DINK Family Pt. 2

Plea 3: Make a double income work: Looking back, we could have changed so many things and saved a whole lot more. Making 1 income work for both of us would have been amazing. We could have probably started saving one pay check each a month within a year of moving on our own. We didn’t see things this way, and though we might have mentioned it, it never got put into action. Make a double income work by pooling your income. Build a level of trust between yourself and your partner, choose a hard core saving plan with great interest and bank your dollars! Physically watch your money move across debts, bills and savings and tell me that you won’t be relieved at how much lighter the future looks. We saved well in some sense, just not together. We each saved in 3 different ways, separately and continued to not know the actual figure of our savings.

Plea 4: Delay those babies: I know of a newlywed that is planning to expand their family very soon. They got married 2 months ago! I cringed at the thought and couldn’t hold my tongue. I said point blank ‘don’t do it’. Please give yourself 3-5 years married together before having children. Pregnancy and becoming parents is not what any one believes either to be.  Spend your time together for a while. Develop routines in your life, have copious amounts of sex everywhere, move at least twice, work on your education, set up your career and a side hustle that makes you money that you also enjoy. Live on the edge. Fight. Have huge disgusting fights (non-physical of course). Oh God! Travel!! Backpack somewhere. Visit family on the other side of the world. Make attempts at small businesses. Fail. Get up again together. Build some sort of a back bone before throwing babies into the mix. For heaven’s sake, get rid of your parents’ strong hand in your life. Become fully independent. Do stupid shit. Invest wisely and make good financial decisions.  Experiment together. Did I say travel already? TRAVEL! Cheap trips, excursions and questionable places. Nail down a signature dish that you could both eat ALL the time! Dive deep into a hobby. Apologize to people you have hurt in life and end squabbles. Man up. Woman up. Get cracking on your bucket list. Just do a lot of somethings before you even decide to become parents! Please don’t get the wrong impression, we love our son to death. We worked very hard for him. The honest fact is that introducing kids prematurely can be maddening. There is just so much you lose when you become parents. So much that you are not allowed to be mad about when you decide (yes, decide) to be responsible for another human being. By this I’m talking life and the cost of it once kids come into the mix. Also, I’m not just talking about money. How about your sanity, time, social life, body, health and relationship. You need a tight grip on past experiences, maturity and war stripes gained together to get you through the tough times. This isn’t a scare tactic it’s the absolute truth.

Plea 5: Fall in love with yourself: Over and over again. Find yourself. Marriage will make you create this veil that you THINK you will need to maintain. It is half manipulation and half compromise, some cases more than half. You somehow always look well done up, you carry on these facades with family members, you bare a face of so much hope when things are not great or when you need help. You somehow convince yourself that you can and will be all your spouse/partner needs and get burnt out. Don’t. Love yourself. Know what you like, say no when you genuinely don’t like something. Decline invitations that were usually accepted ‘to save face’. Become apologetic. Eliminate and categorize friendships, some you have grown away from but are still dear to your heart. Work on always becoming a better you, even if it’s just baby steps. A oneness with your true self can only improve marriages that are meant to prosper. Sit in that and thrive together.

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DINK Family Pt. 1

I recently encountered this term while reading an article on Squawfox blog. It stands for Double Income No Kids. I guess seeing something designed as an acronym created some sort of closure for me as I am always looking back at our finances then. I stumbled on this term while reading a post on the actual cost of raising a kid. I also like to read and browse the interwebs and find out more about how people lives have changed once a precious lil monster babe comes in the picture. The term also stirred some guilt within me and so I would like to let it all go in this blog. I did not see the massive impact that a double income home can have. I did not respect my money and I definitely did not live like we wouldn’t need to have something in the back. Now bear with me, as I give a little back story. We became a DINKs in late 2012, we moved on our own early 2013 and we basically started our lives from scratch all over once again. There was something in this coming into our own leaving the nest and never wanting to look back that hung over our heads in a bad way. As such, we lived our life, came and went as we please and bought whatever the hell it is our heart desired. We got every limit ever placed on us and every ugly wish reversed by doing THE most. While I don’t regret it, we had things a bit difficult, and so I did not look ahead.

Walk with me. Double Income No Kids means that there is a pool of money to support two people; adult people. They do not require more than the basic necessities to live and survive. They know and understand what a sacrifice means. They also know and understand some version of what budget, opportunity costs, bills and the sting of automatic payments is. They most importantly, know and have come to grips with what is required monthly to maintain their free and clear adult lifestyle. This is where maturity and discipline comes in and you basically become an adult a little more every single month. People who fail to realize this simple fact can stop reading here. You are immature, unambitious, lazy, a thief and very disrespectful. You somehow have the notion packed away that it is fair for you to live as you please in someone’s place and not pay a single cent for it. This is a very dangerous mindset and will only be to your detriment. If you’re not at all bothered or indignant by my last statement, then please, read on.

 

I want to make a plea!

Plea 1: Lay it all bare: Every debt that is owed should be put to the forefront. Every bill that is to be paid, should be laid out on the table. That shameful department store card that you cannot for your sake name one thing that you used it to get, should be on the forefront. Lay it all out, with all judgements aside, as you’re already in this to move forward; not dwell on the past. Putting it all out there is for both of you to get a figure. Listen to me, this figure will cause disappointment and some fights. Make up sex is a temporary fix, have some and get to planning. We somewhat did this, but we did not have a collective figure and I strongly believe that if we do the shock would force us to create better goals and achieve more. If we had a figure that we were working together to reduce then we would have done so much more with our money. We instead, paid our debts separately as we felt individual responsibility. I believe it would have been far better to dedicated 60% of the debt payment to the partner with more debt, than to struggle on each own.

Plea 2: Build a fair plan: Our excel budget sheet has a tab for bills, pay schedule, savings, but not debt. We knew and could see what we couldn’t change (bills), when we were getting rewarded (pay day) and what we were building on (savings). We couldn’t see however, just how much interest, fees or how much our debt was increasing/decreasing. We just made our payments and never thought too much about the percentage of money that was being poured into debt or just how much we were relying on credit. We weren’t seeing an actual number on how much we were living above our means. Plus, we hardly read the statements, we just wanted to know how much room we had. What a crock! Our savings plan was solid, we even tried this monthly plan were you increased the money you contributed to your savings by a little bit each month. In hindsight, this amount was peanuts compared to what we could have had!

A Seat At The Table Review……part deux

….and SCENE!

We’re back and I’m right back to my perfect candlelight and zen.

Laying with my hands behind my head and my eyes closed. I ride the waves of Where Do We Go. The beat is so much larger than life. I smile at past memories this made flood to my mind. It’s relatable and you may listen being grateful you made the right decision or just be satisfied with sharing the same question you currently face.

F.U.B.U is the anthem. The answer to racism. The ultimate middle finger to the bullshit. ‘Don’t clip my wings before I learn to fly‘…’don’t feel bad if you can’t sing along, just be glad you got the whole wide world’. Enjoy the various sounds in this track as it glides right into Borderline.

Knew there was something about Junie that I couldn’t put my finger on. Andre 3000 and Raphael Saadiq magical asses are on this. The beat coming through right before ‘you want to be the teacher’ will make your hips roll!

At track 18 I started feeling sad as the album was almost done. I felt so grateful for this body of work. Coming off of a Stranger Things high, this track won me over immediately. The 80s Retrowave intro had me playing an air keyboard, one hand completing one line, then the other. I immediately looked up the lyrics because I had to sing along. I ugly sang this song 6 times before moving on. I went off, silent notes where my voice deserted me, leaning my face to ensure the notes left and hard gasping just to catch the next line. I thought this song became me and that I did so well I considered posting a cover on YouTube. I don’t have a melodic bone in my body but I’d do it so people actually look the original up. I feel like it would be so bad it would go viral and people would want to hear the original, just to answer ‘WTF’.  I can easily say this was my favourite and though it pained me to pick 1 fave. ‘This concrete don’t have love for me’ was my favourite line.  Plot twist: Though the lyrics don’t fit, I’d dance naked to this for my boo, full on hard shake my ass.

Les Interludes gems: If you don’t understand my work, then you don’t understand me. Don’t let anyone steal your magic. Have no limits to what you can do. Don’t put people on pedestals that just are humans like us. Black people do always have to rehab themselves!

I spent a good while reading reviews all over the net. The entire album as written by Solange. Usually when an individual controls an entire body of work, there are qualms. There’s not even 1 to be found here.

I haven’t enjoyed an album this much since Emeli Sande’s-Our Version of Events…2011.

Please bless your life with this magic…

*Replays ‘Don’t Wish Me Well’ as I wash baby bottles…my house is gonna be sick of this song!.

 

A Seat At The Table Review part. 1…

I have zero musical accolades and have never written a review, but this is from my heart…

I went to the part of our apartment that reminds me of my room back home. There is am ambience there that hugs me even when I’m deep under the covers. A spirit that leads me to just be and do whatever I want to do. This is the space you need to be in when you plug your head phones in and hit PLAY on this album. The first play on this album isn’t a speaker box type deal; it needs to be private.  It’s meant to be an intimate dialogue of crescendos, treble clefts and whatever else they have in music and YOUR silence. Let it permeate your veins and give yourself the chance to be fed. I lit some candles and tuck myself under the comforter and there I laid as I was mesmerized by the vocals of Queen Solange Ferguson, our patron Saint Heron. Every rhythm on this album knocks. Knocks very hard.

heron

The light formed a heart…talk about a perfect moment…

The heaviness of the world isn’t missed by anyone because there hasn’t been a break and the first joint on this motherfucker just fucking said what everyone is feeling. The beat played on your curiosity as to what this album is about, then It knocked the fucking nail in the head. ‘I am weary of the ways of world!’ I am sick and tired of seeing the wars, police brutality, murders, the politics, the suffering, the anger, those lost running about with no end in sight. Those displaced and hurting and those just lingering. She said…’Be leery of your place in the world…you’re feeling in like you’re chasing the world…and leaving not a trace in the world.’ The rat race will make you feel like you’re being thrown down a dark slope and you can’t change course. You can. She said it. Let this be the chicken soup, to your hardened soul.

Cranes in the sky spoke to a personal battle for me. I will leave that as is. Stay out my business but ‘post-it’ it to the part of your mind that you wish. It’s that fluid.

I’ve learned to let go of things just recently and I still have a lot of growing up to do. As an adult, accountability is so important and humility will help you grow so much; marry them. Since the birth of my son, I don’t have to privilege others have to constantly be on about something even when my plate is full. I cannot snap and break things and stick it to people and let them ‘suck it’. That’s time lost that I can’t get back and trouble my ass can’t afford to be in, in 2016! Listen to her though and take it from me, you got the right to be mad but if you carry it along, It only gets in the way. Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!

I went full on head rocking, body twisting, finger snapping to ‘Don’t You Wait’. This is my life mantra. Don’t waste my time, or yours; ever. First of all, I cannot be tamed. My spirit transcends moments and I have to keep zooming. This is the track that pulled me from under my comforter and made me get my laptop. I needed to capture my exposure in milliseconds, in digital ‘carbon form’.

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2 days post BIG CHOP #twa

Patron saints, now listen. I recently hacked off all of my hair, ‘homestyle’. A friend, a pair of scissors and a cheering spouse. When it was done I probably sat staring at myself in the mirror for 2hrs, wondering what the fuck I just did. I felt ugly. The catch was that I had to embrace it. So I did, and it was the best decision of my life. So much came with it that had nothing to do with me though. I was told I looked like a man. After being invited to a wedding, I was told I ‘should probably wear a wig’. I’ve had days at work when comments were made when it wasn’t ‘curly’. That it looked dry. I smiled in the face of it all and embraced the maturity and strength that came from defending something that felt and made me feel SO good. Something that I cannot apologize for! Not at the length or the ‘aesthetic look’ where people ask to touch, but when they do I’ll politely say no. this is a universal black woman problem and I know the song isn’t as straight forward as the title. My point is that my natural hair caused me to build MYSELF up so much, I have to protect it EVERY TIME. It becomes your second heart and not everyone can touch it.

Les interludes: The glory IS in you. Trust. Matthew was living in the threat of death daily, angry for years, somewhat like the current state of things. However, Tina taught me to be proud-er; asap. There is no greater joy than embracing being black.

 

…..and my kid just woke up as I am only 7 songs in. Gotta go hold his hand while he drinks his babba back to bed; hopefully….

…..Nope, nothing like a shitty diaper to pull you back to reality…

 

Part duex soon….