April 30, 2020

It’s quite natural, this desire to fit in. There are so many psychological benefits to being not just part of the crowd but accepted by the crowd. When you fit in somewhere, you acquire a sense of belonging and there are few things better than feeling like your presence is desired somewhere. We conform to a number of social expectations in order to fulfill our desire to be accepted....

March 20, 2020

In wake of the Covid19 virus I have decided to switch topics for this week and discuss the importance of disaster readiness with black women. All over my social media pages I have seen black people, more specifically black women, protesting that there is “no need to fear, God and Jesus will get us through.” 

Ladies…

Keeping your faith and good spirits is one thing but I am so sorry, God and Jesus are not going to save you from t...

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...

October 1, 2019

As I go through the process of shopping for my first home, the importance of a good credit score is on the forefront of my mind. I got my first credit card when I was 18 years old. Don’t worry, I didn’t use it to book a flight for spring break or some other activity that a college student lives to regret.

I was terrified to own a credit card because no one I knew personally had one.  The only thing that I had heard about credit...

August 27, 2019

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day has come and gone, being observed on August 22nd as symbolic of the amount of extra time black female professionals would have to work to earn an annual salary equivalent to that of their white male counterparts. Though we discuss hypergamy and choosing “up” within the DDS camp quite a bit, it is still important to recognize the pitfalls of unfairness that await black and brown skinned women in this...

August 21, 2019

I know that I first heard the phrase, “Stay in your lane,” spoken by comedian Kevin Hart years ago. He was making a joke about keeping company with other celebrities that were within his income bracket, after having put out lots of money trying to keep up with people who were making much more than him at the time. Kevin’s joke was made in the spirit of keepin’ up with the Joneses, but what’s ironic is that in the business sens...

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