top of page

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

February is a month of remembering and celebrating love. On Valentine’s Day, many people celebrated this occasion by buying gifts, flowers, and chocolates, and taking their loved ones out to fancy dinners. For this day, people are willing to splurge and spend in the name of love.

Did you remember to show the same amount of love to the person who needs it most?

YOU. You are as worthy of love as anyone else, not just on Valentine's Day but every day. It shouldn’t take a commercial holiday like Valentine’s Day for you to remember to love yourself.

Self-love comes from within. You need to dig deep to get to know yourself and fall in love with all the unique qualities that make you who you are. It’s powerful and it takes practice to align your transformational actions with your heart. You’ll start to see these improvements create a domino effect throughout your life, including your money.

Money, whether we like it or not, is one of the biggest stressors in our lives. We can’t deny the role it plays in our lives. Money is instrumental to something as basic as having our needs met to something as significant as acquiring security or as audacious as financial freedom. Our love of self can help us realize that we are deserving of all of those - and much more - and help to propel us into taking action.

A quote by Stephanie Perry saying, "Radical action is required. Sometimes to get the things we want, we have to act against our comfort. Our comfort is just gonna have to take a hit.

Taking action is part of a bigger goal to achieve your dreams and desires. Realizing your worth helps you stay grounded and consistent in your efforts. Budgeting is one of the actions you take NOW to start YOUR financial freedom journey for your FUTURE.

A budget is a tactical tool that helps you implement YOUR strategy. The process of budgeting allows you to learn about yourself and where your priorities lie. Assess your relationship with money. Is it healthy? If not, how do you switch it up? It’s a great opportunity to examine with fresh eyes what’s non-negotiable. It’s also a fantastic time to decide what needs to be cut to make space for what’s relevant.

Not to deny ourselves, but as a tool for reflection.

A black woman winking in front of a mirror with the text Do you Boo and a hearts in the border

That fierce love that you willingly give to others.

Use a budget to design a way to give it to yourself.

Another step to self-care is seeing to it that you’ve budgeted for fun things. Often, to have fun, you must have the FUNds to do it. Budget for things that light you up. Treat and reward yourself. It’s ok to indulge. After all, it is your money.

A budget is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need to have an Emergency Fund to handle uncertainties and protect yourself from the financial burdens of being unprepared.

An Emergency Fund is savings for replacing a LOSS OF INCOME. Some folks use their Emergency Fund for car repairs, home repairs and other unexpected expenses. NOT ME! What if your car breaks down and you get it fixed and a week later you lose your job? Create a dedicated Emergency Fund AND create separate funds for other life events because, sometimes, LIFE BE LIFIN AND A LIL BIT TRIFLIN'.

A red background with a coin case that has the text "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS"

👀 You know asking for help is NOT your strength.

Well, an emergency fund 💪🏾 can keep you from having to.

You can do better about asking for help with other stuff, though. 😍

My 3-hour Kickstart is for those with the discipline to do it on their own but they’re overwhelmed with doing the research. If you’re suffering from ANALYSIS PARALYSIS, this is for you.

In 3 hours, you’ll know what's coming in and going out and when so that you can meet YOUR goals.​ Together, we will:

*Create your highly customizable and flexible spending plan

*Create your debt-elimination plan that will free you from debt bondage

*Create your savings plan for your current and future goals

A dog standing on hand rails with the text, "Don't ask. But yes, I could use some help"

Book your 10-minute Q&A to find out if this 3-hour session is a fit for you.

Pay yourself first! If you are going to spend it on anyone, let it be you.

Examples of paying yourself first.

  • Funding and maintaining your emergency fund

  • Vacation/travel fund

  • Paying down consumer debt

  • Retirement

  • Down payment for car

  • Down payment for house

  • Investing

  • Education (I’m not talking about for self- development not more stank *ss student loans)

Hint: Treat each like a bill and be consistent.

Saving is a skill that can be learned and refined with practice. Treat saving like a muscle that must be exercised. A financial coach is like a personal trainer for your money. Whether you’re working out alone or with a trainer, no single session will get everything into the shape that you want it.

It’s possible to go solo but you don’t have to. Sometimes you need an accountability partner, a cheerleader, a tour guide, a dedicated ear (or shoulder), or a hype woman. If this is you, then check out my 3-month program.

A person looking down and crossing a wooden bridge with thick fog underneath

Another piece of the puzzle is unshackling yourself from consumer debt. Stop choosing to indenture yourself to interest, fees, and deferred dreams. Use some of every paycheck toward your freedom.

Have you ever tried paying off debt before without getting very far?

The reason that it can feel like you’re just spinning your wheels is because the finance charges get added to the balance. Then you end up paying interest on the interest which becomes your new principle. Credit cards typically accrue interest daily.

Paying the minimum balance is a trap.

A picture of Harriet Tubman with the heading, "Debt is Slavery" in red and body text, "If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods. keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going."

I’m not going to hold a gun to your head like Harriet would to encourage you to freedom. However, I am imploring you to start and be consistent. Do whatever you need to do to stay motivated.

Challenge yourself. Make a game of it. Track your credit score along the way to learn how your score is affected. You got this! I believe in you.


Sign up for my newsletter for financial tips, money-related musings,

and updates about my south-of-the-border 🇲🇽 shenanigans.

Check out the replay of my guest spot on Charisma Cares Travels YouTube Channel.

I cover my accidental journey into real estate investing and how it led to me living my dream life. I also share how financial freedom is possible with the right mindset and consistency.

A group of employees from an organization sitting down, listening and smiling at the speaker.

Is your company interested in a financial literacy program as part

of its employee wellness offerings?

Having a Financial Coach is like having a personal trainer for your money.

Find out if an accountability partner, a cheerleader, a tour guide, a dedicated ear (or shoulder) or a hype woman is right for you by scheduling your FREE 30-minute Q&A call.

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Mindfulness is practiced in a variety of ways to refine and deepen the ability of humans to connect with and experience life. Some people do breathwork, use a money mindset journal, do yoga, mindfulness meditation, or mindfulness counseling in hopes of cultivating conscientiousness in their lives. Everyone can benefit from practicing mindfulness regardless of their approach.

Mindfulness isn’t about logic or knowledge that’s acquired, but a practice or way of living. It’s been conceptualized as a state practiced in mindfulness meditation and as a trait, in terms of one’s predisposition to be mindful in daily life.

A blurred background of a black woman meditating with the text, "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally." by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Based on this description, would you say that you apply mindfulness in your life?

  • If yes, how so?

  • What does mindfulness look like to you?

Is it?

  • Figuring out your WHY

  • Being intentional about your actions

  • Creating clarity to support your goals

  • Aligning yourself to your purpose

Regardless, mindfulness is going to set you on the right track to reaching your goals, personal and/or financial.

A picture of three black persons  smiling for a photo for the podcast, Mindfulness for the Culture

Check out my guest spot on the Mindfulness for the Culture Podcast. I’m talkin’ square biz to ya because “Getting Your Money Right is a Mindfulness Practice”.

In many ways being mindful is like budgeting. Budgeting serves as a tool for us to monitor our expenses and encourage planning for the future. Similarly, mindfulness can mean being attentive to our spending patterns and making conscious decisions about budgeting and overall money management.

A picture of Snoop Dogg from the Music Video Gin and Juice with the text, "With my mind on my money and my money on my mind"

Integrating mindfulness into daily life

Mindfulness practices must be incorporated into our daily lives so that we can develop a habit out of it. The first step to being mindful is figuring out your WHY. Why do you do what you do? Why do you make the choices that you make? Once you find the answers to these questions, your financial journey will feel more intimate, and balancing instant gratification vs delayed gratification will become more natural. Figuring out my WHY led me to realize that I was deserving and capable of the peace of mind that comes from financial freedom.

I’d never heard of a financial coach or a money mindset coach and I had no idea where to start so, of course, I ended up spending ALL my free time reading personal finance books from the library. From that point on, I realized that it wasn’t meant to be a solo journey because I wasn’t the only one that was set up to stumble and bumble through life without financial education.

I started with friends - sharing tips, tricks, concepts, and systems that felt like buried treasures. That eventually led to me hanging out my shingle so that I could help more than just the people that I already knew. That WAS (and IS) being scared and doing it anyway personified. Listen, I’m a product of Gen X propaganda and Stranger Danger started with us and I took that ish to heart. 😂😂🤣🤣

Listen to this clip about WHY I coach.

Check out the full episode here.

Another practice is intentionality. On the topic of finances, this would mean handling your money with careful deliberation and a sense of purpose. Taking the time to consider your values and priorities and aligning them with your financial choices. Intentional spending, for example, means spending within your budget ~ the budget that you designed to create positive changes in your life. The realized savings becomes the money that helps someone who values wealth building be able to leverage real estate investing strategies or someone who values travel choose to save for a vacation, a stint as a travel blogger, a sabbatical, or even early retirement - Highly Recommend (10/10).

My own journey with intentionality has been full of lessons and realizations. Recently, it began with me unintentionally taking a break from coaching - in retrospect, it became somewhat of a sabbatical. The last 8 months of 2022 included planning and celebrating my 50th birthday, real estate transactions, moving, lots of travel, exhaustion, rest, taking deliberate steps to get back on track, and much more. What began as an accidental 2 months off turned out to be 8 months off that I needed for me to move forward. My first newsletter issue talks about this in detail. Don’t miss out on future issues. Sign up to get my newsletter!

Clarity, simply put, is the ability to think clearly and not get easily distracted or confused. Financially, it means having a clear awareness and understanding of your financial situation. This includes knowing how much money you have, where it comes from, where it goes, and when. This is the foundation of financial clarity.

It also means having a clear set of financial goals and working consistently to achieve them instead of succumbing to distractions. A recent moment of clarity for me was earlier this month when I was on an airplane reflecting on where I was headed (to my future home of 🇲🇽) and how far I’ve come. I was able to appreciate and see the beauty of the journey despite the occasional turbulence. It inspired me to buckle up, stay focused and not lose sight of my goals, and remember to put my mask on first. Planning and mapping out my vision for my life has allowed me to find clarity ~ and not just financially.

A quote  by Michelle Obama saying "For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end."

And finally, purpose gives a sense of direction and meaning to your financial choices. This could mean having a long-term vision for your finances and only making decisions to support that vision. For example, someone who wants to retire early may make different financial decisions than someone who wants to accumulate wealth to leave as an inheritance.

A concept banner with a picture of Terry Banks in a circle frame and a text below it saying, "I help Black women build a strong financial foundation so that they can shift into ease and I.N.V.E.S.T. with confidence."

In my case, the work that I do with my clients gives me a sense of purpose. After decades of wondering what I wanted to do (or was “supposed” to do) with my life, it’s a relief and a blessing to be tapped in. It’s clear to me that I’m doing what I’m meant to do.

All of which are things that I’m familiar with because my financial literacy journey led me to financial freedom. My lived experience, learnings, and training can help you find your financial purpose. Book your free financial coaching consultation call.

During my 3-month coaching program, we work together to:

  • Figure out your WHY

  • Be intentional about your actions

  • Create clarity to support your goals

  • Align yourself to your purpose

Mindfulness in a consumerist society can be difficult to navigate. Capitalism has a way of monetizing and putting a price tag on everything. Inner peace is priceless.

Having a Financial Coach is like having a personal trainer for your money.

Find out if a guide, accountability partner, mentor or cheerleader is right for you by scheduling your FREE 30-minute Q&A call.

  • Writer's pictureTerry Banks

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

It’s no secret that Black people have a general distrust of US institutions. Banking is not an exception. One of the reasons is the rise and collapse of the Freedman’s Bank in 1874. Black people who have never heard of the Freedman’s Bank have inherited a legacy of distrust instead of generational wealth.

Slavery was abolished in the United States With the passage of the 13th Amendment and the end of the Civil War in 1865. 4 million men, women, and children were freed with most having no home, no money, and no work.

Because of the brutal practice of selling family members away, their relatives were scattered all over the country and nearly impossible to find. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as “the Freedmen’s Bureau,” was created by U.S. government. The Freedmen’s Bureau provided food, housing, and medical aid to tens of thousands of freed slaves.

During the Civil War, there were multiple attempts at establishing private banks in several states to help Black soldiers have a safe place to save their money. On January 27, 1865, John W. Alvord, a Congregational minister and abolitionist, proposed a plan to more than twenty philanthropists and leading members of the business community. This group decided that a bank charter should be secured from the federal government. A bill to incorporate the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company was brought before Congress on February 13, 1865. On March 3, 1865, Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Freedman’s Bank Act which authorized the organization of a national bank for recently emancipated Black Americans.

The objective and purpose of the Freedman’s Bank Act was to accept and safeguard deposits as a simple savings institution for former slaves and their descendants. Part of keeping it simple was that no loans would be made. The deposits were to be invested in stocks, bonds, Treasury notes, or other securities of the United States. A board of fifty trustees was authorized to manage the bank, and the company's books "were to open for inspection and examination to such persons as Congress would appoint."

A black and white illustration of the Emancipation

In 1870 an amendment was made to its charter that changed its loan and investment policy. Loans and mortgages were now being authorized and they were usually given only to whites. Trustees made risky loans to friends, some without collateral. Some trustees ran other banks and offloaded bad loans to the Freedman’s Bank.

Using deposits for speculation in the railroads and property losses from the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and the Great Boston Fire in 1872 in addition to mismanagement, abuse and fraud made the bank vulnerable. The Panic of 1873 then put further strain on bank reserves. For context, The Panic of 1873 was known as the Great Depression in the US before it was renamed after the devastation of the 1929 Great Depression.

Rumors and reports of corrupt practices by the white managers began to circulate. Sensing that the Freedman’s bank was in trouble depositors began to pull their money out of the bank. In an attempt to prevent further withdrawals, the management team was replaced with leaders from the black community. In March of 1874, Frederick Douglas was appointed president. To prove his faith in the bank, Douglas invested 10k of his own money. After a few months of leading the bank, Douglas soon found that he was "married to a corpse" and the bank was closed.

$83,317,376.56 is the amount in 2022 dollars ($3,299,201 in1874) of the total deposits over 10 years. These deposits were made in relatively minuscule amounts by people that went from making no money for their labors to people being poorly paid and yet they saved. Freedman's Bank opened 37 branches in 17 states and DC between 1865 and 1871. In less than a decade around 70,000 accounts had been opened and closed.

The deposits were not actually protected by the federal government as depositors were led to believe. The Black community was devastated financially and their hopes and dreams of what their money could have done for them were shuttered along with the bank. Feelings of betrayal, abandonment and deep distrust of the American banking system still remain. Half of the depositors recovered nothing while others received about ⅗ of the value of their accounts. ⅗ recovered for someone that up until a short time previously was considered ⅗ of a man is not lost on me.

According to Frederick Douglas, the Freedman’s Bank became “the Black man’s cow but the white man’s milk.” Much, much more than 83 million was lost by the Black community. The inability to participate in wealth-building activities then as well as many lost opportunities over generations. Nationwide at least 100 banks failed in the Panic of 1873. The Freedman’s bank did not have to be one of them.

In 1899, the DC headquarters of the Freedman’s Bank was demolished. About 20 years later, the US Treasury Department built its new Annex building on the same spot. For me, this is yet another example of white wealth being built on Black demise. On January 7, 2016, the Treasury Department renamed the Treasury Annex the Freedman’s Bank Building to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Freedman’s Bank.

Utilizing a Financial Coach is like having a personal trainer for your money. Find out if a mentor, accountability partner, guide or cheerleader is right for you by scheduling your FREE 30-minute Q&A call.

"You can be young without money, you can't be old without it."


-Tennessee Williams

bottom of page