From Debt To Wealth: Insights And Quotes From Top Financial Gurus

Credits to the đŸ‘‰đŸŸSource LinkđŸ‘‰đŸŸ Kimberly Wilson
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From Debt To Wealth: Insights And Quotes From Top Financial Gurus

African American woman holding and counting dollars. Home budget planning.

For some, the start of a new year is an impetus for a clean financial slate. For others, new year money resolutions are an annual exercise in futility. But this year, the stakes are high. Inflation is no joke, and wage growth is no match for rising costs in rent, food, and transportation. So, together, we’re making it our business to meet those financial goals and clear out debts. 

Already this year, ESSENCE has spoken with various financial experts, from educators to wealth managers and estate planners, to ensure we don’t get caught slipping. Drawing from these enriching conversations, we compiled invaluable insights on everything from paying off holiday debt to strategies for passing down wealth to future generations. So, whether you’re recovering from the financial aftermath of divorce or planning your corporate escape route, these diverse perspectives and actionable strategies will help you become your best financial self in 2024 and beyond. 

Embody Your Financial Future 

If you can see it, you can be it. This isn’t just a cliche but a powerful truth; having a clear vision or mental image of your ideal outcome is a crucial step toward achieving it. Esteemed financial educator and author of Made Whole: The Practical isn’t to Reaching Your Financial Goals, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, offers the practice as a key to meeting your 2024 financial goals:

“Identify who you want to be financially by December 31, 2024. Picture this version of yourself. What does she look like? What is she wearing? Where does she live? What is she driving? Where does she work? How much does she have saved? Visualize yourself as the person you aspire to be by the end of the year; this makes the goal more realistic.”

Short-Term Wins for Long-Term Success

No one wants to be in debt, but for many, the hole is so deep it’s hard to see a way out. The challenge arises from our tendency to adopt an “all or nothing” mentality, but getting out of debt is a process, not an overnight fix. Millennial Money Expert and founder of My Fab Finance, Tonya Rapley recommends breaking goals into smaller steps to build and maintain momentum.

“Define what getting back on track means for you in the short term and the longer term. Sometimes, we need quick wins to propel us to the bigger ones and pull us out of a funk.”

Economic Growth Outside Corporate Boundaries

ESSENCE reporter Jennifer Ford dug through the financial self-help shelves, so you don’t have to. Among her top seven best books to help you secure the bag is “Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away” by Julien and Kiersten Saunders. 

The couple’s guide to achieving financial freedom offers valuable insights, including advice on building wealth on your own terms.

“When it comes to our finances, we’re told to follow the same script as our white colleagues: work hard, make money, save, and invest. Yet despite putting in twice the effort, you end up making less and are routinely passed up for career opportunities. Here’s the truth: financial freedom is within your reach, but playing by corporate America’s rules will only take you halfway there.”

Franchising as a Path to Economic Mobility

Tarji Carter is on a mission to highlight an often-overlooked avenue for economic mobility among Black women: franchising. As the President and Founder of The Franchise Player, she aims to change the narrative and provide expert advice for individuals considering the under-chartered path to wealth.

She says selecting the ideal franchise involves balancing personal interests and profitability. While passion can boost motivation, ensuring a viable business model and market demand is crucial. “Pay attention to the businesses that were able to thrive during the pandemic,” she told ESSENCE in a recent interview. “Look at businesses that are recession resistant.”

Overcoming the Emotional and Financial Toll of Divorce

After the storm of divorce, finding solid financial ground can be an overwhelming challenge. The aftermath of a divorce can be emotionally and financially taxing, from rebuilding credit scores to managing assets to running the day-to-day responsibilities as head of household. An Equitable study on Women, Money, and Relationships unveils a significant decline in confidence linked to post-divorce financial decisions. Brandy Mickens, a financial advisor and executive vice president with Equitable Advisors, encourages women to avoid being hard on themselves.

“Divorce is a very emotional process, and the financial decisions that result from it can be daunting, especially for women who previously were not involved in managing their household finances. Give yourself some grace, and then take the time to think about what’s important to you financially. This will empower you to create a sound financial plan that will ultimately become your financial roadmap for the future.”

Mickens says seeking the support of a financial advisor significantly increases the likelihood of economic security. 

Estate Planning: A Necessity for All Income Levels

Over 70% of Black Americans lack a will, in contrast to the 55% of white families who have one. While the racial wealth gap significantly contributes to this disparity, estate attorney Eraka L. Childs emphasizes that estate planning is not exclusively for the wealthy, as it offers numerous benefits for individuals at all income levels.

“Estate planning is essential regardless of our wealth status. Even if you do not have a lot of wealth, it will help to ensure that your end-of-life wishes are respected and that your hard-earned assets will be passed according to your wishes.”

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