All Black History Month we highlighted young men and women of color making history in the present. Just in time for America Saves Week, Monday February 25 – March 3, 2019, we introduce you to Marsha Barnes. She is the founder behind The Finance Bar and a recognized Award Winning Best Money Expert, as seen on Google, Forbes, Essence, OWN: Iyanla Fix My Life, Black Enterprise and more.

She is also a Certified Financial Social Worker, wife of her High School Sweetheart, mom, and personal finance fanatic. She self-describes herself as, “OBSESSED with helping women and couples move from financially existing to financially thriving!” Who better to end our BHM 2019 personal finance profiles?

The Finance Bar was created to provide financial resources and guidance in a non-judgmental way. Marsha promises that The Finance Bar meets you where you are on your financial journey because we are all in this debt free journey together. Here is the money map that worked for her, delivered to you in 4-wheel drive.

Here’s an abbreviated version of our great discussion.

If Mastering Personal Finance Was Easy Everyone Would Do It

Marsha recognizes that personal finance isn’t easy. She had the fortunate experience of learning about money from her home and the influential finance advice of her mother. However, not everyone is so fortunate to have money talks in the home, or even as adults.

“Most people don’t want to talk about finance. It’s quite a taboo topic.” – Forbes

In America, 60-70-percent of individuals report they live paycheck-to-paycheck. Budgeting doesn’t come easily or naturally for most folks. Namely, because budgeting sucks and each subsequent generation has to overcome increasingly difficult financial realities. “Spend less time focused on your financial problems and more time on crafting a solution,” Marsha advises. For those looking to start a path to budgeting and financial independence, she breaks down the following eight step plan for success.

  1. Commit to proper money management.
  2. Put away money for retirement.
  3. Set a weekly budget meeting with yourself.
  4. Identify what you are currently spending your money on.
  5. Know what your actual income is.
  6. Treat yourself as a debt that you owe.
  7. Set monthly bite-size goals.
  8. Focus on an emergency fund.

You can read more details behind each of these financial milestones in her 3-part feature for Black Enterprise.

When asked the biggest contributor to boost your net worth, she confidently explains that a super-aggressive debt payoff strategy accelerated her own success as an independent entrepreneur.

The Finance Bar Raises Financial and Literacy Around the Country

In 2014, Marsha launched the refurbished bus and mobile personal finance experience that made her famous. She now visits college campuses and corporations around the country with her unique brand of financial wisdom. While others talk about the change that needs to happen from the comfort of their couches and behind their smart phone screens, she is literally traveling the highways of America ensuring young men and women have a brighter financial future. However, no one is impervious to the smartphone realities of today’s tech-driven world, so The Finance Bar is also available as an app on Google Play and Apple Store.

Step Right Up to The Finance Bar

Marsha believes you can, “create a stable fence around your house by (budgeting well, saving well, protecting yourself with insurance and generating wealth). You are 100% responsible for reaching your financial goals,” and with her guidance, we believe your dreams can become a reality. You can learn more about Marsha at her website TheFinanceBar.com and these additional resources:

Articles:

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We highlight people like you in our Personal Finance section. Think you have a unique financial story? Send me a pitch here for a possible feature on Paychecks & Balances where your story will reach thousands of listeners and readers and don’t forget to support all of our favorite personal finance voices of color by clicking here.

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