We’re only in the second month of 2022, and in case you used January as a trial run to get your priorities together, there is still time! Now is always the time to make your finances a priority whether your goals are to get out of debt, stick to your budget, or build wealth. As Petrina says, the key to making progress is to just start.
Meet BCI Member, Petrina Turner (@petrinadturner)
Petrina Turner is a speaker, trainer, and personal finance and business strategist. As a wife and mom of three, she was determined to build a sustainable financial solution for her family. In just 21 months, Petrina and her husband paid off $40,000 in debt and saved $10,000. Her passion is to educate and equip families to be F.R.E.E (Financially Ready to Experience Everything) so they leave a legacy of faith, family, finance and fearless living. Petrina has has been featured in the Huffington Post as one of 15 Mompreneurs Growing Dynamic Businesses, His & Her Money podcast, and written articles for Making Sense of Cents and Black and Married with Kids.
Learn more about Petrina and her advice on debt management!
Tell us about your career shift from industrial engineering to finance.
I kind of fell into the financial world by accident. I think the first time I learned we can pay off debt as African Americans was at work when someone came to speak on paying off large loans in x amount of years. The guy happened to be black and I’m thinking, black people can get out of debt? I started reading books with my husband, and we started educating ourselves. We paid off all our credit cards, personal loans, and car notes. We wanted to have the least amount of debt when we were building our house, and we did it!
How was it possible to pay off $40,000 in debt while saving $10,000 in just 21 months?
I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. After we got our house, we got back into credit card debt. Then, I started having kids, and I started having medical bills. We were not prepared to live off of one income. My husband and I had a come-to-Jesus meeting, and looked at our finances. What do we want our finances to look like? What financial environment do we want our kids to grow up in? What habits do we want them to see?
What financial environment do we want our kids to grow up in? What habits do we want them to see?
We listed out our debt, crossed out what to pay first, and stuck to our budget. During the six months it took for me to find a job, God opened a door for me to go back to work. That’s how we were able to pay off the $40,000 in consumer and auto debt while saving that $10,000 within 21 months. We were hustling, but we didn't cut out everything, so we could still enjoy our lives.
What are 3 most frequently asked questions about finance?
Q1: How do I budget?
I always tell people to write out a list of your expenses. A lot of us overspend because we see money in the bank and we're just swiping away. We need to write every single thing down from hair, to nails, to eating out, and adding it up so you can see how much you spend. If you're spending $2,000 every month but only have $1,500 to spend, then you need to see what you can cut back and/or see how you can earn more money to afford these things.
...if three people come to you for the same thing, that means they look to you as the expert. That is something you can possibly start as a side hustle.
Q2: What can I do to make extra money?
I always say that every person needs to have an additional stream of income outside of the 9-5. Start by looking at your time and your talent. Look at what you're good in and what you're passionate about. I always say if three people come to you for the same thing, that means they look to you as the expert. That is something you can possibly start as a side hustle.
Q3: Should I save money or should I pay off debt first?
First, you need to make sure you have funds for an emergency. It doesn't make sense for you to pay off your credit card, and then use that same credit card to pay for a tire that blows. 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved. The first goal is to get to that thousand dollars quickly, whether you have to sell stuff or Uber. The goal is to get one month's worth of expenses saved, then three months, then six months.
What is one financial rule of thumb we should be following for 2022?
Because a lot of emphasis is on building wealth, I would make sure you know what wealth actually means. There are a lot of people making $200,000 who are $300,000 in debt. We need to look at wealth in terms of net worth instead of just income.
Your net worth is your assets (anything you can sell) minus your liabilities (what you owe on those same things (your house, your car, etc.). There should be a significant number there when you subtract those two. The median net worth for African Americans in 2016 was around $17,000 and the non-minority medium was $171,000. Either we don't have as many assets OR we have too many liabilities. I always tell people that it's good you are making seven figures, but invest in assets so they can appreciate. That's why it's so important to start paying off debt.
Create a vision board to show where you want be, and break it down into monthly goals.
What advice do you have for those who feel like it’s “too late” to start?
First off its not too late to start. One thing I tell them is to just start. Another thing I tell people is to not compare ourselves to other people, other families, and what they bought. You might need to take a fast from social media so you can just concentrate on where you are and where you want to be. I like to create long term plans, and then chunk it into smaller chunks to the point where I have a monthly budget. Create a vision board to show where you want be, and break it down into monthly goals.
How do you practically combine finance and faith?
As a PK (Preacher's Kid), I grew up in the church and heard of money in terms of tithing and offering 10%. After I give, what do I do with the 90%?
There are over 2,000 scriptures in the Bible that talk about money management. I can pray all day long and ask God to help, but faith without works is dead. That's how I was able to merge trusting in God while still being able to work like my life depended on it.
Thank you, Petrina, for sharing with BCI!
Petrina offers a variety of services and programs to help you reach your financial goals!
Editor: Nia Stringfellow
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