Giving is Better than Receiving


!giving tuesday


Today is Giving Tuesday!! The purpose of Giving Tuesday is to encourage people to donate to non-profit organizations that are doing great work in the community. I know… I know… You spent all your money on Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, and Cyber Monday…. You have some left over to give to organization that help others. That is reason for the Holiday Season right?!!? Well… For me, it is….

Below are a list of organization that are near and dear to my heart because these organization focus on serving people in under served communities make better financial decision. You know this DIVA is all for helping people to do better with their COINS. You can click on the name to find out how you can volunteer or donate to these organizations.


Ladder Up– This non-profit organization provides free tax preparation and financial literacy workshops throughout the Chicagoland area.


Institute Financial Literacy– This non-profit organization develops financial literacy curriculum for other organizations to utilize in their programming.


One Stock One Future– This non-profit organization teaches teens how to understand the stock market.


As you much as I encourage you to save and invest your coins; you should also donate them as well.

You know how the saying goes… “It is Better to Give than Recieve”.


Keep on Giving!



Miss Diva Dollars


Diversify Your Coins: Get Some Life Insurance



death and taxes


Dear Divas and Divos,

I know that quote is kinda morbid but it is at the absolute truth.  That time will come when it is time to move on to heaven. Are you ready for that? Have you thought about what your financial legacy will be?

Answer to question is LIFE INSURANCE!

You should invest in yourself and purchase life insurance.

Q: What is Life Insurance?

A: Glad you asked! Life Insurance is an insurance policy that pays out a sum of money at the time of your demise.

Q: I’m young! Why should I think about that?

A: Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone so you should prepare yourself and your family to be able to take care of your funeral expenses. Funerals can become costly so a life insurance policy will offset those costs. ALSO, the best time to buy life insurance is before you turn 30.

It is cheapest in your twenties because your life span is longer than someone trying to purchase life insurance at 50.

Q: What kind of life insurance is available?

A: There is Term, Whole, and Variable Life Insurance policies.

Term Life Insurance is a type of life insurance that pays a benefit in the event of the death of the insured during a specified term. It has a fixed payment during the duration of the insurance term. Most people select 30 or 40 years term. Yes, it is a renewable product. It is the cheapest insurance product but it does not accumulate cash value.

Whole Life Insurance is a type of life insurance that provides lifelong coverage and accumulates cash value. This insurance product will remain intact as along as the premiums are paid on time or up to its maturity date.  It is significantly more expensive than term life insurance.

Variable Life Insurance is a type of permanent life insurance, because the death benefit will be paid if the insured dies any time as long as there is sufficient cash value to pay the costs of insurance in the policy. There are 3 parts to variable life insurance: death benefit, cash value, and premium. This is probably the most expensive of the three but there is more opportunity to gain more returns on this financial products.

Q: What are some companies that offer life insurance?

A: There are many companies that offer life insurance. Here are just a few:

State Farm

Colonial Penn


Mutual of Omaha

Mass Mutual


Protect Yourself. Protect Your Family. Buy Some Life Insurance.


Miss Diva Dollars

Money Talk over Dope Beats: The 4:44 Album through my Diva Dollars lens

Happy Monday Divas and Divos!! I’m sure everyone has the new Jay’z album 4:44 on repeat. I know I have! Especially since it was released on Apple Music last week. *Disclaimer* I have been a Jay fan since I was … Continue reading

Banking While Black: It’s a Necessity (2021 Update)

As this is the last day of Black History Month, I must encourage everyone to keep this momentum throughout the year. Between Beyoncé and Kendrick unapologetically black performances, Black History Month 2016 has been one for the books. The Diva couldn’t celebrate Black History Month without informing, reminding, and encouraging my fellow DIVAS AND DIVOS about the importance of patronizing Black-Owned Banks.

How many Banks are in the US?    6,799

How many Black-owned Banks are in US?  14

Yep, you read it right… 14 Black-Owned Banks left in America.

UPDATE: Seaway Bank and Trust Company closed on January 27, 2017. City National Bank of New Jersey was closed on November 1, 2019 and bought by Industrial Bank (Black-Owned Bank). First Tuskegee Bank merged with Liberty Bank (Black-Owned Bank). North Milwaukee State Bank was closed in March 2016.

We cannot talk about “Buy Black” without saying “Bank Black”. It is imperative that we support our Black-Owned Banks. We must support black-banks in order to do the following: strengthen the brown economy, community, and dollar. African-Americans are a $1 Trillion Dollar Buying Power. Reports have stated if African-Americans stop shopping for a week; we could really put a bad dent in the American economy. WOW! That is a lot of untapped power that we possess. The Brown Economy is a very powerful force that we as a people have yet to harness.  Most if not all of Black-Owned Banks are in urban areas (where most of US live). When you open an account at a bank, you are helping the community that the bank is in. The reason is banks are mostly likely lending to people and organizations in the area. That means that your money will be distributed in your community.  According to the Nielsen Report “State of the African-American Consumer” ; the black dollar is only redistributed in our community for 6 hours.  6 HOURS?!!?  The dollar in the Asian community is redistributed for about 20 days. We gots to do better.  Most of them are in the south but they are a few in the Midwest and West Coast.  I’m sure that you have seen the article about Usher and Killer Mike opening accounts at Columbia State Bank (link- That was a great start to Black History Month!

We can take that same enthusiasm and open an account ourselves with the following 14 Black-Owned Banks. I have created a chart for you to help aid in your decision-making:


Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded: January 28, 2000

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $35 404 000


Location: Los Angeles, California

Founded: February 26, 1947

FDIC Region: San Francisco

Assets: $385 055 000


Location: Savannah, Georgia

Founded: January 1, 1927

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $41 573 000


Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: June 18, 1921

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $392 286 000


Location: Mobile, Alabama

Founded: February 19, 1976

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $63 244 000


Location: Detroit, Michigan

Founded: May 14, 1970

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $215 924 000

GN BANK (Formerly Illinois Savings and Federal)

Founded: January 01, 1934

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $140 148 000


Location: Washington, DC

Founded: August 18, 1934

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $342 524 000


Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Founded: November 16, 1972

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $545 019 000


Location: Durham, North Carolina

Founded: March 01, 1908

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $304 809 000


Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Founded: February 12, 1971

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $91 490 000


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Founded: August 02, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $590 624 000


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Founded: March 23, 1992

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $67 930 000


Location: Houston, Texas

Founded: August 01, 1985

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $68 125 000

Source: FDIC

We must take ownership of our community. Instead of speaking with your mouths; use your money to speak. Make the switch! Bank Black!


I won the Powerball! Now What?


Let’s play the “What If?” game? What if I won the Powerball which is listed at $900 million with a cash value of $558 million. Either way, that is a lot of money! Disclaimer: I am NOT endorsing or condoning playing the lottery. That is your own choice that I will not judge you on.

If you were to win the Powerball; what would you do with all your winnings? Who would tell? If it was me… In the words of Keith Sweat..


But we are talking about you…. Most people would say, “SHOW ME THE MONEY?!” They would want a lump sum of money in their bank account right away. Then here come the following people: your Momma who wants to start her own restaurant, your Uncle Junebug who always wanted to start their own barbershop, friend who now wants to start their rap career but want a custom studio, and your girlfriend/boyfriend who is looking for you to wine and dine because they feel they deserve it. Crazy right? But so true!!

Let’s look through your financial lens and see how much you would actually win. The estimated value of the Powerball is $900 million. You actually win $558 million (62% of the estimated value). Let’s not forget about the T word….TAXES! There is a 25% Federal Tax Reduction which will be taken off the top (think $135 million). You must pay Caesar what is due to Caesar or He will come for you and take the shirt off of your back. Now you will bring home about $419 million. Your hometown state also needs their coins too. State Taxes vary from state to state. I will use the state of Illinois as an example. According to USA MEGA, Illinois has a 3.75 state tax.

Now the question is… how should I get my winnings: lump sum or annuity? The common person would say LUMP SUM!!! Is that correct? NO!!!!  The most financially responsible thing is to do an annuity payments. This DIVA will tell you why. What is annuity? Glad you ask! Annuity is a fixed sum of money that is paid to someone for the rest of their lifetime. Bonus: if you die suddenly; your family can continue to receive annuity payments for the rest of their lives too! Morbid I know but hey you gotta be realistic.

Anywho… Back to the math. If you receive a lump sum payment, you will receive about $398 million. If you choose annuity payments, you will receive about $642 million. If you choose to get a lump sum, then you will pay more taxes off the top. If you choose an annuity; you will only pay taxes on the payments made to you annually. That means more money in your pocket!

So if you or I do win the Powerball tonight; please choose the annuity payments. Don’t forget to bless your fellow Financial Diva a coin or two for giving you this advice. In the meantime; keep SAVING and INVESTING DIVAS!!!

-Miss Diva Dollars

Diva Dollars Manifesto 2016


This is the third day of the new year! YAY! For most people that means a new fresh beginning in different areas of our lives. This could mean starting a new fitness regime, renewed mindset, new diet, or the start of a new business. Some people create a new manifesto for themselves. Webster defines a manifesto as a public declaration of intention, motives, or views. My question to you is…. What is your money manifesto in 2016? Save more? Get out of debt? Save for a car or house? Spend less?

My Diva Dollars Manifesto is my public declaration of how I am going to handle my coins for 2016 and beyond. I am approaching the 30 Club (YEP!) and I need to make some changes to my financial lifestyle. My financial habits of my 20s cannot enter into my 30s. Soooooooooo…… Introducing my Money Manifesto

Manifesto (1)

Whatever your money mindset is; it should help your finances work in your favor instead of against you. What is your money manifesto for 2016? Drop a comment and let me know.  Let’s get our financial house in order for 2016!!!!

Until next time DIVAS!!!!!! Keep Saving and Investing!!!!

-Miss Diva Dollars