Why It’s Okay for Everyone to Use the N-Word

The recent media firestorm that is Paula Deen’s alleged use of the N-word and Rachel Jeantel’s testimony of Trayvon Martin saying the N-word during their last phone conversation has sparked major national attention. Everyone has chosen a side in both of these events, with people hotly debating if anyone should be able to use a word with such negative historical context. The truth of the matter, though, is that not enough people are using the N-word these days.

Now let me explain myself…quickly. Everyone take a deep breath. I’m not talking about that N-word. The N-word that I am referring to is “Needs.” You know, as in Needs vs. Wants, the evaluation of your personal spending that can help you get out of debt? Far too many people are clueless when it comes to their finances and there are others who just think that their fiscal situation is irreparable. However, this is not the case! Even if your money is funny today, you can take the first steps toward a brighter financial future. One of the first steps you need to take is to own up to your money problems. You should evaluate your Needs (there’s that N-word again!) vs. Wants. To do this, make a two-column list. On one side, write down the things you literally need to live, like food, clothing, shelter, utilities such as gas, electric, and water, and transportation. These are your Needs. In the other column, list anything you buy now or would like to purchase that is not in the first column, like the newest Air Jordans, a luxury car, or your Xbox Live subscription. These are your Wants. Get the gist? And please try to be sensible when making your list. A pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream is not what I had in mind for “food” and “clothes” are not a pair of Jimmy Choo stiletto heels (you’re welcome, husbands). Now, don’t get me wrong. You can buy things you want as long as you can afford them. And by afford, I mean either paying cash for your goods up front or paying the credit card bill in full and on time when the bill arrives the next month.

Remember to keep the other N-word, Needs, in mind when you are at the mall or the grocery store. Shop smart and with purpose to eliminate excess expenditures and you will be well on your way to taking control of your money.

Posted in Debt Free, Financial Empowerment, Financial Freedom | 1 Comment

Season of Sacrifice

Olivia and I love to have nice things. We enjoy traveling to exotic destinations.  We want to provide the best for our children.  We honestly don’t believe that we have to live broke, busted and disgusted lives. But when we were prompted to completely eliminate all of our financial obligations, including our mortgage, we quickly realized that we would not be able to live the high life and pay off our debt at the same time.

Often, sacrifices and cutbacks will be necessary for you to be able to work on eliminating your liabilities.  You may have to suspend your frequent leisurely travel.  Perhaps you will have to cut back on dining out, going to the movies, and doing things with friends and family on a whim.  These expenses add up quickly, especially if you don’t have a budget in place and aren’t actively tracking your spending.  If you want to live the life you imagine in the future, you’ll have to give some things up in the present.  Find small things to trim back your spending on at first, like your cell phone and satellite services.  Do you really need the plan with the most minutes or the premium suite of channels on dish?  From there, look for more significant ways to reduce your debt, such as evaluating your home and auto situations.  If you’re living in too much house or paying multiple car payments each month, you may have to do something drastic to eradicate your debt, like selling your home or one of your cars to pay down substantial amounts of debt.  How far you’re willing to take your sacrificing will be up to you, of course.  But the more you can give up for the sake of paying your bills off, the better off your family will be when your debt free journey is over.  Dave Ramsey is most noted for saying “if you will live like no one else now, later you can live like no one else.”  So when this journey of debt elimination gets too hard, just remember that it will NOT last forever! It’s only a temporary season of sacrifice!

Posted in Financial Empowerment | 5 Comments