April is Financial Literacy Month

In honor of it being “Financial Literacy Month”, I thought it would be appropriate to break my silence by discussing finances.

Disclaimer: I try my best not to discuss subjects that I have not experienced personally, seen with my eyes, or read and interpreted with my mind.

Now that that’s out the way, I will share with you what I found to be important in my 29 years of living as it pertains to finances

  1. Budget A tool used to track your income and expenses. I live by my budget. I want everyone who is reading this to go out and buy a composition book right now and start your budget today! Let me help you get started. Open your composition book and write down all of your monthly bills. Next to your bills write the due date, balance, and interest rate. On the following pages right down your pay dates for the next 3 months. Under each pay date, list which bill is scheduled to be paid with that check. This will help you to better get a handle on your finances. For Example: I get paid April 15 and April 30 this month. Under April 15, I would put cell phone and the amount being as though my cell phone is due on the 16th. Under April 30, I would put mortgage because as we know rent/mortgage is due on the first.
  2. Pay Yourself First  The Golden Rule in my family has always been to save 10% of your income. Now 10% may seem a little steep for some. Some weeks 10% is too much for myself. So start small. 1%, 3%, 5%, is enough to get you started. The point is to get in the habit of saving for a rainy day. Get in the habit of not spending everything that you earn. Doing this also helps you to create the habit of preparing for the future.
  3. Pay Off Your Debt Credit Cards, Car Loans, School Loans, Cell Phones! Pay it off! Whatever it is PAY IT OFF. If you want to start with the debt that has the highest interest rate or start with the lower balance, Look over your situation and figure out what works best for you!
  4. Take Advantage of DCA Accounts-  What’s that you say? Well its an account that employers offer that helps to offset childcare expenses. The money is taken out of your account before taxes. Its a beautiful thing. Inquire with your employer for more information
  5. You Deserve A Cushion  Cushion – “What if I lost my job today money?” If you are living from pay check to pay check. Its time to create better habits that ensure that your cushion is FAT! What if you lost your job today, how comfortable would you be? Review your budget real quick. Look at 1 full month of bills and total them. How comfortable would you be if you lost your job tomorrow? Those in the financial realm would say that people should have 3-6 months of savings in their account in case of an emergency. I have read in some articles that 12 months worth of savings is sufficient. It really all depends on how comfortable you would like to be if an emergency were to arise.
  6. Think 1,3,5 Years Increments Think about where you would like to financially within the next 5 years. What salary would you like to make? How much money would you like to have saved? What major purchases do you plan on buying in the future? See kids in your future? What you think about you bring about. Just think first!

Here are some terms that I am now familiarizing myself as well. If your interested in taking your finances to the next level research (Google, YouTube, Books) the following the following terms/names

  • IRA (Roth/Traditional)
  • Compound Interest
  • Personal Finances for Dummies (Book)
  • Warren Buffet Interviews (Youtube)
  • The Budgetnista (YouTube)

If there are any tips regarding finances that you have learned please share with us. Any books you would like to recommend, please share!

Until next time…..

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Mental Health in Black America!

Before I begin, let me start with a few facts.

13.2% of the population identifies as Black or African American. That is about 45.7 million people. In 2013, 16% of 45.7 million African American people had diagnosable mental illnesses, which totals about 6.8 million people.

(Let me note that these #’s are not totally accurate and are just estimates. The #s are actually greater due to the fact that not all people report to census or have been properly diagnosed.)

Mental Illness in the African American community is a subject that I am very interested in. To me, it is very intriguing. It’s funny because at first, I myself stayed away from the topic. I never really took the time to figure out what mental health and mental illness means to me. I guess even myself has associated mental illness with a negative definition. After working in the field for 5 years, I have defined mental illness as a distorted way of thinking stemming from a lack of opportunity and a result of trauma which is expressed verbally or non-verbally in the actions of a person.

I am not one to link myself with lablels which is why I probably stayed away from “mental illness” and the labels associated with the disease.However, now I believe that it is how you define the “labels” given to you, that matters the most. Now that I have a deeper understanding of mental illness and no longer link the diagnosis with negativity, I am open to the literature that is out there regarding mental illness and how it affects African Americans and I want to educate my peers, the youth, and elders in my community so they can become more comfortable with the disease and seek treatment.

There are 5 different categories to think about when we discuss a healthy and whole person.

There is physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and MENTAL health. If any of these 5 areas are out of balance, it messes everything up. However, I have noticed that the mental health of a person is not really focused on. Mental health in my opinion is one of the most important areas of focus along with spiritual because we become what we think about the most. That’s a fact! So

if your mind is filled with clutter and negative thoughts, it’s recognized by what you produce in the world. It is important to know the more trauma and pain you experience in your life or that you witness in the life of others, it affects your mental health.

African Americans experience more trauma and violent crimes than any other race in America. African Americans mental health is at risk and we must take a personal responsibility to save ourselves emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually, and MENTALLY.

Let’s get serious about our mental health and get open about the treatment available to us!

Let Go & Live Unplanned

​In life. Society tells us that we have to do certain things and accomplish certain goals in order for us to be fulfilled. To feel fulfilled. 

So we create goals and devise a plan. In this plan, we discuss how many kids we want to have, our careers, the type of relationship we want to have with our partners, friends, family members.  If your anything like me, you have your 1,5  and 10 year life plan. You think a lot about tomorrow and do your best in attempting to prevent mistakes from happening in everyday life.

Disclaimer: A BLUE PRINT IS NEEDED IF YOU WANT TO BE ACTIVE IN  THIS SOCIETY.

However, how by planning everything. You are not allowing God to have the opportunity to do its work. What you focus on is what you get. If you have a plan, you focus on achieving those goals in the way that you planned to or at least close to it.

What happens when things do not go according to the plan? What happens when you don’t get that job you planned on getting or that raise or lose that pound and that relationship does not workout? In some, ungodly feelings begin to fester inside us like defeat, disappointment, failure, and so on.

I hear it is hard for God to work under those circumstances. We have to be open. We have to be open to the unknown events that occur in our lives to see the beauty in living. To see miracles happen.

This is a lesson that I am learning in my everyday life. However, I have found that it is one to be lived by. Cheers to letting go and living unplanned.
Have a good day yall! Be blessed!

What’s keeping you focused?

Hello!
How is everyone feeling? Well, I am doing great. I have been asking God to guide my words, so I apologize if my post are not as frequent as some might expect.

Anyways, if you have not realized, I am a firm believer in that, “What you think about, you create!” However, when I was younger, the thought never crossed my mind. I would literally allow anything to occupy my thoughts. My thoughts definitely were not focused. I mean at the time, I was focused on what 99% of the world was focused on like whatever is popping in the entertainment world, social media, and clubbing. Oh and I cannot forget looking nice.
However, the Goddess has switched her focus. The only thing I am worried about nowadays are bettering my present and planning my future. I actually researched how to create a successful life. Not only do I want to live the research, I want to teach it as well. To me, it’s only right. So anyway, after doing my research, I found that successful people focus on certain areas in their life to make success happen.

One article that I read states that there are 7 areas people should focus on which are:
Finances
Business/Career
Health/Fitness
Personal
Relationships
Spiritual
Contribution

My main man Les Brown keeps it simple and says:
Personal
Career
Contribution
are the 3 areas in which individuals should focus to become successful.

I know the categories are pretty self-explanatory, however, let me explain each one.

Finances
In America, I feel this is one of the most important topics to focus on. Having money is a definite way to achieve success. In this area, you should know how much money you make and how much you want to make.

Business/Career
This area focuses on, how you are going to earn the amount of money you stated above. If you want to make $100,000 and you currently making $30,000 a year, you have to really focus on this area. You want new job? Do you want to start your own business? Already have a career & want to up to management? You may be fine in this area as of now. If so, start thinking about where you want to be in the next 5 years and then work towards that.

Health/Fitness
What goals do you have in this area? Want to lose weight? Quit smoking? Workout 3xs a week. Whatever it is, write it down and focus on it!

Personal
What personal goals do you have? Do you want to take a class or learn a new language? Learn a new skill? Return to school? What personal goals do you have that you know would make you happy and complete if you accomplished them.

Relationships
Want to get married? Was it placed in your heart to develop and/or strengthen the relationships that you have with a certain family member or friend? In this area, think about relationships that require more work and work towards strengthening them.

Spiritual
Are you a Christian and want to attend church more? Always thought about becoming a leader in the spiritual community? Want to restore your faith? Have you been curious about other religions and practices? Focus.

Contribution
In my opinion, this may be one of the most important areas. If you are honest with yourself, you know that we were all put on this earth to serve each other. Every business created has been made to service a need or want that the people has. So now I ask, what will you contribute? How will you serve others? In what ways can you donate your time? When was the last time you volunteered? What gifts do you have to give? I personally believe that you will not be able to receive if you do not give anything. Giving is FREE!

I believe that it is very important to think about these areas of your life every day. Get a notebook solely dedicated to the life you want to live, and write something DAILY in one or all areas of your life. Then focus on them. Read these statements EVERY DAY. Believe in them. Write some goals and then document the progress you have made toward the goals created. By focusing on these areas, you will be surprised at how your mind begins to think and work.
Hey good people! By the way, have you noticed that gossiping, watching television, and being on Facebook all day are not what successful people do.
Talk to you all later. Please leave a comment and provide some sort of feedback. It is all greatly appreciated.
-Nette the Goddess

“I have the POWER”

One day I woke up and I was feeling absolutely fabulous. I woke up early, my son was in a good mood and I declared that, that day, would be a good day.

Well you know as soon as you make a declaration LIFE start testing you.

1. When I got to work, there was no parking

2. Supervision with my boss sucked

3. There was no company vehicle, so i had to catch the bus & it was raining

I mean everything that could go wrong, did indeed go wrong. And I began to notice something. I noticed that with every situation that came my way, I allowed it to alter my mood.

I went from having a good day to a bad day all because of people and the situations that I faced daily. I began to notice that I did not like that about myself and I’m making the decision to change it. I can’t believe that I, Ms. Positivity, would allow people and situations I cannot control allow me to go from happy to sad or mad to glad.

I have a disagreement with my boss. I’m mad.

Someone doesn’t come through on a promise. I’m dissappointed and mad.

The bus is late. Now I’m irked.

So one day after listening to one of the many motivational videos on “You Are Creators” Youtube Channel (check them out!) a question crept in my mind.

What if you were who you say you are no matter what happens to you?

Haa there ever been a time where you allowed someone to disturb your peace, mess up your mood? I mean really just destroyed your whole day.

If you answered yes to any of these questions. Now I ask, Why? Why do we allow people and situations  to bring us down or make us happy?  What would the world be like if we relied solely on ourselves for complete happiness and stability? How would our interactions be if we did not rely on others to provide us with the fundamentals  we are already suppose to have?

So Anyways I developed my own personal action plan to help me in changing this characteristic about myself.

First Step:

“I have the Power”

I wrote this down every where. My work clip board, index cards that I placed in my wallet, in my car. I mean literally everywhere.

Writing things down is like setting it in stone. It is your way of sending a message to the universe. Pen & paper. It is the only way!

Step 2:

I meditate on it all day. I think about it all day. By writing “I have the Power” on everything and looking at it all the time, every now and then, I hear my little voice say while I am completing my task for the day. “I have the power.”

My little voice then gets creative and states: “And no one can take that from you.”

The message:

You have everything you need. No one or situation has the power to alter your mood unless you give it to them. We can no longer use other people and situations on the outside to allow us to ACT or REACT a certain way.

“We have the POWER & lets be us CONSISTENTLY”-the goddess

 

What do you believe?

As I stated before, your thoughts are definitely important in the process of creating your life. However, there is a concept that is as equally important as having focused thoughts, and that is believing in them.

“What you think about in your mind and believe in your heart, you will produce in your reality.”

Its that simple.

If you truly think and believe  with all your heart that you are beautiful no matter what size you are, then you are. If you think and believe that you are the best writer, singer, athlete, doctor, whatever in the world, then you are that. Who can tell you different? And if you aren’t where you want to be, having those positive thoughts will help you get there.

But wait, you also have the power to think and believe in thoughts which serve you no purpose. Like your fat, ugly, addicted, worthless, and so on.

What you think about grows. Thinking positive causes you to have more positive thoughts. Thinking negative produces more negativity. Believing in thoughts that serve you no purpose will never allow you to have the opportunity to think about solutions that serve you.

Thinking on purpose = Solutions

Thinking not on purpose= No Solutions

 

-The Goddess

Think on Purpose

If you know me, then you know that I am a firm believer in thoughts creating your reality. I mean the concept is quite simple.

For example: You have two working young women. They are both from the same city, same race, same educational background, work for the same company. They both get fired. The company they work for down sizes and they are no longer needed.

One automatically thinks, “My life is over.” She fills out a few applications here and there, however she does not receive an immediate response from the companies that she has applied to. She begins to THINK they will never hire me. She THINKS, I will never be a success. I am a failure. This is what she THINKS all day. She THINKS her life is over and within 6 months, she commits suicide.

Now women # 2, once she is let go she is taken aback, however she THINKS,  “I am not going to let this situation get me down.” She THINKS to herself, “What do I need to do to get myself out of this situation?” She fills out jobs application. She receives no response. She contacts the places she applied to, she fills out more applications. She watched her sisters children on the weekends and ran errands for others to earn extra income. In 6 months, someone called her with a job and she is now making more than she was making previously.

Everyone has the power to think. Everyone has the power to think ON PURPOSE & NOT ON PURPOSE. Some people refer to these thoughts as “good” and “bad” thoughts. But who are we to say what is good & bad.

When you think ON PURPOSE, you hold the power! You know where you are going and why you are going there. You will not allow people and situations to disturb the peace that you have because you overstand that every interaction is on purpose. You overstand, every experience is helping you to grow into the person you are becoming. Thinking on purpose is thinking about growth in every area of your life. Thinking on purpose is expanding your life into greatness.

Now just as we all have the power to think ON PURPOSE, we also have the power to think NOT ON PURPOSE. Those who are not thinking with purpose in mind are more than likely living a confused, stressful, and/or ordinary life filled with a lot of complaining and dependence. These people are worried about what everyone else is doing and did. No life of their own. They do not like their job but will not learn a new skill. People who thoughts are NOT ON PURPOSE complain about everything & change nothing. These people know not of the power that they possess. They are not involved in lasting relationships. No Growth. No Self Awareness. No Life.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. Until next time…

-The Goddess