Was Kanye right in terms of calling slavery a choice? As offensive and derogatory his statement was to people of color and the working class; the state that the country is in, calls us to question if us saying his mental health was just an “issue”. Many of us are working to survive from paycheck to paycheck and doing little to no saving. If we are saving, we are looking for jobs at our current jobs trying to earn gainful employment with better benefits, greater pay, and a little more breathing room.

When many of us were kids, we saw our parents and friend’s parents encouraging us to work a federal job. The focus has always been to have a long term pension (which is rare to nonexistent) , a 401K, just something solidifying 40+ years of financial security. Sounds nice but with the direction this political arena is taking, the government looks more like a WWE introduction each day rather than a field of opportunity for the people appointed by the people.

Now don’t get me wrong working a federal job is not a bad thing. One reoccurring issue that should be reassessed are the factors that threaten the security of pay. There should be a bill passed with flying colors protecting citizens who work and are employed through the government.

As this government shutdown continues into week four (the second bi-weekly check in the month…clearly insanity) over 800,000+ federal workers along with families are starting to feel the instability of our nation’s Chucky-in-chief. (I SAID WHAT I SAID).

We really don’t think of these circumstances as they are far and few in between. But this brings attention to what’s motivating us to be mindful of our finances.

Now I do not work in a federal agency where my pay is affected (I work in non profit/human services). However, the ripple effect of these drastic measures taken by #45 will start to ripple into my line of work. The needs of people do not stop hence the workload will begin to increase. So preparation is key.

Four weeks prior to this…

I started to review my finances to see where I actually was in terms of debt, savings, spending, and lavish living. You name it, I was checking it.

So I decided to do a spreadsheet viewing my debt at a 12 month scale of how I wanted to tackle my debt for 2019. Not only this but to see where I could maximize my saving and the cushion to spend when the time arises. My goal has been to pay 10K in debt before the closing of 2019. So far my debt has been under control and I’ve contributed approximately 2K to my goal. I really and truly want to get better with my hard earned money.

Now some may say the advantages one may have is due to lack of responsibility in terms of independent housing, kids, reoccurring bills, grocery shopping for the home, car insurance, car note…yes this is all true but….we make time and space for whatever is important.

WE make TIME and SPACE for whatever we deem as important. From parties to brunches, from trips that are domestic to international, we will withhold certain things from ourselves just for an experience we may or may not remember.

But what about making sure the home-front is secure?

We’re always talking about securing the bag…but if the bag is empty are we securing plastic or paper?

Something to put into perspective.

So below are some ways you can start to evaluate how to look at your finances if you haven’t started already:

    First take a deep breath and push past the procrastination of doing this task.
    Make proper use of your time when commuting instead of music listen to podcasts geared toward your goals.
    Look at what accounts (savings and checking) you already have and what you currently hold in each of them.
    Look at your credit report for any outstanding balances or just an overall view of what your credit score is.
    Write down all your current debt. (Everything even the things not present on you credit report).
    Print out your bank and credit card statement(s) from the past 12 months. Highlight or color code where your spending is heavy.
    Evaluate if you’re more of a saver or spender.
    Check to see if you’ll have other streams of income coming in. Such as a bonus, promotion, rebates, tax refund(s), and or a side hustle.
    Ask your friends (your real friends) to hold you accountable in regards to the steps you will be taking.
    For the responsibilities of home, do an inventory of the things you already have and may have purchased twice or even three times within the same period.

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to change their lifestyle, meaning your personal wants have now become essentially the biology of your needs; see where you are willing to be flexible.

Are you willing to work a little more, create another wellspring of income? Are you willing to cook twice a week instead of eating out 5 days of your work week? Are you willful to make use of your gym membership that you’ve been paying for monthly?A 9-5 is no easy task by all means but if you’re not willing to create or adjust, what truly can be done is up to you.

Here are some websites that have helped me personally:

  • Nerdwallet.com – this website definitely gave me perspective in terms of looking at all the “…right money moves” from credit cards to credit repair.
  • thepennyhoarder.com – different ways to make money, find deals, and be smart with your money.
  • thesmartwallet.com – again a simpler easier read.

For the save and go:

  • digit.co – filters through your account to see where you can save something extra on the side.
  • qapital.com – my absolute favorite thus far in terms of saving on the go.

There are more but I encourage you to do your research and find out which methods effectively work for you.

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