Quantcast
BET

How To Deal With Being The Successful One Of The Family

Finance

Most of us know someone in the family that is perpetually "robbing Peter to pay Paul" and are the CEO's of hustling somebody for a dollar.

Mary Jane, played by the amazing Gabrielle Union in the BET series Being Mary Jane, found herself in the sunken place of carrying her entire family both emotionally and financially. It seems being a "bawse" and taking care of your family financially is the price you pay for being successful.


While Mary Jane is a fictional character, how many examples do we have of celebrities going broke to pander to the poor spending habits of relatives and friends from 'round da way? This is even more of a relatable scenario if you are the successful exception in your family.

If one person in the family "makes it," the expectation is that they will support everyone. Establishing boundaries are even harder to do if just a few months ago you were living on your mom's couch eating a Cup of Noodles, now if she's asking you to return the favor, how can you say no? A favor can quickly become the go-to bail out plan. Suddenly, you have become your family's walking ATM.

The tough love required to dig yourself out of becoming their personal GoFundMe will require a backbone and these important steps.

You Are Not Their Savior

10 people should not be on your cell phone plan, using your Netflix account, and using your name to cosign a loan. It is not your responsibility to save your entire family from financial distress by becoming the enabler of their poor habits. Your financially stability is not only a necessity but a vitality.

There is an illustration that if a lifeguard is going to save someone they must put on their life vest FIRST before attempting to save the drowning man. This depiction also applies to being the "Great Hope of the Family Finances." You are not a savior, leave that to Jesus. A savior does not require accountability on the part of the person they are saving. They only seek to pull someone out of a poor situation without there being any requirements on the person being saved not to return to the poor situation.

While most of us would love a lump sum of money with no strings attached, our financial successes came with huge sacrifices. You are doing yourself and the sacrifices you've made along the way a disservice by reducing yourself to a check writer.

Bury the Guilt

Repeat after me, "I will owe no one anything but love," (Romans 13:8).

When we talk about debt, we often talk about physical debt in the form of credit cards, loans, bad investments, etc. However, the most crippling debt is emotional. Often, the thing that keeps us from progressing financially is tied to memories that keep us captive. The shame of memories from when we were at our lowest can keep us indebted to our friends and family.

So, to combat the emotional tether, it will require physical action. Pull out pictures or a symbol that reminds you of that time, put them in a box, and bury them. We will not be tethered in our present actions by a past memory. Saying your goals out loud and releasing yourself from being indebted will send you on a path to pursue the financial freedom you are seeking.

Start a Family Fund

If you have a parent or grandparent who have found themselves in a financial hole, I would suggest that you budget an amount monthly that you will contribute to an account. Name the account the "Family Fund."

For example, if you contribute $100.00 a month, then that is the ONLY money that you contribute to that account. Make your designated family member a joint account holder to the account. Then they will receive a debit card that they can use to draw money from the account. Once the money in that account is gone, you are no longer obligated to give any more. The responsibility is then theirs to use it as sparingly or often as they like.

We do not have to sacrifice our own financial stability in order to improve our families. Building generational wealth means that someone has to be the pied piper of the movement and strong enough to break the financial cycles that have kept us crippled. So, the next time fam says, "'Cuz, I'm tryna be a bawse like you."

Smile. Pull out a chair and say, "Great, get your notebook."

Featured image via Being Mary Jane/BET

We all know what it is to love, be loved, or be in love – or at least we think we do. But what would you say if I were to tell you that so much of the love that you thought you’d been in was actually a little thing called limerence? No, it doesn’t sound as romantic – and it’s not – unless you’re into the whole Obsessed-type of love. But one might say at least one side of that dynamic might be…thrilling.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba are gearing up for the second season of their podcast Coupledom where they interview partners in business and/or romance. The stunning couple has been married for three years but they have been together for a total of six years. During that time, they have developed many partnerships but quickly learned that working together isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Keep reading...Show less

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

Keep reading...Show less

As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Jay Ellis Shares ‘Full-Circle’ Moment With His Parents & His Self-Care Ritual

Staying grounded is one of the actor's biggest priorities.

Latest Posts