically! One of my favorite ideas, though, is that kindness begets kindness by using the law of attraction. In a nutshell, what you feel and put out into the world becomes your reality. I have personally known this to be true in my own life.  So, by being truly kind to the core you are not only improving the lives of others, but you are attracting kindness to you. Even when kindness is not reciprocated you can rest easy knowing that the universe has your back, and feel good about what you have done. So, you may ask, what inspired me to write about this? 

I won’t go too far into detail about the reasons behind why I was feeling stressed and low, but I will tell you about the person who showed unconditional kindness. It all happened in a coffee shop, of all places, in midtown NYC. It was a colder day and I went to Princi (which is fabulous, by the way) for a hot chocolate. Upon reaching the register, the barista, Nefertari, could tell that I could use a little boost and she treated me with such care and kindness that it truly warmed my heart. She went above and beyond with amazing customer service, a true to the core smile, and I could tell that her heart is very kind. She didn’t ask questions, she just knew and exuded such a warm, understanding energy that I couldn’t help but smile. I left that day feeling a little bit lighter. I was on the receiving end of a truly kind act, and I haven’t forgotten that. Everyone should have a Nefertari in their lives. I told her I would be writing a shout-out to her on my blog, and I hope to help pay it forward. If you have the chance, stop by, grab a hot chocolate, and enjoy the awesome atmosphere and warmth (literally, too) of Princi on an otherwise cold day. It could be exactly what you needed. Thank you, again, Nefertari, for reminding me that there are truly kind people out there. I hope it comes back to you tenfold!

 

Can A Place Hold A Memory?

I found myself thinking this while sitting in the audience tonight at rehearsal. I love sitting in the empty theatre of whatever show I’m performing in and coming to a state of comfortable balance in the space; just observing, centering myself. It’s a space of exploration for me. I’m curious about the great actors who may have graced that stage before me. How cool is it that I get to be in the same space? I’m not sure if it’s just me projecting my assumptions or not, but either way it’s special to me.

I learned about centering myself in the space in a class in college called The Speaking Voice In Performance. For the first few classes we laid on the ground, eyes closed, focusing on being in the moment and the breath. It may not seem like work, but you’d be surprised at how much emotional work and mental effort goes into quieting your brain and allowing yourself to let go of your anxieties or thoughts. After a while, with the noise of the outside world drifting away outside the black box doors, for an hour each day my mind quieted long enough to hear things I’d never noticed before. The hissing of the pipes, the creaking of a door, the sounds of the building becoming increasingly louder, as I myself grew increasingly quieter. The energy of the room became more apparent than it had before. This room had its own life, its own energy, its own vitality. I became just a passerby in the big scheme of things. I liked that. It reminded me that my anxieties are not the totality of the truth of my existence. There were many bigger elements outside of myself. For some, realizing that they are a tiny particle in a much bigger universe is frightening and makes them feel unimportant. For me, it started to relax me and showed me that the universe is vast and wonderful if you stop long enough to listen to it. It is not frightening nor depressing to me, my small nature in the big scheme of things; it is a relief. I am only in control of what I do. I can’t control the world outside of me, much as I can try, but at the end of the day I am not responsible for the actions of everyone and everything else in my vicinity. It’s a huge weight lifted. This vast world and the infinite space beyond all have their own marvels that I get to be privy to, should I choose to wonder at them. So, can this microcosm of a space in the big expanse hold a memory?

It may be far-fetched to jump from the contents of the last paragraph back to the original question, but in my brain it makes quite a bit of sense, so I’ll try to span the bridge as best I can for you, dear reader. Quieting my brain enough to be rooted in the space I’m in with no outside distractions, no cars honking, no passersby cursing, no trains humming, and getting in tune with the energy of the space leads me to question how one effects the environments they’ve spent time in, energetically. Who came before me in this space? On this stage? In this audience? In this dressing room? What great work has been performed exactly where my two feet are planted? How many wonderful memories have been created in this theatre? How much laughter? What did that sound like? How many memorable performances? How many standing ovations? Am I standing on the same ground, the exact spot, of the great performers who have inspired so many? There are so many that I admire. Have they left their energetic mark on these walls? As I experience the room, thinking these things, my imagination goes deeper and deeper, until I can almost see and hear each of these instances happening. Am I walking in the literal steps of the greats who’ve gone before me? I like to think so, and hopefully someone will come along and wonder the same about me…