Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional financial analyst or advisor. However, I am a woman that knows how to add and multiple to my life! I'm also professional at taking risks and hoping for a WIN! With this said, I’m going to explain an effective technique I use called “Envelopes,” to help me financially take on more and more—even being a single mother!
Hey girl hey!!!! For starters, I don't feel the title of being a single mother is a setback. I feel the financial burdens and responsibilities of carrying the majority if not all expenses (on your own) are setbacks--especially when it takes two to create a child(ren). It should also take two to bear the responsibilities. So initially, when I became a single mother, I allowed the responsibilities to overwhelm me. However, the darkness was short lived and I remember the exact moment the lightbulb💡turned on. I was having a conversation with a woman about how emotionally drained I was and how I needed to figure out ways to bottle those emotions so it wouldn’t affect my newborn. SO, she asked me what I was going to do financially without the support of the father. Well, I didn't have an answer at that moment. So, she proceeded to tell me about all these government programs I needed to apply for to get milk, food, pampers, child care, etc. I respectfully heard her out but was not interested in her advice. I didn’t know how I gave off the impression that I was financially seeking assistance from the government--when I was talking about being emotionally drained. In that moment, I was being put in the “Struggling” single mom whose going to need a lot of programs and assistance, category.
Now, let me get one thing clear, I do not judge or look down on anyone who chooses that route. I don't feel that one person is better than the other. However, that wasn't the route I was taking. Nor, had it ever crossed my mind. My father instilled in me strength--whenever my back was against the wall, I needed to figure my way out (without compromising myself). My mother instilled in me faith--I could get anything started and let faith carry me through. My grandmother and mother instilled in me independence--being a woman of my own means. Look, it’s often that people get knocked down and need temporary help. However, it’s all about how you get back up to help yourself, again. With that noted, this was not the time for me to start applying for a bunch of ways to get help from the government (short term)--this was the time for me to start getting on my grind so that I COULD take care of my responsibilities (long term). Catch this beat--If a program gets cut, then I'm shit out of luck! #okkuurrr
In a lot of cases (not all), single mom's get cut out of their own equation. How? because our child(ren) needs are a given but we put their WANTS before ours—every time. So the question is...as a single mother, how are you able to financially keep up with your heart desires and add more to the plate on top of what you already have? My answer (inspired by my mother) is envelopes--they help to accomplish just about anything they're labeled to do. So, you're thinking, ok Diamond, you got me on that one. I'm here to tell you that it's all about the techniques you use to help accomplish your heart desires, as well as, add ons to the plate.
Let’s take a glance at an example. My son was one and a half and it was time to put him in daycare so I could dive into my work. My dream idea when I had a child was to spend the first few years home with them. Then, put them in private school. However, this was a dream that included a father around to financially be supportive. So, now that things shifted, how was I ever going to accomplish that hearts desire? One thing I knew for sure was I couldn’t stay at home. Second thing was being able to swing a hefty school tuition. I knew hands down it was important for me to feel comfortable with who watched my child. I knew I wanted curriculum and movement for him—simply meaning constant stimulation (other than nap time). Finally, I knew I wanted my son to feel comfortable and cared for and not like I was throwing him in a big play pen for hours at a time. It is unfortunate that my son’s father isn’t capable in any type of way to care for him so I have to go the extra mile to be the two of us for him. Here’s the juice 🥤— when I found the right school and saw the monthly bill--I, initially, thought there was no way in hell (as a single mommy) I could afford to pay it. It's the cost of rent and anyway who in the hell told me to be looking at "private" school 😳. Well, I tell you what, that's where my mom's teachings of faith and envelopes kicked in.
The envelope technique goes a little something like this--We have one month before our ongoing bills are due again. Half of my bills are on automatic withdrawal and the other half are not. For the ones that are not, I have to create envelopes and put money away throughout the month so they don't creep up on me and have me running to a therapist. When, it comes time to pay whatever I've been putting money away for, I have it. Otherwise, I will mindlessly spend on things such as eating out, buying something I could have lived without, etc. I've carried this technique into other areas of my life such as taking my Gehati company to conferences, festivals, etc..--I find out the cost and due date for a booth and start aggressively putting money away for it so I can make the deadline. This technique has helped me quickly accomplish goals and meet deadlines. Which, ultimately, allows me to level up in my life. In addition, I use envelopes to treat myself to things I want and may need to put money to the side for. I also set aside a "Give Back" envelope and it goes to whatever situation moves my heart, at the time. Like this month, it will be for a girl who works at my son's swim lesson facility who is giving one of her kidney's to her sister and is raising money for some of the costs that will be associated with it.
Lastly, I want to tell you about a way to create extra money without knowing you're creating it out of your own money! This acts as a rainy day fund account, Christmas spending account, savings account (especially when you are self-employed and don't have a company saving for you) or whatever you want it to be. It is an app called "Acorns"...Okay so, look girl, I get it--You don't want to hear about one more app to download and neither do I. We don't know if it's legit and don't have time for it to take up space on our phone! However, this app is the truth! It literally rounds your money up to the nearest dollar every time you swipe your card. It saves the difference for you. For example, you go to Target and spend $25.45--Acorn will round that figure to the next dollar which is $26 and take the $0.55 difference to save for you. Another example, you are at the gas station and pump $40.99--Acorn will round to the next dollar which is $41 and take the $0.01 difference to save for you...Or let's reverse it and say you pump $40.01---Acorn will round it to $41 and take the $0.99 to save for you. So, now add up the change between the three scenarios and you have mindlessly saved $1.55--but think about how many times in a day you swipe your card or have bills coming out. Acorn also saves from your automatic bill withdraws. For example, your cell phone bill is $140--Acorn will round it to $141--so you mindless saved $1...this adds up very quickly. In addition, you have the option to have them take out a weekly amount from $5-whatever! You can link as many cards that you use often--to save. I encourage you to take a look at the app and try it. Never know, you just might get addicted to mindlessly saving money or building a rainy day fund. Here's my link you can use--I'm going to keep it 100 with you--we both get $5 when you use my link: Acorns --Note: the $5 isn't a credit to something they want you to have, it's actual money that get's you started and whenever you want it deposited into the accounts you setup, then they will do it for you. Look at it like this $1 x a million is a million dollars and $5 x a million is five million dollars. So, no financial technique is beneath or too little for me (rolls eyes, pops gum and drops mic).
From one single mom to another---don't let your light dim!
P.S. Beat the odds, Sis! 🙄 Go after exactly what your heart desires for you and your child(ren)! I DON'T care what people's negative opinions are because it doesn't pay the bills or get the job done. Don't worry about what it looks like versus what it really is..remember you are in the business of beating that stupid ass "Single Mom" mark that is unsolicitedly placed where it's not wanted! Keep that in the forefront and you're on the way to living your best life!
Next post is going to be on my favorite finds which is a “NEW” section I’m adding to the shop! Stay tuned!