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.
At only 24 years old, Mykail James is the founder of BoujieBudgets.com, an online platform dedicated to teaching Generation Z professionals how to finance and live their best spending savvy lives! The self-proclaimed "Boujie Budgeter" told xoNecole that she makes $71,000 annually, with a rough estimated monthly income of $3,500, which makes total sense after graduating with her MBA focused in accounting and shortly after becoming a Certified Financial Literacy Instructor. The Hampton University graduate now implements modern-day pop culture references and Gen Z jargon to better breakdown budgeting, saving and investing.
Aside from being a well-respected financial analyst, Mykail James is taking the fiscally responsible road of a young woman in her 20s by saving her coins and living with her parents. "I am blessed to live at home with my parents, but I am saving up for a home and dedicate $1,300/month to my future home," she admitted to xoNecole. There's no shame in her game and we absolutely love that she is making everything right before up and leaving her parents' pad.
In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with the Washington, D.C. bred budgeting expert about her tactics to save more by making access into her accounts harder, her parents not allowing her to work through college and her four category budget breakdown.
On her definitions of wealth and success:
"Wealth is constant, sustainable access to financial means. I define success as creating the life of desire. Success is not a specific thing, it is a collection of accomplishments that create a desired life and feeling. Success is a constant state of life happiness."
On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:
"My parents, specifically my dad, signed a Parent Plus Loan to put me through college. I have my own $75K student loan bill, but one day I saw his total bill. His bill totaled over $100K and my stomach dropped. My parents worked so hard and the only way we could afford college was through loans and it put lots of things into perspective. It's a constant reminder of what I'm working towards. The first thing I did was purchase a life insurance policy, because I wanted to be sure that my father could afford to pay off my debts if the unthinkable happened. I realigned my goals and created a new vision of what financial freedom would look like. It no longer only involved my freedom, but also my parents."
On her biggest splurge to date:
"My biggest splurge was a $5K VIP Day for a business coaching program. I bought it because I thought it would be the magic key to creating a great and profitable business. It did not."
Mykail James/Tequilla White PR
"Wealth is constant, sustainable access to financial means. I define success as creating the life of desire."
On whether she’s a spender or a saver:
"I consider myself a saving spender. I love spending my money on experiences, great restaurants, and traveling. Because I know I can overspend if I don't watch myself, I created a separate spending account. I give myself $200 in spending money every paycheck, so about $400/month. I also make it extremely hard to get access to my savings. I use vehicles like Certificate Deposits (CDs) and unlink my high yield savings accounts from my other bank accounts."
On the importance of investing:
"10% of all my income is dedicated to investing outside of my 401(k) plan. Investing is the true key to financial freedom and when your investments pay for your lifestyle, you create real sustainable wealth. I invest in my 401(k), Roth IRA, individual stocks, index funds, and I am an angel investor in some small businesses."
On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:
"Currently, my savings goal looks like having 18 months of living expenses to take a corporate sabbatical. I don't want to work my entire life and then retire. If that's what adult life is, I don't ever want it. My goal is to take 'mini-retirements' throughout my corporate career and have enough cash flow to take on any role without financial stress. When I get to traditional retirement age, I see myself part of angel investing groups giving financial access to the new wave of entrepreneurs."
On her budgeting must-haves:
"Diversified bank accounts and automation. There are three basic bank accounts at separate banking institutions I need to have: Bill pay, high-yield savings, and spending. Also, having my bills on autopay and direct deposit is how my budget stays on track."
Mykail James/Tequilla White PR
On her intentions behind multiple streams of revenue:
"My revenue streams [are]: Content Creation, Books, Speaking, Workshops, Events. It took a while to truly understand where my revenue comes from. Entrepreneurship is new for me, it was never my intention to become an entrepreneur. But I had to be true to myself and learn what I like about my work. I enjoy creating engaging, informational content and speaking. Those are the parts of the business that I love and those are the skills I work to perfect the most.
"Multiple streams in my business make sense because I want financial literacy to be accessed in several ways. For those who cannot afford books or live instruction, they still get lots of valuable and actionable information from my content. And while I would teach and create content for free, it's expensive to create quality content and lesson plans. To continue, I have to have multiple streams."
On unhealthy money habits and mindsets:
"I had to let go of using my age as a limiting factor and letting society determine the life I desire. I have been looking for a blueprint for the life I want and trying to stick myself into other predetermined paths. When I realized that there isn't a blueprint already created, I began to dream bigger. There is no age limit for happiness and living the life you deserve. I began practicing gratitude for the life I have in the present, the life I have lived in the past, and the life I will live in the future. Bigger dreams opened my mind to creating the life I truly want to live. I understand that my vision for my future is for me and if others cannot see it that's perfectly fine. They weren't blessed with my sight and I can't fault them for that."
Mykail James/Tequilla White PR
"I have been looking for a blueprint for the life I want and trying to stick myself into other predetermined paths. When I realized that there isn't a blueprint already created, I began to dream bigger. There is no age limit for happiness and living the life you deserve. I began practicing gratitude for the life I have in the present, the life I have lived in the past, and the life I will live in the future."
On her money mantra:
"I am grateful for the money in my bank account at this moment, the money that was in my bank account in the past, and the money that will be in my bank account in the future."
On the craziest thing she’s ever done for money:
"My parents didn't allow me to work during college to focus on my grades. So during the summers, I would work as much as I could to save up enough money to last through the school year. One summer, I had two retail jobs and a summer internship. I got so sick because I barely slept and that's when I realized that I would never have more than one job, rather I would find a way to have one job that paid like three. I made an insane amount of money that summer but it was not worth sacrificing my health."
On the worst money-related decision she’s ever made:
"My worst business decision was not asking for help. While planning the Young, Rich & Responsible Virtual Summit, I originally thought I could do everything by myself. I had a big goal but thought that the team of me is what all I needed and I quickly got overwhelmed. I almost sabotaged myself and my business by trying to keep everything to myself. When I got a team and asked people to help support me is when the event became bigger than me and helped to serve my community in a much bigger way."
On her budget breakdown:
"I break my budget down into four simple categories: Income, Expenses, Savings, and Spending. I don't try to nickel and dime myself or stress out over every line item."
"Car note is $251/month. Pre-coronavirus, I spent about $160 on gas, but now I spend less than $40 a month."
For more information on Mykail James, follow her Instagram.
Featured Image Courtesy of Mykail James/Tequilla White Public Relations