All Articles Tagged "finances"
For years, I stalked this house. I’d fallen in love with it by accident when I was exploring that matrix of streets surrounding Frederick Douglas’ estate, which sits high on a monstrous hill and looks down on a smaller homes not quite as grand but still beautifully historic. Like so many others in the neighborhood, my house—because, in my mind, it was already my house—bore the wounds of neglect and the bruises of age. I didn’t care that it was a little tumbledown. I adored it anyway.
When the suckishness of apartment living grated my last nerve down to the nub, I’d find respite in fantasizing about my first home. I envisioned how I would renovate and decorate it, contemplated adding another bathroom, wondered where my guests would park when I hosted my housewarming. One Sunday, I was so wound up in the spirit after church that I took my bold self up to the porch and held hands with my daughter to pray that the property would someday be ours. She was probably on the other end pleading the blood of Jesus for the very opposite thing. Whatever. I sealed my supplication with an “amen” and a won’t-he-do-it first pump and left the Lord to his work.
Sometime at the end of last year, I slacked up on my impromptu drive-bys. The next time I cruised past, my heart dropped: there was a sale sign taunting me in the yard and the telltales of construction scattered by the fence. Someone un-abandoned my abandoned home. Someone else saw its understated potential. It was just a house that didn’t know who I was, but it gave me something to work towards and dream about, especially in a time when I had been broken by a breakup and downsized out of a day job. It may seem silly, but it felt like another loss. God had declined my prayer request, and I mourned something that was never mine in the first place.
All my naming and claiming, believing and receiving—for a relationship I just knew would mature into a marriage and for a gig that provided security while I chased my dreams—failed to give me favor I could see. Now, the house that was the object of my real estate affections and the inspiration behind my enrollment in the first-time buyers program wasn’t on the “no” list too. And when God says “no” there ain’t much wiggle room for argument.
Continue reading on to find out how to survive when God does not answer your prayers at Essence.com
From Black Enterprise
A new infographic released Tuesday by the National Women’s Business Council illustrating the economic clout of women-led businesses.
“Successful women-led businesses have a variety of trajectories and strategies for growth, and there is no one right way to grow a business,” said Emily K. Bruno, Research and Policy Director for NWBC. “We’ve seen that in many cases, successful women entrepreneurs running high-growth companies have chosen to give up equity in order to raise capital. While women-led businesses are less than 51% owned by women, women still have a significant leadership position and ownership within the company, and this matters.”
The infographic is the second in a series that NWBC is producing utilizing its original research and new data sources from the Census Bureau.
Important highlights from the infographic include:
- Women have a greater economic impact than most think – 36% of employer firms are either women-owned or women-led. 17.5% of employer businesses are 51% owned by one or more women. Yet, 18.8% of employer firms are at least 30% owned by women and have a woman in a leadership role. When those two numbers are added together, women’s economic impact is much clearer. That makes 36% of employer firms either women-owned or women-led. When not focusing on women’s leadership roles within a company, the numbers look even better. 42.4% of businesses are at least 30% owned by women. These firms capture 26.1% or $2.6 trillion in receipts.
Read more at BlackEnterprise.com
The year is almost over, and after some wise (and perhaps some very unwise) personal financial decisions throughout the course of 2013, you may be ready to close the books on another year. Don’t miss a beat before this year is out. There are many financial decisions you should make before the end of year, such as starting a retirement fund or making room for a little extra cash with a side hustle.
Before the year is over, challenge yourself and accomplish these financial resolutions before the New Year.
I am a 34-year-old female and I’ve been working at a firm for 13 years and I’m not even making $30, 000 a year. I have two children and I can hardly pay for their tuition and my others bills every month. I have bad credit and I am drowning in debt. I feel that no matter how I try I can’t see my way out of all this debt. I live in a studio apartment that I rent from my parents (when I can afford to pay them) and neither of my kids have their own room or space. What hurts even more is that when my parents need my help financially I can barely help myself much less to help them.
I feel like such a disappointment to my kids, my parents and myself. I have been feeling so bad for the past five months that I am wondering if
I am falling into depression. I feel that I am not worthy of happiness or anything good. Do you know how it feels for your kids to want to do the simplest of things on the weekends and you can’t afford it? How can I get my life back? Where do I go from here? Honestly, if I continue on this pathway of life I really don’t know where I am going to end up emotionally.
Read Dr. Sherry’s response at Essence.com
It’s almost the end of the year — time to start anew for 2014. Maybe you’re getting a new look or planning a makeover of your home, but it is also the perfect time to reorganize your finances. By addressing your finances and financial problems now you will be able to start of 2014 financially fit. Here are 11 tips on what to do with your money before the end of the year.
From Black Enterprise
It’s that time of year again: Holiday season. For many, it’s a time to relax, gear up for vacation and family time, and close out those last quarter projects and budgets.
If you’re smart, as with any holiday, you can fit in a few boss moves while you’re on your down time, or gearing up for it. Here’s a little check list to get you started:
1. Taxes and paperwork: Do you have everything gathered for tax season? Have you done your due diligence in terms of new projects and businesses you’ve launched (or plan to launch) before tax season. Be sure to at least start preliminary planning for this. You’d hate to be caught slipping—and rushing—to get these things done come April. Gather up those forms, receipts, files, and get up to speed on tax breaks you may have missed or might be newly eligible for.
2. Vision board: If you already have one that details your dreams and aspirations from 2013, evaluate where you are in the journey to achieve them. Are you that much closer to completing that degree program, getting that new job, starting that new business or relocating to your dream locale? Evaluate your process to getting to where you want to be. If you don’t have a vision board, create one for 2014. Put those positive thoughts out there and get to work.
3. Conferences and meetings: If you’re like me and are usually scrambling at the last minute to coordinate trips or meetings, it would be a good idea to go ahead and look into industry trade shows, meet ups andconferences, plan or make arrangements and put them on your calendar.
4. Volunteering: If you weren’t able to give of your time for some cause that is close to your heart or utilize your skills to help someone in need, put that on your to-do list. Not only is it for goodwill and a boost to your own morale, but you could meet your next boss, co-worker, client or partner, simply by getting out in your community or industry and being involved in a service project. Read up on ways to give back that accommodate what you’re good at or what you love doing.
Read more at BlackEnterprise.com
Is your emergency savings important to you? If not, you should consider getting a tad more serious about it. According to Forbes, only 43 percent of women have an emergency fund compared to 63 percent of men. This leaves us at a disadvantage when the car conks out or when your child needs textbooks for school, leaving you at the mercy of credit card debt, high-interest loans and borrowing thousands of dollars.
According to the NY Times, only a quarter of Americans have six or more months saved for sudden emergencies and more than a fourth have no emergency savings whatsoever. Many of us find it difficult not to touch our cushy savings, especially when faced with retail or opportunistic temptation. (Remember that handbag you just HAD to buy because it was 10 percent off?)
Don’t get caught without an umbrella during those financial rainy days. Everything is not necessarily an “emergency.” Keep in mind these reasons why you need your emergency savings to be there for those sudden curves in life.
You leave a quiet city for the one that never sleeps; sleep still is in your eyes from all your big NYC dreams. You make this move with just a little over a thousand dollars in your savings account and a newly acquired Camp Counselor position at the YMCA. You’re broke, but content; and you save a bit of money while you crash on a creaky futon in the spare room at your friend’s place. That spare room becomes your bedroom. You pay rent. Not before long, you are working at a different job, one that pays slightly better. It’s an improvement, but months at that job prove difficult for a number of reasons. Dissatisfied with the job, you make the potentially regrettable decision to quit, perhaps to find something better aligned with your personal career goals. Meanwhile, you’re unemployed now, so what do you do?
Well, hopefully you don’t begin this phase by speaking in the second person (like I just did), attempting to generalize a potentially dangerous decision, hoping that others will see the rationale behind it. The situation isn’t unique in itself, there being several ways to find oneself out of work (i.e. quitting, resigning, and termination–being fired or laid off). No matter if you made this decision or if it was made for you, being unemployed can feel like a precarious place to be in, particularly if you have a great deal of responsibilities. So what’s next?
Now is the time to take stock and prioritize, and consider finances. Look at money, identify essentials and determine if being out of work means that you’ll be out on the street soon, or if you have time to coast for a bit. I ask myself the key questions: Do I have any other sources of income? Do I have anything that I could sell to keep myself afloat? Can I pick up some freelance work? Should I check Craigslist or Task Rabbit to get a little spare cash? Should I borrow money from a good friend or a parent? Should I take to the streets, like so many in this city, and dance, rap, preach, beg or sing for ducats? The latter is just a joke actually. In the end, I know that if I have money saved to cover at least two to four months of rent, I have a little wiggle room.
When finances are not the immediate concern, there are only two other things that are important: that I don’t get down on myself and that I get productive. For me, time away from a job means time to write, draw, plan, craft and create. It means time to organize, put things into perspective and search for what I really want–whatever that might mean or be. It means time to search, communicate, network and to keep busy. The last time that I was without work, I wrote half of a novel. It was 30,000 words about a starlet who found herself back in her hometown and under dire circumstances. I also volunteered at a multicultural art gallery and wrote articles for a music magazine. I attempted, at the very least, to be productive. Though, the good Lord knows that I wasn’t always this way. There were times between jobs that I wasted hours sulking, crying, desiring a new job but avoiding the process that it took to get one because I didn’t feel confident, and I would spend a lot of that valuable time playing Angry Birds and eating Cheetos. I learned, and I’m still learning, that not working does not mean that I can’t constantly work toward my goals. If you’re a creative type, use this time to build your portfolio, and if you aren’t, then use this time to expand your horizons. Sweating about not working can keep you from using your time wisely and finding the right job, particularly if you’re exhausting yourself with tireless searches, if you’re actively pursing jobs that you have no interest in, and if you’re going into your interviews with a look of desperation. Remember, you need a job, but you need a job where they also need someone like you. Take a deep breath, keep a level head, and know that the blessing meant for your will come soon enough.
My wife’s pastor is ruining our marriage. My wife spends more time at the church then she does at home. And to make matters worse, her pastor is interfering with our personal life and making suggestions to my wife that affect our entire household. First her pastor convinced her to quit her job to do full-time ministry at the church. Now the pastor is pressuring my wife to sow a financial seed into the ministry which would mean tapping heavily into our savings. My wife and I have been arguing about her pastor for months and she just doesn’t see how all his suggestions are affecting our marriage. Regardless of who makes the suggestion, my wife should not make major decisions that affect our household without my input. I am her husband and I feel like she is putting her pastor and her church before me and our family! I also feel like her pastor is manipulating her and using his position to get what he wants.
Sick of These Preachers
See Tamara’s response at EurWeb.com
If you think you might want to marry, what beats a big, expensive wedding?
A recent CNN series on contemporary weddings titled their headline article “Don’t Waste Your Money On Your Wedding!” That’s a strong warning, countering powerful headwinds that run in the opposite direction. The typical wedding these days costs an average of $30,000 to host, not to mention the costs guests may spend on travel and hotels in order to attend. So is there an alternative?
A far less expensive alternative is to first spend money on learning how to make decisions together in a cooperative and loving way. Read a book, peruse blog posts on the skills you need before getting married, or take a course onmarriage communication skills. For next to nothing in expenses, you’ve laid the groundwork for creating a wedding that will be truly win-win, plus a marriage that will continue to uphold your traditions in excellent joint communication skills.
What behaviors indicate that you’re making decisions together in a way that’s cooperative and loving? “Cooperative” means you treat each other as teammates, not adversaries. “Loving” means listening — truly listening to your partner’s concerns.
Click here to see a video that demonstrates the opposite. (If this couple gets married, they’re heading for trouble)!
Read more at YourTango.com