Title: In the News: Living dfree® with Tamika Talks
This article originally appeared on SheenMagazine.com.
Financial freedom is something we all strive for in our lifetimes. Tamika Stembridge, Esq. is motivating, encouraging, and liberating women through her various platforms. In her web series, Living dfree® with Tamika Talks, she showcases black women celebrating both strength and financial empowerment. Tamika gave us a sneak peek into her series, and how we too can reach financial freedom. Read more to find out!
Can you begin by telling us a little about yourself?
First and foremost, I’m a “free black girl” and a strong black woman that playfully (but rather accurately) describes herself as existing somewhere between a Black Panther and Beyoncé. I’m an internal activist a la President of Black People (fighting on behalf of us and within us for the best outcomes for all of us) and a hard working, undeniable pop culture enthusiast (Beyoncé of the mind LOL).
Because career tends to matter, I’m a pretty multifaceted professional, too; a former entertainment attorney with an MBA in marketing, with career experiences in both corporate and non-profit America, across industries as vast as education, healthcare, entertainment, and fashion. I now lead the dfree® Global Foundation, helping African Americans to become better financially, via a holistic lifestyle-based approach.
Linking creativity, community, and commerce is my life! Excellence is my expertise!
How did you get to this point your life?
I would have to say a divine combination of ambition, hard work, and intuition. I have been blessed to experience everything I’ve ever set out to achieve professionally, thus far. I’ve always been well-studied and a researcher at heart. This helped me to be prepared every time God created a window or a doorway into what was next.
How has Living dfree® with Tamika Talks created a safe place for individuals to discuss their finances?
Living dfree® with Tamika Talks is the conversation starter that we all need, championed by phenomenal guests that don’t mind sharing the insides of their personal, professional, spiritual, and of course financial journeys. Each episode provides inspiration, information, and action-oriented insight that puts viewers at ease, while encouraging them to take a look at their own lives, lifestyles, financial ideologies, and behaviors. And I’m personally committed to doing social-media based live streams of my Q&A/discussion sessions, following the premier of each bi-weekly episode. It’s my favorite part of the entire experience!
For the average person, what are some of the first steps to financial freedom?
I would have to say:
1) Get to know your present numbers (all income sources, all bills – monthly payments mandatory for life, all debts – things that carry interest rates and/or should ultimately be paid off, and recurring personal/lifestyle expenditures). Listing these things by date really helps to balance funds throughout the month.
2) Evaluate any monthly gaps between what’s coming in and what’s going out. Try paying off the smallest debt you have, start a side hustle, or find a temporary part time job to create room to make ends meet, start saving, or to get ahead of debt.
3) Use the snowball (paying off debt from smallest to largest balance) or avalanche (from highest to lowest interest rate) method to begin attacking debt aggressively.
4) Save something, regularly! It’s not necessarily the amount that matters, but rather the habit of saving that propels you forward.
5) And last but not least, consider visiting a financial professional to begin planning for the future. Even if you’re not ready to invest at the moment, having an idea of what your ideal vision of what your retirement will. This cost is a great reality check and hopefully will motivate you to start making room in your current plans for your future self.
What’s next for you?
Well, I am excitedly awaiting the start of my biggest life project. Lord willing, I’m scheduled to become a mom in a few months. Of course, I’m looking forward to continuing my Black Presidential crusade (smile) with dfree, sharing what I’ve come to know with my sistahs and brothas as a writer, speaker, and mentor/coach, all while raising an awesome human being. Whatever God has for me beyond that, I’m open, ready, and willing.