Financial Literacy Begins in the Womb


Last night tweeted that I will begin teaching my children financial literacy while they still inhabit my womb.  (For all of my friends and family, I’m not remotely pregnant and won’t be for a while longer).  As I watch my brothers, parents, grandparents, and ultimately myself age, I am realizing the importance of building and maintaining one’s financial health.  My last name is not Rockefeller, Gates, or Buffet.  Therefore, it is impertative that I plan wisely for my future seeing that I don’t have an endowment or modest trust fund I can tap into at any time.

I did a pretty good job of abusing my credit score in college and racking up a hill of debt once my student loans were added to my credit card bills.   I am proud to boast that I have “Good” to “Excellent” credit score, at least 10% savings for a moderately priced home in the DMV, and a well-funded 401K.  My sexy financial advisor pushed me to open a Roth IRA this year.  Thank goodness he’s fine because his nagging would be unbearable!  LOL!  (He really isn’t that bad.)

As I put the finishing touches on my financial foundation and prepare to move into new terroritory (homeownership, mutual funds, and investment properties), I think not only of myself but of the crumb-snatchers I will someday bear.  I plan to arm them with the best knowledge and financial habits as I and their future-Dad possibly can.  So, as they each (I hope to have 2-3 expensive bundles of joy) kick me in my ribs or lay comfortably on my bladder, I will start teaching them these basic tips:

Empty your change purse or pockets once a week and place those coins your piggy bank.  $.0.05 seems small as a lonely nickel.  Add a few quarters, pennies, and dimes and you have a nice emergency reserve in the house.  (And at least once, roll the coins yourself.  It’s theraputic and gives a great appreciation for money.)

Have two savings accounts.  One account that you dip into to cover bills and shopping trips. (If they are anything like me, they will thoroughly enjoy shopping.)  The other account should NEVER be touched unless absolutely necessary.  Buying a home counts as “necessary.” (Oh, automatic transfers makes savings much easier.)

Protect your credit at all costs.  Yes, maxing out your $5000-limit credit card seems like a good idea when you’re a broke college student or broke recent grad but it will haunt you for many years.  The high-interest rate I paid for my first car drove that point home many years ago.  I vowed never again.  So far, so good.

Lastly, plan for the future as much as you are able.  Rainy Day funds and retirement accounts are necessary.   (Though I’m sure by they time my kids are adults they’ll be like me, working until their last breath.  LOL!)  But it is important to save and plan ahead.  Accidents happen.  Roofs need repair.  New cars need to be purchased.  And as I hope, families are created that must be cared and provided for.  You can’t plan for everything but you can plan for a good amount of life.  

I look forward to adding to the list and learning a few new financial tips myself along the way.  It’s never too late or early to become financially literate!

WordCount Blogathon 2012: First post and only 3 days Late!


My dear friend, Angela, twisted my arm and shoved me to the ground until I submitted into participating in this year’s WordCount Blogathon.  Okay, she only sent one text message and an email. LOL!  I am starting the month of disciplined posting 3 days late but am committed to participating.  Unfortunately, I am no longer qualified for the writing prizes had I started on May 1st.  Kinda bummed…sigh. Well, the reward is in posting!

I’m beginning Blogathon 2012 with a tribute to my cousin, Lesleigh.  For followers of HoneySugaSweet.com, she was featured in the HoneySugaSweet Reminder: You’ve Got to Live! post.  Lesleigh lost her battle with cancer on November 30, 2011.  At times, her passing feels so raw and recent.  No more so than on special occassions l like her birthday.   On May 1st  Baby Girl (as her mother called her) would’ve turned 25.  It’s fitting that the first Blogathon 2012 post be in honor of her.  I hope Lesleigh celebrated her birthday in grand fashion…wherever she may be.

My Heart Will Find You (For Lesleigh 1986-2011)
By Jovette Gadson
 
No matter where you are
No matter where I am
My heart will find its way to you
If your body is gone
Your ashes scattered to the wind
My heart will find its way to you
If your spirit roams free
Your soul dances with our ancestors
My heart will find its way to you
If I no longer recognize your face
Your ears no longer know my voice
My heart will find its way to you
No matter where you are
No matter where I am
My heart will find its way to you
Do Not Copy Without Permission

Liv Suite Autumn Soul 2011


Visit http://www.thelivsuite.com for info on Winter Soul 2012.

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear a little Folk, R&B, and Soul music all in one night.  No, I was not concert-hopping.  Well, perhaps I did hop to three different shows but I never left Twelve Lounge.  Intrigued?  Great! Read on to learn more about the Liv Suite concert series.

The brainchild of Founder and CEO Elvis Colbert, Liv Suite is a quarterly concert series bringing talented indie artists from across the US to Washington, DC.  I recently had the opportunity to attend the Autumn Soul 2011 show held at Twelve Lounge in the increasingly popular H Street, NE corridor just minutes from Union Station and Capitol Hill.  This quarter’s line-up brought together an eclectic mix of Folk, Soul, and R&B for a powerhouse night of music.

Shae Fiol, the beautiful Portland, OR native whose maternal and paternal grandmothers were pianists, opened the evening with a short song-set from her latest album, Catch A Ride.  Shae’s voice shares a kinship with Nelly Furtado but the influence of Sarah Mclachlan, Stevie Wonder, and Amel Larrieux were evident in the singer-songwriter’s lyrics. Growing up her American mother and Cuban father shared the world with Shae through music.  The journey lead her from Portland, to Albuquerque to Los Angeles, to South America, and finally to Brooklyn where she currently calls home.  A sociologist by trade, Shae brought her heritage, world travels, and her family’s deep musical roots to the Liv Suite setting the stage for a night of diverse sounds and styles.

Soulful, passionate, honest, eclectic, out-0f-the-box, and genre-less is how Levi Stephens described his music before the show’s start.  His performance lived up to each word.  Decked in black slacks, vests, and tie with a crisp white button-down shirt and classic black Chuck Taylors, the DMV-native  took the audience on a trip through his musical influence.  Levi skillfully gave a mind-blowing R&B performance with songs from his latest project, This Way, that had the crowd pumped by mid-set.  His sound can only be described as Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, and Bill Withers wrapped into one body.  Add Michael Jackson and James Brown for stellar showmanship and you have Mr. Stephen’s performance.  Levi is Blues.  Levi is Soul. Levi is Country. Levi R&B.  The man is just music!

Autumn Soul 2011 closed out with the innovative, vibrant, dynamic and soul-stirring Deborah Bond and her band Thrid Logic.  The voice that flows from the petite fashionista is awe-inspiring.  Deborah opened the show in a multi-print off-the shoulder dress with songs from her first album, Day After.  Close your eyes and you could her musical influences Sade and Chaka Khan.  A self-described storyteller, Deborah shared her life and love through her songs.  She had the crowd enraptured with her words and moves.  She covered classics including “See You In My Dreams” and “Loves Been Waiting.” She introduced her latest album, Madame Palindrome, to the Autumn Soul crowd as well. Of course the new work was well-received.  Deborah brought down the house with the club-track “5:35.”  She had the people out of their seats as she and her background singers literally danced off the stage!

Those searching for new music artists and great performances, be sure to check out the Liv Suite in Winter 2012.  The line-up has not been announced but it will surely not disappoint.  To learn more about the Liv Suite, visit www.thelivsuite.com.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION


Hello! Thanks for stopping HoneySugasSweet.com! How do you like the new logo?  This is just a preview of many changes, upgrades, and fresh content to come.  If you’re a first time visitor, enjoy the  past posts (Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know you stopped by!) For my regular readers, thank you for your patience as I revamp HoneySugaSweet.com

Love & Light, Jovette

HoneySugaSweet Musings: “I’m Taking My -Ish!”


*This piece was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s “Somebody Walked Off…” from For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When Rainbows Were Enuf (pg. 49).  When I read the original piece after my break-up 7 months ago, I realized someone(s) had walked off with all of me.  The break-up was not unexpected.  The feeling that I wasn’t “me” anymore came as a big surprise. I gave away so much of myself not only to my ex but a few other ex-boyfriends.  But those former beaus didn’t take my stuff.  I willingly gave it away.  This poem is me willingly taking back my stuff !*

I’m taking back my shit

Yeah, that’s right

Call me Break-in Betty, Strong-Arm Sarah, Lockpickin’ Lucy

HELL! The name doesn’t matter

Because I’m taking back all my shit!

Not asking, begging, pleading

And damn fo’ sure not negotiating to get my stuff back

I’ve been confused and conflicted for WAY too long

Sobbing over my missing things

Lookin’ at my face on the milk carton wondering, “Who stole me? I wasn’t theirs to take!”

Today, I’m reclaiming and repossessing

Going to all the brothas that walked off with my stuff

And snatchin’ my shit BACK!

Grabbing me back

Gathering those fragmented pieces I recklessly left unguarded

Recreating the old me

Fashioning her into a new me that has always existed

I’m taking my pride, ego, flaws, time, back fat, big thighs, sunshine, laughter, ugly photo-taking face, tenderness, authenticity, prettiness, spirit, love…

MY EVERYTHING!

You! Mr. “I love you!” Mr. “You’re the one for me!”

I’m taking my shit, sir

The children you wanted me to mother

The wife you wanted me to be

The lover you never knew existed but knew existed for you

The lover you couldn’t inspire in me

The gift you couldn’t care for in the present

The facsimiles of my love you recklessly transposed on new thefts

I’m taking all that back!

Selfish bastards walking away with my shit

Hmph! I’m taking it back with vengeance

Passionately restoring the “me” I neglected to protect

Loving her the way I should’ve demanded

And when I get my shit back

Oh, because I’m going to get it back!

My fractured, fragile pieces aren’t going into a lock box

How selfish of me would that be?

Taking my stuff and hiding it away?

No! My recreated, redesigned, refashioned self will be on full global display

A touring exhibition of freedom, passion, and love

A collage of stolen and reclaimed moments called “Me.”

HoneySugaSweet Reminder: You’ve Got to LIVE!!


“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.  You’ve got to Live! Live! Live!-Auntie Mame

The above is from the 1958 movie, Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell.  The movie is about an eccentric woman, with an unquenchable thirst to LIVE, who suddenly finds herself caring for her deceased brother’s son.  Auntie Mame’s life is one adventure after another and most don’t believe it’s the best way for her young nephew to live.  But by the time he is a young man with a fiance it is clear how all of Auntie Mame mad-cap experiences shaped him into a well-rounded, well-ground person.  But for that to happen, Auntie Mame encouraged her nephew to LIVE!!!!!

This weekend, my 23-year old cousin was diagnosed with lymphoma. My baby is only 23!  The family and I are naturally in shock.  Who would’ve expected a perfectly healthy young woman to suddenly be facing cancer.  She’s supposed face work, school, her boyfriend, parties, her crazy family, and all the things  young 20-somethings are dealing with.  None of us expected her to battle cancer. 

I cried a bit when Mom gave me the news.  But then I thought about my cousin and her spirit.  She is a “take no sh*t” FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! woman.  Though her energy is mellow, she is clear and sure about her wants and needs.  She always speaks her mind.  And she follows her dreams.  When she left college to study make-up artistry in New York City I thought she’d lost damn her mind.  She trekked from Philly to NYC for a year to become a certified make-up artist and esthetician.  My cousin made up her mind and did exactly what she wanted.  How amazing?  Remembering all of this let me know she will be fine.  She is a determined soul.  This moment in her life is just that one little moment. 

My cousin’s diagnosis also reminded me that life is unpredictable.   Because of its tempermental nature, it is imperative that we, who have been blessed to take another breath and see another day, live it as happily as possible. Each day is another opportunity to dream. With the opportunity to dream is the opportunity to realize the dream.  Remember to LIVE! LIVE! LIVE!

HoneySugaSweet Musings: I’m Still Here!


Wow…it’s been quite some time since I’ve written a post!  Many things have happened PLUS I’ve been busy enjoying Summer 2010 :)  (I’m thoroughly glad the seasons will be changing soon.  I’ve never done hot weather well!) Let’s see, after 4 years in an extremely committed relationship, I am single.  My blogging hiatus has been a time for me to redefine and find “Jovette”.  I always had my own identity but I didn’t realize how interconnected my life had become with another.  The last 3 months I’ve focused on myself and rediscovering my loves, pet peeves, boundaries, and of course the Art of Dating! (More on the last item in a future post ;)

My blogging hiatus has also allowed me time to get out and about.  Let’s see-My travels this summer have included Blacksburg (Go Hokies!!), Philly (twice), Los Angeles (who knew it would be so cold in the summer?),New Orleans (God save the Gulf!), and lastly Atlanta (my new “music” city).  I have enjoyed all of the trips with Atlanta topping the list.  I attended the Soul Music Summit and fell in love with music all over again.  Though oddly enough I realize ATL may not be the place for me as so many have thought.  I’m an East coast girl through and through.  Give me the mid-Atlantic, BABY!!!  LOL!

I have to admit that I’ve turned into a writing slug. (YUCK!)  I’ve neglected my love and its time for us to get acquainted.  Look for new Triple “F” Threat post and the sordid details of my Summer 2010 Blind Date Challenge.  The stories will be colorful and hilarious and of course deliciously sweet!

All in all, this FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! HoneySugaSweet chick is doing well.  As Jill Scott sings on her Beautifully Human album, “I’m still HERE!”