Tag Archives: personal finance

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – I Can’t Afford to Marry You


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At 19-years-old, Marilyn was one month away from marrying John, her Prince Charming. Imagine her surprise when one day, out of the blue, he asked to see her finances. After revealing this personal information, she was shocked to hear him exclaim, “I can’t afford to marry you!” This was followed by the news that the wedding was off. What Marilyn did next to save face, temporarily cost her to lose self-esteem, but put her on a path to financial righteousness. This book is a must read for all – women, men, couples, and young people-who want to minimize their mistakes, master their money and secure their financial future.

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HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles


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Bestselling 5 Star Graduation Gift for both College and High School grads! Why do high schools and colleges require students to take courses in English, math and science, yet have absolutely no requirements for students to learn about personal money management? Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Lessons to Live By was initially developed by the author to pass on to his five children as they entered adulthood. As it developed, the author realized that personal money management skills were rarely taught in high schools, colleges and even in MBA programs. Unfortunately, books on the subject tend to be complicated, lengthy reads. The book includes eight important lessons focusing on 99 principles that will quickly and memorably enhance any individual’s money management acumen. Unlike many of the personal money management books out there, this book is a quick, easily digested read that focuses more on the qualitative side than the quantitative side of personal money management. The principles are not from a text book. Rather, they are practical principles learned by the author as he navigated through his financial life. Many are unorthodox in order to be memorable and provoke deeper thought by the reader. Not only an excellent graduation gift for high school and college students but also a great read for any adult! ALSO AVAILABLE IN SPANISH – “POR QUE NO ME ENSENARON ESTO EN LA ESCUELA?”

Personal Finance Tips From Warren Buffett


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The HBCU Money™ staff also adds some commentary to the subjects of Mr. Buffett’s quotes to provide more depth and better understand the points.

  • EARNINGS: There are three different types of income. Earned, passive, and investment income. Guess which is taxed the highest? The one you go to work for. Passive income (e.g. rental property, limited partnerships, intellectual property) if properly managed can be taxed at near zero income. Investment income (e.g. dividends from stock ownership) falls under 0, 15, or 20 percent based on taxable income. More importantly, these incomes are not based on you leaving the house or your boss liking you.
  • SPENDING: It is not how much you make, but what you do with what you make. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, however, in an era where people do things to project a social media lifestyle, keeping up with the Joneses, Smiths, and everyone else has become even more problematic. Use personal finance tools like Mint.com or others to help you track your spending and give yourself a grade on a month by month basis.
  • SAVINGS: Why is it so hard? Wages have been flat for a long time that is for sure, but we must play the hand we are dealt. The question is does pride get in the way of many people saving.  Most people’s biggest expense is housing, yet how many are willing to take on a roommate or two for a year or two to save? Saving must become a habit that can start small and snowball with time with discipline. Find a friend and compete with them if that helps, but find the thing that pushes your button to do it.
  • RISKS: Are you 50/50 about a coming raise and decide to buy that car you always wanted or put that foreign vacation on the credit card? Then you just failed at risk management. Risk is always about understanding the pros and cons of any financial decision and finding ways to mitigate that risk. You bought the car? Okay, so you Uber and add extra income until you get the raise. If you do not, then keep Ubering. Again, risk management is vital to one’s long-term financial planning.
  • INVESTMENT: When do you need a financial advisor? When you are rich you say? Think again. The moment you have a job you need a financial advisor and probably not just one. Checks and balances (risk management). Is your only investment account your retirement account? There are multiple financial investments to consider from owning stocks, owning a stake in a small business, to even owning land. All of these make up the ingredients that is your financial pie. How one distributes them is up to your own risk tolerance, but you have never eaten an apple pie using only apples. No one thing is going to make you wealthy or preserve it.
  • EXPECTATION: This is something that we must reflect on within ourselves and from those around us. We expect to be wealthy, but is our behavior matching it? Are we surrounding ourselves with likeminded people in our pursuits? We can not expect to be financially sound and surrounded by those who want to go to the mall every weekend. Are we patient with our investments? Or do we chase “get rich quickly” schemes because we have not educated ourselves properly to have the proper expectation of savings, budgeting, investing, and the TIME it takes to accomplish those goals.

Need in depth help on all of the above?

Watch this staff recommended Youtube video by Dan Griffin, CPA entitled “Saving & Investing Basics: A Guide for Young Adults” here.

Be sure to also read HBCU Money’s “Recommending Reading for African American Financial Starters” here.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Real Life on a Budget


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Real Life on a Budget is a practical guide to helping you navigate the waters of money management. It features real life budget advice, practical challenges, actionable steps that will help you map out your journey to living and thriving on a budget.

If you have been struggling with developing, maintaining, and living on a budget, Real Life on a Budget will help you create a system to better manage your finances and will challenge you to stick to your real life budget. Written by popular personal finance blogger, Jessi Fearon (www.thebudgetmama.com), Real Life on a Budget provides Jessi’s real-world budget advice and exercises for every area of managing your household budget. Real Life on a Budget is a powerful tool to help you start living and thriving on a budget.

Moms, Daughters, and Money: A Mother’s Story Of Teaching Her Daughter Personal Finance


“Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but everybody does something about it.” – Rebecca Johnson

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Children never cease to amaze me in the way they analyze their world and my daughter is no different. So one day when she says to me, “Momma, how did Tee Tee get rich?” I was driving at the time and almost swerved into the other lane from laughing so hard at my daughter’s question. “Uhh, honey your Tee Tee is NOT rich, who told you she was?”

According to my colorful child with her rose tinted glasses, she understood that my sister was “rich” because she would buy her anything and everything she wanted no questions asked. My daughter continued to explain to me that she was the only person she knew who had two birthday parties a year (my sister also throws her a birthday party), and always gives her “pocket money”.

What my then six-year-old child did not understand, along with most adults was that she needed to save money in order to buy things she wanted and participate in the activities she deemed of value. From as far as I can remember, any money my daughter received went into a traditional piggy bank. I would catch her at times pulling out the money and counting just the bills. The highlight of her piggy bank “audits” would be when she came across a $10 or $20 bill. Trips to the bank to handle our monthly deposits were nothing more than a comedy show. My daughter wanted to talk with the manager to make sure no one would confuse her money from other people’s money.  She “knew” what her money looked like she would often tell the bank associates. They would offer her the Dum Dum lollipops in the candy bowl.  She would take them of course, but then asked if they would put an extra dollar in her account. They thought she was adorable and cute, but she was dead serious.

Trying to explain money and the importance of managing it properly would be a daunting task when it came to my daughter.  She takes everything literally, so I had to be mindful of what I said to her.  So I started my journey about teaching her about money with what I thought was the most important thing to do: Pay yourself first.

I first explained to her that she should save a minimum of 10 percent of any money she receives. We broke everything down in pennies to make it easier for her to grasp the concept or so I thought. I told her there are one hundred pennies in every dollar and that required her to save at least ten cents for every dollar.  Since her allowance is $5 a week, she is required to save $0.50 a week. According to her however, it would take much too long to buy anything with only saving $0.50 a week. Thankfully, she decided she should save more instead of pressing me for a higher allowance – for now. That is when the discussion of wants, needs and wishes came up.  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, and Self –Actualization. My daughter’s hierarchy of needs:  Entertainment, Entertainment, Love/Junk Food, and then back to Entertainment.  

It was important to me as a mother to nurture my child to be well rounded.  I started off when she was very young about the importance of charity and her responsibility in her community by allowing her to join me in my various community activities: soup kitchens, neighborhood clean ups, etc.  She would be my “guest” speaker when I met with my high school mentees. I wanted to infuse in her social responsibility without being esoteric; also modeling how and where her money should be spent.  So how do you get a child of a 70’s baby to understand money: Play a round of Monopoly!

When I sat her down to play, I allowed her to be the banker.  I wanted her to understand that it’s a huge responsibility having to “pay” the players the correct amount of money and to stand “guard” of players who needed to borrow money from the bank. (I do not know about your household, but we gave small loans out to keep the game going at times).  Although she was excited about her responsibility as the banker, all she really wanted to do was roll the dice. It frustrated her to no end to have to stop and pay players $200 every time they passed GO, if they wanted to purchase a property, or any other transaction where the game had to pause to handle money transactions. She quickly said, “I don’t want to have to deal with money, I just want to save it and spend it only when I have to.”  Oh, out of the mouth of babies.

Fast-forwarding three years to the age of 9, my child has become a hoarder of money.  Unfortunately, I may have played an unintentional role in that.  My intentions were to teach my daughter the importance of saving money for the future. My daughter’s interpretation became I will save all of MY money while you spend yours.  She is so obsessed with how she can make money she has thought of schemes to outwit the tooth fairy and actually wants to resell her braces back to her orthodontist when her treatments are complete.

We continuously talk about money.  She is sensitive that our lifestyle has changed over the course of the last year. The largest impact of that change is not being able to visit her “Tee Tee” several times throughout the year.  The cost of an airline ticket for a minor to Michigan is not in my budget anymore, however, she could use some of her savings to visit.  When I asked her if seeing her aunt was a want, need, or wish, she looked me dead in the eye and said “I wish to see my Tee Tee, but I NEED my money”.  Oh, out of the mouth of babies.