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Childfree Does Not Mean Debt Free by Dr. Angela L. Harris

Okay, so let me let you in on a little secret!  Come close!  No seriously, come in closer!  Okay, are you ready?  I have debt!  I mean, I really, really have DEBT!  I have student loans from my three degrees. I have a small credit card balance which is less than $500.00  I have expenses such as rent, cell phone, medical, and business expenses for both my mental health advocacy and childfree lifestyle brands. I was super happy when I paid off that car note on my 2012 Honda Accord.  I am going to ride that baby until the wheels fall off!  Hell, I will ride it on straight rims before considering another car note, lol.

I am independent and childfree! No intimate partner, no sugar daddy, no doing something strange for a little bit of change, lol.  Just me - handling my financial business in a responsible manner. Everything falls on ME!  Yes, my parents have thrown me a few hundred dollars here and there over the years.  My sister has certainly helped me out of a few binds.  But when it is all said and done - I am responsible for my own life. I am responsible for the money coming in my life and definitely for the money going out of my hands. 

I tithe to my church, faithfully. It’s crazy because since I have been tithing - yep, giving up that 10% - I truly have seen and experienced some financial stability and growth. God abundanlty supplying my every need! Won’t God do it!  I help out others when I can - whether that's with a surprise birthday cashapp gift or a good cause through GoFundMe.  I have sorority expenses and charity causes that I care about, such as the ASPCA (my LenniBoi is a rescue so I gotta give to a dog cause)!  I have professional anual dues so that I can remain informed in the areas of higher education, psychology and mental health. Yep, I'm shoveling out money left and right.

So you may asking yourself, "why did she tell us all of her financial business?" Well, I share this because being childfree does not mean that I have no expenses -  that I just have free money to give. Yet, some people think this!  No sir, no maam, I am not banking rubberbands like that, lol!  I maintain and I am self-sufficient - but I am far from rich. Yet, society, family, and friends sometime think that no children = you always have money! Really?  Always??  It is almost like others really think - "what in the world does she spend her money on if she does not have kids?" 

I am in complete shock at times listening to my mommie friends talk about all the expenses they dish out because they have children. Daycare and insurance for children can be quite expense. I think to myself, “dang, their is no way I could take care of me and a kid!”  I look at LenniBoi sideways when I have to take him to the vet!  But when it is all said and done - both childfree women and mothers are speaking the same language. That universal language is that LIFE is just too damn expensive!  If you are living like me, middle-class, single and childfree - taxes alone can kick your ass (cause of course we don't get all the perks that women with children get).  No shade - just honest facts. I mean, if I had children - my stimulus check would have been sweet!!! 

Whether living the frugal life, being debt free or trying to live life on a balanced budget - childfree sistahs can still treat themselves like Queens on a dime.  Here are three (3) tips to do so!

Tip #1: Know what the hell is coming in!
We all know that budgets are important.  Lord knows - it is only now that I see the importance of a budget. Back in the  day, living childfree and carefree - left my bank ccount in the negative on many days.  I never really paid too much attention to my bank account statments or expenses, and I certainly didn't live life on a budget. Budgets felt too rigid for me.  I would pay for what I wanted and left Discover card payments to fend for themselves.  I was childfree!  I had no other person to be responsible for. Ummm, duh, I’m in this equation. After I received an eviction notice taped to the front of my door and experiencing the major embarrassment of others seeing it, I vowed that day to NEVER see another notice like that ever again.  I vowed to critically review what was coming in and out of my bank ccount. No fancy apps - just an intentional budget and frequent reviews of my bank account throughout the week. Being childfree is not an excuse to live beyond your means. I am now even more mindful of my spending and saving habits because it is just me.  I have to plan for myself and my retirement. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the occassional travel and splurges throughout the year - but living like a Queen means having money today, tomorrow and for your future. 

Tip #2: Know your worth!
Every year I request my free credit reports. Yes, FREE and I get all three! If you are not making this an annual practice then please download your reports today from freecreditreport.com after reading this blog post! I get excited now to receive my reports because I have been working feverishly to lower my debt and increase my score. Now my student loans are huge - I mean huge, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. However, I am enrolled in a debt forgiveness program so in a few more years I hope to be all good! I guess its good that I do not have kids - cause contemplating paying off my student loan or saving for a kid's college education would be hard. Paying off my debt a little at a time has helped my credit score a tad bit. If you are childfree, single, and unmarried (or just a human in gneral, lol) - then knowing your worth means knowing a good credit score helps with home ownership, car loans, business credit cards, and more! Now don't get more wrong - being childfree can cause some to live their life to the fullest - skipping credit card payments, robbing Peter to pay Paul, and being best friends with your favorite, rude debt collector.  Knowing your worth and having good credit, or atleast a credit score that has the potential to get better over time - offers you the opportunity to negotiate and better position yourself.  If your credit score is jacked up then do something about it - today! 

Tip #3: Saying No!
Don't co-sign, don't open sh*t up in his or her name, and don't lend out money if you gonna trip and harrass someone when you can't get it back. Some childfree women (and men) are magnets to helping others who are always going through a rough time.  Yeah, our hearts can be pulled a bit when our friends need a helping hand AND they have additional mouths to feed (kids). Of course, help when and if you can - but never at the expense of your financial goals and priorities.  Saying no does not mean you will not or can not help. It just means your going to think first, assess your financial status, and make an informed decision. Always be ready to strategize or brainstorm with a friend or family member in need. Helping someone should not always equal giving them money.  The more you say yes -  the more you may put yourself at risk. Let’s be real, some will consider asking childfree women for help first because they don’t have kids! It may be hard to ask a mother for help if you perceive that she too, is struggling. Another secret for you - childfree women struggle at times too!  We are childfree and our money - MY money, YOUR money, is accounted for.  Always give from the heart and also give wisely. 

Childfree living is a rewarding life to live!  We can spend money on whatever we want, when we want, wherever we want!  Some of us spend entirely too much  money which eventually can cause long-term trouble.  Pull back a bit and re-evaluate your spending habits.  Some of us are way too tight and frugal with our money. Because we are childfree - we do have some flexibility to assist others, when we want, and how we want.  Being a prisoner to debt is never a good position to be in. Handle your business, pay your bills, save for that emergency fund, know what is in your checking account at all times, and spend wisely. Oh, yeah, while doing all of that - keep living your best childfree life and wear that crown of yours with pride!

*Please leave us a comment below about this blog post. Short or long - we want to hear from you!  Sharing is caring, so pleaes consider sending this blog post to a friend!  Follow us at Instagram.com/nobibsburpsbottles and visit our NEW website at www.nobibsburpsbottles.com! 


Comments

Anonymous said…
I greatly enjoy your content. I’m an early 30s child free woman-Some of my decisions to not have children are rooted in expenses. Imagine getting your 1st credit card, car note along w/insurance, apartment alone; at age 30! 😬That’s been my reality and it is wild to think that I would’ve bought somebody else into the world when I’m BARELY surviving myself. Yes; I know about the tax breaks and the access to insurance that I would never have before but I feel like the incentive is not worth it for me. Struggling with that as a child free woman is a very weird place to navigate. There’s no assistance for you. I was in a position where my wallet was stolen after I moved to a new state. I could not get a job and furthermore I didn’t qualify to get any type of assistance because who is really trying to help out a single person, in good health, no dependents, decent work history? Despite the fact that I couldn’t legally work because I did not have documents or a way to obtain them-I ended up having to write a letter to the hospital I was born in to get my birth certificate and that took ALOT of work. I experienced homelessness for almost 3 years during that situation, but it was eye-opening to see the reactions I got. People just assume you get a easy button and extra money because you don’t have children. There’s a big lack of sympathy/empathy for you-it’s also assumed that you chose your life style because of some career. In my specific case it was a combination of never wanting them, lack of support system, hopeful about the world I live in, and finances. I was a minimum wage cashier for year but it was assumed that I must have all these extra coins for leisure. I have to pay the maximum amount on my student loans for being single. I still can’t afford health insurance. I make JUST too much to qualify for Medicaid , but not enough to afford it and it tempts me every day to take a lower paying job just so I can qualify. Sadly during homelessness, having children was suggested to me so I could get section 8 vouchers. I get I made it through that situation but still met with this belief that I have so much extra money to blow
B.L. said…
This post as right on time! In 2018 I realized that I was spending so much on other people and others' children during Christmas and for birthdays that I was at a loss. It's one thing to give from the heart but over the years I felt guilted into giving because I am childfree. Comments like "you should have more money or be in better shape because you don't have mouths to feed" have been said without consideration. I am proud to say that I now consider myself, set boundaries, and only give when I can and feel led to. It's allowed me to be in a better position mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And yes a budget is amazing! I look at mine each Monday and assess what my goals are for spending and income. Thanks for this great post!

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