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The 25-Year-Old Culture Manager Who Believes An End Goal Is A Budget Must-Have

"What I needed began to come without asking and what I wanted came at the leisure of when I wanted it."

Money Talks

As young millennial women, we don't talk about money enough - how we use it, how we earn it, how we feel about it, and everything else in between. Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to women about their relationship with money and how they get it.

Jaleska "J. Mulan" Holman is a culture manager, dream builder, entrepreneur, mentor and lifestyle specialist - who is a beast at saving money. At only 25-years-old, the Houston, Texas native is the founder of the J. Mulan Agency, which specializes in creative directing, casting, and more. Some of her most notable accomplishments to date include being solely responsible for the casting of Drake and Travis Scott's Grammy nominated music video "Sicko Mode," providing models for Lil' Wayne's SXSW event, as well as booking talent for Travis Scott's "Astroworld" concert.

As you can imagine, the fact that she's in her mid-twenties and so successful at what she does in the entertainment sector, money ain't a thing to her. However, everyone needs a budgeting strategy - and she's got the perfect advice for you. When asked by xoNecole about the money mantra she swears by, the professional print and runway model shares three: "money is a tool only a fool can abuse;" "money saved is just as important as money made;" and "assess the worth, not the dollar." Sounds like this boss babe knows her worth and how to add tax.

Culture queen and lifestyle specialist J. Mulan spills the tea on all of her money secrets for xoNecole's "Money Talks" segment about selling valuable trading cards, the feeling of purchasing her first home and the key to maintaining a health bank account.

On savings:

I try to save about 25-30% of total income monthly. I allocate percentages accordingly to two separate high-yield savings accounts. I haven't gotten into the Roth IRA field just yet because I'm very hands on when it comes to my finances so I'd like to have someone that I can trust with investments.

On defining wealth and success:

Wealth and success to me goes hand in hand with a proper measurement of your happiness. They both go far beyond the definition. Each person is different and value is placed on individual desire and no one thing is wrong, or even right. With that being said, the one particular thing that has always made me happy is being able to help and provide for others in any way I can be of service. Success is when you can look around and not be the only one enjoying the fruits.

Courtesy of J. Mulan

"Success is when you can look around and not be the only one enjoying the fruits."

On overcoming financial lows:

The lowest I've ever felt when it came to my finances was having to make a choice of enjoying something that I wanted or that made me happy versus having a necessity. There are certain things that don't deserve a price on it that does have one and when you can't reward yourself with that it gets tough and even depressing at times.

I overcame it by working harder and keeping my faith in God. Honestly truly putting forth the effort to change my mindset to meet my prayers and alter the power of my tongue and the words that I would speak over my life daily. Changing my surrounding and/or immediate circle for the time being to truly focus and become better. When you truly recognize and honor the small blessings of everyday life like being able to walk, and put your clothes on by yourself, your perspective of life really changes dramatically.

On her biggest splurge:

My biggest splurge was purchasing my first home! It honestly gave me a piece of peace. Of course, with the help and guidance of very close loved ones, we were all able to get the job done but it was something that was necessary for me. As I get older, certain things begin to lose value and at a point the necessary occurs and makes you look at what you need to do against what you want. It could've been very easy, and quicker, to go buy a new bag or designer pair of shoes but substance has been a new favorite word for me.

On if she’s a spender or a saver:

I mean honestly we're all sort of both spenders and savers because when you look at it, you're spending when you're saving. That isn't money that is accessible anymore, well it shouldn't be until in dire need, so I'd say both. I train myself to save by immediately removing a percentage from a check or payment I receive so that I don't see it. I'll immediately make a transfer to my savings account so that the only thing I see available is all I have to actively spend.

Courtesy of J. Mulan

"I train myself to save by immediately removing a percentage from a check or payment I receive so that I don't see it. I'll immediately make a transfer to my savings account so that the only thing I see available is all I have to actively spend."

On savings goals and retirement:

I feel like no one should have an overall savings goal, unless you're actively working towards a grand purchase or investment, because you should try to save everyday if you can for as long as you can. Every time you're adding funds, you should be immediately subtracting to increase your savings. Retirement to me right now is sort of blurry because I don't have the luxury to slow down anytime soon. My goals are becoming a lot more clearer, but I will say I am saving relentlessly to live comfortably whenever/if ever I decide to take an extended break or emergency or what have you.

On investing:

Investing is very important and is something I think one should fully understand before diving into. It is an everyday revolving door and just as heavy as the reward, heavier is the risk. I've been researching and practicing investing with more local close things that I can keep an eye on and really grasp before I decide to get into the big leagues. In hindsight, the goal is always to make your money work for you and investments are supreme ways of doing so. So knowing how to invest and assessing the risk is a great way to begin that process.

Courtesy of J. Mulan

"Investing is very important and is something I think one should fully understand before diving into. It is an everyday revolving door and just as heavy as the reward, heavier is the risk."

On her budget must-haves:

A budget must-have is an end. The budget must have an end point of where there is absolutely no wiggle room or negotiation. If it doesn't fit within that block, it can't happen.

On creating multiple streams of income:

When I started the J. Mulan Agency, it began with a one-track mission which served its purpose, but also caused me to burn out a bit quicker than I had planned. I had to get creative and open up a few different lanes that I had almost missed being so focused on not riding over the median. The Agency became full-service: branding, marketing, curating, etc. So I took one door down to reveal several others ultimately creating this endless creative revolving machine. So finding more ways out of one is always ideal when creating multiple streams of income. Having only one source can cause you to get comfortable and/or complacent, and that is fine as long as your desire for more out of life doesn't alter as well.

On the craziest thing she's done for money:

The craziest thing I've ever done for money was sell a valuable trading card that I had. It was one that I was gifted as a child that continued to increase in value as the years went by. It was a limited edition Yu-Gi-Oh! card. At the time, it was worth about $800 dollars and I sold it for $450. Today, it's worth about $7,435. It was part of the down payment for where I am today.

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

Selling a collector's item about 1,000% percent under mark-up (laughs). But seriously, almost taking a deal that altered the integrity of my company, and myself for a good payout. I wouldn't call the deal me selling out or it even being extremely bad, but I made a vow to myself to always stay loyal to who I am and what I stand for regardless of any circumstance because there's always somebody we don't know watching for guidance.

On unhealthy money mindsets she had to release to succeed:

Having to feel like I had some sort of intense image to keep up. Everybody at some point gets caught up in the glitz and glam of things especially when you're making a couple of dollars and people start to know your name. It's one thing to look good and keep a well-groomed appearance, but it's another to be trying to look good.

On what changed once she adopted healthy money mindsets:

A healthy bank account and a clearer head space to focus on what's really important. What I needed began to come without asking and what I wanted came at the leisure of when I wanted it.

For more of J. Mulan, follow her on Instagram.

Featured image courtesy of J. Mulan

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