Monday Financial Nuggets: Youngsters and Money

Few working youths (per United Nations’ referenced ages 15-24) know what to do with money, either earned or gifted to them. I used to be one of those several years ago. Maybe not totally, but looking back, I acknowledge that I could have done better.

A working teenager has no money responsibilities like bills or rents/mortgages, except to splurge on new outfits, shoes, makeups, eat-outs, and other mundane things. Not that those things are unimportant, but it’s sheer vanity to acquire and accumulate endless amounts of them, most of which lay unused.

By the way, if you have tons of these mundane things lying unused in your closet or house, have a garage sale or post them on platforms like Depop, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace. Of the three, I have only used OfferUp, but my daughters have successfully used Depop and FB Marketplace. Please do your due diligence before choosing one for your purposes.

Once those mundane items have been sold, resist the urge to buy more things, and invest the money or put it in your savings account.

But what if the teenager could save at least half the amount of their paycheck every week and never touch it. For example, saving $50 every week for three months (using summer when most work), s/he would have saved $600 . On top of this, interest accrued depending on where the money is saved or invested, could add an additional $1-$25 or more per year. Imagine leaving that money untouched for another four years while in college, with compounded interest … Think about that for a second.

If a teenager could discipline him/herself to save and/or invest, it becomes a habit that will stick and only get better. The teenager would have mastered a money habit where most have failed.

Similarly, graduating out of college and starting full time job is the dream of almost every graduate. Some however are anxious to be independent and live alone. But precious one, what is the hurry? Ponder for a second how great it would be if you could live rent-free with your parents while working in an effort to save the most that you can for down-payment for your own house? It becomes harder to save when the bills start pouring in and/or when you start a family. I am puzzled when kids look forward to being 18 and independent. “Now I can drink alcohol” seems to be the most popular reason they give for the excitement! Hello?! There are better and more things in life than the liberty to be able to buy and drink alcohol. Why not think on those things?

Needless to say, the earlier you start saving and investing, the better. The rule of thumb is to save three to six months’ living expenses. Some say three months’ salary. Either way, the goal is to start and save the minimum of either three months’ salary or living expenses.

There’s no need to rush out of your parents’ home. It is a shield for you. Use living with your parents wisely and to your advantage before the bills start rolling in.

I acknowledge however that there are several other reasons when a young adult might decide to move out. Reason such as finding their first job in a different City or State. This is understandable but should be the exception and not the norm.

The essence of this post is to encourage youths to save, invest, and spend wisely. I hope it communicated that. If not, do let me know.

6 Habits of Highly Focused People

by Nick Wignali

”Focus is a skill you cultivate, not a technique you implement. If you want to improve your ability to focus deeply and do your best work, work to cultivate these habits:

Embrace routines: “The imagination is unleashed by constraints. You break out of the box by stepping into shackles.” – Jonah Lehrer

Procrastinate productively: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

Ruthlessly eliminate distractions: “Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” – Nathan W. Morris

Be compassionate with yourself after setbacks: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein

Take advantage of inspiration but don’t rely on it: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

Make the time to clarify your values: “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt”

To read the full details of each of the above points, click on this: 6 Habits of Highly Focused

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My Thoughts:

Focus is both a science and an art. The art is your creativity; how you utilize your uniqueness and innate gifts to partner with the science. Find the art that works best for you and embrace it! But whatever you do, remain steadily focused. Distractions will always come, if one allows them or give them a thought, one’s tasks will never be completed.

In the Church, distractions are tagged as a spirit. You simply cast it out by speaking to (better yet, commanding) it “Oh I see you, but you aren’t going to disturb me today or ever. Now, get out and return to where you came from in Jesus’s Name” or “I cast you out in Jesus’s Name.”

Peace people.

Love-first model for marriage and relationships

We posed the question, in our previous blog, should-love-or-marriage-be-based-on-a-business-or-love-first-model.

We talked about the business-first model and what relationships would be like if we adopted that model. If you missed it, click bit.ly/2Czm55T to read it.

Today, we review the other type of relationship; love-first model. It should be a no-brainer that relationships are based on love, right? No! It’d amaze even Venus that it’s not so!

What is love?

Dictionary.com https://www.dictionary.com/browse/love offers a few definitions of: ‘love’ as:

  • a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person;
  • sexual passion or desire.
  • a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

What is the love-first model?

It is the kind that marriages and relationships ought to be about. It is also the kind where each edifies the other above one self. The Bible provides us with a standard:

“Love suffers long, and is kind;

love envies not;

love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,

Love does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not his/her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;

Love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails: ….”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭KJV

This is the utmost kind of relationship everyone desires and/or should aspire to. But how do we get it?

How can we enter into this ideal model?

I believe that this kind of relationship is possible when men wisely choose their ladies and the ladies patiently wait for their other half to search them out. Then, there is dignity, mutual respect, and appreciation in love.

If marriages and relationships are based on the love-first model, there will be no occurrences of separation, divorce, or leaving one another. The relationship one enters into, will culminate into marriages till death does one or both apart. That, to me, is the ideal kind!

But since we do have incidents of separation and divorces, is’t then safe to say that either one of the parties chose the wrong partner to begin with or that one or both entered into the relationship under pretense or that the marriage or relationship was entered into for the wrong reasons? Maybe? Only both parties can tell.

Your choice

Now that you know what love really is, which would you choose as your model for marriage or relationship; the business-first or the love-first?

For the love-first model, pray and have a confirmation in your spirit that you are choosing wisely because the alternative (aka wrong choice) can be disastrous.

Love and Peace!

Should love or marriage be based on a business- or love-first model?

“What’s in it for me?” “You rub my back and I rub yours (or scratch or poke yours depending on how I’m feeling about you! Lol). Sounds so cold, unh? Yet, these selfish and shamefacedly statements have now become cliches in households.

Why does anything have to be in it for you? What about the other person? Why have we starved love and become so hungry for the $dollar (or money, for those who don’t spend the almighty currency!)? What happened to us all?

I could rant endlessly in the hope that some “expert” somewhere could answer my questions.

With the above outlooks on love/marriage, falling in love or getting married becomes scary. Should it? Let’s talk about it and consider both models.

Business-first model

Dictionary.com defines ‘Business’ as:
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/business

  1. an occupation, profession, or trade:
  2. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
  3. a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.

Marriage is honorable …” Hebrews 13:4a

Types of businesses

There are different types of businesses; the top four are:

  1. Sole proprietorship
  2. Partnership
  3. Corporations
  4. Limited Liability Companies.

The business-first model in marriage is similar to a Partnership. In all businesses, it is wise to have an agreement/contract that clarifies expectations. The contract in marriage is called the Prenuptial Agreement or Prenups, for short.

My humble opinion is that prenups are business-in-marriage documents that should have no place when the marriage is grounded in love.

However, I can envisage why one person (or both) favors prenups before entering into the marriage.

For your information, prenups are not relegated to famous and wealthy folks. Average, everyday, working-class people have been known to request prenups before marrying. I wonder why anyone would marry prenuptially! Personally, I won’t.

Comment below if you would marry someone who presents you with a prenup. If not, why not? Thanks.

If a business model is applied to marriage, it implies that three scenarios are imminent:

  1. either one person profits, and the other losses;
  2. both parties win; or
  3. both parties lose!

Let’s expatiate on each scenario in reverse order

The third scenario (both parties lose; lose-lose) means that the outcome was a fallout, separation, or divorce. Is it safe to say then that both parties were misfits to start with? What caused a fallout or the ultimate decision of a divorce? What differences were so grave that could not have been forgiven, or as Californian courts will rule, were irreconcilable? Are we so callous with one another such that we take the “it’s my way or the highway!” stance? Maybe, we all should choose our significant others wisely before heading on the crooked road.

The second scenario (both parties win; win-win) is the ideal. But remember that the goal of starting a business is to make a profit; aka ROI, return on investment. In a marriage, what would those investments be? Using children as an example, as I couldn’t think of a better one,. Neither party didn’t begin the marriage with children. Each party brought something; the man contributed his sperm and the woman her eggs. “The profit” is the children?! What would we say about those in a second or third marriage who brought children into the new marriage. Blended home profit? What other examples can be used? Furniture, cars, etc. with the outcome (profit) being a home?! Maybe. What if one party does not have the furniture or cars? Should they still start a “business” together or the items become “ours” rather than mine or yours? Or as in a real business partnership, the type of partnership will be defined; that is, who would be the active, dormant/sleeping, limited powers, etc. partner? I’ll like to hear your thoughts on this.

With this scenario, it appears that both parties made the right choice of “business” partner, right? We all might need to take cue(s) from this type of business-first love/marriage.
How then would the profits be divided? 50/50 or ratio relative to your contribution?

The first scenario (win-loss) is a troublesome one. Were both parties, the onset, aware of what the outcome would be? Why would anyone knowingly enter into a losing business? Were there any part of the contract that was latent, ambiguous, or intentionally omitted? If so, should there still be a contract – shouldn’t the contract be voidable, void, and/or rescinded? Let’s ponder on these for a moment. Some relationships are doomed even before they begin because everyone saw and knew that it was never meant to be nor was it going to last. Only the people involved couldn’t see nor know it! I could name a few examples but I don’t want to be litigated! You probably know one or two as well.

. . .

Each of the above scenarios is worth pondering on. If you or I were to enter into a marriage or relationship, which scenario would you or I choose as our ideal? I know for sure that I would 💯 choose the second win-win scenario and I hope that you would, too.

What could humanity do to avoid a losing love/marriage? What sustainable relationship tips can we pass on that can help others and especially the younger generation?

Please comment below.

We’ll continue with the other model, Love-first in our next blog. Till then,

Love & Peace

Thanks for reading.

BBC – Science & Nature – Human Body and Mind – Spot The Fake Smile

Spot The Fake Smile Survey
— Read on www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/

. . .

Can you spot a fake smile from a genuine one? According to U.K.’s BBC, “Most people are surprisingly bad at spotting fake smiles. One possible explanation for this is that it may be easier for people to get along if they don’t always know what others are really feeling.

Would you rather just get along with people or would you rather seek genuine friendships/relationships? For some, the answer might be “it depends.” I’d rather have the genuine.

. . .

I took this survey in one of my classes in college and scored 18 out of 20. Not bad, right?! But I wish I got it all! That two fake smiles could unknowingly cause a disaster or two if allowed to slip. Please don’t mind me – just revealing my competitive side 😀

I just found my result of the survey and wanted to share for a mid-week challenge.

. . .

We’re all in a haste to get things done that these days, no one stops to breathe or rest any more. (One reason that COVID-19 was a welcome breather of sorts!) We run about like the fable Chicken Little such that we miss the little things that matter. A fake smile and/or body language are two of such things.

. . .

Now, let’s see how you fair. Can you really spot a fake smile? Take the survey by clicking on the url above. p.s. you might need a Flash player.

Don’t forget to share your results in the comments below.

Happy hump day!

More Is Caught Than Taught – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

More Is Caught Than Taught – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/more-is-caught-than-taught/

Leadership. Leaders. Leaders and Leadership. We are all leaders in our own ways though many don’t ascribe to the title and some think that it’s humility to be titled a follower. We need both leaders and followers. As a matter of fact, every leader must be a follower or learn to follow at times; it’s a form of life balance.

The truth is that we are all one form of a leader in many ways.

I love leaders and leadership. I know that I haven’t blogged on it yet. Well, I’m sharing the first article/blog. I signed up for a webinar featuring Stephen R. Graves. It’s my first time hearing of him (I realize that there are a whole lot more great folks out there that I’m still yet to meet!) and decided to check him out before the day. This article/blog straight away caught my attention as it’s one of my favorite phrases.

The probability of leaders having like followers is higher than having dissimilar followers. Needless to say, leaders have to lead well.

Some things are taught, but many are caught. This phrase is particularly true with families. Without being specifically told, we find ourselves doing the same things we watch our parents do. We inherit their habits, styles, mannerisms, likes and dislikes, etc. My father loved to travel. When he does, we jest on how he packs like a woman because he overpacks. I realize now that I do the same; granted that I am the lady. And my daughters jest me on overpacking 😜. I justify my packing lol by responding that I do not want to buy things out there that I have at home and could have brought with me.

Guess what?! I now notice my daughters doing exactly the same! They caught my habit!

In the Bible, Elisha caught Elijah’s anointing and received a double-portion.

In essence, we ought to be mindful of all that we do because we never know who is watching!

What do you think? Leave your comments below. I hope you also learned something from Dr. Graves’ article.

Peace.

Real Talk with Kirk Franklin

www.youtube.com/playlist

I didn’t want to blog today, but couldn’t resist sharing this because it’s church-day Sunday. And though not all houses of worship are opened, we can still do church in our homes. The video just popped up on my phone.

. . .

Change and issues begin with dialogue/conversation. What does one do when the folks who one looks up to drops the ball? Church, the Law, the System … everyone. We cannot over-emphasize the need for change. The atmospheric conditions of America must change fast!

“Hear my heart, not my words” is a favorite phrase of mine. Watch the video to hear Kirk’s heart and let’s hear your heart by commenting below, too.

Peace!

p.s. enjoying my day 😎

We wear many hats and should refrain from limiting our analysis of issues to a singular

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

I propose that anyone who has lived at least a couple of decades on planet earth, will undoubtedly have some things and values that can be shared such as experiences in life, career, business, gifts, talents, etc. These valuable things transcend family, education, career, business, cultures, and more. The more the decades on earth, the deeper, varied, and sometimes hilarious the experiences. Generally speaking, the 40-/50-year old undoubtedly would have more life experiences than the 18-/25-year old. Only in few rare cases would there be exceptions to this statement.

“If elders could bequeath their experience and knowledge of life to children without the children making any mistakes, they would save them from a lifetime of heartaches.”

― Neena H. Brar, Tied to Deceit

One hat doesn’t always fit all

Having said this, I believe that people’s experiences and reactions to issues vary and are uniquely individualistic. However, we live in a culture that tries to put everyone, and every issue, in a box. For example, a father reacting to an issue concerning his son or daughter will exhibit certain emotions which might not necessarily be objective because it concerns his son/daughter. However, the same man will react differently to an issue concerning a colleague or subordinate at work; and even so differently if the subordinate were his son.

Another instance is in the medical field where certain medical guides are used across board for everyone. For instance the BMI formula, which uses one’s weight and divides it by the square of one’s height, has become the yardstick to measure an individual’s obesity tendencies. (https://bit.ly/2W1c7jB)


The BMI does not take into consideration the ethic background (Asian ladies are generally petite in stature; whereas African ladies are generally “thick”). Barbie-type African ladies are often deemed to be malnourished. BMI also ignores muscle mass, bone density, or other body structures of the individual. Yet, BMI has been accepted in the USA as the norm for gauging obesity and we are all expected to accept it!

The point that I’m making is that we should analyze issues from varied points before forming a conclusion. But, should we choose to form a conclusion based on a specific viewpoint, we need to offer that viewpoint so that readers are aware of our stand. For example, a mother, might sign a petition for more prisons to be built so that criminals are taken off our streets. The mother is wearing her citizen’s hat. However, the mother, wearing her mother hat, might not be enthused to having the prison built in her neighborhood.

The issues we talk, write, or blog would be analyzed, wearing different hats, and with the purpose to better inform the reader. Since the issues are varied, the audience will also be varied. The audience will eventually be narrowed down to a niche. Our hope is that the target niche, within the year, would hopefully have learned a thing or two from the wisdom nuggets shared.

Happy reading!