February: Securing One’s Bag

Growing up Dominican in New York City between Harlem, Inwood, and The Bronx, I didn't know there was anything to know about money other than you need to have a job in order to get some. Money education felt elite and most definitely too complicated. When money was mentioned at home, it was usually about the lack or the impossible attainability of enough of it and never about taxes, equity, saving, investments, the stock market, bank options, credit scores, or credit cards. This is why for Black History Month, Loyal Nana will be covering a variety of topics on MONEY - with a focus on money education and what else there is to do with it other than spend it, better known as securing one's bag.

“I am so hyper-obsessed with making sure that I will never be poor again. I am not going to be out here begging for people to let me stay in their crib or out here struggling to get food. I don't want to live like that again. I was broke in college, and poor growing up and I already know that there is a better way to live so I am going to make sure that I am always planning for that better life.” - Miss Be Helpful

“I am so hyper-obsessed with making sure that I will never be poor again. I am not going to be out here begging for people to let me stay in their crib or out here struggling to get food. I don't want to live like that again. I was broke in college, and poor growing up and I already know that there is a better way to live so I am going to make sure that I am always planning for that better life.” - Miss Be Helpful

Recently, a friend of mine who also comes from a low-income family and community in New York City shared with me that he is making a chunk of money now, but doesn't know what to do with it. Please know that though this seems like a particularly vulnerable statement, the sentiment and situation is very real - and it got me wondering how many other people out there feel the same.

To aid this, Miss Be Helpful's Yanely Espinal and I put together a video of 4 Do's and 4 Don'ts if you are in your mid-20's to mid-’30s and are just starting to make some real money. Do you save it all? Pay off all of your debt? Hook up your family? Take your friends on vacation? Buy property? Invest in the stock market? Keep the cash in a shoe box at home? Let it sit in your debit account? What about YOLO?

My money habits changed when I met Yanely, a Dominican-American fairy god money guru from Brooklyn who has made it her job (literally) to educate people of color from low-income families and communities about money. As it turns out, money is entirely the opposite of what I thought it was and what I thought it wasn't.

As we all might know by now, anything that you learn in your childhood - unless checked - will automatically carry into adulthood. Today I find myself thinking about money the same way I did when I was 20 years old: money comes in, via a job, you pay some bills, and then you have money to use until your next paycheck. There are no thoughts about that money and the future nor how to multiply it or make it so that you don't have to worry about it ever again (the dream right?). I am not ashamed of sharing this with you because money education was a conversation that I did not know was happening as a young kid in the 'hood. You shouldn't be ashamed either, as our main job today is to unlearn poor habits and relearn new ones as adults who have choices and the ability to create their lives.

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Art: Andrea De Santis

Because of the strong impact that a little money education caused for both Yanely and me, this month we will be bringing an intimate conversation about money to Uptown NYC where we will discuss the importance of minding your [financial] business, money in relationships, and self-investment. The best part will be answering all of your burning money questions. Details soon come.

In the meantime look out for:

  • a list of 7 Podcasts About Money hosted by women

  • Recy Taylor’s life as told to Loyal Nana by her brother, Robert Corbitt.

  • watch Miss Be Helpful and Loyal Nana’s first conversation on debit cards, credit cards and credit scores HERE.

  • help us help you and make sure to schedule time to watch our Securing One’s Bag: 4 Do's & Don'ts when you start making real money video in all of its 49 minute entirety and be ready to laugh and take notes.

  • this week we drop Loyal Nana’s BIGGEST Inner Views session yet!!!!! can you guess our guest? Hint: probably not.

  • follow us on @loyalnana.co for funny memes about money like this one:

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Stay true to you,

Amanda Saviñón

Founder of Loyal Nana