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A Breakup Taught This Six-Figure Beauty Studio Owner That She Is The Bag

Her relationship with money changed when she dared to secure herself.

Money Talks

Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they spend it.

As the co-owner and Marketing-Logistics Director of Atlanta's own Transformations Beauty Studio with her twin sister Derricka, Erricka Traylor is sure to know a thing or two about money management and financial wellness. After losing nearly everything after an engagement gone wrong, the Atlanta native had to learn the hard way through experience that having everything tied to someone you aren't bonded to by marriage is not always the ideal route to take.

Following financial hardship and the ultimate heartbreak, Transformations Beauty Studio was born and thus a monthly six-figure income followed. "I save 35 percent of my income each month. In order to save this, I set a weekly budget for spending. Use my calendar to view any travel and about my spending as needed so that I hit my goal," Traylor shared with xoNecole. Though she saves with a high-yield savings account, she told xoNecole that she opts to use CapitalOne. "They are known for taking care of their existing customers. Most banks give you a great rate coming in but it drops after six months."

Courtesy of UMGMT Strategic Communications & Public Relations

In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with Traylor about purchasing a brand new car on a random Tuesday without consulting anyone, the simplicity of her savings goals and the importance of her multiple income streams.

On her definitions of wealth and success:

"Wealth, to me, is defined as having balance in my life. What I mean by that is having excellent health, freedom when it comes to spending, using my time wisely, and most importantly, leaving a legacy for my family. I define success as facing your biggest challenge or fear and overcoming it. Success is going after your goals and never giving up, no matter how hard things get. Success is also about making a better choice in life and leading by example."

On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:

"The lowest I ever felt about my finances was after a breakup. I was in a long-term relationship, and we had tied a lot of finances up together. After the breakup, I lost out on a lot of my savings and assets. I felt low because I didn't make sure that I would be financially OK if we decided to split. It made me feel low and upset with myself because I knew better. Unfortunately, at that time, I didn't do the right thing to secure myself. I overcame it by going back to the basics. Watching my spending, saving money and investing money in a business that will help me increase my revenue. The most critical component was I changed my mindset. I no longer felt upset and low. I felt empowered to do it right this time around for myself."

On her biggest splurge to date:

"My biggest splurge was purchasing a new car. It was the first car I purchased without anyone's money or input. I purchased my car on a random Tuesday. I was over my current car and just ready for a change. My previous car was goldfish tan and it wasn't a car that I really wanted. I was so determined to get me a new car that day. I literally pulled up to the dealership with no appointment two hours before they closed. I already knew which car I wanted and color. When I spent the $32,000 on my car, I was nervous but I also felt good at the same time. It was my mark of financial growth and independence. I was able to see that I can and will accomplish goals if I stay focused on the goal and plan. I was so happy."

erricka-traylor-smile

Courtesy of Milan Mobley

"When I spent the $32,000 on my car, I was nervous but I also felt good at the same time. It was my mark of financial growth and independence. I was able to see that I can and will accomplish goals if I stay focused on the goal and plan. I was so happy."

On whether she’s a spender or a saver:

"I consider myself a saver nowadays. When I was younger, I was a spender! I trained my mind to start to think of my future, [to] think of my family and what I can provide them with. I gave myself small goals and advanced over time. Now it's just routine."

On the importance of investing:

"To me, investment is essential. I invest conservatively in stock. I have restricted stock, preferred stock, brokerage CD. I also invest in the business to help grow my income and savings. My business investments are hiring the right people. For each new person added, we spend money on training, payroll, marketing etc. Investing in my company marketing and advertising is also a strategic investment that I use to gain more revenue."

On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:

"My saving goal is simple. Save enough money to have financial freedom before and after retirement. Retirement for me is on track and closely watched."

On her budgeting must-haves:

"My must-haves are housing, utilities, entertainment, groceries, transportation, self-pampering. I use Mint to help guide me with my personal finances. The system is easy and it keeps me on track with my goals and budget. I also write things down the old fashioned way. The first thing I do is take my savings percentage and put it towards my savings. Then I write out my essential bills for the month and subtract it from my monthly income. I then write out my other finances like entertainment, etc and go from there. I also add to an emergency account for small emergencies. I do this every month to keep things right and tight."

On unhealthy money habits and mindsets:

"Some unhealthy mindsets that I had to let go of were shopping all the time for clothing [and] not sticking to my savings goal. Also cutting down on eating out so much. My mindset changed and then my bank account grew and my will power got healthy."

On the worst money-related decision she’s ever made:

"The worst money-related decision I made was tying all my money and assets with someone just because I was in a relationship with them. This was a very bad decision that I made at the time. I didn't do the right thing with my money. It's like I just gave it away in a sense. I made costly business decisions and didn't think about the consequences that I may face. I learned a valuable lesson to read over every contract, review the pros and cons, and think about the what ifs. If I had done this, it would have saved my 10s of thousands of dollars."

On her intentions behind multiple streams of revenue:

"My streams of revenue are product revenue, salon revenue, [and] spa revenue. I started each one at different times during my career. One reason why was because I had to build up my income. Each one of my new business revenue helps start the next one. It was important to me to start another stream because, number one, I wanted to grow my business as much as possible and, number two, I wanted to grow my income. Having these different streams of income taught me to be more flexible, organized and it gives me a sense of security In finances."

erricka-traylor-green-dress

Courtesy of Milan Mobley

"My streams of revenue are product revenue, salon revenue, and spa revenue. Having these different streams of income taught me to be more flexible, organized and it gives me a sense of security In finances."

On her money mantra:

"I am worthy of all the richness I desire."

On her budget breakdown:

Rent/mortgage?

"$1,600 mortgage."

Eating out/ordering in?

"$200/month."

Gas/car note?

"No car note, but gas is probably $150 a month."

Personal expenses?

"Maybe $200 per month."

For more information on Erica, follow her on Instagram and The Body Transformer's Studio official Instagram account.

Featured photos courtesy of UMGMT Strategic Communications & Public Relations

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Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

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A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

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