My Money Matters: Week 1

Growing up your parents always tell you to save your money and not to spend money on frivolous things. I listened to some extent. My mother has worked in the mortgage industry for almost 30 years, she was a Loan Officer, Mortgage Processor, Credit Counselor and now she’s a consultant.

My mother always taught my sister and I about credit and saving money. We had an allowance growing up and I started working at the age of 14. If I wanted something I got it, plain and simple. But I always watched how I spent my money.

As time went on I started to spoil my sister a lot more. She was on the basketball team and wanted a pair of Jordan’s, so me being the big sister spent a $150 on a pair if sneakers for my little sister; mind you I was still in high school. Every time she saw something she wanted I bought it. Me, I spent most of my money on books, clothes, shoes, and trips. Yes, I said trips. I love to travel so I was always going somewhere.

Came time for college and I went off to North Carolina. I worked 3 jobs while in school full time. Sent money home for my family, not because I had but because I wanted to. I’m spoiled, I always have been so I like to spoil my friends and family as well. Birthdays and Christmas I spent entirely too much money but the look on my loved ones faces brings me joy.

A few years ago my mother started to notice that my spending was getting out of hand. I wasn’t happy with my life so I chose shopping as my stress reliever. I would spend $50-$75 a month on books and just sit in my room and read. If I went out to the mall I would spend at least $100 on clothes and shoes I didn’t need. So my mother put a stop to all of that. My life living on a budget was back. I hadn’t lived on a budget in years but working full time had put more money in my pockets.

Living on a budget allowed me to clean up my act. But it also made me look at things from a different perspective. I wanted to start my own business but my spending habits had to change. I wanted to buy a house but I needed to pay off some credit cards. The biggest thing was I wanted to move to Virginia but I didn’t have enough money saved up.

My journey began, I lived off $60 allowance for two weeks, only using CASH!!! Gave my mother my bank card, credit cards and checkbook. Whew.., it was tough but I am THANKFUL!! I finally moved to VA and my businesses have began form, yes more than one!!

When LaKesha Womack mentioned she was creating a money management workbook I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Funny how things work, when she published this book I had just gotten laid off from my job. So fast forward a few months. I knew I wanted to start 2013 off a little differently and staying debt free was one of them. I purchased her book and my journey continues.

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This is a 52 week money management workbook that will help you track your spending. You will be surprised just how much money you spend each week. Each week I am going to write about my experience and where my money is going. Before I purchase anything I am going to ask myself ‘Do I really NEED this?’ Notice I said ‘NEED’ and not ‘WANT’. I’m saving money just because, there are no plans for this money I’m just choosing to live below (not within) my means.

Join me on this journey and get your My Money Management Workbook from LaKesha. She also teaches classes on financial awareness. The workbook comes is available for Youth, Teens/Young Adults and Adults.

It’s never too late to get your finances in order. Income tax checks are coming be careful what you spend it on.

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