What I learned from the Financial Fast!

Hey Guys!

I know that it has been a while since I posted. Life and grad school is taking over (I graduate in May! YAY!) Even though I haven’t posted, I still endured the financial fast. I ended the fast on Feb. 3. I saved almost $200 after I paid my bills during this fast (WOW!!!!).  Below are some other major lesson learned during this fast. 

  • God wants you to be prosper but also be wise with your financial choices. Don’t let the pursuit of money distances you from your relationship with God. 
  • Give when you don’t feel like giving. There is a blessing that will come from it.
  • Be content with what you have. Be grateful for what you have. Remember, you get in bed in go to sleep every night while someone is sleeping on the ground outside.
  • Prudence begets Prosperity. I already had a budget but now I am going further to include social activities in my budget so I will able to save for concert or theater tickets. If you fail to plan; you plan to fail. 
  • Debt/Credit is Dangerous. I disagree with the book in regards to debt/credit being evil. There are some purchases that you need to use a line of credit for (home, car, surgery, etc.) I would say I am going to be more careful and manage my debt better. I have created a debt dash plan because I got to get SallieMae off my back ASAP!!! 
  • Diversify your investments (if applicable). I have diversified my 401K. I do need to do a better job of managing my investments. 
  • New Bible Verses that I need to memorize in regards to financial freedom. Proverbs 3:9, Luke 6:38, Proverbs 13:18, 1 Timothy 5:8

I highly recommend this book if you want to get your financial life in order. This might just become an annual ritual for me. 

Happy Saving!

Image

Advertisements

52 Week Money Challenge

As most of you have read, seen, or heard about, the nation is participating in the 52 Week Money Challenge. It is a year-long challenge to save money on a weekly basis. Ideally, a person should have saved $1378 by Dec. 31. Below is the chart and a link to the Facebook page.

52week-money-challenge

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Weave-Shop-Illinois/174882699262700?ref=stream#!/groups/Kassondras52WeekMoneyChallenge/?fref=ts

Miss Diva Dollars is participating in this challenge! Will you?

Brown Consumerism: Who cares about the Joneses’ anyway?

As I reflect back on the holiday season, I think of the major money that was spent. The money spent on buying Christmas gifts for families, co-workers, friends etc. We as people spend a ridiculous amount of money on items that we barely wear or use. This is very true in the African-American community. African-Americans spend almost $1 trillion dollars annually. The buying power of African-Americans was compared to that of a small country (See graphic).

BlackConsumerChart

What do we spend it on? As far as I can tell, the money is spent on frivolous things such as clothes, cars, tvs, and other electronics. Not to sound cliché but we try to keep up with the Joneses’. Who the heck are the Joneses anyway? Could it be our Caucasian counterparts, basketball wives, or rappers? It grinds my gears to see women buying Christian Louboutin shoes with a Pre-Paid Rush card or guys tweeting pics of their Louis Vuitton receipts then texting me if I know of any jobs openings?!?! Something is not adding up! Disclaimer: I am guilty of conspicuous consumption as well. The question is why? It seems like material things symbolizes success or progress in our community. Is our self-worth determined by the size of our rims or the logo on our belt buckle? The media plays a part in our excessive habits. Rappers, video vixens, and thoughts of popping bottles and shopping sprees is seeping into our minds to a point where we perceive it as reality. We must realize that rap videos and reality shows are selling us a dream. A dream that is unattainable on annual salary of $36,000.

Brown Consumerism wouldn’t alarm me as much if I didn’t look at the wealth gap between African-Americans and other races. If we were savings as much as were spending, then I would not have a problem. The sad truth is that we spend more than we save. A LOT MORE! According to Census Bureau Information below, African-Americans net worth is 20x less than our Caucasian and Asian counterparts. That is alarming and disturbing.

chart-racial-wealth-gap-3_top

What happened to saving more and spending less? Think about the generations that came before us. Ideally, Grandma and Grandpa worked hard to buy a home in a decent neighborhood, worked 30+ years at a blue collar job, and then retired with a nice retirement nest-egg. Is that idea not cool now? Ask yourself, do you have a savings or money market account? If not, why? We as a community need to get back to those solid financial principles that our grandparents instilled in order to create wealth for ourselves and our families.

This is why my blog and other personal finance blogs are so important. Imagine if the $1 trillion that we spend on material things was used for savings and investments. We would be a force to be reckoned with! We must share helpful financial information and create wealth for ourselves. Join me on my journey to becoming financially stable. No, I am not trying to sell you anything. I am just sharing my financial story with you in return that you will tell someone else so they can live a debt-free life.

Why Diva Dollars?

I entitled my blog “Diva Dollars” because this blog will serve 3 purposes. First, it will document my journey to financial freedom. NO…….. I am not trying to be a millionaire! (Although, that wouldn’t be so bad!) I just want to be comfortable with my life and be able to do what I want without thinking about how it will affect my bank account tomorrow. It will also help to educate others about financial literacy. (one of my many passions!)

Second, I will highlight some pertinent financial/economic news. That may sound boring to most but as a economic graduate student, it screams cool in my book! The global economy has a profound effect on a person’s financial well-being than most people think.

Lastly, I will give some awesome investing and financial tips along the way. I want to be your financial resource. Ms. Diva Dollars will NEVER put out bogus info (BELIEVE THAT!) I am firm believer in doing your due diligence and checking references. You’ve probably heard some of these things from Suze Orman or Jim Cramer but it will be so much cooler getting the info from me. 😉

Well if you got this far in reading……then you are ready to join in my quest for debt-freeness!! (I know that’s a word but so what?!)

The most important thing to know is that I want to share my financial story so people who come after me do not make the same mistakes that I made.

Thanks for reading! Welcome to Diva Dollar Land!!!!!!!