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.
Self-proclaimed "Olivia Pope of Branding" Timeesha Duncan is no stranger to saving her finances. With a savings plan incorporating putting away 20% of what she earns per month into her savings, which she invests into a high-yield savings account, this personal brand strategist and experiential consultant is successfully developing generational wealth. Today, Timeesha is recognized as an international best-selling author, serial entrepreneur, brand marketing expert and educator who helps transform their ideas into income, monetize their genius, build strong sense of communities and social impact through leadership.
The Atlanta, Georgia resident by way of Bronx, New York has a strong belief that people should quit codependency when it comes to relying on others to fill financial gaps and not relying too much on the social security boat to pull into the dock. By building a lucrative Instagram brand and parlaying that into public speaking, writing and coaching, Timeesha left the C-Suite of Coca-Cola after her nine-year tenure to rake in the profits for herself and her family - ultimately taking control of her income and her finances by the reins. She is currently a podcast host alongside her husband on Fix My Brand and co-founder of national workshops The Mogul Builder and The Bombshell Experience.
In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with Timeesha Duncan on letting go of unhealthy money mindsets, wealth being more than having physical capital and splurging on a coach to elevate her business.
Courtesy of Timeesha Duncan
On her definitions of wealth and success:
"Wealth to me is not just having physical capital, but having worth, assets, and possessions that accumulate value over time. Success is being able to accomplish things that make you happy. It's not about reaching a certain level of income or status. If you are happy at what you've accomplished, you're successful."
On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:
"Three weeks after I left my corporate job, I made $12,000 from an online course I created. It felt awesome. However, my next course flopped. I had put in all this work and not a single person bought the course. Right around the same time, my mortgage was due and I had -$67 in the bank. I didn't have another product to sell, no income and no hope. I would literally just stare at my computer hoping some bright idea would fall from the sky to help get me back on track but it didn't. I would look at others in my industry, who appeared to be killing it, and yet I was sitting on the sidelines. I went into a deep depression. I was stuck and couldn't get out of it. My ability to create was gone. I started to regret the decision I made to quit my job. I lost my motivation and had to file for unemployment to help me get back on my feet.
"My mind wanted to give up, but my heart kept tugging at me to keep going. My family pushed me to rediscover my talents, stop feeling sorry for myself, and get to work. I started revisiting comments, and emails from previous clients on how I helped shape their business and changed their lives. This helped to recharge me. So I decided to give it another shot. The next course I created made over $25K which was double what I made the last time. That was the reassurance I needed to keep going."
On her biggest splurge to date:
"I spent over $60K on a coach to help me grow my business. I was excited about working with this particular coach because I felt she could take my brand to superstar status."
Courtesy of Timeesha Duncan
"I made $12,000 from an online course I created. It felt awesome. However, my next course flopped. I had put in all this work and not a single person bought the course. Right around the same time, my mortgage was due and I had -$67 in the bank. I didn't have another product to sell, no income and no hope. I would literally just stare at my computer hoping some bright idea would fall from the sky to help get me back on track but it didn't. I would look at others in my industry, who appeared to be killing it, and yet I was sitting on the sidelines. I went into a deep depression. I was stuck and couldn't get out of it."
On whether she’s a spender or a saver:
"I'm definitely a spender. I have always had a hard time saving money. If I see something I want, I buy it. I learned over the years that I had a bad relationship with money and I needed to reverse it or I would be broke forever (laughs). I love money and numbers but not accounting."
On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:
"I want to be able to save at least $15K-$30K each month. Retirement looks like me having seven-figures in the bank, several investment properties, and a house on a beach."
On the importance of investing:
"Investing is very important to me because I don't want my children to ever need or want for anything if something happens to me. I've had investment properties in the past and currently looking for more to acquire, and recently started investing in stocks and trading."
On her budget-friendly must-haves:
"I'm actually a budgetnista. I enjoy finding great things on a budget. I shop at thrift stores a lot to find low-cost, one-of-a-kind items. My press-on nails are my biggest budget must-have. I can't live without them. I have been wearing press-on nails for over a year now which has saved me about $720/year on getting my nails done twice a month. I used to also spend about $300/month on my lashes. I found the perfect lash strips from Walmart that cost me $4.88 and those are also a must-have. I check Amazon first before I buy anything, which also helps to save on items."
Courtesy of Timeesha Duncan
"My intention behind having multiple ways to make money came from me not wanting to run out of it. As a business owner, I realize that every business has seasons. When I started my business I only had one offer, and when that 'season' was slow, I wasn't making any money. So I needed to create different ways for others to work with me. I also wanted to meet my clients where they were."
On her intentions behind multiple streams of income:
"I provide 1-1 coaching, which is a more personal experience for my VIP clients and corporations, I also have online courses, books, a membership program, speaking engagements, and brand sponsorships. My intention behind having multiple ways to make money came from me not wanting to run out of it. As a business owner, I realize that every business has seasons. When I started my business I only had one offer, and when that 'season' was slow, I wasn't making any money. So I needed to create different ways for others to work with me. I also wanted to meet my clients where they were. Some are not ready for the 1-1 experience just yet and want other ways to experience working with me."
On unhealthy money habits and mindsets:
"I always looked at money as 'the root of all evil', or that money was limited because 'money doesn't grow on trees'. And therefore, subconsciously I felt bad when I made a lot of money. Maybe that's why I could never keep it. I eventually realized that those are not true and were just sayings that were fed to me by my parents because that's what was told to them. Changing my view of money and inviting it into my atmosphere, instead of pushing it away has truly helped me to prosper. I started making more money and it would come from places I wouldn't even expect. When I'm closed off, the money faucet closes too."
On her money mantra:
"You only live once. Buy the shoes."
On the craziest thing she’s ever done for money:
"I was hosting a conference and didn't have enough money to pay for all the expenses so I took out a title loan on my car. I regretted that because the interest rate was super high, and I never paid the loan off. It took me years to get my title back."
On the worst money-related decision she’s ever made:
"Investing $60K in a coach. I wouldn't say it was the worst decision I made, but I honestly wasn't ready for that type of coach. I invested the money because I thought this person was going to give me a 'magic pill' to success. It took a while before I realized there is no such thing as a magic pill. I would have invested that money so differently, if I had hindsight 20/20 back then."
Courtesy of Timeesha Duncan
"Changing my view of money and inviting it into my atmosphere, instead of pushing it away has truly helped me to prosper. I started making more money and it would come from places I wouldn't even expect. When I'm closed off, the money faucet closes too."
On her budget breakdown:
How much do you spend on eating out/ordering in?
"I love to cook, but staying in the house for six months has me tired of looking at (and cleaning) my stove. We've been ordering out a lot lately. So feeding a family of four a couple of times a week is about $125."
"Excited that I will be paying off my S550 this month, so goodbye car note! Corona has helped a lot with keeping gas expenses down, but it's about $60 to fill up with premium gas, so I would say about $120 -$150 a month."
"Massage Membership, $100/month. Pedicure every two weeks, $50/month. Eyebrows maintenance every two weeks, $20/month. Haircuts and products, $75/month. Drinks with the girls twice a month, $100. If Amazon or Sephora bullies me into buying something I don't need, $100/month."
For more of Timeesha, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image courtesy of Timeesha Duncan
Originally published in September 2020
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If you spend a consistent amount of time on this platform, you know that if there is one thing that I like to write about, it’s vaginas (overall) and vaginal health (more specifically). And why not? Vaginas (and vulvas) are a blessed thing — are they not? So, why not give them as much attention as they deserve?
Today, that’s just what we’re going to do. We’re gonna hear from 10 women who intentionally take things up a notch in the vaginal-attention-giving department by living their life sans any underwear down below. And although I’m aware that roughly 40 percent of women between the ages of 16-25 go commando and roughly 30 percent of women over 50 do it, what I wanted to learn was their reasons behind it.
Thankfully, these women (middle names were used) were more than willing to share — and honestly, they provided some solid arguments for why more of us should strongly consider not wearing panties either…at least every once in a while.
“I don’t wear bras or panties. I stopped wearing bras about five years ago and panties during the pandemic. Bras because I did research on how they can actually work against you when it comes to weakening breast tissue. Panties because — I was basically naked and working from home during shutdown, and I just felt more comfortable and stress-free that way. Since I mostly wear loose-fitting and flowing clothing, nobody knows what I have going on but me.”
Shellie here: She’s got a point on the bras. Some experts definitely say that they actually aid in weakening breast tissue. There are even science-based studies that say going without a bra can increase collagen and elasticity in younger women. Just something to think about. We even touched on the topic last spring for the platform via “Better Off Braless: The Benefits Of Not Wearing A Bra More Often.”
“Panties have always gotten on my nerves. Even though they’re supposedly supposed to prevent friction and discomfort, I always found them to be the cause. I ain’t crazy — when I’m on my period, I’ll wear them, but even then, I’m slightly triggered. The rest of the time, I like that my vagina is able to breathe. It also makes quickies a lot easier. I won’t get into how much public sex my hubby and I have had because, without panties, you feel sexy as hell. Bolder too.”
“The question that I get asked a lot is don’t I worry about wet spots on my clothes? Umm, if you’ve got so much discharge coming out of you that it’s drenching your outfits, you might want to see a doctor. Me? I don’t worry about that at all.”
“Anyway, what got me off of panties was realizing how often we were supposed to replace those bad boys. Every six months? I look at going without panties like I do ditching my pads for a menstrual cup — in this economy, every coin helps, right?”
“I’ve had C-sections with both of my kids — and when you’re waiting on that cut to heal? You don’t want ANYTHING touching it. Not even a little bit. It’s been since my younger child that I’ve gone without panties, and I’ve had less issues since then. I’ve only had one yeast infection. There’s been no odor. And I can’t explain it, but it seems that my pubic hair even feels softer.
"I do workout a lot, and some people ask me if it’s uncomfortable to wear those clothes without any underwear. Nah. I just make sure to take everything off immediately so that no sweat sets in. No panties [are] one of the best decisions I’ve made in life.”
“I used to be really insecure about my vagina. I didn’t look at it. Beyond the bare minimum basics, I didn’t do any upkeep. I just didn’t give it much thought besides my period and sometimes sex.”
“Once I met the man who totally changed my views on sensuality, I started ramping up the attention that my vagina received and when I would take a mirror and look at her. And that started to make me feel like underwear was hiding her when there should be absolutely nothing to be scared or ashamed of.”
“No one has to know that you don’t have drawers on but you, so I recommend that all women at least go a week without any on. It’s so liberating, and it makes me feel like I’m giving my vagina the low-key spotlight it deserves — even if no one knows about it but me, chile.”
“Listen, I’ve got a big ass, and I love it! Problem is, no matter what kind of panties I would buy or material they were made from, I constantly had the urge to pull them out of my butt. I don’t like how that feels, and I’m pretty sure that no one likes how that looks either, so — I did us all a solid and went panty-free. And I LOVE it!”
“It started out as a dare. My boyfriend dared me — us both, really — to go a week without any underwear. The chafing made him quit after the third day, but it’s been almost a year now for me, and I haven’t looked back. I feel more confident, sexier, and the health of my vagina has improved a lot. I still wear panties during my cycle and to church, just in case I pass out and don’t want to scare the church mothers. Other than that, nope. Panty-less is a mantra for me.”
“I feel sexy without having any panties on. What’s wild is I’m actually a pretty conservative dresser, for the most part, and that’s why I think not having any underwear on is so alluring. It’s like there’s a mystery going on that nobody knows about…well, few people know about. Mind ya business.” LOL.
“Meanwhile, I’m over here wondering why women wear panties at all. For what? What really are panties doing for you? They’ve always felt so confining, and then, once I found out that a certain amount of fecal matter remains in them, no matter how much you wash them out — yeah, I’m good on those things. When the topic comes up, sometimes people will ask if I’m nervous about sitting on park benches or at restaurants — I’m not naked; I just don’t have on any panties! I feel more secure knowing that fresh air is hitting it than some old discharge is just lying there. Eww.”
“Even though I don’t announce it to the world, whenever someone thinks it’s crazy that I don’t wear any panties, I think about how a lot of people who do don’t change theirs every day or they keep the same ones for years at a time. To me, that is what’s nasty. Doing something that’s traditional, if it’s not hygienic, makes absolutely no sense. You stay over there with your growing vaginal infection, and I’ll be over living my best life!”
Shellie here: She’s right. Reportedly 45 percent of Americans seem to have no problem with wearing the same pair of underwear at least two days in a row. Have mercy!
You know what else I enjoyed about this article? Back when I was younger, I would sometimes hear older Black women speak on the topic with the approach that it was what white women do. Umm, clearly not. All of these women are Black, proud to be that, and have no intentions of returning to panties any time soon.
Welp, there goes another myth debunked. Love to see it.
Anyway, did they convince you to go panty-less? Either way, hop in the comments and let us know. We’d love to hear if you’re Team Panty or…not.
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Featured image by Beeldbewerking/Getty Images