Often times, the worst statements that can be said to anyone are those involving the words you and can’t. Honestly, I despise the two together. When someone tells me I “can’t do” something, it makes me turn into an enraged creature, much like the temperamental hero, The Hulk.
Luckily, not many people have witnessed my not-so-jolly, green giant. As a matter of fact, in most cases, my goals and aspirations are embraced and cheered on by many. This is usually the case–except when it comes to spending money. Apparently, I am not to be trusted in making good financial decisions. I have been told many times before, by others, that I should not or could not purchase something because I “can’t afford it.” It infuriates me. Why? Because they are usually right.
And so, because of persistent unsolicited advice—and constantly being broke, I am now programmed to tell myself, “don’t even think about it Cheryl, you can’t afford it,” in almost all purchasing situations. And these words don’t sound or feel any better coming from myself. I still get angry. And although I usually don’t throw a hissy fit, admittedly, I’ve grown weary of denying myself. It seems that as time goes by, and more and more things become even more expensive, I’ve been having to say, “You can’t afford it,” quite often. And boy I’ll tell you, it really sucks.
And I’m not talking about wanting flashy things that light up and make elaborate sounds. No, I just want to have a washer and dryer in the home, or have the ability to choose a better-quality meat from the grocery store. These things I can’t afford, and so I’m left lugging massive baskets of dirty laundry to my sister’s and eating more off-brand Bologna than what’s good for me. I mean, to put things into better perspective for you all, having a fifteen-year-old car that barely gets me to work is a luxury in my life. Believe me, I try to be grateful every day for the little bit I do have, however, just getting by doesn’t always keep me content.
Although I have adapted to living without things, I still get frustrated because at the end of the day the less I have, the less my son has as well. There are no special nights out to the movies for him. Music lessons and sports teams are totally out of question. And most importantly, I can’t help but feel that since he is without these things, he’s losing opportunities and advantages that would otherwise improve his future. When it comes to my son lacking things, this is where I feel like a failure. We are a single-parent, low income family and it’s all mommy’s fault. But of course, my five-year-old doesn’t notice any of this. Although he hears,” no, we don’t have money for that!” quite often as well, he’s still as happy as can be with what he has. However, I know the older he gets, the more he’s going to notice. He’ll notice that his mom can’t buy things for him as much as other parents do for their kids. He’ll notice that we live from pay check to pay check. He’ll notice that mommy isn’t always able to pay the bills on time, and at times, I really struggle to make ends meet. This motivates me.
More than anything, I’m inspired to make some changes. I often rack my brain at night: thinking of ideas to make more and spend less. Fear, doubt, and ironically the lack of funds has held me back from attempting to earn more, but now I know it’s imperative that I try harder anyway. All in all, I know I must stay positive and not give up. My future and my child’s future both depend upon the decisions I make every single day– from here forth. So, I’m starting by making a budget, sticking to it, and putting my skills to work in every side hustle that I have the time and energy to run. I’ve realized that as a single parent working just my full-time, low wage job is not enough to get ahead in life. So here I go, venturing out into unknown territory: on a mission to bring wealth to my little family.
The purpose of this blog is to come from a place of love, strength, discovery and vulnerability. Please join me as I share my journey.