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The 34-Year-Old Social Media Influencer Who Embraces Her Sexuality While Saving Smart

xoNecole spoke with Tere Tatiana about her journey to financial stability as a smart, sexy entrepreneur.

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.

Though social media only sees a sexy influencer when you come across her Instagram page, Tere Tatiana is the definition of beauty and brains, and proof that being sexy and smart can coexist in today's digital world. Born Tereion Tatiana Henry, the self-proclaimed "cornbread-fed Georgia peach" graduated summa cum laude from Claflin University with a degree in Public Relations. In 2009, admittedly thrusted herself into the balancing act of being a single mother and preparing for deployment to Afghanistan as a government contractor.

Her four businesses––Labeled Blu Collections, Labeled Blu Realty, Labeled Blu Transportation, Southern Hospitality Adult Daycare Facility––are a product of her ambition and determination to fulfill her purpose to break the stigma against women in today's society. Though she has not personally experienced it, she recognizes the struggles of social media influencers who embrace their sexuality while being respected as businesswomen and entrepreneurs. Tere told xoNecole that the only negative experience she encounters is upon first impression when people believe her brand is shallow and solely based upon the glitz and glam of the influencer lifestyle. "Once they get to know me or see the informative business information I share with my followers, they message me apologizing for misjudging me and some even want me to mentor them. It's always gratifying when I can change a person's perspective of attractive women in business," she shared.

Courtesy of Tere Tatiana

"I feel society can do more by not shaming women for being human. Being sexy or having sex period shouldn't even be a topic of discussion when involving business. There are so many women who are smart, ambitious, tenacious, and driven, but just so happen to be sexy. Society should celebrate that."

"To me, it's very important for women to capitalize on their own intellectual, their own education, and experience, their own swag. It also gives her a sense of ownership and accomplishment by seeing her baby through," she said referring to a woman's business, brand, or project.

In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with the 34-year-old serial entrepreneur and social media influencer about turning your influence into wealth, increasing your income during the COVID-19 pandemic and her journey to financial stability as a smart, sexy entrepreneur.

On how much she saves and if it’s in a high-yield savings account:

"With my current budget, I have a set $2,000 monthly savings requirement for myself. It's been working pretty good so far. It's in a high-yield savings account."

On her definitions of wealth and success:

"To me, wealth refers to a person's monetary value perceived by others, while having success is how a person perceives themselves. Having self-fulfillment that doesn't necessarily relate to finance."

Courtesy of Tere Tatiana

On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:

"The lowest I've ever felt was when my ex-husband, who is an officer in the military, and I didn't have $13 between the two of us to get our daughter a can of milk in 2009. Yes, we both came from very supportive families but it was the principle for me. It really triggered my mentality towards being financially secure. In my mind, it pushed me into leaving my daughter at four-months-old to go to Afghanistan to make fast money. I vowed I'd never have that feeling again. And thank God, I haven't.

"I channeled that negative feeling of not being able to provide for my child into building a legacy I can one day be able to pass along to her. I have pursued and secured several very lucrative streams of income, that way I'd have a better chance of maintaining financially if anything were to ever happen economically."

On her biggest splurge to date:

"My biggest splurge would be my 2020 Maserati truck. It has always been my dream car and I felt as though I've worked hard enough for long enough to treat myself to something nice."

Courtesy of Tere Tatiana

"I channeled that negative feeling of not being able to provide for my child into building a legacy I can one day be able to pass along to her. I have pursued and secured several very lucrative streams of income, that way I'd have a better chance of maintaining financially if anything were to ever happen economically."

On whether she’s a spender or a saver:

"I am a woman (laughs) so I would consider myself a spender by nature. I had to train myself to become more disciplined, which was extremely hard. Honestly, I could probably do better."

On the importance of investing:

"It's very necessary to invest. My motto in business and life in general: Everything is a flow. Nothing can come in if nothing comes out! You have to sow seeds. If for nothing else, making residual income. A lot of millionaires become millionaires or multi-millionaires from making residual income. I've invested hundreds of thousands in different business ventures, as well as into myself and my brand. I also invest in stock, I purchased some Facebook stock when they first went public, as well as Bitcoin."

Courtesy of Tere Tatiana

"Everything is a flow. Nothing can come in if nothing comes out! You have to sow seeds. If for nothing else, making residual income. A lot of millionaires become millionaires or multi-millionaires from making residual income. I've invested hundreds of thousands in different business ventures, as well as into myself and my brand."

On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:

"I would like to become even more financially literate in moving and saving money. At this point in my life, it's hard for me to fathom retirement. I feel as though I'm one of those people who always have to have their hands into something."

On her budgeting must-haves:

"My budget must-haves would be cosmetics (hair, makeup, nails), tuitions, paying myself first, and food! (laughs) I'm definitely a foodie."

On her intentions behind multiple streams of revenue:

"My streams of revenue are from my trucking, real estate, and adult daycare facility. I also still make over six figures yearly with my job as a government contractor. I'm also in the works of developing a virtual trucking course for those looking to get into the trucking industry.

"Having multiple streams of income is very necessary! In today's unstable economy, entrepreneurs must remain fluid in order to survive. Plus, it's common knowledge that most millionaires have at least seven streams of income."

Courtesy of Tere Tatiana

"Having multiple streams of income is very necessary! In today's unstable economy, entrepreneurs must remain fluid in order to survive. Plus, it's common knowledge that most millionaires have at least seven streams of income."

On unhealthy money habits and mindsets:

"I had a really big problem with having the attitude of 'I'll make it right back!'. I'm so accustomed to making and being around fast money. Even as a child, my mother was a popular hairdresser from my hometown, so I've seen fast money my entire life. I [overcame it when] I saw [that] I got more accomplished. I actually began to 'see' my money and how it was working for me. I became more financially stable. I was even able to show others how to adopt the same mindset."

On her money mantra:

"I actually have two: 1) 'I am unapologetic about my desire to live a rich life', and 2) 'Money flows to me with ease and grace'."

On the craziest thing she’s ever done for money:

"(Laughs) Looking back at it, I wouldn't necessarily consider it desperate, although I felt like it was at the time, but I was an exotic dancer in college. I wasn't desperate but I've definitely always had money on my mind. I've always wanted to be independent. My intentions were definitely in a good place, just misguided."

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

"I would have to say going into my adult daycare business without a direct plan. It started as a group home, then evolved into a residential, then finally an adult daycare over the course of four years. Although this is a very lucrative industry, the investment and overhead was a bit of a blow to my financial plan––I would do more research next time."

On her budget breakdown:

How much do you spend on rent? $2,500

Eating out/ordering in? $1,000

Gas/car note? $2,000

Personal expenses? $6,000

For more Tere, follow her on Instagram.

Featured image courtesy of Tere Tatiana.

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
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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