Securing The Bag: 4 Key Takeaways From The #PathToPower Event

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They say the first step in fixing a problem is admitting that you have one. Well...my name is Jasmine, and I have a money problem. I literally don’t know where my money goes. It’s like, I go to work, make the money, it gets deposited into my account, and then it disappears. I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck and do my best with contributing towards my savings account. I’ve upgraded from overdraft fees and negative account balances however, I’m not too far off. Oh, and I still ask my parents for money. Whew, chile. Can anybody relate? I’m sure I’m not the only one.

To give you some background (since I basically just told you all of my business already), I grew up in a single parent household as an only child. My momma did her very best to provide for our family and did one helluva job, if I do say so myself. If I have to put our socioeconomic status in a box, I would say that we lived a “middle-class” lifestyle. We weren’t broke-broke, but we definitely weren’t rich either. We lived paycheck to paycheck and there was no wiggle room for extra spending. Budgets were tight and bills were high.

That’s kind of how my life is now...tight budgets and high bills. My plan is not to be in this position forever, so right now I’m aggressively editing my financial life and utilizing as many free and cheap resources as I can. Speaking of...I recently attended the #PathToPower event hosted by Northwestern Mutual and ESSENCE. Event admission was free, they had free food, aaaannnddd an open bar (every broke girl’s dream).

Event facilitators Charreah Jackson, Myleik Teele, and Ashaunda Davis dropped HELLA gems. One common theme that was brought up several times was the emotional connection that we have to money. The ladies mentioned over and over again that we need to shift our mindsets in order to achieve optimal, financial well-being. The gems listed below were my favorite, simply because it deals with the mind and that’s where decision-making begins…with our thoughts. We can sit in financial seminars all day long and receive tangible ways to fix our personal finances, but if we don’t alter the way we think/feel about money, we’ll never be able to accomplish our financial goals. And because I’m not stingy, I’m going to share my fave nuggets of wisdom with you.

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Your value doesn’t live in your bank account.

Charreah said this perfectly! You know the old adage Keeping Up with the Jones’. Black people struggle in this area. Trying to portray a lifestyle that we can barely keep up with. I can be guilty of that sometimes. Granted, I get that money plays a huge role in how we live our lives, but I agree with Charreah in that our value should not be equated to how much money we have. Letting go of this notion can help us think about our finances in a more healthier way.

Can you buy it three times?

This was Myleik’s way of asking us if we can really afford something. Often times, I like to splurge on items and I do believe in “treating” yourself from time to time. However, because I have lofty, yet realistic, financial goals I have to be mindful about what I can actually afford.

Get comfortable with saying “I Can’t Come” or “I Can’t Do It”.

I struggled, and still struggle, with this one. I'll be the first to admit that it can be a little embarrassing to tell your friends that you can’t do something because you don’t have the funds. But when I started to get real about my where I am financially, I quickly got over that. I’d rather work on building generational wealth than ball out on trips, weekly brunches, going out, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shaming those who do that. Honestly, if I could...I would. But in order to reach my financial goals, I have to be unashamed about saying No.

Pour into your financial education.

If you’re like me and can’t afford to pay for a financial advisor, Ashaunda recommends that we utilize other, affordable resources like books, podcasts, TED talks, etc. There sooooo much information out there, so no excuses. One book that I’ve been eyeing is Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass At Making Money. Once I buy it and read it, I’ll let you know my thoughts about it.

Hopefully these quick tips helped with reshaping your thinking around money. What are some ways that you’ve shifted your mindset around your personal finances? Share the “wealth” in the comments below! And as always, thanks for reading!

Much Love,

Jasmine Symone