Most small business owners make one of two mistakes. Both can lead to a bad deal, and one of them is a waste of money.
Most small business owners make one of two mistakes. Both can lead to a bad deal, and one of them is a waste of money.
Knowing this can help you make better decisions about how to save and spend.
Students today leave school owing on average about $34,000; up 70 percent from 10 years ago.
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This year’s April 18 deadline gives all taxpayers a few extra days to complete the task, but even with that extra time, not everyone’s going to be able to file on time.
When one watches/reads the main stream media now, one would think our nation is in despair. Job creators in Manufacturing are over the moon with optimism. Why the disconnect?
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Unfortunately, as adults, we learn more about money after the mistake is made. We often find ourselves saying, “Why didn’t I learn this in school?” or “I wish someone would have taught me this at a younger age.” We sometimes find ourselves blaming the school system, but in order for the black community to build wealth, WE must depend on ourselves. Financial education starts at home, and as a community, we must uplift and educate our children. Changing the financial legacy of our families starts with YOU.
If you are not the wealthiest person walking, it is perfectly fine. It is OK if you have debt; it is even OK if you are not able to save a lot of money. You do not need to be a Certified Financial Planner to educate our youth. Yes, there is always room for improvement, and that, I know, you will soon experience. However, here are three easy ways to teach your children about money.
If you have a bank account, your child should too. If you have deposited money into your account (whether it’s direct deposit or manually), your child should too. Some parents open bank accounts for their children but fail to involve them in the process. Allow your child to learn by doing.
Once a month, bring your youngster to the bank to make a deposit or a withdrawal. Something small like $10, may not seem like a lot to you, but it could mean the world to a child. Give them a tour of the bank. Let them know what goes on in the bank, and how they play a part in it all. Allow your child to visit the teller and make his or her own deposit. It makes their experience with money real, and they will have a better understanding of money as they get older.
When we were younger, we knew Mommy and Daddy paid bills but did we really know ALL the bills they had to pay? We knew Mommy and Daddy went to work, but we didn’t know all their monetary responsibilities. When you’re younger, you really have no idea how many bills you are responsible for as an adult.
Allow your child to get a better understanding of their potential tasks as an adult. Show them how you plan your money, and share the dates your bills are due. Choose a bill that you always pay on time and show them the process of making a payment. You will be surprised at how well kids work technology in this day and age. It could save you some time, and it will better prepare them for what’s to come.
During a time when our community is being the consumer, teach your child how to be the owner. Let them know that it is acceptable to spend money, but building wealth requires them to keep and invest their money. Buying stock in a company doesn’t have to cost you millions of dollars. There are brokerage accounts that do not require a minimum balance, and there are many companies whose shares cost less than $100.
If your child turns six, on their birthday, why not buy them six shares of their favorite toy company? What about their favorite social media, favorite clothing store, favorite game company, or their favorite computer device? As we spend our money with these companies, we are continuing to help them stay rich. By investing in stock, we are helping our offspring to become rich. Empowering our children is teaching them more than just math and reading skills. It is about teaching them the skill sets that can financially strengthen the black community.
By implementing these small steps, you are instilling a value system. How we value money is how our children will value money. What we teach our children is what they will teach their children. If our children see us invest, they will invest. Financial habits are passed down just like skin tone, eye color, and body features. The legacy that we leave our children, whether it is money, investments, real estate, etc., is what they will continue to leave for their families. Although our monetary situations may not be the best, that doesn’t mean our children don’t deserve the financial best. We are creating a cycle of change, and remember the change starts with YOU!
Ashley M. Fox is a former Wall Street analyst, a Howard University grad, and she is now an expert in her field as a Financial Education Specialist. She is the founder of Empify (merging of the words EMPower and modIFY), an education-based organization created to help both adults and children understand financial literacy. Since leaving her Wall Street career, Ashley has become an award-winning financial coach who has helped her clients collectively save and invest over $1.4 million. She is a highly sought-after speaker who has been featured on empowerment tours, college campuses, and keynote speaking platforms. She has been featured on Jim Cramer’s “The Street”, Yahoo Finance, AOL, Rolling Out Magazine, Huffington Post, and Glamour Magazine.
If you are familiar with Georgia, you have probably heard of cities outside of Atlanta. Georgia is home to the cities of Decatur, Savannah, Columbus, and more. In fact, Savannah is one of the top cities in the U.S. for black population, according to the 2010 census. However, Atlanta is referred to as the “capital of black America.”
Did you know Georgia has a new city, both in South Fulton and South DeKalb counties? Let me introduce you to the cities of South Fulton and Stonecrest.
Now, you may assume that the creation of cities is not a very interesting subject, but I will tell you that there was much debate around whether these two cities should exist. Why? It’s complicated, and there are a number of factors. Politics is not a very linear nor a logical process most times. However, there were many who thought the creation of these cities were necessary for the economic growth of its black citizens.
There is some background that is needed to explain why this article is an important discussion. Dunwoody, a majority-white city, was passed by vote on July 15, 2008. The city of Brookhaven, another majority-white city, was approved by a vote in July of 2012.
For some, there was concern that these majority-white cities were popping up over metro Atlanta. It was viewed that these citizens were taking control to drive their own economic prosperity and destiny. Hence, the conclusion became that black people needed their own cities in order to thrive—enter the proposals for the City of South Fulton and the City of Stonecrest in 2016.
Both the cities of South Fulton and Stonecrest were authorized for a referendum in 2016. I was a co-sponsor on the city of Stonecrest legislation. The city covers a small portion of my legislative district.
City of Stonecrest (as passed)
City of South Fulton (as passed)
The creation of these new two majority-black cities caused me to wonder, are cities a way to foster economic justice for its majority-black inhabitants?
“Possibly, we can look to our historical past to determine the benefits of majority-black cities, townships, and communities. During the 100-year period from Reconstruction to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African Americans’ economic power allowed for the creation of various black-owned institutions: religious, academic, financial, recreational, media, and cultural institutions. These institutions gave African Americans greater autonomy in spite of Jim Crow segregation. While these institutions waned as our society became more integrated, the annexation of majority-black cities could lead to a renaissance of new black institutions, resulting in African Americans acquiring greater economic and political strength than that of our ancestors.”
When I first started writing on this topic, there were a lot of suggestions about what this piece should encompass. Georgia’s largest majority-black city is, of course, Atlanta. I am at a little bit of a disadvantage in writing about cities, because, unfortunately, I have not lived long enough to have a perspective in the cityhood movement.However, there is much debate about the role of cities, in general.
“Overall, the ability to make local zoning and land use decision helps the economy. These zoning decisions also prompts the creation of some new cities.
Cities make many quality-of-life decisions, including the planning and implementation of parks, trails, and amenities for all residents. This creates places where people want to live and play, and where companies want to locate—in turn driving the economy,” says Kelli Bennett, a communications and marketing associate with the Georgia Municipal Association.
But, do they create an additional level of bureaucracy and taxes, or are they really a vehicle for economic empowerment for communities to drive their own economic destiny? If the latter is true, what are the economics reasons to create majority-black cities?
This article asks many players involved in the creation of these two cities the question, “What were the economic reasons for proposing or supporting a majority-black city?”
I think you will be surprised by many answers. Additionally, this should give you food for thought in your respective states about any cityhood movements.
“Economic justice was a consequence of the creation of the city of South Fulton. I wanted to create a ‘home,’ just like the communities in New York. The surrounding communities and interests were swallowing what was left of the community. Additionally, residents didn’t feel they were getting the services they needed, and schools were in danger of being folded into surrounding school systems. Essentially, the city of South Fulton had to be formed in order for communities to stay together.”
“Following years of stagnation, many in the Stonecrest community came to the conclusion that we could no longer allow the priorities of others to dictate what our opportunities for recovery and success should be. We shared the knowledge and understanding that self-determination has historically translated to growth and prosperity for black communities, and that Stonecrest has the people, tools, and resources to undertake that endeavor and be successful. The establishment of Stonecrest is allowing us to adopt proven standards for governance, our own set of civic priorities, and a plan for developing our community’s assets in a way that improves the quality of life for our citizens, and will make us competitive with any city in the region.”
“From a city governance point of view, these cities will be like all other Georgia cities. However, for the children of the community, it is a strong statement that declares, ‘We are as good and as capable as anyone else.’ That empowerment is reinforced when children can identify with the government leaders, business leaders, and community leaders who are doing well. Unfortunately, there are still places in our country where people are prohibited from participating, due to their race. It is my hope that these new cities will open the door to businesses that otherwise would not get an opportunity to participate.”
“Economic development is the cornerstone of our cityhood platform. We completely believe the ‘road to salvation’ is through the diverse commerce of the industrial park as well as commercial and tourism revenue. We have built this city on the promise of becoming a destination location for visitors, a strong working class tenancy of the residents, and executive level participation of corporations—that’s our future.”
At the time of this publication, both cities had elected their new leadership. It will be interesting to compare the census data of median income before and after these cities formed. Until then, the leadership of both cities have an opportunity to service the needs of their constituents. This is especially true when it comes to economic empowerment for its majority-black inhabitants. Let’s hope every city strives to improve the life of each of its citizens.
Dar’shun Kendrick is a private securities attorney and owner of Kendrick Law Practice, helping businesses raise capital the LEGAL way. She has two B.A.s from Oglethorpe University, a law degree from the University of Georgia, an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University, and works with “for profit” companies seeking to raise $250,000 or more through private capital. Additionally, she’s been elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, representing East DeKalb and South Gwinnett counties since 2011. She serves on the committees of Juvenile Justice, Interstate Cooperation, Judiciary Non-Civil, and as the ranking Democrat on the Small Business and Job Creation Committee. She’s also co-chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Economic Development Committee; a board member of the Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG) corporate development board; and the founder and board chair of the nonprofit, Minority Access to Capital, Inc. Its mission is to educate and empower minorities about how to grow their companies and create generational wealth.