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 get it.
Full-time content creator Yvette Corinne has made waves in the content creation space. On the outside looking in, while some might feel like you have to have hundreds of thousands of followers in order to make a full-time living as an influencer, Yvette has managed to bring in six figures with a highly engaged Instagram community of more than 24,000 followers. And how did she do it? Well, her journey to wealth wasn't one without struggle. The Los Angeles-based micro-influencer got her start in content creation through blogging in 2016. That would lead to her growing her following on Instagram, which allowed her to balance her part-time retail job with being a part-time content creator.
Income from brand deals and partnerships eventually led to her toying with the idea of quitting her job to pursue influencing full-time. But she had a specific goal in mind before she felt confident enough to make the leap. The 32-year-old tells xoNecole: "I knew it was possible to go full-time in 2019. I kept telling myself if I can make at least $4,000 a month consistently, then I can quit my part-time job. All the while I had a goal to save $5,000 just in case I needed money when one of my brand payments came late. Well, about four months in a row I made the amount of money I desired, but I was still scared to quit my job."
Although she planned to quit her job at Topshop in March 2019, Yvette ultimately decided to stay on until the company's closing in July of the same year so that she could collect unemployment as an additional safety net in case things didn't go as planned. She left the retailer with about $3,000 saved. About a month into full-time content creation, she shared, she received the confirmation she needed to know she was on the right path. "I got my first big campaign. It was $5,000! That made me feel like, 'OK, Yvette, you can do this.'"
Keep reading to learn more about Yvette's budget breakdown, the lowest she's felt about finances, and the jobs and salaries that led her to what she does now for a living.
Courtesy of Yvette Corinne
On the jobs she worked before doing what she currently does:
"I’ve actually never had a full-time job. When I moved to L.A. after undergrad, I went straight into my master's and didn’t have time to work full-time. So I picked up part-time work at Zara and then, after graduating, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I quit that job and was unemployed for a few months and then started working at other retail jobs for the holiday season. Shortly after I got hired at Topshop doing their admin, [it was] still part-time because I started taking modeling and content creation seriously. In the midst of that, I transferred to the personal shopping department. I worked as a personal shopper until I eventually was a full-time creator. My pay started at $12/hr at Zara, $13/hr doing admin, and then $15/hr as a personal shopper."
On how much money she makes a year:
"Last year I ended at about $180K and this year, if everything stays consistent, I expect to make at least $200K. No month is the same, but this year I started off the first quarter strong and basically booked enough gigs to cover my necessary expenses. That has really set the tone for this year."
On the lowest she's ever felt because of her finances:
"2020 was the first year I made six figures, but in the first quarter of 2020 before lockdown, I was struggling. I remember needing $4,000 to cover my bills, my new apartment down payment, and making sure I was making all my payments on time while I was waiting for checks. My unemployment stopped and I was patiently waiting for the net60s and net90s (the 60-day and 90-day period from when an influencer fulfills their obligations and thereby is expected to receive payment for their deliverables). It was a struggle! Thankfully my mom gave me the money, and I paid her back as soon as I got back on my feet that same year. A true definition of anything can happen in a year."
"Mentally, I was stressed because the lockdown was shortly after and I had no idea if brand deals would be a thing anymore. But I just prayed and prayed that God would show me my next steps and He did! The year turned around and I made about 75% of my income in the second half of the year! Now, I don’t really worry about finances, because I know God’s got me."
On the revenue streams she uses to diversify her income:
"My streams of revenue are mainly brand partnerships which consist of me creating content for brands to use on their website, social media, and/or newsletters, and sponsored posts that I post on my personal social media accounts. Another stream of income that I have is affiliate marketing."
On how she approaches budgeting and tracking expenses:
"I use a spreadsheet and I have a budget planner that I love from a new company called MSTRPLN. I use Trello to track my brand deals and invoices/payments since I don’t have a manager to do those things for me."
On whether she is a spender or a saver:
"I consider myself both! I worked hard to enjoy the lifestyle that I have. I treat myself and make sure I am not saving to the point where I am not enjoying my money. I’ve always been obsessed with finance and I am a true Capricorn. If you know you know! When it comes to saving money, I live for a cushion. I have a few savings accounts with different banks. I have one tax savings account where I transfer money into as soon as I get paid to have it when it’s time to pay the man. [I also have] an emergency savings account that I transfer a certain amount of money to until I reach the goal I want to have there. For me, that’s about $30,000 because I want to have at least six months' worth of money to live off of just in case.
"My last savings account is my house fund! Hopefully, I’ll be engaged soon (laughs) and my boyfriend and I will be planning to get a house within the next few years. So we both have been saving for that moment separately, in our own personal savings accounts. I put a certain amount of money in each account every time I get a check!"
On unhealthy mindsets about money she had to let go of:
"There was a time where the savings was all I cared about and I didn’t want to spend money. The first time I spent a lump sum of money (it was for my electric car down payment), I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t feel attached to money as much because I knew that it was going to come back."
On the money mantra she lives by:
"'Money comes to me and through me. Period. I am no longer attached to money because I know that it will and can come back to me."
Yvette's Basic Monthly Budget Breakdown
- Apartment: $2,200; My portion of the rent because I live with my boyfriend, and yes, we split the bills. I have no problem with that. I have an office in our townhome, so I write off that room for my taxes.
- Utilities: $300
- Food: $750
- Car: Luckily, I have an electric vehicle, so it cost me like $50 a month to charge! I spend $250 on car insurance.
- Self-care: $250
- Overall Savings/Retirement: $20,000 in emergency savings; I'm still working on my retirement with my new financial adviser. It’s all so new to me. Building my emergency savings has been the most important thing for me because I don’t want to experience the stress that comes with waiting on checks ever again.
For more of Yvette, follow her on Instagram @yvettecorinne.
Featured image courtesy of Yvette Corinne
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
It seems like 2023 was a whirlwind, flying by a bit too quickly for many of us. And now that we're approaching the last month of the year, there's a push to prep for a great 2024. I'm not a huge fan of resolutions---as I never keep mine, and I'm unapologetically not sorry for that---but I'm heavy into at least getting a head start on looking forward to the possibilities of a fresh start, finally achieving a few lingering goals, and embracing more adventure.
If you're ready to plan ahead, it's the perfect time to make December count in order to plan for a successful new year. Here are a few fun ideas to get you started.
1. Host a reflection party.
Hey, you could do this alone, but you could also make it fun and interactive by inviting friends or industry friends to reflect on the highs and the lows of the year. Create a theme, offer customized cocktails, and talk about what each of you has accomplished, reminisce on the fun times you've had, talk about the challenges you've faced, and set a few goals. Add in a few fun activities like vision boarding or career mapping.
You could also have one last girls trip and attend a conference or networking event together. After each session, take the time to put on pajamas and reflect on what was learned, who you met, and how you'll apply pressure in your careers next year.
2. Declutter and reorganize.
If you haven't been purging throughout the year, December is a great time to get a head start. All those old clothes or shoes that you don't wear? Sell or donate them. If you need help, have a consultation with a professional organizer or watch a few good tutorials on Konmari methods.
Still holding on to furniture, appliances, or other home decor that really isn't functional, doesn't scream home for you, or needs an upgrade? Go thrifting, shop around, or treat yourself to interior decorating services.
If you can't afford to do any of those, move a few things around, repurpose your household items, or try DIYs. Sometimes a bit of paint or moving your home office into a different room can be small changes that lead to big differences in mood or convenience at home.
And, as mentioned before, invite a few friends, family, or bae, and make it another excuse to close out the year with good drinks, laughter, and connection.
3. Create a bucket list.
From your career to your personal life, it's good to write down your dream or must-do activities to get clear on what you want to accomplish in the new year and to serve as a nudge for accomplishment. And it doesn't have to be grand goals like "Save a million dollars," (though, if that's a bucket-list contender for you, go off, sis, and get that money.) It can be places you want to travel to, concerts you want to attend, professional development courses you want to take, or new adventurous experiences you want to enjoy.
One thing I like about bucket lists is that I don't approach them in the traditional way, where I feel pressure to do these things before the Lord calls me home. I like to think of a bucket list as a fun guideline that will help me get clear on what excites me, what I need to do to grow, and what challenges me to push past self-inflicted boundaries.
4. Prioritize wellness.
If you've slacked off a bit or know you might be facing a few issues in the health and wellness department, now is the time to start prioritizing. Set those last appointments for a full physical, gynecological, or dermatologist visit, follow-up tests, or therapy for next year. Sign up for fun fitness classes and schedule a few visits to the spa while you're at it.
Block out time in your schedule for meditation, prayer, religious services, and exercise, and go ahead and change that calendar setting to "daily" or "weekly." Set email updates and other ways to remind yourself to put wellness at the top of your priority list leading into the new year.
If you're already pretty consistent with your fitness and wellness goals, try a new activity or incorporate new technology to level up a bit and challenge yourself more. Try a new skincare routine, join a running group, or learn a new activity that requires movement, such as dance, karate, or boxing. Mix things up a bit so that you can enrich your experience on the journey.
5. Take an honest look at your finances and adjust accordingly.
If you're reading this, I'm sure you know the importance and power of budgeting, no matter how much money you make. Getting into a habit of knowing exactly how much you earn and how you're spending those earnings is vital to your success and financial freedom. If you have goals for next year that will require a significant shift in your budget, you'll need to adjust.
Be realistic and account for the things you enjoy doing, your lifestyle, your debts, and your other financial obligations. If you have vacations or other big events planned, be sure your budget accommodates them or set goals in order to save up. If you've experienced a major transition such as a marriage, divorce, or addition to your family, take some time to reflect on how your income is impacted and what you might need to do to ease the transition when it comes to your pockets.
Research ways you can make residual income, how you can invest, start a side hustle, and prep for retirement. (As much as some of you would like to think you're too young to think about that, imagine how much more of a nest egg you'd have if you started saving for retirement in your 20s or 30s.)
And don't sleep on insurance beyond coverage for your car or healthcare. Life, long-term care, and disability insurance are important if you have children, want to be sure your loved ones are taken care of financially in the future, or if you want to protect assets such as your income, home, or business.
Think about your prep for next year holistically and start this December to ensure that you're going into 2024 with a mindset and intention for success.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Getty Images