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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.'"

Featured image by a katz / Shutterstock.com

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:
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