4-tips-reduce-financial-stress

If you think back to a stress-free time in your life, either you had no responsibilities or you had everything under control. Well, if your life is anything like the rest of us, the first option might have been during our pre-teen years and the latter is totally impossible. Sadly, a jus’ so di ting set(Translate – it’s just how life works). This post will focus on four simple ways to reduce financial stress.Can we all stop and think of a time in our life when we were stress-free? Just think with me for a minute… Where would you be? Recreate the scenery right now.For me it would be back when I was a child, playing with self-made toys with my neighbors and friends during summer vacation. You know those months when all you had to do was play, and your chores of course. But the top priority was play time and interacting with friends. The only stress we had was making sure that we completed our chores on time and deciding what teams we would be on. In Jamaica, it would probably be 90 degrees, brisk breeze… we’d be eating fruits from the trees, playing one game after the next. Looking forward to trips to the beach; to some new spot on the island you had never been; visiting relatives and friends. Laughter and fun was never in scarce supply. Ahhhh…Life throws so many things our way; some real, others…

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conversations-with-my-son-race-talk

Do you remember the show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”?  Well I want to turn that around and say “Kids Ask the Darndest Questions”. How do you respond when those questions lead to the subject of race? Here’s a recent conversation between my 5 year old son and his dad.”Daddy, am I African?””Not really, but you are African-American. Your ancestors were brought to America from Africa””And I am half-Jamaican too. So is Mommy more African than me and you?””No son, all of us are just as African””But Mommy is dark””Son, it doesn’t matter how dark or light you are, all African-Americans are descended from Africans”Now, to put this conversation in context, my son is 5 years old, soon to be 6. Very smart, enquiring mind. He reads well so if you want to keep something from him, don’t write it; it will get read. Children this age are very literal, you have to be so careful how you communicate with them because your words can mislead them, even though you have the best intentions.The subject of race and color is probably going to be one of the hardest things we are going to have speak to him about. Question is how much and when. Too much too soon can be just as harmful as too little too late.My BackgroundLet me backtrack a bit. I was born and raised in Jamaica; spent the majority of…

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overcome-financial-setbacks-debt-free

In Jamaica we have a saying “When trouble teck you pickney shut(shirt) fit yuh”.Translation: When trouble comes to you, a child’s shirt will fit youMeaning: When in difficult situations, you have to make adjustments to surviveI do believe we can all relate to a time in our lives when despite our best laid plans, we have suffered from some kind of setback, financial or otherwise. You know the kind that throws you into a tailspin and you’re left with your hands on your head wondering what your next move will be… the kind that makes you start to think of the worst possible scenario and thinking of contingency plans just-in-case. I am sure most, if not  all of us can relate. Today I want to focus on those of the financial kind, you know them.Well, I have had my fair share of those, and I thought I’d share with you how I was able to move forward from them and some lessons I have learned along the way. Now, I know some of you might have had worse things happen and others; not so bad. But what I will attempt to do is to pull some references from across the board that we all can relate to and hopefully the lessons will apply to your situation regardless of the intensity. Please keep in mind that this is not financial advice; I am just sharing my experience with you.None of…

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credit-what-i-wished-i-knew

Who remembers that classic movie “Coming to America”? Hmm Hmm, I know you do. Especially those of us that are of a certain age. Eddie Murphy played the role of a very rich and pampered African prince who travels to New York City and goes undercover to find a wife. It was hilarious watching him stick out like a sore thumb in the American culture.Many of my Caribbean friends can relate to this phenomena of migrating to the great US of A, albeit not as rich African princes. Our experiences are not as dramatic, but despite living in the same hemisphere there are differences between our cultures that cause angst and even issues for us as we immigrate to the USA. Issues which we hardly talk about.Most people migrate with stars in their eyes about what life will be in the land of opportunity. Some have the benefit of the experience of family members, while others have no clue what lies ahead. As a friend of mine said “everybody who comes to America has a story to tell”. Of course, these stories are usually about some hardship they faced and hopefully overcame.One of the first obstacles I was faced with was the issue of CREDIT. I will share with you my experience and what I have learned as an immigrant. First of all, what on earth is credit?? Of course we know what credit is but WHAT is CREDIT? What do you mean I have no credit…

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avoid-friendship-pitfalls

A man that has friends must first show himself to be friendly – BibleThat’s not me folks! That’s coming “straight outta di Bible”. On a serious note, have you ever met someone and it felt like you have known them all your life? By the same token, have you ever known someone all your life and are left wondering if you every really knew them?Friendship is one of the most common, yet misunderstood relationships out there. It can be complex, yet simple. You have husbands and wives who are also friends; cousins who are friends, even strangers who become friends but are more like family. You get the picture. Somehow though, so many people have difficulties with friendship. Wonder why??We start forming friendships at an early age, in the most innocent and organic ways. It has been interesting to watch my son grow up and transition through his many “friends”. His best friend changes daily, but that’s ok when you’re 5 years old. I just don’t think it’s fine when you’ve crossed over into adulthood and have no real friends that you can count on or when you change friends every couple months. Of course, as we grow we evolve and our needs change but there are some common threads we should look for in sustaining friendships that will carry us throughout life. I do believe everyone needs that.Here are some thoughts on how you can build and improve your…

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