By Jasmine Kelly
I grew up in a single parent home where I was one of three children and my mother was the breadwinner. Looking back, I honestly do not know how my mother made ends meet because I never missed out on extracurricular activities. My siblings and I always had what we needed (and occasionally wanted) and even had a chance to experience Disney World. To say the least, my mother was a miracle worker and while she made a lot happen, I can also recall when times were very tight.
As a single woman in my twenties who has been through some thangs (yes, thangs), I understand now, more than ever, that the best accessory that a woman can have is a healthy financial life. I have been in situations where push came to shove, and if I did not have any money, I simply would have been out of luck. Yes, my mother would literally give her right arm for me but unfortunately, I do not come from a family dynamic where money is free-flowing. For that reason, if someone did choose to assist me, I know that it is not without strain on them. Thus, if stuff hits the fan, I know I can only truly rely on me.
It is not all bad though. Witnessing how my mom occasionally struggled amongst other things cause me to take my education seriously when I went to college. Fast forward a couple of years, I have two degrees (working on a third one) and doing well in my career. There were some lessons that I had to learn the hard way, but I can honestly say that I have a stable financial foundation; one in which I am building upon daily. It is my goal to ultimately change the socioeconomic status of my family. Taking into consideration my goals and understanding that I am not the only one who feels this way, I saw fit to compile a list of five reasons to focus on getting your money right if you have not considered it already.
Emergencies – Emergencies happen all the time, and you can count on them almost always being unexpected. Despite the stress and anxiety that revolves around such circumstances, you do not need a lack of money contributing to the situation. Emergencies are anything that is important to you that goes array. An emergency can be not having enough money to get your hair done for an interview or not having enough funds to replace a tire. At any rate, having something put away for a rainy day (or wigless day) helps with the unexpected.
Large Expenses– Keep living, and I tell you, life will life you and when it does, baybee, it’s going to cost you! It is important to focus on getting your wallet right so that you can afford large expenses when they occur. Large expenses can be anywhere from replacing an appliance to moving to another state. Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.
Standard of Living- In this life, you have to pay to play. Nothing is free! When you are healthy financially you naturally have a better standard of living. I am not saying that you have to eat your coco puffs with a Gucci spoon. I am just saying that if you want to, I want you to be able to have the choice to do so. When you are together financially, you have more options as it relates to your standard of living. So yes, girl, the next time you got out to eat, get the extra guac, sis! You deserve!
Capital– Yeah, I know they say more money, more problems, but I think the more money you have, the better options to invest! Having a little cash stashed away allows you to invest in various things which can contribute to your financial capital which then contributes to your overall financial security.
Freedom- Need I say more? When you are sound monetarily, you can move how you want. I like to call this “ F&^% You Money.” Should you ever find yourself in a job or a situation that is causing you extreme mental, emotional or spiritual angst, you need to have the funds to get out of dodge, sis. I was once employed in a position that I wanted to quit so badly but I couldn’t because I did not have an emergency fund set aside. I am not saying that money is a cure-all, but should you ever want to remove yourself from a situation, I want you to be able to do so comfortably.
Jasmine Kelly is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Jasmine is a higher education professional who believes in the powers of Black Twitter. You can follow her on Instagram @chicomydusty.