We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly John-Burns and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kimberly, do you have a budget?
I most certainly do have a budget! My budget was implemented in 2010 I wouldn’t be able to survive without one. Understanding budgeting and personal finance is my passion and I love to assist others in this area .My spending decisions are based on the general understanding that we all should have, at minimum, all the things that we absolutely need and just some of what we may want. What do I mean? We all may want a luxury vehicle but we may only need a compact car whose gas mileage is cost effective. Most of us want to travel abroad on a monthly but maybe all we need is a daycation or a quick road trip to unwind. When you are on a budget, you have to live simply until you have reached your desired financial goal. Unfortunately, most people do not even realize that they are living above their means because they were never taught how to track their money.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Common Stake Group is a gateway to debt elimination and financial literacy. I provide one on one sessions to assist clients identify deficient financial decisions and create healthy spending and saving practices. Teaching about smart money rituals is my passion. I can talk budgeting and savings all day long.

I watched my grandmother and mother budget monthly. This process is innate for me. I don’t preach anything I haven’t practiced for myself . CSG not only advises on what you need to do but I also teach how and why. My goal is to completely change how my clients think about their finances. I want them to embrace budgeting and apply it to their everyday lives.

I began my business lending money to small businesses in need of small loans. Although this was satisfying, I began to realize that there was a much deeper and rooted issue surrounding personal finances and financial decision making. I took a step back to think about how I can help change the way in which individuals budget their money. The mechanics behind starting this business wasn’t hard. I hired a great business coach and all the rest was just about applying what I already did for my own finances on a monthly basis and market it to the world. THAT WAS THE HARD PART, the marketing. I was definitely a more behind the scenes person. I was ” the Olivia Pope” of fixing issues for other companies. This business forced me to the forefront and pushed me completely out my comfort zone. Finally, I decided to create an Instagram page and post a money tip. I went from posting written tips and famous financial quotes to posting videos , reels, Instagram LIVE , podcast and hosting seminars and workshops.

Common Stake Group has also just started a youth budgeting speaker series and will soon provide a monthly Financial Kidz course for children ages 8-14. I am very excited about creating a youth speaking platform. The youth are sooo very interested in learning about money and since the in’s and out’s of money is not apart of the public school curriculum, I am more than happy to be their go to for all questions that they have. If we can teach smart money rituals at a young age, the next generation will have less debt and better financial habits.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I just recently moved to North Carolina from Brooklyn NY and although I do miss my hometown I have discovered some great things to do out here in the south. I love finding crafty things to learn and do such as wine tastings, sip and paints or creating my own charcuterie board. Davidson Wine and Co in Charlotte host charcuterie board classes and wine tastings so that would be a must go.. I am a born and bred foodie. I really love to eat so we would def have to indulge in a great brunch spot. KAU is my favorite local brunch spot in Greensboro NC. The vibe, ambiance and food selections remind me of home with a southern twist I love very much. Downtown Greensboro is def a scene and I love to hang out at the local bar and indulge in karaoke ( I love karaoke.. although I can not sing)

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shout out my mother, Elaine John, and to my late grandmother, Elaine McCollin. They are the foundation of my corporation, Common Stake Group. Both of these women sat down and handled their finances on a monthly basis with just an accounting ledger, a legal pad and calculator. Because of what I watched growing up, I am able to assist others that were not as fortunate as myself.

I also want to SHOUT OUT the OwnHers Network founded by Tip Jones. Tip was my women’s business coach and my mentor. This network has been instrumental in the growth of my business as well as my self confidence.

Website: www.commonstakegroup.com

Instagram: @commonstakegroup

Facebook: Common Stake Group

Image Credits
Janelle Jarvis @janellemarieshoots

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