Letter from a Broke Brother

After reading a couple comments on a homegirl of mine blog blackgirlunlost about a unique online dating website, I decided to pull a letter I wrote in 2008, when I was at one of my low points in life… Very few of my friends and even family knew about my circumstances, due to my ability to always “look” things were fine, but in actuality they werent. So I will leave you with this thought, you never know what a person is dealing with internally even if their “shell” looks in tact…
(sorry for the length lol)

Letter from a Broke Brother…

I don’t know where this is coming from but the spirit of God; a lot of times he touches in my heart things to write, sometimes I listen a lot of times I don’t (due to the inopportune times it drops within) but today I am being as open/transparent and honest as I can be, and in doing so if other guys read and see a part of themselves in it they wont feel as bad in their situation as they once did; and for the females to see that as much as some of us appear to have it together we are trying to overcome a lot. As I sit here I realize I am broke and in debt and really am struggling with finding answers as to how to rectify both circumstances. One thing I will say in this season of struggle one thing I will never sacrifice is my relationship with God.

Growing up I was fortunate to have both parents in my home but there still were lessons that never taught and I think that was due to the fact that they were learning while trying to raise me at the same time. The number one lesson missed was MONEY MANAGEMENT. It wasn’t until I was late in high school and off to college that it clicked for my parents but by then I was in a new world being exposed to debt and temptation. We weren’t poor growing up but I still wasn’t afforded the “luxuries” many think I would have being an only child. I got clothes 2 times a year Christmas and my birthday (back to school)… I remember growing up one Christmas and one of my cousins was being stingy sharing his Nintendo during family dinner, and my parents were like fine we will get you one too, but it wasn’t until my birthday 8 months later that I got my deluxe system. I always appreciated the things they got me (well sometimes LOL) and grew up not even asking for things unless I really needed it.

So once I got to college and had my own money, I lost my mind. My freshman year I had money given to me from graduation, I was working on campus but my crazy butt still found the need to get a credit card. Initially it started off with the thought of, ill use the card but pay it off by the end of the month but things piled up and by the end of the year I accumulated a large amount of debt. So my mother not wanting me to suffer like her and my parental figures did, she took some money she was occasionally sending me, to pay off the bill which in the course of the next year it did. You thought I would have learned NO, I had to go bump my head again this time it was best buy. It was around the time the PS2 had come out and I knew I couldn’t afford it (for whatever reason because I still was working, but I guess clubbing and buying clothes in the summer killed my savings) so I got the store card bought the system and there I went into debt again. This time I was able to pay the card off on my own and saved face.

Even after I graduated from college and moved back home I still was mis-managing my money. I had taken over the car payments for the car given to me by my parents but still should have had enough money to save and still survive but keeping up with the Johnson’s (they lived next door to the Joneses lol) I still found myself wasting money. I called myself helping others financially but never was repaid. Initially I was pissed and it caused major issues and strife between me and that person, but I had to learn if I didn’t have it to give and not expect back, then why did I give it at all. Then came the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. My mom always told me if a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is; but me trying to do my “grown man thing” and make decisions for myself got suckered into a deal where I signed for a vehicle that was supposed to be paid on by someone else, as fate had it they didn’t make the payments and the car was repo’ed. This time I was trying to truly keep up with the Joneses and for those who saw me in the flashy cars this is where that mess was going on.

By this time I had lost my job in Michigan, moved to Charlotte and hadn’t found a job (which took over almost a year to find) maxed out my credit card trying to survive, emptied out my 401k but for some lunatic reason I still was trying to kick it and do things like I had money. All this time God had me and I didn’t know, because during these 4 years of mess I had gotten so far away from Him, that He shouldn’t have even given me a second look. But he blessed me with a roommate that looked out for me while I was down, parents that scolded me for my mishaps but still helped out financially and a renewal of my mind spiritually. It was then I realized I couldn’t do it without Him and finally joined a church.

Now I’d be lying if I say my financial acumen had matured, because it had; I still was wasting money and doing things I KNEW I couldn’t afford. But last night was the breaking point there was a financial empowerment seminar at our church, and the speakers were talking about being more content and sacrificing things now so you can relax later. No I’m not the guy that will tear up the mall anymore buying expensive clothes or accessories, but I still struggle with eating out, or purchasing the little things that add up along the month; but I realize that is no more. It first starts by tithing 10% of everything to God (and for those who don’t agree with that because you don’t want to give money to a “man”, get out of that mindset, if you are joined to a church it is a matter of obedience to His word; and how else do you expect the church to operate/function…) also I am working on paying myself 10% and depositing it into my money market account. The rest is paying bills. And in doing all that if it means I can’t eat out, hang out, or take trips I had planned, so be it… it’s a bigger goal at hand. First getting out of the 35k debt that I’m in from school/CC/other mess then working on accumulating as much savings as I can. Looking at how much I make (under 30k), I still don’t see how I’ve been able to do as much as I have, but its nothing but the grace of God… but I know its in preparation of being able to handle the abundance that He will give me. If I can’t manage the little, how will I manage the “a lot”?

As I say this it pains me to contemplate maybe not being able to go home for Christmas because it is just not in the budget, having to not partake of the things with friends who felt I “had” to be there. And ladies if you think I’m cheap or broke because I can’t take you to dinner or out on the town… truth is I AM (broke that is) but I’m working on fixing that brokenness, but if you can accept that and still want to hang out watching already bought movies, walking around uptown, one of us cooking or us pooling pennies together to share an entrée, then I know you truly are here for me and not what I can buy you.

All this is being said to hopefully wake you up, have you face your own issues and realize something has to change. Even if you have a good job and think you are living comfortably, unless you have an extensive amount of money in the bank (over 10k), could survive more than one month off your savings if you lost your job, you are selling yourself short.

In this time of money crunching it shows us how to be more resourceful, so that once we do come out of it, we don’t carelessly go back to “false balling” or “making it drizzle.” we have to begin to prepare a legacy for our children, even if we don’t have any. If you are single/childless, this is the time to pump up your savings, establish your future children college fund, create enough of a salary for yourself that in a couple of years it wont be as hard leaving that job to follow your passion. And even if you have children it’s not too late, even if it’s a couple dollars here/there save for them, and begin imparting into them the knowledge of saving and wealth building so that they don’t have the pitfalls that we all did growing up… Create an atmosphere where they don’t have to worry about college loans, and the money they’ve accumulated is start-up for a business instead of looking for a job just to make ends meet.

Who are we trying to impress at the end of the day many people over-extend themselves for people they don’t even like or know? Once you make this life thing about God first, then establishing a lasting legacy for the generations, everything else doesn’t matter as much as it used to. Do this for me in the next couple of days, before you make a purchase ask yourself “do you really need this” and “is this promoting growth in my life or the life of others I care about”? If you hesitate in answering or say no, then don’t buy it I guarantee down the line you will reflect on that decision and you will be glad you didn’t purchase the item/service.

And with all this keep God first… for those who feel you can’t talk about money/wealth in the “church” kill that mindset, He created it and designed it for us so why not discuss it. Where else will we discuss it if it’s not in church, the school systems don’t do it, and many are so uninformed that you can’t talk about it at home, so take the knowledge wherever it comes from, even if it’s in the pulpit?

Deut. 8:18 “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”

-GL

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About Q_Crush
A kritical thinker that has a lot on his mind... Lover of all things good great conversationalist that will discuss anything if you are courageous enough to bring it up

4 Responses to Letter from a Broke Brother

  1. Brian says:

    This hits home on many different levels. Many people’s journey to God take them down different paths. Many parts of our stories are the same and many are different, but we are both at the same place. I love your revelation about how far away you were from God, but he was always right there for you. It took a lot of strength to write and post this but i am sure it is cathartic as well.

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  3. Tina says:

    I enjoyed reading your note. You have some good points on money management and keeping God first. Thank you for sharing your story. Do you feel if funds are low that you can tithe in giving your time to those who need it?

    Tina

    • Q_Crush says:

      of course, because God knows and understand your heart and intentions. No different than those who have it and skimp or give out of compulsion & guilt

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