The Good And The Bad: Money Habits Of Millennials

Many people perceive Millennials to be lazy, entitled, and social media savvy. But there is more to us than the stereotypes that the media portrays us to be. Although many might view as spoiled, materialistic, and self-centered, there do exist Gen M’s that are giving, minimalistic, and unselfish.

We live during times where the money that we earn is a huge factor. It determines what neighborhood we live in, the type of shoes we wear, what school we go to, and what age we retire at. Because Millennials have a unique upbringing, many are wise when it comes to their spending habits. We try to avoid the mistakes that previous generations have made. But some, unfortunately, make unwise choices when it comes to money management.

As financial reality hits my generation some wake up and contemplate more before making a purchase. Here a 6 bad/good money habits that Millennials make.

Lack Of Understanding When It Comes To The Basics Of Money

Middle school, high school, and even college do not give enough financial education when it comes to how to manage your personal finances. “It starts with a lack of education in middle school, high school and even in college,” says Greg Oray, president and investment advisor representative at Oray King Wealth Advisors in Troy, Michigan.

A global study that was created in 2017 found that 1 out of 5 teens lacked the knowledge of basic financial literacy skills. In fact, China, Belgium, and Canada were ahead of the U.S.

I know personally, I did not own a bank account until I graduated from high school. And even then, I did not know how an ATM machine actually worked. I had to ask an older friend about why credit cards and a savings account would be beneficial to me. Growing up I never received an allowance so my saving skills are very poor. Online resources like the app Mint and the government’s MyMoney.gov website can help you make shrewd decisions with your money.

Fabricating On Taxes

Though not always intentionally, some Millennials are not honest on their taxes. It is becoming more common to be a remote worker. Many young ones are turning to apps to make extra money. Some are starting their own side hustles to showcase their creativity and talent. “No one is particularly well-educated about taxes,” says William Perez, a senior tax accountant with Visor, an online tax-filing and year-round advisory service.

When you are young, you might feel invincible. You lack experience when it comes down to doing your taxes. So you might feel as though omitting some information won’t hurt. But it is imperative that you tell your tax preparer about every side-hustle that you have. “No one wants to pay more tax than they need to,” Perez says, “but no one wants to get a letter from the IRS saying they forgot to report something.”

Failing To Stick To A Budget

When you grow up in an extremely impoverished environment, you tend to pick up bad habits when it comes to spending. You are thrown into a rat race at a young age, thinking that you will evolve quickly from living paycheck to paycheck. But that is not always the case. The great poet Langston Hughes related to many when he wrote about “dreams deferred.” So many financial goals that Millennials arrange have been delayed or missed. We might reach accomplishments later in life compared to Baby Boomers.

“It feels restrictive to use a budget,” Swartz says. Swartz is a portfolio manager with BKD wealth advisors in Spring, Missouri. “The way I think about a budget is tracking where the money is going so I can make better decisions,” he says. When you keep good records of where you spend your money, you will use more meditation when trying to save.

More Investing Than Other Generations

When the Recession hit, many in their early twenties lost their jobs. It became more important to invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate properties. No one wants to be living in their parents’ basement forever. We all want a sense of independence. We all want to have financial stability. So many youths started to invest so that their money was not going into one basket. Even 9/11 caused a lot of economic fallout. With mobile and online technology having so many platforms, many are placing their money into investment apps. For example, the Robinhood app has gained a lot of popularity. I have seen young adults on Youtube claim that their savings have doubled after using the Robinhood app.

More Millennials Are Saving For Retirement

The minimalist movement is popular and so many are opting to live off the grid. I personally aspire to retire by age 40. We have seen our parents’ retirement accounts look so small even after working a 9-5 job for 60+ years. The earlier you start your retirement funds, the better. A recent study from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 70% of Millennials have started saving at the ripe age of 22 and roughly the same percentage of Millennials have opted-in to their 401(k) plans at work. (Source: https://investorjunkie.com/36926/millennials-money-management/).

Another way of retiring early is by having multiple streams of residual income. Through technology writers and musicians have been able to make money in their sleep. I plan to retire early through blogging, selling books and through creating music.

Choosing Alternative Workplaces

Once again technology has created a rocket that the younger generation can soar off of. No longer do you hear of people not knowing how much the next company makes. A quick search through Google will educate you on all you need to know about your wages, companies that can pay you better, and even the great alternative of freelancing. Our youth have created avenues in which they can double their income through the Internet, social media, and digital marketing. How can you go wrong when your workplace is a local bookstore? While sipping on an iced latte you converse with your clients’ via Skype. It does not get much sweeter than that.

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Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

The Modesty Movement In 2019

If you check Pinterest searches in the UK, the searches for modest fashion has gone up 500% since the beginning of 2018. Many who believe that modest fashion is not a trending topic are believing inaccurate claims. It is estimated that the global fashion market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Five years from now those numbers will explode into an even bigger magnitude of profit. But what exactly is “modest fashion”? What are the fall runways suggesting when it comes to covering up? Why is the modesty movement so female-driven? Is the mainstream fashion industry interested in modest fashion?

Modest Fashion In A Nutshell

There is not one main definition that points to what modest fashion means. It varies from person to person. But what it all boils down to is making sure certains part of your body is covered up. Awareness should be obtained when dressing. Modern day clothing tends to porposefully draw attention to your private parts. Extremely tight fitting skirts, cleavage showing sweaters, or shorts exposing your butt cheeks is not considered to be modest fashion. “Modest fashion is a market term, that came to prevalence in the mid-2000s, and this was partly because a number of the brands that first started up came from designers and creative entrepreneurs who were themselves religiously motivated,” says Reina Lewis, professor of cultural studies at London College of Fashion, UAL. The decision to be modest is usually based upon one’s religious background.

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Image Credit : Youtube, Fashion Breed

What Are The Fall Runways Suggesting When It Comes To Covering Up?

In the 70’s miniskirts were seen as hot. In the 80’s low-rise jeans were the “in thing” to wear. Now we are approaching 2020. The upcoming year sounds futuristic everytime people say it. What will be trending?

“It’s no secret that Phoebe Philo made it cool to be modest, but what she also did was give women a choice about how we choose to present our bodies in this world and I don’t see women relinquishing that choice anytime soon,” stylist Rachael Wang tells the Zoe Report. “I don’t think the [modesty] market is underserved, per se, but I think there is always room for more options.”

On the Paris center stage, covered-up dressing is becoming popular. Long-sleeved tops are now the norm. And a lot of younger, edgier brands are taking notice. Aalto and Rokh are presenting modest fashions to millenials/Generation Z. 

Many women young or old embrace proper dressing because it gives them a sense of empowerment. You feel more humbled, chaste, lowly, and meek. Your closet wardrobe looks more simple.

 

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Marine Serre Fall/Winter 2019. Photo: Shutterstock

Fall runways are suggesting that covering up is in and dressing like a hooker is not. So prepare this fall to see a lot of head coverings, hemlines, necklines, hosiery, and outerwear. A year ago, on the runway showing what was below the neck was seen as important. But this year, hats and scarves are being advertised.

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Aalto Fall/Winter 2019. Photo: Shutterstock

High end brands like Tibi, Nanushka, JW Anderson, and Self Portrait, are now offering many modest types of clothing.

Why The Modesty Movement Is So Female-Driven

Modest dressing is an aesthetic that has gone on for centuries. It has been displayed through many continents and cultures in history. Elizabeth Taylor loved to show off fancy headdresses. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore many signature Chanel suits. Since the 16th century, the Middle East and North Africa have been rocking kaftans. Muslims are not the only women that love conservative attire. Those who profess to be from a Jewish/Christian background also choose to be conservative.

“It’s not to say that there isn’t a woman that might be being forced to cover, but there’s also a woman who is choosing to cover,” explains Algerian-born Ghizlan Guenez, who founded the e-commerce platform The Modist in 2017 as a luxury style destination dedicated to modest wardrobes. “The issue is that you then start stereotyping a whole religion and a whole population of women [based on one extreme circumstance]. What we try and do at The Modist, and not just through fashion but through the stories we tell, is to break down as much these stereotypes as we can.”

Women have always been into fashion more than men are. They also tend to gravitate towards religion more than men.

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Image Credit: Pinterest

Is The Mainstream Fashion Industry Interested In Modest Fashion?

According to the Global Islamic Economy Report, the Muslim fashion industry alone in the UK is estimated to reach $467 billion by 2020. The millennial generation has more spending power when it comes to females. Our women are no longer just stay at home wives. We are no longer seen as the gender that just stays home and gets barefoot and pregnant. We have options. We have talents, brains, and beauty. Many females are CEO’s entrepreneurs, self-made bosses, doctors, lawyers, etc. We now make up a large part of the workplace.

So with a growing amount of women entering the business world, there is an increasing need to have a wardrobe that is full of business casual options.

” Lyst, the data-crunching fashion search engine, has seen an increase in related terms such as “high neck” or “long sleeve” increasing by 40% and 52%, respectively, over the past six months. Meanwhile, the brand notes that even more specific categories, such as “modest bikinis,” are winning out over skimpier styles. (Source:https://www.whowhatwear.com/modest-fashion/slide4).

The mainstream fashion industry has to be interested in modest fashion for it to continue to make a profit. Covering up does not have to be boring. It does not have to dismiss trends. You can still have a lot of colors, prints, patterns, and exotic designs. A lot of modest fashion bloggers go viral because their style resonates with a lot of people. When you set boundaries in your life, even when it involves clothing, your mind will reach a level of peace and comfort. The appetite for conservative outfits is strong.  Women are coming from all different shapes, sizes, and backgrounds showing extreme interest. On an international scale, the need for modest fashion will not slow down anytime soon.

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Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

The Master Loctician: Jewel Richardson

West Michigan is a melting pot full of many different cultures, ethnicities, and personalities. But what really makes Michiganders stand out from the rest is the amount of creative professionals we have. Look on the tag of any product and you will see the “Made In Michigan” sign . The natural hairstyle movement is producing many unique creative hairstylists in the Grand Rapids area. Very frequently you can see an event created that shows off our local Queens rocking their afros, coils, and locs. In this interview, light is shed on Ms. Jewel Richardson, my loctician, who is an amazing master loctician.

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How long have you been natural? Why did you choose to go natural?

I have been natural for 30 years. Freedom is why I choose to be natural. I want to love myself the way I was born. If you are choosing chemicals then you are choosing not to be the way you were born.

How did your family and friends feel about you going natural?

My mother was happy. My family was raised that way so it was not seen as a huge deal. I went natural after I left Grand Rapids and went to Atlanta. My friends were not really fond of it, so it was when I changed my environment that I changed my viewpoint.

What products do you use for your hair?

Light oils for my scalp. I only shampoo my hair twice a year. I clean it once in a while because the oil and grease buildup is a protection to my hair. Aloe. And oils. Water contains acid and dries your hair. Oils will seal in and moisturise your hair. Mousse. Daily hair and scalp rejuvenating spray if I want to twist and wrap it. Styling: bobby pins, headwraps, and cloths. I flat iron my locs because you can do everything with locs beside comb it.

What accessories do you like to use on your locs?

Cowry shells, pony beads.

What must have products should every natural hair Queen have?

Must have products is Aloe. Chocolate indie b mask, chocolate conditioner. Shea butter is a product that you can use in many ways. You can press and twist natural hair with shea butter.

What is your mission as a hairstylist?

Being an example of loving myself the way I was made. Having the opportunity to educate and encourage. When I am talking about natural hair, I am more specific to Type 2- Type 8. It is the people who have a Curl, or an S or a 2 to their hair. Straight hair has different needs and desires. Most people of color can not look at their hair in the mirror for 30 minutes without having a hatred for their hair. Embrace your natural hair.

Her website and information about her salon can be found here : http://msjewelsnaturalhaircare.com

Some of her work:

 

Not only is Ms. Jewel a hairstylist, she is also a activist, a poet, a mother, and a dancer. She founded West Michigan Jewels of Africa, a traditional African dance and drum Troop. Her love for people, natural hair, and our community is very commendable.

African Beauty And Braids blog has been featured on blog.feedspot.com as one of the Top 50 Natural Hair Blogs and Websites For Black Women in 2019 !!!  It ranked at number 45. (https://blog.feedspot.com/natural_hair_blogs/) Thanks for all of the likes and shares. It is my dream to get it to be a part of the top 10 natural hair blogs in the world in 5 years or less. Through more content, adding a subscription, creating ebooks, a newsletter, getting it monetized, and increasing my viewership/readers, this can be attainable. Much love to all of my supporters. Much love to all of my Queens around the world. Always remember: you are beautiful, you are smart, and you are important.