Category Archives: MaduMoney.

For Black Millennials who are trying to get their lives together, financially.

So the other day, I posted on my social networks that I paid my FINAL payment on a credit card that I had for over 5 years. The responses that I have gotten to this post have been super inspiring, but i also noticed that there were lots of folks who contacted me about how had I even done it.

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…..and that question, nowadays, is a relevant and thought-worthy question. 

Because let’s admit it. We are Black, we are young, and we are poor. We can’t move out of our parents crib, because the mere THOUGHT of rent or even a mortgage will completely break the bank! Let alone our college debt, (please don’t get me started) and the “idea” of a possible retirement plan, the possibility of being as financially responsible as the generations before us is, at this rate, almost impossible.

Realizing how much is against me, I made a vow to myself that I would stop complaining about my financial issues, focus,and try to chip away at some of the things that were effecting my financial situations.

So here’s what I know:

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I eat out. Like, a lot. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even some snacks in between. The thrill of sitting around a restaurant table or even pulling up to my favorite take out spot literally gets the best of me. I love it. I love trying new food and hanging out with friends, but of course, at an expense. An expense that eats away at my pocket. smh.

I am an impluse spender. I spend money based on my emotions. Had a long day at work? Ill take the $15 chicken platter! My friend just got a job promotion? Let’s get her a huge congratulatory gift! I feel lonely. Let me buy that $300 coat that I’ve always wanted. And now, look at me.

-I run the car of my bank account til the wheels fall off. I have NO problem swiping my card. I don’t get to physically see how much is left. The idea of the plastic makes me want to spend soon much more. And because of this, I would carelessly spend money, not worrying about the repercussions.

This is legit the first thing that you want to do when you are changing your financial mindset: Admitting that you were wrong. And now that you know there is an actual problem, it is literally time to get back to the drawing board. Which is why you are reading this.

So here’s what I’m doing to fix it:

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-Being honest with myself. This means that I am checking my credit card balances weekly, looking at my bank account statement daily, and calling those debt collectors and actually asking them to put me on a payment plan. Because the truth is, I have debt and I can no longer pretend that it isn’t there.

-Creating a budget. Yes, that stupid thing that adults use to not only pay out bills, but delegate their spending. Budgeting helped me in more ways that I can imagine simply because it allowed me to literally track my money before I had the chance of spending it carelessly. I treat my budget like gold and I always have to refer back to it to make sure that I am on track with my finances. I can just easily tell you to make a budget, but I will be doing a disservice to you if I didn’t tell you how. Here are some of my favorite folks who have awesome resources on budgeting, saving, and personal finance that you can always alter or take from to create your personalized budget and build your resources:

thefinancebar.com

myfabfinance.com

thebudgetnista.com

thebmex.com

-It takes time. Not just time for you to actually see growth in your accounts, but time is needed to make sure that you are not spending money. Time means waking up earlier in the morning to prepare your breakfast instead of buying your normal coffee and breakfast sandwich at the local spot near your job. It means mapping out your expenses and revamping your budget monthly to make sure that you are crunch numbers and owning your spending. It even means using your free time to get a part time job or pick up an extra shift JUST so you can make more money to work through your financial stuff. So time, yes. It will cost you.

-It no longer hurts to stay at home. One of the most important things that I did is changed the meaning of what my house meant to me. (I am getting somewhere with this point, trust me.) When I started to realize that my home could be my place to love and live out of (as it intends to be), I don’t have to drop pointless dollars on places and things because I don’t want to stay in the house! You know that feeling: “OMG Im so bored, let me hit up my friends so we can go out”. Yea, that one. Then you check you bank account and noticed that $100 was carelessly spent on something, when you could of just easily stayed home. While we know that we need to begin changing our mindset about money, we must also change our mindset about the things that we already have that can help us combat our old financial habits.

-Build a support system! You can’t do life alone. So what makes you think that you can do this alone? Get those friends that like to spend and have poor financial habits with you, and make a commitment to each other to get the job done. Hold each other accountable, most importantly, and let them know that y’all got each other’s back! Just makes this easier.

-Setting deadlines for my guap goals. Because we all have goals, but we never execute them. So setting a deadline for goals throughout the year sets a responsibility and level of execution a bit higher. You wanna pay off that credit card in October? Work towards the deadline to complete the goal. Goal Completion at its finest.

Now, from all of this, I NEVER said that this would be easy. NEVER. Because it wasn’t, and it still isn’t. I have to learn how to say “I can’t afford to go out with y’all tonight.” or “Lunch? I brought something from home.” or my favorite, “Ill pass on happy hour. I have some wine that I purchased chilling in my fridge for me.” It is serious sacrifice and lonely days will come, but it is ALL for the better. Besides, if it was so easy, do you think you would have this problem now? of course not. So its time to level up. Make the decision now or even as you begin to think about your 2017 financial goals to prepare yourself to thrive with your coins.

Feeling excited? Yea, me too. Let’s get out of this financial bondage. ❤

 

 

 

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Financial Fall: Labor Day Weekend Sales; From Clearance to Clear-Out.

 

Fall CleaningLabor Day weekend landed on the first weekend on my Financial Fast. As I tried to find alternative ways to have a good time and not spend a dime, the email and text alerts about all the fantastic deals and sales in stores were sooooo convincing. I thought about all the things I could possibly purchase if I was spending money, along with just ditching this whole fast thing and cop the latest Nike Roshe Runs.

While I prepared for the weekend and brainstormed of all the things I could do, I ran across a post about the benefits fall cleaning has on your health and your pockets. At that point, I was sold. Staying home and getting my life together was definitely in my budget! A non-cost, high productive activity.

This was no easy task. I’m sure we all dread stepping into our closet and noticing all of the clutter and mess that the racks hold. We dread the millions of shoe boxes that are thrown everywhere. But I held strong and committed.

Cleaning and organizing your closet is not only a great way to save money, but it also de-clutters your actual life! It gets rid of the things that you do not need and allows you to see what you absolutely need in order to have a functioning wardrobe.

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My biggest challenge during this clear-out was forcing myself to give things away. I continued to use statements like, “I could wear this on a rainy day.” or ” this would fit me eventually.”, when the reality of it was I never planned to wear that and it would sit and take up space in my closet. This is important in de-cluttering. WE MUST LET GO! Letting go will not only provide us with more space, but it will also leave us to things we only need. And just like this financial fast, we are beginning to step foot in a process of only keeping things that we need. No worries yall, it is ok to let go of those favorite jeans that cant fit you anymore. I promise.

My labor day clear-out not only left me with a solid list of essentials that I will need for the Fall season (tights, cardigans, sweaters, dresses, etc.) but it also is the starting works of creating a habit of making a way with my own things, knowing exactly what I need in a store, making a list of the essentials, and planning and budgeting properly how much these items were, instead of walking in a store without a clue and picking up pieces that i did not really need.

So not only am I starting the Fall season with an organized closet and a clear mind, but I removed the pressure of shopping during one of the  most daunting sale time in the summer, Labor Day Weekend.

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Financial Planning; Short Term Plans, Long Term Actions.

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Financial illiteracy has plagued and largely impacted the African-American community for many generations. Most of us are lacking when it comes to the understanding of how money works and how to efficiently manage and build wealth. Our impoverished communities continue to rest in this state because there is no transfer of wealth. Wealth continues to be held and dominated outside of our communities because of our low receptivity to financial literacy. Though the tides are beginning to turn on this matter as awareness grows, we as a people still have quite a ways to go. How do we regain prosperity? How do we bring it back to our communities and families? How do we protect it and keep it? How do we go from “new money” to “old money?”

Every great accomplishment begins with careful and strategic planning. While planning may be the answer, it may NOT be the solution. Integrated financial planning as the answer only becomes the solution when it is followed through. You need a plan, it begins with a plan! Wealth building is an ongoing process of structured forced, systematic, efficient and consistent saving habits.

While having a generous income does help, it is not entirely about how much money you make or the lack there of. It is about having the discipline to start today with a meaningful amount that you can commit to monthly or annually regardless of your economic status. Truth is there will always be a reason or rather an excuse NOT to save or invest. You have to conquer that need of immediate gratification by giving up the things you want now, to invest in what you will need in the future. Don’t put it off any longer because there is a huge cost in waiting. Time is our most valuable asset as well as our biggest liability. Due to compound interest of returns over time, essentially the more time you have or the sooner you begin to save, the less it will cost you to achieve your financial goals.

Find a trusted and competent advisor to help you with your financial planning. Google makes it very easy to self-educate, so I am sure that most of us are well capable of doing our own planning. One of the biggest reasons that I recommend you leave it to a professional is that we all have emotional attachments to our money, believe it or not. When it comes to money most of our decisions are made based on emotions and feelings, rather than logic. I have found it to be very helpful to have a fellow colleague as my advisor even though I am in the profession as well. It gives you someone to hold you accountable and to help take out the emotions to make sound financial decisions.

This is my last bit of advice and what I believe will catapult your finances to new unseen levels; pay God first. First and foremost, even before you save or spend, pay God what is due to him. As a devout Christian, I believe that being a faithful tithe payer is imperative to our financial success. With EVERY increase the bible says to give10% to the house of the Lord. In fact it is one of the few areas in our lives that God says “TEST ME!” (Malachi 3:10).

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Questions & Inquiries

Laud K. Anderson

Website: Laudanderson.nm.com

Email: Laud.anderson@nm.com

Phone: 732-310-6697

Pray, Plan, Persist

#FinancialFall Introduction: The first step is admitting, right?

Financial Freedom

Sooooooooo, I have a problem. I shop uncontrollably, I dine out at places all over the city, I party excessively, and I carelessly spend money on any and everything. Phew, that was easy. But I am not completely off the hook just yet.

I have decided to devote the entire Fall season to getting my act right, financially. This fast is in place to manage my money better and continue to grow my personal finances. Whether that be paying off long-term debts, considering investments that I would have never thought about, learning how to say no to that cute dress on sale, and saving MORE money than ever. I am going to stay committed, for 28 days, and see how much of an impact I can make.

I’ve received tons of feedback about the fast, and I wanted to extend the invitation to everyone who is interested! Fasting and blogging along the way will be a cool way of holding myself accountable for keeping up the promise to myself. For folks who want to fast, I’ve laid a few things out.

For starters, here are the rules:

  1. Absolutely, no excessive spending: You should only be spending on your basic needs (food, water, bills, rent,etc.)  There are exceptions to everything of course. But you should be able to decipher which expense is absolutely necessary or if its truly a want.
  2.  Keeping a financial journal: yup, that’s right. Some good ol’ pen and paper. This will help you write down financial goals, tracking spending expenses, and writing through your thoughts and reflections along this journey. Its ok if you want to curse your journal out one day because you weren’t able to turn up with your friends that night. That what its there for.
  3. Discipline and Sacrifice: Even if you’ve never had it before. Taking this fast one step at a time will open you up to the characteristics that you never even seen. This is going to be extremely rough, but looking at your flourishing bank account afterwards will make you feel A LOT better.

So, for those who plan to fast with me, I have a few goodies for you. I have been researching  different sites and resources to not only stop spending, but to learn about money and the rewards one can have for being conscious about personal finances. Here are some of my favs:

  • mydfree.org
  • thefinancebar.com
  • thebudgetnista.com
  • michellesingletary.com

From these sites, I will be pulling a few things and discussing them here. I will share important stuff like budgeting tips, saving, debt dashing, and just getting you in the habit of letting go. I will also have a few guest post of folks in the financial field who know their stuff, along with some friends that are fasting with me.

Are you ready? Let’s begin!

P.s: Please, please, please feel free to comment, like and share your thoughts with me. I wanna know what you’re thinking!!!

Isaiah 58:9-10: “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

Book Review: Our Black Year.

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“..because you are dealing with a Black people who are inflicted with their own sense of inferiority.”

Maggie Anderson tells us the small story of feeling frustrated about the economic conditions of Black people. She wanted to make a change. And she did. Deciding to take a huge risk with her family, The Andersons decided that for the next year they would only purchase and support Black businesses. What does that look like? How is that even possible? Our Black Year is the record of their results. Her findings are not only ludicrous, but they also shed light to the biggest elephant in the room: Black people lack capital, which correlates to the oppression that we suffer from every day.

It is obvious that when we need to think about the Black dollar, and how much we are suffering from the lack of investing in our own products, businesses, and communities. This book proves that we have a stronghold on spending power, yet we barely own anything. Strange, right? We have the power to keep designer brands and corporations in business, yet we can’t find ways to fund our own businesses properly.

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Things like leakage, gentrification, urban planning, impoverished neighborhoods, and domination of other ethnic businesses are all discussed in the book for the plight of economic empowerment.

To sum, a very impactful paragraph slapped me in the face:

“These cold realities – that buying from businesses in Black neighborhoods doesn’t necessarily work, that so few Black-owned establishments have shortcomings—become clear in the early days of The Ebony Experiment. Uncovering the reasons why [the experiment] would take longer.

Despite a few points of privilege that needed to be checked (in my copy of the book, I definitely marked and scratched a few of her ideas) Maggie’s experience of simply buying Black for an entire year was filled with many emotional, physical, and mental roller coasters.

With dense research and great references, it is clear that Maggie finds herself torn between the facts and her actual opinion. I noticed that many of her personal statements were contradictory towards the facts that she presented about the state of the Black community and the lower class. I think this distinction is also important in understanding how people can disagree with the how’s and why’s of our institutional state of, well, lack.

I won’t give too much of the book away, because I am URGING folks, as usual, to begin to think about their financial future. This book is definitely a great start to begin to get your mind going about the economic state of the Black community.

Gonna leave you guys with one more gem:

“How will history view this generation of African Americans? Will they say that we had it all, that we made headway in corporate America and in the legal and educational arenas, but we earned our individual success and left our neighborhoods for disrespectful outsiders to raid? Will they say that we sold our history, potential, dreams, and destiny in exchange for the comforts of suburban life, shunning our own entrepreneurs and professionals, and treating them with condescension? Did we squander our chances? Fail to deliver on so much promise?”

Happy reading!

Understanding Your Finances.

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I was reading a blog post the other day about a woman who shared her debt-free testimony. She talked about how she took on two jobs to pay off her student loans and credit card debt. Through her experiences, she also managed to save enough money to begin investing and afford a mortgage on a new house. Epic, right? I then looked at the comments and saw this interesting post:

“I don’t consider this article to be pretty accurate because we do not know her wages or her financial situation to determine that she made enough money to do all of this.”

Um, what?!?!?!?

Understanding your personal finances are extremely important in your beginning steps of educating yourself on accumulating wealth. We all tend to have this idea that it is not possible to become wealthier because we aren’t in the same position as one who began their journeys as well. THAT IS NOT ALL THE WAY TRUE.

One habit that needs to be broken is checking the other person’s pocket for their status. We MUST work on our own.

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We need to begin to look at our financial status for what it is and where we essentially want it to go. It is the FIRST and ONLY way. Decoding what we have and what we can do is the first problem, so getting these questions answered should be your preliminary step:

1. How much money do I currently make?

2. How much debt do I have?

3. How much money do I have saved?

4. How much money do I spend?

I encourage you to write down on a piece of paper the answers to these questions. Having a clear understanding of your personal numbers should make the wheels begin to turn in your head. Knowing where you stand and what you need to do is the essential part in gaining more.

So to begin, our initial process of learning our current financial status actually begins with these questions at hand. Let us use these numbers for our next sessions about how we can increase our earnings, and decrease our spending and other bad habits.

 

p.s: feel free to share any of your numbers and your realizations through this process! We can all learn from each other if we are open with each other.

 

 

MaduMoney!

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So we work two and three jobs, work majority of the day, catch grief from our bosses and co-workers, just to be broke and struggling from check to check? We continue this never ending cycle of getting paid, paying bills, spending money on temporary wants, and then become broke again. ARE’NT WE TIRED OF BEING broke?

No, not you of course. You know how to budget properly, save effectively, spend strategically, and invest soo well that you do not even know why you are reading. Yea, me too.

This segment was well needed. Our goal to educate the masses cannot be complete if we do not talk about the most important aspect of how the world functions: with money. The Black community can’t continue to suffer severely without the proper education of how to handle our money. Please note that I am not a financial expert, nor did I receive any credentials in this field. I am simply a concerned Black woman with the knowledge and experience that can provide information for anyone to get out of debt and increase their revenue if properly assessed.

Here, we plan to not only inform you about your personal finances and Black capital, but we also want to provide testimonies, both good and bad, of folks who have experienced financial successes and hardship during their lifetime. We want to all succeed. But we can’t if we aren’t able to compete and implement change through our money. So let this journey begin!