Four Wealth Lessons From 4:44

In his 13th studio album, 4:44, Jay-Z gave us “a million dollars worth of game for $9.99.” To be fair, Jay-Z isn’t the first person to share these wealth lessons. Dame Dash, Jay-Z’s former business partner, shared many of these lessons during his Breakfast Club interview two years ago. But when you are the second richest man in Hip Hop, the message sounds different. So what was Jay-Z’s message? Lesson 1: Buy appreciating assets “I bought every v12 engine; I wish I could take it back to the beginning…” Jay- Z’s v12 car collection includes the Maybach Exelero, rumored...

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National Donut Day: there’s billions of dollars in these donuts

National Donut Day didn’t initially start an excuse to get free donuts.  In 1938, it was a holiday established to celebrate the women who served soldiers donuts on the front lines during World War I. To celebrate this sweet holiday, check out these freebies: Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away one classic donut with the purchase of any beverage. Krispy Kreme is giving away one free donut in any flavor. Tim Hortons is offering a free doughnut when you mention National Doughnut Day. Are donuts really a billion dollar business? America runs on Dunkin’s coffee Friend of The Ivy Investor,...

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Five Steps to Fall In Love with Your Finances

Guest Post: The Wealth Stylist, Natasha M. Campbell, Success and Money Coach Sticking to a budget is one of the biggest money challenges many Americans face. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, only one in three American households prepare a detailed, monthly written, or computerized, budget that tracks their income and expenses. That means 2 out of 3 households say, “No, thank you” to having a plan for their money. For many, the “B” word (budget) signals deprivation. If you’ve ever been on a diet, you tend to crave what you shouldn’t have because it’s a form of restriction. The...

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Six Things to do in 2016 to blow your 2017 out of the water

  It’s the last month of 2016, the year that has worn out its welcome. Instead of waiting for 2016 to pass, begin working on 2017 today. If you are serious about changing your life in the New Year, getting started on January 1st is too late. One of the reasons why 92% of New Year’s Resolutions fail is because people fail to plan. Lay the groundwork now. Here are six things to do before the end of 2016 to get a running start on 2017. 1. Protect your stuff Image courtesy of CreateHER stock A major unexpected expense...

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Baby, they’ve got your money… FREE MONEY ALERT

  Yes, you read that correctly. The government has your money. And no, this is not another tax refund. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), state governments are holding approximately $41.7 billion of unclaimed property (unclaimed money). Do you know much of the $41.7 billion belongs to you? Companies are required to send any money owed a person to his or her last known address. If they are not responsive, the company is required to turn over the funds to the state. State Treasury Departments hold unclaimed property for individuals living in their state at...

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3 Things to do BEFORE you spend your tax return

1. Create an emergency account of $1000-$2000. If you are prepared for an unexpected financial emergency, it’s a mere inconvenience. But if you are unprepared, a financial emergency can take months or years to recover. Many financial experts suggest $1000 in an emergency fund but I’ve personally had one or two emergencies exceed that.  I have $2000 in an account that I don’t think about for fear that I will find a crafty way to repurpose the funds for something other than a true emergency. An emergency fund with octane. My emergency fund is with a Credit Union. For...

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Oh the Wild, Wonderful (scary) World of Credit.

Albert Einstein sums up my thoughts on credit (and actually all personal finance matters) in one quote,  “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” We have to know how credit works and use it to our advantage; it’s too expensive not to. Like it or not, our credit score affects us consistently. We know that lenders access our credit report and score to extend offers of credit. But did you know collection agencies can access your credit report to collect a debt? Or insurance companies can access your credit report to provide terms of insurance? Or with your express written permission, employers can access your credit report for employment?  Or interestingly, certain social organizations are accessing credit to extend invitations of membership? Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, you have the right to know why you were denied credit or offered less favorable terms than what you applied for within 60 days of the denial.  You also have the right to request a credit report based on any lender’s adverse action towards you because of your credit. My biggest concern is that people learn about credit problems or address them too late in the game. They begin to address issues when they decide to buy a house or after they were denied credit. Unfortunately, it’s too late...

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How Bad Credit Almost Cost Me My Career… (Teaser for today’s Monday Money Matters)

About a year and a half ago, my love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with credit that I had entire adult life went nuclear. Yes, nuclear. How does that happen? Easy. I almost did not gain admission to not only one, but TWO, bars over my bad credit. I take full responsibility for my bad credit because it was a result of years and years, or should I say two separate seven-year cycles, of bad decisions. My first bad bout with credit happened in college. At the time, it was the credit wild, wild west. Now, there are protections against predatory lending on college campuses. But then, you could get a free t-shirt if you signed up for a credit card and in college, who doesn’t need extra t-shirts to sleep in or better yet, an extra t-shirt, or two to stretch you until laundry day? So if I remember correctly, I had two of those. I also loved to shop at Express so I had one of those too. I’m not sure how any of this was possible considering I was an unemployed college freshman. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze the minimum monthly payments for these cards out of the money my parents sent me per month. This would have been fine until the summer when I could pay off the cards in full but I KEPT using the...

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Get your finances right for the New Year

The top of most individual’s New Year’s resolutions includes, “Get out of debt” and “Save Money.” There’s good news and bad news. First, the bad news, 90% of New Year’s Resolutions fail.  Here is the good news! Your New Year’s Resolution to get out of debt and save money does not have to fail! Addressing why resolutions are commonly unsuccessful is a great way to check yourself. One reason is that people often set their goals too high and quickly become overwhelmed. Another reason is fear—fear of change, fear of failure, and even fear of success. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk. Changing your financial habits will take you out of your comfort zone. We need to be honest with each other to make this change work. So let’s be real…You have some comfort in your situation, or you’d be propelled to stop doing it. The good thing is that there is something unpleasant about your current state, because it found its way to your New Year’s Resolution list.  Remember, you did not get into debt overnight; so coming out of it will not happen overnight. Now, step away from every Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, and store credit card you own. Some people suggest placing them in a plastic bag with water and freezing them. I couldn’t stomach looking at all my beautiful, shiny cards wrapped up in...

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