April 23, 2018 by Administrator

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Hey there dfree® Family,

Welcome back to Tamika Talks!, my monthly check-in where you’ll get my thoughts on free and full living, of course from a dfree® perspective!

I must start out this month’s message with full disclosure. Tamika Talks! is a new initiative for 2018. And though I have an editorial calendar to stick to and deadlines to meet, the content for Tamika Talks! is never pre-planned. These are my thoughts, based on my life, as it really happens. No inspiration, no Tamika Talks!, that’s it! The good news is, you will ALWAYS get honest, transparent, and applicable content…hot off the press every month!

With that said, though you may receive this at some point by the end of April, I want you to know that I am writing from Terminal B at Philadelphia International Airport, as I wait to board a flight to good ole’ Florence, South Carolina. (dfree® is headed there for the AME 7th District’s God First Holy Convocation!).

It is “Tax Day.” So if you’re reading this and haven’t filed, you’re too late! Stop reading now. Drop everything. Pick up the phone or high-tail it to your accountant ASAP! And if you have filed already…put down the new purse, new golf clubs, and close the vacation tab on your web browser. Put that tax refund money TO WORK!!! Pay off a credit card, add to your investment portfolio, or dump it into a high(er)-interest savings account. (TIP: online savings accounts tend to have higher yields.) #MessageNumberOne

It is also Financial Literacy Month, and we have done our best to serve you tips, tools, and insights to improve your financial position. If you’ve missed out, visit www.mydfree.org and check us out on all social media platforms @mydfree for more. Disclosure number two, this month’s message is a pre-financial literacy moment. It is an ode to the lifestyle choices we make that mess up our money, day in and day out. I hope you enjoy…

Sidebar: The clouds are building, and I pray my flight isn’t delayed.

But this is perfect because the fodder for today’s Tamika Talks! began on a day that looked a lot like today.

Storytime…

It was raining yesterday. Like, pouring buckets, pails, and water hose type rain. After all of the random snow we’ve had this spring (go figure), you would think that one would be thankful. In the same vein, since it had started raining the day prior, and had been forecasted to rain since last week, you would also assume that one would not be surprised that it was in fact, RAINING.

But there I was on a Monday morning, unsnapping the lining from the one coat that I wear to the gym normally, reshaping it into something a bit more stylish, to cover up the fact that in spite of my knowledge that it would be raining…I was ill prepared and needed to wear the one coat that had a hood. Thirty-six-year-old, multi-degree holding, bill paying, dfree® teaching ME…in a hood.

As I sloshed to the car, bags soaked, purse dripping, raindrops tainting my coffee mug, coat all wet and soggy, I said to myself, …

“Self, you are too grown not to have an umbrella!”

You made a special trip to the store (Marshalls…pray saints) yesterday afternoon just to purchase one. How did we end up like this? Why is this your life?!?

You know it rains. You know your hair, natural, weaved, or otherwise, does not like rain. You also know that you don’t like to be soggy…so why, Tamika? WHY?

And, by the way, Self…what did you buy when you were at the store that left you here sad and soggy?!? Hmmmm…2 picture frames, a pair of sneakers, a trampoline (yes, a TRAMPOLINE), and ZERO…ZERO umbrellas!

Your priorities are out of whack (overkill, but in the moment…accurate). You teach people about managing their lives and their money…and you are failing at the basics.

Do YOU know the difference between your WANTS and your NEEDS, Tamika?

You are ridiculous, and at this point deserve to be wet!”

(End scene.)

Needless to say, I stopped at the store and bought not one, but TWO umbrellas! One large one for days when I know it’s raining, and a miniature to carry in my bag, just in case. What the elements won’t do is catch me off guard again!!!

Prayerfully, you’ve been able to decipher the message from my mess. If not, here’s the Cliff Notes version.

1. In life, IT RAINS…literally and figuratively. And because we know that “life happens,” we should prepare ourselves as much as possible for the inevitable. Whether it’s a physical umbrella, or an umbrella insurance policy…do the things TODAY that will keep you ready in case things go left tomorrow.

2. Challenge yourself to assess your true understanding of your NEEDS versus your WANTS…in that order.

Many of us miscategorize and overly prioritize things that we want while neglecting or ignoring the things that we really need. Don’t get me wrong, fulfilling our wants makes us feel better, makes life brighter, and days sunnier. But when we put those first, at the expense of covering our necessities, we run the risk of being caught in the proverbial rain when “life happens” to us. Moreover, when we fail to be grateful for the fact that our needs are covered (while pouting over what we don’t have), we are missing the contentment that the Lord promises if we do things His way.

3. Lastly, learn to be your own accountability partner. I am not perfect, but I am not afraid to check myself! If you see something, say something…to YOURSELF! Examine your habits, your thoughts, and your feelings. Pay special attention to the mindless things you do, buy, spend, consume, entertain, engage in, and adjust or address as necessary.

The journey to your best life (thanks Oprah) begins every new morning. Prayerfully, it’s sunny. But even if it’s raining, be thankful, be joyful, and most importantly, BE PREPARED!

Have a great day!!!

Big hugs and best wishes,

TS

@TheFreeBlackGirl (IG)

@OGFreeBlackGirl (Twitter)

Stay tuned. Stay connected.

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Tamika Talk-Back…
How are you jumpstarting your journey to financial freedom this Financial Literacy Month? What do you think of #TamikaTalks? Email your comments here! I’d love to hear from you!