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Money Talks: 5 Tips Our Favorite Celebs Gave Us About Securing A Bag

You can't pick apples from a banana tree, and you can't expect to get great financial advice from broke people.

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You can't pick apples from a banana tree, and you can't expect to get great financial advice from broke people. If you're wondering why you've been stuck in the same place, it's probably because you've been taking advice from the wrong people. While our homegirls can be both our comforters and our confidants, one thing that they are not is our financial advisors.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, having the ability to take things with a grain of salt is a superpower that shouldn't be taken lightly. Understand that to truly level up your bank account, you might have to switch up your method and seek out mentorship through people that currently are where you're ultimately trying to be.

To jumpstart you on your quest, xoNecole has culminated a list of financial tips from some of our favorite rich people that will help guide you into the land of financial freedom.

Serena Williams: Count Your Coins Carefully

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According to Google, Serena Williams' net worth is estimated at about $180 million and she didn't become the fabulously wealthy mogul mom that she is without being intentional with her coins. Last year, Serena shared that the most valuable financial advice that she's ever gotten came from someone we all know as the original rich auntie. She told HuffPost:

"[Oprah] said to watch every dollar that you spend. In other words, if you have a company and people are using your money, to look at every single expense. And to this day, I do that."

Kandi Burruss: Invest In Yourself 

In an interview with ESSENCE, Kandi Burruss revealed that she built her multimillion-dollar fortune by following two simple rules: invest (both in yourself and your future) and pay off your loans as soon as possible. Kandi revealed that she learned her first lesson in finance from LL Cool J, who encouraged her to pay off any debt sooner than later, and ultimately, it paid off.

"He told me to put extra money toward the principle of my loan every time I got a check no matter how big or small because it would knock years off of my loan. He was so right. It shocked me at how much of the note mainly went to interest, and by paying off the loan early you save tons of money and the stress of having to make those payments for all those years."

The singer also revealed that she believes that saving money and investing in yourself are the most efficient ways to build wealth:

"I meet people all the time who say they want to do this or that but say they don't have the money. A lot of times they are living to the full extent of their income and they'll have nice bags and shoes but haven't even invested in quality business cards or [a] nice website for their brand. Who will want to gamble or invest in you if you're not taking the first step to invest in yourself?"

Here's a video of her talking about why it's important to save your coins for the future.

Issa Rae: Don’t Lowball Yourself

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When starting a business, it's really easy to get a bad case of the "enoughs". Maybe it's time for you to quit your job and pursue your hustle full-time, but you think you don't have enough. You're running the business but you know that your margins aren't cutting it, but you aren't confident enough in your brand to raise your prices. In the early stages of her career, Issa Rae could totally relate and says that she eventually had to evaluate her worth, and add tax, shipping, and a convenience fee.

"As a freelance videographer and editor, I constantly had to set my price points, which was hard in the beginning because I honestly didn't know my worth. As I grew more confident in my work, I began to set my prices higher. Sometimes I'd get resistance and sometimes I wouldn't get the job at all. I'd often have to convince them that I was worth the money."

Taraji P. Henson: Ball On A Budget

Many of the industry giants that are securing the bag right now came from humble beginnings, and the same is true for What Men Want actress Taraji P. Henson, who said that she was certainly humbled after uprooting her life and moving to California to pursue her dream:

"Living in Los Angeles, I think everyone is aware that we have to cut down on our water use. So I've done some water conservation that also cuts down on costs. I wash my dishes by hand — no dishwasher. And even though I kid that my alter ego is Miss Diva, I still like to bargain shop for shoes, clothing, furniture … everything."

Taraji explained that even after her come-up, she stayed true to her budget-friendly roots and continued her frugal lifestyle despite the newfound zeros in her bank account. According to her, cutting back on the coins she spent on daily essentials helped her save and secure a successful future for both her and her family.

"I still go to the 99 (Cent) Only Stores, Target … I'll tell people when I got a real bargain if they ask, but otherwise I won't. And I do a lot of photo shoots with beautiful clothes and accessories. If I really love something, I'll ask — or my publicist will — if I can keep it and take it home. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. Work and money is steady right now, and I just hope it stays that way. I've saved for my son's education, which is very important to me."

Tina Lawson: Start A Money Trail

Tina Knowles is responsible for giving birth to two of the most successful names in the R&B industry, and really, no one womb should have all that power. Mama Tina has built a fashion empire of her own and was gracious enough to drop some gems on how she became the matriarch of the ultimate family of Mother/Hustlers. The celebrity mom said that she hasn't always been balling, and had this advice for women on the grind, looking to stack some extra coins:

"Everyone can't afford a financial planner, but if you own a book, for $20, everybody can have the advantage of knowing that, basically, you can do it. It's not how much you make, it's how much you save.'"

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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