Happy Black History Month

When I opened Google on February 1, 2017, to my delight, Google wished me ‘Happy Black History Month’ highlighting Edmonia Lewis, an African-Native American sculptor born in New York on Independence Day 1844.  On February 1, 2018, Google highlighted Carter G. Woodson, an Black American writer and historian considered the “Father of Black History.”

Go out and learn more about your history.  Lots of times we discuss the great Black Americans who built this country and helped our community begin to grow and thrive.  Now I want you to learn your history.  Who are your parents?  Who are your grandparents?  Where do you come from?  These are my children.  I want them to know where they come, who they are, what great people came in our family before them.

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Our children need to know and learn who the great famous Black women and men in world history.  That is very important.  But just as important is for them to know and learn who the great Black women and men in our family histories are.  Make it a part of our Black History activities.  Talk with your ancestors and learn about your family.  That’s what I plan to do.

This month, I have decided to dedicate time to learning my family history and hope that you may do the same.  Make Black History Month GREAT again!!!

 

One Way to Start Your Journey to Financial Freedom

As I shared on this blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook, this year is my year to grow.  I am working on my body, my mind and our bank account. YES, I referenced “our bank account” because I can’t completely control what my husband does with his body or whether he chooses to develop his mind, but I certainly can have more influence on our finances. Get Excited!!

ImageHaving taken a back set on the monthly expenses, savings, credits and debits related to our family finances, this ‘supposed’ 21st century Mom could not tell you the amount of our mortgage – even though my name is on the mortgage and it’s tied to my credit. I had no idea the cost of our utility bill, life insurance or any other major expense. Yes Ladies, I was what many would call “just trifling” and had given up all the power to my husband. Then I had the nerve to get upset when we started having financial problems.  Really! 

Well, that was then and this is now!  It took us some time to get that together. Now we share responsibility and are much closer and happier for the effort.  

This is just the first in a series of posts that I will share about our journey to financial freedom.  One thing that I had to do was get over myself and start sharing, asking questions, seeking advice and being vulnerable.  I couldn’t be the person who knew it all, made no mistakes, had no problems.  That’s not how you learn, grow or get what you need and want.  SO, I started talking to people about money!

What I found was that I am not alone!  Many people are looking to save, seeking ways to invest, start a business, build capital; and we started sharing our experiences.  As a result, a small group of my co-workers decided to start a savings club and we began with the 52-week challenge.  As we shared our ideas, we found others in our office who were already doing something similar, and we’ve joined forces. 

In researching the 52-week challenge, I found lots of blogs, websites, chat rooms, and assorted posts on facebook and twitter about the challenge.  However, this article caught my eye: Why You Shouldn’t Take the 52-Week Challenge

Here’s an excerpt of the advice offered:

“Don’t Do It! (That Way)

Look, I’m all for saving money. Over the next 52 weeks I’m even aiming to save $1,378, just like those in the 52-Week Money Challenge. But, I’m not doing the 52-Week Money Challenge as I’ve seen it presented. I’m doing it PYD (Pocket Your Dollars) Style.

Here’s what I am going to do instead (and, I’d really super duper love to have you do this too):

Save a Decreasing Amount Each Week

This week I’m going to set aside $52. Then next week, I’m going to decrease the amount I save by a buck and set aside $51. On week 37 I’ll save $16 and on week 52 I’ll save a whopping $1. Why?

  • Immediate results. After four weeks I’ll have an extra $202 in the bank. Under the rules of their challenge you would have saved a measly $10. In fact, it’d take you until week 20 to save $200+ under their system. After 4 weeks of doing this the PYD way, you’ll have something real and valuable to show for your efforts. Don’t believe me that immediate results matter? Which 4-week weight loss plan would intrigue you more – one that yields a 1 pound drop or a 12 pound drop? Immediate results motivate.

  • Get the heavy lifting done. If $202 seems like a lot of money to save in January, then trust me, it’d be an impossible amount for you in December (sorry if the truth hurts). Let’s do the hard work right now, when our motivation is highest. Then, come next Christmastime we only need to find an extra $10 in our budget. Nice.”

Click on the link above to read the entire post but the concept was so interesting that I had to share it!  One of my co-workers shared this idea with me, and left me intrigued.  “By Christmas, you are saving less when you may be spending more!”  

The idea is for you to save and save consistently.  This writer encourages you to open a free saving account, instead of in the jar on the counter. That’s cool!  It’s a great way to keep the money out of your reach if you may be tempted.  Some people give the money to a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping.  Others still save a certain amount and add it to an existing saving account.  However you choose to do it, just do it!

Are you ready to save money immediately?  Are you ready to begin your journey to financial freedom?  This is just a first step.  Are you going to do the traditional 52-week challenge or save PYD-style as Carrie Rocha suggests? What can you do today to begin saving?  What are you willing to give up to have money saved this month?  I would love to hear your ideas and feedback.  I will be sharing tips regularly along with weekly reminders to save or set-up your transfers.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

FRIENDSHIP IS A CHOICE!

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Good Day! I have to share a somewhat recent experience (it’s from this past winter). There is a lesson here and writing the experience helps me learn the lesson! Get Excited!!

So I awoke at 2:00 am that morning because our youngest still was not feeling well.  I don’t sleep well when my babies are sick. Since I’m up, I check my phone (of course) and I have 6 text messages. Turns out 5 are from the same person with foolishness. Unfortunately, it’s foolishness that I have let linger much too long. I have a sick child, so it will have to wait another day or so. I don’t have time for her drama today! Anyway, I had baby duty yesterday, so hubby and nephew agree to step in today if needed but her temp was normal by 5:30 am. So I’m out the door. I’m late at 5:45 am, but I’m still ready for my meetings today which don’t start until 10:00 am.

 
Now, I’m running late but I get to the bus stop in time and find that the bus has no heat. No problem! Our driver arranged for a new bus. However, one woman was so irate that she follows the driver off the bus (we are outside, in line, watching this drama unfold). This woman gets in the bus driver’s face and proceeds to call her an idiot, invading her personal space so much so that her spittle hit the driver in the face.
 
Seriously?!? Was that really necessary?

When did we become a society that stopped treating people like people, with dignity? Was all that necessary at 6:00 am? At any time? Absolutely Not! Just like my text messages, sometimes situations call for people to talk with one another with respect, not envy, not malice, not passive-aggressive behavior. R-E-S-P-E-C-T as Miss Aretha taught us!

People are so caught up in their own lives and issues that they forget that other people have a perspective also. Having recently experienced others taking my kindness for granted, I decided to look at my own behavior. What am I doing that others believe that I am vulnerable in this area? Recognizing that I’m not perfect, there are things that I plan to change. Much like my driver this morning, I refuse to allow others to take my kindness for granted. Sometimes you just have to allow them to vent, then walk away!

The driver just walked away from this unreasonable woman. She allowed her to vent her frustrations then proceeded to continue doing her job. That was an admirable response. In many instances, people do not recognize just how inconsiderate and thoughtless they are being. They see the world from their own perspective giving little to no brainpower to the other person’s perspective. 

Personally, those type of people are toxic, poisonous and have no place in my life. I’ve decided to pursue friendships with people of like values and mores. I will continue to be kind and considerate to others but I choose not to have them in my life. We are born into family but choose our friends. It’s time to make the best choices!