"is this it?" BLOG POST #3: let's talk about money. what it brings out in people and how to manage it as young adults. (and more...)
Welcome back to another installment of "is this it?" by Taylor Nicole. Thank you so much for tuning in and supporting this blog. I hope you all had a fantastic week and Happy Juneteenth! Juneteenth is now a federal holiday! Although I still feel as if the government only made Juneteenth a federal holiday just to shut black people up, (we can get into that on a different blog) it is nice to see some sort of progress being made in regards to us trying to repair our immensely messed up society. Nevertheless, please use this weekend to educate yourself about why Juneteenth is so important and don't forget to celebrate this holiday. Often times, I feel as if we forget to celebrate the small victories because we are still in a battle over the more prominent issues. Take this weekend to commemorate this special victory while remembering that after the party is over, we have a lot of work still ahead of us. (And Joe...don't forget to run me my reparations! WHAT'S GOOD?!)
"Keep your friends rich and your enemies rich and wait to find out which is which..." - Anthony Stark a.k.a IronMan
Money. Paper. Dinero. There are so many words we can use to describe money. Money can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Money can build a relationship, and break one down. Money can save life and end one. Money is the only thing that is hard to come by but easy to lose. As young adults, we are extremely susceptible to all kinds of potentially dangerous ventures and it is not our fault. Financial literacy and simple money management was not something that was taught to me at any school I went to as a child. Many of the sticky financial situations we get into as young adults are due to our lack of knowledge on how to maneuver around them. Often times we may find ourselves in debt, taking unnecessary loans, falling into money scams, and looking for any short term money solutions that will ultimately put us into an even deeper whole than we began in. Money also has the capability to bring out many problematic, and even loathsome tendencies within people that can prove to be detrimental to any relationship.
For me, money truly began to take form in my life once I got to college. Not only was money very hard to come by, but it was even harder to keep. Between the social events, school supplies, door dash and any other unnecessary college paraphernalia, my pockets where emptying out quickly and the piggy bank was collecting more dust than dough! (I'm lame, I know.) I soon realized that I would need to find a job and I needed one quickly if I wanted to maintain this city girl/college girl lifestyle and persona. I knew very little about the importance of money management whilst in college and how spending my money so consistently would ultimately effect many of the relationships I made throughout college. Money also (very quickly) taught me not to expect much financial integrity from most people (especially from colleges students) because ultimately we are all broke and most times if someone can get away with giving the bare minimum, then they will give the very bare minimum.
If you have not already heard of the concept of "putting in" in regards to money in college, first of all, good for you. Secondly, it's essentially bullshit. This concept, in a nutshell, means that everyone puts in something towards whatever it is you are trying to buy. Either everyone puts in the same amount, or in most cases, you simply put in what you can. Often times, people say they will put in a certain amount and then end up putting in less (if anything) towards this common goal. I quickly learned to never be the first person to put in. Depending on the setting and the group of people that are involved, I always wait until everyone has gone to then offer up the amount I choose to put in. I do this for many reasons. The first reason being, people (especially most college students) will never divulge how much money they think everyone should put in, but will often choose an amount that is in fact less than what they might have originally put in if they knew everyone was in fact putting in that same amount. Secondly, the first person to announce what they are "putting in" primarily sets the tone for everyone else's amounts. If someone was to say "I'll put in $15", everyone else might then feel somewhat obligated to put in an amount closer to or around $15 because that is the tone that has been set in that particular instance. As apposed to if someone said "I can only put in $5", then that is the amount that will most likely be mimicked this go around. Essentially, I am suggesting that in future situations, it is better to bring your own car to race as apposed to getting in someone else's when you get there because they might not have any gas. 😬
Borrowing money is another tricky concept that most people have not fully seemed to grasp. This is why I no longer borrow money from people. Borrowing is defined as, "to take and use (something that belongs to someone else) with the intention of returning it." [Oxford Definitions] With the intention of returning it. This is the part that people seem to forget. As I mentioned in my last blog post, (don't forget to check that out if you haven't😉) I am not the kind of person that will bombard you, especially in regards to money. Simply ask yourself if you think you have the means or intentions to pay this person back and let that be the basis of your borrowing habits. Everyone will have to borrow money, to some extent, at some point in their life and that is perfectly normal and acceptable. It begins to get problematic once you have accumulated such a large borrowing tab that your intentions to repay are clouded by your inability to recognize some sort of moral culpability.
Lastly, it is important to have some sort of financial literacy. We are at the age now where most of us are beginning to have our own responsibilities for example, car notes, bills, rent ,etc. Simply knowing the components of what financial literacy is is a great place to start. Financially literacy [as defined by www.corporatefinaceinstitute.com] is, "the cognitive understanding of financial components and skills such as budgeting, investing, borrowing, taxation, and personal financial management." Straightforwardly, knowing how to open and maintain a bank account is a great place to start. No more carrying around your life savings and wads of cash in your pocket. First of all, that is problematic and unsafe and opening a bank account is free. Remember to be smart with your money. Treat it with care because as easily as you may have gotten it, it can just as easily be taken away.
Please join me again on Tuesday in my fourth installment of "is this it?" by Taylor Nicole where I will be discussing the topic of: how to an ally, in celebration of pride month 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️. I hope that you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for reading. I hope to see you again! 💛👩🏾💻