Is This Thing On?

*taps mic and cues intro from Public Service Announcement*

Allow me to reintroduce myself… MY NAME IS YOUNG!

Well, actually, it’s not. That’s just a nod to Jay Z, or as I like to call him, the Best Comeback Artist since Jordan Actually Retired.

Hello Good People, Followers, Readers, and Others who just haphazardly stumbled across my small space of the internet. It’s been a long time since I blogged (unintentionally, it’s been exactly a year), but not having a laptop, internet connection, and emotional wherewithal will zap even the mightiest Greek god of the urge to share.

I’m going to keep this short, as it is just a quick note to let everyone know that I’m back (for mostly good). For the newbies, I’ll take a moment to share some things about myself.

From my name, you should be able to tell that I AM Young, Gifted, Black…and well, Broke. To say the same thing differently, I’m an under-30, Ivy-League and two-time graduate who is overeducated and underemployed. Although my current job isn’t the most ideal, I stay because the benefits are great and I work with this fine ass man who I might or might not want to have babies for. To top it off, my net worth is currently so far in the negative, I laugh in sheer desperation when I log into Mint.com (#shoutout to da mints).

Even with all of that and a grasp of basic financial principles, I AM STILL BROKE.

The reality is that I’m like many of my peers and much of America. If there were a self-help group for people who “have it together” but still (BARELY) live paycheck to paycheck (P.O.P. Hold it down!), I’d nominate myself for President without a moment’s hesitation. The crazy thing is that although I know I’m not alone (statistics don’t lie and too many people like my tweets about Sallie “Navient” Mae on Twitter), I still feel isolated.

And that’s why I write this blog. To get the emotional “yuck” that’s tied to my dire financial situation out. I’m not alone and I don’t want anyone else to think they are alone in this either.

Here’s what you get here:

  • Regularly scheduled posts two to three times a week
  • Honest accounts of my financial status and my progress to reaching my personal goals
  • Information that I have found helpful in my goal of erasing my debt and starting anew

Here’s what you don’t get here:

  • SOUND FINANCIAL ADVICE BECAUSE I AM NOT A FINANCIAL EXPERT (my name is not Suze.)

If you’ve stuck around through my unintended and accidental hiatus, thank you from the bottom of my heart which is way bigger than my bank account. If you’re new here? Welcome, welcome, and welcome! I hope you stay around.

~Young

Your Financial Problems and Your Personal Priorities

On my personal blog, Miss C. Jayne, I shared how I was impacted by the sermon during my church’s annual Women’s Day. You can read the entire post, but i wanted to share what my revelations has shown me about my personal connection to money.

Yesterday, our speaker shared a lesson and entitled it, “Why me?” Many times, it is in our human nature to ask this question when we find ourselves in uncomfortable positions. I decided to pay extra attention since I found myself asking that question almost daily in a tear-filled fit (these mini-breakdowns have not been pretty, but then a mini-breakdown is never pretty). While speaking, she shared something that stuck out to me: “The trials (in our lives) reveal our trust (in God).*” When she said this, a thought immediately flashed in my mind:

The problems we create in our lives reveal our priorities.

When this thought hit, I found myself in a strange place of calm and understanding. It literally felt like everything was muted. I thought back to my largest frustration – money and the bill collectors on my phone. I thought about my inability to apply to PhD programs, something I’ve wanted to do since 2008, because I owe money on my student accounts at my former universities. I even thought about the current state of my bank account (takes deep breath) and the fact that I owe $1,089 to even get my balance to a cool $0. I thought about every single student loan that I owe on and I felt nothing.

For a moment, I wondered if I had made my transition to the spiritual world in church but I was quickly brought back to my senses when I was elbowed by another person in my pew (lol).

I didn’t die (thank goodness) and I felt a strange sense – clarity. Not peace but clarity. My heart still races when I think about the debt I have at 27 years old but since yesterday, none of that has been embarrassing or daunting. I realized that my priorities have been misaligned and I made decisions in haste with serious consequences. I had a small “Had I known then what I know now” moment. I simply took that moment to remind myself, “But I didn’t know and that’s okay.”

With this clarity, I’m moving forward and making the necessary changes to course correct. After all, that’s why I’m here sharing my story and journey with you all. I hope that you learn from my missteps or that you get some encouragement about your own financial situation.

If you’re still living, it’s never too late to align your actions with your priorities to move towards living the life you want.

*Words in parenthesis are my own and added for context.