With continued reports of a looming recession on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to assess your financial health and even make a few adjustments where necessary.
During the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, Certified Financial Educator Christian Lovell sat down with Comedic Actress and Social Media Influencer Lala Milan on the Wealth & Power stage to talk about all things budgeting with a little help from our partners at AT&T. In between sharing a few relatable personal lessons learned from years of bad spending habits and poor financial decision-making, the ladies took the audience through Christian’s 4-step system designed to help you reach financial wellness.
Scroll through below to see 5 things we learned from their conversation and then watch the video above to hear their discussion full, including a complete breakdown of Christian’s 4-step system. For more of everything you missed at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, visit our official video content hub HERE.
Every Dollar Has A Job
“I use the zero-based budgeting method, which means every dollar I have has a job, down to the penny,” Christian says. “Because when you don’t give every dollar a job, that’s when your money disappears. How many people have gotten paid and at the end of the 2 weeks, they’re like, ‘I don’t know where my money has gone.’ So, prioritize what you care about, spend some money on yourself, and cut out what’s unnecessary.”
Spending On Yourself Should Be Part Of Your Budget Plan
“I started my journey in a very restrictive place. I was six figures in debt and I was like, ‘I need to restrict every single penny. I can’t spend anything on myself, I need to fast-track my goals. But again, I was in that cycle of over-restriction and then I would go splurge. I would go to the mall and buy everything I saw because I had restricted for so long and that’s not a healthy lifestyle to live. So, make sure you allocate a certain percentage of your budget to spend on yourself.”
Credit Cards Are Not Evil, It’s How You Use Them That Matters
“Get out of high-interest debt and stay out of high-interest debt. Use your credit card to buy your gas, buy your food, treat yourself a little bit. Put as much expenses as you can on that credit card, but make sure you’re paying off that balance monthly and not carryibng a balance month-to-month because that’s what gets people in trouble because then you’ll be paying $100 on your credit card with $75 going to interest and only $25 is going to the principle. You’re not going to make any progress like that. Credit cards are not evil, it’s how you use them that matters.”
Pursue Your Long-Term Financial Goals While Budgeting Is Possible
“Pursue your long-term goals. That could mean investing in real estate, investing in the stock market or retiring early. What that might look like is creating a plan that works for you in long-term goals.”