Career 10 February 2017
Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, and there’s one relationship that most people could stand to make improvements to – their relationship with money. Many people’s relationship with money is wrought with stress, confusion, anxiety, and poor communication. Here are some helpful tips for how to turn your negative relationship with money into one of positivity, motivation, and control.
Get Serious About Your Future Together
Money (and often debt) will always be a part of our lives. So where do you see your future together? Like any relationship, it is important to consider your long-term goals and aspirations. Goal-setting is a vital part of figuring out what you want for your future and how to adjust your financial decisions accordingly. Without goals in mind, it can feel like you are stumbling through life a little blindly. How else would you know how much you should be saving and whether you are making the right decisions for your future. Just like any romantic relationship, you could spend time with someone who is fun and makes you happy now, but are you really compatible together down the road? Consider where you want to live, your career path, your debt repayment strategy, and lifestyles choices when thinking about your financial future.
People are afraid to talk about money. They don’t talk about how much they earn, how much they spend, or how much debt they owe. And often they don’t even talk about it in their real relationships, which can lead to big trouble. Bottling up our fears and anxieties about money can often do more harm than good, especially when more than one person (such as a spouse) is involved. It is important to remember that debt is not a 4-letter word and it is ok to talk about it with your spouse, a close friend, or a family member. Often just being able to express the reasons for our stress can take a weight off our shoulders, and they may be able to offer some advice. If you aren’t comfortable talking to others about the sources of your financial stress, consider keeping a journal where you can write down what you’re feeling and why. Bottom line? Communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship, including your relationship with money.
Often just being able to express the reasons for our stress can take a weight off our shoulders, and they may be able to offer some advice.
Take Time to Relax
Everyone needs a little break sometimes. While it’s important to develop responsible spending and budgeting habits in everyday life, letting yourself get obsessive about it can just lead to more stress. The intent of a budget is not only to allow you to save and pay debt, but also to allow you to live a little and still do the things you enjoy. Make sure you have some “fun” built into your budget, even if it’s just as simple as treating yourself to lunch once a week. It is also important to find ways to take care of yourself and find ways to alleviate your financial stress. Think of it as taking a night off from your SO to take time for yourself or hang with friends.
Get Professional Help
If your relationship with money has just gotten so bad that you aren’t sure how to begin even improving it, perhaps consider talking to a financial advisor or an attorney who specializes in debt resolution. Depending on your financial situation, these experts can suggest various ways to get your finances back on track. You can think of it like couple’s counseling – it’ll force you to think about what you want from your money and how to get there.
As you can see, there are a lot of parallels between romantic relationships and your relationship with money. And just like romantic relationships, the best one is the kind that makes you feel motivated, in control, happy, respectful, and excited for your future together. These tips can help save your bad relationship with money and turn it into the type where you grow old together.
6 Min Read
I live the pain and stress of being black in America every day: I am a black woman, the mother of a black son, sister to black men, and aunt to my black nephews. I remember what it was like as a young girl to be afraid to go to Howard Beach for fear of being chased out. I know what it's like to walk on Liberty Avenue and be called "nigger" and being so young that I didn't understand what the word meant, I had to ask my mother. I know too well that feeling in the pit of your stomach when a police car pulls up behind you and even though you know you haven't done anything wrong you fear that your life may be in danger from what should be a simple encounter. Like all African Americans, I am tired of this burden.
African Americans have a long history of having to fight for our humanity in America. We have had to fight for freedom, we have had to fight for equality, and we have had to fight for our lives. The fight continues to go on. I have often quoted that line from the character Sophia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple, "All my life I had to fight." When I say this to my white counterparts it can sometimes be uncomfortable because it's clear that they just don't get it. They view it as melodramatic. But it's not. It's part of the black experience, and it is the part of the black experience that black people don't want.
I have often quoted that line from the character Sophia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple, "All my life I had to fight."
While I was out yesterday, passing out PPE and talking to people, a woman asked me, "What is it going to take for this to change?" I told her that I think peaceful protesting is a good start. But it's just the start. We can't elect the same people for the past 20-30 years, some in the same positions, and then talk about how nothing has changed in the past 30 years.
This injustice, inequality, and inequity will not spontaneously disappear. It will take bold, outspoken, and fearless leadership to eradicate the systemic racism in our country. We must address the violence at the hands of a police force paid to serve and protect us. We must address the recurring experience of black people being passed over for a promotion and then being asked to train the white person who was hired. We must address the inequities in contract opportunities available to black businesses who are repeatedly deemed to lack the capacity. We must address the disparity in the quality of education provided to black students. We must address the right to a living wage, health care, and sick pay.
While we like to regard the system as broken, I've come to believe the system is working exactly as it was meant to for the people who are benefiting from it. We need a new system. One that works for all of us. I am running to become the mayor of New York City because I can't assume there's another person who has the courage to do the work that needs to be done to create a fair and just city.
We can't elect the same people for the past 20-30 years, some in the same positions, and then talk about how nothing has changed in the past 30 years.
There are some things we may not be able to change in people, but at this moment I think that whether you are black, white, purple, or yellow we all should be looking internally to see what is one thing that you can do to change this dynamic. Here's where we can start:
If we want change, we need a total reform of police departments throughout this country. That is going to require taking a hard look at our requirements to become a police officer, our disciplinary procedures when civilian complaints are filed, and a review of what and how we police. No one deserves to lose their life based upon the accusation of carrying counterfeit cash. We also need to hold police officers accountable for their actions. While it is their duty to protect and serve they should not be above the law. Even at this very moment, police officers are overstepping their boundaries.
If we want change, we have to build a sense of camaraderie between the police and community. A sense of working together and creating positive experiences. We have to be honest about the fact that we haven't allowed that to happen because we have utilized our police department as a revenue-generating entity. We are more concerned with cops writing tickets than protecting and serving. Even during these moments of protest we are witness to the differences made when the police supported the protesters and stood hand in hand with them or took a knee. It resulted in less violence and more peaceful protest. People felt heard; people felt respected; people felt like they mattered.
While we like to regard the system as broken, I've come to believe the system is working exactly as it was meant to for the people who are benefiting from it. We need a new system.
If we want change, we have to be willing to clean house. And that means that some of you are going to have to step up to the plate and take roles of leadership. In my city alone, there are 35 city council seats that are term-limited in 2021. There are some that aren't termed but maybe their term should be up. Step up to the plate and run. If nothing else it will let our elected officials see that they need to stop being comfortable and do more. We don't need you out in the street taking selfies or reporting the problems to us. We need solutions. We need you in a room implementing policies that will ensure that these things don't continue to happen.
If we want change, we need to support grassroots candidates that are not in corporate pockets, who are not taking PAC money, and who really want to make a difference to their community. We need candidates that know first-hand and can relate to the experiences that many of us are going through.
We are at a pivotal moment. It is inspiring to see people from all races and backgrounds in the streets protesting, standing up for justice, and wanting to see change. We must seize this moment, but we must also be mindful that change requires more.
People often ask me why I decided to run for office? I am running for me. I am running for the little girl that was called nigger on Liberty Avenue. For the woman who has been pulled over for no reason. For my nephew who was consistently stopped during the era of stop and frisk. I am running for your son, your brother, and your nephew. I am running so that the next generation will never have to say, "All my life I had to fight." Because although we won't stop until we see justice and changes that address inequality and inequity effectively, this fight is exhausting.