Most of us know someone in the family that is perpetually "robbing Peter to pay Paul" and are the CEO's of hustling somebody for a dollar.
Mary Jane, played by the amazing Gabrielle Union in the BET series Being Mary Jane, found herself in the sunken place of carrying her entire family both emotionally and financially. It seems being a "bawse" and taking care of your family financially is the price you pay for being successful.
While Mary Jane is a fictional character, how many examples do we have of celebrities going broke to pander to the poor spending habits of relatives and friends from 'round da way? This is even more of a relatable scenario if you are the successful exception in your family.
If one person in the family "makes it," the expectation is that they will support everyone. Establishing boundaries are even harder to do if just a few months ago you were living on your mom's couch eating a Cup of Noodles, now if she's asking you to return the favor, how can you say no? A favor can quickly become the go-to bail out plan. Suddenly, you have become your family's walking ATM.
The tough love required to dig yourself out of becoming their personal GoFundMe will require a backbone and these important steps.
You Are Not Their Savior
10 people should not be on your cell phone plan, using your Netflix account, and using your name to cosign a loan. It is not your responsibility to save your entire family from financial distress by becoming the enabler of their poor habits. Your financially stability is not only a necessity but a vitality.
There is an illustration that if a lifeguard is going to save someone they must put on their life vest FIRST before attempting to save the drowning man. This depiction also applies to being the "Great Hope of the Family Finances." You are not a savior, leave that to Jesus. A savior does not require accountability on the part of the person they are saving. They only seek to pull someone out of a poor situation without there being any requirements on the person being saved not to return to the poor situation.
While most of us would love a lump sum of money with no strings attached, our financial successes came with huge sacrifices. You are doing yourself and the sacrifices you've made along the way a disservice by reducing yourself to a check writer.
Bury the Guilt
Repeat after me, "I will owe no one anything but love," (Romans 13:8).
When we talk about debt, we often talk about physical debt in the form of credit cards, loans, bad investments, etc. However, the most crippling debt is emotional. Often, the thing that keeps us from progressing financially is tied to memories that keep us captive. The shame of memories from when we were at our lowest can keep us indebted to our friends and family.
So, to combat the emotional tether, it will require physical action. Pull out pictures or a symbol that reminds you of that time, put them in a box, and bury them. We will not be tethered in our present actions by a past memory. Saying your goals out loud and releasing yourself from being indebted will send you on a path to pursue the financial freedom you are seeking.
Start a Family Fund
If you have a parent or grandparent who have found themselves in a financial hole, I would suggest that you budget an amount monthly that you will contribute to an account. Name the account the "Family Fund."
For example, if you contribute $100.00 a month, then that is the ONLY money that you contribute to that account. Make your designated family member a joint account holder to the account. Then they will receive a debit card that they can use to draw money from the account. Once the money in that account is gone, you are no longer obligated to give any more. The responsibility is then theirs to use it as sparingly or often as they like.
We do not have to sacrifice our own financial stability in order to improve our families. Building generational wealth means that someone has to be the pied piper of the movement and strong enough to break the financial cycles that have kept us crippled. So, the next time fam says, "'Cuz, I'm tryna be a bawse like you."
Smile. Pull out a chair and say, "Great, get your notebook."
Featured image via Being Mary Jane/BET
Danielle Kimberly is a Jersey girl and a health & wholeness educator. Read her humorous & habit forming stories for women of faith on www.luxevoyage.org. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @dannikimberly.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images