• Joy Boyd

How to be Black, Excellent and Budget

What is life without budgeting? Great potential for unnecessary stress. That's what it is. I'm sure you're familiar with the word 'budget'. Your parents, mentors and other influences can bring it up over and over again, but when are you going to actually do it?

Now, I'm writing this because I too needed to hear the lesson, AGAIN. No judgment, okay? It's one thing to believe you are mentally tracking your monthly expenses well and another to actually track them effectively. Thanks to Walnut Way and their Community Wealth Building Campaign, I've got 6 helpful tips on how to make your money move to benefit you.

On Monday, June 8, I attended an informational session lead by Jackie Carter, Manager of Personal Finance at the World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Here's how she broke budgeting down.

  1. Why is budgeting so important? Budgeting helps you to identify wasteful spending which will ultimately save you money. By noticing what you usually spend your money on and how often, you can set priorities with ease and make wiser decisions with your income.

  2. How do you recognize your money spending patterns? You must determine what you value and what circumstances drive you to spend money. Retail therapy anyone? Yeah, it could be a problem. Some of us shop out of boredom which also isn't a good habit to have. The solution is figuring out what items are important to you and to include them in your monthly budget.

  3. Plan your passions. Being more strict with your money doesn't mean you don't treat yourself. Set goals that align with what you're passionate about and track your progress. Your goal setting should start with the things you need and then branch out to accessible wants.

  4. What are you saving for? Emergency funds and retirement can sound insignificant when you're young but let's not sleep on this. If COVID-19 has taught us nothing else, millennials now know that emergencies happen! To start off your savings, save amounts that you're not going to miss. Even if it's $5 at a time, it will add up as long as you consistently put money aside and most importantly, leave it there.

  5. The difference is in the details. The best way to truly budget is to track your monthly income and categorize your expenses. Begin to keep receipts on everything you buy. The small items you tend to purchase can unquestionably throw you off.

  6. Recognize and avoid these budgeting fails: unrealistic expectations, lack of motivation and negative attitude. Speaking to myself loudly on that last one but you get the idea.

With determination, compromise and remembering to reward yourself, you too can move your money forward while being Black and excellent.

For more information on finances contact Jackie Carter at

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