No Money Means More Problems

Some say that it is the other way around, more money, more problems. I wonder if these people that think/say this have ever been single-mama-no-child-support-one-income broke before.

I mean, Mama, maybe you are fortunate and you don’t need government assistance, and you are receiving child support, and you are making more than enough to cover the bills, kudos.. this post really isn’t for you, but read on! I’m sure you can relate somewhere down the line.

For those of us that do need government assistance and are making by the grace of God, I simply want to show you where you are and when you can be headed, if you work harder.

Where you may be: No Money

  • Your credit score is anywhere from 580 to 620 ( low).
  • You make $10 an hour and work 40 hours a week ( annual income is less than 20K).
  • You get $400 in food stamps.
  • You get some change in TANF.
  • Your rent is about a third of your income.
  • You get child care assistance but still have to pay $150 a month.
  • You have a car note, which is another 1/3 of your check.
  • And with the last 1/3 of your income you are required to make it stretch, therefore you are always broke and living pay check to pay check.

Now this shoe that I have set out, may not fit you all the way, but just follow me here.

Having no money leads to more problems especially if you want to move up and do better for yourself.

For example, with a low credit score it is difficult to purchase anything substantial, like a car, rent a house, etc. And if you do try and do these things the interest rate it through the roof! Should you try and buy a car and have it financed and not put any money down, you are looking at having a 29% interest rate. You will be making payments on a car that cost $5,000 in cash for 5 years and end up paying around $18,000 by the time you’re done. That’s a problem!

How do you move up in this world then? How do you make more money? How do you get out of the slump called “Poverty” or “Broke” or “Living Paycheck to Paycheck”?

One step at a time.

Where you want to be: Making More Money

From doing some research, I have found that people that are driving nice cars and are living life comfortably often have more than one source of income, they have about 5. How? Well, they may have a 9 to 5 job (income #1) , they may sell items on Amazon (income #2), they may have a savings account that accrues interest over time (income #3), they may have their own business or sale things as a hobby (income #4), or they may blog and in a year or 2 make money off of it (income #5), whatever the case  may be they have their hands in several pots and they work hard!

You may be thinking, “Well, dang, how can I do anything extra when I barely have time for myself?” 

To that, I ask, how bad do you want to be able to live comfortably? How bad do you want to be able to give your child a future like you never had before? How bad do you want the things that you desire? If you want it, you will go for it. 

I encourage you today Mama! If there is a business that you want to step into, plan, pray and step into it. If there is a job that you can apply for that would make more money for your family, apply for it. Move forward with your morals and your values in mind and take a leap of faith. It’s scary. Change is scary. The unknown is scary. Failure is always a possibility, but how will you know, if you never try.

It’s too expensive to be broke. Pray and make moves in faith that will allow you to go from surviving to thriving!


Organize you money by using the FREE Budgeting printable! Click here 

Kids Corner| Yes, Jesus Loves Me

This isn’t anything new. I had posted a video of Gia singing the children’s song, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me,”  some time ago and here it is:

As I revisit this video and this song again I am moved. I am moved because Gia sings this song all day everyday! It doesn’t matter where we are at, she will burst out in song and I am not even sure if she realizes what she is saying.

I pray that one day she would understand. I pray that one day she would know without a shadow of doubt that Jesus loves her simply because the Bible tells her so. I pray that she would recognize Jesus’ love for her each and every day. I pray his love for her would lurer her and cause her to love him back. I pray that she would love Jesus all the days of her life. My little girl, she is so sweet and so kind and so loving. I am so grateful for her!

 

Mama2Mama| Forgiveness

Mama2Mama was meant to be a YouTube series that I posted every Monday and eventually it will be, but for now the written word is just as important as the spoken word.


In my younger years – which isn’t that long ago, I’m only 26 – I used to practice forgiveness often. If someone did me wrong, I thought, oh well, I forgive them and move on, sometimes reconciling and sometimes cutting that person out of my life. However, now I find it so much harder to forgive.

I believe it’s because now I am very up front, I tell people how I am and I draw up my boundaries and basically tell people how it is, in the nicest way possible. Then after that, if someone was to do me wrong, I’d harden my heart towards them and cut them off and move on. I thought, you know me, so why would you hurt me like that? Yet, that attitude and way of life wasn’t working for me. The weight of a hardened heart became to heavy for me to bear.

Not only that, but my fear of the Lord grew and I began to understand that in order to please God that I have to obey his commandments.

Matthew 6:14-15 

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Here, we are met with a commandment and a promise.

Commandment: Forgive others who sin against you.

Promise: If you do not forgive, God will not forgive you.

Talk about a wake up call!

My first reaction to this verse was:

Lord, you mean I have to forgive my lying baby daddy? You mean I have to forgive my ex fiance who physically and emotionally hurt me? You mean I have to forgive my parents for not feeding me with a silver spoon? 

And the Lord replied with a yes, read Matthew 6:14-15 again.

I mean, God’s word is very clear. Either you forgive as you have been told to, or you don’t forgive which means your sins will not be forgiven. And I don’t know about you but I need ALL of my sins forgiven.

I understand that Paul thinks that he is the worst sinner ( 1 Tim. 1:15) , but girl, let me tell you.. Paul can’t touch this. I am sin-sin-sinner! And if had not been for the Lord on my side, I have a couple of ideas about where I would be. That’s why I am so grateful for the blood of Jesus washing away my sins. I need it! I need him! Therefore, yes, I will allow God to soften my heart. Yes, I will forgive those who sin against me, because 1. God says so 2. I want my sins forgiven and 3. because I want to be like Christ and that’s what Christ has done for me.

So Mama, I encourage you to forgive those who have sinned against you. Forgive them today. Even if you don’t tell them to their face that you forgive them, forgive them in your heart. Allow God to soften your heart. Confess your sins to God and ask him to forgive you. Also consider forgiving yourself. Forgive yourself for dealing with such people. Forgive yourself for not obeying God’s word the first time. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive!

Meditate (focus)  on this and have a good night.

Ephesians 4:32 

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Love you friend!

Loving Jesus, Gia, and Me

Valentine’s Day is dreaded by so many people, mostly single people, and that’s OK, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, on Valentine’s Day we too can celebrate love. Here’s how:

Loving Jesus 

Today make sure that you spend some time with our Savior. Let him know how much you love him. Let him know that you love him because of who he is and not just because of all of the things that he’s done. Let him know that he is the King of your heart and that he will always be the King of your heart. Take time out to praise and worship him. He alone is worthy.

Loving Your Child/ren 

Make sure that your child/ren knows that you love them. Make them a card. Take the out to a restaurant or to the park. Go to the daycare/school and have lunch with them. Whatever the case maybe, let it be done in love. Unplug from your computer and your phone and spend undivided quality time with them. Cuddle up with them to a movie and snacks and enjoy evening.

Loving Yourself

Don’t forget to show yourself some love too! For me this more than likely happen after work and after I put my child to bed. I’ll stay up a little later tonight and enjoy a warm bible bath. I’ll paint my nails and read a good book or write a little. I won’t spend too much time thinking about the guys that I dated in the past. I won’t bother thinking about the fact that I’m single. In fact, every time one of those thoughts cross my mind today, I am choosing to turn it around into something. I will thank God for my season of singleness. I will thank God for protecting me from counterfeits. I will thank God and I will praise him because he is not done with me yet.

Today, make sure that you spend time loving Jesus, your child/ren and yourself. Don’t allow yourself to get into a funk. Don’t focus on who or what you don’t have, but thank God for what you do have.

Mama2Mama| Broken Hearted Girl

The idea behind Mama2Mama initially started out a YouTube series idea, which there are a couple of  Mama2Mama videos of You Tube (click here), but for now, the written word is just as important as the spoken.

Tonight I want to share my Valentine’s Day story.


The last time that I had a really good Valentine’s day date may have been back in 2011. I was dating this guy just months after getting out an abusive relationship and I didn’t think that I could give love a try again. To myself, I was damaged. To him, I was beautiful. I was kind. I was everything that he wanted and he gave me everything that I wanted. From my favorite flower, sunflower, to my favorite candies, Twix and gummy bears, he wanted to see me smile and I did.  Every Valentine’s day before and after this was just another day.

It was just another day because I was either single or in a terrible relationship. I didn’t feel loved and I didn’t know how to love. And while tomorrow will feel like just another day, because I’m single, I’m ok with that.

I understand that God is still working on me.

Not long ago, in fact, November, 2016, I was in a relationship with a guy and it lasted for about 3 months. The relationship moved so fast! He verbally abused me and then later physically assaulted me.

We were in a serious relationship after 4 days of talking (mistake #1). Then after a month of dating we said, “I love you”( mistake #2). I ignored red flags such as his charm (the Bible says charm is deceiving), and him losing his job only a week into our relationship (he wasn’t stable), he got angry fast ( the Bible calls this kind of a person a fool), he was jealous, he wanted me to delete all guys from my social media accounts (controlling behavior), he found fault with members in my family and suggested I’d stop talking to him ( he wanted to isolate me), I mean the red flags were red hot, but I was foolish.

I was foolish and I called it moving on faith.

We even had a wedding ceremony in a church, with his family and my mom and sister. We said our vows on January 1, 2017, and come January 8, he physically assaulted me.

The relationship ended there and I cried. I was guilty. I was ashamed. I beat myself up because how could I have ignored all or these signs when I work at shelter for victims of domestic violence. I should’ve known better. I mean I really beat myself up.

Yet, I thank God that I did not turn in the marriage certificate. I thank God that today I was able to stand in court and get a two year protective order. I thank God for his constant protection. I thank God that I didn’t get pregnant ( we tried). I thank God from whom all of my blessings flow.

And while my heart is still hurting because I realize that I’ve never been in a healthy relationship, I am comforted in knowing that God is close to the brokenhearted. He is here with me. He will never leave me. He will make me over. He will continue to do a good work in me. He will see that I am made into the woman whom he would have of me to be. And one day, I won’t spend Valentine’s day alone with my child. One day I spend Valentine’s Day with a man who will make everything that I’ve been through make sense. One day, I will be in a healthy relationship and I will know how it feels to really be loved. He will love me as Christ loves the church. I will be for him and he will be for me. I have hope that this man that I dream about is near. It’s only a matter of time before we meet.

Mama, I want to encourage you in this season to have hope. Have hope that the love that you desire from a man is out there. It’s only a moment of time before you meet him. Until then, let’ focus on our relationship with God. Let’s allow God to continue a good work in us. Let’s purse Christ diligently and then expect every good thing to come afterwards.

Until then, I love you friend!

Budgeting

Mama, let’s talk money! 

Here is a copy of my budget that I had started to make for the next two weeks.

20170204_181604

I make a budget every two weeks because I get paid bi-weekly.

In creating my budget I think about when things are due, I think about when  my paycheck hits, I think about other miscellaneous expenses, I think about my tithes and I think about my savings.

For me, I need a budget! I need to see where my money is going. I need it because it is my self-control tool! If it is not in the budget it does not get spent. That includes going out with coworkers and friends. If I have not planned for it, I can not do it. Simple.

Well… OK, at first budgeting was something that I struggled with, it was a struggle because I was impulsive. I had to pray and pray and I am still praying that God would fill up with gift of being frugal so much so the curse of impulsiveness wouldn’t have any more room.

Yes, there are times when I don’t stick to my budget and it is usually those times when I end up finding myself in a financial mess.

Therefore a budget is my friend.

If you aren’t already using a budget and you don’t know where to start or how to make one, I strongly encourage you to download and print the “Budget” found under the Printables tab. It looks exactly like the one seen in the photo. Then come back on Monday for Mama2Mama to figure out to use it.

Otherwise , good luck!

I pray that this you we would become finically free. I pray that our finical freedom would mean that we aren’t waiting on payday to get more money because we have more than enough. I pray that our financial freedom looks like higher credit scores. I pray that our financial freedom looks like we’re on our way to being debt free. I pray that our financial freedom looks like our income stretching and being more than enough.

Pray with me and let’s start making preparations to receive what we’ve been praying for.

Mama2Mama|Starting All Over Again

Mama2Mama was meant to be a YouTube series that I posted every Monday and eventually it will be, but for now the written word is just as important as the spoken word, so here we are:

Mama2Mama| Starting All Over Again

Mama, how do you start all over after you had been in a relationship that left you feeling broken and disgusted with men in general?

You give your heart to God and you keep it there.

Easier said than done, right?

Right, but it must be done.

It must be done so that when the time comes for you to be in a relationship again the baggage that you are carrying now won’t weigh your new relationship down.

Give your heart to God. Confuse to him that you are lonely when you are lonely. Confess to him that you need somebody of the opposite sex when you need somebody of the opposite sex. God’s word tells us to cast all of of cares on him. That means everything. That means everything from money issues to relationship issues.

One thing that has bugged me since starting over again, are all of the married people giving single folks advice without a hint of love. I mean, have you seen those videos of married women and men giving advice in an aggressive manner.

“You better be single and not lonely,”

“You better enjoy your singleness”

“Get closer to God and you will find a man!”

Wisdom or not is not what I am here for, but to me it seems like whole lot of motivational speaking.

The Bible tells us to speak to one another with love because a harsh tone only brings about anger and anger makes a person a fool. Therefore… check who you are following and who you are allowing to speak things over you.

Loneliness is an honest feeling. Give it over the Lord. Allow him to help you work through it.

I promise you, as I am typing this post out, God is ministering to me as I am ministering to you.

Loneliness has to subside or else you could find yourself in a relationship that you ought not have been in.

Loneliness will cause you to do things and go places where you don’t belong and I am not telling you these things because I have read them, but I am telling you these things because I have lived them.

I thank God every night for his protection because I have had men in my life that should have ruined me, but God!

Mama, when I started out with this post I had every intention to write a list of some ways for you start over after being in a toxic relationship, but God knows that the Mama reading this needed more.

I pray that something you’ve read has touched you and inspired you.

I pray that as you get ready to start over that you know that you are loved. I pray that you would come to know that God is enough. I pray that you would come to know that it’s OK to only tell God how you are feeling, he is our father and our very resent help in time of need. You are not alone. The same and the guilt that you may be feeling is normal, but don’t stay there. It’s ok to cry. Cry and then pick yourself up and then move forward.

Move forward and keep the Word of God near you.