A word I’ve been hearing and reading about for the past two weeks... started reading Million Dollar Habits and there’s an entire dissertation on it. I happen to catch my horoscope and it reiterates it. Listening to The Friend Zone Podcast and the ENTIRE episode is on it.
I just want to scream, “OK OK I get it!!!!”. I’ve been questioning myself lately... like why am I not as consistent as I’d like to be? The only person stopping me is me. My music has fell to the wayside and it’s reallyyyyy embarrassing. So then my question for myself becomes, how do I get back? Why am I lacking the motivation? Why do I feel uninspired?
I’m really digging deep to try and find the answers... this entire life is a journey I swear. I just want to do something important. I just want to leave my mark on this earth. And there are 20 trillion people in the world who I’m sure feel the same way. But as Bryan Tracy says... self-discipline filters this number down.
SO, building new habits. That’s my goal. And praying and meditating bc I believe I can be consistent. I can make that mark. Its April, only the fourth month in the new year... it's not too late. It's never too late.
So THIS is what 30 looks like. Life all of a sudden becomes a sudden obsession with credit, steps to home ownership, and paying down debt. Well technically this is more so what 27ish looks like. You start to realize that you actually have goals and dreams and living from paycheck to paycheck just cannot be your life (and you realize you're so close to 30 and should probably get it together!).
I had just finally started reaping the reward of earning my Master's Degree, and so I was determined to get my finances in order. What did the damage even look like? I had no clue. I just knew that my freshman year of college I had been sent a number of credit cards, and despite the lengthy speeches from my dad I opened up new lines of credits. Now, there is nothing wrong with credit cards IF you are responsible. But my 19 year old self was anything but that. I was working at Papa Johns and in college full-time. I wasn't thinking about what my credit utilization rate was... or what being reported as late to any credit bureaus meant.. I don't even think I knew what it (credit bureau) was.
As I got older, I knew I had to pay attention to my finance, build my savings, and hopefully own property. So here are some tips on how to begin to get your finances in order:
1. Read, Read, Read, and then watched some YouTube videos. Yes. I watched YouTube videos to learn about credit and the proper use of credit cards. There are SO many people who break down what a score is and how credit cards can help you boost it. I'll link some of the videos that helped me below.
2. Found out what my credit score was. I put this at number 2 on my list because I wanted to get any and every resource to fix any issues I came across. Now there are a number of free sites that can give you access to your score on the regular like: CreditKarma, Credit Sesame, NerdWallet, etc. - But you are allowed ONE free credit report per year. If you're working on increasing your score and need the most updated score, put aside some money per month and pay for your FICO scores. These are your REAL live scores. You'll get alerts each time your score moves.
3. Opened up 2 more lines of credit. Yup you heard right. I needed some revolving lines of credit. Once I had these plastic squares in my possession, I called up my credit card companies to find out when my statement closed each month and marked it on my calendar. Now, I didn't plan on going on an shopping sprees like my old 19 year old self would've done.... I planned to let my credit card work for me and help me in boosting my credit score. How? By only using below 30% of your credit limit, you're showing creditors that you can manage your finances. This also will boost your credit score by 20-30 points a month.
Are you ready to get your finances on track?
Read these books:
Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsey
Live Richer Challenge - The Budgetnista
Million Dollar Habit - Brian Tracey
Check out these videos for some tips:
And when I say “you”, I really mean ME.
I’m two months into my 30th year of existence and I’ve been feeling super accomplished in a lot of areas of my life.
Work life? Great! Within the past four years I’ve made amazing connections and my future is looking bright.
Finances? Well we all have student loans, but with opportunities came more mula. And if you know me THAT makes me happy (not that it defines me or anything)… and your girl credit score looking right, ok?!
Social life? If you read my first post you know that I’ve been working on saying “no” and I’ve been mastering it. Feeling like I have the perfect balance of relaxing after long weeks and still going out when I feel like it.
So what is missing you may ask? Yup. I’m single as hell. And I’ve never been this falling over, looking for love kind of girl (honestly I’ve often wondered if I were maybe I wouldn’t be here?… mmmm nah). It’s become quite clear to me though that I’ve wanted a relationship, its just never been priority number 1. So since I was hitting other goals, I was fulfilled. But now more than ever for some reason I no longer need my mama nagging me as that reminder that I’m single, I’m, reminded all by myself.
First thing I had to realize and admit to myself was that this was an actual desire. For so long I would talk about my career being my main focus, and when friends would try and hook me up I’d remind them that being in a relationship or marriage was not a life or death matter. I would get into debates with my parents and let them know that life would go on if love never found me. Now though my stance on these things have NOT changed, I have been reminding myself lately that what I speak will come to be. Would I really be ok being single forever? With no one to share life with? Just some questions I’d ask myself…. Secondly, I realized I had no clue what it meant to date. So I’m about to be super transparent. I’ve been in TOO many situationships. Yup you read right. Situationships, not relationships.
Situationship: A relationship that has no label on it.. like a friendship but more than a friendship but not quite a relationship.
Yup. I went into one, came out of it, went into another, came out of it… you get the point. And I found that men liked the idea of me and keeping me around but would not commit. It was quite puzzling. But I realized they weren’t committing because I was settling for just their company. In the beginning I was ok with us not being committed, and then I’d develop feelings and then it would turn into some sort of debate, and then it would be over. Boy, was I tired of THIS. So within the past year I told myself I’d be as specific as possible with men: I’m looking to build (note I still would not say, “I want a relationship”).
Third and lastly because I’m realizing this is becoming a super long post, I guess I had to put myself out there. And this is actually the most confusing for me. I think I’m pretty social. I’m out all the time, though I’ve recently committed to slowing down. I’m not with the online dating, so going out was it (not my preference, knuckle up if you got a problem). I will admit when I’m out, and I happen to give my number to someone I never let it go anywhere. I’ll either never respond to their text or call …. or start a conversation and let it just be that.. a conversation. When friends ask to link me with someone, I also shut it down. In my mind I’m looking for something organic. Yup, I know that when I exchange numbers with someone I’ve met while I’m out this can absolutely count as an organic interaction. I’m working on it people!!
But I am prepping myself, because I’ve never been materialistic or picky (friends would argue this) but I do have standards. I remember a couple years back when I was looking desperately for a new job opportunity, someone I looked up to warned me not to be so desperate that I just take any opportunity presented to me. This is how I feel about dating… I’m not desperate, and there are standards I just won’t budge on. And that’s really because I’ve budged before and it just never worked out.
2018 will be different because for the first time, I’ve written love on my resolution list. I truly believe that writing down and speaking your goals into existence works… especially when its aligned with prayer.
I’m ready and welcoming it with open arms. Still hard for me to say it out loud so I guess I’ll just type it:
I want a relationship. A happy, loving, balanced, God-filled relationship.
This title is totally up for debate. I honestly hope you’re not reading this post to find out what that art is, because to be quite honest: I don’t know. What I do know is that there is importance in knowing when and how to use it. “No” that is.
No… you don’t have to say YES to everything.
No… If you use NO their lives will not end. They’ll figure it out without you’re commitment.
No… You’ll never accomplish any of your own personal goals if you say YES to assisting others in accomplishing theirs — did you get that? As creatives we are what I like to call “creative magnets”. This means folks will take a peek at what we’re creating (or what we’ve already created) and immediately ask you to help them create. And I mean who wouldn’t be flattered by this? You thought I was dope enough to be included on your personal project. You trust my creative juices. And I have no doubt that your project will be dope too. But ma’am/sir – I ain’t got the time for it. Don’t tell me that my time can be balanced. Don’t tell me that we make time for what we want…. Actually scratch that – we do make time for what we want. And what I DON”T want is to be committed to your dream, because I have a dream of my own. So………. NO.
No… you don’t have to be a people pleaser. Like. Why are we so consumed with pleasing people? Think about that fear of disappointing the ones close to you. Is it that you feel like they’ll be so mad at you and your friendship will be over? Or maybe they’ll “never” ask again – and you just want to say no this one time? The gag is if they react this way, they are not your friends. BUT, you knew that right? Why are we holding on to people who make us feel guilty for saying no.
So at this point, you’re probably like: “You right girl, I’m gonna say no and Imma grind for my own. Imma be committed to ME”. And Imma be here cheering you on like, “THAT’S RIGHT SIS (or bro)”. But that first NO is finna’ be so hard. Like, real hard. So here’s some ways you can let that word fly out of your month:
1. Say “no” fast. – we love saying, “let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you by….” – knowing good and well you. want. to. say. NO. The quicker you say no, the less time you torture yourself about how you’ll turn down your friend (or whoever the asker is).
2. Stick to your “no”. I would say you don’t have to explain your no, but if it’s a close friend… they may be looking for an explanation. So briefly explain and stick to your decision. Family and friends will most likely try to convince you that your reasons aren’t valid or that they won’t impose on your personal life. They’re lying. And to be really real…. You will hate every second you spend working on their project. You’ll go back to the day that you had the opportunity to say no, and you didn’t. So be a broken record and…. Stick to your no.
3. Remember why you chose your “no” – again guilt will take over when you make them no’s rain on ‘em. You’ll start finding different ways at which a “yes” could have worked. You will feel bad… but that feeling will be short lived. Remember all of your plans and goals and how time is an important piece in obtaining them. Saying “no” makes sense because you can say “yes” to consistency, being disciplined, and accomplishing those ideas that’s been collecting dust in your creative closet.
*cues Mary Mary* “Nobody told me the road would be easyyyyy” ……..
Saying “no” is NEVER easy. But the easy road leads us to a place we’d rather not be. How long will you put off your own dreams and goals because you’re so committed to helping someone else reach theirs? This may be you working your 9-5… fact will always be that you are a part of your boss’ team. A team that is consistently helping them and their business (THEIR DREAM) prosper. Or maybe you’re stuck singing backup when you really want to be lead. Maybe you need to say no and begin working on your own music project. Folk will always ask you how’s your music going, how’s your business going, how are your dreams going? If you can’t even answer that for yourself… you’re in trouble fam. Real trouble. Start saying no… today. Like yesterday.
Just. Say. No.
“Saying no can be the ultimate self-care” – Claudia Black