Saturday, January 27, 2007

Money Money Money Money!!!!!

Playboy Adonis asked me if I was going to write about finances regularly on my blog awhile ago. I don't claim to know that much myself. I really just wanted to start Black Gay Men to think about money more. Think about what you're doing with it. Think about what you want it to do for you. So I decided that occasionally when I hear of something financial I will talk about it. Our community needs to be financially fit so I want to do what I can to support that.
So here are a couple of things to think about:

1. Where are you putting your money????

I'm not going to talk about 401k's, CDs or the Stock Market. I'm just not saavy enough in those subjects to discuss.

I'm talking about where do you put it. What bank are you putting it in. For me I'm trying something new. I created an account with HSBC Direct. It's an online account that earns you 5.05% interest. I won't tell you all the details of how it works you can see that for yourself on their site. I will tell you this though. You can open an account with as little as $1.00. Now I know we all can afford that.

You might remember when I wrote about saving money and how fast it grows if you just forget about it and do it regularly. These types of accounts can help you do just that and add a little more to what you put in. You decide how much you want to put in it. Oh yeah, there are NO FEES for these types of accounts.

Another account like this is ING Direct. You might remember seeing commercials from this company calling themselves the Orange Account. Sometimes this company even gives you money to open an account. I believe it's $75.00. That's free money!

2. How much are you paying in interest on your credit cards??

If you are lucky to have a credit card (or unlucky some may think) then you have to pay interest on these cards. The interest can vary. Credit Cards can mean big financial trouble! I mean big. It so easy to throw that plastic up on the counter and walk out the door. It almost feels like your purchase was free! That is until you get the bill. When you get that bill they have added interest on to what you purchased.

Example: You've see a outfit for $50.00 that you just have to have. Ya didn't need it but ya had to have it! Yall know what I'm talking about. So you purchase it using your Credit Card with the 18% interest. You sign the receipt for $55.13. You forgot about the tax didn't you. Tax in Calif is 8.25%! And you walk out the store feeling good.

Then comes the Credit Card Statement, that's where they tack on the 18% interest charges. Now you do the math. The manner in which finance charges are calculated has always confused me but I know it's money that I'm paying monthly because I didn't pay cash for my purchase.

If you keep paying the minimum payment on your statement, the price of your purchases goes up each month and you end up slowly paying much more for your purchase that you thought was such a good deal.

My advice either pay it off when you get the 1st bill. So you won't be charged the finance charges, or pay more than the minimum so the finance charges will be lower on your next statement.

3. What to do about those high interest cards?

Call the card issuing company and find out your interest rate. If you show a good history of paying your bill call them and see if they will lower your interest rate. If not, ask them how long it will take before you can get it lowered? Then you decide if this is a company that you want to stay with.

If you don't like their answer...Transfer that balance to a Credit Card with better interest. If you are unable to do that. Pay that dayum thing off as soon as possible and then cut it up and close the account.

My last piece of advice on Credit Cards is this. Try not to use them unless it is absolutely necessary or you know you will be paying it off within a very few months. ( I mean like 3 or 4 months no longer)

a Department Store Credit Cards - Do not even get these unless you are just getting credit and trying to establish a credit history. Once you have established a history get rid of these Interest hungry, money grabbing, financial fitness stealing pieces of crap!

And DO NOT let the.... "If you open a card with us you'll save 10% on your purchase today" sucker you in. How the hell much is 10% going to be on your $50.00 purchase. $5.00 but the interest on these cards could be anywhere from 18-25% . All that for one dayum purchase! I think not!

Take control of your money.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

One Side of the Story

Have you ever dated someone that you never really had a spoken committment with and then your relationship with them changed to a non-sexual one for no apparent reason? The thing is you still have the same feelings about them and if sex were to happen you would definetely not stop it.

Then you find out that he's dating someone that you know. You feel a pang in your heart. You wonder why you feel this pang if things are not sexual anylonger. Is it due to unresolved feelings and unanswered questions? Or is it don't miss the water until the well runs dry.

You found all this out from the person he's now dating. Or at least he said they're dating. So that's just one side of the story. I think it's best to just continue your life as you did before you found out.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Possibilities Narrowed

Just like in the picture of the young black child to the left, we all believed that possibilities were endless. What happens to those thoughts and beliefs as we get older?

As a young child I enjoyed playing with my army men and creating all types of stories with them. The possibilities were endless for my army men and for me.

As I became a teenager the possibilities for my army men were forgotten. I don't even remember what happened to them. Now my possibilities changed to will I be accepted by my fellow students. Will I make friends? When will I have sex and with whom? The possibilities were narrowing down to my learned likes and dislikes.

As a young adult I thought knew what I wanted. All the parties and clubs, friends, lovers, education and money. The possibilities again narrowed by desire for specific things.

Once I became older the possibilities narrowed even further. The parties weren't as plentiful. The clubs weren't as fulfilling. The friends either died due to the AIDS epidemic or moved away for more comfortable possibilities. The lovers became fewer and father between. The education was achieved. The money was satisfactory but society teaches us to always want more.

As I near middle age I wonder what will my possibilities be. Why shouldn't I have more possibilities? Where do the older black gay men go? How do they meet? Why isn't there a place for us to meet and socialize? Why am I and those of my age bracket called Old Headz?

This will happen to all of us. I think about the elderly black gay men and wonder are they sitting alone in their homes or apartments with narrower possibilities. Where do they go? Who do they meet? They say, "The young will inherit the earth." Well I have a message for the young and those not so young. It's time we take care of our elderly. Give them possibilities. Provide someplace for them to go? Think about it how do we want our lives to be when we become elderly? What do we want our possibilities to be?

How narrow do you want your possibilities to be? Well if you don't think about the elderly today then your possibilities will be as narrow as looking through a keyhole and saying, "Who is that passing by?"

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dating is Easy and Beneficial

I know all you attractive men out there can get a date easily. I know that's not always true but we all should. However, I don't think it is in our best interest to go on a date expecting this person to be your next lover. To me it takes some time before I know that I know someone will be my partner. When I was younger I got into relationships right after having a good sex session with someone. Not anymore. I want my relationships now to consist of some real substance.

What is real substance? Being able to talk about your feelings without fear. Being able to listen to his feelings with compassion. Having some goals. Not everyone has big lofty goals of becoming a millionaire by the time they are 30yo. But if you do that's a good thing. Go for it. Even if you have some small goals that's a good thing as well and let people know your goals. You never know who you are talking to that might guide you in the path of reaching it.

I say all this to say that dating is beneficial because you need to know what it is you like about a persons personality and if their personality and characteristics gel with yours. Sex can be off the chain with someone that can't express themselves or has no vision of what they want their life to be. So get to know these folks before you commit yourself to them. It'll only cause heartache and disappointment in the end if you don't.

If you can't wait to have sex with someone, do so knowing that this may not be the one for you after you climax. I know this post is simple in it's approach but I just had to get this off my chest and to reiterate to myself that I'm worthy of someone who'll compliment me. Not someone who will stagnate me. I'd rather be happy and by myself than to be with someone that neither inspired or excited me mentally.

I don't know if this post will help anyone in understanding the the benefits of the dating scene or if it'll go against what one may think is moral and right. That's a choice you'll have to make for yourself. Just don't pick the 1st one that comes along and shows you some interest just because they are showing you interest. Find out who they are before you get to rearranging life.

Oh yeah, A Date is a chance to get to know someone in an enjoyable setting. What's the harm in getting to know multiple people?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ask The Fruitcake Lady!

I will miss the Fruitcake Lady. She told it like it is to all the dumb asses. This is the only video I could find of her. They took them all of of the NBC website. She died November 3,2006 and was 101 years old.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Read Someone New

I hope you don't think that I'm about to post about cursin' someone out. LOL.

This post is about supporting each other. We all know folks that have written books and we buy them to support them. What you may not know is that many publishers that are not diverse in their thinking as they want you to believe they are pressure our Black writers to tone down their characters, beef up stories etc. At times what you are reading is not the voice that the writer wanted you to hear but the voice that the publisher thought would sell best.

Now I don't claim to be the all knowing of the publishing industry or anything close to it. However, what I do wholeheartedly believe in is support our own. Supporting the start up Black companies. Which relates back to my post Financially Fit.

We as a collective Black community need to be Financially Fit....The only way to do that is if we support each other in any business venture(s) we start. As you know once black people start buying something all the other cultures will follow suit. So why haven't we paid attention to that and made some money??? I don't even know how to answer that.

I'll just end my post by introducing you to a new Black Publisher who publishes books by Authors that you may not have heard of before. He publishes their words not his. Chuma Spirit Books' mission is to SUPPORT independent artistry. This company is innovative in it's attempt to get Author's who may not have the resources or the know how of some to be published.

Support this brotha and good friend of mine, along with the Black writers that he hopes to sore into the world on the back of a Butterfly.
Fools fall in love

And small I love Jennifer Holiday still. Jennifer Hudson is filling some big shoes and is doing a great job. However, Jennifer Holiday is untouchable. Jennie where are you???????
jennifer holiday

Big I loved Jennifer Holiday.