Sometimes you have to believe in what seems to be impossible to the naked eye. Tabitha Brown managed to escaped debt through this conviction.
During Honeyland Festival in Sugarland, TX, on Nov. 12, 2023, Brown shared insights about life, legacy, and her financial breakthrough on the Studio HL Stage.
She recounts struggling for many years and just learning to get by.
“We was broke for a long time. One thing about us, especially Black folk, honey, we know how to do a whole lot with less. Honey, baby, we can look like we got it,” Brown said during the “All The Way Up” panel moderated by radio personality Angela Yee. “And we know that something didn’t get paid to look like we had it.”
She continued, “So, that putting something on it really taught me about how to save because you had to learn… that if I put this amount on it, it ain’t gonna cut it off. But if I put just this amount, it’s not gonna stay on, but that also taught me ‘Okay, so there’s a certain amount that you can do and still be all right.'”
In 2007, Brown lost her mother. She was listed as a beneficiary alongside her sister, so she received what she describes as “a nice lump sum of money.” Two years later, Brown found herself once again grappling with financial difficulties, struggling to afford a car she owned.
It was at this moment she made a promise to God that she would no longer mishandle her finances.
“I had stretched that money out for two years, but I really didn’t have nothing to show for it,” Brown expressed. “I had a car that I really couldn’t afford, but everything else, it was like, ‘Dang the money is gone.’ So I said, ‘Lord, if you ever bless me with money again in an abundance amount, I’m going to do right by it.’ And what I meant was, I’m gonna pay everything that I know that I need to pay first before I try to just spend it on me.”
Brown recalls writing in a notebook to strictly track her debt. She was on disability during this time, and her husband, Chance, was the primary worker in the household.
Fast forward to August 2017, and Brown started manifesting several goals in a notebook in her backyard. She listed desires to become debt free, pay off $15,000 on a car loan, and purchase a home.
She also aspired to resume her acting career, aiming to earn a $10,000 check.
“Savings was gone, but I put all these different things on this list that only God could do. And the one thing that I had put, I said, ‘Lord, I wanna be able to book a commercial by the end of the year so I can make $10,000,’ because I was starting to feel better,” she explained. “So I was like ‘Lord, maybe I’ll be able to start auditioning again.’ And 10,000 was my number… I need $10,000 just to catch up on all the bills.”
In December 2017, Brown scored her first viral video, centered around her excitement for a TTLA (tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce, avocado) sandwich from Whole Foods Market.
Within four days, the supermarket chain offered Brown a check.
“I did the video that went viral, me eating a TTLA at Whole Foods. Within four days they reached out. The first check they ever offered me was $10,000,” Brown revealed. “And I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ By April I paid my car off. Everything on that list came to pass. By October, we bought a house. Everything on that list came to pass. So sometimes you don’t know how it’s going to be done, but if you are intentional about doing right by money, when it comes to you, it’s going to come. And so that’s what I did.”