Throughout her entire career in the banking industry, Marsha Barnes was always a diligent saver. But she never understood what she was saving for until two years ago. It was then that she decided to launch The Finance Bar, a startup mobile — yes, as in wheels — personal finance hub meant to empower people to take control of their finances. The journey wasn't always easy — Marsha sunk over $35,000 of her own savings into the business and didn't make money right away. When she finally quit her job in December 2016 to focus on the business, she took a huge gamble — on herself.
"What if you just wake up one day and there's something different that you want to do in life? How do you pivot?
For me, one day I woke up and I said 'I want to leave my job to do something that I really love to wake up and do.' And that is why I was saving money all along. I just didn’t realize it."
This episode has it all! We are joined by our favorite money and career expert, Lynette Khalfani-Cox aka "The Money Coach".
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.
On the show, Lynette shares her best advice on how to negotiate on the job. 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.
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 >
Our hearts are with the families and victims of last night's attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Spread a little love in the world today, BA fam — we could all use some!
Want to ask a question or share a story with us?
Hit us up on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/brownambition
As mentioned on the show, check out these helpful resources to find about more about student loan refi options:
Curious about opening an FSA? Check out these explainers.
What's an FSA? - Healthcare.gov
If you're new to the show and want to show your support, we would so appreciate it if you could leave us a review on iTunes. It gives us a huge boost and helps others find the show!
Yours in brown ambition,
Mandi & Tiffany
Thanks for letting us take a mini hiatus, BA Fam!
We are back with a packed show. So. Much. Has. Happened!
Bill O'Reilly is out of a job?
Shea Moisture lost their damn minds?
We cover it all.
And today's reader question comes from D: Was I right to tell my sister I wouldn't co-sign her mortgage?
Then, don't miss our interview with Blavity.com co-founder Morgan DeBaun, who's talking all about her new lifestyle brand 21ninety.com and how she's working to help other women -- including herself -- take better care of themselves both at work and at home.
This is our last episode before we take a brief hiatus so that Mandi can enjoy her honeymoon!
We will be back the week of May 8 with a brand new episode!
In the meantime, we are going out with a bang.
On this episode, we're cleaning out our inbox and answering some of your burning questions:
1. How did Tiffany really build her six-figure business? She is opening up and telling us the REAL truth -- the ugly truth -- about entrepreneurship.
2. What do I do if I'm not happy with my employer's 401(k) options?
3. How am I supposed to balance work, life, relationships and health?
You know how family sit coms used to always do one "wedding episode" and the entire thing revolved around all the drama surrounding the Big Day?
After a year of planning, our girl Mandi is FINALLY tied the knot April 7 in Savannah. Tiffany was there and she's spilling all the details.
Check out some pics of the Big Day below:
*Today's show is dedicated to Titi Branch — a phenomenal woman, entrepreneur, and sister. We love and thank you for every contribution you made toward helping women embrace their natural beauty.*
Miko Branch, the phenomenal cofounder of Miss Jessie's sits down with Mandi and Tiffany to talk about creating the Miss Jessie's hair care line with her big sister Titi in their Brooklyn brownstone over a decade ago.
The sisters mixed their products in the kitchen of their Brooklyn brownstone and bootstrapped the company themselves without any of the usual trappings of entrepreneurship (they didn't have MBAs, or a team of wealthy investors to back them). Word spread about their signature product, their "curly pudding", and soon enough they went from begging NYC-area stores like Ricky's to carry their products to lining up deals with major retailers like Target.
But, of course, there were some bumps along the road to success.
After Titi's sudden passing in 2014, Miko has made it her mission to not only continue to grow the company they created as a team but also to focus even more on her own personal happiness, health and balance in life.
"I make happiness and health a priority right up there with business," she says. "I think money is a tool that you can use to do many things but I don't think money has much to do with your character or your decision making."
Check out Miko's book, "Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch---Naturally".
Is it possible to save TOO much? And should you quit your job if you've got a shot at getting your student loans forgiven if you stick it out?
We're answering your questions today on BA. If you have a question on life, money or career, hit us up at brownambitionpodcast.com.
But first... we recap the movie "Get Out" that has EVERYONE talking *Major spoiler alert -- skip ahead if you haven't seen it yet!).
We talk about the mind tricks money can play on us... and when it's sometimes not such a good thing to be cheap all the time.
Check out www.brownambitionpodcast.com.
On today's show, an EXCITING update on Tiffany's real estate adventure.
-How she found her dream home (and what she's doing to make sure the deal goes through!)
-The strategy she's using to become a homeowner once again after facing a foreclosure during the recession
If you're a first time homebuyer, check out this guide Mandi mentioned on today's show:
Have a question for us? Drop us a line at brownambitionpodcast.com.
Have questions about money or your career? Hit us up at brownambitionpodcast.com!
It's a Mad World, y'all.
We couldn't start our show today without acknowledging the troubling events of the last few days.
We eventually get down to business and take reader Angelique's question on sold off debt.
"When a lender sells my debt and closes the account, do I still owe that debt?"
We've got an answer for her and a huge Brown Ambition hug to everyone out there impacted by Lord Voldemort's refugee and muslim immigrant ban.
If you'd like to share your story, send us a note at Brownambitionpodcast.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mandi & Tiffany
Have you dumped your big bank yet?
On today's show, we've got a super special guest: Lisa Servon, author of the new book "The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives" joins us for a conversation about how payday lenders and check cashing facilities are taking the place of big banks in our neighborhoods.
Lisa didn't just write about these businesses. She actually worked for months at a check cashing business in the South Bronx in New York City and a payday lender in Oakland, California, where she talked to real people using these services to find out why — and how banks have let them down.
On Servon's website, she has tips on how to ditch your big bank and find banks with lower fees: https://www.lisaservon.com/
Also on today's show:
Suffering from an Inaugural hangover? Here's one way to feel better: Speak Up! Contact your local representatives and tell them how you feel about the direction our country is heading. We have voices. Let's use them!
Here's where to find your local reps: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Today's listener question: "Should I stop paying an account that's been charged off?"
So much to cover, so little time!
First of all, thank you for making January our biggest month for downloads yet!
If you haven't, please take 2 minutes to leave us a review on iTunes. This is a HUGE factor in how many people are able to find our show on iTunes, and every review counts!
Here are the hot topics and links we covered on today's show:
Mandi's Brown Boost this week featured two of her favorite money- and time-saving tools (these are NOT paid endorsements!)
LevelMoney: Find out exactly what you can afford to spend each day.
Hello Fresh: How she makes great dinners without ever going to the store.
Today's question: How do I even begin to find a financial planner?
Mandi's $246 Flights to Italy
For the full scoop on how Mandi used credit card points to book her honeymoon to Italy for $246, check out this post on Yahoo Finance >
Tiffany's win this week featured Lucinda Cross, founder of the "Activate Movement."
We've missed you and we're BACK BA Fam! On today's show:
-Find out how Mandi booked a European honeymoon for FREE and Tiffany got her wedding dress for FREE. We are kind of killing this wedding planning thing, y'all.
-All you need to know about joining Tiffany's Live Richer Challenge: Credit Edition, a free online program that will help you finally pay down your credit card debt.
To sign up visit http://LRCCredit.com.
-Balance Transfer: What it is, how to use one and mistakes to avoid.
-Mandi shares a Ted Talk that blew her mind and Tiffany opens up about learning to be a taker as well as a giver. See the Ted Talk here >