Overcoming homelessness is not an easy task. It’s not something you can put on your to-do list and accomplish overnight unless you received a financial windfall to help you to do so.
I’ve been living in my new home for two months. It was imperative that I create a plan, start a budget and set realistic and obtainable goals to hopefully never have to become homeless again. Life happens. I do not know what obstacles I will face tomorrow, however, I will do all that I can to reduce my chance of having to live back on the streets.
Currently, I am working part-time at a retail store. The hours sucks, the pay could be a lot better but the experience is priceless. I have also been the founder and executive director of Touching Heart for the last nine years without pay. My choice. Although homeless, I had to continue to help others. It is my purpose and I love doing so. I’ll write a detailed post on helping others when you are also in need of help at a later date.
Girl, Get Your Money Straight! is a book that I had discovered in 2005 prior to becoming homeless. I had met the co-author, Gail Perry Mason, at HUD (Housing Urban Development) conference in Detroit, Michigan. During the conference, Ms. Perry Mason had a few books that she was distributing as prizes. I was one of the ones to actually win a copy. The information in this book is one of many that has helped me to finally take charge of my finances and “get my money straight”.
As a teen, my father sent me to school to learn about estate planning, portfolio investing and wealthy building. He was afraid that I would give all that I had away to those who could careless about me. He knew my family and ex-husband’s concerns were only about the number in my bank account. He was right to be fearful because I had allowed my heart to outweigh the lessons I had been taught. It not to blame anyone. It is who I am; I am a giver. I love helping people and I love that I had a chance to be a blessing to a number of folks. Despite the lack of support and help that I had received my heart is not hardened towards them. However, there is caution tape placed around my heart and money. This time around I am going to be a good steward over what God has given me. I am going to invest in me and not material possessions. I am going to continue to help those in need and I will always seek to learn from my experiences. I am not Olivia Pope. I do not have to “fix” someone’s situation. I’ve come to the conclusion that if folks found a way to get what they needed while I was homeless and broke, then they will have to use their same resources to help them when they are in a bind.
I have no credit cards or student loans. Thank God! I have medical bills and debt from my divorce. I also have what I like to call “co-sign” debt. Co-sign debt is when you have helped others and now you’re stuck with the bill. Small things but its debt.
I had taken the entire month of January from blogging (okay, starting to blog on a regular basis) to make changes and implement new strategies to help me rebuild my life. I had to adjust living in a home all over again (post coming soon).
Behind the scenes in January I had made some great strides to pay off debt and working towards my saving goals:
- Paid off two companies on my Credit Report ($963.84)
- I’ve opened up a few online savings accounts. I’ll have a very hard time accessing those accounts
- Ordered and reviewed my Credit Report from all three agencies
- Created a monthly budget
- Decided I would live off 60% of my income (prayers needed!)
- Stepped out on Faith and became a freelance writer and part-time graphic/web designer
Not too shabby.
Now here’s February Goals:
Hustle My Side Hustle
Over the years I have helped a number of churches, ministries and grassroots organizations start-up for FREE. I have also had ministries who think that you should work for FREE and “God would bless me”. I have no problem with helping anyone but I cannot afford to allow the gifts that God has given me to be advantage of. I have started a small business to write grants, event planning/fundraising, Social Media Management and other services that I have been doing for nearly ten years.
After pulling my credit reports, I know for sure I owe $25,464.73 in debt. My goal is to pay $500 to reduce the amount owed.
I have to stop putting this off. I have a number of topics to share that I know will help someone. If nothing else than to write to share my story.
My weight has been yo-yoing for years. I know it was do to the fact that I have not had a chance to stick with meal planning and exercising because I’ve been from one place to another. Now that I am in my own home my health is the most important issue right now. I cannot keep putting it on the back burner. I will workout at least five days a week and meal plan.
Cut the Grocery Bill
I am an EXTREME Couponer. My monthly grocery bill is about $100. Some may think that’s really good for a single person but I know I can reduce it even further. I want to spend no more than $75 per month. The remaining $25 will go in my savings account.
I am starting over from scratch. Right now, I have no furniture. I am going to do a few DIY projects to spruce up my home. I have had successes shopping the clearance aisle at Target. I am not going to do everything at once. It’s going to take time to have my home just the way I want it. I will definitely share here and on video.
What are your February Goals? Leave a comment below.