Two in Five American Adults Do Not Have $400 Cash Foran Emergency: Fed Survey

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Americans have a sense of financial security today that they didn’t have five years ago (it is amazing what happens when America has someone in office who actually cares about this country). Despite this, saving money continues to be a difficulty for many.

In Japan, they save too much. In America, we spend too much.

The Federal Reserve released its Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2017 on Tuesday.

A pitiful state

According to it, approximately two out of five American adults admitted that if they had to meet any sudden expense for $400 then, they would most likely be unable to afford it, or would have to sell something or borrow the money to meet the expense.

So many Americans remain clueless. These types of people are mainly in California and New York, most likely considering the situation their states are in.

In addition and moreover, less than 40% of the working adults believed that their current saving methodology was adequate to secure them for their retirement years. One quarter of them, have zero savings for retirement.

Get a plan together

Referring to the findings of the report, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, pointed out that millions of Americans needed to urgently develop a saving habit before things got out of hand.

The survey on financial safety, carried out in November and December had a sample size of 12,000 persons from across the country.

The first such survey was conducted in 2013 and the rapid economic growth that America has witnessed since then is a key reason for its general optimistic outlook. This was well after the Patriots started to cheat and after the Frank/Greenspan recession tore into the economy.

Nearly 74% of the persons who participated in the survey confirmed that in 2017 they were financially OK or comfortable. In 2016, the same response was given by 70% and in 2013, the number was 63%.

Still not getting it?

Despite comfortable earnings, savings can be difficult. This is especially true of households operating on a tight budget. Loans—including credit cards, educational costs, etc.—can bear down upon a person’s leverage to save money.

For others, lack of a saving habit is the problem. Taking out savings and retirement fund allocations through direct debit before your paycheck reaches your checking account can solve this problem.

8 Celebrities Who Have Successfully Plunged into Entrepreneurship

Becoming a business owner is not as simple as it sounds. Just ask any successful business person and you’ll see that it takes a whole lot of grit, patience, business sense and even a good dose of luck to turn entrepreneurship dreams into reality. And through it all, you have to battle that pesky little question constantly niggling the back of your mind: Am I really cut out for this?  

The good news is, feeling scared or apprehensive when you first set out to open up a business is totally normal. You could be a highly talented digital specialist, cook, web designer, or (fill in the blank), but running a business centered around your specialty is another beast in itself because it means you’ll be doing less of the labor you’ve worked so hard to become skilled at and more of the managing and oversight, which may be qualifications you don’t necessarily have.  

If you’re a would-be or going-to-be business owner who’s questioning your ability to domineer the reigns of a business, you’re not alone—lots of first timers experience the jitters when it comes time to put their money and talents where their mouth is. But several thousand others with no business experience whatsoever take the leap into entrepreneurship each year—and go on to make a raving success of themselves.

Take celebrities for example, artists who spend years, even decades perfecting their artistic talents for a living—people who you would expect to be least likely to know the first thing about running a business operation. Surprisingly, many of them have ventured beyond the confines and comfort of those talents to dapple in entrepreneurship—and succeeded.  

So if you’re still not sure you’d be a great businessperson per say, because you’ve never run a business before or don’t know the first thing about what a P&L is (or even what it stands for!), shake off your worries and get ready to draw inspiration from our list of successful entrepreneur celebrities. If they can figure it out, surely you can too!

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

These twins took the 90s by storm with their adorable appearances in the then-hit TV show, Full House. But today, they’re still not a forgotten sensation, having left their imprint on their own lines of fashion and even makeup brands since 2006, when most people their age were still trying to figure out college.

Jay-Z

One of the most prominent names in rap and hip-hop, Jay-Z, also known as Shawn Carter, is an entrepreneur too. As a co-founder of Roc-A-Fella empire, the artist’s company has its hands in everything from movies to clothing. Additionally, he owns a music streaming service called Tidal.

Victoria Beckham

If you know Victoria Beckham, it’s probably because you were around when she was rocking the stage as a Spice Girl, a major British singing group. Known for her talent and beauty, Victoria branched out into entrepreneurship in 2009, when she launched her own boutique. Today, her brand is known throughout the U.K. and across the globe.

Lebron James

He may be known for his prowess on the basketball court, but player Lebron James has taken his passion for sports to another level with his side hustle as an entrepreneur who’s launched his very own sports marketing business. James just proves that if you love doing something, stick to it…and then find unique, out-of-the-box ways to make money off it.

Jessica Alba

This beauty is most known for her appearance in movies like Fantastic Four, but it didn’t take long for her to sprout her entrepreneurial wings and take the world by storm through her all-natural product line, Honest Company, specifically designed for babies. This brand is a raging success because it boasts using only the most natural ingredients in its line of baby products.  

Jessica Simpson

When you think of someone who’s branched out beyond just their artistic talents and done it all, Jessica Simpson fits the bill. Actress, singer and reality TV star are just a few of the titles this starlet has held. But beyond that, she’s also started her own shoe line, not to mention her own clothing and cosmetics lines, diving head first into entrepreneurship.

Jennifer Aniston

This popular blue-eyed, blonde haired Friends actor is more than just a sought-after onscreen beauty known for her amazing acting. She’s also co-owner of Living Proof, a hair care company, proving once and for all that you don’t have to be master of just one trade to find success in others.

George Clooney

America’s heartthrob from his early appearances on the smash-hit series ER, Clooney is just as talented offscreen as he is on. Aside from stealing the hearts of women across America, the actor once owned his own tequila company and sold it in 2017 for just around $1 billion, proving that even those not skilled in the trade of business can make lucrative business moves.

As you kick start your own entrepreneurship dreams and look to fuel your confidence at times when every hurdle seems insurmountable, whip out this list of your favorite celebrities. Yes, they may have the celebrity status and bundles of money that you don’t, but some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs were dirt poor unknowns and still went on to succeed (see our article “How 9 all-time famous entrepreneurs went from rags to riches)—so don’t let that deter you. Instead, focus on the fact that these celebrities, like you, didn’t necessarily come from a business background, but they still succeeded in the name of business—and you can too.  

Relationships Don’t Take Depression/Anxiety Away – Part 1

 

Written by Dominique Bancey

This topic in itself hits me so hard which is why I put part 1 because I know for a fact that I’m going to have a lot to say that I don’t want to have to summarize into a single article.

First off, there are plenty of angles this article could go into, and also could be seen from.

I want to start this off with the perspective from partners/friends who believe that someone should ‘feel better’ because they are in that person’s life.

Some of you may have read that and are genuinely shocked that people are like that, but trust me, I’ve experienced it firsthand, along with just observing from the outside. Relationships are referring to both romantic and platonic.

Many times when a person becomes involved with someone who has depression or anxiety, they assume that because they are in that person’s life, the individual should automatically feel better about themselves. Overall, even individuals who do not suffer from a mental illness still suffer from bad times while in relationships, so why should it be any different? A common phrase or sentence that pops up when the person is going through a depressive episode tends to be, “Oh so I don’t make you happy anymore?”

Let’s dig deeper into this question – “Oh so I don’t make you happy anymore?”

Happiness, comes from within. Someone may contribute to another person’s happiness or cause them to make them happier than they already are but true happiness, is a trait that can only come from within. A depressive episode causes this individual to go through extreme sadness, it doesn’t mean that what you do for and with them isn’t satisfying, it just means that their mental illness is taking over and the little things you’re doing have lost the fight with depression.

Being with someone or being friends with someone who has a mental illness can cause you to feel like you have one too. This doesn’t mean you do have one and you know exactly what they’re going through, it just means that you have to try to understand more, instead of assuming that they’ll feel better because you’re around.

Unfortunately part 1 has already come to an end, but most definitely stick around for part 2.

Until next time.

 

A Close Encounter with Death- How I Helped My Friend Through Her Mental Illness

Written by Dominique Bancey

This story is not entirely mine, it belongs to an extremely close friend of mine (a best friend almost). She doesn’t even know I’m writing about it, but I’ve decided to share it so many of you can be aware of what I meant when I said that even if you don’t suffer from a mental illness, having someone around you who does, can make you feel like you do too. Now, even though I do suffer from them, if she was having bad times during my good times,  then it would be like I was having them too. 

Let me explain…

There are multiples occasions I could tell you about, but I’ll stick with the most recent one. Our friendship isn’t the type where we need to talk to each other all day every single day. We would check in on each other every now and then and then there would be moments where we spoke nonstop. This particular time, she let it be clear to me that she wasn’t okay and she didn’t want to talk to anyone. Even though I love and care about her, I knew I had to respect her wishes.

So what did I do?

I replied to her message and said, “Sigh, okay love. If your mind changes and you need someone, I’ll be here. I may message you every now and then, I don’t expect a response though.”

One of the most important things you have to do, is respect someone and their wishes. 

I kept my promise. I messaged her after that, letting her know that I miss her and I love her and I hope she’s doing okay. At this point, my heart couldn’t stop racing and I couldn’t stop worrying, but it would make no sense for me to try to call her or blow up her phone too much because at the end of the day, she had a wish, and I had to respect it. 

Eventually a few days later, she messaged me back and she let me know just how much she appreciated my messages. Something that may seem so small, is such a huge thing to someone in need. 

Until next time. 

Money Can Indeed Buy Happiness Up to a Point: Study

Written by Benjamin Roussey

The Nature Human Behavior journal recently published a study based on a Gallup World Poll that surveyed above 1.7 million person form 164 countries. They researched the purchasing power in the US.

Dollars and answers about life and wellbeing to carry out the survey. They discovered that the definition of happiness was different for different income levels.  

The ideal income point—where you are happy with your achievements with respect to your goals and the achievements of others—was $95,000. $60,000 to $75,000 was the world average income at which you would be emotionally satisfied. And with Americans having to pay less taxes and those regulations going away, more Americans are reaching their income goals.

The “happiness point” varied from country to country. For the US it was $105,000. Income earned beyond the wellbeing threshold led to reduction in satisfaction and well-being.

Relationship between money and happiness

Andrew T. Jebb, the lead author of the study, explained that the correlation between happiness and money are more in the poor than among wealthy. When income grows from $10,000 to $30,000, the perceived happiness is greater than when income jumps from $100,000 vs. $130,000.

The reason why income beyond a limit does not translate into happiness is unclear. Jebb points out that it could be because income is more important for basic needs. Beyond that, social factors take over.

He also suggests that beyond a level the cost of making money—travel, number of hours of work, stress etc.—weigh in reducing the gains.

Components of the happiness equation

Money is not the only thing causing happiness (less people watched Han Solo in 2018 – perhaps that is why so many people are happy). A 2004 study published in the Psychological Bulletin inferred that marital happiness outweighed job and health satisfaction when it came to being satisfied in life.

A higher income will also make you happier but in the long term other factors may also play a role in the equation. Well, anyone could easily be happier if they don’t live in a violent liberal ghetto city like most of Chicago, most of Detroit, Oakland, Baltimore, and most of LA, for instance. That is just common sense. Just watch the show The Wire!

McDonald’s Gave These Customers $25G For a Fake Poster Promoting Diversity

The best way to fix a problem is to find a solution for it, which is exactly what these two friends did at McDonalds. After noticing a lack of Asian representation in marketing materials, Jehv Maravilla, 21, and his friend Christian Toledo, 25 created a fake  poster to put on the wall of a Pearland, Texas McDonalds restaurant, which recently went viral.

These college students prank not only gained the attention of the fast food franchise corporate office, but it landed them $25,000 checks as well. “We were eating McDonald’s one day and we looked around and saw there were posters around that didn’t have any Asians,” Maravilla told KHOU 11. “They had other races, but no Asians so we felt like it was our duty to put ourselves up there.”

The poster, which stayed up for 51 days, landed the two friends a trip to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” where they found out McDonalds wants more Asian-American representation in their marketing, and is going to feature them. They will both be awarded with the $25,000 checks for their participation in the promotion.

Whenever you feel the urge to complain about a problem within your community and life in general, remember that there is usually a solution that exists right on the other side of fear.

 

 

The Single Biggest Mistake Your Business Is Making—and How to Fix It

Written by Salina Jivani

Most people can only dream of gaining freedom from their 9-5 job. And, unfortunately, a handful of the few who are brave enough to strive for it and try their hands at business fall flat on their faces very quickly.  In fact, according to Bloomberg, about 80% of small businesses fail after only 18 months at the reigns. Although it’s difficult to pinpoint just a single reason for this failure, there’s one that’s most common: problems managing money.  

This can mean a number of things from business owners not knowing how much they can safely pull from their business to their not understanding how and when to allocate funds so that all the bills are paid on time. In any case, you can take some precautions to make sure you avoid this costly mistake for your business:

  • Don’t pull money out of the business for the first several months until you understand how the cashflow works and how much you really have leftover
  • Keep a detailed log of your ins (credits) and outs (expenses/costs); in other words, maintain an impeccable bookkeeping system
  • Be sure to close the month out to see how much you’re left with once everything is paid
  • Create different bank accounts for different expenses, if that helps you better manage your cash flow
  • Consider your tax obligations and make sure there’s enough money aside to pay for taxesLet’s face it; at the end of the day, understanding cashflow is not everyone’s cup of tea. You might be a great at all other aspects of business management, but accounting might not be for you. In that case, proactively owning up to your weakness can in truth translate into a great strength. Consider hiring an accountant before your business runs the risk of becoming a statistic. The extra investment could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in debt, not to mention a bruised ego, in the long run.

Why I Think Modern Relationships Are Failing?

Written by Dominique Bancey- Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health and black culture.

This topic of failing relationships have always intrigued me and honestly, believe me when I say that this definitely will not be the last time I talk about it. 

First off, let me begin by saying that these are strictly my opinions, they aren’t facts. It’s what I believe based on observations and experiences. 

Trust Issues

It seems to be quite a common thing for many persons in this generation to have trust issues, but the issue with this is that they actually allow it to ruin their relationships. They get into one relationship, that person breaks they trust, then they get into another relationship and they refuse to trust (or completely trust) their partner, because they assume that they’ll break it. Yes past relationships are lessons and they teach you what to do or not to do, but at the same time, you can’t treat your current partner like your exYou might as well be dating your ex again. 

Selfishness

Not wanting your partner to have friends or to go out with anyone because you fear they’ll ‘find somebody better’ is something I hear way too often. Being in a relationship doesn’t stop the both of you from being your own individual selves, it just brings the both of you together. Therefore, both of you are allowed to continue to do your own things (as long as it won’t hurt your partner or the relationship). This also ties in with trust

There are many other things to be mentioned but let me just share this.

I’ve cheated before in past relationships. I moved on. Got into a new relationship. Told this person everything (about the cheating and all). Then… They used it against me

How?

Well, they told me that because I’ve cheated they have more of a reason not to trust me because I’ll probably do it again. 

I don’t agree with the whole ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ statement. I know for a fact that I was a different person with a totally different mindset when I did cheat, so I didn’t think this was fair to me at all. 

In the end, we didn’t even work out. 

And, I didn’t cheat. 

Until next time. 

This Artist and Content Creator is Using His Platform to Dispel the Stigmas of The LGBT Community

 Rahim Brazil has been creating music sine his middle school days. Starting of off as just a music artist, he has now added the title of content creator, director, and producer to his name, with his new web series Twisted. We spoke to the Atlanta, Ga resident to learn more about his brand, new talk show and more.
We originally know you for being a music artist. When did you get into music, and what are some of your musical inspirations.
 My interest in music begin when I was in middle school. After begging my father to buy a keyboard, I began to write, rap and compose songs. One thing led to another and I begin singing when I joined the school choir. Some of my musical influences are Missy Elliott, Eminem, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Michael Jackson. 
How was the transition from becoming an artist, to producer, as you started your own web series? The transition was challenging but also rewarding. 
As I transitioned from being an actor to a director, I had minimal experience, and no guidance. The rewarding part was in learning and training myself to work with the unfamiliar elements of being on a production set, working a camera, and leading a set. I am however, still learning because I believe that creatives have to continually grow. 
 Your web series Twisted shines light on the LGBT community. Give us more details on the storyline of the show. 
Twisted follows the life of a group of individuals who deals with the stigmas surrounding the LGBTQ community. The story follows a trans-female who tries to help a group of guys who deals with these different issues all while getting Twisted within each of their stories. It is more so about the connection of the Community, the connection of heterosexual community and the embodiment of the human race. 
How are you using your platform to dispel the myths people might have about the LGBT community? 
We are continually finding new ways to bring awareness and education to this particular community. When we started Twisted we started with a focus of whom we wanted to reach. We accomplish this by using our visuals to tell our stories as well as others. 
How did you go about casting for the web series, and are you looking for any new talent?
We are always looking for new/fresh talent. We believe in the power of opportunity. We first held one-one auditions, where we were able to meet and greet the cast. We also held an online video auditions for individuals who were not able to make it but wanted a shot at Twisted. 
Tell us about your new radio show The Rahim Brazil Show
The Rahim Brazil Show is a show that caters to all individuals in the matter of business, arts, and entertainment. It is a conversational platform that highlights social issues, life situations and and personal achievements. We are able to capture this by allowing individuals a platform to connect to our listeners to which they can provide an informative description of what ever they have to offer. 
 What can we expect next from Rahim Brazil Productions? 
Rahim Brazil Is more than a person, but a brand representing various forms of entertainment and artistry. I will be releasing a new season of Twisted, a new Album, a new short film by Belinda Rogers “Divided We Fall” directed by myself, as well as introducing a new Music Series in 2019. The bar is set really high and people can expect us to take our independent Platform and make it mainstream. 
What advice do you have for other upcoming content creators, and creatives? 
Persistence, hard work, drive and dedication are all important elements of achieving our goals and dreams. I would tell upcoming creators to put aside all fear, doubt, and rejection and works towards whatever they wish to achieve. They do this by being passionate about their own art; even if they feel like no one is watching, continue to create because someone will see it. 
Follow him online at @rahimbrazil
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpxb0iu4dt0sXQNLLlDT-yg

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Wife Create Fund To Fight Homelessness

Named the richest man in modern history, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie recently launched the $2 Billion “Bezos Day One Fund” to help combat homelessness, and assistance with early childhood education. In a statement Bezos tweeted on Thursday September 13th, he stated that the fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations “doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. There will also be full scholarships for Montessori-inspired preschools in “underserved” communities.”

Charitable giving and fighting homelessness is nothing new for Jeff Bezos and the Amazon company. Earlier this year, The Washington Post owner partnered Amazon with Mary’s Place, a Seattle nonprofit, to build a permanent homeless shelter in its headquarters. Amazon customers have been able to order items from the Mary’s Place’s wishlist on the site, since 2016. They also previously helped the nonprofit temporarily house 200 homeless people.

The Bezos family also recently donated $10 million to With Honor, which is a nonpartisan organization focused on boosting the number of veterans in politics. The couple donated one third of the organizations $30 million funding goal, to help elect a minimum of 30 American military veterans in November.