All Articles Tagged "finances"

This Weekend On Café Mocha: MC Lyte Launches The #EducateOurMen Initiative

November 20th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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MC Lyte

Cafe Mocha

This weekend on Café Mocha, MC Lyte opens up about her #EducateOurMen initiative and how the White House will help legislate it. Listeners can also expect to be educated on financial slavery by Reverend Deforest Soaries from who will provide three tips on how to effectively save money and why payday loans are a no-go.

Once you’ve been educated on how to increase prosperity in the community, visit to win a new 2016 Hyundai Sonata by uploading a video and nominating a modern woman in your life.

And don’t forget to catch the ladies of Did Y’all See discuss the issue of Black women butchering their bodies for the sake of butt implants.

Watch all Did Y’all See episodes on our YouTube channel at
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Visit Café Mocha Radio for air times around the country and on SiriusXM Channel 141. #CafeMochaWknd

The 10 Priciest Places To Raise A Family In The U.S.

October 27th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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By Catey Hill, MarketWatch

In some areas of this country, it costs parents well into six figures just to get by.

The amount that a two-parent, two-child family needs just to pay the bills (but not have money left over for savings) ranges from about $50,000 to more than $100,000 depending on where they live, according to data released by the nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank the Economic Policy Institute.

“This does not mean a middle-class lifestyle,” says Elise Gould, a senior economist with EPI. “This is just living, no savings.”

The study looked at 618 metro areas and calculated the cost of living in each based on the costs of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and other necessities (such as school supplies and clothing), as well as taxes.

Perhaps surprisingly, child care is the single most expensive line item for these families: In 500 of the 618 areas that EPI looked at, child care was parents’ biggest annual expense, averaging about $12,500 a year nationwide and climbing above $30,000 a year in one city.

Here are the 10 priciest places to raise a family of two parents and two children.

1. Washington, D.C.
A family of four needs $106,493 just to get by in Washington — making this city the most expensive place for parents to raise two children. Child care here is particularly pricey at $31,158 a year on average — the highest in the nation.

2. Nassau-Suffolk, New York
Generations of city dwellers have headed to Long Island to raise their kids, but apparently not to save money. The Nassau–Suffolk County region is the second most expensive place to raise two kids in the U.S., costing families there $103,606. You’ll likely spend a lot on rent (a median of $19,356 a year), as well as on taxes ($16,822) and other necessities ($13,881 on average).

3. Westchester County, New York
Like Long Island, this suburban region outside New York City is notably pricey for families — $99,592 on average. The area shares many of the characteristics of Nassau–Suffolk County, including high taxes ($15,589 a year on average).

4. New York City, New York
The Big Apple takes the No. 4 spot on this list — requiring a family of four to make $98,722 just to get by. The good news: City dwellers get a break (not surprisingly) on transportation costs — at least compared with their suburban neighbors in Westchester and Nassau–Suffolk County.

5. Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut
A family of four in the Stamford-Norwalk area needs $97,350 to pay the bills — and gets hit particularly hard by housing costs ($22,290 a year), other necessities ($15,603), and taxes ($15,487).

6. Honolulu, Hawaii
You’ll pay — dearly — to live amid the sunshine and sand of Honolulu. It costs a family of four here $94,092 to get by. Food costs ($11,244) are the highest in the country, thanks in large part to extra shipping expense.

7. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York
These towns typically aren’t known for ultra-posh living, but due in part to high housing costs (which plague many towns near New York City), these municipalities collectively claim the No. 7 spot on the list. It costs a family of four $92,837 to pay the bills in this area.

8. Ithaca, New York
Living in this charming college town (it’s home to Cornell University and Ithaca College) won’t come cheap — it costs a family of four $92,603 to get by. This high cost is due to high taxes and rents, and may be skewed slightly upward thanks to the costs of child care in New York state (the EPI data used a statewide survey of child-care costs).

9. San Francisco, California
Despite housing costs that are the highest in the country (a median of $23,472 a year), this city only takes the No. 9 spot, with housing offset partially by child-care costs that are much lower than in much of New York ($10,815).

10. Danbury, Connecticut
With high housing and child-care costs, as well as high taxes, it will cost a family of four just over $89,000 to pay the bills in this city.

This article originally appeared on 

Do you live in any of these high-priced cities?

Teach Your Kids To Save With ERNIT: A Modern Day Piggy Bank With A Digital Heart

October 21st, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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shutterstock kids boys smartphone tablet computer

Please meet ERNIT, an app and a physical piggy bank that helps kids learn healthy financial habits like setting goals and managing allowance in a world moving quickly towards digital currency.

According to a recent study by Goldman Sachs, the use of mobile phone payments alone will nearly double by 2017.​ And American youth are falling behind when it comes to financial literacy compared to other countries. American high school students’ performance in the international PISA Financial Literacy Scale was well below the international average.

ERNIT helps parents spark conversations about money​ in a stylish way.​

ernit piggy bank

Using Ernit is easy and fun for the whole family with these four steps:

  • Set a savings goal with the ERNIT app: Whether it’s for a teddy bear, a new bike or even a charitable donation.
  • Start to save: F​amily and friends can contribute directly from their bank account and children accept these contribution by pressing ERNIT’s snout
  • Watch ERNIT respond: Each time a contribution is made, ERNIT lights up, blinks its eyes and makes a happy sound.
  • Celebrate savings: Once a goal is reached kids can transfer their money to an external bank account or another ERNIT goal.

You can find Ernit on Kickstarter and can be purchased with a $59 pledge.

The Cost Of Parenthood

October 21st, 2015 - By Clarissa Joan
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"teaching kids about money"


Like most parents, we love our children and we desire that they have the best of everything. If they need it, we would like to provide it.

But what is the actual cost of parenthood? 

What should we anticipate spending over our children’s lifetime? And how do we make the best decisions for our kids, our wallets, and ourselves simultaneously?

As first time parents, we spent hours researching products, toys, and clothing options for our newborn baby. Then we bought the best stroller, car seat, high chair, and activity centers well in advance of when we would actually need them. Once our daughter was born, I breastfed her, wore her in the baby carrier, and she barely used any of these items.

That’s when we realized that diapers, wipes, clothing, healthcare, and eventually baby food each month, all the daily needs of infants, created the real costs of parenthood. We never factored how much our monthly expenses would increase due to parenthood, and as our children get older, the cost keeps rising.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture annually tracks Expenditures on Children by Families per year. It was estimated in 2013, that the average American family of two parents spends about $245,000 over their child’s lifetime from infancy to their high school graduation. Excluding housing and transportation costs, which were the biggest expenditures, families spend on average $138,000 on childcare, food, clothing, and healthcare for their child.

This means that on average, children add about $7,500 per year to the annual household budget.

How many parents in America can save $138,000 by the time they reach labor and delivery?

Personally speaking, we did not, and we now have two children to care for. We, also, have not talked about paying for college, which adds another $50,000 to $150,000 to the budget.

So how do we do pay for our love of parenting?

Our spending habits have changed drastically from life without children, to life with one child, to life with two children. The good news is that The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms life with more than one child gets cheaper per capita. For instance we spent less money preparing for our youngest child, because she uses her sister’s stuff.  

Items we spent hundreds of dollars on that were barely used the first time around are now getting sunshine and slobber. For example, we spent $300 on the 4Moms MamaRoo swing chair that our oldest sat in maybe twice. Our youngest daughter, however, loves to spend an hour or two in it each day. Thank God!

Before having multiple children, we bought baby clothes in abundance months in advance. Now we wait to assess what we already have, when we actually need it, and if there is a sale or coupon that will make the purchase even sweeter. I also take my emotions out of the shopping experience. No more buying something just because it is cute.

Food is the second biggest item on the list of expenditures for children. I still breastfeed both our girls, but they also eat table food. For our oldest daughter, we bought all organic baby food, because we did not feel like making it. But now, we have found joy in using our food processor to make our own. As much as I loved the neat little pre-made packages food, I have to admit that making it at home is much more cost effective.

We don’t pay for childcare, because we are fortunate to work from home. (See How to Afford Being A Mother: Work From HomeHowever, in a year or so, we will have to consider pre-school options for our oldest. In our current situation, an extra $5000 – $12,000 per year for private education is not ideal, but if the public schools in our neighborhood are not up to par, we will opt out.

Everyone likes luxuries and expensive experiences, but I must admit we have spent less money on these sorts of things since becoming parents. Priceline’s bidding feature has become our best friend when traveling.

We are not fans of debt, so budgeting, short-term cash savings, finding ways to increase our income, and/or cost cutting are our major money management strategies in our home. I’d love to hear some of your strategies for managing the cost of parenthood.

Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, their two girls, and a yorkie named Ace. Clarissa is also an expert in impact investing. She is the Communications Associate at Impact America Fund.


I Like You But Not Your Financial Situation: Why Being Financially Compatible Is Important

October 19th, 2015 - By Erica R. Williams
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Black couple money/budget/finances


I don’t want a broke man. There, I said it.

Now, before you begin judging or attacking me with Kanye lyrics, let me explain. My stance has nothing to do with wanting a man to take care of me, or a desire to “marry rich.” Instead, it has everything to do with me wanting a partner who has the means to take care of himself and a family if need be. While some look for physical or emotional chemistry in a relationship, there is so much more required to ensure a healthy partnership. You have to make sure that you are financially compatible, or you could go from lovers to enemies. My belief is that if a man isn’t able to take care of himself, chances are, he isn’t interested in taking care of a family.

According to a Utah State University study, couples who reported disagreeing about finances once a week were 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about them once a month. Basically, the more frequently you argue about money woes, the more likely you are to call it quits. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want an argument over who has the money to pay the electricity bill to be the cause of my relationship’s demise.

Let’s be clear, the amount of money or lack thereof is not the only cause of relationship drama. Before you enter a relationship with a man, it’s important to find out where his mind is with the concept of money. Is he frugal? Does he waste too much money? Do you share the same money values?

In another survey, published in the Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, finances proved to be the leading cause of conflict in marriage, with 39 percent of respondents listing it as their primary issue and 54 percent as their secondary issue. Seriously ladies, money matters matter! And I’ve made it my business to ensure that my partner and I are on the same page with finances before we get serious.

Knowing how a man values money is just as important as how much money he has in his bank account. He can be a wealthy man, but be cheap with his coins. Just imagine going out to dinner with your man and he counts every penny you spend, though you know he has it. You know, the kind of guy who prefers that you throw back drinks at home instead of the restaurant every single time you go out. And forget about an appetizer! His suggestion: Eat the complimentary bread instead. Annoying much? If you are not a frugal girl, his actions could get under your skin and cause you to reconsider going out with him. That’s why understanding his views surrounding money is important before you begin combining incomes.

Contrarily, if a man isn’t wise with money and hasn’t ever thought of opening a savings account, this could also wreak havoc on your relationship. You don’t want to be the only one saving for your future together. His priorities with money are just as important as his perception of your relationship. You have to make sure the two of you are on the same page.

Once I realized how significant financial compatibility was in a relationship, I also decided to make sure my values lined up with my actions. When I had the revelation (thanks to advice from my married friends), I knew I had a long way to go with my own financial situation. If I wanted a man to be free of debt and properly plan for his future, I had to make sure I was doing the same.

My advice, ladies: Understand what your money values are and what you want your mate’s to be and don’t bend on them. Some things should be deal breakers in a relationship, and lack of financial compatibility is one of them.


How To Rebound Financially After Divorce

September 22nd, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Women not only struggle to get back on track emotionally after a break up–many also find themselves struggling to recover financially. Patrice C. Washington, the Money Maven of the Steve Harvey Morning Show, explains that between a lack of financial resources and limited knowledge of money management, divorce can often add insult to injury.

To ensure financial stability is on the horizon, Washington provides tips on how to rebound financially after divorce:

Get Clear About Your Role: The first step is to be honest with yourself. If you are in a financial mess, outline what you did (or didn’t do) that may have contributed to the issue. Did you participate in frivolous spending? Or were you okay with not knowing what was going on financially? Once you acknowledge your role, you can figure out how to avoid the same type of destructive behavior in the future.

Get Educated On Where You Stand Financially: Once you have a clear picture of how you ended up where you are, it is important to create a plan of action Start by creating a realistic budget based on your new solo income. Next, pull your credit report at annualcredit-report. Make sure everything you see is actually something you recognize as your debt and create your plan for debt elimination.

Get Professional Help: Look into no-cost or low-cost consumer credit counseling in your area by visiting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at nfcc. You want to find a counselor that can help you set realistic financial goals and get a sound plan in place to meet your unique needs at this delicate stage of life.

For more information, visit Book The Money Maven.

Follow her on Twitter at @SeekWisdomPCW for practical tips on wisdom, wealth & business.

About Patrice Washington

Known as the Wisdom & Wealth Money Maven, Patrice C. Washington is the Founder and CEO of Seek Wisdom Find Wealth, a personal finance training and development firm based in Atlanta, GA. She is a nationally recognized personal finance columnist, television commentator, radio host, author, speaker and leading authority on personal finance, entrepreneurship and success for women and youth. Patrice is the author of an Amazon #1 Best Seller in Personal Finance, Real Money Answers, a series of sensible, straightforward, personal finance books and coaches men and women through her groundbreaking personal finance seminar, the Mindset + Money Master Class. Patrice has been featured in media outlets such as NBC, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, Upscale Magazine, SHEEN Magazine, and many more.


The Gender Wage Gap: How Much Extra Do I Have To Save For My Daughter?

September 14th, 2015 - By Chuck Creekmur
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I consider myself a great father to my daughter. I know all isn’t perfect and there is always room for improvement, but a recent report just blew my mind.

A man and his wife have a son and a daughter, fraternal twins at that. The couple have started a special savings account to give the daughter more money to compensate for the fact that the daughter will face a gender wage gap upon entering the workforce.

Paul Ford and his wife Maureen consider themselves “standard-issue modern parents” but his story on, “Saving for a Daughter but Not a Son: This Father Is Starting a Fund to Combat the Wage Gap”, really got me thinking. The story cited the fact that the average woman makes 78.3 percent of what an average man makes in America. Furthermore, they stated that women just received the Constitutional Right to vote about 95 years ago. On top of that, a recent report by the World Economic Forum stated that women do about four hours of unpaid work, where as men do about two and a half.

So, Paul continues on and on and on about stat after stat after stat that basically says – in general – men simply have it considerably better than women. After that he goes through a very thorough, detailed explanation of how they will create a savings plan so that their kids make the same, taking into account systemic injustices in America. Then, the piece got somewhat convoluted and lengthy after Paul began to examine just about every scenario of their daughter’s future.

My first thought was, “Wow…here is another ‘thing’ I need to be doing for my daughter.” Granted, I have a financial plan for her, but more than that, I teach her some economic basics like saving 10 percent of everything she makes. This family was actually making accommodations for the inadequacies in the system. Then it hit me: They’re white.

Most families of color would immediately go broke if we tried to save money for the explicit purpose to counter systemic injustices and imbalance. That’s a lot of money. I mean, Paul stated in the piece that he was getting paid thousands for the write-up in Elle magazine and that those monies would go to his daughter’s new savings. The only time I got close that sort of pay as a writer was in the magazine glory days when I was building  – well over a decade ago. It was good money, but I am certain Paul was getting more back then. Nevertheless, the Ford Family is thinking in a progressive, innovative manner than we should all considered as parents.

After I finished reading Paul’s piece, I realized he wasn’t talking about my life – our life. We do the same thing with our kids, but it oftentimes deals with more basic notions like how not to get shot. Perhaps a Black father is more concerned with making sure his daughter doesn’t fall prey to conspiring man-boys or women-girls. This is survival. But I am thinking beyond mere survival. The late, great Maya Angelou comes to mind when she said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

In order for this to happen – this thriving – we have to instill within our kids the fundamentals of economic power, but also give them a turbo boost in the race of life. These notions must become generational. And while I don’t have a son, I would have to treat him financially similar as my daughter. Clearly, in other ways, he’d receive other lessons to make him a better man, but the money matters would be about the same. Paul knows his son is good in this world. We cannot claim the same for either our sons or daughters.


Let’s Just Be Honest: Why New Millennials Stay Broke

August 19th, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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If we’re keeping it 100, a big part of why new millennials are broke is that we often live beyond our means. Trust me, I’ve done it too. We go to brunch with friends when we know we don’t have the money to do so. Endless mimosas, buffet-style brunches…it’s all fun and games until a bill shows up in your mailbox and you can’t afford to pay it. We’ve adopted the model that our 20s are our fun years. It’s the time to explore, be adventurous and be fully alive, which is why we have such a hard time saying no to invitations to things that are going to end up costing us in ways that we know we shouldn’t be spending our money. We’ve followed the happy hour crowd Monday through Friday to the bar, spending money on drinks and running up tabs. But yet we carry on being financially irresponsible while struggling to keep our heads above water and money in the bank. Yes, for some of us, being broke is a result of poor budgeting. But for others, it’s from a lack of stability and opportunities.

For new millennials who have accepted the fact that we can’t afford the lifestyle we want, saving isn’t even a priority, especially when the bills keep piling up. Although jobs are being created to combat the unemployment rate, they aren’t necessarily jobs that we qualify for. So these days you’re either overqualified for the retail position or underqualified for the entry-level job.

Over some drinks, a group of friends and I were talking about how no matter how much we try to save, there’s always a bill blasting our accounts. One bill gets paid just for us to be faced with another hefty one. Thorough grocery shopping has become a luxury and it’s a wonder if your fridge and cabinets have food in them throughout the week. Trying to balance our budgets leaves hardly any room for a social life if activities aren’t free. And contributing to the national debt in student loans, we’ve cried about how life would be so much easier if our salaries matched that of our student loan debt. But truth be told, it is nowhere near what we owe, and while we plead with Sallie Mae and Navient each month when we don’t have money to pay them, they remain relentless.

Even with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, certifications, and credentials, the only full-time job some of us have been able to land is the full-time hours that we place into searching for a gig. While this may sound depressing, it’s a story that a lot of new millennials share. It’s the reason why many of us have pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and have created our own way, starting our own businesses and creating our own platforms. But even in creating our own way, we need the money to fund it. It’s the never-ending cycle of broke.

I recently saw a meme that read “Livin La Vida Broka” and I almost lost it in laughter. But after associating it with the Ricky Martin song, I realized that, yes, we new millennials are some broke asses. But like those before us, we sure know how to find and make a way.


Money Apps: 15 To Help Educate Your Kids About Finance

August 5th, 2015 - By Rich
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It’s never to early to start learning about money, budgeting and creating spending habits. Many of these money apps are not only for kids of all ages but have one multiple awards for just how good they are!

Money Apps: 15 To Help Educate Your Kids About Finance

Millennials Would Rather Receive Monetary Wedding Gifts Than Appliances

July 27th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Wedding Gifts


In true millennial fashion, the envelope-pushing generation’s latest trend is bypassing traditional gifts at their wedding.

Instead, millennials are more interested in monetary gifts than receiving china or cutlery. Besides money, millennials are also opting for home repair gift cards or all-inclusive honeymoon adventures. Nina Vitale told The New York Times, “It’s a generational thing. During the past two years, guests have been bringing mostly envelopes, no gifts.”

One couple told The Times they registered at Bloomingdale’s for older friends and relatives who were not tech-savvy or felt uncomfortable giving cash as a wedding gift. However, for their friends who didn’t mind, the couple created an account with Simple Registry, a site where guests can financially contribute towards a couple’s honeymoon activities.

Jason Dorsey, who serves as the chief strategy officer and millennials researcher at the Center for Generational Kinetics, revealed how millennials celebrate their wedding is due to student loans, marriages taking place later, purchasing property or conceiving children before marriage. Because of these other expenses, millennials crave experiences rather than shelling out funds for materialistic appliances.

Dorsey continued saying, “Less is more. This generation of couples live in smaller spaces and don’t need gifts. They would prefer a visit a yoga retreat or tickets to a concert. They want more personal reflections of what they value.”

An assistant professor of sociology, Dr. Arielle Kuperberg also gave insight on this new trend. “When people have lived on their own for years, it is hard to register when they marry,” she said. “This generation of couples also cohabitate in great numbers, entertain casually, marry later. We call this the ‘independent life stage’ in sociological terms. They don’t need anything more for the house.”

When reading the case studies of couples via The NY Times, many still create registries in order to appease those who aren’t ready to break with tradition. In order to bridge the various gaps, couples seek different types of gifts from family and friends who will support their wishes, whether it be helping them with their honeymoon fund or purchasing fancy china for future family dinners.