I spent some cash…

I guess since I been talking money lately, I might as well keep it up. Actually I have a confession to make, I spent some money this weekend. It was an unplanned purchase but one that I have been thinking about for a while. I bought a netbook. See, my laptop that I have been using for the past several years has been acting wonky, my internal wi-fi connection died well over a year ago, so the only way to access the internet is to plug-in at home. Which in some ways defeats the purpose of me owning a laptop since as someone whose job keeps me on the go, having a laptop that I need to keep at home just sucks. Granted that is not the reason I bought another one or was thinking of one, no, my system has just been getting slower and slower combined with the fact that sometimes I can’t even turn it on. This happened a while back on a day I had a grant deadline, it was not pretty at all. It cost me $100 and a visit to the computer repair shop to get it working again…no, it’s been time for a while to get a reliable computer. Yet in trying not to spend, I have been putting it off.

So yesterday found me at the Verizon wireless shop where the plan had been to get the Spousal Unit his free phone upgrade but they were having quite a sale, where after the rebate the cost of my new netbook is less than $100. Yes, I know it will require yet another  data plan, but this is where my also being self-employed in addition to my day job is a good thing since my cell plans are actually business expenses for me…so its all good.

I guess I felt like sharing this because in my last post, a commenter made a comment to the effect that living a life of frugality is not always a good thing. Yes, that’s true but when we are saving money and being intentional about our money, it gives us freedom. The freedom to buy a computer when we really need it and there is a great deal to be had. See, when I was living and spending and really not thinking about the long-term plans for money then I could not make such purchases. Hence why I ended up on a deadline with a dying computer that had all my work on it.

Make no mistake, I am not living a spartan life, yes we drive a beater but just the other day when I was griping about our car, the Spousal Unit reminded me that it’s all ours. We owe no one money on this car which makes it beautiful, I have to say I agree. Yes, we want a newer car but unless our car either dies outright or doesn’t pass inspection next month, then we need to keep on trucking with it.

When we are frugal and forgo the daily drink or other small items that threaten our financial stability with the slow leaks, we are trading short-term pleasures which really mean little for overall financial security. Don’t get me wrong, I am human and when I hear about friends who have the latest and hottest toys (I-phones, snazzy footwear…lawd, I love gorgeous footwear) I do have a twinge. Hell, I envy buddies who hire cleaning ladies! On the other hand, striving to get financially free is what feels good to me at this time. Besides cleaning my house is a workout since with 10 rooms, it takes a lot to clean it up, so when I do clean, not only am I saving money but I am getting in a workout!

So for those who are following my journey with money, no I am not completely depriving myself but as I love to say its all about balance and sometimes I even spend some money.

Black folks and our money

I know I have a fair amount of readers who are not Black, so if you want, you can feel free to come back another day since this post is for Black folks. Of course I would love to have you stay but I understand if you want to leave. 🙂

Nope, this is for us. Regular readers know I have come public about my money woes…much like any addiction, I believe truth is necessary in overcoming a problem and no longer can I sit and pretend I don’t have money issues. The truth is while money is tight now, the reality is if 10 years ago I had been wiser with my money choices I might merely be broke at present rather than trying to dig myself out of debt. I estimate that if in the years when the Spousal Unit and I were earning good money rather than availing myself of fly hair do’s and the hottest leather jacket or whatever the hell I fucked my money away on, I could have easily saved over $100,000 in cash. Yep, easily could have saved at least $100,000.

But the truth is I didn’t and now I am paying the price. It’s funny because while there are a lot of Black bloggers out there, there are very few of us who are talking money on a deep level. Hell, reading Black publications such as Essence, it would seem most of us who still have good jobs are merrily going about our way, not really thinking about our financial future. Yeah, many of ya’ll have a 401K plan courtesy of your J-O-B. But really how are you living? If shit hit the fan do you have any real money put away? Do you have six months of living expenses saved up for a rainy day? If shit hit the fan and the Glen Beck-bots go crazy, can you survive? Can you cook? Do you even have food in the fridge or is your idea of eating in involve making a phone call and waiting for somebody to bring you a meal?

It’s funny because I read a lot of white blogs and can I just say white folks, sane middle class college educated liberal white folks are working on learning handi-skills like cooking and sewing…can you do that? Or do you think that is some old domestic shit our Grannies did that we no longer need to concern ourselves with?

I have been reading this blog Wildflowersbloom, and let me say this sista has a lot to say, in fact she is the inspiration for this post. I was thinking about her blog today. See, it was my payday and like many of us on payday I think nothing of treating myself. Now I admit, I no longer head to the mall on payday since those days are long gone but I almost went and got a drink at Starbucks…after all don’t I deserve it? Hell, I been working hard, what is $4.30? Well after thinking about it that is $4.30 that can go on something far more valuable than the 10 minutes of satisfaction I would get from that drink. Instead since I am working from home today, I went in the kitchen made myself a cup of chai and whipped up some muffins with all the lovely baking supplies I bought the other day. The total time spent making the chai and muffins was 25 minutes tops and the calories satisfaction was nice too since my homemade chai and muffin was fewer calories than that venti espresso truffle I had planned on getting.

Now I know some of ya’ll are laughing thinking damn that is one cheap ass sista, glad I don’t have to live like that. Funny thing is even 5 years ago, I would have thought the same thing but we are living in different times and the comfy life you enjoy today unless maybe you come from some steady stable old money (how many of us come from that kind of money? In that case you probably wouldn’t even be reading me) your financial tide could change on a dime.

Look, I am not saying live a life of deprivation but too many of us only focus on the short-term, looking good today, feeling good today and in the end those things we blow our cash on have no value at all. So think before you spend and if you have no handy skills like cooking…do me a favor and give it a try. Once upon a time I didn’t know how to cook either, now I prefer my own cooking in most cases.

Have a great weekend!