Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Work Harder

I had learned to work harder but not smarter. I was unable to gather the intensity I had in my personality to understand I did not need to work harder. I needed to work smarter. The same remains true today as I run my own business and love doing so. I enjoy the time I get to spend with my clients and I love to do hair. I always have. I just needed to learn the lesson that I was going to have to work much much much more intentionally NOT to just work. I needed to also include in my growing up process that I had to learn not to spend. The spending was what was continually causing me to need to work. YOU can laugh but that's our society today as a whole. We want things so we buy them and then we become victims to not having large sums of money saved to retire on. Now why is it so hard to turn off the desire to buy? That's easy enough to answer. It is what our faith is based on. When we are on a tough journey especially in our 20's we are trying to define ourselves through work and things. It is difficult to turn all of that off to worship a Christ we have never seen. I am not giving myself any excuses. I am just totally aware of what was happening to me back then. I was having a difficult time learning how important it was not to "want" things. I wish I could have applied the same innocent fear of running out of money to myself at an older age. I knew better when I first moved out. I had nothing to compare it to. The minute I stepped outside of my parents rule I had to learn that I had to come with the money to survive. So I didn't NEED so much then. I just needed the basics. I can actually survive on less. I am more content on less. I was coming into an age where those innocent feelings were no longer what was the strongest. In my experience by the time I bought my house I had 3 years under my belt to see I hadn't run out of money and I was always able to work harder and make more. I haven't run out since. I was always able to catch my buying habits with cash. If there is one lesson I could teach my younger self it would be to save half of what I actually spent. I would go back and reason with her and explain to her that even though she felt something, it would have been better to figure out another way to acquire the things I wanted without spending so much money. I am not angry that I was that kind of young woman back then. I am not bitter over the money I have spent even when I shouldn't have. I am not embarrassed about the things I did incorrectly. I am accepting of those things and I have chosen to live differently now. I am very much aware there was so much learning on my end that hadn't happened yet. It was going to take me a few years before I realized my spending was linked to the lessons I wasn't taught as a child or teenager. I was still trying to find out whether or not those "things" really mattered at all. As you will learn spending money is easier than NOT spending money. WHY? I mean if we are really in control of what we are doing then why is it much harder to go without? Here pivots a huge changing point in my life where I learned I was not at a place to go without. I racked up debt on a credit card because not having "things" in my life was more important to me than paying for it with cash. I needed to learn a hard lesson that the only thing I ever truly needed was Jesus.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I had started out the first couple years of my life not using anything but cash....cold hard cash. When I had moved into the apartment in our nearby town I put a couch set and coffee table on layaway where they allowed me to make $19 payments on them until I had paid it in full. I mean let that sink in a bit. I made payments while sitting on the floor or just using my bed as a way to have a table. I realized early on that everything in a house makes sense when a family is in the HOME. I was just one person always working and didn't really have time to invest yet in having people over. I had paid everything off, and moved my furniture in to my apartment just a few short months later and it was perfect. SO what happened when I bought my house? I guess you could say the age old tale of "everyone's doing it" set in. I was 21 years old with the rest of my life ahead of me. I mean what could possibly go wrong? I wasn't married yet, I didn't even have a roommate to live with, I wasn't sharing any responsibilities. I was handling it all on my own. I had no idea the thought process would change as I got older and expected myself to have things I hadn't actually earned yet. The undertone of "things" in our lives is hard to fight when you have nothing left to hold onto. I didn't have the family strength behind me pushing me to be better, if anything I had the grumbling of when is she going to fail and run home to beg to be taken back. WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER. I have learned so much over the years about what "DEBT" is and what it isn't. It mirror images where your relationship with the Lord really is. It has taken on many faces throughout the years but one thing remains true. If you allow it in your life it will change everything. If you accept the challenge to face your wants and needs with money you will be a happier person in the end. EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND IS A DECISION YOU MADE, IT DOES NOTHING WITHOUT YOUR SAY SO. I moved into the cutest neighborhood around town. I have an eye for what is and what is to come. I can see the surrounding elements and know it will be the prime location. I chose wisely. 15 years later where I live is almost impossible to buy into. It's the prime location. I wanted my place to look like how I felt inside. I wanted my sanctuary to be the kind of place anyone could come into and feel like they were welcome. I let people's perception of me get in the way of making the best decisions for my life. I decided to put things on a credit card instead of paying CASH. I had to go down this road to understand what types of changes can happen when you decide to spend money you do not have for items you don't necessarily need. Like a new pair of Nike's, a blanket or wicker hamper set. You laugh but spending $100's here and there adds up and at the end of a month you don't have enough money to pay the bills and the debt on the credit card. I wasn't good at managing what I was making. I thought I could just earn more money and pay it off in the long run. It's not far off from what most people think like today. I wasn't unaware that earlier in my life when I was just starting out I was much more in control of what I really needed versus what I wanted. I was careful in the beginning and now I hadn't become careless as to how much I wanted and why. It's the intention to always be in control of what you're spending and what you're making because you care to control your appetite for greed. I wasn't walking with God in a tangible way. I was more interested in controlling things my own way, hoping my age and relationships in the future could help undo anything I had not been in control of. How stupid. I mean come on, let's get real here. I was hoping to become a woman who would be in control of her debt while also being the woman who had made the decisions about accumulating the debt and then miraculously find my new, in control self????? It's not that silly considering that isn't that what we all do when we throw caution to the wind? Or what we're really saying is the debt is not ours to control, to payback, to accept, to manage, or to wipe out. Then who's responsibility is it? See I was learning a very valuable lesson at a young age. If it was so easy to just not put things on a credit card it would be the same as cutting the card up and not allowing it to exist in your purse to begin with. It would be wiser to say save the money first then see if the desire or more importantly the need is still there when the time comes you're able to purchase it. At the age of 21 you're not interested in patience or waiting to see if that desire is selfish or greedy. It's a time in your life where it is extremely hard to be in control and wanting for nothing. I am grateful to have gone through so many different facets of money in the 3 decades I've been alive, and I'll go through more until my last breath. The story doesn't end there. It was a long 2 years of buying what ever I wanted and doing exactly what I wanted while slowly climbing the debt ladder to my credit card limit line. Some of you do not know where the limit is and the card will allow you to believe you have a "LIMIT" that is preset for your life existence. No. The limit is a lie. It will devour you. While you try to pay down what you've already spent and bought that is long gone and used up, your new day desires and requirements will continue to nag at you. You will need to be in control of your money over night while paying back years of unwarranted spending. It doesn't get easier until you decide to turn off the lie.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

First time home buyer

I can see it in my head now.....the moment when I realized there was a new condo development going in on one of the main drags near my hometown. It was a road I knew well and I wanted so badly to live in a location that wasn't over top of the salon anymore. People think it is great when you're in a service industry to be so close to your workplace but I was finding it can also lead to more issues with boundaries. You're always expected to work if you're that close. There's no separation from your job and it was time for another change in my life. I was good at talking to my father if my timing was right.(What I really mean is when my mother wasn't in the same room) I approached him about helping me try my hand at home ownership, remember this is the same man who didn't want me to move into an apartment. I was desperate for a sounding board to help me with direction. I hadn't saved enough money but I did own my car and it was worth $40,000 so they let me check out one of their smaller models on the ground floor of the development. I fell in love. I instantly knew it was a great place for me to live and I just lucked out that one of the corner units was available. I started to dream big and just had to work harder at moving on with my life now that Luis wasn't around to influence me in any way. I guess I sort of always knew I was a mover and a shaker. I mean I always need something to be focusing on or doing to feel like I'm worth something. It doesn't really matter to me what I'm doing as long as it is something to reach for. It never fails with me if it isn't a boy it's a project. I had my parents help on this one oddly enough, they lent me money to get started with my house and I needed it. This was one of those moments where God allows people into your life to help take you to your next level of your life journey. It wasn't so much that my parents "wanted" this for me but they didn't stand in my way. It was refreshing to say the least. I've had a lot of people share with me that I was always the type who seemed likely to move away from home. I don't seem to fit the mindset of the people around me. I never thought about leaving just putting distance between me and the obscene amount of control. I wanted to serve my hometown. I never wanted to leave and give up. I was and am a stone's throw away and yet it can be like I am 50 states away. I found out very quickly I had nothing in common with the family I was born into. I mean how does that happen? I had a feeling it was because our identity was in portraying a picture we hadn't actually drawn. We were so into making it look like everything was okay that it became overwhelming to let anything real come in. We still don't know how to deal with insecurities. I was finding out that although I loved projects, it didn't keep me from finding new levels of my own insecurities. I had more layers to uncover in myself and learn to develop new ways of dealing with fears and how to approach them. I didn't have the help from my parents because neither one of them knew what it was like to buy a home all by yourself. I think back now and the jealousy and almost bizarre disconnection my mother had to me since the day I signed the papers gives me a keen insight to how hard life must have been for her. Every step I was taking she had no idea what it was like or what it felt like and that left an even bigger hole between us. It seemed the gap was getting bigger between my parents and I and there was no turning back.