Tisa Silver is an author, educator, and philanthropist who is an expert in the finance field. She has been featured on BET.com, Forbes.com, and Essence Magazine to name a few.
1. Save and Invest Routinely – Even if it is only $10 per month, it is good to get in the habit of setting funds aside for a rainy day and investing funds for a longer term goal such as buying a home or retirement.
2. Seek Appreciating Assets – Designer clothes, fragrances, handbags, etc. all have their place, but you must prioritize. None of these items will leave you better off financially after you buy them because they depreciate in value. Look for assets which have a chance at creating value (i.e. education, a home) to balance things out.
3. Protect your Name and your Credit – If anyone asks to use your name or have you co-sign (i.e. for a cell phone, credit card, car loan), proceed with caution! If you agree, you assume responsibility for their debt and their negative habits could end up costing you.
4. Look into Retirement Plans at Work – Ask your employer if a plan is available and if matching contributions are included. If there is a match, this is similar to receiving free money. Take advantage of it!
5. Know Where You Are – When financial conditions are at extremes (really good vs. really bad), it can be easy to ignore what is going on. Keep track of your income and expenses regularly so there will be fewer surprises.
6. Hear the “Experts” but Learn and Participate in Financial Decisions – There are a tons of experts who will tell you what you need to do, but you should know your money best. Learn about personal finance from unbiased sources and be empowered to make more informed decisions for yourself.
7. Network – You cannot do everything on your own! Try to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships instead of seeking out people with a focus on how they can help you. By bringing something to the table, you may land the next job, contract, etc.
8. Keep Debt Away from the Maximum – Flirting with the limit is dangerous. Interest can push you over and that will cost you additional fees plus damage to your credit history. Pay more than the minimum if possible and avoid the temptation to run credit lines up to the maximum amount available.
9. Cultivate a Gift or Talent – Invest in education or refinement as nurturing your gift or talent could result in a new stream of income. For example, freelance writing, photography and event planning can be great opportunities to do something you enjoy and get paid for it.
10. Plan for the Future, but Don’t Forget to Live Today – No one can save every penny, and even if someone could that probably would not make for the most enjoyable life. We all need balance and that balance can differ from person to person. Treat yourself from time to time!
RR: Tell Me About Yourself:
TS: “I like to call myself an: educator and philanthropist. I think it encompasses everything about me. I have always felt like it was my responsibility to give back. I have been blessed with so much I feel a need to give back.”
RR: What would be your biggest piece of advice regarding managing your finances for women?
TS: “To build and maintain solid credit! The reason I say that is because if you try to buy something large like a car or home or even graduate …all of these things involve a credit check. You can still borrow but you will have to pay a higher interest rate on a home which will leave you with less money. Many women are taking care of their responsibilities and most of the time other people too, children, family, significant other, etc.”
RR: What is the biggest mistake people make with managing their money?
TS: “Spending more than they bring in. Every month you are digging yourself deeper into a hole. That eventually is filled with debt, and it’s hard to get out of.”
RR: You wrote a book called, The Time Value of Life, tell us more? Where can we buy it?
TS: “My book is part personal finance textbook and part autobiography…based on a financial formula to help women. It is about looking forward financially and personally and plotting your steps, and taking steps for exactly where you want to be. The book is available online: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and my website.”
RR: You are highly sought after in your field, what are some media outlets you have been featured on?
TS: “Bet.com, Forbes.com, Essence Magazine, Washington Post, and WHYY regularly for business reports, Wealthy Radio (Morgan State University), to name a few.”
RR: When you think of the word regal, what comes to mind?
TS: “Sophisticated. Puts me in the mind of someone who has their life together and operates at a higher plane or a step above.”
RR: When you think of the word real, what comes to mind?
TS: “Authentic. It is rare. So when you spot it, it is much appreciated!”
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