Busta’s Person of the Week: Financial consultant Ja’Net Adams makes getting out of debt clear, plain and simple

Busta’s Person of the Week: Financial consultant Ja’Net Adams makes getting out of debt clear, plain and simple
November 04
12:05 2021

By Busta Brown

Most every time I look at social media, I see tons of financial advisors and speakers preying on the financially vulnerable. Meaning those of us who are desperate to get out of debt and unknowingly paying these so-called gurus to put us in even greater debt. Most of their advice is easier said than done. But the one thing they’re all right about, especially during these extremely trying times, is that making money and saving money is not an option; it’s a must! 

So I recommend someone to help you navigate into financial freedom. What I dig most about this international personal finance speaker and author is her simplicity in words and data. 

If you’re looking to make and save  money, she makes it doable and easy to learn. Let’s begin with Proverbs 22:6  which says “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” My Person of the Week is a living testimony of that scripture. 

“What had kept me away from credit cards, one day mother received some credit card applications in the mail. She said, ‘Ja’Net, come over, I want you to see this,’ and then she ripped all the applications up. And she said, ‘Don’t you ever get a credit card in your life. Always save up your own money, use your own money and build your own bank.’ 

“I stayed true to my mother’s advice, other than this one time in college, because I didn’t understand how it worked,” shared Ja”Net Adams. 

Ja’Net is an international finance speaker and author of  “Debt Sucks” and “The Money Attractor.” In her book “The Money Attractor,” she shares how we can buy a car and house without a credit card. In chapter 14, Adams shares some very simple and easy to do tips: Pay cash for your car! Buy a used car. There are plenty of used cars for $4,000 or less. When you purchase a used car, you not only save on a car payment, but you also save on lower car insurance and property taxes. Remember, you don’t have to stay in that $4,000 car, because you can save up money each month and move up to a car that’s $8,000 or more.  If you don’t have to borrow money for the car, you don’t need a credit score.

Also in “The Money Attractor” Adams shares how to buy a house without a credit score: You need to have four other lines of credit, with 12 months of payment history. That could be a cable bill, phone bill, car insurance or utility bill. Proof that you’ve been in your current place of employment for over a year, and that your income can cover the mortgage. Last but not least, make sure you’ve saved up enough to pay 20% of the down payment. That will more than likely help you get approved.

As Ja’Net and I were talking, I had flashbacks about the days I bought a new car and house that I couldn’t afford, along with buying expensive clothes I didn’t need. I went deep into debt because I wanted to appear rich and was broke both financially and spiritually. Ja’Net shared that when we do this, it takes away from the ability to buy the things we really need and to have the financial freedom we all deserve. And boy did she hit the target! I wasn’t ashamed to share my past financial illiteracy with Ja’Net and in return; she shared big money mistakes people make every day. 

“The biggest money mistake people make is thinking you’re alone in this, and that keeps them from seeking help. They’ll just keep their head in the ground and think as long as the bills are getting paid, I’m good. And then a layoff comes along, and now catastrophe hits. You don’t have any money saved, no plan, and don’t know what to do. Then comes the stress, and we all know that money stress can lead to physical issues such as high blood pressure. It can become a snowball effect of bad things,” said the mother of two. 

Ja’Net knows firsthand about debt and also how to get out of it. She paid off her $50,000 debt in just two years. “I didn’t set out to pay it off in two years, but I got so excited when I saw my debt going down. The steps I took are simple. I called to see how much I owed, how much I was spending each month, then I cut back and cut out, and that brought in extra money to pay toward the debt. I sold things and put that money toward the debt. I used my hobby giving tennis lessons for $25 an hour, I cut back on telephone bills, cable, and stopped eating out. Those expenses alone saved me about $400 a month. So instead of paying a $400 a month car payment, you can now use that extra $400 and pay $800 a month toward your car payment. So now you can see how that $50,000 debt starts to go down. 

We must stop living in the now; that’s a big reason why so many people are in debt. They want the expensive car or house now, yet they can’t afford it … NOW. So, be patient, don’t worry about what people think. Buy the used car so you can save money,” said Ja’Net. 

I really dig Ja’Net’s  “In case you are breathing” fund concept, 

“You only need $1,500 saved in  your “In case you are breathing” fund. What it does is make sure you don’t go deeper into debt in case of emergency. Anything you’re paying on, make sure it’s after you’ve paid the ‘In case you are breathing fund’. 

“You must learn the power of No. Not being able to say ‘No’ will cost you money and hurt your ability to save and add to your fund or savings. Family or friends may ask you to go out to eat two or three times a week, and that could be $20 a pop. You must learn how to say ‘No.’ If you’re the family member that has that good job, everybody is going to come to you. So, you have to realize that you’re on your own financial journey, which could be saving for your children’s college, paying off debt, etc. If there’s a situation where you have to help family and friends, you can’t give from an empty cup. You shouldn’t help someone else if it’s going to cause you to struggle more because that will bring stress to you and your household. So, you gotta be able to say no to family and friends. Try not to allow anything or anyone to deplete that ‘In case you are still breathing’ fund. That money is for you,” said Ja’Net. 

The Winston-Salem native gives some stern and solid advice, yet she does it with a big beautiful smile on her face and soft and warm delivery. She speaks to you and not at you, which makes it easy to receive her empowering advice. I asked Ja’Net what easy tips she can share to help you to earn extra income, “We all have other abilities other than our jobs. We are not our jobs. Ask your friends and family what they think you’re extremely good at and turn that into an income. Turn your passion into profit, what you love doing for free that people always compliment you on. Think about how to monetize it. If you give great relationship advice, or know a lot about sports, or whatever your gifts are, turn it into profit,” she said. 

That spoke to me big time because I always feel guilty when I get paid to speak at youth events or at a church. Thank you, Ja’Net. I received that advice. 

The Dream Sheet. You’ve heard the concept said in different ways, but I love the title Dream Sheet. It sounds pleasant and hopeful. “This will help you create some financial breathing room so you can step back to look at what you have not done yet. Like, have you invested into a 401k, saved up for your children’s college fund, or anything that will keep you from being stressed? People ask me all the time how I paid off my $50,000 debt in two years, and I tell them that’s the wrong question. Ask me, ‘Why?’ You have to have a why, and the dream sheet maps that out. It’s what you would do, where you would go, and who would you help if money wasn’t an issue. It’s short-term, intermediate- and long-term dreams. The short term is six to 12 months, intermediate is three to five years, and long term is 10 to 15 years from now. Don’t put on your dream sheet that you’re going to pay off debt, because paying off debt is not a dream. Your dream sheet is for your ‘why’ only. It kept my family and I off vacations for two years, no holiday or anniversary gifts. Instead, we used the money for something more valuable and important that was on our dream sheet,” shared Ja’Net. 

Adams’ mother, Eva McWillis, is her greatest inspiration, “With only a high school diploma, my mother went from the mailroom at Wachovia to the assistant vice president of human resources. And she has her own office. She always taught me to be on time, which is 15 minutes early, to dress professionally, and everything that helped me to become the businesswoman I am today.”  

I always end with asking my Person of the Week their favorite quote or scripture. “You only have one life to live. I say that every day. My favorite scripture is ‘Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give the desires of your heart.”

My phenomenal Person of the Week is Ja’Net Adams. 

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