"Money makes the world spin. Period."
It's unfortunate, but truer words have not been spoken and no one knows this better than well-respected journalist and college graduate, Natasha Abellard, who found herself living her best life, but that wasn't until coming to the realization that she was going broke.
"From college up until my early 20's, I messed up a lot. I can't count the number of times I was living paycheck to paycheck, didn't stick to my budget, used a credit card when I shouldn't have. The list goes on," the millennial shared with xoNecole.
How many of us have experienced the same problem? Ordering that extra round of drinks, knowing you'll feel regret when the check comes; or maybe you're the person that goes all out to spoil yourself but can barely afford to pay the hefty bill. Trust, we know the struggle, sis.
Courtesy of Natasha Abellard
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the moment, but like Natasha, one day you will have to come to the conclusion that if you don't get your financial priorities in order, you'll always get caught up "robbing Peter to pay Paul" and you'll never truly get to enjoy your bag.
After reading an article about how black people are destined to be broke in upcoming decades, Natasha knew that she had to make different choices in her spending.
"There was a 2017 piece in Fortune that reported that a median black family only had about $1,700 in wealth, but on the flip side, median household wealth for white families is $116,800. That's a major divide. The goal is to spread information that will in time help close that gap."
Finally beginning to get a grip on her finances, Natasha paired with Anthony Copeman to help educate young black millennials on how to hold on to their dollars with their YouTube series, $hares, which are short shows based around four relatable characters:
Courtesy of $harestv
Essence is a girl who comes from a financially stable family. Troi is loosely based on Natasha who comes from an immigrant family. Michael is a 20-something who decided not to attend college and finally Brandon, who also comes from an immigrant family, works as an IT professional and lives at home with his parents.
"Whenever someone buys a piece of a company's stock, they are purchasing a share of that company-- a shareholder," Natasha shared about the inspiration for the series. "So, the idea is that when people share their experiences with money, they take ownership of their individual financial situations. Our characters share the wealth by being open about their own experiences... Knowledge is power. If people have an avenue that will provide them with the necessary information, they'll do better."
So, how do you remedy the pattern of bad spending? According to Natasha, it's all about getting disciplined and making a financial blueprint that's realistic. "It's not easy to do. But it's not impossible. You just gotta wake up one day and decide you want a change."
And it all starts with learning early.
"My dad started teaching me pretty early. Though I still messed up a lot, I did have somewhat of a foundation," Natasha shared. "I just had my first son and I know that his first lesson will be about money. If I knew some of what I knew now at 18 years old, I'd be better off financially. The first thing my father ever taught me was the importance of saving and it helped me in the long run. I would recommend that as a simple introduction to money between parents and their young children."
Courtesy of Natasha Abellard
As for her last words for fellow Black millennials? "We are the next generation and we need to break the cycles. No one wants to be broke."
Natasha also has these lifestyle tips for xoNecole that will not only help WOC get on the path of cash, but also feel financially empowered!
Take Inventory, Then ActGiphy
Take the time to regularly check your bank statements for patterns of overspending or foolish spending. "Every month, I'd run down my statement to see what I may have unnecessarily bought. For a while, it was Starbucks. So I was able to cut down on that and saw a major difference in my funds."
Save Those Coins, Sis
Don't be afraid to buy the off-brand product. There's no shame in getting that Fashion Nova brand. "Look for cheaper alternatives to things you love but aren't always in your best interest financially."
DIY Is A Girl's Best FriendGiphy
Know that there is nothing wrong with DIY because it will save you money in the long run. "Sometimes try saving money by doing it yourself which includes, hair, nails, facials, and more." Not only will you save money but you may realize that you have a skill or talent that also makes cash!
Secure A Bag For A Rainy Day
ALWAYS have an emergency fund! This money is not to buy those Gucci shoes on sale. Don't do it, girl! This money is reserved for paying rent if you lose your job, etc. You get the point.
This is very sound advice that we can all start using right away. So let's get to securing our bags and holding tight to our coins!
To learn more about Natasha and catch up on the latest $hares episodes, follow the squad on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Exclusive: 'Praise This' Producer Will Packer And Director Tina Gordon Pulls For Non-Traditional Audiences With Film
Praise This has a uber-talented cast helmed by the multi-hyphenate Chloe Bailey. But before the cast, filming, and other things came to play, it started out as a vision from executive producer Will Packer and director Tina Gordon. In our exclusive interview with the visionaries, Will shares that when he received the screenplay, he knew that Tina would be the perfect person to make the script come to life.
"She and I were so aligned in terms of the mission of this movie. We said that we wanted to make a movie that if you were [a] traditional, staunch, church type of person who believes that church should fit into a box, that we were gonna blow that out. That this wasn't the movie for you," Will says. "We wanted to make a movie that was for that non-traditional audience that is open to a church movie. You get that audience in by mashing up gospel with Drake, and with Beyoncé, with Cardi [B]. That's how you do that, and so you come in for the music, and you stay for a powerful story; Tina understood that."
He continues, "And so when I thought about who could helm this, the project was originally pitched to me by an amazing young executive named Antoine Jenkins, and I knew I wanted to do this praise movie in this world, Tina was the right one. I was really hoping she would say yes, and when she did, we were off to the races."
Watch Will's full interview below:
Executive Producer Will Packer Shares How Film Appeals To All Walks of Life
Tina, who directed films like Little, expresses her excitement about working on the Peacock film.
"Will sent me the script, and I had been like circling doing a musical. I hadn't really done something music-driven since Drumline, and so I was excited about the idea of showing gospel choirs, praise teams, specifically 'cause I thought that it would just be a really, just new facet of our culture to show," Tina explains. "And once I kinda nailed down the personalities of the praise teams and how they would be just a little funny, a little bit of a wink and a nod to church culture, I kinda got it, and I was ready to go."
Tina hopes audiences are surprised and inspired by Praise This and wants them to walk away feeling uplifted.
Watch Tina's full interview below:
Praise This is available on Peacock.
Director Tina Gordon Wants Audiences To Be Surprised By Her New Film “Praise This”
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Feature image by Terence Rushin/Getty Images