The One Mindset Trick This PR Girl Uses To Save $1.5K Each Month

"I can save so much more if I am not so frivolous with my spending."

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 get it.

Founder and CEO of Milan360 Strategies, a public relations and event management agency, is more than just a sweet Georgia peach. In fact, 26-year-old Jasmine Murray is setting the bar for millennial women as a boss woman in the communications industry, all while having a complete handle on her finances. The young publicist-to-watch can also add "author" to her extensive resume thanks to her e-book, Finance Much?, that teaches readers how to conquer their bad relationship with money and create an electronic strategized money savings plan.

Courtesy of Jasmine Murray

However, like most of us, UberEats and DoorDash gets a little tempting, but she has to rely on her all-time favorite money mantra to keep her pockets in check - I have food at home. "It sounds so crazy, but I spend so much money eating out," Murray laughs with xoNecole, "Especially during summers."

In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole had the chance to speak to the Cupcakes and Convos creator about squeezing home decor into her budgeting plans, her previous occupation as a bartender, and her ideal retirement.

On the lowest she’s ever felt financially and how she overcame it:

"Oddly enough, the lowest my finances have ever been is actually when I had the most clients on my roster. I was managing my money completely wrong. So, even though I was clearing close to $10K each month, I was spending the money quicker than my invoices were being cleared, so I was never able to save the way I should have.

"I overcame this by just confronting the issue head-on and making some major life adjustments. I became so frugal with my spending, because I really enjoy seeing money in my account and living worry-free."

On her biggest splurge to-date:

"My biggest one-time splurge would have to be my Chanel bags, [but] my biggest ongoing splurge would have to be my car. I purchased these items because I felt like I deserved them. I work so hard and I sometimes forget to treat myself every now and then. When I do treat myself, it's sometimes over the top and I think I've finally got it all out my system."

Courtesy of Jasmine Murray

On if she considers herself a spender or saver:

"At this point I consider myself to be a saver. There's so many bigger plans that I have for my future self, so I've sacrificed a lot of casual luxuries so that I can better prepare for the life I want to live long-term. I trained myself to save money by having multiple accounts - some I never touch, some are for casual spending, some are only for paying bills. But when I separate my money, it's actually easier for me to see what I have and therefore, know how to spend it."

"I trained myself to save money by having multiple accounts - some I never touch, some are for casual spending, some are only for paying bills. But when I separate my money, it's actually easier for me to see what I have and therefore, know how to spend it."

On how much she saves per month:

"I try to save at least $1,500 a month that I place in an account that I never touch. I then separate the leftover profits into different accounts."

On savings goals and what her retirement will look like:

"I guess just like everyone else, I am trying to make my way to a million, but my biggest goal is to make sure that I am always comfortable, so whatever that means [in dollars] will always be OK for me as long as me and my family are provided for. For me, retirement looks like a four- to five-bedroom house paid off, no ongoing bills, and enough money in the bank to get me through life, as well as get my kids through college."

On business structures and multiple streams of revenue:

"The bulk of my money comes from servicing my clients, but I've also been able to create multiple streams by offering e-books and pop-up classes/events. It's a good feeling knowing that I can always offer something to bring in a couple extra dollars, if need be. Creating multiple streams of income has shown me that I can create something tangible that will provide a profit for me. Because my industry is service-based, it's difficult to offer something tangible, but I found something that works for me."

Courtesy of Jasmine Murray

On unhealthy money habits and changing her mindset:

"My unhealthy mindset with money was that 'it'll come back so it's not a big deal for me to spend it now'. While this is true - money does come back - I can save so much more if I am not so frivolous with my spending. I also had to get out of the habit of trying to help everyone. I was raised to have a big heart, but a lot of the people I've helped probably wouldn't do the same for me. Nowadays, I'm more inclined to politely say no. My bank account looks WAY healthier. It gives me a lot of comfort knowing that during slow periods, I can still sustain myself."

"My unhealthy mindset with money was that 'it'll come back so it's not a big deal for me to spend it now'. While this is true - money does come back - I can save so much more if I am not so frivolous with my spending."

On desperate times and desperate measures:

"I am able to make an income based on what I love to do, so that's a blessing within itself. Before my income was steady with my business, I [used to] bartend in nightclubs and that afforded me a lot of money and nice things, but it's so easy to get comfortable with easy money. Unfortunately easy money is not 'realistic' in a sense. In the real world, people can't always come by and sustain money that easily, so I didn't want to get so comfortable with my bartending money that I never learned how to make and sustain corporate money."

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

"Investing in clients that were afraid to invest in themselves was the worst decision I made. I put so much money into people that I believed in and I always lost in the long-run because it's hard for that money to come back to you when someone is afraid to make money moves. I also suffered from not investing in myself enough. I, now, create a budget for rebranding regularly, personal photoshoots, and self-care."

On the importance of investment:

"I've recently just learned the importance of investing. It's always good to have money coming in that you don't really have to 'work for' [in a sense]. I've been interested in investing in cannabis companies, so lately I've done a lot of research in the market, connected myself with some canna-entrepreneurs, and prepared myself to invest a decent amount in cannabis that will easily pay off for me."

On budgeting must-haves:

"Somewhere in my budget has to include home decor. Now that I'm getting older, my treats/splurges go to kitchen appliances and pillows more than anything else. I've also put some money aside for a couple vacations throughout the year."

On her definition of wealth and success:

"I define wealth as enough money to compensate for my family's needs and wants and live comfortably. I define success as accomplishing the goals I have set on my own terms and defeating my own odds."

For more of Jasmine, follow her on Instagram.

Featured image courtesy of Jasmine Murray

Originally published on July 3, 2020

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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