All Articles Tagged "finances"
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.
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 Elle.com, “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.
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.
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
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.
Smart shopping is an art form. But it doesn’t always mean looking for the cheapest price. Even master bargain hunters have to know when spending a little more can do a lot for your quality of life.
We get it. Talking about finances with your partner can get a little — well — awkward. But trust me, an uncomfortable financial discussion now will save you the whirlwind of money troubles you may plummet into later. You don’t want to be among the 43 percent who inaccurately guessed their significant others’ earnings in Fidelity Investments’ 2015 Couples Retirement Study.
And here’s the kicker: Despite the fact that four in 10 clearly have a hazy idea about their partner’s finances, a whopping 72 percent say they communicate “exceptionally” or “very well” with their significant other. America has a problem — and that’s getting into the nitty gritty of our relationships’ finances.
MadameNoire Business spoke with Kristen Robinson, Fidelity’s SVP of Women and Young Investors, to get some insight on why we shy away from crucial financial talks.
“For many, conversations about money can feel uncomfortable. In some cases we don’t know how to start a discussion, so we put it off, even though we know it’s important,” Robinson said. “Clearly though, avoiding the conversation leads to these disconnects.”
The “disconnects” that Robinson is referring to is the significant share of couples in the study who have a fuzzy idea about their future financial standing — particularly retirement.
“We saw in the survey that one in three couples disagree on the kind of lifestyle they want to live in retirement – how they want to spend their time,” Robinson said. “Those disagreements could likely be avoided by tackling the topic head on.”
On top of this, nearly half of couples had absolutely “no idea” how much money they would need to maintain their current lifestyle when they retire. And 48 percent of couples disagreed on the amount needed to preserve their present way of life.
Robinson says that all this confusion can be avoided with an in-depth financial discussion. There must be a time where couples put away the mushy-gushy talk and get serious about money.
“Sure, you can name their favorite color, but when it comes to building a life together, do you know what your other half brings to the table?” Robinson asked. “Get to know what investments your partner has.”
Robinson also suggests discussing future expenditures — such as having a family, buying a home, and saving for your children’s college education. “These sorts of discussions should not be left to impulse. Planning together and making decisions jointly can make life a lot easier,” she said.
And again — we get it. It’s financial talks are awkward. But Robinson gives us all a tip on how we can break the ice: “Use something timely, like planning a vacation together. This opens the door to talking about how you’ll share the expense of paying for travel costs and activities. Sharing what you’re comfortable spending and what your limits may be can lead to a broader discussion about your own financial situation and goals.”
This is brilliant. While you’re getting the scoop on your partner’s financial position on a short-term plan, you can gauge where he or she stands in the long run.
Student loans are a pain, but they don’t have to be for long. These tricks to paying off your student loans faster will put you at the top of the debt-repayment class.
Moms, do you bring home a bigger salary than your man? If you do – is he bothered by that? Do you get the feeling like he’s hating on your hustle because you are the primary breadwinner within your house? Do know – for many men, a woman with a bigger paycheck can play with a man’s ego, and because of that, men often run away from women who appear to be strong, independent, educated, and financially set. Most men have been raised and taught that they should be the sole provider of their household.
But we all know with today’s economy that’s not happening in many cases. In fact, you have a lot of men being stay-at-home dads, but that’s another post. To tell you the truth, I don’t know why men get upset if their woman brings in most of the money. If you are moving as a team, for the greater good, then the only thing that should matter is the bottom line. I tell my fellas all the time that they shouldn’t be upset because their woman is stacking. Honestly, I feel like the more the merrier. Here is my advice on that scenario, if you and your partner are in a committed relationship and are living together, or in some cases separately, come up with a financial game plan so you both can win. No need to run from that – unless you don’t have a vision of how good things could be if you blend your funds.
If the woman got a good job, ask her about her come up and for communications sake, ask her to show you the road map to success. You know what I’ve learned after falling on hard times, and during some of those broke days – if you have a woman who is financially stable, if you ever fall on hard times again, she can and often will hold you down until you get your feet back on solid ground. For instance, I run a few businesses, so when dating, its important for me, at this stage, to find a woman who can bring something to the table, so we can build a stronger family unit. Running a business demands a lot of my money, so it doesn’t make sense for me to deal with a woman who isn’t thinking about the bigger picture, or be able to help us overall. If she makes more while I’m laying down the foundation – we can do more together.
Read more about financial issues in relationships at MommyNoire.com