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Brown Ambition

Brown Ambition is a show about juggling life, money, and your career.
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Apr 18, 2018

In September 2016, Sharon Epperson was at the gym when she felt a relentless, migraine-like pain shoot through her head and neck. One S.O.S. call to her husband and several hours in the hospital later, she learned she was one of 30,000 people in the U.S. who suffer a brain aneurysm rupture each year. Two in five die instantly and African Americans are twice as likely as white people to suffer from one.

Sharon, who is the senior personal finance correspondent at CNBC, was one of the lucky ones. On today’s show, she calls the experience one of the great blessings of her life and shares her story with Mandi, including:

Her early days in rehabilitation when she had to relearn everyday tasks.

“That road had so much pain on it. There were people in those rooms who I know probably wouldn't make it...I remember thinking I just have to look at the door straight ahead. If I look in these rooms I’m going to fall down.”

What it was like to return the air at CNBC after 13 months of rehabilitation.

“I am recovered in that I can do that job but I’m doing it differently and better than I’ve ever done it before.”

The financial choices she made that protected her family’s finances during her recovery and time off from work.

“There couldn't have been a rainier day for my rainy day fund. The fact that I had an emergency fund was key. It meant I didn't have to do what many people may have to do which is dip into a 401(k) or their retirement savings to pay for a medical bill.”  

The key steps Sharon says everyone should take to protect their families if they become disabled

—Build an emergency fund

—Sign up for disability insurance

—Secure a power of attorney

Learn more about brain aneurysm research here: bafound.org

Follow Sharon on Instagram and Twitter.

 

Apr 11, 2018

Have 15 seconds to spare? Please take our NEW reader survey! (Yes another one — but this one's more important! Please fill it out :) 

We need at least 250 to sign up and we're halfway there in less than a day. Y'all are the best. Please fill it out if you haven't yet. 

xxMandi & Tiffany

Apr 4, 2018

Today on the show we have attorney extraordinaire Art Steele.

Art Steele is a business and estate planning attorney who helps entrepreneurs and families protect what matters most.  
 
She started her career at Skadden Arps in Washington, D.C., then went to work at General Tax Counsel for Discovery Communications.  She started her own law firm in 2014 and started the Legal-EASE for Entrepreneurs Podcast in 2016 which empowers minority business owners to tackle the legal needs of their business.  
 
To get Art's estate planning checklist mentioned on the show text “Willpower” to 44222 (you'll be prompted to enter your e-mail to download and may receive future emails from Art about estate planning) or you can download the checklist directly from this link. 
Mar 28, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

Today on the show: 

  • The parental pressure around baby birthday parties — let's discuss. 
  • The Federal Reserve Bank raised rates again last week....what the heck does that mean for us? Mandi explains.

Today on the show we mentioned the Credit Karma credit score simulator: 

And also You Need a Budget is a solid app/budget management tool. 

Mar 21, 2018

This week, we welcome a very special young entrepreneur who recently reached out to the show to tell us her story of clawing her way out of $80,000 worth of debt. 

Tasha Danielle, 31, is a corporate accountant in Detroit and founder of Financial Garden, LLC, a financial literacy program that partners with Detroit-area businesses and nonprofits to bring financial literacy to public schools. Before she began working with schools, Tasha was like many 20-somethings who graduated at the height of the recession — mired in student loan debt and already feeling like she was starting her career three steps behind because of her massive debt load. 

Over the years, she overcame a broken engagement, job changes, and took drastic measures to not just maximize her income but minimize her spending to aggressively pay down her debt. 

Tune in to hear how! 

Brownambitionpodcast.com

 

Mar 14, 2018

Today's show is all about YOU, our lovely listeners. We're shaking up our mail bag and answering your burning money and career questions. 

Have a question? Hit us up at brownambitionpodcast.com. 

We're having a special guest soon to talk about ALL the documents you should have in order before you die...a will? Power of Attorney? What does that even mean anyway? We've got you covered. Send us your estate planning Qs and we'll select a few to discuss on the show!

Here are a few resources we mentioned on today's show: 

Mar 7, 2018

A packed show, per usual!

First up, we have some REAL TALK about insurance. It's that thing we all know we need but don't really talk about it until it's too late. We'll explain the basics of life insurance and offer tips on how to shop and compare policies. The site mentioned on the show is Policygenius.com, which you can use to shop and compare policies.

We also take a listener question about keeping credit cards at a $0 balance. Have a Q you want answered? Hit us up at brownambitonpodcast.com.

Other topics on today's show: 

  • Looking for a job? Tune in to hear Mandi's warning for job candidates who aren't 100% truthful on their job applications. 
  • #OscarsSoWOKE
  • Happy Independence day Ghana! Here's another excuse to read Mandi's favorite book of the year — Homegoing by Ghanian-American novelist Yaa Gyasi. 
Feb 28, 2018

Have a question for the show?

Head to brownambitionpodcast.com 

Also, we're on Instagram! @brownambitionpodcast

Feb 21, 2018

Do you know someone with an inspiring money or career story who would be a good guest for the show? Hit us up at browmabitionpodcast@gmail.com

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

On today's show:

  • Black Panther won the weekend and we are still processing y'all. 
  • We take a listener's question about dealing with a collection bill after a hospital visit
  • Shoutout to the kids of Parkland, FL who are rallying together to call for more gun control 
  • Mandi reveals the project management tool she can't live without (Spoiler alert: it's called Trello!)

 

Feb 14, 2018

Thanks to everyone who's completed our listener survey! There's still time for you to take it here: https://goo.gl/forms/0nM2A9rv7JMDLKA63

On today's show: 

  • We debate the merits of homeownership in today's housing market. Are we making the biggest mistake ever?  
  • Mandi breaks down "mortgage amortization" and how you can beat the bank by making extra mortgage payments. 
  • We take a listener question from a listener who wants to know if she should worry about renting a car for her younger brothers.
  • Tiffany takes a break from the folks hating on Michelle Obama's official portrait by Amy Sherald (seriously guys?)

Have a question? Hit us up at brownambitionpodcast.com. 

Feb 7, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday! 

Show us the love by taking this SHORT 2-min survey so we can get to know our listeners better. 

On today's show:

  • Mandi's got some BIG news...and does the one thing she said she never thought she'd do in New York. 
  • Tiffany's back and recovering well from surgery. 
  • Mandi offers some perspective on the EPIC stock market drop felt 'round the country last week and explains WHY it really happened...and why you might not have so much to worry about. 
  • Today's question comes from Positive Nancy: What's the best way to spend my tax refund — and should I even be getting one?

Have some feedback for us? Send us a note at brownambitionpodcast@gmail.com and leave us a review at iTunes. 

Feb 1, 2018

This episode originally aired in September 2017. Thanks for your support as Tiffany is recovering from surgery (all is well! Just needs a little R&R!). Feel free to shoot her a get well message @theBApodcast or on Facebook on the Brown Ambition page. 

Also, shoutout to the beautiful BA Fan who shouted out Mandi on the train in Jersey today! You guys give us life. Thank you for your love and support.

--

We're back BA Fam!

On today's show:

Tiffany shares the highs (and hilarious lows) of her family vacation at Universal Studios. 

Is Baby Prom really a thing? And why did a Philadelphia mother spend $25,000 on her son's pre-prom party? We break down the headlines.

Then we take reader "L"s question: Shes' $80,000 in debt and wants to know if bankruptcy is an option. We explain what really happens when you file bankruptcy and when it might be a good idea. 

For more information about bankruptcy, check out MagnifyMoney's post here > 

When Should I Consider Bankruptcy? 

Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

 

 

Jan 24, 2018

On today's show, we take a question from listener Kim, who wants to know: Do you really need to put down 20% on a house?

Send us your money and career questions at brownambitionpodcast.com! 

Also on the show:

We also made a couple book recommendations: 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche 

Jan 17, 2018

Have a question for us on finances or your career? Hit us up at brownambitionpodcast.com! You can remain anonymous, just let us know when you leave our question. 

On today's show: 

  • Yes, we address the S**thole comment, with a focus on some of the beautiful responses from people around the world. 
  • Tiffany has a health update!
  • Shoutout to the cofounders of the Black Lives Matter movement who have a new joint memoir out this week: When They Call You a Terrorist
Jan 10, 2018

2018 is well underway and Brown Ambition is back!

On today's show: 

  • Golden Globes: Queen O rocks the world with her speech on female empowerment; celebs walk the red carpet in black alongside activists like #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke
  • Holiday debt: Mandi reveals how much holiday debt Americans took on in 2017, from the latest MagnifyMoney survey.
  • The most important number you can know: Your net worth! We take a question from listener Ashely about how to manage side hustles to boost her net worth and we chat about what net worth really means and why you should focus on building your net worth in 2018. You can still sign up for Tiffany's Live Richer Challenge: Net Worth edition.

Have a money or career question?

Go to Brownambitionpodcast.com or send us a note at brownambitionpodcast@gmail.com 

Jan 3, 2018

Happy New Year to all! Brown Ambition returns with fresh episodes (and a special NET WORTH edition!) on January 9.

In the meantime, we are re-airing our most popular episode of 2017 — our interview with our favorite money and career expert, Lynette Khalfani-Cox aka "The Money Coach". On the show, Lynette shares her best advice on how to negotiate on the job

Lynette went from a career as a journalist to an entrepreneur commanding $12,500 speaking fees, authoring over a dozen books, and crafting financial courses for consumers and businesses alike. Her website is Askthemoneycoach.com.

Her biggest tip? Know what your minimum salary requirement is before you even walk into an interview! And she has tips on how to find YOUR perfect number on today's show. 

Then, Lynette not only answers YOUR questions about managing the cost of college, she tells you personal lessons she learned after sending off her eldest daughter to college last year. 

Like many kids in college, her daughter struggled to adjust and when her GPA dropped below the 3.5 minimum for her tuition scholarship, Lynette and her family were suddenly faced with a $50,000 out of state tuition bill. She tells Brown Ambition the unique and BRILLIANT way she and her hubby decided to tackle that hurdle and shares other tough lessons she's learned about preparing her kids for college life.

Dec 20, 2017

Happy holidays, BA Fam! This is our last show for 2017 but we will be BACK with fresh new episodes starting Jan. 10!

On the Brown Ambition menu for this week...

Holiday anxiety
Work gripes when tools don't work
Tiffany's having The Big Talk with her mom about retirement
Also...guess who bought some Bitcoin!

Question:

Listener Brittany asks: Should I leave my financial job and move to NYC to become a writer?

Dec 13, 2017

Hey BA Fam! We hope you're not going too crazy with all the holiday hoopla. We're all on our grind at work so we can take a few days off to spend with family but remember to take some deep breaths, take it one day at a time, and be kind to yourself. 

Hit us up with your financial resolution questions at brownambitionpodcast@gmail.com or visit brownambitionpodcast.com. 

Dec 6, 2017

On today's show: 

Tax reform breakdown! Because #@$* is getting real and we should all get woke about what our lawmakers are cooking up over there in DC and how it will impact our lives.

Listener "Mrs. Newlywed" has a question about managing her budget and bills with her new husbae.  We have a few suggestions. 

Have a question for us? Please send us a note at brownambitionpodcast@gmail.com or head over to BrownAmbitionPodcast.com!

 

Nov 29, 2017

Thanks for listening!

Please share the love by leaving us a review on iTunes. 

brownambitionpodcast.com 

Nov 22, 2017

On today's show:

Tiffany's epic travels continue

We talk Black Friday don'ts

Anonymous listener "Shonda" wants to know whether or not she should move forward with a voluntary repossession of her car. 

Check out more episodes at Brownambitionpodcast.com!

And please get in the holiday spirit a little early and write us a quick review on iTunes! xx Mandi & Tiffany

Nov 15, 2017

One of our all-star guests is back on the show! Patrice Washington, America's money maven, author, speaker and new podcast host joins us to talk about the last two years. She gets real about the moment in her kitchen that changed the trajectory of her business two years ago and opens up about her new philosophy about managing career, marriage, and motherhood all at once. 

Check out Patrice at Patricewashington.com and her new podcast, Redefining Wealth, can be found on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

As always, send us your money questions at brownambitionpodcast@gmail.com or hit us up on Facebook.com/BrownAmbition or Twitter @theBApodcast.    

Nov 8, 2017

We're back after a brief absence (!) as Tiffany took an epic adventure to Aussieland. 

On today's show: 

BUZZWORTHY:

  • Tiffany's Australia trip wrap-up, including spending time with the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Mandi's half marathon win 
  • Tax reform! The GOP's new tax reform plan is out. We'll touch on how it might impact your wallet. To see a full summary of what the tax bill entails check out this MagnifyMoney guide.
  • It's Open Enrollment season and time for millions to choose a new health plan! Here's the Obamacare plan comparison tool Tiffany talked about on the show: PolicyGenius

BROWN BREAK: 

  • Tiffany takes a break from American Airlines
  • Mandi boosts Internet banks like Ally, which have the best rates for savings accounts. 

QUESTIONS: 

  • Listener Kai wants to know: Does it matter whether my statement balance or total balance on my credit card? 
  • Listener Vee wants to know: When I'm done saving for emergencies what comes next? 

WINS: 

  • Tiffany's big Plutus Award win!
  • Mandi's shoutout to the employee who raised her hand and asked for a performance review off the normal review schedule at her company. 
Oct 25, 2017

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

On today's show...

We take some of your burning credit card questions and reveal the little known truth about those free credit scores that so many sites and credit cards offer these days.

As promised, here's the MagnifyMoney guide to getting your free credit score > 

Please leave us a review while you're here! It is such a huge help because it helps others find our show on iTunes.

xx

Oct 18, 2017

Happy 100th episode BA fam! Help us celebrate by leaving us a review on iTunes! xx

On today's show, we talk about the sneaky little secret Mandi has been keeping. She's a cash hoarder! And it's finally time to start thinking beyond the basic savings account and 401(k) and exploring other ways to invest, which we'll cover on today's show. 

Also, we take questions from two listeners. One wants to know if Acorns is really a good app for investing and another wants to know if she should remove herself as an authorized user on her husband's credit card. 

Note: Sorry in advance for the spotty audio. We use Skype and the company experienced serious service issues the night we recorded. 

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