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Why talking about money with your family and friends should not be taboo



Earvin Famarin was 17 when he started asking his parents questions about money, something that landed him in trouble.

“I used to get scolded by them when I asked how much things cost etcetera,” says the 34-year-old design draftsman, who lives in Dubai’s Discovery Gardens with his wife and two-year-old son. “Some people are raised and believe that discussing money openly is frowned upon, without logic.”

I am open to people about how much I earn, my savings and the investments I have.

Earvin Famarin, Dubai resident

Typically, he says, Filipinos are not comfortable discussing money.

“Even with friends and colleagues, most are reluctant to talk about investing, business ideas, financing, economics. As I grew older, I came to realise that that is nonsense,” he says. “Discussing money creates awareness and clears confusion.”

While Mr Famarin’s experience is very much in line with his Filipino culture, talking about money is still the last taboo for many nationalities around the world. However, with many families across the globe now affected financially by Covid-19, there has never been a greater need to open up to others.

In her 2019 book Open Up, author Alex Holder says while talking about money with her friends after university was the norm, offering insights into what to expect salary-wise in a chosen industry and at a certain level, this changed over time.

“As we slowly peeled away from each other and into different industries, some of us earning more, some earning less, money became a shameful subject,” she says.

“Perhaps it’s because people can literally be placed in a pecking order of highest earner to lowest that we stopped sharing what we earned. No one wanted to feel that they were in a league table with their friend and subject themselves to that kind of direct comparison, so money became a subject to skirt around. The more complicated our lives got, the more it solidified into a taboo subject.”

A third of Americans say it’s taboo to talk about money in social settings, according to a 2018 Harris Poll of over 1,000 US adults commissioned by online broker TD Ameritrade.

Thirty-six per cent of respondents named student loan debt the most uncomfortable financial topic to discuss, followed by childcare expenses and living pay cheque to pay cheque.

“The fear of being perceived as a failure is the number one reason millennials don’t openly discuss the topic,” TD Ameritrade says in the report.

Mr Famarin says despite receiving a 35 per cent reduction in his April salary due to Covid-19, he feels he can cope because he has six months’ worth of emergency funds stashed away.

“I openly discuss this with my family and am also open with friends, as some can use it to open up and it could be a means to cope with the situation,” he says. “I am open to people about how much I earn, my savings and the investments I have.”

Mr Famarin says talking about money has also allowed him to learn more about investing, stock trading, passive income, protecting assets and living below your means.

“I always talk about money and planning with my spouse and siblings and am very happy that they are receptive,” he says. “I have a niece who recently joined the workforce and was able to save sizeable amounts last year. She asks for my advice once in a while.”

Mr Famarin hopes to teach his son about the concept of money in the future because it was “something my parents did not talk about with me as a child”.

However, while Mr Famarin has thrown off his societal norms in his 14 years in the UAE. His attitude is not standard either here or elsewhere: some married couples may not know a number as simple as each other’s salary.

Only about one in 10 Americans would feel comfortable talking about how much they earn at a dinner party, according to a 2018 poll by US credit repair company Lexington Law of some 3,000 adults. Only one in five say they would ask a friend their salary.

While airline maintenance manager Deno Chapman, who lives in Dubai Silicon Oasis, is happy to discuss money with his spouse and three adult children, he is reticent to discuss the subject with friends or family at home in the UK. Pawan Singh / The National
While airline maintenance manager Deno Chapman, who lives in Dubai Silicon Oasis, is happy to discuss money with his spouse and three adult children, he is reticent to discuss the subject with friends or family at home in the UK. Pawan Singh / The National

Deno Chapman, a 51-year-old British airline maintenance manager who lives in Dubai Silicon Oasis with his wife, says he has “complete transparency” with his spouse and three adult children, particularly when it comes to his will, investments and retirement planning.

He is also “completely open” with the friends he has made in his 10 years in Dubai, about investments, pension provisions and “even debt”.

However, he is reticent to talk money with friends or family at home in the UK. “It’s situational for everyone,” he says. “Some of my family, absolutely. Others? No.”

While Mr Chapman has been given a three-month, 50 per cent pay cut due to the coronavirus outbreak, he says it hasn’t impacted him financially.

“A pillar of financial planning is an emergency fund located away from the domiciled country,” he says. “Luckily I did do that so am hoping I can ride this out without delaying rent payments. Again, I have been 100 per cent transparent about this with my kids and parents”

He also shares details of his salary and bonuses with his mother, a 75-year-old retiree, but retirement provisions are “complex issues”. “I keep it to a framework that someone working from the sixties to the nineties can relate to,” he says.

With his siblings, three brothers and a sister, Mr Chapman says he would feel uncomfortable discussing his salary outside of ballpark figures.

“It would feel vulgar to me. Living in Dubai seems to compound this. Despite me working very hard and long hours, people back home do sometimes think it’s a rock star lifestyle,” he says.

“If asked by them, ‘What do you earn?’ or ‘How much do you save?’, obviously I’d be truthful – but I wouldn’t volunteer the information, for modesty’s sake.”

Demos Kyprianou, a board member of SimplyFI, a non-profit community of personal finance and investing enthusiasts in Dubai, says money problems such as differing financial goals or “bad” spending habits are one of the main causes of divorce – and leave children “susceptible to replicating their parents’ mistakes”.

“A family that discusses and thereby aligns their goals is much better off,” he says. “In regard to friends, one can only respect their boundaries. It also depends on the subject. It also depends on the culture, as to what is socially acceptable.”

Showing off what you earn, however, is “crass”, says Mr Kyprianou. “But if you have a friend who got into a horrific savings plan, one might share their opinion and try to help,” he adds.

Likewise, Mr Chapman says he would never discuss wages with colleagues but says it is “startling” how many are over 40 but have not made provisions for a pension. He adds: “I regularly encourage discussion on investment and retirement planning, in the hope I can help them avoid some of the pitfalls I fell for, arriving in Dubai.”

British personal finance author Ms Holder says that money is just one currency in life and that the social code dictating that we should not talk about it was “invented by the richest of society” as the “privilege of the wealthy”.

Before she began discussing financial issues with friends, she says, conversations felt “inauthentic” because the “money-related parts of the story were missing” and she found she knew more about celebrities’ wealth than, for instance, her sister’s salary – which you might need to know when planning a holiday together.

With the wealth gap between richest and poorest increasing, she says, talking about money and spending could be an “important start” to fixing the inequality, as well as breaking the money habits and beliefs learnt from our parents and the world we grew up in, which otherwise remain “unchallenged”.

She now even publishes her annual income on her Instagram feed: £101,000 (Dh459,700) last year, more than 60 per cent coming from advertising work and the rest editorial, podcasting, speaking, social media and her book advance.

Mr Chapman says conversations with his three children – an 18-year-old son studying at university and two daughters, aged 25 and 27, have not been “too in-depth so far”.

“It’s hard engaging young people on financial issues,” he says. “I know I wasn’t over-interested at their ages but, as each gets older they’re more receptive to discussion.

“I think, with the girls, they’re more concerned for my financial welfare than theirs after three divorces. More like a, ‘Dad, are you going to be able to retire?’ conversation,” he adds. “But as long as we are talking about it, that’s good.”

Updated: June 1, 2020 09:10 AM

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Atlanta serial entrepreneur pens strategic, motivational book for entrepreneurs



(Courtesy of Intrigue Media Group)

Atlanta-based serial entrepreneur Ivan Thomas recently released his first book, titled “Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness,” which provides proven strategies and motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs and everyday people.

“‘Defy Gravity’ is a book designed to help entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to live the life that they desire, learn how to think big, overcome adversity, release themselves from mediocrity and launch into their own personal and professional greatness,” Thomas said.

“My passion is helping people to grow and reach their fullest potential. As I matriculated through my career in entrepreneurship, and life in general, I was able to draw from some of the lessons that I’ve learned.”

Thomas is a 37-year-old Chicago native, who attained success over the last decade as an entertainment and lifestyle publicist, working with celebrities and major corporations as well as small businesses.

A Howard University graduate, he started his career in public relations working for his father Jerry Thomas, a journalist who started his own public relations company after working as the Press Secretary for Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Push Coalition.

After six years of working for his father, Thomas created Intrigue Media Group, a strategic communications company that has worked with Nielsen, The Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Xerox, Celebrity Credit Guru James Hunt, Rev. Jesse Jackson, rapper/actor Waka Flocka Flame, actor Darrin Henson, multi-platinum producer Khao, and many others.

He started the company in 2014 at 30-years-old.

“When I was younger, I was always seen as this highly intelligent person. I was always in the top percentile in science, reading and writing. I was always seen as a smart person but I was a dreamer. Sometimes I would space out in class, thinking about something else. And during our parent-teacher conferences, my teachers would always say, ‘You know Ivan is so smart but… He could do this but… He has so much potential if only he did…,’” Thomas said.

“When I think back on my life as an adult I was always someone who had potential. Who had enormous potential to the point that potential started to become a negative word to me. I resented the word potential because for me it signified that there was so much that I was capable of doing or that I could do, but I didn’t do it for whatever reason.”

(Courtesy of Intrigue Media Group)

According to Thomas, it was during his time at Howard University that he decided to start making changes in the way he lived his life. He credits the institution for opening his mind to the success he could achieve if stopped skating by and aspired to do accomplish great things.

“I made the choice in my life that I didn’t want to have potential anymore, I wanted to just be. I wanted to be successful. I wanted to reach my goals. I wanted to make an impact and not just have the potential to do it,” Thomas said.

And that decision ties in with the first chapter of Thomas’ book which focuses on not blaming others and taking accountability for yourself.

Thomas says that learning how to take accountability for his life and decisions, especially as an adult was the biggest lesson of his life and the key to turning all of that potential into action.

“If you’re not satisfied with the current state of your life, it’s your fault,” Thomas said. You have to blame yourself, particularly if you’re an adult. Blame yourself means taking accountability.”

“Granted, we’ve all been through trials and tribulations, some people more than others. But, there are so many examples of people throughout history who have come from the darkness, so many negative circumstances, and have risen to be successful.”

And with that realization, Thomas has managed to not only be the owner of a successful public relations company, but also the owner of a credit repair company and fitness brand, which he created with his wife Autumn.

He says while the book is meant to help others, it’s also another piece of the puzzle for his three children.

“Legacy is very important to me, so as I’m charting my course in my career I’m focused on what legacy I’m going to leave,” Thomas said. “What I want them to take from it is that their dad was a dreamer and everything that he set out to do he accomplished.”

“That’s why I set goals and made it habit that if I said I’m going to do it, it’s my responsibility to accomplish it. And what that does it sets an example for them to do what they said they were going to do and don’t set limitations on themselves.”

Ivan Thomas’ “Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness” is currently available now on Amazon at

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‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ Season 2: Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about OWN reality show



‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ is all set to return for its Season 2 on OWN. The first installment of this series comprised of eight episodes, documenting the lives of three couples: Melody and Martell Holt, Marsau and LaTisha Scott and Maurice and Kimmi Scott. The first season of this unscripted series dealt with the challenges that the couple faced in their marriage, friendships, and business. Continue reading to find more about what to expect from Season 2. 

Release Date 

‘Love & Marriage Huntsville’ Season 2 will premiere on Saturday, July 11, 2020.


The official premise of the show reads, “‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ centers around the lives of three high-powered African-American couples who come together to revitalize the thriving city of Huntsville, Alabama through their joint real estate venture, The Comeback Group. The couples are longtime friends and avid socialites with strong personalities and strong points of view, each facing the realities of dealing with love and marriage while wanting to make this huge undertaking a success. Along the way, there will be laughter, tears, heated arguments, and even a wedding as they try to transform both the city and their relationships to achieve their dreams. Will they succeed at mixing business with pleasure? Or will the personal quarrels make foes of the longtime friends?”


Melody & Martell Holt 

Melody Holt and Martell Holt attend ‘Never Heard’ Movie Premiere at AMC CityWalk Stadium 19 at Universal Studios Hollywood on October 30, 2018, in Universal City, California (Getty Images)

Both Melody and Martell were teachers before they decided to take a leap of faith and turn to business. Becoming millionaires before hitting 30 years of age, the Holts are one of the most successful when it comes to finances but their relationship took a tumble when it was revealed that Martell was having a secret affair with his mistress for three years. In the first season, the couple were trying to move past that truth and realized that just like they were helping rebuild the Northern section of Alabama, their own marriage needed work as well and they were seen working towards it. The couple is parents to four kids: Mariah, Martell, Maliah, and Malani.

Marsau and LaTisha Scott

Marsau is a commercial general contractor and LaTisha is a commercial real estate developer. The couple has been married for 12 years and is parents to three children: Marsau Jr, Maci, and Mila. Season 1 saw the friendship between LaTisha and Melody go up in flames after Martell accused Marsau of having an extramarital relationship when his own affair was revealed. LaTisha had confronted her then-friend Melody about her husband’s “false statements” to which the latter replied saying, “How do you know they’re false?” Friction between them heightened when LaTisha further confronted Melody on her stance to remain quiet even if there was any truth in Marsau having an affair. Melody challenged LaTisha to “figure it out on her own” to which the latter replied that she had complete faith in her husband and she wasn’t being cheated on. 

Maurice and Kimmi Scott

Maurice is the brother of Marsau Scott. He is the owner of Credit 1 USA, a credit repair company and a part-time real estate agent. He was also seen transitioning to the legal side in Season 1 where he was preparing for the state bar exam. His wife of five years, Kimmi Scott, is a registered nurse. Maurice has a stepson Jaylin, from Kimmi’s previous relationship and he’s away at Troy University. Kimmi is the stepmother of Maurice Jr aka Monster from Maurice’s previous marriage and he lives with his mother throughout the year and visits Maurice and Kimmi for Christmas and summer breaks. Maurice is also the father of daughters, Tatyana and D’Shayla Scott from his previous marriage.


This four and a half minute extended trailer for the second season breaks down all the problems that the couple had in the first seasons. It also highlights newer issues that have cropped up between all of them collectively. For example, the Holts and Scotts are still at each others’ throats for their explosive comments. Melody and Martell’s newest baby Malani’s birth has also been documented on the season. Kimmi and Maurice, too, are having issues between them as Maurice wants her to shift to real estate full time. Watch the trailer below. 



Where to Watch 

‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ Season 2 will begin airing on July 11, 2020, with new episodes premiering every Saturday at 8 pm ET on OWN.

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Young Husband and Wife Team Helping Black Families Get Their Financial House in Order Thru New Small Business Capital Training Portal



(MENAFN – GetNews)

Atlanta, GA – July 6, 2020 – Helping more African-American families become financially literate and learn how to create and pass generational wealth while weathering life’s financial storms, is a primary mission for Financial ID Capital, a financial services consulting company owned by husband and wife team, Javares and Samantha Banks.

As a result, the couple created Legacy Think Tank, a comprehensive online financial education and business building program, to not only help Black families get and keep their financial house in order but to unlock the secrets to not only starting a business, securing funding for growth, and succeed in business.

‘Creating paths to generational wealth comes through establishing stable family businesses, however, understanding the basics of financial literacy, such as personal credit and budgeting comes first, says Javares Banks, founder and General Manager of Financial ID Capital. ‘We show people how to master their financials starting with budgeting, how they’re spending their money, and building their personal credit report so they can attain business credit, Banks said.

Despite the fact that African-American consumers purchasing power is expected to grow to over $1 trillion by 2021, making it the largest racial minority consumer market, the economic landscape for the future of Black Families nationwide still lags significantly behind other racial communities due to higher unemployment, lower median incomes, lack of savings, investments, as well as owning fewer homes and businesses.

‘People are repositioning themselves and they are starting to do so younger than before, said Samantha Banks, the company’s Chief Financial Officer. ‘According to America’s Small Business Development Center, half of the millennials plan to start a business in the next three years and more than half said that with the right resources they would quit their job to start a business in the next six months, she said.   

However, not knowing where to go for help to start or run a business, along with having access to capital is the biggest barrier. 

‘Financial ID Capital and the Legacy Think Tank online course is a place to begin. We not only help people spark entrepreneurship, but we also help to arm them with the tools they need to through our comprehensive program, says Javares Banks.

Banks says that the company is designed to turn anyone into a Financial ID Capital expert who is proficient in learning how to fund almost any type of business. These include unsecured business funding, commercial real estate/investment properties, retirement rollovers, and SBA loans.

Only in their early to mid-30’s, Javares and Samantha Banks began their journey to business ownership in complementary areas.  She is a tax professional and he began by first creating a business to stop debt collectors, then moving to serve as a personal credit repair consultant, helping others repair and build credit.  He then took some online courses on business evaluations from New York University educating himself on understanding financial reports such as profit and loss statements, IRS business deductions, etc., which developed into forming Financial ID Capital and teaching families how to start building generational wealth.

‘Because some of this funding requires good credit reports, especially during this recession all experts are taught how to operate a credit repair company and boost a report with a tradeline business, how to do unsecured personal funding and much more, shared Banks.  ‘As a result, the Legacy Think Tank online course is attracting aspiring entrepreneurs all ages, needs, and backgrounds, as well as individuals with specific expertise, such as real estate investors, sports agents, tax professionals, etc., he said.

‘We are a family-owned business and families and business go head in hand, which we can see by the success of companies like Wal-Mart, a family-owned business, says Banks. ‘Financial Capital ID is also a family-owned business and we’re here to break generational curses within our community, by helping families get a better handle on their personal and business financial picture, by building businesses including Financial ID Capital consulting companies, trucking companies and even purchasing land to develop farms, that can be passed on to future generations, he shared. ‘However, you’ve got to know your numbers and it begins with accounting for expenditures, budgeting, and credit, and the Legacy Think Tank program offers solutions to securing it all, Banks said.

The Legacy Think Tank program is a comprehensive four-week course valued at over $25,000 but offered for $4,997, which begins the first Wednesday of every month. It includes master courses from business experts sharing secrets on how to secure access of up to $250,000 in business capital as a start-up, or mini-courses on how to become your own financial advisor for family and friends, with their financial restoration mastery class. 

For more information on Financial ID Capital and to register for The Legacy Think Tank online program, go to .  

Media Contact
Contact Person: KEVIN C. PRIDE
Email: Send Email
Phone: 770.870.8806
State: GA
Country: United States


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