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According To The Budgetnista, The Secret To Becoming A Self-Made Millionaire Starts With One Seed

It's up to us to plant it.

Finance

When we were little, our parents constantly reminded us that money doesn't grow on trees, and while this is somewhat true, it's also somewhat… not.

According to Tiffany Aliche, best known by the internet as The Budgetnista, we are all in possession of every seed we need in order to harvest true financial freedom, but it's up to us to plant them.

Courtesy of Girl Trek

Tiffany is the founder of a movement that has helped over 800,000 women worldwide save more than $100,000 and pay off more than $700,000 in debt, but according to The Budgetnista, it all started with one seed. We recently caught up with Tiffany at Girl Trek's 2019 Stress Protest, where she reminded us that true wellness means getting your financial health in alignment, too, sis.

The Budgetnista's road to success hasn't been linear, but she picked up a few gems along the way that have helped women all over the globe dig themselves out of debt and into better budgeting. In an intimate conversation about leveling up your mindset and becoming a self-made mogul, Tiffany put us on game and told us everything we truly need to know about money management.

Here what we learned:

Money Is A Tool

Courtesy of The Budgetnista

As the daughter of a Nigerian CFO and accountant and one of five girls, Tiffany says that she was introduced to the concept of financial wellness early-on in her life. She explained, "[My dad] taught us about money because he wanted to make sure that who we chose to marry was not as a result of what we needed from them; that we can take care of ourselves."

Although Tiffany had grown up in a household where financial wellness was a priority, before she was the money-saving mogul that she is today, life threw her a number of curveballs that her father's financial proverbs couldn't have prepared her for. Shortly after buying her first condo at the age of 26, Tiffany found herself broke, unemployed, and drowning in more than $35K worth of debt due to an irreversible credit card scam. After being laid off and forced to move back in with her parents, the one-day online financial expert felt defeated and depressed.

Cash rules everything us, and at this point in her life, Tiffany had none, leading her to believe one of the biggest lies ever told: that she was no longer the master of her finances nor her destiny. Tiffany shared, "Sometimes we feel like we don't have control; that we are not in charge when it comes to money. [We feel] that money is sitting in your purse at night, conspiring against you."

But in reality, Tiffany said, this way of thinking is not only self-defeating but wrong AF. It was then that those proverbs and analogies that were given to her by her mom and dad truly came in handy. The Budgetnista recalled:

"He reminded me that your money is like a hammer. You have a hammer in your hand and you can use that hammer to build your financial house, but that same hammer can be used to destroy that very safe financial house; that who decides what the hammer does is you, you do it. It's the same thing with money."

Tiffany continued, "You picked up that hammer. So it's like, the bad news is, it's you. But the good news is...it's you. And so,when it's you and you take ownership of that, at any moment in time today, you can decide that you're not going to be in bondage to money anymore because you truly aren't. That's your hammer. You get to decide."

Money Is A Seed

According to Tiffany, the first mistake that you're making when it comes to money management is believing that you don't have any. She told us, "You don't believe that it's already there. Like literally, we could be sitting right now, the sky could open up and a million dollars could fall through this roof right now. That could happen. At any moment in time, money's going to come to you."

The odds of winning the lottery are only 1 in 275 million, yet, 11.8 million households in the U.S. net more than $1 million per year, proving that wealth isn't about luck, issa cultivation game.

"We think that in some lump sum, wealth is going to drop into our lap. No, wealth is earned. $5's, $10's, $20's right? $10 has come your way, $20 has come your way. Those were seeds to be planted."

Less than a decade ago, Tiffany says that she was out of money, options, and hope. $1.1 million dollars and 271K loyal followers later, Tiffany realizes that both the hammer and the seed that she needed to grow her financial house were in her possession all along, she just needed to learn how to use them. "I used to be [a] preschool teacher for 10 years, making $39,000 a year, which in New Jersey meant I was broke. It's not much. And yet I sit before you now a self-made millionaire."

She shared that by using this simple rule, you can reach mogul status, too. "Seeds come my way. I'm going to put up 20 of them in the beginning. You think to yourself, well 20 is not a million, but just wait. You eat up 80 put up 20, eat 80 put up 20," she explained. "After a while, you have enough of that 20 so that you can plant those seeds. That's called investing."

By using the 80/20 rule, Tiffany says that you can develop an entire ecosystem for your money that will set you on your way to true financial freedom. "Putting up the 20s, it's called savings. Eating 80 is called budgeting. The 20 that you have is called investing, and over time, if you watered the seeds, if you give it sunshine and you look after it, that is called increasing your knowledge as it relates to investing."

Money Is Abundant

Courtesy of The Budgetnista

You have everything you need to be successful, sis. Let that sink in for a minute.

But don't just take my word for it, Tiffany's journey is a reminder that being broke is a mindset, and the key to becoming a self-made mogul is changing your perception. "[Having financial freedom] looks like knowing that money is not the goal, it is merely one of the tools that you can use to achieve the goal."

You often hear people say you have to have money to make money, Tiffany came to debunk this myth with a vengence. Securing a bag might make you rich, but planting a seed can make you wealthy. She explained, "Let's just say we're planting apple seeds. So these seeds have now grown into this tree. What happens when you cut open an apple? [There are] seeds. From one seed comes 200 apples. From those apples come millions and millions of seeds. You don't need to have $1 billion to make $1 million. If you just plant the seeds that you are given, you can grow to that."

Tiffany also noted that investment capital isn't always monetary and in some cases, your sweat equity can be more valuable than any number in your bank account. "I took like my skill set as a teacher and I planted it and I invested it. I invested in myself. I grew into a business. Now, I'm a self-made millionaire."

The Budgetnista also reminded us that her story isn't unique, and by using this formula, you can level up your income and your net worth, too. "I just want you to understand that you have the power within you. The money is coming your way. What will you do with it? Are you going to be someone that's going to eat every seed that comes [your way] or [are] you going to be someone who's going to set some aside?"

Tickets for Girl Trek's 2020 Stress Protest go on sale Oct. 1, click here to learn more about how you can be a part of next year's experience! To keep up with Tiffany, follow her on Instagram @TheBudgetnista!

Featured image courtesy of The Budgetnista.

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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