How Much Should You Spend on Rent?

One of the most exciting parts of becoming an adult is moving out of your old place and starting your own life. However, as is the case with most major life events, moving out comes with a lot of added responsibility. Part of this duty is knowing and understanding your budget when shopping for the perfect apartment, condo, duplex, or rental house. So how much should you really spend on rent?

The 30 Percent Threshold

The first step in deciding how much you should spend on rent is calculating how much rent you can afford. This is done by finding your fixed income-to-rent ratio. Simply put, this is the percentage of your income that is budgeted towards rent.

As a general rule of thumb, allocating 30 percent of your net income towards rent is a good place to start. Government studies consider people who spend more than 30 percent on … Read the rest

National Black MBA Association Launches COVID-19 Relief Fund for Students and Small Businesses

The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) announced the launch of its COVID-19 Relief Fund.

According to a press release, the NBMBAA, is making a push to help Black Americans, who have been severely and disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic and its wide-ranging repercussions.

The fund will support emergency student funding, including for basic needs, educational expenses, and technology requirements necessitated by virtual learning. The fund will also provide small business support, including training and assistance in gaining access to funding and resources to aid business reopenings, employment, and stabilization and the fund will provide skill development for displaced members and students.

The NBMBAA will also help community-based organizations that face increasing demands in meeting basic human needs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“In the midst of a global pandemic which disproportionately impacts communities of color in America, it is imperative to provide tangible support to the Black community,” … Read the rest

Navigating the Current Job Market and Empowering Workers

We’re four months into our new pandemic-altered reality, and while businesses straddle the line between reopening and shuttering (again), many Americans are finding their jobs no longer exist. Last week, 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance for the first time. Self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers — a vital and burgeoning contingent of today’s workforce — remain especially hard hit. 

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? It depends on who you ask and how you approach it.

Nearly 13 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits via the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which aims to help gig economy workers and those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits. PUA recipients make up 41% of the 31.5 million total unemployment benefit recipients nationwide as of June 13, according to recent Labor Department statistics

Even with these guardrails in place, not everyone is benefitting.

The racial

Read the rest

Diversity Consultant: Racism Is Real and Corporate America Must Teach Its People To Be Inclusive

Diversity and inclusion have been hot topics as of late, inspiring an onslaught of reactive commentary, corporate initiatives, and organizations scrambling to behave thoughtfully and with a sense of urgency in response to the current state of affairs. Employing a more proactive approach, especially informed by a seasoned practitioner, generally yields greater returns. Enter Korn Ferry Executive Search Consultant and Practice Leader Louis Montgomery Jr.

Black Enterprise sat down with Montgomery to discuss key issues associated with D&I and how organizations can successfully chart the way forward. Having held multifaceted roles in the human resources and D&I space with several major Fortune 100 firms including IBM, Celanese Corp., PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Altria, AES, and Serco, Montgomery knows his way around the issues that have emerged front and center in today’s volatile business climate. An author and frequent speaker on topics related to workforce talent acquisition and management, leadership and diversity … Read the rest

How to Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter and Spend More Intentionally (+ Free Printables)

It’s easy to get rid of old magazines and clothes that no longer fit, but throwing out vacation souvenirs or old photographs can be difficult. Sentimental clutter refers to items with special meaning or memories you have an emotional attachment to, but take up space in your home. This could be a birthday card that your Grandpa sent you or a stuffed bear your kids won at the state fair. Even though these items hold a special place in your heart, they may not be serving you anymore. Instead, they’re cluttering your home, life, and budget.

Sixty-six percent of Americans think an unorganized home makes them stressed or anxious. However, 61 percent of us have a hard time parting with sentimental items. Letting go of material items you don’t use can help you reduce stress and financial burdens. From canceling subscriptions you never use to repurposing items, you could … Read the rest

This Art Consultant Wants To Create A New Era Of Celebrating Black Art

Black culture has become the muse for many artists around the world. However, the professionals that make up the industry do not often reflect the same diversity. One woman has made it her mission to disrupt the art world by celebrating Black art.

Alaina Simone, the owner of an art consulting agency, is centering Black artists on the mainstream stage. Her love of art came from seeing a different side of life outside of the traditional working roles like her parents had.

“I remember seeing Alvin Loving as a very small child, who was a friend of my family in Flint, Michigan, at a gathering and being intrigued by the man with the locks and jeans. He was the coolest at the party, and I was beyond curious,” Simone tells BLACK ENTERPRISE via email.

“He was completely different from my parents’ friends of doctors, teachers, and lawyers, which was … Read the rest

How the Home Buying and Selling Process Has Changed During COVID-19

Summer is usually a busy season for home buying and selling, but in this season of the coronavirus, it’s anything but typical.

As states are in various staging of opening up, sellers are dealing with new procedures with putting their homes up for sale and buyers are working hard to thoroughly search while still practicing social distancing.

I’ve found myself in the middle of this as I’m helping my mom this summer. She’s looking to retire in a few years and wants to be closer to the grandkids.

She’s already found work here in Raleigh and now during summer break, she’s selling her house and hunting for a place.

Being a Smart Home Buyer or Seller During This Pandemic

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home during the pandemic, you need to be extra prepared and willing to adjust as needed.

I had the pleasure of speaking with … Read the rest

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network Is Launching A New Voting Initiative For The 2020 Elections

This week media mogul Oprah Winfrey‘s television network, OWN, has announced that it will be launching the “OWN Your Vote” as a bipartisan initiative to encourage Black women to go out and vote in the critical 2020 election in November.

“We find our nation on the precipice, a true tipping point,” said Winfrey in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Our audience has a powerful voice. I am proud to be a part of this movement that will create the change we want to see for our country.”

The network will be partnering with various local grassroots and voting rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Advancement Project, Fair Fight Action, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Black Women’s Roundtable in addition to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, to provide necessary resources to inform voters on the upcoming 2020 elections.

“COVID-19 … Read the rest

How Long Does It Take to Afford a Down Payment in Each State?

The traditional American dream typically begins with great jobs, two kids, and a family home to grow in. If you’ve been dreaming of buying a house, then you’ve likely considered the financial factors, including saving and budgeting for the home. Just as America is huge and diverse, so is its housing market. 

The average home price in America is $270,726, which may be startling to homeowners in West Virginia, where the average home value is just $107,840. On the other end of the spectrum, families in Washington, D.C. can expect to pay over $700,000 for a home. There are huge differences in both income and housing costs across the country, which is why we set out to see just how long it would take to afford a home in each state. 

If you’re looking to buy your first home, then you already know you have to save for Read the rest

Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson Charged With Embezzling $600,000 in Federal Funds, Faces 20 Years in Prison

Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson, 39, is being accused of stealing more than $600,000 in grants from the healthcare company she founded and has been federally charged with theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the charge this past Wednesday, according to a press release.

Robinson allegedly used the funds for “a vehicle for her daughter; clothing, accessories, and hair and beauty products; expenses related to her wedding and honeymoon, and later, legal fees for her divorce; payments on her personal debts, including credit cards, store charge cards, student loans, and other personal loans; travel and entertainment for herself and her family; improvements to her personal residence; expenses related to a body aesthetics business she owned and a snow cone business operated by her children; and an event for her State Senate campaign.”

If convicted, Robinson faces a sentence of up … Read the rest