When Mrs. Black Speaks, You Better Listen!

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I know many of you think Jamel and I have some supernatural grace when it comes to debt and spending money. In your mind, there’s no way we can understand your “necessity” for debt and no way you can live this thing with the advice we hand out.
Maybe our ideas sound so radical to you that you conclude that we don’t want anyone to have nice cars and homes or stylish clothes. Well, let me give you just a little insight into the mind of half of the Black household.

First off, my lack of stylish clothes has more to do with my lack of style than my disdain for clothes. I’ve never been much for shopping and when I do, I’ve had a history of missing the bull’s-eye, even though the hubby has helped me to greatly improve in this area over the years. Nevertheless, I did struggle with busting the clothing budget a time or two while we were getting out of debt. What I found was that shopping beget more shopping. This girl that hated shopping began hitting the stores every few days because she purchased one pair of shoes. I always had to purchase something else to match the new item I bought. I remember when Jamel decided to do away with his clothing allowance to speed up the process to freedom during one of these sprees. What essentially happened was my allowance doubled for about three months before he discovered it and called me out on it. Since I lack moderation, I tend to go all or nothing to kick superfluous habits. At first, it is hard. But, as time goes by, it’s really not that big of a deal. Fast forward, years later, when I could buy just about any article of clothing/accessory I want. I’ve been meaning to buy shades for weeks to help me deal with this blinding sun and I haven’t so much as laid eyes on a pair, not because it’s not in the budget or because I’m exercising self-control or denial; the reason I don’t have a pair is I haven’t felt like shopping for anything in months now. I know: foreign to my shopaholics. I’m not saying you will ever be like me. We’re made from different cloths, but I am saying that if you have a need to cut back to meet your long-term goals, you can do it and after several months of diligence, you just may find yourself in control of your shopping for the rest of your life.

I love viewing open houses. I really do. I’ve always dreamed that one day, one of those big, brand-new houses would be ours. There was a time when I had to stop viewing houses because the temptation to borrow and buy was too great for me. I’d see one and say, “I want it now. It’s going to be sold before we have enough money buy it outright.” Thank God for a man who knows how to stay focused. I’m over it now and as the money grows and we draw closer to buying the house I’ve always dreamed of, I’ve become conflicted. Let’s say I had the money to buy my dream home in my hands right now. Do I really want to hand it over to a banker when I’m perfectly fine living in the paid-for house I’m in right now? Or do I want to let that money continue to make more money so that in a short time I could double my money? Or, maybe I could quit my job and spend some significant time traveling around the world? All of a sudden, I’m not so sure about the decision. But that’s the beauty of being debt-free: I have all the way until I release the money to change my mind. I mean, the main reason I–being debt-free for several years now–continue to work is like many of you, I want the big home, too. The difference between those who have chosen to fulfill their home dreams now through a loan and me, is that I have the freedom to abandon that dream at any moment and to pick up another. And that my dear friends, is priceless.

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