All Articles Tagged "money"

Family Finances: How To Explain Foreclosure To Your Kids

August 20th, 2015 - By Allyson Leak
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sad teen and parent

These are hard financial times we are living in, and unfortunately foreclosures are rampant and families are being forced to downsize. If you find yourself with a foreclosure notice on your doorstep, the best thing to do is try and remain as calm as possible, at least in front of your kids.

As much as you might feel the need to unravel, you can’t. It is time to figure out game plan B and C if you haven’t already. If you know you don’t have the money, call the bank one more time to try and negotiate something. If that doesn’t work and they won’t budge then think about your immediate needs.

Do you have siblings or parents or friends you can stay with for a little while?

If so, go and talk to them in person and explain your situation. Asking people for help is not easy, however, making sure your family has any roof over their head is the priority.

In the meantime, what are you going to tell your kids? If they are little, then there is no need for a lengthy conversation. But if they are old enough to know something isn’t right, you owe it to them to say something. This doesn’t have to be an entirely negative experience. Take on the perspective that you will be a stronger family if you can explain foreclosure to your kids, and learn how to manage money more effectively together.

Change Can Be An Adventure

There is no “right” way to tell your child about the situation but you know them the best, and this is where your instinct comes in.  You probably should spare them all the gory details and specifics about your bank account amount. Maybe you could explain that you want your family to lead the best life possible but to do that, some things have to change along the way for a little while.

Tell them that change is good and moving will be an adventure. Tell them that to keep track of the experience you guys will turn it into a fun book where you write about it and take selfies. Get them involved in packing and taking pictures of the experience as part of their book adventure. Make it fun!

More Quality Time

During a big life change, they need you more than ever. In the midst of figuring out how you will save your family, you might not be in the mood for a walk or picnic in the park with your child, but they probably need it. The more one-on-one time you spend, it will allow you to listen and see how they are feeling about everything. This is especially important if you’re leaving behind a home they’ve been in for a while, that they’re attached to. 

Teach Kids About Finances

Once you find somewhere to stay, whether it’s with a relative or in a small apartment, have a family meeting about the things you are all going to do differently.

Everyone can learn from fiscal mistakes and now is the time to create financial goals. And eventually, when you get a handle on it, teach your kids about money and debt. Talk to them about the importance of saving even if it’s a little amount at a time. It will make all the difference. 

 

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

August 19th, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

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.

 

Keep Your Cash!: The Best Coupon Sites For Moms

August 6th, 2015 - By Rich
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Lets face it, kids are expensive and whether you have one child or five, finding ways to save money can always help out. Online coupons can become a parents best friend if you know where to find the ones that actually work. The world of online couponing is so vast and can become overwhelming for some. There are two types of “Online Coupons”: “Code-Based Coupons” and “Link-Based Coupons.” Code-based coupons are where the consumer enters the coupon code at checkout to redeem the coupon and link-based coupons are where the consumer clicks through to the retailer using the link and the discount is applied at checkout. Check out these best coupon sites for parents…

Couponcabin.com
With over 170,00 coupons and deals, CouponCabin helps you save at all the stores you love – and at the stores you didn’t know you could. For over ten years, they’ve been working with their merchant partners and scouring the web to create a true one-stop shop for savings. Whether you’re looking for an online coupon code, a printable coupon, a grocery coupon or a free sample, they have it.

Thekrazykouponlady.com
What started out as two eager young women shouting deals from their home computers has grown into a national phenomenon. Heather and Joanie have appeared on the Today Show, The Early Show, TLC, The Nate Berkus Show, and Fox & Friends. The two friends now run a highly successful company of people who work tirelessly to uncover the best deals in every category so that families everywhere can afford to live well.  They continue to live by the mantra that “You’d be krazy not to be one of us!”

Hip2save.com
Hip 2 Save is run by Collin Morgan, who started the site when her first kid was born. Hip 2 Save offers loads of money-saving tips, online freebies and deals, in-store bargains. You can sign up for the free Hip 2 Save app for iPhones, Android and Kindle devices. In addition to bringing you all the latest deals, coupons and freebies, the Hip2Save app offers lots of extras like a budgeting tool, weekly contest, store coupon policies at your finger tips, restaurant deals tab and more.

Passionforsavings.com
Heather Schisler is the founder of PassionForSavings.com. The wife and mother of two loves saving money and is passionate about teaching others to do the same. She says on her site “I’m a firm believer that Saving Money is about more than using coupons. Yes, I often claim a few extreme couponing tendencies but for me saving money is about being in control of my money and being able to afford not just what my family needs but a few of those things we want as well. I love saving money on everything from Toothpaste to Designer Jeans so I hope to find and post something for everyone regardless of where you are on your money saving journey!”

Shesaved.com
Keri Lyn is the founder of Shesaved.com and says she is a quirky artist chic who loves to shop, save and share ideas. The full-time wife and mommy says  “I can hardly stand to pay full price for anything, however, I am also a brand loyalist, and will take quality over quantity any day of the week. I think that consumers should be informed and involved and that you have every right to get the best bang for your buck. I also believe in playing fair and playing by the rules. That is what makes life fun! I believe in recycling, using what you can, and donating what you can’t use to those in need.”

Retailmenot.com
RetailMeNot is a marketplace platform that helps retailers and brands connect with millions of active shoppers anytime, anywhere to drive engagement and sales. With more than 600,000 coupons and offers for 70,000 retailers, they operate the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers.

 

 

 

 

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

This Is My Money: Celebrities Who Refuse To Pass Their Wealth On To Their Kids

July 27th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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disinherited celebrity kids

Image Source: WENN

These celebrities say their kids need to work and create their own wealth because they’re not passing down their millions. Is this good parenting, or a crying shame?

$50,000 In Gratuity?! The Best And Worst Celebrity Tippers

July 20th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Can you tell how much a star tips just by looking at them? These celebrity tippers certainly caught me by surprise.

Don’t Cheat Yourself: 15 Things That Are Worth Splurging On

July 17th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

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.

You Owe Me: Carmen Bryan, Nas And Child Support

July 16th, 2015 - By Rich
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Carmen Bryan, the mother of Nas’ daughter, is reportedly homeless.  After their daughter, Destiny Jones turned eighteen, she allegedly hasn’t had a stable living condition.

According to sister site Bossip:

Nas’s first baby’s mother Carmen Bryan is homeless. Carmen has been homeless since last summer when Nas stop sending her monthly support checks. He continued to send her support checks after their child was eighteen and she believed that he would send them forever since she was the mother of his child. After she decided to put lies out about him on social media he cut her off. She has never spent a dime out of her own pocket to support her daughter because except writing a tell all book, she has not had a J-O-B since giving birth.

She’s been here in Queens all year squatting from house to house telling old stories from the late 90’s. When she wears out her welcome she gets buddy passes to mooch off of people in LA and Atlanta.

Well damn…I hope this isn’t true.

However, this brings one to ponder about the ever-ongoing debate about child support.  The consensus from many men is that the money is called child support, meaning that it’s purpose is to purchase needs and a few wants pertaining to their son or daughter.  Once the child is eighteen, dad (and I say dad because more often than not the father is paying child support) has fulfilled his financial obligation.  Of course, it isn’t this simple.

Many times it seems as if there is a misconception in which part of-or all of the money-is used as additional income as if it is some kind of alimony.  There are people who take advantage of the system.  It’s easy money.  I personally know a few mothers who live with their parents that collect exorbitant child support checks, live beyond comfortable lives, and could care less just to stick it to their baby’s father/ex-husbands.  It sucks; but it’s reality.

While many of us have tried at some point, most black fathers aren’t rappers who have made millions.  We are living check-to-check.  Sometimes that child support payment holds the whole family down in between paychecks.  While I don’t receive child support in the traditional sense, my daughter’s survivor’s benefits from her mother passing away come through in the clutch for everything from “Damn, I left my wallet at home,” to buying a monthly train passes when starting a new job.  For the most part, I would “replace” the money.  I say that in an attempt to be transparent and suggest sometimes things happen and we all have to survive.

What about the mother?  Sometimes that too can be complicated.  I think that’s contingent on the relationship between both parents.  Many feel it is within their moral compass to take care of and assist outside of the child.  And why not?  That’s the person who carried their offspring and probably have primary custody.

In the speculative case of Carmen Bryan, one can’t help but wonder what happened.  We know Destiny’s monthly deposits were more than enough to take care of her.  We are pretty sure that he has done more for his daughter than write a song and have a fixed amount deducted from is account every month.  I’m sure Carmen wasn’t completely irresponsible with the money.  She could have been saving the money.  Maybe she had a hard time getting gainful employment because of who fathered her daughter?  There’s a possibility that she had been living off of the residual checks from her 2007 tell-all book, From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal–a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All.  We know that she and Nas haven’t always seen eye-to-eye and she’s been vocal about that from time to time.

I’m pretty sure Carmen Bryan is doing just fine and these are just rumors.  As soon as these reports surfaced, Bryan posted a picture of herself in Instagram holding a stack of $100 bills.

…then again we know people do nothing but lie on social media.

About That Time I Tried To Date A Man Who Was Broke And Unemployed

June 12th, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Let me start by clearing some things up. There is nothing wrong with being unemployed these days. Things happen. Companies downsize and you get laid off, a work mistake leaves you at the unemployment office filing a claim–I get it. But it is another thing to be unemployed and broke, content with your situation, and pursuing a woman. This is where we have a problem.

Let me start from the beginning. I met this guy who I like to call Grown And Sexy. He was well-groomed, had a nice beard, was tall, and built immaculately. We would have some interesting conversations about everything under the sun, from culture to food and even religion. And he talked a lot about settling down and starting a family. We met through a mutual friend, so for a while our only interactions were at social gatherings. My friend would host things at his house, or invite a group of us out to eat, and I would see Mr. Grown And Sexy there. One night we took it a step further and exchanged numbers. We ended up swapping texts often. It was the first time in a while that I had received “Good morning” texts from someone nice.

He would ask me about my day, and I would ask him about his. His response would always be “Chilling.” I didn’t think anything of it. I too “chill” at work, at home or wherever I am. No big deal. But looking back, the fact that chilling was always what he was up to during standard work hours should have raised a red flag or some signal for me. When I asked what he did for a living, he said he was into real estate. Once again, didn’t mean he worked in real estate. Maybe he just liked looking at postings online or in the paper.

When it came time to plan dates, I had high expectations. We had such cultured conversations I believed that he would have creative date ideas too. He didn’t. I would suggest different restaurants, and he wouldn’t give me an answer. He would always suggest going to the liquor store, grabbing a bottle and going back to my place to talk and chill. There goes that word again.

I had to speak up and tell him I didn’t want to drink any hard liquor in my house and just “talk.” I suggested a restaurant, and we went. On the way, I asked him again what his job was, and he finally told me the truth. He was unemployed. All I could say was “Oh.” Then he went on a rant about how he hates sitting in the house all day because he also doesn’t have a vehicle. The car we were in for date night turned out to be a relative’s.

I tried to find ways to be okay with this. He was a great conversationalist. He was into adventure and outdoor activities. He was always down to do fun things, but how if he was unemployed? I decided that maybe he had savings or was collecting unemployment. But that was until we got to the restaurant, ate, ordered drinks, talked for hours, and I ended up paying the entire bill.

I do believe that having little money does force you to make dating ideas a bit more creative, but it can also be extremely limiting. And for a man in his 30s living in what resembled a trap house, conversations about settling down soon and starting a family should have been the least of his concerns. You need financial stability before you seek out anything else. It got me thinking about a lot of men I know, and I wonder, what were they doing in their 20s? I believe that your 20s are a time to find, build and establish a foundation for yourself. Of course, you don’t have to have life all figured out, but at least having a solid understanding makes for a promising 30s.

For me, I knew he wasn’t going to cut it. I caught glimpses into his lifestyle, and there was a reason Grown And Sexy was so different. He wasn’t a preference. Sure, he was nice to look at and talk to, but he lacked direction in his life, and I’m talking about more than money.

If a lack of employment and financial stability doesn’t bother you, there are ways to date on a budget that won’t break either of your pockets. There are free museums, free festivals in your city, as well as outdoor movie nights. But before you can do any of those things, he needs to be upfront about his financial situation. And in all honesty, if it’s a really tough situation, he probably doesn’t need to worry about dating in the first place.

Once You Go Broke…: The Hidden Benefits Of Dating A Broke Man

May 27th, 2015 - By Rich
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He’s sexy, charming, intelligent and supportive as hell. He knows things about things you’ve yet to discover. Dude is a gem. The only problem is he’s broke. Not the I-can-never-take-you-out-on-a-date kind but I-can-rarely-take-you-out-because-I’m-just-catching-up-from-a-few-years-of-being-out-of-work. But I’m super ambitious so it’s just a matter of time before I’m back on track.

Is dating a broke man something you can work with?

It’s a question that has left some men standing alone on a street corner before finishing the sentence. We’ve all heard songs like ‘Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent’ or Bills Bills Bills. Can You Pay My Telephone Bills?’ You can’t even be caught on the passenger side of your best friend’s ride without getting called a ‘Scrub.’ So what’s a man with a lean bank account to do? Lay low until things start looking up?

For some women being with a broke man means sitting on the couch eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Tell them that a broke man can have value you and they’ll laugh in your face. But the truth is, some women know different. They’ll tell you that a man who is broke can most certainly bring value to the relationship. Don’t believe it? Read on…

When Leah met him ten years ago the last thing she wanted to hear was, ‘I’m an actor.’ “I wanted a man with a steady income. Someone who could have my back.” But it wasn’t long before she realized that what he lacked in his wallet he more than made up for in vision and ambition. So they got married, and though there have been times when bills have mounted and threatened to destroy them like a fire-breathing dragon, there have also been triumphant times when everything has come together like magic. In those moments she knows that they did it together. “There’s a bond that’s created when you build with a person from the ground up.”

So it makes sense when a rapper like Kendrick Lamar gets engaged to his high school sweetheart after being together for ten years. “She’s my best friend,” says the Compton native of his bride-to-be. As an artist coming up in the rap game you can only imagine that life wasn’t always filled with red carpets. They probably slayed a lot of dragons.

K, a professional in the blogging field who has dated broke men in the past and would again, feels that there’s a distinction between being broken and mismanaged and being broke because you have many things on your plate that you’re trying to make happen for yourself. For instance, the guy she’s dating now doesn’t have a lot of extra money because he’s constantly re-investing into his business ventures. But it’s something that she understands. “You just have to get creative. We buy groceries and cook in a lot, but you learn to love better that way.” She says she’s dated men with money who were never around because they were always working, so the relationship never matured. “Plus,” she adds, “Men with money have everything at their disposal so you’re easily replaceable.”

It’s a sentiment that Lee, a professional who lives in LA and makes six figures, can attest to. “Men with money have tons of women at their disposal so they’re going to be real picky. And that dude that’s spending all that money has it to spend so it’s not even a real indication of how he feels about you.” In women’s defense, however, he adds that a lot didn’t grow up seeing good men as role models so they don’t know what qualities to look for. In the end, they wind up looking for big pockets and someone who can fulfill that Cinderella fairytale.

Vanessa, a single mom with a teenage son, says that she’s not going to write a guy off for being broke. In fact, the last man she dated she describes as ‘cinders broke.’ However, she does need to see that he’s working towards something and that he’s not manipulating people along the way. “It’s what’s in a guy’s heart, his morals, and the connection that count. Not what’s in his wallet.”

It’s unfortunate when you think about how women are always saying, ‘There aren’t enough good men out there.’ The truth is, there are. But they don’t all come making six figures. Some are blue collar, in-between gigs, others have bad credit. But the flip side is some are damn good cooks, super creative and uber ambitious. With the right woman who knows where they’ll be tomorrow. And think about it this way, pre-nups are based on people who refuse to give the other person anything they didn’t walk into the relationship with. If you think that you’re going to walk into the sunset with a self-made-man, good luck. It may happen but…

Like insurance, some benefits take time and have to be worked for, but in the end, it’s so worth it.

Erickka Sy Savané is a freelance writer and creator of THE BREW, a social commentary blog. Before that she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.