Updated: Nov 4, 2020
monday morning coffee
An awakening is definitely happening all around us and I must admit I am overjoyed. Seeing a collective of black and brown people along with non black allies, lift their heads from the shackles and ignorance of supremacy is a long awaited ancestral blessing. Survival dictates that you live in the now and doesn't allow self constructive criticism, to see if what you are doing is working for your long term living.
It is important, during this time, for each of us to use our best skill-sets to advocate for the transformation of our experience. In my assessment there needs to be a financial awakening. Although I am not an expert, I do believe I can share some basic tips toward becoming money woke.
1. It is imperative to change the relationship we have with money. It can no longer be this abusive relationship that dictates we are only allowed to be consumers even if we don’t have the resources. So the first suggestion would be to add up your monthly income. You must know what you bring in if you want to have control. Control the money, don’t let the money control you.
2. Now that we have calculated our money intake, the hard part begins. The part no one want to do, unpack the bill baggage and add up all of your bills. AND I MEAN EVERYTHING. The rent, cable, mortgage, light bill, gas bill, cell phone, groceries, car note, car insurance, life insurance, and let’s not forget the ghost spending as I call it. These are the things not included in your expenses but are the real reasons you can’t account for your money bad habits. These include, eating out for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Spending money on coffee, subscriptions, apps, clothing, bags, travel, etc. ADD IT ALL UP.
3. Now that you have shocked yourself, prepare for an even deeper shock. All of those things on the ghost spending list, yeah those, add up how much you spend on those for the week, for the month and for the year. OMG. I know. I have been there. Just think how I felt, when I found out that one iced coffee, five days a week at $5 each, added up to $25 a week, $100 a month and $1200 per year, JUST IN COFFEE and that didn’t include lunch or the other bad ghost spending habits. Next step, making the decision to do it.
YOU CAN DO IT
4. Are you ready for the not so bad part? Normally, this would have been step three but I think it is important to add up what you don’t need so that when you subtract your incoming from your outgoing, you have an immediate sense of peace that there are things you can live without in order to create a savings. OKAY, I know that was a lot. Hang in there. How much of your net income is spent on essentials and how much is spent on non essentials. DISCLAIMER: This advice isn’t for those who are living pay check to pay check due to simply not making enough to meet basic needs. This advice is for those who have not done their financial homework and spend money blindly. Once you have determined what EXTRA money you have, it is important to create a healthy relationship with that money. Let’s save.
JUST DO IT
5. Last but not least, but not really last. However, this is where we will stop. Phase two requires discipline and the safety that comes from doing a thing successfully over time and seeing results. So, for now we need to decide if we are going to pay off debt, save money in an emergency fund or both. Bank accounts these days have very low interests, so I would suggest simply choosing an online banking account that doesn’t offer immediate access. Once you have determined how much discretionary income is available, decide how much you want to put to debt and how much you want to put to an emergency fund. Then, just do it. I know that there are many roads to financial independence, but we must start from the beginning. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a little help filling in the gaps.