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#CallMeByMyName: Our Campaign to Get Banks to Respect Your Chosen Name

When you think of key documents, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s birth certificates, driver’s licenses and banking information. 

Most people can count on their financial institutions to get their name and information correct. But that isn’t true for many transgender individuals. Just like everyone else, they should feel comfortable knowing their bank is going to support their identity, just like it does for cisgender members. 

It’s time for all financial institutions to refer to trans folks by their chosen name. 

What is a chosen name? 

Everyone is born into a name their parents choose. When transgender individuals socially transition, they’ll usually choose a different name that better fits their identity. 

Always use a transgender person’s chosen names and pronouns. Think of it like this: If you can change to calling one of your friends by a nickname when they don’t like their given name, you can change to properly address a transgender person. 

When trans people choose a different name, they’ll usually refer to their birth name as their “dead name.” Insisting on using a trans person’s dead name is a form of discrimination. It shows lack of acceptance for their identity and refusal to refer to them correctly. 

Sometimes deadnaming someone is an accident. If this happens, simply correct yourself and move on without drawing too much attention to it.  

What is the name change process like?

The exact steps required in a name and gender marker change depend on the state. Most of the time, a state requires a court order to change name and gender markers on identifying documents. 

Once you get that court order, you then have to go to all of your accounts and update the information. What gets even more complicated is that some institutions require you to have core documents like your birth certificate to get an ID changed. With each change, you have to show documentation of the change. 

Some states require you to bring proof of gender reassignment surgery, or documentation from doctors and therapists that you had to be seeing for a year before the hearing. 

Because of these kinds of hostile laws, some transgender folks hire an attorney to represent them. If their case gets denied, they then have the choice to appeal the decision, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

Non-binary people especially face discrimination in seeking correct documents. Many computer systems in core institutions, such as Social Security, only allow the option of “male” and “female” gender selection. That means even if gender expansive folks get court orders, they may never get correct documentation. 

Facing high costs and discrimination

Several obstacles block some trans people from getting name and gender marker changes. 

One of the most common obstacles is the cost. Even without legal representation, simply filing the request can cost several hundred dollars. 

Others are afraid of discrimination during the legal transitioning process. 

Many non-binary people in particular don’t update their information because they believe their state doesn’t have a way to reflect their gender identity. 

Getting outed at the bank

A survey conducted by The National Center for Transgender Equality found that only one-fifth of folks who’ve started transitioning have accurate records and IDs. The same survey found one-third of those people haven’t updated any of their records.

Having an ID that doesn’t match your gender presentation can impact your entire life. Without correct documents, transgender people face employment, housing and benefit denial, as well as serious harassment.

Many financial institutions require you to open an account under a name that matches your ID, even if you’ve transitioned socially or medically. Choosing a bank is a big deal — you’re trusting an institution with your money. You should feel certain it’ll take care of you. If you can’t trust your bank to address you correctly, why would you want to stay? 

Billie Simmons, Daylight’s co-founder and COO, says, for her, this disconnect “makes me out myself multiple times as trans throughout the process, opening me up to discrimination and violence.”

While updating markers and names on documents can be time-consuming, it isn’t difficult and it doesn’t hurt anyone.

Being accused of fraud

When different institutions have different rules about who can change their documents, and under what circumstances, you end up with core documents that have different gender markers. 

And if your documents don’t match, your risk of getting accused of fraud or identity theft increases drastically. 

Consider this situation: A bouncer checks a young man’s ID to make sure he’s old enough to enter the bar. When he gets the ID, he sees that the man in front of him has a “female” gender marker on his license. The chances of this bouncer thinking this man has a fake ID go up drastically, when in reality this trans man hasn’t been able to update his ID.

Why we’re calling on financial institutions to #CallMeByMyName

Because the name and gender marker changing process is so difficult, financial institutions can help transgender and non-binary folks in getting other documents updated. 

The LGBTQ community has $1 trillion spending power in the U.S. Despite that, more than half of them can’t maintain regular savings. 

We created Daylight to combat that problem. A banking platform founded by queer millennials, Daylight prioritizes our community and helps our members reach their goals of supporting other LGBTQ creators and professionals. 

All U.S. residents who create a Daylight account during our #CallMeByMyName campaign will get a donation made in their name to All Out. You can also support the cause by signing the petition we’ve created together with All Out and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Nearly 3,000 people have signed the petition. We need a bit more than 2,000 people to sign the campaign to reach our goal of at least 5,000 signers.

Add your voices to thousands of others by signing today. Daylight makes it possible for non-binary and trans people to get a debit card with your chosen name, no matter what name is on your ID. We believe financial institutions can do better, starting with us.

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This Scholarship Is Helping to Improve Tech with More LGBTQ Women, Trans and Non-Binary Coders

It’ll come as no surprise that learning how to code is one of the most valuable and lucrative skills you can gain in the modern workforce. 

The median pay for programmers is $89,190, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics — 44% higher than the median for all jobs in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the field is far less accessible for folks in some communities than others. Women make up just 28% of positions in tech, and less than 4% of tech CEOs. These inequities block marginalized communities from important opportunities, but it’s also a detriment to the tech industry itself.

Opening this field to more women, LGBTQ people and people from all backgrounds could bring greater success, advancements and innovation to startups and the tech industry in general — and make a better world for all people.

That’s why Daylight is a proud sponsor of the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship fund by Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, helping LGBTQ women and non-binary folks kickstart a career in tech.

We’re the first banking platform that rewards LGBTQ folks for spending that supports our values and communities. When you use your Daylight card and banking platform, you can directly support our partner LGBTQ businesses and charities.

We’re just getting started as a business ourselves, but we’ve already supported several causes in 2021 alone, and we’ll roll out even more support for our community as we grow in the coming months and years.

How the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship supports queer women and non-binary techies

The purpose of the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship is to increase access to tech careers for queer women, and trans and nonbinary folks. 

Currently, women hold just 28% of tech roles and make up less than 4% — FOUR PERCENT — of CEOs in tech startups. Lesbians Who Tech & Allies was created to shift those abysmal stats toward equity for women and gender expansive folks, and to help the tech industry benefit from the strengths of people from all backgrounds.

The scholarship covers up to half of the tuition for a coding school, and it comes with periodic check-ins, mentorship and networking with a community of past scholarship winners.

Coding schools are a much more time- and cost-efficient, and more accessible, way to train as a developer than earning a college degree. Training through coding schools tends to take around 12 weeks or less. And, because they’re often run by folks from within the tech industry, a coding school carves a clear path to getting a job after graduating.

Remembering Edie Windsor

The coding scholarship is named in honor of Edie Windsor, a legend in both the LGBTQ and technology communities.

Windsor was a trailblazing woman in tech, earning a mathematics degree in 1957 and holding senior programming and management positions at IBM starting in 1958. 

After the Stonewall uprising in 1969, Windsor became increasingly active in New York City marches and events for LGBTQ rights. After leaving IBM in 1975, she became more involve with LGBTQ organizations.

Windsor is best known as the plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case “United States v. Windsor,” which in 2013 overturned the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and is credited with paving the way for the historic Supreme Court decision on marriage equality two years later.

The organization says of Windsor: 

“In love and work, Edie Windsor is one of our community’s greatest role models. We want to be a part of telling her story and helping inspire future generations of LGBTQ, technical women and non-binary individuals.”

How to apply for the Edie Windsor Scholarship

Applications for the scholarship open once a year, and eligible folks can apply online

To apply, you have to choose a school or program you plan to attend. You can choose any coding program, but you’re more likely to be accepted for the scholarship you choose from the organization’s existing education partners, which include about 20 coding schools and bootcampss based online and around the world.

Education partners include Lighthouse Labs, Designlab, Fullsstack Academy and many more.

Any queer women, trans women and non-binary folks are eligible to apply, and Lesbians Who Tech & Allies encourages applicants from all backgrounds, including Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Outside of the application period, you can fill out the interest form to be notified when applications open again.

How to support Lesbians Who Tech & Allies and the coding scholarship

Anyone can support the scholarship fund with a tax-deductible donation of any amount to Lesbians Who Tech & Allies through Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Make a donation to the coding scholarship here.

What is Lesbians Who Tech & Allies?

In addition to the coding scholarship, Lesibians Who Tech & Allies supports queer women, non-binary and trans folks in and around tech to increase visibility, diversify STEM fields and connect with like-minded community organizations.

The organization hosts annual virtual summits featuring some of the most prominent women and queer, trans and non-binary folks in tech and other industries — people like Stacey Abrams, Kara Swisher, Megan Rapinoe, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Dana Sitar is a personal finance writer, editor, writing teacher and owner of Dana Media. She’s written about work and money for Forbes, the New York Times, CNBC and Inc. Magazine. She founded Healthy Rich to publish stories that illuminate the diversity of our relationships with work and money.

Get early access to Daylight.  Join the waitlist today.

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Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

We heard you. When you signed on to join the Daylight community, you answered our questions about your deepest goals and desires, as well as where you see yourself. First and foremost, thank you! We appreciate your willingness to share, and that openness is what makes this an amazing network within which to grow your net worth. And we heard your collective groan just now – what net worth? If you’re like many of us, you saw your savings drained by the unexpected side effects of the global pandemic, or your investments took a hit, and while the stock market is very fickle, you’re feeling less and less confident. You’re looking for reassurance about what we’ve been raised to believe are basic life goals: that every person should have a car in the garage and a chicken in their pot. How do you be mindful of celebrating where you are – alive – while continuing to pursue your personal milestones?

Depending on your age range, you may have been influenced in different ways and expect different outcomes in the near future. Millennials (64% of our registered responders in that bracket) were more likely to go after home ownership and aspire to starting a family soon. Gen X and Baby Boomers are aiming for more or better vacations and aging gracefully. Gen Z meanwhile has their eye on gender transitions and could use some pep talking and reassurance about the state of our world.

All valid, all vulnerable, and all valued. Given the state of the real estate market, while home prices and interest rates may be historically low, so was the inflation on our salaries and savings’ yields within the last year… if we are still employed. First, take a deep breath and remember that if you’re tempted to harangue yourself about basic things you feel you should’ve accomplished by now, just add the words: “in a global pandemic” to the end of the sentence and give yourself a break. You’ve possibly become incredibly intimate with the four walls you call home, whether you live alone or with family, chosen family, or roommates, and the odds are ever in your favor that you may be spending even more time at home at least for another few months. So how do you deal with the very real derailment of your dreams? Even if it’s temporary, even though it’s frustrating, let’s aim for gratitude.

What are some low-cost ways to re-appreciate your space in the interim? Redecorate sparingly, or enjoy a little staycation, a deliberate break from your Groundhog Day-like routine. 

If your budget can barely be stretched as it is, simply move your furniture around. The change in perspective as you enter a room will catch you unaware a few times, and can make the room feel new-ish again. 

If you do have more room in your budget and missed the boom in plant parenting among the cooped-up in 2020, now’s a great time to introduce yourself to a budding baby. Plus, when you’re back on track, your commitment and dedication to the beauty of flora and fauna will be a lovely reminder of your tenacity. Take a plant personality quiz and pick a plant that suits you and your attention span. Place them in a position of prominence in the apartment or home you rent and give it the same attention you’d give a puppy. 

If larger animals are forbidden but small ones are allowed in your apartment, consider a reptile, gerbil, or rabbit. You’d be surprised how many fantastic small animal toys are out there, and your place will literally be their whole world. 

Alternately, if your health and welfare won’t permit a live companion, or you genuinely know that you won’t want to assume financial responsibility for sudden emergencies of the furry variety, go ahead and plan that staycation – more on that here.

We know that a house is more than a place to sleep – it’s a place to build memories, enjoy quality time with your loved ones, and to retreat from the calamities of the outside world. Having a secure place to lay your head is a burden off your mind and heart, but it’s even more amazing when you have fabulous folx or fur babies or fauna to share it with. Or just you! Enjoy your own company even more while you’re at it. You deserve it!

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What to Do When You’ve Become Your Own Entertainment Committee

Entertainment industries took quite a hit in 2020. While our disabled friends have long had to deal with the indignities of events ignoring health and safety protocols, last year these industry oversights became a direct concern for many more of us.. Gone are the closely-felt thrills of concerts and festivals, and, in their place, live-streaming and fan-favorite content are rising to new heights. 

As musicians and other creatives adjust sharply to this new reality, there’s been a much-needed boost in competition for problem-solvers and platforms that cater to all kinds of audiences. Now is as good a time as any to reallocate entertainment funds where and when you can. So, where do you put your hard-earned bucks as you navigate the monotony of life with fewer live events? 

The first thing to do is take a look at how much you were really spending on live concerts and in-person experiences. How much did you spend on entertainment in 2019? That may not be the easiest thing to figure out unless you’re in the small minority of people who enjoy tracking their spending. But, if you need to ballpark it, consider all of the details that went into a night, weekend, or even week-long experience. This includes things like:

  • Transportation
  • Tickets
  • Food and drinks
  • Staying at a hotel, hostel, or rental if you needed lodging

That money became freer in 2020.  Now that you’ve lived almost a whole year without sponsored gatherings — we hope — consider alternatives to seeing performers and keeping your spending under control. Could that transportation moolah be reallocated to regular everyday savings? Can you see yourself paying rent a month earlier than you normally do? Or even buying some merchandise with additional funds and putting the rest away? 

You can fondly remember the joy of seeing Taylor Bennett or Ahya Simone while wearing a sweatshirt or tee around your place and buttering toast for endless brunch. Even better, while high-yield savings’ accounts interest rates took quite a tumble last year, you can still make your money work for you by transferring a higher amount than usual into your retirement accounts, or into a short-term CD (certificate of deposit) account with guaranteed returns. 

Consider investing the funds into an entertainment startup, or intentionally focusing on giving a percentage of your recreational dough to artists’ funds, or mutual aid funds. We also suggest continuing to support your favorite artists to the best of your abilities – consider kicking a few coins directly to artists you love using platforms that cater to fans and artists alike. Not every event, venue, or space will be coming back unfortunately, but you can still donate in memory of more enjoyable times.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re spending with care and intention. And, however you redirect your economic attention span, remember that this same situation can spark innovation. Have you considered starting a home-based small business, or reinvesting in a hobby that brings you joy? Reallocating your entertainment budget is an opportunity to shift your relationship to money, investment, or your long-term savings goals, so keep your mind and heart set on getting through this experience with gratitude. This season won’t last forever, but the changes you implement now can change the trajectory of your savings for years to come. And you will probably see some of your favorite acts again – just be flexible about when, where, and how, and you’ll get through this.

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What It Means to Not Compromise on Your Banking

As LGBTQIA+ folx, we are taught early and often to compromise by the wider culture and society. Compromise what you can expect out of life, who you can hope to be, or who you can spend your life with. 

Why do you have to be so hard nosed about your pronouns? 

Isn’t everyone just a little bit queer? 

Have you given any thought to, you know, toning down this whole loud-and-proud thing? 

But you dug in your heels and sometimes wonderfully, sometimes painfully, stuck with who you know you are. You’re a rockstar!

And now you’re tackling your finances with confidence. You’re navigating budgets, understanding your savings options more and more, and demanding the respect you deserve just for being you.

And that’s where we come in – ahem – or out. We take traditional financial experiences and make them not merely LGBTQ-friendly but optimized. We offer mobile banking options that honor your chosen names regardless of your official IDs, we are already integrated into major banking and retailers with Google Pay and Apple Pay, and we give you access to anywhere the VISA network is accepted. Are you saving up for top or bottom surgery, a surrogacy, or that fabulous LGBTQ+ conference next summer? Now there’s no need to hide yourself or your goals from your bank.

And that’s not all. We’re proud to offer community. That means you can:

  • Share your goals and get authentic advice from people who’ve been there
  • Access content about the most important money matters affecting our community
  • Shoutout your successes and celebrate with the community

Here at Daylight, we provide connectedness and understanding. For every step LGBT folx take in being recognized and supported – openly holding Federal office, serving on corporate boards, demonstrating leadership in their wider communities, fighting for more and more protections and rights – we still run into the day to day micro-aggressions that remind us of our collective histories.

As progressive as banking likes to appear in advertising, the actual process of signing up and opening of accounts is still very much rooted in culture that is historically white supremacist, patriarchal, and homophobic. Nowadays we can add anti-queer and transphobic to the list. If you identify as a woman, up until the 1970s here in the United States, you couldn’t access or open a bank account without the permission of a cisgender heterosexual man. And if you’ve ever tried to open an account with your same-sex partner, then you know you’re going to encounter language that is geared towards heterosexual partnerships. Some bisexual, queer, and even transgender couples can maneuver inside of this framework with fewer issues – and that’s a separate story – but for many in our LGBTQ+ family, that isn’t how their relationships work. We come in all stripes and from all backgrounds!

Our team reflects our diversity of queer experiences, and we value empathy and mutual respect above all else. We aren’t here to judge your past, the habits you’re growing into, or your long-term desires – the world does enough of that. We’re here to build a bridge between you, your money, and your best life! So join us, won’t you?

 

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How to Manage Your Money Worry

“Money… can be seen as the place where our internal selves engage the external world.” – George Kinder, Seven Stages of Money Maturity

A frequently asked question in the times we live in, especially as we are constantly challenged to do more, is “How can I worry less right now?” Meditation has become a bit of a buzzword in business and creative cultures over the past decade, and it makes sense – the 2010s were a stressful collection of years. Then we moved into a new decade, and 2020 proved to be a culmination of transitional experiences that, depending on how you experienced them, could be seen as great or terrible. Even as I researched “Money Meditations,” the emphasis among the most popular responses usually centered on how to make or attract more money. Rarely was there any attention paid to factors that are equally, if not more important: contentment, calm, collectiveness, and maintenance. We’ll look at each and see how they impact our emotions towards money.

  • Contentment: No matter where you are on your journey with financial wellness, being able to feel at peace with your decisions and outcomes is key. Whether you’re a newbie just beginning to discover productive skills like budgeting and saving, or as Jamila Souffrant defines within the stages of the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) Movement, a Commander who’s fully financially independent, you will still hopefully have one thing in common: tranquility. We may often get overly tied to destination anxiety: I’ll be happy once I’ve saved $75,000 USD or Once I’ve purchased that Jaguar, I’ll know I’ve made it. Yet, joy comes from within and needs to be refilled like a gas tank. If you chase a number, event, or life stage as a meter for happiness, you may find yourself perpetually unfulfilled, or worse, unhappy once you attain it because all you can think about is the next level or goal. Make sure you continue to be uplifted, and uplift others wherever you are with your money goals. If you can enjoy where you are, you’re more likely to experience gratitude wherever you end up.
  • Calm: This goes back to contentment. What are the physical ways you maintain or refill your joy tank? On finance journeys, it can be all too easy to compare ourselves to others who are where we’d like to be or have already conquered things we have yet to overcome. How are you prioritizing fulfillment in your physical environment or through your work? The financial journey is a lifelong one, so you’ll need to be able to practice joy while also opting out of toxic positivity. If you find yourself needing to access savings sooner than you expected due to an emergency or even simply survival, rather than beat down on yourself, choose to pat yourself on the back for your forethought, and put what you can back into the account as soon as it’s prudent to do so. Remember, your money habits are meant to support you, not control you. So if you find yourself getting tense whenever you see a bill is due, rather than succumb to that tension, remember that you can usually predict what’s due and when. Take some of the stress and surprises out of your money routines. That way, you have emotional resources when an actual unexpected financial event arises. And it will, but you’ll be okay.
  • Collectiveness: This refers to joint activities. You don’t have to do this alone. Team up with like-minded friends or ask someone you trust who’s good with money to mentor you as you change your habits. Sharing milestones with folx who genuinely want to see you succeed will help encourage you on days when you feel like you’re not making any progress, or when you’re still looking at a higher debt-to-income ratio than you’d like. Whether it’s a weekly accountability group, a coach such as our very own Kenny Davis, or a regular update from your financial teammates such as an advisor or manager, knowing you’re not alone goes a long way.
  • Maintenance: What are some ways to make this process more straightforward? We’ve often heard that making sure your savings and retirement contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck goes a long way towards ensuring that the funds reach their intended destination. Another method is finding a fun way to manage your funds and keep yourself on track when it gets boring – and it will get boring. Do you listen to financial podcasts? Do you have a savings system that works for you if you’re a freelancer? Don’t work against what already feels right. Instead, double down on what’s already working for you. Finding methods that help you reach your goals rather than trying to force yourself to do it in a way that doesn’t feel right won’t get you where you want to be, and that will merely contribute to stress.

We want to enjoy achieving our money goals. Making sure you look out for yourself emotionally and mentally will help more than social media tells us. While it’s exciting to hope for windfalls or unanticipated raises – and they are awesome when we get them! – there’s plenty to do that will help you stay motivated over the long haul.

How do you keep your head in the game when it comes to maximizing your financial strategies? Let us know in the comments below.

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Our Favorite LGBT+ Businesses, Now Online

They said this pandemic shut-in situation would last about two or three weeks. Now, nearly a year later, we’ve watched as historic LGBT institutions and community hubs nationwide have shuttered, or, with pluck and ingenuity, pivoted completely. From restaurants to clothing stores, tchotchkes to dedicated crafts, we’ve moved to Shopify, Etsy, and Zoom to keep ourselves afloat and we daresay sane.

Retail therapy aside, what are some of your favorite LGBT friendly companies that are still around to count our coins?

We’ll start off with a few of our favorites and we hope you can lead us to more, as we love to look out for one another in these reality-stretching days.

  1. Cuties LA | (@cutiesla) The venerable coffee shop that could nurture both the sober and the sober for now, Cuties transitioned later in the year to online-only gatherings and (!!) to being blaq (black and queer) owned with leadership moving from Virginia Bauman to Sasha Jones. In the ongoing transition, they’ve continued to champion QTBIPOC with quarantine dance parties, fundraisers, virtual workshops, restorative yoga practices, and socially-distanced local meetups. While we’ll miss their coffee and community, we know the outfit is in great hands. You can show your love from afar by becoming a patron on Patreon or by signing up for any number of their informative offerings. 
  2. Hamburger Mary’s Chicago | Hamburger Mary’s is a chain restaurant; however, the Chicago branch was absolutely unique and a well-loved niche for drag queens and for queer folx moving into the family stages of life alike. In the beforetimes they served food for all ages and hosted a regular brunch; upstairs was a theater and bar called Mary’s Attic. Prior to the pandemic, the location was already struggling with surrounding gentrification and rising rents, but, in contrast to Boystown, the space offered a lighthearted but rowdy atmosphere that was perfect for folx who wanted to nosh, and didn’t want to have to leave their kids at home. Currently, queens who had formerly served and performed there have moved their shows online while they wait out the pandemic. The owners, brothers Ashley and Brandon Wright, hope to resurrect the concept in a larger, cheaper space. 
  3. ethel’s club NYC | (@ethelsclub) While not wholly devoted to QTBIPOC, ethel’s is a wellness gathering that honors and heals lives throughout 2020 and beyond, and does so with a queer-informed emphasis. They have a brick and mortar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but their primary offerings were all over the internets last year with well-timed meditation clinics, healing workshops, and a bustling online community that outlasted any negativity with so much violence aimed at Black and brown lives. We personally loved their intentional cardio sessions, Juneteenth celebration, and breathwork early-bird specials more than once. They have continued to host socially-distanced pop-up shopping experiences in Brooklyn, and maintain a robust online presence by making many of their workshops available on YouTube afterwards if you can’t make it or if it’s not financially an option for you.

Are there any queer collectives, experiences, or movements that saved your sanity in 2020? Share in the comments!

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How to Plan for Your Staycation: Queerantine Edition

Staying in and within your margins just got a little easier.

Let’s assume you’re starting from scratch. You’re on month elevendy-ever of quarantine, and any ideas for spicing up WFH at this point is cerebral static between your ears. It’s taking all of your strength just to dial into your Zooms or whatever other app your company trendily switched to for productivity. You’re strongly considering uploading a film of yourself for attendance’s sake alone, but your mind is absolutely anywhere else on any given day, which you don’t even fight anymore. We hear you. You may be thinking, remember Spring Break? Well, that’s a ways off, depending on where in the country or world you live. But it’s not too early to plan a staycation that will help you reach the Spring again. All you need is a plan, a dedicated account, and a timeline.

  • Planning – Quarantine is still very much a thing in large parts of the country. While some locales have a more laissez-faire approach, we at Daylight highly recommend sticking with the CDC’s guidelines and recommendations for the foreseeable future. We know, you may have been hoping we’d recommend you jump on that flight to the WFH Service project partnership in Hawai’i, but that closed late last year, and we’re not entirely sure your employer will appreciate you showing up to production meetings wearing a lei or sipping out of a complementary mocktail even during Morale Boost Fridays. In the meantime, you need to consider how much leave time you’ll want to take, just like a real vacation. If you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, then you need to give notice to your colleagues just like you would any other time, and consider how much money you want to set aside to cover your jaunt to the couch.
  • Dedicated Accounts – This doesn’t get talked about nearly as much as it should, but you don’t have to wing it on a vacation or even a staycation. If you’re traveling IRL, that can’t-pass-up attraction or event will inevitably catch your eye, and next thing you know, you’re trying to figure out how many meals you’ll need to skip before the flight back home. Don’t let this happen, because you don’t need to! You may be thinking, well, this is a staycation, those temptations won’t be there. Oh, but won’t they? It may not be a zipline or molten chocolate lava cake for three nights in a row, but temptations will be there in your living room. You’ll come across those same temptations to shop, chow down, or invigorate yourself just like any other day, and now you won’t have to get up by six-thirty the next morning to clock-in by eight. Setting up a dedicated vacation account won’t just set you up during your staycation, you can keep contributing an amount that fits your normal budget so you can be ready when the world opens back up. Just like any other savings account you have, deposit the money and leave it alone. That way you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend from day one to done, without having to touch any of your money for ordinary expenses and necessities.
  • Timeline – This one is tricky, because if you’re fully employed, it depends on whether your company is willing to approve the time off. Presumably, you’d give more than a week’s notice, and you should have a good idea from the onset of how many days you’ll need, how much to set aside for food and entertainment for each day, and move forward accordingly. If you’re planning an all-night movie marathon for instance, with accompanying spirits and heavy snacks, do you need a day after for recovery? Perhaps you shouldn’t do that on your last day. It seems obvious, but wanting to squeeze in every last bit of fun you can before you need to clock back in can be tempting, and next thing you know, you may be calling off for an unplanned unpaid day. Don’t let that be you. If you set your time up, stick with it, and hold yourself accountable. If you don’t get to everything you want to accomplish, knowing what’s in your PTO and financial banks will help you plan for your next vacay well in advance.

When’s the last time you planned and executed a staycation? Let us know if it was a success or a bust in the comments below!

 

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Meet Your Coach: Kenny Davis

Kenny Davis (he/him) is a proud Black Transgender Male financial literacy activist and the CEO of “THE TRANS CAPITALIST L.L.C”, the fastest growing financial literacy resource for the Queer-Transgender community. 

He has spent the past three years teaching, coaching, and motivating hundreds of queer people around the world. His easy, straight-to-the-point lessons and relatable life strategies provide concrete results, and cultivate skills that help people survive the volatile economic climate of America. 

He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Finance from Pace University Lubin’s School of Business.

When was the first time you thought about money?

The first time I thought about money was at my 5th birthday party. I was opening my presents and seeing within the cards that family and friends had given me money. My mother and grandmother told me I needed to put that money in a special hiding place to save it. I didn’t fully understand it then, but now I know how important it was. Saving money can save your life.

What was your “aha” moment with money?

My “aha” moment with money was when I was at my worst financial status. I had a six-figure job but was living paycheck to paycheck. I had run out of money and was in tons of debt, facing eviction and car repossession. I pulled myself together from all that emotional turmoil and realized that there was a book in front of me, which was Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was my biggest “aha” moment because that’s when I learned that money had rules to follow. Once you follow those rules, your money starts to grow.

How has being LGBT+ impacted your relationship with money?

Being transgender has massively impacted my relationship with money. Just being transgender means I incur more expenses to live everyday life. It was costly to become financially independent at such a young age because my mother disowned me. But it’s even more expensive to medically and physically transition. After hearing all the negative stereotypes and statistics – how no one would hire me, or how I would not make enough money – I did not want to become a part of them. So being transgender gave me the motivation to change my relationship with money. I refused to be another statistic.

What are your top three tips for someone wanting to get their money habits in shape?

My three top tips for getting your money habits in shape are:

  1. Ask for help! Habits are difficult to change on your own. Asking for help from a trusted resource gives you a higher chance of changing money habits.
  2. Read books on financial literacy, especially on topics that you may be struggling with.
  3. Create a habit to save a little more than you usually save. With the world in economic disarray, it’s better to save more than you usually do because you do not know when you’ll end up in an emergency.

What is your approach/philosophy to financial coaching?

My philosophy to financial coaching involves making sure we discuss the importance of mental and emotional wellbeing when it comes to money. In my coaching, I dedicate whole sessions to discuss these things. Too often, financial “gurus” do not talk about money mindsets and emotions. Your mental state plays as crucial a role in handling your money well as the money habits you create. If you don’t feel comfortable and confident about money, it will reflect in your finances.

Favorite LGBT+ business (online or IRL)?

My favorite LGBT+ online business is Stealth Bros & Co. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow from a small store to a huge online presence within the transgender male community. They started by selling luxury “Dopp kits,” aka toiletry bags, to help store personal hormone replacement therapy and other medical necessities. Now they have expanded to fashionable streetwear. Stealth Bros & Co also created an annual Stealth Bros support Fund by aiding in financial support to those on their transition journeys. Please check them out if you can; you won’t be disappointed.

Book time with Kenny in the Goals section of the app.

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Money Stories

Money Stories: Kenny Davis

Kenny Davis (he/him) is a proud Black Transgender male financial literacy activist and the CEO of “THE TRANS CAPITALIST L.L.C”, the fastest growing financial literacy resource for the Queer-Transgender community. 

He has spent the past three years teaching, coaching, and motivating hundreds of queer people around the world. His easy, straight-to-the-point lessons and relatable life strategies provide concrete results, and cultivate skills that help people survive the volatile economic climate of America. 

He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Finance from Pace University Lubin’s School of Business.

When was the first time you thought about money?

The first time I thought about money was at my 5th birthday party. I was opening my presents and seeing within the cards that family and friends had given me money. My mother and grandmother told me I needed to put that money in a special hiding place to save it. I didn’t fully understand it then, but now I know how important it was. Saving money can save your life.

What was your “aha” moment with money?

My “aha” moment with money was when I was at my worst financial status. I had a six-figure job but was living paycheck to paycheck. I had run out of money and was in tons of debt, facing eviction and car repossession. I pulled myself together from all that emotional turmoil and realized that there was a book in front of me, which was Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was my biggest “aha” moment because that’s when I learned that money had rules to follow. Once you follow those rules, your money starts to grow.

How has being LGBT+ impacted your relationship with money?

Being transgender has massively impacted my relationship with money. Just being transgender means I incur more expenses to live everyday life. It was costly to become financially independent at such a young age because my mother disowned me. But it’s even more expensive to medically and physically transition. After hearing all the negative stereotypes and statistics – how no one would hire me, or how I would not make enough money – I did not want to become a part of them. So being transgender gave me the motivation to change my relationship with money. I refused to be another statistic.

What are your top three tips for someone wanting to get their money habits in shape?

My three top tips for getting your money habits in shape are:

  1. Ask for help! Habits are difficult to change on your own. Asking for help from a trusted resource gives you a higher chance of changing money habits.
  2. Read books on financial literacy, especially on topics that you may be struggling with.
  3. Create a habit to save a little more than you usually save. With the world in economic disarray, it’s better to save more than you usually do because you do not know when you’ll end up in an emergency.

What is your approach/philosophy to financial coaching?

My philosophy to financial coaching involves making sure we discuss the importance of mental and emotional wellbeing when it comes to money. In my coaching, I dedicate whole sessions to discuss these things. Too often, financial “gurus” do not talk about money mindsets and emotions. Your mental state plays as crucial a role in handling your money well as the money habits you create. If you don’t feel comfortable and confident about money, it will reflect in your finances.

Favorite LGBT+ business (online or IRL)?

My favorite LGBT+ online business is Stealth Bros & Co. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow from a small store to a huge online presence within the transgender male community. They started by selling luxury “Dopp kits,” aka toiletry bags, to help store personal hormone replacement therapy and other medical necessities. Now they have expanded to fashionable streetwear. Stealth Bros & Co also created an annual Stealth Bros support Fund by aiding in financial support to those on their transition journeys. Please check them out if you can; you won’t be disappointed.

Want to be featured in Money Stories? Email billie@joindaylight.com.