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EPISODE 12 - PERSONAL FINANCE IS A TEAM SPORT WITH RAHKIM SABREE

financial coaching personal finance podcasts Oct 03, 2019

Join Tiffany as she dives into homelessness and thinking of personal finance as a team sport with Rahkim Sabree!  Rahkim talks about financial empowerment, discipline, FOMO, and how to utilize your circle to get better results.

About Our Guest
Rahkim Sabree is a millennial author, speaker, personal finance expert, and co-founder of the not-for-profit An Extended Hand, Inc. which focuses primarily on empowering and educating those who are at risk of or currently impacted by homelessness.


Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/finance_fridays


Follow him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unlimitedinvestmentinquiries


Like him on Facebook: https://facebook.com/unlimitedinvestmentsolutions

Links
Rahkim's website: https://www.rahkimsabree.com

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Welcome to Money Talk with Tiff, a podcast where we discuss everything money – from tips and tricks to current events. Follow me on my journey to become debt-free, and meet other cool people along the way. I’m your host, Tiffany Grant, now let’s talk money.

 

Tiffany Grant (Host): Alright, everyone, I’m super excited to have a guest on the show today. Today, we have Rahkim Sabree. Rahkim Sabree is a millennial author, speaker, personal finance expert, and the co-founder of a non-profit called An Extended Hand Inc., which focuses primarily on empowering and educating those who are at risk of or currently impacted by homelessness. Thank you so much, Rahkim, for being on the show.

 

Rahkim Sabree (Guest): Thank you for having me.

 

Tiffany Grant: Absolutely. So I love the Extended Hand Initiative because, you know, we had a little discussion before we went on (on air) about what homelessness looks like, and it’s not what everybody thinks it is. So, if you could just dive a little bit into that, like the different ways homelessness can look.

 

Rahkim Sabree: Right. So, leading into the founding of the organization, I was very much desensitized to homelessness. So, I grew up in New York, and you know you see people walking around, asking for money, and you just kind of learn to look past or look through them. And so, establishing the organization, I had to re-sensitize myself to homelessness and educate myself on the spectrum that exists for people who are impacted by homelessness or are in danger of being impacted by homelessness.

Through research, I found that that spectrum is much wider than its publicized. You have people who think that homeless individuals are lazy or unwilling to work. They completely skip over the population of college students who are homeless by circumstance because they can’t afford housing while they’re going to school.

Or you have the population of school-age kids (high school and lower) who are homeless because of their circumstances, so they couch-surfing or trying to figure out how to get a meal, or going to school simply to get a meal, and the population of homeless veterans who come back after been deployed and they can’t find work, or they’re impacted by PTSD or other mental illnesses. And these create a spiral.

And you have people who because they’re homeless and they’re in a situation where they’re desperate and don’t know what else to do, a lot of times they do turn to alcohol or drugs, and then you or have your stereotypical homeless individual who is abusing drugs because they don’t have any other choice or they don’t feel like they have any other choice. Some have to sleep under a bridge or the different things that we see and demonize homelessness.

 

“People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.”

– Stella McKechnie

 

So that was kind of the eye-opening piece of starting and co-founding the organization –understanding the different spectrum of individuals who are impacted by homelessness, but also relating that spectrum to the average or everyday American.

So you have people who live paycheck-to-paycheck (and may live comfortably), but if they stream of income stops, now you’re a check or two checks, or maybe three checks away from being homeless, and then having to figure what it is that you have to do to make end meets or not make ends meet. You might end up homeless with a car and kind of living off of your car in that situation, or a whole host of other things.

But my focus, passion, and drive in this organization (outside of education) are to re-sensitize people to homelessness, help provide preventative measures for people who could be impacted by homelessness, and of course, direct services for people who are affected by it.

 

Tiffany Grant: Absolutely. I just want to drive that point home - this can happen to anybody. Americans, a lot of us don’t have any savings, and so as Rahkim said, we could be a paycheck or two from losing our house and being on the street or being in our car or couch-surfing from house to house. I mean, that’s real, and I think people need to realize that this is not a game.

 

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Tiffany Grant: So, I want to talk a little bit about financial literacy; I talk a lot on the podcast and on my blog about this. I love how you put your own little spin on that, and you call it “financial empowerment” I think that is so dope... *laughs*

 

Rahkim Sabree: *laughs*

 

Tiffany Grant: …because you know “financial literacy,” you’re like, “Do I really want to be literate today? Not sure!”

 

Rahkim Sabree: Right.

 

Tiffany Grant: But if you say “financial empowerment,” you’re like, “Do I want to be empowered today? Absolutely!”So, you have your second book coming out about financial empowerment. Congratulations!

 

Rahkim Sabree: Thank you.

 

Tiffany Grant: If you can just talk a little bit about that. What does financial empowerment mean to you?

 

Rahkim Sabree: I’ve been in financial services for about 10 years, and I’ve seen the entire spectrum right. You’ll see people who have extreme wealth and people who have extreme poverty, and everybody in between. And what I realized is common among the people who have wealth is their mindset, and what’s common and true to people who don’t have wealth is their mindset.

So the mindset piece is often neglected when we talk about the strategies that help to build wealth, or at the very least, put you on the path to building wealth. So more than the literacy price that has a negative connotation (depending on who’s hearing it), helping people to believe first of all that it’s possible to build wealth and then instructing them on the means to do so, and in whatever avenue that happens.

So you talk about building credit, budgeting and saving, the purchasing of assets or investing, and all of those different avenues are small parts of the overall picture. But to have somebody become self-sufficient, not relying on coaching for the long term, or that constant nudging, they need to be empowered.

They need to be inspired to want to do this kind of thing because finance has a sort of boring connotation (I don’t think so, but it does feel so to many people). It can be complicated; it can be tiresome and take up a lot of time. You think about analyzing your spending or budgeting. I was there last week, and I was like, “Oh, I don’t want to look at these numbers anymore!” But you think about the long-term effect of making these choices and planning, or rather what most Americans do – failing to plan – and then you have to deal with the repercussions of that. You have to react from a survival perspective or a reflex perspective instead of being proactive and understand that “Ok, at this point, I’m going to be here.”

So that empowerment piece is like getting the car started and warmed up to go on the journey. And often, they say you shouldn’t jump into a car without warning it up. And I think that putting that frame of mind where you say: “I’m going to be successful, I’m going to go out, and I’m going to control my circumstances, I’m going to control my spending and my income, I’m going to sacrifice so that I can have later.”

Recently, I heard somebody say that discipline is a form of self-care, and that resonated so strongly with me because discipline is that bitter medicine, that bitter taste where you’re like, “oh, I don’t want to do this, but I have to do it. I have to get up, and I have to keep doing this.” It’s a chore a lot of times when you hear that, but what comes out of this in the long term is what everybody is aspiring for.

 

“I believe self-discipline is the greatest form of self-love.”

– Will Smith

 

Whether it’s that beach body as a result of all the hours that you spend working out and being carefully aligned to a diet, or it’s the financial independence that comes from paying yourself first, budgeting, saving, investing, not going out to the club every week, and buying a new outfit. So there’s that element of deferred gratification. That really hits home when it’s necessary, and the world we live in today, especially with the internet at our fingers and social media, it makes everything very easily accessible.

So in this world where everything is easily accessible, it’s very hard to focus on discipline and deferred gratification, and long-term planning because we are in the age of YOLO, right? So it’s like, “let’s do it now! Let’s get it done. You Only Live Once (YOLO), you don’t know what tomorrow holds.” But then tomorrow gets here, and it’s like, “Ok, what are we going to do?”

 

Tiffany Grant: Exactly. Yea, it’s YOLO, but it’s also FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

 

Rahkim Sabree: That’s right.

 

Tiffany Grant: People don’t want to say no to their friends because they’re like, “No, they’re going to have fun without me. I’m going to miss this and that.” That’s the one thing that I love about myself! It’s that I’m extremely disciplined, and I feel like that had a huge part in where I’m at today. You know, if I wasn’t disciplined with my school work or my finances, discipline comes in all shapes and sizes, and I feel like it’s a key pillar to have in your tool kit.

 

Rahkim Sabree: Right.

 

Tiffany Grant: Because with discipline, you can practically do anything you would like to do. So, I feel like that really hit home.

 

Rahkim Sabree: I want to piggyback on that statement too, because yes, the fear of missing out is a true reality, but then that goes back to that empowerment piece too. So, you are the sum of the people that you spend the most time with, and if those friends of yours are the ones who want to go out constantly every week, and they want to spend their money frivolously, and they want to chastise or alienate you because you have long term planning or you have a focus on maintaining your discipline, those are not the people you want to keep around.

I’m very happy and proud to say that the people I spend the most time talking to and the most time with understand my mission. Even if they’re not executing on my mission in the same way that I am, they demonstrate great respect and great understanding when I say, “This is what it is. I’m not doing that,” or when I say, “You know what? I think I can let my hair down, so to speak, and go out and spend a little bit because that’s what’s in the budget.”

But a lot of what I’ve noticed about friends and family is that when they see the success or that upward climb and building of assets or building awareness and knowledge of how finances work, they become inspired to do the same thing. So that success becomes contagious in the right circles.

 

Tiffany Grant: Yes (that’s true).

 

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”

– Will Rogers

 

Rahkim Sabree: I don’t have anybody close to me in my circle who’s dragging me down or telling me, “You’re not cool, you’re not down because you don’t hang out with us anymore.” “You’re not doing this; you’re not doing that.” They understand exactly where I am, exactly where I want to go, and I’m very grateful to say that a lot of them are very supportive of that.

 

Tiffany Grant: Yes. Definitely upgrade your circles! It has a profound impact on where you’re at in life, where you’re going in life. About a year ago or so now, I’ve been in this group of black female entrepreneurs, and when I say when one person wins, then the next person wins! Then I win; then you win! It’s just the feeling, the culture, and just being in that group and surrounding yourself with those types of people. It just makes you think differently and do things differently.

 

Rahkim Sabree: Yes.

 

Tiffany Grant: So, I wanted to switch her gears a little bit, just a tad. *laughs* You know, financial empowerment is great! And it’s great to do it on your own, but you can’t always do it on your own. I know you have a TEDx talk coming up in December; congratulations on that as well!

 

Rahkim Sabree: Thank you very much.

 

Tiffany Grant: I want to do a TEDx talk, and you know applications are open right now (for the one locally), and I’m so nervous, and we’ll talk off-the-records for that.

 

Rahkim Sabree: *laughs*

 

Tiffany Grant: But going back to that, your topic (for the TEDx talks) is going to be “Financial Empowerment as a Team Sport.” I know what you mean but that, but can you just give my listeners a little bit of what you mean by how financial empowerment is a team sport?

 

Rahkim Sabree: Sure! So, another piggyback right to the last thing that we talk about – having your circles upgraded. I cannot claim all the success for my awareness financially because you can’t know everything and you shouldn’t try to know everything, but you should know where to find things, and I pride myself on being able to identify who has the knowledge that I need and then seeking that out.

So when I say financial empowerment is a team sport, I’m talking about all the players who help make you successful financially. Whether that be your CPA, right? Many people shy away from going to an accountant or a CPA and paying the money for them to perform service. What I like to promote or emphasize on is that – I’m paying for his service, but I’m also for the relationship and the expertise throughout the year.

So I’m not going to him once a year (although lately, I’ve been), saying, “Ok, this is all my all information, do it.” And even if I do elect to do that, I still know in the back of my mind that I can pick up the phone, I can call him, and I can say, “Hey, you know what? I’m thinking about doing this. What are your thoughts?” Or “I’m in the process of doing this. What is your advice?” And he’s willing to give that information to me.

We’ll sit down and talk for hours about my strategy, how to structure my business, and you know, where do we want to funnel this and where do we want to funnel that. And he tells me straight up that “My goal for you is to make sure that you pay the least amount of tax as possible.” And from a perspective, that’s business, but that’s love too, right? Because who wants to pay taxes? Who wants to pay excessive taxes, right?

 

Tiffany Grant: Hello! (no one)

 

Rahkim Sabree: So that’s just one example, but that goes into many different avenues. You have your financial adviser; if you’re owing real estate, you have your realtors and lenders; it’s a whole picture of people and colleagues who are in the field.

I work in financial services, so you can toss ideas back and forth, you know, stockbrokers and anywhere you can pull knowledge from so that you have a very healthy pool to draw from when you’re ready to get that little nugget, and then you can build on that right. So I’m a huge fan of this idea of compounding, and not just from a financial perspective but also a knowledge perspective.

Every small step leads to a bigger base until that base becomes a foundation which you can build on, massive buildings! So we are using this (building) imagery here intentionally and the first step or the foundation to that. I think what really deters many people in the world of personal finance, or personal finance management, is that they don’t know where to start, and so to everybody that’s listening – where to start is just taking that first step. You don’t know what you don’t know, and you’re not going to know what you don’t know until you start moving in that direction.

So for every step you take towards that direction, more and more becomes revealed, and then it just becomes this adventure. Then you know, I’m diving into books left and right talking about different kinds of investing or investing styles, different strategies of dealing within debt or building credit so that I have an arsenal of tools that I can then share them with the audiences that I grace, whether it be on my platform or on someone else’s.

So it’s that fear of success, that fear of failure too, that paralyzes people, and they say, “You know what. I’m not going to deal with it” or “I’m not going to pursue it,” and that goes back to empowerment right? You need people to encourage you, people to tell you, “Hey, you’re messing it up, get it together.” So when I go to my accountant’s offices, and he sees all of these expenses, and he’s like, “What did you do, what did you do over here?” There’s that accountability piece. So true, it seems.

For anybody who’s ever played on a team sport, you have to do what you have to do to show up, whether that means eating right, working out, hitting the gym, just having that drive and passion within your individual position. But you also have an obligation to your team, and your team has an obligation to you, and that analogy is true to financial empowerment because you don’t wake up knowing everything about finance or being an expert, and then financial markets change every day, right?

There is new information, new ways to invest, new things to invest in. So there’s a drive and a passion on my part for continuous education in the world of finance, and the only way I can do that is by associating with people who are in our world.

 

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”

– Helen Keller

 

Tiffany Grant: Exactly. Yes, I’m definitely a firm believer in having a squad, because when I used to work at a firm, we had relationships with CPA and Estate Planning Attorneys, and all these people that made up the team, because financial planners know a lot about certain things, and then CPAs know a lot about certain things. The Estate Planning Attorneys know a lot about certain things. So to have them all together as your squad is great.

 

Rahkim Sabree: Right. Building that team is very important.

 

Tiffany Grant: Exactly.

 

Rahkim Sabree: Before we move on, I’m just want to speak about that – when I was in the process of purchasing my house, my lender was reviewing my information, my pay stubs, tax returns, and the whole thing. He was like, “your accountant did a really good job at making it look like you take home less than you actually do. Whereas my job is to try to make it look like you take home more than you actually do.”

So you have the budding head of the different strategies because my accountant job is to make it look like taxable income is so much less than I’m walking home with, much less than what I earn, but then the lender is like, “Man, we need to find a way to get you to a point where it looks like you’re making more, so we can qualify you for more.”

Of course, there’s a selfish motive within each profession, but I just thought it was so interesting and entertaining to see that they are budding heads around, seeing how to report this and that on the tax form, and ultimately get me qualified for this purchase.

 

Tiffany Grant: Right.

 

Rahkim Sabree: And that’s just one example.

 

Tiffany Grant: I was going to say that when I used to work a firm, sometimes we would find things like “hey, you can be deducting for this thing that maybe the CPS may have missed,” or the CPA would ask, “Hey, have you thought about this strategy.” So, just working off each other helps too, because more than a set of eyes are on things is always bliss.

So, we’re going to wrap up here, but I just want to mention one more thing. You said you’re from New York, and based on our conversation before, you’re from “Money Earnin’ Mt. Vernon.”

 

Rahkim Sabree: That’s right.

 

Tiffany Grant: I’m excited about that because I’m from White Plains, and if anybody knows about New York, those are both in the same county (Westchester County). So when he told me that, I was like, “Ok, I got family is coming on!”

 

Rahkim Sabree: Yes.

 

Tiffany Grant: Ok, so if you can tell people Rahkim, where can there find you, where can they learn more about you?

 

Rahkim Sabree: I have a website, and my website is as simple as my name – www.rahkimsabree.com, and then from there, all my social media links are available. I’m on LinkedIn under Rahkim Sabree. I’m on Instagram under unlimitedinvestmentenquiries. I’m on Facebook under Unlimited Investment Solutions, and I’m on Twitter at finance_fridays.

 

Tiffany Grant: Right. So thank you so much, Rahkim, for coming to the show. It was a pleasure speaking with you, and hopefully, this won’t be the last time.

 

Rahkim Sabree: Oh no, it won’t. *laughs* Thank you for having me.

 

Tiffany Grant: Absolutely. Have a good one.

 

Rahkim Sabree: You too.

 

Thank you for listening to the Money Talk with Tiff Podcast. For free resources and materials, head over to moneytalkwitht.com, and while you’re there, why not sign up for our newsletter, so you’ll never miss an episode. Talk to you soon…

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