Broke and Blending

Last week in one of my parenting groups I saw this post from the Daily Mail asking Would you pay your stepchild’s education fees? I was intrigued. What fees? Mr. C and I want to marry in the future and college tuition will be a part of our budget so I wanted to read the post.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I expected. The woman posted in a group chat how she’s moving in with her boyfriend and they have 3 children among them. She has two girls and he has one daughter. She asked him prior to even the thought of them moving in would his daughter be okay with going to public school while her girls attended private school. He said yes.

Well, lo and behold his daughter is not. Now, her boyfriend wants his daughter to go to private school like her girls or both her girls should go to public school. Yeah right. So, he felt that it was fair and some other people on the post believed the same thing.

Here are my 5 thoughts on this issue:

  1. Heck, no. First off, the man makes equivalent to $18,000 in U.S. money annually. Didn’t I tell you women to stop dating broke men. Are you kidding me? How is he financially supporting his child on this low salary? That is the bigger issue.
  2. The woman stated that she makes substantially more than him and will be absorbing the majority of the costs in the home. Why? Why are you dating someone who will be a financial drain on you and you have children? Your goal is to provide for them and not take care of a broke man.
  3. This is going to shock some of you all, but life’s not fair. There. I said it. That is the lesson that you have to teach your children. His daughter needs to learn that life is not fair and if she wants to go to private school, her parents need to pay for it. If not, suck it up and enjoy a public school education. I did. I turned out fine.
  4. Money should be separate unless you’re married. Why would we combine funds if we are not married? Your money is your money and my money is my money while we are dating. No cohabitation or confusion on this issue. But, let me be clear. It is a man’s job to put a roof over his family’s head. I’ll say it again….I’m not paying for a roof over my head. That doesn’t mean that I won’t pay any bills, but a man should be able to swing the mortgage or rent.
  5. Are you financially compatible? Nope. If you were, you wouldn’t be having this issue. You can’t be with a grown man who has a child that believes earning less than $20k a year is a good look. It’s not. Don’t put yourself in financial straights by dating and living with this broke man.

Now, I know some of you may be saying “T, you’re being too hard.” Nope, I’m not. If I am dating someone (not married) and I can afford private school and you can’t then why should my child(ren) suffer? A man is supposed to provide. If he can’t provide for me he should at the very least be able to provide for his child(ren). If he can’t do that then why would you be with him? Throw him back in the ineligible dating pool. He’s not ready.

This is why I’m an advocate of making sure that you are equally yoked prior to moving in and definitely before marriage. Not just in religion, but in all things including financial. You need to level set about all things and expectations. This whole ordeal could have been avoided had she stayed away from this broke man.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that all children should be treated equally? Would you pull your children out of private school and send them to public school for your partner?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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My Relationship Status Doesn’t Validate My Opinion – Part II

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post

 

Why are we lying to each other and saying that you must date a poor man in order to be happy? If you don’t have a man then you’ve somehow set your standards too high to find love? If he’s poor then he’s probably the one for you and you’re not giving him a chance.

The devil is a lie. I’m not down for no struggle love. Let’s be clear…this is specifically referring to dating. I’m not asking a man to take me to a Michelin starred restaurant, but it shouldn’t be out of the question for a special occasion such as an anniversary. I’m not against moderately priced outings. I’m pretty low key.

If a man makes $20,000 a year and is not in school, how is he providing for himself? Why aren’t you asking what his ambitions or dreams are? If he’s content working at McDonald’s with no dreams or aspirations of better, should you really be continuing down the path of poverty with this man?

That’s how women get d*ckmatized. We start spreading our legs and letting that good d*ck interfere with our judgement. Stop it sis! It’s not worth it. Trust me….I’ve been there and done that.

A good man isn’t defined by his bedroom skills. That is an added benefit of course, but if he’s that good, you need him to work the club scene/private escort scene to up his financial status and be able to provide for you. LOL.

Seriously though, I think that we need to stop deluding ourselves into believing that we could be happy dating someone who can’t afford to date you and you’re over 40. He doesn’t have to be rich because money doesn’t make a man but we need to be honest with our expectations and hold true to our beliefs. Struggle love at 40 is not cute. Want another visual? Your mama is 65, would you want her dating a man that became a financial burden on her and she’s close to retirement?

Nope.

So, why would you settle? Are there other factors that will make a man more attractive? Yes, but how can you get to know those other factors without dating? I remember about 8 years ago, my girlfriend was filing her taxes with her husband. It had been a rough year financially for them, but they had a mortgage and 3 kids. They had to rob Peter to pay Paul because she was only making $40,000 at the time and she told me that her husband made $14,000 that year.

She literally wanted to cry. They were married. They made a combined income of $54,000 and couldn’t afford the basics…utilities, doctor’s co-pays and gas to get back and forth to work. That kind of poverty does something to you. It breaks you. It changes you in ways that you never imagined.

Her life was worse off than when she was single. But, she’s not an anamoly. Too many women are settling for the sake of saying that they have someone. It’s cool if that’s what you want, but stop trying to sell the rest of the world on the importance of love and happiness if you’re completely financing your dating life.

I have to say this for those that think that I’m being harsh…I’m not. I’m not desperate for love. I have standards and more importantly I’m raising a son. I’m not asking any man to do what I wouldn’t expect for my son to do. Okay.

I also believe in equality. Women should pay for some dates too. I pay for some dates with Mr. C and although he pays for 95% of our dates, I don’t mind footing the bill sometimes. However, I am a gift giver and he gets a lot of gifts from me because I know and appreciate the fact that he is paying the majority of the time.

Once you get past the 4th date ladies, you should definitely be paying. Make him know that you appreciate his efforts and you are a contributing partner in getting to know him. Show him you’re worth the effort and the money spent.

 

Parenting 101: Don’t Give Up

This is a continuation from my Parenting 101 post on Saturday…Parenting 101: Persistence is Key

By now, my tempers are flared and we are going to have to talk face to face because this is ridiculous. I asked her to call me in the first email which she didn’t. So, I sent this email to her:

I’m beyond frustrated. I’ve still not received the paperwork.  It did not come home on Friday as your teacher indicated.  It’s been almost 2 weeks of me requesting it.  I received classwork from 2/19 on 3/18. The assignment was graded at 35% for class work not 15%.  I want to see the assignment. Please have it sent to me by tomorrow.

Do you see what I’m seeing from the back and forth? The paperwork can’t be found. Now, remember that I asked for the paperwork on 3/10 and it’s now 3/22 and I still haven’t received it. I felt a set-up coming on…they were going to try and blame Munch for the missing assignment.

Not on my dime buddy.

The Principal then called me at this point. She could sense my “I’m about to set it off up in here mood”. I didn’t set it off, but I did let her know that I’m disappointed, discouraged and outright disgusted at her email and her blowing me off and trying to analyze my child without seeing the “missing paperwork”. I told her that apparently they’ve misplaced the paperwork and why didn’t the teacher send a copy home or PDF it to me on 3/10? Why wait until 3/18 when she had already given the grade? I told her that I was disappointed that her attitude regarding the policy is that the teacher can do whatever he/she likes even though their is specific criteria regarding children in grades 2-5 and that I should be checking the district’s School Max portal for updates on assignments when this teacher has told me that she’s falling behind on putting grades in. Are you going to manage her and tell her the guidelines say that grades have to be recorded by 11:59 pm on Sunday night each week that they are done or are you going to tell me that policy doesn’t apply here either?

She then tried to back peddle and say that she was new to the school and that she’s sorry that I don’t find the teachers compassionate. What? I responded, “Don’t do that. I’ve never said that. I expect that if I’m corresponding with you on a weekly basis that if you gave my son a zero that you would have notified me. What part of that isn’t clear?” She asked “Do you meet with the teachers?” “Yes, I’ve already had 3 this school year and the last one was last week on 3/15 which I asked her to be at and she informed me that she had a prior commitment.”

I explained that I’m trying to teach my son accountability but apparently that’s not a requirement for her or her staff. She apologized and said she was trying to locate the paper and would call me back. This is right before spring break so she would call me the next day.

She didn’t call back as she promised. Another disappointing outcome from the educator. So, I tabled it because we had a meeting scheduled on April 5th to discuss the bullying and this would be included in that meeting.

Here are my 4 concerns with how this situation is being handled:

  1. No one can produce the said assignment. They tried to blame Munch for losing it when they know that they didn’t send it home. Even if they did send it home, why didn’t they make a copy since it was a zero? Why didn’t she PDF it to me the same day I requested to see the paperwork? Especially when I email her every week.
  2. The Principal making it seem like I’m not an involved parent. You should have checked yourself when I sent you the first email and outlined the policy. That right there was your “verbal cues” (as you said) that would indicate that I’m educated, involved and informed on policy. Asking me whether or not I have had conferences with the teachers assumed that I’m slacking on my part as a parent.
  3. The condescending attitude that I should have to check the School Max portal to find out about grades because sending paperwork home timely is not going to happen. Are you serious? In 2015, my district had 66% of the students enrolled in the school system receiving free and/or reduced lunches. I don’t qualify, but if a district has a high proportionate number of children not having the funds to buy meals why would you assume that parents have access to a computer? The district doesn’t expect this to be the case which is why the state that classwork should be sent back home in a timely manner for the parents and the students to have an understanding of how their child is doing in class. The Principal assumes this in light of not knowing the population she represents.
  4. You are not being accountable. You said you would call me back and you didn’t. You could have sent a quick email and said “I can’t locate the paperwork and I’m getting swamped before my international travel, so let’s discuss at our meeting on April 5th”. I would have been disappointed but understood because she was traveling to Paris with the 8th graders for spring break.

This was getting ridiculous and I needed to calm down before I raised my blood pressure. I was disappointed to say the least but knew that I would handle this situation as soon as spring break was over. I had no choice. This administration was giving me a headache.

Powerball is the Work of the Devil

Okay, now that I have your attention… Let me just say that the Powerball is the work of the devil.

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Powerball phenomenon has captured this country’s time, attention and in some cases intelligence. Everyone is running out to stand in line to buy tickets, planning their “I’m rich b**ch quit speech” and how they are going to help folks once they win. Why? We all know that the odds of winning are one in 292 million.

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That’s one in freaking 292 million! 

Let me give it to you further…

Because mathematically the odds aren’t in your favor and you won’t be able to solve poverty no matter who says so. See this picture circulating on Facebook? People are literally trying to justify the need for the Powerball.

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By giving you “mathematical” reasoning on how we could end poverty. Don’t fall for it people! Still not convinced that you can end poverty with the Powerball winnings? Then you my friend need to go back to school. Why?

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You may get close in your number choices and think “Please Sweet Baby Jesus” just let me win. You won’t. You will look down at your ticket and think dang “I was close”

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But, you can dream right? There’s nothing wrong with dreaming of winning.

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If you should choose to partake of this mania, do so with a positive attitude…

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Whew! Ya’ll taking this too seriously. So, look at your losing ticket and calmly stare at it for hours trying to rationalize your loss…

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Accept it and move on. But, before you do…PLEASE make sure you delete your “I quit because I’m rich b**ch” text or video that you planned to send to your boss tonight.

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Good luck!

Let Me Motivate You

Sigh! I had a rough yesterday. Some days start off so good and then someone does and/or says something that sours your mood. Has that ever happened to you? What do you do?

I hate when people tell me to not let it bother me. What? How do you do that? It’s human nature. One of the things that I’ve done though is to not allow myself to be pulled into foolishness. It still bothers me though. I just won’t engage.

Even though I want to. But, I am a work in progress. I am a learning to live in the light, walk in the light and appreciate the darkness because I know that trouble don’t last always and that joy does come in the morning. One step. One day at a time. That’s all I can do some days.

Find joy in the things that I seemingly take for granted like…

  • Waking up this morning with reasonable portions of strength and health. I mean I take this for granted. Someone didn’t wake up today. Someone couldn’t get out of bed because they are bedridden. I can get up, pack my gym bag and make a plan to work out later today. See, I’m blessed. Let me rejoice.
  • Being blessed with some amazing people who encourage my spirit. Do you know how wonderful it is to be able to call upon friends when I’m angry or upset? People who will listen and encourage my spirit with positive words. People who motivate me to keep moving on. Keep putting forth my best effort. Some people don’t have that. I need to remember that it’s awesome that I do and I’m blessed. I’m finding the joy in that.
  • Being employed and actually loving what I do. There are many people who woke up this morning who don’t have a job. People who are faithfully looking for employment and not being able to find it. What about those that are underemployed or hate what they do? I need to rejoice because I’m blessed. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad work days (everyone does) but it means that I can find joy in knowing that I’m blessed in spite of those bad days.
  • Being able to afford to provide for my son. Being employed allows me the ability to provide for my son. I can walk into a store and buy my son some tennis shoes without thinking about or saving for a pair of shoes. Which is what happened this weekend. I went to the store and bought him some new tennis shoes. I then went to another store and bought him some new church shoes. I’m Blessed. That is what it is. I didn’t have that luxury growing up. My mother was robbing Peter to pay Paul and there was nothing left. I learned to take care of my stuff early and to only complain if they didn’t fit. I know people today that couldn’t afford to do that. But, I can. If my son were to break his glasses today (knock on wood that he doesn’t), I could go and buy him a new pair and not have to choose between food being short, not enough gas money or utilities being cut off because of the unexpected expense. I’m rejoicing in the fact that God has allowed me the ability to be able to provide for him on my own.

So, I counted my blessings. Realizing that I need to encourage myself to be faithful in my joys and understanding that I can survive the darkness. Rejoice. I have survived worse. If you only knew my testimony. Be encouraged today and know that it will get better.

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Guest Blogger: Parenting, don’t fool yourself, it doesn’t end

Good parenting never stops because you can always have a positive impact on the lives of your children, if you pay attention and employ good thinking.

Loving them no matter what

My divorce was quite unpleasant.  After my ex-wife and I separated, my children were upset.  One expressed anger and wanted little to do with me.  I made clear that I cared and wanted to be in his life.  So, over time, that attitude changed.

After some time, we met for dinner.  The evening seemed to be going calmly, but then I said something that brought out his anger.  I sat and took it.  Because I listened to his anger, and continued to be clear that I loved him no matter what, this was a turning point.  We have grown much closer ever since that evening.

Celebrating holidays

Holidays are always challenging.  Last year, in September, I asked about Thanksgiving.  The response was, “I thought you said seeing us on Thanksgiving day was not important to you.”  I said that I had feelings that made me realize that was completely true.

However, I backed off and I sent an email saying that, what was really important was to see my children together on any day, regardless of what day was.  A few days later, I got an email saying that they wanted to join me for Thanksgiving.  Messages like that will bring tears to your eyes!

Finances

As an attorney and financial planner, I try to make sure my children plan well.  On the other hand, I know saying too much turns into prying into their lives when they are striving to be independent and can make them feel badly, as if they are not doing well or as if I am being critical.

After the divorce, my daughter needed some support from me.  I asked if her mother was helping.  She said yes, so I never asked again and provided what she said she needed.  Much later, I learned that she amassed several thousand dollars in credit card debt during this time.  When she told me this, she also told me that she paid it off.  Such an impressive accomplishment; you have to be proud of that!

So, the learning on my part never stops, and what I can do to help my children continues!

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

This article was submitted by my fellow Blogger, Steven Branson, from  millennials-money.com .

Steven A. Branson, Esq., is the founder of Millennials-Money.com, a financial planning website for Millennials.

For nearly 30 years, Branson has been creating financial plans for clients, and has worked with numerous Millennials to help achieve their financial goals.

Branson has a law degree from Harvard Law School and is known for his financial articles geared toward Millennials.  Branson’s writing and financial tips can be seen on this blog.

Yes Lawdy…I’m Psyched!

As many of you know from my post last year that my car insurance raised 117%. I was officially depressed. I cried, had a breakdown, thought about medication. Thought about alternate employment offers (none that were Christian like if you get what I’m saying) to get the money to pay what I needed in order to be able to drive. I felt as though the world was closing in on me and I was in perpetual hell.

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My car insurance was more than my car note. My co-workers were the first to console me and they were so sweet and encouraging. My friends cried with me and were like “Dang, that’s serious.” No one offered me money. Moolah. Cold hard cash.

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So, I prayed. I limited activities. Didn’t go to Dubai with my girlfriends last December. Forget Dominican Republic for my 40th birthday celebration. What? I can’t afford Brazil in January for my 41st birthday. I have to pay my car insurance. I couldn’t continue to wallow in self-pity and feeling hopeless. I just tightened expenses and created a plan.

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I prayed. I wanted to go to all those places, but it was now time that I grew up. Made adult decisions and created plans to get back on track. You know the same things that I did when I was in college. I worked 3 jobs my senior year in college and took 21 credits. I could do this. I just needed to work the plan. Get my goals aligned with my finances. Make better decisions.

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Much like my decision to practice mindful eating, I had to watch my finances. Cut expenses where I could and decrease spending. Small steps. I cooked more. Ate out less. Entertained less. I saw two lights at the end of the tunnel…

I got a pre-approval to reduce my APR on my car by 50%. Talking to my financial savvy friends about my options which I saw as two:

  • Pay off my current loan in less time keeping the same monthly note or
  • Keep the same terms but lower the monthly payment

Both were good ideas said my friends. I felt the first surge of hope soar in my heart. All was not lost. Even though I’m leaning towards the first option, there was something new…hope.  It was on the horizon.

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Then I got this insurance renewal notice in the mail. I prayed before opening it. I knew that they were going to drop me. My friend borrowed my car in May and got into an accident. He hit a police car. “Jesus” was all I could say. I opened up the documents and saw this…

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It was less expensive than my current rate. How much? It was $85.00 a month cheaper than my current rate. I could breathe. They didn’t drop me after all. They even reduced the rate. I wouldn’t be destitute and twerking in some dark and dank club for some change to pay the car insurance.

I was officially in praise mode and yelled, “Thank you Jesus” and did my praise dance all up and through my office.

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Won’t HE do it? Thankful for every blessing!