Quantcast

Financial Freedom Requires Cash Flow & Other Money Lessons

Finance

Why do you want to save money? Why do you want to get out of debt? Why is investing important to you?

When I decided to learn more about using money wisely, I tried reading a lot of articles on how to be financially secure, yet most of that information never stuck with me. A lot of the articles I read were entertaining but didn't teach me anything new, while others were full of boring, redundant advice.


However, a few articles sparked an 'ah-ha' moment for me, they didn't just teach me "good" financial tips but also changed how I thought about money.

1."Financial Freedom Requires Cash Flow" by The Rental Mindset

If you could imagine a life in which you're financially independent, how do you imagine reaching that goal? Working hard and climbing the corporate ladder to go from secretary to CEO? Launching a million-dollar startup? Bottling oxygen to sell in Northern China? Whichever way you've imagined, the odds of achieving financial freedom by doing just one thing are slim.

This article helped me realize that we won't all become CEOs, but having multiple sources of income will help get you to financial independence (or at the very least, a healthier bank account) faster than having just one source of income. Your goal should be to have more than one source of income, whether that's a side-hustle such as a freelance project, or the dividends you earn on your investments, in addition to your regular job.

Full Article:Financial Freedom Requires Cash Flow

2."Twenty Things to Know About Money in Your Twenties" by Bridget Casey

The most powerful thing on this list is right at the top: Travel Spending Doesn't have the ROI You Think It Does. Most millennials have fallen into the habit of thinking that traveling to new places will somehow give us the right mindset to face the world. Yet, often after spending thousands of dollars on exotic trips, we come back no different than when we left. We're the exact same people, just with a bunch of cool pictures and souvenirs. Bridget points out that "many, many people will get to backpack Europe or walk the Great Wall of China, but very few will start their own company. Invest in the right adventure for yourself, ignore what everyone else is doing."

This article freed me from thinking that my twenties would be incomplete if I didn't take the opportunity to travel across the world. The right adventure for me, and possibly for you, might be slightly harder than buying a plane ticket to go "find" ourselves in Bali, but it'll probably end up having greater rewards.

Full Article:Twenty Things to Know About Money in Your Twenties

3."The Incredible Power of the 1% Margin for Improvement" by Paula Pant

This article reminded me that every huge goal is made up of small steps, and pointed out the raw potential in striving to improve by a little bit every day. Instead of making a vague plan to pay down $1,000 of your student loans in twelve months, plan to pay off $80 this month, then $85 next month, $90 the month after, slowly increasing that number until you're paying off as much as you possibly can, in small manageable chunks.

According to Paula, you can have everything you want, just not all at once, so make incremental progress a regular habit.

Full Article:The Incredible Power of the 1% Margin for Improvement

4."If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Wrong" by Lauren Martin

If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Wrong by Lauren Martin

While the advice in this article should be ignored, deleted, and canceled, the author's underlying attitude towards money is exactly like mine and every other millennial's—we all want to never have to worry about money. Lauren asks, "When did our 20s start to feel like our 40s? When did we get weighed down with the same pressure and stresses as a woman with four kids and a second mortgage?"

Yet, the difference between all of us lies in what we do with this desire to not have to worry about money. Do we just ignore it like this article suggests, or do we tackle that anxiety now by developing good financial habits?

Full Article: If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Wrong

5."The Shortness of Life" by Maria Popova

This article made me aware of how much time we waste just waiting for the right time, instead of just doing whatever it is we want to do. Maria borrows liberally from Seneca who says: "It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it."

While we can—and probably, will—always make more money, we can never make up for lost time. The fact is that people die everyday and there's nothing guaranteeing us that we'll live beyond today. We, quite literally, only have today so we can't pretend that we'll always have time to create and try out the things we want.

Figure out what's important to you, financially and in other areas of your life, and do it now.

Full Article: The Shortness of Life by Maria Popova

Featured image by Gfycat

Last year, Meagan Good experienced two major transformations in her life. She returned to the small screen starring in the Amazon Prime series Harlem, which has been renewed for a second season and she announced her divorce from her longtime partner DeVon Franklin.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Mental health awareness is at an all-time high with many of us seeking self-improvement and healing with the support of therapists. Tucked away in cozy offices, or in the comfort of our own homes, millions of women receive the tools needed to navigate our emotions, relate to those around us, or simply exist in a judgment-free space.

Keep reading...Show less

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.

Keep reading...Show less

Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts