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This Financial Analyst Saves $1.3K A Month By Living At Home With Her Parents

"I make it extremely hard to get access to my savings."

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 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 University of Hampton 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-sitting

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-angle

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-crossed-leg

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."

Gas/car note?

"Car note is $251/month. Pre-coronavirus, I spent about $160 on gas, but now I spend less than $40 a month."

Personal expenses?

"$400."

For more information on Mykail James, follow her Instagram.

Featured Image Courtesy of Mykail James/Tequilla White Public Relations

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.

Reparations

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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