December 20, 2019

Last week we discussed how to use a Google Sheet to track credit card debt.  This week we will discuss how to use the same Sheet to track long-term debt such as student loans, car notes, mortgages, etc.

Similar to credit card tracking, your starting point is the debt’s current balance and annual percentage rate (APR).  You can obtain this information from the most recent statement that you received.  Let’s say that you have the...

December 13, 2019

Last week we covered the basics of tracking your budget (see DIY Personal Finance - Tracking Your Budget).  If you have credit cards, you can use the same Google Sheet that I referenced in that article (or create your own similar sheet) to track your credit card activity.  We’ll discuss how to do that in this article.

Add Your Credit Cards
List each credit that you own (e.g., Chase, Capital One, etc.) on the Sheet.  If yo...

December 5, 2019

After you have made a plan for your money, the next step is to track the plan.  I absolutely love using Google Sheets on my laptop to create my plan and the Sheets app (also by Google) to track my plan on a daily basis.  I love using Sheets because it’s free, and I can access my budget from anywhere.

Create Your Plan

Your plan is essentially an analysis of the money that you expect to earn and what you intend to do with tho...

November 12, 2019

In March 2019, Black Enterprise published an article titled African American Economics: Real Facts. The article referenced a State of the American Family Study by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), which found that:

1. Outside of retirement accounts, only 37% of African Americans own wealth-building products such as stocks and mutual funds.

2. Only 35% believe they are doing a good job of preparing for retirem...

November 5, 2019

A phrase that I often heard while growing up is, “Take the meat, and leave the bones.”  In essence, the phrase means that you should take what is valuable or applicable to you and leave behind what is of no use.  Chances are that if you read a personal finance article, the article will not be customized to every nuance of your specific financial circumstance.  If you expect it to be, it is likely that your expectation will not...

November 1, 2019

I burst into laughter when I came across this post on Instagram - “I paid all my bills for this month. Does anyone have some good recipes with water?”

We’ve all been there before. Your job giveth, and your bills taketh away.  There are two common causes of this predicament. Either your bills are higher than your income, or you spend before considering your bills for the month.  In this post we will tackle the issue of spending...

October 17, 2019

What do you do once you gain knowledge? Oftentimes, especially when it comes to money management, people cite a lack of knowledge as the reason for not saving, for bank overdrafts, not paying credit card bills on time, not contributing to their 401k plan, etc. While it may be true that you didn’t save because you weren’t taught that you should, that you got an overdraft because you thought the bank wouldn’t let you keep spendi...

October 15, 2019

A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self About Finances

Dear Princess-Zenita,

You have just graduated from high school, congratulations! You’ve put in a lot of hard work and tireless effort to get to where you are. However, this next chapter of your life is called adulthood.

Please enjoy and do not take for granted, I beg of you, your free healthcare, free home cooked meals, and the non-existent bills you have. This upcoming summer is th...

October 9, 2019

I grew up in a household with five other people.  I shared a room with my parents until I was nine years old and then shared a room with my sister until I left for college at the age of 17.  In college, I had a roommate for all four years.  Needless to say, I always looked forward to the day when I could have a space that belonged to me and me alone. 

As soon as I graduated from college, I immediately starting l...

October 3, 2019

Imposter Syndrome. 

It’s an issue that plagues countless people, no matter the race, gender, or socio-economic status. However, no one talks about the particular kind of imposter syndrome that I, and many other black women face. I have spent innumerable hours overthinking all of the ways in which I wasn’t good enough; refused to raise my hand in class because I didn’t want to get the answer wrong and then be labeled “The u...

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