Let's Talk Money
By now you all have probably realized that we write a lot of our blogs based on the National Calendar Day. This week, on November 8th is National Talk Money Day. Who knew? Lol. At first I scrolled past and tried to find something more relative and fun. Then I was drawn back to the title because I always feel like conversations about money are so taboo in a lot of communities but especially in the black community. This year has been challenging financially for a lot of families and businesses alike which makes the timing all the better to discuss this forbidden subject.
Growing up our mom never discussed money per se. It was just always understood that we didn't have any. As a child I couldn't understand how we NEVER had any money but I also didn't give it much thought because we never went hungry and the lights were always on. In hindsight I believe what our mom meant was we didn't have money for pleasantries like eating out all the time or buying the latest fashion. When there was a small windfall of extra funds we would indulge but that was very few and far between. Mommy just always stressed to us to have good credit. Her motto was always "people who don't have money need good credit". Very rarely was she late on bills and if she was you could believe she was working out some sort of payment arrangement.
By the time I got to high school and our stepdad moved to Mt. Pleasant from Jamaica, NY we really got a lesson on money. He was frugal but he had money and he was smart with it. He was 20 years our mom's senior and retired. He referred to everyone as Little Kid -even our mom. LOL. He would walk around saying "Little Kid, if you don't have money you're in TROUBLE!" This was such a contradiction to what mommy had taught us but I realized quickly they were both right!
We live in a world where you need money to do everything and when you don't have money your options are very limited. It's such a survival tool and most people do not treat it as such. Some people will try to make you feel bad if you talk about wanting more money whether you're earning it or not. But at the end of the day it's a necessity and it's difficult to live without it. Some say money won't solve your problems but speaking from personal experience it may not solve all of your problems but it damn sure solves most! How can you be joyful and happy when you're worried about where your next meal is coming from or worried about your lights getting disconnected? Once the basic necessities are taken care of everything else is extra and theres's nothing wrong with wanting more either.
I've taught Kamryn about money and her RELATIONSHIP with money since she's been old enough to count money (about age 5). I want her to understand it is a tool and how to use it wisely. She's a great saver and now at 19 she's interested in learning the stock market which is something I've never fully understood although I've dibbled and dabbled a little bit. Thankfully she didn't grow up with the level of lack that I did so she was able to see money being used for all of its benefits. By age 13 I was teaching her how to write checks and explaining how to pay bills to her. Have any of you ever had that type of conversation with your teenager? You would be amazed in what they don't understand. LOL. When I explained paying car insurance, car payments, a mortgage and utilities to Kamryn she was in shock! Most kids have no idea what it takes to run a household. Try it with your teenager and let us know how it goes.
Talking about money is important in every aspect of your life from your spouse to your kids to even having talks about money with your friends. Sometimes it's not just about going out and having a good time but having conversations about long term goals and how you plan to get there. You may share valuable information and not even realize it. Each one teach one.