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- Before becoming her own boss, entrepreneur Kendra Y. Hill struggled to manage her finances.
- But during the pandemic, she made $2 million in less than a year.
- Five money habits, like giving herself a generous spending budget, help her maintain her wealth.
Even though she started her first business in 2011, entrepreneur Kendra Y. Hill had to work for nine more years to achieve multi-million-dollar success — and actually maintain it.
According to records viewed by Insider, Hill earned $2 million in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, through Kendra Scale My Business, a consulting firm that helps social media creators monetize their content.
Before becoming her own boss, Hill struggled to manage her finances. “I grew up very, very poor,” she tells Insider, “and that poverty mindset was following me.”
When she was 18, she had large amounts of credit card debt and struggled to pay it off. “Once I decided to get serious about creating generational wealth, I had to stop first and say, ‘I forgive myself for what I’ve done,'” she says.
Now, Hill swears by five money habits to stay wealthy.
1. She checks her cash flow monthly and creates an earning plan for each week
Most people with fixed incomes start creating their budget based on how much they make, but Hill does things differently.
“At the end of every month, I map out what I’m going to sell for my business the following month,” says Hill, whose monthly expenses come out to about $12,000. “Then I map out, week by week, what will I be selling? What are the price points? How do we promote that on social media?”
On top of that, she’ll make a list of fun spending that she wants to add, and figure out how to increase her business income from there.
2. She gives herself a large discretionary spending budget each month
In addition to $12,000 in monthly expenses, Hill allows herself up to $30,000 monthly for discretionary spending, money in your budget specifically for fun things, like going to the movies or eating out.
“Even then, I try not to spend that money,” she says. “If I wanna do something extra, I take it from that money. I’m not someone who believes in depriving myself of things.”
Having a large discretionary budget gives Hill peace of mind that she can do whatever she needs to do to be happy. In the same way that someone on a diet who might be in a restrict-and-binge cycle with certain foods, being too restrictive with her discretionary spending can create an unbalanced relationship between Hill and her money, she says.
3. She’s intentional about separating her business and personal expenses
Some business owners write off trips and meals as business expenses to pay less taxes at the end of the year, but Hill says that method doesn’t actually help her.
For example, Hill just finished touring the country to promote her new book, “Purpose-Driven Enterprise: Finding Your Purpose and Making It Your Paycheck.” Instead of expensing the whole tour through her company, she says, “I paid for that whole tour out of pocket.”
She adds, “Sometimes, when you want to test something, don’t put it on your company to test it. Invest your own money. The more of your own money you invest in things, the more indebted you feel to your own victory.”
4. She sets text notifications for each credit card transaction over $10
Hill sets an alert for any transaction over $10 to track her expenses. “For a person who has a lot of money, $10 is nothing,” says Hill. “But I keep myself in that space because it keeps me humble.”
Hill says she grew up in poverty and struggled to manage her finances in the past. The text notifications from her bank keep her from overspending and going back to her old ways.
She says, “Just because you have money, doesn’t mean you have to spend all of it, or hoard all of it. There needs to be a balance between overspending and over-hoarding, because both of them are bad.”
5. She gives away 90% of her clothes once a year
Hill used to be a fashion stylist, which means her closet is stacked with designer clothes and high-end pieces. Each November, Hill makes a point of donating or gifting almost everything in her closet to welcome abundance. “I don’t mean selling clothes on Poshmark, I mean literally giving it away,” she says. She gives her clothes to friends, Goodwill, or other organizations.
She adds, “If you’re holding onto your money and material things so tight that you never release it, you literally have no room to receive.”