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How Our Favorite Black Women Celebs Spent Their First Paychecks
Career & Money

How Our Favorite Black Women Celebs Spent Their First Paychecks

Do you remember what you did with your first real-job paycheck? I mean that check that was the answer to all your prayers. You could finally afford rent, groceries, and happy hour. Maybe you were able to put a down payment on your dream car. Maybe you bought your first house or bought that Fendi bag you'd been eyeing since childhood. (Was that just me?)

Spending that first major paycheck is both a moment of celebration and a way to acknowledge your hard work. It's a dream realized. It can also be the biggest mistake of your life. (And that's okay. Life is about making those and moving on to bigger and better from the lessons).


When I got my first nice-sized paycheck that was over $1,500 after taxes, I spent it on an overseas trip. I'd never been allowed to travel abroad in my teens and in my 20s, I spent the bulk of my paychecks on my half of the rent (Roommate life, anyone?) and coping mechanisms for burnout. (Think lots of Hennessy, four-day-a-week club nights, 7-nights-a-week eating out, a few emergency room visits, a couple of run-ins with toxic boyfriends, and impulsive shopping at Century 21, Forever 21, and H&M.)

Let's take a look at how our favorite Black women in sports, music, and entertainment spent their first big paychecks, if not just to remind ourselves that they, too, are human and have the usual feelings of power and vulnerability when receiving a large lump sum:

Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff/Getty Images

Kerry Washington

The UnPrisoned star also shared with The Hollywood Reporter that her first purchase from the proceeds of one of her first major acting gigs to buy a laptop, hoarding the per diem cash she was given during her time shooting Save The Last Dance--her second movie role, ever---under a mattress.

Issa Rae

Actress, producer and entrepreneur Issa Rae told Buzzfeed Celeb that she bought a Tesla with her first big paycheck after getting a major role. She also told US Weeklythat after buying it, she got into an accident a month later and was without a car for a whole year.

Stefanie Keenan / Contributor/Getty Images

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland reportedly did what many of us do when we finally get our hands on a nice sum of money: splurge, especially on things that we didn't have easy access to in childhood. She told Instyle that she bought groceries that her mom used to tell her were "too expensive" and had a party where everyone enjoyed the food and had fun. (Same, sis. Same.) She further talked about the lessons she learned from buying a 5-bedroom house after becoming a millionaire at 20.

Enjoying the fruits of her Destiny's Child labor, she recalled that the home was "too big" and that she was "too young" to buy such a home. She'd later make informed choices about how she spent her money and used credit cards.

Serena Williams

Both Serena Williams sisters have always acknowledged the valuable money lessons they learned early on from their father. When Serena got her first check, she reportedly took it straight to the bank, rolling up to the drive-through (as if it wasn't $1 million!) She also said in an interview that she wouldn't just go pick up her check and the tour directors at the time had to eventually come and give it to her. Talk about discipline!

Daniele Venturelli / Contributor/Getty Images

Regina King

Regina King is the ultimate legendary actress who has range (from 80's classic 227 to '90 cult favorite Boyz In The Hood to iconic western The Harder They Fall) and looks damn good after decades in Hollywood. She told The Hollywood Reporterthat when she got her first big paycheck, she invested in something many of us promise ourselves when we've gotten to a certain salary or status: a car.

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Featured image by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

 

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