You Can’t Afford That

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

The Beginning of Something Great

Happy New Year! I’m excited for my small family (Terrance and I), and everyone else who is experiencing the refreshing calm that comes along with the bringing in of the new year. Tingly and ecstatic, this part of the holiday season always gets me going, thinking of all the changes I’m planning to implement, ranging from new living room décor to a new weekly schedule that includes intense workout sessions.

So, why does it feel so official to start fresh on January 1? Well, because… it just does. I strongly believe that something magical happens when the clock strikes 11:59 pm on New Year’s Eve. It’s like life as we know it has been reset, and many of us are refreshed and ready to take on new challenges in a more determined way. So, to all of those who say, “oh, it’s just another day, all you ‘resolutionists’ are crazy,” I say, bah humbug! You know nothing!

As you can tell, I’m freaking excited, because this is going to be the best year ever. This will be the year were this here single mom goes from being the underdog to head honcho. Life will not chew me up and spit me out like it has done over the last few years, I’m sure of it. Why? Because I am determined to make changes. Terrance is growing up, and he needs to see his mom being successful; he needs to see me fly.

“I’m elated for this year, and not just because the year has changed, but because I’m changing and it feels amazing.”     — singlemomflying

So, what are my plans? Since curious minds want to know, allow me to elaborate. My goals for the year consist of three main things: I want to lose weight, I want to write and earn additional income from it, and I would love to improve my financial circumstances.

Since before the beginning of time—well, technically 1988 —I’ve been fat. Why have I been battling the bulge for so long? I’ll leave that discussion for another blog post; just know, that I can stand to lose a few pounds. This year, I have decided, is the perfect time to finally get this weight off.

Secondly, it just so happens that I’m a writer— a damned good writer says my more confident alter ego, Charmaine. But I haven’t written much because the not so confident, Cheryl, believes that I suck at it. However, in 2017, I plan to pick up a pen, put it to paper, and make marvelous things happen. This is the year that I write regardless of how I feel. This is the year that my child will witness his mother bring in cash by using, dare I say, her God-given talent of putting words together to create art.

Lastly, my finances are something I can honestly say that I’m not proud of. In the words of Dave Ramsey, “I have done stupid with a lot of zeros on the end of it.”. Of the three goals, this one is the most important and the most challenging. As I strive to leave a legacy for my little boy, more and more I begin to understand the need to give him a running start in life. Being financially stable is crucial to survival as well as success in this world. And so, I must put on my big girl pants, make a solid budget, and attack this horrible cloud of debt with a vengeance. You’d better watch out Experian, Transunion, and Equifax, because I’m making some major comebacks this year. Debt, you’re goin’ down!

Finally, I’d like to say that everything within me wanted to start this blog— years ago. However, for so long, a small amount of self-doubt would convince me that I shouldn’t try. So, to all the readers who stop by, please understand that posting this is huge for me. This is not just some typical New Year’s resolution mumble-jumbo casually thrown down on paper; on the contrary, it’s an insight into my plans to change my and my son’s life. I’m elated for this year, and not just because the year has changed, but because I’m changing and it feels amazing.

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.