Money has always been a struggle for me. I personally believe(d) that money is to be spent. The concept of saving eluded me. I was never taught how to, only told that it was something I should be doing. So as any creative self employed person would, I lived from pay check to pay check, made sure I was making enough to cover rent and bills and feed myself. Whenever something unexpected popped up, as is inevitable in this life, I would be stressed, sad, and all around frustrated because I would be reminded that I have no savings to deal with situations like this. The pandemic only emphasized this further.
So this past year, it’s been all about the money for me. There are so many negative connotations with money. Whether it’s the root of all evil, or a sign that yuh sell out. Having it means you “feel you better than everybody”, it leads to greed and envy and all these yucky things. But here is the reality, without money, we can do nothing. Literally.
There was a specific period this year where I had zero dollars. All the money ran out and I was in between pay checks. Someone wanted me to meet them in person, and I couldn’t because I didn’t have a car at the time and I had no money to take a rideshare or taxi. I couldn’t eat because I had no way of going to the grocery to use the Massy points I had to get something to hold me over. And the state of depression I was in prevented me from reaching out to ask for help. Plus let’s be real, it was also shame. This moment really brought home for me the reality, forget comfort, forget nice things, money is needed to simply live.
Being the problem solver I am, (after getting help from people who called and asked the right questions at the right time, thank you), I changed how I interacted with money. First, I needed accountability and someone to help me budget. I reached out to my accountant and explained everything, I got really vulnerable. What happened after has literally changed my life: I meet every week with a financial advisor and go through how much money I’m expecting to make in that week, and how much I need to spend. Everyone I’ve ever tried to ask for help always wanted me to give them information on a monthly basis, but every month when you work for yourself is completely different. Weekly tracking worked. I started to see how many clients I needed to take on in a month, to pay attention to cash flow, to say no to a lime sometimes, to buy the cheaper product in the grocery, and generally be more aware of how I make and spend money.
For the first time in my life, I was able to use my own money to purchase a laptop for my business because l actually had it in my account. I want to be really open and transparent about this because we do not talk about money. As an adult I don’t know a week that has gone by that banking does not frustrate me. Something has got to give and I believe that together, if we share our experiences, information, advice, we can figure this thing out. So in case you were wondering why I’m doing an event next week entitled Let’s Talk About Money, this is why.
I am grateful to Lorraine and C15 Studios for agreeing to cohost with me. I am grateful to Dr. Keron Niles for calling at the right time. And I am grateful for all the experiences along the way, and all the people who were a part of them, truly.