Day 9


Someone really close to my school community was shot and killed around 2:30am off Mack and Altar road.

I’m not quite in the space to do the challenge today.

It’s been heavy. I’m in a wordless space.

The school gains an ancestor.



Day 7 + Day 8: Dreams, Finances, and Community

I appreciate the flexibility within this challenge. Day 7 instructions were to relax and take in everything from week 1. Day 8 was dedicated to reading “The One Week Budget” in preparation for Day 9 where we make a list of any and all purchases typically spent and assess the degree to which we’re living within our means.

In addition to catching up on some other items throughout the week, I’ll be posting on Day 9 and Day 10 later on this evening.

As of now though, I’m getting ready for the first official day of my Detroit Equity Action Lab fellowship through the Wayne State Law Damon Keith Center!!!…**throws glitter**

#CommunityCareAsLifeCare #FinancialWellnessAsLifeCare…let’s get it!


Live Richer Challenge: Day 5

Today’s financial task is to identify my priorities!

(Given that I just had an intellectual impulse-buy, I probably should hascreen-shot-2016-10-29-at-10-45-43-pmve had this be my day 4 challenge…oops!)

what I will do instead is go through this day 5 challenge and see whether this impulse-buy was indeed as important as it felt when I decided to hit, “check out.”

For this task, I’m required/ strongly encouraged to make a mental list of my needs, choose 2 loves that I can commit to for the next six months, then jot down those loves to share with my accountability partner. I’m gonna go ahead & write out my needs, too, just for consistency!

According to the Budgetnista, there are four questions I should be asking myself before a purchase: do I need it? do I love it? do I like it? do I want it?

These questions are interesting because for some time I’ve been thinking about the right “to want.” Even when there are certain things we can’t technically afford (though can pay for), when is there still space to want, particularly, considering things that require a monetary transaction. What is the discernment around that? When is it ok to say “yes, this plate of metaphoric comfort food is probably not my healthiest choice, but I’m going to know that and still let myself have it.” I’ve been adopting the everything in moderation, if at all principle (I hadn’t originally called this a principle but I guess it is!). I rarely do big purchases unless I think it’s necessary for my life now or in some random part of the future….anyway.

What I will say is that the Budgetnista makes a pretty decent point that sometimes we tend to think about our likes and wants more than we do our needs and loves. I’d like to say that’s not true, and to some extent it’s not. But, when I sit and think about the cost associated with things I love, I can carry some guilt about whether that purchase was legitimate or not.

To give some context, here’s a few of my needs and two of my loves:

Needs: I need to be able to pay my bills, put gas in my car, to pay my rent, to buy groceries, to have clothes for work, to contribute to my savings, to take care of car maintenance (purpose)

Loves (only 2 as instructed): Travel and self-development goodies (passion)

I’d like to do some more traveling this season, mostly if it’s linked to work. To make that a reality, I’m gonna research some conferences for 2017 and see which ones I think are most useful to go to. I could consider 2 local and 1 abroad and explore other funding avenues besides my income. Are there any that are human rights and wellness/healing justice related? That’d be pretty awesome.

One of my takeaways from today’s email was “if you don’t need it, or love it, then you should consider leaving it [because] spending money on likes or wants, means you’ll have less money for purchases that truly improve the quality of your life.”

Here for it!!!

So, it seems that my intellectual impulse buy to purchase Spanish lessons through at a discount rate was more of an investment – linked to my passion for language, my identity, love of travel, and self-development – than an impulse buy. I learned a huge chunk of Portuguese using Pimsleur and would highly, highly recommend it for folks loochs-vintage-on-ponce-0616king to take a language class on the go and on the fly.

I’m feeling pretty fortified and affirmed in this moment. A large chunk of my relationship to Spanish is based in fear, so there are levels to why picking it back up is important to me. Plus, I still want my dual citizenship (more anti-fear work required) but that’s for another post.




Day 3 and Day 4: Financial Wellness as Self-Care

chs-styled-space-6Sooooo, I didn’t post about the day 3 mission for the Live Richer Challenge because it was so straight forward. There wasn’t a bunch of reading. It basically asked participants to be mindful of their spending during the day. For example, if you typically buy coffee from a coffee shop before work, consider bringing coffee from home. Do that with all desires to spend and see how much you saved at the end of the day. Lucky me, I had no impulse to buy anything out of the house! (but really, there aren’t many exciting places around me to buy things outside anyway).

Today’s challenge was to do some research and open a high-yields savings account that required no minimum amount to open and no maintenance fee. The game plan was to only transfer the amount of money saved in the previous day’s challenge (the cost of tea and some hashbrowns!) to test things out. Tiffany (the Budgetnista’s real name) offered as a go-to spot for this investigation.Reading through the instructions, I noticed and noted my skepticism. Admittedly, I tend to side eye website names and really anything that sounds too catchy . Even the name “Budgetnista” distanced me from delving into Tiffany’s work earlier (or at least my inability to go out on a limb & not be distracted by the unfamiliar…I’m, generally, a risk taker in different ways!).

Anyway, profiled one of the online savings accounts my partner mentioned to me last night…so, you can probably guess which direction my research took me…


There was also a suggestion to create a different savings account through an app called, Digit. The idea is that it tracks and categorizes the money you spend monthly from your personal checking account, then finds places where you’re not spending money and transfers it out. It’s supposed to only transfer $5 to $50 on average with no possibility of making you overdraft (that seems to need human input, in my opinion). And as suspected, a decent number of reviews differed from the Budgetnista’s experience and that of some of her clients. Some folks even claimed that when their account overdrafted, it was difficult to reach Digit customer service. Unnecessary risk, much? Even if it does work for some, not sure it’s the thing for me. So, similar to two days ago, I used discernment around what advice to take and what advice to leave during the challenge.

Aside from the challenge, what am I noticing about myself? There’s quite a bit of fear showing up in my body. It’s one part excitement, another part extreme hesitance but I know where that comes from and I’m moving through it.


Day 2: Financial Care As Self-Care

Dear New Mindset…

So, today is day 2 of the Live Richer Challenge through the Budgetnista!

I’m feeling pretty energized. I’ve shared my financial goals from day 1 with several folks and even found an accountability partner!! (Hey Dom!!). It feels great to feel the culmination of a lot of smaller ideas come together as a mind shift. I’ve been pondering the role of my overall well-being and money for quite some time actually…well, somewhat. Last November, I decided I was going to move to Lisbon in April ’16 for an undefined amount of time, live off of my expected final salary from Angola, and teach English here and there. I’m QUEEN of Here-and-There-landia! I can make all the ways out of no ways. I can juice a budget. I can have something amazing fall into my lap without needing much financial input from me. Or, I could write a grant really quickly with my glorious technical writing skills and before I knew it, there was a direct deposit coming in to attend some conference or just go…here. or there.

This approach worked for me in the context of taking out student loans…*coughs*…so in one way or another I deserved financial magic to compensate for this 21st century debt, right??! And, it’s not like any of the monetary magic could be shifted back to Sallie Mae. These funds were earmarked for things that also required reports and papers to show that I actually put the money to its intended use. Student loans seemed to be its own black-box of, “wow, I wonder how that’s gonna get paid?” with having no intention of actually answering that question.

BUT NOOOOOOWWWW ….at this new level of adulttiiiiiiiiing, I’m all about being much more responsible 🙂

I actually DO wanna answer this question. I actually DO want to expand my capacity. I DO want to hold more space for fulfilling my life. I want to be more of *myself.* This will assist with so many other areas of my life.
The Budgetnista’s suggested reading for today was from “The Richest Man …in…Babylon.” And, I write this like that …with ellipses…with pauses…because the title was a turn off for me. All types of (legitimate) Bob Marley songs popped into my head like Babylon System and Chant Down Babylon. My Sociology hat is on in full swing. I’m hearing all of this (legitimate) resistance…and then this spiral of (fair) thoughts start. But, instead of giving those concerns all of my attention, I decided to approach the passage with curiosity. What can I take? What can I leave? I may discover that nothing’s helpful and every last word right down to a two-lettered preposition is oppressive. Or, I may find some nugget or even something I’d ALREADY thought of! Maybe just maybe, I wouldn’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water.

So, I read the passage.

Yes, some parts were problematic.

Yes, there were non-problematic parts that I could still take some goodness away from.

Yes, there were actually things inside that I considered earlier this week. That made me feel good to see it show up again.

Discernment, in general, but especially in this micro-moment was important.

The moral of the story? Place old and new mindsets in conversation. Where do they meet in the middle? Use multiple lens/ filters as necessary.

Be curious when it comes to change.

Life Care As Self-Care.

I’ve become a lot more serious about the relationship between my emotional self and my financial self. The past 10 months have been interesting. There’s a long detailed story that I will save for another time given that this post right now is affirming that wellness comes with a cost, and I don’t mean a metaphorical one (which is true!). But, a tangible, monetary cost that looks like personal investment in goals, dreams, desires, and the tools to assist this process. It means asking self-examining questions like how much can I afford to save each month? Am I keeping a budget? Is it realistic? Am I learning about different types of savings accounts? Am I taking advantage of free resources in the community? Am I being honest about where my financial literacy is and the cultural silence that got me here?

The answer is yes, yes, yes! I’m being honest! I’m that way in all other areas, so why not this one? Lately, I’ve been in this mode where I can’t even sleep comfortably if the only thing I thought about in the day is how to help others to the exclusion of myself. I’m here for doing my part in the world all day long, but my basic needs need to be met – seriously, shelter, lights on, wi-fi (broad access to information in an information economy is a human  right), quality food, quality healthcare, gas, transportation, etc. These are needs … and I also believe in making space for wants…for deep, deep pleasure points of desire:

-What do I want my life to look like?
-What are my non-negotiables linked to daily living?
-What is the quality of the air? What am I breathing in, literally??
-What does spaciousness look like?
-Who and what messages will be in close proximity?
-What is the role of money in these questions?

With all of this momentum, I decided to try the Budgetnista financial challenge this month. I’ve been on her email list for a while but hadn’t dedicated that much to keeping up with things.

But here I am, slowly coming up on 31 and tryna get my money right. 

My first challenge for today (well, yesterday) is to write down 3 financial goals, be specific, post them somewhere, and share with anyone I trust:

-I want to have saved a minimum of $6,000 by next year by keeping and maintaining my monthly budget practice (some parts of me wish this number were larger, but it’s the most realistic minimum I can do).
-I want to increase my weekly income by $90 by increasing the number of reiki clients I have during the week, continuing to offer services on a sliding scale. I’ll do this by getting a standing location during the month of November.
-I want to be mindful of spending practices and not lose track of the momentum I’ve gathered during the month of October. I’ll do this by consistently checking my e-mail and keeping up with LRC challenges.