Wole Coaxum, MoCaFi Founder and CEO, on WABC's Here and Now with Sandra Bookman

Wole Coaxum, MoCaFi Founder and CEO, on WABC's Here and Now with Sandra Bookman


Our Founder and CEO, Wole Coaxum appeared on WABC’s Here and Now with Sandra Bookman to discuss economic disparities and how MoCaFi is working to ensure that unbanked and underbanked communities have access to the financial services and resources they need to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.

MoCaFi was founded to be the community bank of the future, providing low-cost personalized access to banking, credit, and wealth-building financial services that guide your path to economic mobility.

Download the MoCaFi app today to enroll and receive your MoCaFi card.

MoCaFi is available for download on the App Store or get it on Google Play.


Mother’s Day During Social Distancing, Gifts From the Heart

The countdown to Mother’s Day has reached single digits. This year, to make things a little more interesting – challenging really – here we are all in the midst of a pandemic. Although we are all consumed with trying to survive this time and keep ourselves and our families grounded, safe, and schooled, now more than ever, it’s important that we take the time to show some love, on this mother’s day.

 

Whether honoring the mom in your home or sending love and good energy out across the digital highway, this year it’s certainly needed since the stress of this pandemic and economic crisis is taking its toll on moms, grandmas, god moms, and aunties far and wide. 

 

We want to be fiscally responsible as we take the time to honor the people around us. To be clear, making sound financial decisions – especially during this uncertain time – doesn’t mean cheap and it certainly isn’t a pass to cut corners. This is a time to put some serious thought and effort into how we honor the women who do everything for us. Let’s call it intentional gift giving. 

 

Take a second, step back and think, you probably already know the perfect way to honor the mothers in your life. But if you’re experiencing a little creativity block, here are some suggestions on how to give this mother’s day, or maybe a little inspiration to spark the perfect idea to help you show her she’s heard, seen, loved, and appreciated. 

 

Homemade Card

Make a card. If you are a right brain kind of person you might flourish here. A homemade card can be a beautiful thing if you’ve got the crafting skills to support you. You can find some ideas and complete steps by doing a quick Pinterest search

Virtual Brunch

Schedule a virtual brunch for the family to enjoy a meal together. Coordinate and share recipes to create a common menu and when it’s time to dine, set the camera up at the table and break bread together. 

 

Breakfast in Bed

Everyone enjoys breakfast in bed. Craft a breakfast of her favorite things and serve her in bed. Don’t forget to turn on some soft music for her while she enjoys her meal and eases into the day. Get some meal inspiration from @thespicesuite on Instagram. Her meals always look mouth-watering good!

Spa Experience

You can create a spa day for the mother in your life. Scrub the bathroom, light some candles, and draw a bath. Detox baths are a great way to achieve total relaxation. Queue the spa music on youtube and make her a cup of tea. 

Write a Poem

Put pen to paper and use your words and imagination to express how much she means to you and those around her. Read it to her. And if you’ve got the resources laying around, print the poem and frame it. She’ll love it.

Listen and Deliver

Do the thing she’s been wanting to check off her task list but hasn’t had the time to get to, or that thing she’s been asking you to do. Maybe she has asked you to paint a room, hang photos, or organize the closets. Hopefully you’ve been listening when she talks and you can recall a few things that are really important to her. Do it! 

Plan a movie night

You can plan a movie night just for the squad at home or get the Netflix extension and host a watch party with the whole fam. Pick the right movie! Here’s a hint: the right movie is whatever her favorite movie is. Don’t forget the snacks, dimmed lighting, and dinner before the movie. 

 

Make a Family Tree

Tug on the heart strings and start a family tree for her. Chances are you won’t be able to follow her roots back 10 generations in just a few days but put in the effort and get the ball rolling. And remember, presentation matters. You can go digital and create the tree on the computer, or put in a curbside order to your local store, grab some crafting supplies and use those art skills. This is a great project that you all can continue to work on, even beyond Mother’s Day. 

Plan a Picnic

Weather permitting, cook a simple meal, grab a large blanket, some throw pillows, and head to the backyard to enjoy a picnic together. 

 

Wishing the lovely ladies in your life, a happy Mother’s Day!


Weekend Agenda 007

The Weekend Agenda - 007


So you want to Spend Smart, Build Credit, and Do You? We’ve got you covered. You follow us on social and everyday you digest spending tips, financial insight, and credit advice. Over the weekend, take a little time and get into what we’ve lined up for you. From the screens of the MoCaFi team, we’ll be sharing content from across the web that matters. Because to start a business, level up, build generational wealth, or to just be ten toes down,
you’ll need to know what’s happening around you.
Enjoy and stay up!
- 5/1/20 -


PLAY THIS: 007 - International Jazz Day 2020


This week, on April 30th, we celebrated International Jazz Day as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Chaired by the legendary Herbie Hancock, this day highlights jazz and its role of uniting all corners of the globe. We took a moment to select our favorite jazz tunes that speak to the beautiful struggle towards love, peace and unity amongst us all.

SpotifyApple Music

WATCH THIS: Wole Coaxum, MoCaFi Founder & CEO with Will Roundtree on IG-Live.


Join us Sunday, 5/3 at 8 pm EST on IG-Live as our Founder & CEO, Wole Coaxum talks with financial freedom educator and entrepreneur Will Roundtree about maintaining a healthy financial life through money management and available resources.

WATCH THIS

WATCH THIS: And Finance For All - Episode 001


Join MoCaFi’s Wole Coaxum, Manyell-Akinfe Reed, and Steve Royster for this episode of And Finance For All, as they discuss various ways in which we are all attempting to cope with life during the Coronavirus pandemic; Manyell provides key tips for how we can manage our money during a time of crisis; and Wole hosts Robert Johnson, MD, The Sharon and Joseph L. Muscarelle Endowed Dean, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Johnson provides unique insight on COVID-19’s disparate impact on communities of color.

WATCH THIS

READ THIS: 10 Facts You Must Know About Recessions


From Pocket.com: What you need to know when it comes to recessions, including what constitutes an official recession, how long they typically last and what to do with your money.

READ THIS

TRY THIS: Bad WiFi is slowing you down. Fix yours without spending a dime.


From The Washington Post: Our five-step guide will help you speed up your Internet connection and eliminate wireless ‘dead zones’ while you’re stuck at home

TRY THIS

DO THIS: CFHILL Virtual Gallery Show


Visit the gallery, from your home!

DO THIS

READ THIS: Death of the office


From The Economist: The coronavirus pandemic has sped up a revolution in home working, leaving offices around the world empty. But what was the point of them anyway?

READ THIS

Budgets Before and After Social Distancing

It’s been approximately five weeks since the first wave of stay-at-home orders from municipalities and states began in the US.  Although we probably don’t want to hear this, many of us don’t know when restrictions will be lifted and we’ll be able to resume the lives outside of our homes that we were forced to abandon. 

 

The impact that the pandemic continues to have on everyone and everything is extensive. Despite early efforts of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates, the economy has taken a hit. Americans are losing jobs and small businesses are hurting. According to The Washington Post, 5.2 million people filed unemployment claims in one week, bringing us to a four-week total of 22 million claims filed since a national emergency was declared by the President on March 13, 2020. This isn’t it; our educational, healthcare, and even transportation systems have been impacted. You name it, and it’s been affected. 

 

Most of what is happening is out of our control but there are some responsible decisions we can make to help control how we come out on the other end. Yes, wash your hands and keep your immune systems strong, but beyond that, we can make some financial pivots. The way we do things has changed overnight. Some of the habits we had coming into social distancing are impossible to maintain given the restrictions and this might not be a bad thing. It may have been difficult to identify opportunities for savings before, but chances are that has changed with our current circumstances. Social distancing is helping to reveal what's essential, and what's not.

 

 

Coffee runs - $10/wk = $40/mo

I made coffee every morning and worked just as hard without the $2.50 daily charge.

Acorns reports that the average American spends about $1,100 per year on coffee, which breaks down to roughly $92 a month. So if you’re a heavy coffee drinker and you now find yourself making coffee at home as opposed to ballin’ out at your nearest coffee shop, when we get back to “business as usual” reduce the coffee spending budget and slide this cash over to your rainy day fund. 

 

 

Lunch takeout - $30/wk = $120/mo

I didn't starve or lose my sense of taste from ingredients made from the fridge.

Now that we’ve all learned that second day pasta actually tastes better we’ll be dutifully packing lunch and carrying that with us post-social distancing. Savings potential just increased again.

 

 

Gym memberships - $60/mo

50 pushups, 10 minutes of stretching, 5 mins of meditation every morning costs nothing and it feels amazing.

According to research by Finder.com, roughly 5.1 million Americans waste $1.8 billion on unused gym memberships each year. But for those of us who actually use the memberships, there are those among us who may have realized during this pandemic that our level of fitness doesn’t require the $60 per month investment. Calisthenics, YouTube, or one of the many fitness apps available will get us to where we need to be at this phase in our journey.

 

 

Admittedly, I watched twice as much Netflix during quarantine.  But I also caught a few really good documentaries on free streaming sites like Tubi, Pluto, and Crackle.

According to an article published by Forbes, the average American subscriber watches 3.4 services, paying an average $8.53 per month for each. That’s just under $30 per month. Although it’s less than what you would pay for traditional cable service, do you really need so many streaming services?

 

During this time, cutback where you can, even if it’s temporary (while social distancing), and use that money to start building the rainy day fund that current times have shown us we all desperately need. 

 

Other areas for temporary or permanent savings:

  • Auto insurance
  • Satellite Radio subscriptions
  • Gas
  • Music streaming services

 

These are just a few areas for savings opportunities that have become apparent during this time. The point is, sometimes a change of circumstance can shine a light and force us to examine our behavior. We can all learn from our experience in social distancing helping us emerge better off than when we entered. 


Relief for Small Businesses, The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program

The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) was approved on March 27, 2020, mandating help not only for individual tax-paying Americans but also for small businesses. 

 

Under the $2 trillion CARES Act, the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) has designated $349 billion for small business loans to aid businesses impacted by the effects of the coronavirus. Your business may qualify. Here’s what you need to know.

Who qualifies for this loan?

All businesses with 500 or less employees are able to apply for the loan. This includes nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors.

What can I use the loan for?

The PPP loan can be used to cover payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities. Rental agreement, mortgages and utility services must have been established prior to February 15, 2020. 

Is this loan forgivable?

The full loan will be forgivable if the money is used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities payments from the eight week period after receiving the loan. Per the U.S. Treasury Department, “due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.” In addition, you must maintain your staff during the eight week term or the forgivable amount of the loan will be reduced if you let go of any full-time employees. The forgivable amount will also be reduced if any employee making less than $100,000 receives a pay cut. 

When can I apply?

As of April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can begin applying for the loan.  Starting April 10, 2020 independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. 

How do I apply for this loan? 

You can apply for the loan through a Small Business Administration approved lender. You can contact your financial institution directly to inquire if they are participating and to get the process started.

Additional information

  • 1.00% fixed interest rate
  • All payments are deferred for 6 months
  • The loan is due in 2 years
  • There are no penalties or fees for repaying the loan early.

Where can I find more information as it becomes available?

Check back to this blog post for more information as we find it and post for your benefit.

 


How To Get Your CARES Act 'Check'

In a short time our reality has shifted, leaving many of us in very unfamiliar and compromising situations. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone, whether infected or not. 

 

Echoing from around the world are the cries of people who weren’t prepared for the whirlwind of challenges brought on by this pandemic.

 

Over the past couple of weeks there had been talks of an economic stimulus bill to provide relief for Americans (including individuals and businesses). On March 27, 2020 the President signed the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) into law. This means some relief is on the way. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Who will benefit from this?

Americans who pay taxes will receive a stimulus payment. This stimulus payment is available for individuals with an income up to $75,000 and $150,000 for married couples.

 

If you are not required to file taxes, you can still receive the stimulus payment. According to the IRS, people who typically do not file a tax return must file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. The form for non-filers can be found here

 

What relief will I receive as an individual?

Individuals will receive a one-time direct deposit stimulus payment of up to $1,200, and married couples will receive $2,400, plus an additional $500 per child.

 

The unemployment insurance program has also been extended to provide relief. Eligibility has been expanded and will also apply to the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. Click here to access the Unemployment Benefits Finder. 

 

When will I receive my payment?

The IRS has begun distribution of the economic impact payments. If you haven't received yours yet, beginning mid-April, you will be able to check the status of your check via the Economic Impact Payments page.

 

How will I receive my payment? 

The economic impact payments will be directly deposited into your bank account, the same banking account reflected on your filed tax return (2019 or 2018). On the IRS Economic Impact Payments page , you will also be able to:

  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check.
  • Enter or update your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS doesn't have already have it.
  • Update your address if you've moved since you last filed taxes.

 

You can prepare yourself to receive your direct deposit payment by enrolling in a MoCaFi bank account. Download the app and enroll to access your routing and bank account numbers that you’ll need to receive your payment.   If you opt to receive a check in the mail, you can cash your check with a photo through the Ingo Money feature in the MoCaFi app.  We will waive any fees charged by Ingo Money for all government checks.

 

Where can I find updates and more information as it becomes available?

 

 

  • You can find a list of helpful questions and responses about the economic impact payments here.

 

 

Check back to this blog post for more information as we find it and post for your benefit.


Helping you Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic

Over the past couple of months the world has been faced with what has now been declared a pandemic, COVID-19. We all have lots of questions about the virus and how it is and will continue to impact our lives in the coming days and weeks. With the abundance of information, not all factual, flooding our screens it can be challenging to navigate our current reality. We wanted to help by providing you with links to resources of useful information and MoCaFi tips on how you can stay grounded during this time. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we specifically want to empower our female readers as you help your families and other loved ones face these unique challenges. 

 

What is the Coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.”

 

What can I do for myself and my family during this time?

 


Additional information and future updates can be found on these websites

Updates on the evolving situation can be found on the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and The Federal Emergency Management Agency websites.

 


5 Things You Should Include in Your Budget

Budget, now that’s a word we’ve all used at some point. Some of us have a budget that we actually take the time to create each month and others of us use the words “I’m on a budget” to ward off requests for us to spend our money in ways that we don’t want to or can’t. 

 

Nobody: 

Me: “Sorry, I can’t, I’m on a budget”

 

via GIPHY

 

We all get the general concept and usefulness of budgets but some of us might not realize just how important they are to our financial success. No matter if you make $20K each year or $100K each month, having a budget is essential. You should stay in control of your money and be clear on what money you’re bringing in and exactly how you’re spending it. Having a clear picture on the flow of your money helps you make informed decisions: from how many coffee breaks you should take to what kind of vacation you’ll be able to take this year. 

 

Some people will say, “I know how I spend my money, I don’t need to create a budget.” You’ll be surprised how many miscellaneous purchases slip through the cracks and add up to large expenses that could be saved or spent more intentionally. 

 

If you’ve never prepared a budget before, don’t worry, it’s not a difficult process. By the time you’re done you may even feel more liberated, seeing your finances detailed on paper. Even if you find yourself in the negative, with a budget, you’ll be able to more clearly identify your next course of action.

 

 

via GIPHY

 

You can even take advantage of personal budget templates available on platforms you’re probably already using, such as Google Sheets and Apple’s Numbers. All you’ll have to do is fill in the missing pieces. You’ll have the flexibility to customize the budget to reflect your financial picture. Following are some things you should be sure to include in your budget creating process.

 

 

Expenses

Include all of your expenses. An expense is any money you pay out. There are two types of expenses: variable and fixed. Variable expenses are costs that change in respect to how much of that service or product you use. An example of a variable expense in your budget may be yoga classes. On the other hand, fixed expenses are costs that stay the same from month to month. An example of a fixed expense would be your rent or mortgage.

 

Savings

Include savings in your budget planning. If you want to change your financial situation, pay yourself. Determine your savings goals and commit to saving each month. Make it real by building it into your budget. Don’t say you can’t afford to save. You actually can’t afford not to. Did you know, according to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency. To get started, save what you can, no amount is too little. Set an amount and it to your budget. Increase the amount when the opportunity comes.

 

Important Dates

Make note of bill due dates and paydays. Staying abreast of these important dates will help you avoid paying bills late and incurring additional charges and stress.

 

Income

Income is an important part of your budget. Be sure to include all of your income sources and when they are expected throughout the month. You’ll want to ensure you have enough to cover your monthly expenses and in the event you don’t, knowing your total income and expenses will help you identify how much you will need to reduce variable expenses or how much additional income you’ll look to secure.

 

Review

This final item is a step to include in your process. Review your budget each month and make adjustments where you can. If you find that you are consistently underspending in a particular category you may want to lower the budgeted amount and use those funds for savings or to tackle debt. You should decide the best approach for you based on what your short term and long term financial goals are.

 

Budgets are essential to getting business done, whether running a household or a large company. Budgeting is an ongoing process, and it becomes easier with time. As you get in the habit of tracking your spending and earnings, you’ll become more aware of your finances and how day to day activities align with your short term and long term goals. Most things are a lot more bearable when you can manage them instead of letting them manage you. That means having a plan for your money.


Helping Women Bridge the Gap: Why You Should Support Black-Owned Women Businesses

Do it for the culture! Supporting black-owned women businesses is becoming increasingly more necessary. The number of black-owned women businesses continues to grow year over year, with African American women accounting for the largest segment of minority-owned businesses in the United States.  In 2018, 41% of minority-owned businesses were owned by African American women but they only accounted for 15% of the total revenue generated by minority-owned businesses. 

 

Black women have made strides with regard to the number of women who opt for entrepreneurship. This alone is plenty to be proud of! But there’s levels to this. In a society where inequalities persist, there’s always room for progress. Collectively we’ve managed to buy into a culture of entrepreneurship, but now it’s time we harness its full power.

 

 

via GIPHY

 

Disparities Among Women-owned Businesses in the United States

In the 2018 study conducted by American Express, “The State of Women-Owned Businesses” it is noted, “If revenues generated by minority women-owned firms matched those currently generated by all women-owned businesses, they would add four million new jobs and $1.2 trillion in revenues to the U.S. economy.” Non-minority businesses accounted for 78% of the total $1.8T generated by women-owned businesses in the U.S. When this figure is considered in conjunction with how brands respond to the interests and needs of African Americans, it suggests that we have the potential to impact change through our collective buying power. 

 

Economic Wealth Gap in the United States

Huge economic disparities continue to exist with Black Americans being edged out of resources and opportunities that could increase their economic mobility. Here are some blaring insights from “The Economic State of Black America in 2020” by the Joint Economic Committee:

  • The unemployment rate remains 50% higher for Black Americans.
  •  The median wealth of Black families ($17,000)—is less than one-tenth that of White families ($171,000).
  • The typical Black household earns a fraction of White households—just 59 cents for every dollar. The gap between Black and White annual household incomes is about $29,000 per year.
  •  Much less than half (42%) of Black families own their homes, compared to almost three-quarters (73%) of White families.

 

The problem of economic disparities negatively impacting Black Americans is so comprehensive that the solution will have to be just as involved. Through doorways that already exist and the building of new tables, we can make an impact. We can help women bridge the gap by supporting black-owned women businesses! 

 

Benefits of Supporting Black-owned Women Businesses

Supporting black-owned women businesses is good for everyone: Black women, Black families, and communities. Increasing our support of black-owned women businesses will: 

  • Keep money in the community and strengthen local economies. 
  • Help close the economic wealth gap by increasing revenue and creating jobs. 
  • Provide examples of leadership and entrepreneurship for current and future generations. 
  • Advocate for the interests of Black Americans by demonstrating support for brands that speak to the Black experience through $1.3T in buying power held by Black Americans. This subsequently holds other companies accountable as well when they realize that a large segment of their consumer population is yielding power with their dollars. 

 

Supporting black-owned women businesses alone isn’t the answer to healing systemic economic disparities BUT it’s a necessary contributor and will have a profound impact on how Black Americans are treated when they pull their seat up to the table. 

 

via GIPHY

 

Check out some of the black-owned women businesses participating in our #Represent program. 

BLK + GRN

Trade Street Jam Co.