The Debt Free Black Girl: Kristin Sutton
The Debt Free Black Girl:
Who am I? Your Winter "Black History in the making" Financial Contributor!
My name is Kristin Sutton, founder of Debt Free Black Girl (based in Washington, DC) whereas a personal finance coach I help individuals change the way they think about money so that they can take control of their finances and achieve financial freedom. As a licensed therapist, my mission is to uncover and eliminate the mental roadblocks that hinder people from living the life of their dreams.
I am no stranger to my money “being funny,” being “broke as a joke,” and struggling to survive until my next paycheck. I have been through it all: the negative checking account, having to beg for some money to eat, losing my entire retirement savings, trying to pay rent with no income which had me evicted and almost street level homeless, and creditors trying to bust down my door every chance they got.
Once I gained clarity and committed to changing my mindset, despite my circumstances, despite all obstacles, things started to change. My poor spending habits changed. I stopped living paycheck to paycheck. I started saving and paying off my debt aggressively. I made wiser decisions. My life literally changed forever.
My experiences led me to start the Debt Free Black Girl platform; the struggles that I’ve been through. I knew that there had to be someone out there like me who wasn’t taught much about finances growing up and had a hard time navigating it all as an adult. I noticed that people in finance didn’t really look like me or even sound like me. I wanted this to be a different feel. I wanted to make finances fun and cool to talk about in the Black community. I’ve always known that I was meant to help people work through hard times and mindset struggles but I never imagined that I would be doing so in the personal finance realm. It’s really dope that I get to apply my expertise in psychology to what I do with DFBG.
I’ve been focusing on creating and launching my signature course, Be Debt Free. Be Debt Free teaches individuals how to pay off their debt with ease so they can have peace of mind and do more of what they love.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started on the path to having the most LIT financial year you’ve ever had --
You gotta keep it 100 with yourself and get clear. In order for change to occur, you have to first get real with yourself and admit that there’s a problem. Why are you on the struggle bus? It’s important that you recognize the specific reasons why you’re living the way that you are if you want to change your situation around.
Tell your money where to go boo boo. If you never know where your money goes and are always wondering why you’re broke, then it’s time for you to get it together! You need to create and stick to a budget. A budget (spending plan) is an imperative piece to the puzzle. You cannot be successful with your finances if you don’t know where the heck your money is going. You should be purposely planning out each and every dollar that you receive.
Decrease your expenses. Take some time to review all of your expenses and determine where you can trim the fat. Most of the time, we throw our money away on unnecessary stuff, just out here being reckless in these streets.
Pay yourself first bruh. You work hard day in and day out and still have nothing to show for it. That’s because you forget to pay yourself first. You should at the minimum, be putting away at least 10% of your income. If you find it hard to save any type of money, then you need to decrease your expenses and increase your income if you can.
Pay down those debts. Just think about how much extra money you’d be able to free up if you weren’t paying all of those bills? You have to work on eliminating your debt by any means necessary. In order to get out of debt sooner rather than later, you’re going to have to be aggressive with your payments. And stop racking up new debt!
Get those temptations in check. You have to know your triggers man. By identifying your triggers to spend money, you’ll be able to work on avoiding those triggers from taking place. You should try writing your triggers down and have them someplace where you can review them often. Once you start working on breaking those habits every day, you’ll be that much closer to changing your financial situation.
Get you a real accountability partner. You can’t experience real growth if you don’t have any type of accountability. You are more likely to commit to something if you have someone pushing you along the way. You need someone who isn’t scared to check you.
Be patient with yourself and the process. It takes time! You know that it didn’t take hours or days for you to form those habits that you currently have, so don’t expect everything to change overnight. You have to allow yourself to make mistakes along the way. Be gentle and patient with yourself during the process and keep pressing through.
You deserve better financially and you have to believe that you’re deserving. Change your mindset, change your life!
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