How to Pay for Your Loved One’s Funeral

Your loved one has passed away. If your loved one is like most Americans, you may be left in the dark about his or her final wishes. In addition to the many emotions you are feeling, you have yet another burden–paying for the funeral, a cost that continues to rise in America. Once all funeral-related costs are factored in, the typical traditional funeral service will cost the average family $8,000 – $10,000.

So, what do you do? It may be a good idea to start by speaking with your loved one’s close friends, family members and professional acquaintances. These conversations could uncover whether a life insurance policy is in place, a will exists or if funeral arrangements were funded prior to their departure. [Read more…]

Great affordable gift ideas for Mom! #kemcents



We are just days away from Mother’s Day!  And if you are looking to get a great gift for mom, here are a few great gift ideas that can help you this Mother’s Day!

#1  – For the Mom who loves style!

KemfrockcandynjI absolutely love Frock Candy! It is a winner for great dresses, handbags, accessories, hats and so much more.  It is my  “go to” store when I am looking for a great clothing item or to accessorize any outfit!

#2 – For the Chocolate Lovers


Who doesn’t like chocolates? Right now you can purchase a great dozen of chocolate covered strawberries for as little as $36 from Blue Frog Chocolates!  This is a great idea for the chocolate lovers and Blue Frog does deliver to local residents.

#3 – For the Keepsaker

photobooknjI absolutely love keepsake items!  One great way to share precious moments is to create a photobook. This is a great way to highlight memories from the past and share with Mom. Lakeside PhotoWorks has different types of photo books starting as low as $20!


#4 – For the Hard Working Mom


Looking to pamper mom? Check out Woodhouse Day Spa New Orleans, located in the heart of the city.  They offer great sp

a prices to get your loved ones ready for special events or just pampering.

#5 – For the Casual Diva

PERFECTLY_IMPERFECT_grandeWho doesn’t love a staple t-shirt? I love Jahzi Girl Brand.  Jahzi Brand™ provides inspirational products where fashion and inspiration is paired to inspire.  These shirts are available for $25 online.

fleur de lis rings#6 – For the Jewelry Lover

Fleurty Girl has the absolute best NOLA accessories!  If you are looking to find great NOLA items for Mom at a great price check out “one of a kind” pieces for great prices.

# 7 – Those who need a Financial Healing

product_thumbnailAnd of course, if you know someone who needs a financial healing, you have to pick up my 2015 Financial Planner!  A great tool to help you stay the course for 2015!

Hope you enjoy your Mother’s day!!

Have the money talk: because your kids are watching

Over the past wimage1(8)eekend, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will know that I have been posting pictures from this weekend’s UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball. I have to admit, I really did have a great time.  But more importantly, I was honored to be my dad’s guest.  And yes, these days we may not spend as much time as we should (I know dad, I will do better lol), but the time we do share I really do treasure.

As I reflect on our time together this weekend, there is one thing I will be forever grateful to my dad for. He was my first boss!

Many may know my father, James Roy Washington, Jr.  He is a well-known architect and co-owns Hewitt Washington & Associates with Mr. Lonnie Hewitt.  His designs gracefully cover the city of New Orleans. And as a teenager, when I decided I too wanted to be an architect, he quickly took me under his wings and employed me at his firm but he had another position in mind.

From architect to accountant

At that time, instead of working as an architect intern, I was given major responsibilities to carry out the accounting duties of the firm.  At the age of sixteen, I was meeting with many businessmen and learning about the “ins and outs” of a business.  One of my most important encounters was to meet with another CPA, Mr. Michael Bruno, Jr., who later became one of my mentors.

Your kids are watching you

While these little opportunities did not seem much to him or to myself while I was growing up, it plays a big part now for siblings and I.  I know that it was my experience as his accountant that helped me to get my finances in order after college and purchase my first home at 23 and learn how to create wealth.  Still to this day, my brother and I meet regularly to discuss business just as we did back when we would meet at my dad’s office!

If you have children, nieces and nephews, or a younger generation looking up to you, take time to have the “money talk” with them.  Teach them about saving for their future, building wealth, student loan management and tackling day-to-day finances.  And while my dad and I never had an official “money talk,” there were some things that I observed unknowingly that has continued to help me today.

Remember: your choice, your future!

Kemberley Washington is a professor at Dillard University and CPA.  She is the author of The Ten Commandments to a Financial Healing.

Is money causing strife between your spouse, family or partners?


No matter if it is a business partner, family member, or significant other, money is often cited as the major cause of divorces, business failures and of course family feuds!

This is often the case, when one partner hides assets, opens “secret bank accounts” or simply spends without letting the other person know!

So, how should money be handled in relationships?

First thing, before entering any type of relationship that involves money, you need to have a money discussion.

For (potential) spouses: Discuss financial affairs such as how situations will be treated in the event an in-law needs to borrow money.  Determine how financial affairs will be handled, such as whether there will be one account or two. 

For business partners: Discuss how profits will be shared? How long will cash be held in the business? What will happen in the event a partner decides he wants to buy out?

How will this person be compensated?

Before entering a relationship, you have to come clean concerning your finances.  This means discussing past bankruptcies, financial mistakes, and/or credit issues.  It is not a good idea to discuss this for the first time while applying for a loan.  Come clean concerning current assets you own and more importantly who you owe as well.  This way, both parties can decide whether they have a desire to move forward concerning pursuing a relationship or take an alternative route.

Doing this beforehand can prevent financial infidelity. 

Both parties must be involved

One of the quickest ways to financial infidelity is one of the partners leaving the financial affairs to the other partner to handle.  For instance, at tax time, it is a good idea for both spouses and/or business partners to review their tax returns instead of leaving it to one person who may be better at handling the finances.  Both partners should review income and expenses to determine where funds are being generated.  This is also the case in business relationships.  All business partners involved should be involved in financial affairs. 

Make observations

Lastly, if you suspect your business/marriage partner has secret bank accounts and assets, be proactive.  Observe spending habits and become more involve concerning your finances.  This may take scheduling a date each month concerning your finances or seeking the help of a financial advisor or CPA.

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and the author of The Ten Commandments to a Financial Healing.


When it pays to break the budget! $100 Giveaway Winner!

Over the past weekend, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will know that I have been posting wedding pictures from my best friend Crystal’s wedding!  I have known Crystal since the seventh grade and had the honor to be her maid of honor this weekend.

I have to admit, when it came to her bridal shower and purchasing gifts for her along the way, I happily broke my budget.  And here is why…

Crystal is not only a true and loyal friend (which is rare in these days and times) but I truly consider her family.  She has not only been a blessing to me but to every member in my family.  She has been a praying partner with my mother, takes care of my niece and steps in when needed for my family’s last minute errands.

More importantly, even as our lives have changed, we have both grown in God.  For this reason, we would wake up each morning at 5:30 a.m. and pray for our families and seek God’s direction for our lives.  These days, she also takes time to edit each and every article I write.

So yes, when it came time to celebrate her special day, there is no money that can ever repay Crystal for all that she has done for my family and I.  If you see the pictures you will see why I am smiling so big.  She is the best and there is no budget that would keep me from blessing her!

Just this past week, at the same time as I celebrated Crystal’s wedding, I also mourned the loss of my brother’s best friend’s father, Mr. Bobby Roy, Sr. We have to remember life is very short.  Therefore, when moments present themselves to show each other we care, we have to do it.  We never know when we will have that chance again.  I could imagine each and every one of us has someone today we can show them how much they mean to us.  You never know if this will be your last time to do it.

Finally, I am so excited to announce the winner of the $100 giveaway!  The winner is a Michelle Norwood, who has suffered an illness and was only given a few months to live but through God’s grace, she has lived more than 6 years since her diagnosis.  While this gift may not help much, I hope that it can be a blessing to her.

Remember: your choice, your future!

Kemberley Washington is a professor at Dillard University.  She is the author of The Ten Commandments to a Financial Healing.