Financial Streams of Consciousness...

The Intersection of Kaepernick and Financial Empowerment

The Intersection of Kaepernick and Financial Empowerment

Despite your stance, currently or historically, on Colin Kaepernick's legacy, he represents something that most of us wish we had - choice! The choice to take a chance! The choice to speak up! The choice to say “No!” or walk away! In fact, based on the zillionth Facebook post I’ve seen about someone’s job, I’m sensing that more than a few of us dislike our workplace environment. And, despite the disdain for one’s boss or co-worker(s), most people are probably not going to do anything to compromise their employment status intentionally. To do so would result in experiencing a pretty severe financial shock like no longer being able to cover the mortgage/rent, car note, grocery bill, insurance, childcare, etc. If you believe highly paid professional athletes are not faced with the same dilemma, have you seen "Broke" the ESPN documentary? Does Colin Kaepernick currently have a job? Life gets complicated despite our socio-economic status. The more complicated it gets, the fewer choices we feel we have especially when it comes to our finances. Think about it. How many times have you said, “I would say something, but I do not want to lose my job or the social capital I’ve established.”? Sadly, many of us find ourselves wanting to take a knee but can’t. Yet Colin Kaepernick, despite the possible repercussions, chose to kneel. This brings us to a critical point... Financial empowerment optimizes choice! To optimize choice in our own lives, we must understand that financial empowerment is not the ability to amass more stuff. As we like to say, ‘It’s the ability to have anything you want but the wisdom not to.’ Financial empowerment should allow you to exercise choice - not limit it! Consider this, sticking with the job theme here, how long can you currently go without your paycheck to pursue a career path you absolutely love? (You might be surprised to find that many doctors, lawyers, and engineers live paycheck to paycheck as well). Financial empowerment is the ability to have anything you want but the wisdom not to. Now let’s say you don’t have any bills. The house and car are paid for, student loans are taken care of, and you don’t have credit card debt. How long do you think you can go without your current paycheck to find the career path you love in this scenario? Despite how much money you earn, the former lifestyle will more than likely limit your capacity for change. The latter opens up the possibility to explore opportunities that would not be feasible otherwise. If we are honest with ourselves, we’ve all had a moment when we’ve wanted to take a chance but couldn’t. We’ve all had a moment when we’ve chosen to be silent when we should have spoken up. We’ve all had a moment when we’ve wanted to leave a toxic situation but decided against it because it placed food on the table. We’ve all been there and will continue to be until we change the financial narrative from stuff to empowerment, from financial bondage to financial freedom, from the myopic lens of now to the expanded lens of endless possibilities. Financial empowerment optimizes choice! How might you live life differently if you focused on working towards building your capacity for financial empowerment? If you ask me, I think you might find the audacity to follow in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps and take a knee. - Until next time. You have more power than you think. Own it! -

Scaling Down is the New Rich!

Scaling Down is the New Rich!

I was watching a video on building my own tiny house the other day. Yes, it is my goal to retire in a tiny home, on a lake, with my wife, a dog, and as little stuff as humanly possible. Why do we need “stuff” anyway, right? Imagine how much more fulfilling life would be if we weren’t slaves to the American dream... The American dream for many of us has become tied to our ability to have a nice car(s), spacious home(s), great vacation(s), a comfortable living (the ability to buy more stuff), and to make sure that in all our getting others are aware that we got it. Ask yourself: Are you really buying that car or purchasing that home because you want it? Or do you have a burning desire to signal to others that you’ve arrived? Maybe your self-worth is tethered to all the compliments and attention? Regardless, we all have our reasons for choosing to partake in the rat race of life.

The American dream is incredibly elusive. According to a 2019 study by Ameriprise, only 13% of the millionaires polled felt rich. T.I. (Tip Harris) even mentions in his song On Top of the World...“ Remember sayin’ damn if I could just get to a million-plus / And now I’m like s#@! what the f@$% is a million bucks.”

I know what you are thinking. You would still like to have a million bucks. You want those problems. You'll relish in that smoke - LOL! Money gives you options. However, if money gives you options, do you ever get to a point where you can opt-out? When is enough, well, enough? There will always be a new toy or the latest and greatest thing that you've been told you have to have. When does it ever stop? It doesn't. There is no end to more.

Think about it this way. What if you could condition yourself to want less? For instance, instead of entering into a car loan every 3 to 5 years, what would become of your savings by keeping the same car for 15 years? I have, roughly. Panda (my car) and I have been in a committed relationship for 14 years. Let’s do the math.

Based on some data pulled from Credit Karma, the average car note for a new car is $568.

So, let’s say you pay off the car in 5 years and save $568 every month over the next 10 years. That would amount to $68,160 in savings (And that’s without investing the money). If you invested this money and yielded a conservative return of 6% over that same period, you would have $93,000. Wait there's more! The average annual rate of return yielded by the S&P 500 from 2010 to 2020 was 13.6%. Under this scenario, your savings would amount to $143,662. Boom!!! Now, how much could you save if you did this for two car payments? Or Three? Basically, you would be in a position to pay cash for a home. And, depending on where you live, you would be in a position to acquire a revenue-generating rental property or two. That's a win-win if you ask me.

Not only would you have the freedom that comes with not paying a car note or a mortgage, but you would also be in a position to take ownership of your life. For instance, you'd have the type of freedom to walk away from a job you hate that pays you just enough to impress people you don't like. You'd feel empowered to speak up and out about social ills and injustice without fearing the consequences of doing what's right.

You could take chances, fail, take more chances, fail, take more chances and fail again, knowing that you are financially secure and can endure living comfortably on a modest income. How many people can say that they can do this? Unfortunately, many rich people can't either.

The next time you hear the old biblical saying that the borrower is a slave to the lender, it could also be argued that chasing the elusive ideals of the American dream induces a perpetual state of borrowing that one cannot escape. So, which comes first: debt or the American dream? You know where I stand.

-Until next time. You have more power than you think. Own it!- #Debt #AmericanDream #TinyHome #Money #Wisdom

How Sturdy is Your Financial Base?

How Sturdy is Your Financial Base?

A client of mine exceeded her financial baseline the other day. It was a proud moment. She went from saving 20 dollars a week to 25 dollars a week. I was pumped!!! You should have heard me. I was screaming, 'Let's go!!!!' during our meeting. She was amused but did not understand why I was so excited. She quipped, "It's only five additional dollars." I said, 'Only??? Only???? No. Those five additional dollars represent how you've steadied the ship and have greater financial stability. They represent how you've created and stuck to your spending plan. They represent you breaking emotional and psychological barriers. They represent you trusting me; You stated that you were skeptical about all of this. They represent a change in your mindset and demeanor. You are more confident. You are more at ease... YOU ARE WINNING!!!!" She replied, "How am I winning when I feel so behind?" I quickly interjected, "Comparison is the thief of joy. I do not celebrate people who can easily save $1,000 a month. That's their baseline. They should be doing that. It's easy. There was no discomfort to do so. They aren't stretching themselves. You are. In my eyes, positioning yourself to save five additional dollars a week is worth more than someone who can easily save $1,000 a week... You are winning. And you are a winner." That interaction reminded me to write this post because too many people give up when they are winning. The issue is that they can't see they are winning. They don't feel like a winner. That's why I recommend people get a financial coach - at least for a year. You need somebody to see and guide the new you until you can recognize and consistently operate in the new person you've become. In fact, you might be that person I'm talking about. And, yes, if "all" you've been able to do is push yourself to save five dollars more than you were originally comfortable with, that's a win. You've exceeded your baseline. Now you have a new one. From this point forward, you'll keep making slight changes to exceed it a bit more. And little by little, what seemed like little progress turns into a force to be reckoned with - You! When it comes to your financial baseline, you can overdo it too. Sometimes you might push yourself harder than you have the capacity to mentally, emotionally, and financially handle. You might notice significant discomfort during these times. This is your mind and budget telling you that you've gone a little too far. Trust me; you are not going to make up for your lost time in a month. I've tried. It doesn't end well. Instead, listen to those cues and slow down a bit. You should feel some stress, but not to the point where it feels unbearable. Unbearable stress is not healthy. And let's be honest, it's not enjoyable either. Your financial wellness journey will induce a little stress, but it should end with feelings of accomplishment and newfound confidence - not anxiety or shame. It's okay to start exactly where you are. Otherwise, you'll set unrealistic expectations that are not achievable because you do not have the capacity to achieve them in your current base. If you know you can't sit down and budget for an hour, how long can you stay focused on the budgeting process? Start there. That's your baseline. Even if it's a minute, from there, gradually stretch the length of time you can stay engaged with the budgeting process. And, instead of one budgeting session, break it up into small ones that align with your current capacity. The way you engage with money has to be congruent with your financial capacity or baseline. If your financial activities and capacity are out of alignment, you will not sustain the effort needed to see progress. Plus, you'll start keeping score in an unhealthy way. Keeping score is not about how well someone else is doing. Keeping score is about self-awareness and knowing whether you are doing your best or not. You and only you can determine whether or not you are hitting the mark. And, to do this, you have to play fair by doing the following: Extend yourself some grace so that you can embrace where you are. A seed has to be planted before it can become a tree. Do not compare your progress to the progress of others. Their situation is different from yours. And that's okay. You can still win your race. That's the only race that matters! Employ self-compassion while you strive to get to where you wish to be. You are going to slip up from time to time. That's a part of the process. Falling means that we are strengthening the muscles we need to walk. Keep strengthening those muscles. Embrace that growth takes time and that the fruit from your efforts will withstand the test of time. That's the real stunt: lasting success! Surround yourself with people who see what you are becoming instead of those that will only remind you where you've been. Knowing your baseline is incredibly important. It's your foundation. As I stated to my client, it takes a lot to establish or re-establish one's foundation. Once it's sturdy, you can build on top of it. Unfortunately, most people settle for building on a flimsy base and hope that it will hold. That's not you. Go slow to go fast. You got this. You are right where you need to be. Embrace your financial base. It's the source of your future success! #Baseline #Money #Wisdom #ModomSolutions

Is it too Personal?

Is it too Personal?

If you've ever suffered through hearing me speak in a class, during an online course, or at a conference - LOL!, you've heard me say that we have to find the delicate balance between the personal and relational sides of money. Money is personal because we have to be mindful of our beliefs (limiting or freeing), attitudes (optimistic or pessimistic), and behaviors (optimal or suboptimal) about money. Money is relational because we have to know how someone else's beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors can influence our relationship with money. Or how ours might impact theirs. Whether we see it or not, we are navigating one extensive system of constant interactions with people, institutions, and culture that are shaping our financial outlook on life. Along the way, we are bound to experience hurt, joy, betrayal, and triumph. Money is personal and relational. Your perceptions about saving are personal and relational. You may want to save, but you don't trust the banking system because of how the local bank in town has treated your family. Your ideas about sharing a bank account with your partner are personal and relational. You may have shared an account with your last husband, and he emptied it before abandoning your family. You'll never share an account with another person again. Your attitude towards investing is personal and relational. You grew up watching your uncle make a fortune from investing. To your way of thinking, why would anyone not invest? Your inclination to have or not to have conversations about money is personal and relational. You watched your parents have respectful and loving exchanges about money. Not being able to do the same with your partner makes you feel empty and less connected. You aren't who you are with money just because you are that way with money. Your perspectives on money are a result of the system(s) you've had to navigate or endure. To think of it another way, your firmly held views about money today are a reflection of the past: financial messages, experiences, interactions, and consequences. I know, I know, mind-blowing, right?!?! It's not easy to see this relationship when you are single and navigating life on your our terms. There is no accountability. There is no one to challenge your views; however, this personal and relational side of money exposes itself when you enter a relationship with someone else. Your past, good, bad, or indifferent, is put to the test. Theirs is too. You are forced to consider that others do not hold the same money perspectives because they do not share your financial experiences. For them, it's not as personal. And because it's not as personal, they have the capacity to see things differently. And that's okay. Different is not deficient. Vulnerability, understanding, and empathy thrive here. Don't run from it. Embrace it. If you want to be successful with money and build the future you hope for, you will have to explore and evaluate the relational side of your money: Why is it so personal? Otherwise, it will always have power over you - regardless of how much money you can amass during your lifetime. Once you've teased out that experience or interaction, ask yourself the following question: Is what I've experienced always true? If it isn't, then is it acceptable for me to respond in the way that I always do? Change isn't easy. But knowing that there are people like you who've cultivated a different relationship with their money shows that it is possible. Maybe you can too. It's not too late. Own it! #ModomSolutions #Money #Personal #Relational #Wisdom

Buy the Community.

Buy the Community.

Homeownership is not enough to close the wealth gap. There. I said it. Studies consistently show that Black households seek homeownership later, pay more over the life of their mortgage, are less likely to sustain said home, and see less home appreciation than their White counterparts. Homeownership is a step in the right direction, but we have to address the why behind these other issues. If careful consideration is not taken when purchasing a home, an unsuccessful attempt at homeownership could set a Black household back emotionally and psychologically - let alone financially. Due to a tunnel-vision-focused approach towards Black home-ownership, we are missing the mark by a mile. People don't tell you that successful homeownership and the value that comes from it boils down to community equity - not homeownership. I liken community equity to investing: the community is the company, and the home is a share of its stock. The value of that stock fluctuates with the desirability of the community. Think about the area in which you live. Jot down all the different neighborhoods in your surrounding area and rank them: 1 being horrible and 10 being great. How much are you willing to pay to live in the great community? How much are you willing to pay to live in the horrible community... You get my point! Yes, a home can have beautiful hardwood floors, a jacuzzi tub in the master, and a backsplash to die for in the kitchen. Still, if the community is not desirable, the home will not be as desirable. To make matters worse, if someone purchases more home than he or she can maintain, he or she will have less money to spend in their community (if you are even intentional about spending in your community) to build up its economic strength - thus suppressing the overall value of their home. Having limited financial resources also means that one might have to work more to make ends meet. This means that this person is less available to tend to the needs of their home and community. Now, imagine an entire community of individuals with limited time and resources to maintain their homes. If they can't maintain their homes, then there is no way they can maintain the community that drives their home's value. Being labeled a "Black" community does not make things better, which is why you have to be vigilant about debunking harmful stereotypes about blackness. Man, this post is down-right depressing and exhausting. Avoiding these issues, however, just is not an option. If homeownership is to work in favor of Black communities, Black communities must prioritize community over homeownership. Prioritizing the community results in better management of financial resources and greater community involvement. Greater community involvement facilitates connection. Connection encourages greater care of personal and community resources. Strong community resources and amenities drive community desirability. Desirability creates demand. Demand, along with a limited supply, drives home prices. Higher home prices lead to greater tax revenue that can be used to improve your community's desirability and, ultimately, the value of your home!!! I hope that studies will someday show that through a commitment to the Black community, Black households purchase homes earlier, sustain those homes, and experience home appreciation on par if not greater than industry averages. But, to accomplish this, you (we) have to focus on buying the community - not the home. #ModomSolutions #Wisdom #Money #Community #HomeOwnership #OwnIt #WealthGap

I'm Built Different (Maybe???)

I'm Built Different (Maybe???)

Yo, real talk, I have been criticized every step of my financial wellness journey. None of those criticisms have deterred me from living my best life. I'm just built different. Everything I've done to improve my financial well-being, I did it before it was fashionable in the Black community. I cut my cable before cutting the cable bill was cool. I haven't had a car note for nearly 14 years. In fact, I've had the same car for 14 years. Now you know you get no love in the hood if you ain't pullin' up in the new-new at least once every year or two. Nobody cares about how much you have in your 401k account (although they should). But the fam will swing through if I pulled up in a Tesla, though. I've always managed my credit score. It has been in the 800 range for as long as I can remember. My savings rate has been 15% or higher since forever. I've been engaged in investing since my college years - 2001. My financial love language is giving. I'm not a material person. I'd rather spend money on causes that have a real impact on the community. And, every step of the way, someone has had something off-putting to say about the way I was livin'. I didn't care then. And I don't care now. I'm built different. Do you know how many times I have to hear, "You be actin' like those rich white folks." - LOL! A lot. How is that any different from saying, "You talk white."? I don't care. I'm built different. Not as in you are actin' White, but as in you are realizing something innate...Come to think about it; maybe I'm not built different. Maybe I'm tapped into the wisdom of my ancestors. Maybe good stewardship, generosity, and wealth creation are #BlackFinancialCulture. I like that. There is nothing different about me. I'm not built different. I'm only now realizing the extent to which Black excellence resides inside of me. Wow, that's powerful! So, if you find that those close to you don't get that you are trying to build a solid financial foundation for generations to come, don't sweat it - own it! The ancestors knew what they were doing when they called out to you. #ModomSolutions #Money #Wisdom #BuiltDifferent #BlackFinancialCulture #OwnIt

Forgiveness: A Path to Intergenerational Wealth Creation

Forgiveness: A Path to Intergenerational Wealth Creation

Admit it. We crave connection, acceptance, and intimacy. Finding and establishing a sense of belonging with our tribe is one of life's greatest joys. There is nothing more rewarding than experiencing the ups and downs of life with people who know, see, and accept us for who we are. Our social tendencies do, however, come with one major downside. Given enough time, we will either hurt or be hurt by someone close to us - oftentimes, family. This is not an "If" but rather a matter of "When." What's your plan for when it happens? I have a suggestion... Forgiveness. When interacting within our web of family networks, we must stand ready to forgive ourselves and people who might have offended us. Otherwise, we risk being bound by a regrettable mistake for the rest of our lives. We risk bounding others for the rest of their lives as well. How does this connect to money, though? I'm glad that you asked. Your net-worth, in my opinion, is directly associated with your self-worth. And intergenerational wealth creation is best established as a collective and not by a single individual. So, if you and another person are bounded by unforgiveness, it can stunt your internal perceptions of self-worth. Lacking self-worth means that you'll be hesitant to grow and more likely to hide. If you don't grow, you won't produce fruit. Without fruit, there is no seed. We need seeds to produce more fruit - more wealth. Ironically, I have come to find that forgiveness is a critical part of wealth creation. When we forgive, we allow ourselves to be refined by our experiences instead of defined by them. This refinement process makes us a more superior product than the one we were before. Our growth produces confidence. Confidence leads to a more productive and fruitful life. More fruit leads to more seeds. And more seeds improve our opportunities to generate lasting wealth. But this process is better together. Freeing others from their shame through forgiveness leads them down a similar path of fulfillment, fruitfulness, and generosity. In the end, this means that we all experience more: More joy. More love. More contentment. More grace. More forgiveness. More family. More money. If forgiveness, for yourself or others, is not a part of your wealth creation strategy, it's time to reconsider your strategy. You have yet to experience real abundance! #ModomSolutions #Money #Wisdom #Wealth #IntergenerationalWealth #Compassion

Different Does not Mean Deficient

Different Does not Mean Deficient

Honestly, I think the title says it all. Just because someone has a different financial perspective, method, or strategy than you do, it does not make their stance deficient. When we deny the space within our hearts to receive another person's ideas, we are signaling our deficiencies - not theirs. Instead of accepting the life-giving light of a new perspective, many of us prefer to droop like an unattended Peace Lilly. I hate to admit it, but I've allowed my ego to cause me to droop a lot. At the beginning of my marriage, my wife enjoyed doing everything with paper and pencil. I enjoyed using excel. I could not understand her pencil and paper method when excel is... well... superior. It drove me crazy. Whenever we would sit down to talk about money, I could not focus on what we discussed. I spent more time stewing over the fact that she would not take my lead on the best way to budget and track our spending. To make a long story short, I had to realize, and it took a long, long time, being different was not deficient. Even though I think excel is superior, my wife can account for every dollar spent any given month with her paper and pencil method. My excel sheets are always off by a few dollars - LOL! Before marriage, she paid all of her bills on time, just like I paid all of mine. Her credit score was higher than mine, and she had more money saved than I did. My attitude wasn't about what's best for us. It was about my ego, straight up. I was more concerned about a stupid process than winning. I was more concerned about proving that my way was superior. And trust me, I rubbed in every chance I could get. I tried to nudge her into my comfort zone because I lacked the confidence and wisdom to acknowledge and appreciate her way of doing things. My biggest financial hurdle and accomplishment in my marriage has been learning to see the opportunities in our differences. And by acknowledging her differences, I learned to see the beauty in her ways. If we need something accomplished these days, I encourage her to do her thang. I've learned to shut up and get the hell out of the way because we win when she operates in her element - not mine! Different does not mean deficient - not accepting differences does. #ModomSolutions #Love #Different #Money #BuiltDifferent #Connection #FinancialEmpathy #Empathy #Wisdom

Connection

Connection

Awhile back, I had the opportunity to give a presentation to about 30 couples who wanted to improve their finances. The crowd was a mix of young and old, naive and mature. They were all rich, however, in their unique experiences with money. I enjoyed listening to them more than I enjoyed presenting. There is something powerful about hearing people's life stories. At least, for me, there is. During one part of the presentation, we would conduct a visualization exercise. The participants would close their eyes, breathe in and out deeply, and try their best to center themselves. After about a minute, I'd ask them to focus on the ticking of the clock, then the rhythm of their breathing. When the participants were completely relaxed and present, I then asked them to think of their happiest moment in life. I asked them to capture the moment: its sights, sounds, and smells. I also asked them to think about who they were with and what they were doing at the time - to feel the full emotion of that moment, to allow themselves to actually transport their entire being back into that space and time. You could literally see smiles light up across the room. After about 3 to 5-minutes, I asked the participants to focus on their breathing, then the clock's sound, and then my voice. I asked, 'What was your happiest moment?' Some people described childhood memories of spending time with a parent or sibling. A few described enjoying the warmth of the sun in the company of friends. While others shared how they had celebrated a momentous occasion with people they cared for the most. People often described laughter, stillness, peace, and calm with their moments. They felt loved! What has been fascinating about conducting this activity, then and now, is that nobody mentions money - everyone's happiest moment revolves around some sense of connection. Now, money may create the backdrop for a memorable moment; however, based on the countless number of antidotes I've heard, like going to the park, playing board games, making pizzas together, are not the types of things most people would consider a major financial burden. Most of the happiest moments I hear are quite simple and ordinary in nature. This leads me to an essential point. Your presence is more important than your presents. A genuine sense of connection, trust, warmth, and unconditional love is worth more than a pound of gold. If you've been on the grind trying to pay for the connection that others have found for free, I want you to take a step back and consider this question: Will the people that matter most to you still love you without all the things your hard work can afford them? I believe the answer to that question is 'Yes.' Now, the tougher question, are you grinding so hard because you do not feel worthy of their love? If you answered, "Yes." I want to take a moment to tell you that you are enough. There is no end to more. But there is, unfortunately, an end to you. There is an end to me. The most precious gift we have is our presence. And, when it comes to being present, studies show that it is more about quality than quantity. So don't stress there. You can still enjoy your grind. But when you aren't, be present. Take some time to relearn how to create connections without the use of money, fame, or prestige. If you do, I think you might find that you've always had what you've been striving for. #ModomSolutions #Connection #Money #Wisdom #Empathy

Out of Debt and Still Broke

Out of Debt and Still Broke

Believe it or not, you can be out of debt and still be broke. "How?" Well, let me explain. Being out of debt means, in most cases, that you are no longer using debt to finance your lifestyle. You have sufficient cash flow to meet your lifestyle needs. This is a wonderful thing given that high-interest debt can be costly and place a real strain on your discretionary income. Discretionary income is the money you have left over after paying for taxes and necessary living expenses. Generally speaking, less debt = more discretionary income; however, it's what you do with your discretionary income that matters most. I am not going to lecture you about your latte fix. In fact, I LOVE LATTES! My favorite is the honey lavender latte from Sips Espresso Cafe in Athens, GA. If you are ever in town, make sure you swing by and get one. If enough of you do it, they might rename it the Modom Solutions latte - be sure to tell them I sent ya. Getting back to the point here, it's easier to restrain ourselves from making poor financial choices when the pain from one outcome outweighs the pleasure we might experience from another. For instance, if you find yourself smothered in the financial and emotional weight of credit card debt, it is much easier to resist the temptation of incurring more debt to satisfy a compulsive spending urge. However, once our debts are paid off and we feel as light as a feather, it's much easier to justify retail therapy when it does not involve incurring more debt. Under this logic, Debt is the evil force behind our financial woes - not our spending behaviors or compulsive tendencies. So as long as we are not incurring debt, we're in the clear. Right? No. Companies are picking up on this "Just say no to debt" trend and rebranding the lay-a-way option: Only the real ones know about lay-a-way - LOL. Christmas wouldn't have been the same without it. But I digress. Companies like Quadpay, Sezzle, and Klarna have a platform where you can buy now and pay later. They know that people have associated financial harm with debt and not through over-extending themselves with micro-payments that eat up their cash flow and leave them in the same feast and famine cycle they experienced when buried under a mountain of debt. This is how people end up with 20 to 30 apps and subscriptions across various domains of their life and struggle to understand where all their money is going. Five dollars here and ten dollars there add up quickly. For some, this can be hundreds of dollars a month. Worse yet, some are paying hundreds of dollars a month for stuff they don't a.) use or b.) gain any joy from. Most experts don't tell you that the pain of becoming debt-free was the driving force behind making better financial choices. What do you do when you no longer feel that pain? It's easy to say no to a hamburger after having a heart attack. It does not mean your tastes or preferences have changed. If you aren't careful, you can easily forget about that debt's pain and revert to bad habits. This is the hardest part of the journey - freedom. Do you know how to navigate your financial journey when you are free? Unfortunately, most people spend so much energy and effort getting out of debt that they fail to invest the same energy and effort planning for life without it. If you don't have a plan for your newfound freedom, someone else will: You'll find yourself out of debt and still broke. #ModomSolutions #Empathy #Wisdom #Debt #Brok #Money

Origins of Modom Solutions

Origins of Modom Solutions

For those who might be wondering, Modom Solutions, LLC was inspired by the good book. It's the combination of two words from one of my favorite passages on money - Ecclesiaties 7:11-12: "Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life. Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life." Modom is the combination of Money and Wisdom from this biblical context. Although money precedes wisdom in the way I meshed them together, "Dommo" or "Wisney" or "Domney" didn't sound right. Besides, I think many of us start our financial wellness journey believing that money is the chief thing to find out that applied wisdom is the real stunt. Modom seems fitting. It sounds good (at least to me - LOL!) and accurately reflects our evolution from deifying money to fully appreciating the value of wisdom over our lifetimes. Both are necessary, but, as the Bible states, only wisdom can save our life. Regardless of your religious and spiritual beliefs, there is a universal truth to this message. If you desire to live life to the full or are simply trying to save it, are you making the same attempts to seek and adhere to wisdom as you are the bag? #ModomSolutions #Empathy #Connection #Wisdom #Money

The Saved Effect

The Saved Effect

Have you ever experienced a fresh, straight out of the baptismal pool, saved, sanctified, and filled with the holy ghost Christian? You know...The one that used to be heavy in the streets - like heavy, heavy. The one that was never hesitant to tell you where you could take Jesus and stick him. The one who referred to your pastor as a pimp and the church as his... I digress. You get my point - LOl! Yeah, that friend, family, member, or associate. Once that person got saved, they didn't want to talk about anything but Jesus. They wanted to tell you how you are not living right or how much you need Jesus. They may have even told you that heaven and hell are real and that they don't want you to go to hell. While, the entire time, you are thinking in the back of your mind, "Wasn't I the one trying to get you to go to church for the past 10 years?" I call this the "Saved Effect." If you were this person or experienced this person, you realized, at some point, how annoying that person is. Instead of ushering you to the throne of the cross, they were actually pushing you further and further away. We do the same thing with personal finances! Some of us were once in debt up to our eyeballs, living paycheck to paycheck and constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul. Then, all of a sudden, you had a heart change. You decided to get your finances in order. You cleaned up your credit and started investing. Now that you've been anointed with the divine healing power of the budget, you feel called to share the good news. Now you tell people how they don't need that latte or that credit cards are the devil. In fact, you've become so passionate about your beliefs that you no longer see people. You only see the waywardness of their awful spending habits. They need to be saved like you, right? You might be well-intentioned in your efforts, but remember that you were once in a place where you did not want to hear all the useful financial advice that had been offered to you over the years. You wanted to live your life, on your own terms, without interference. Why didn't you listen? Why couldn't you hear? Why did you resist change? It could be several things, but someone trying to pester you into submission more than likely did not change your heart. As with listening to an overly zealous person about their faith, you probably felt further - not closer - to God after the conversation ended. So, yes, you might be right that some people need to improve their financial behaviors; however, people don't change because of what we say. They change because of what they see us do. As in, they see us consistently and joyfully living the life they hope for. They see our peace, calm, patience, experiences, and generosity. They see us as the type of person that can be confided in without judgment and pretense. They see us as a symbol of hope and the evidence of faith. One of my favorite quotes comes from Saint Francis of Assisi, "Preach the gospel everywhere. When necessary, use words." Instead of preaching at people and using every opportunity to tell them what they are doing wrong with their money, try speaking to their soul by walking in your financial convictions, not by attempting to induce theirs. #ModomSolutions #Money #Saved #Wisdom #BehavioralChange #Connection