Nadine On…The Trailer Park Girlfriends 12-Step Program to Financial Security and Independence

My trailer park queens recently told me they need a 12 step program to financial security and independence. That can be done in one step. I agree. We all do honey!

Enter the advice of my writer friend and mentor, Jill Connor Brown (famous for The Sweet Potato Queen trilogy). Jill suggests calling ‘Daaaad-deh’ in times of trouble!

While Daddy’s money is good…Unfortunately, for me, and many others, the one step option of “Calling Daaaad-deh” is no longer an option. He left us 4 years ago today.

So, if you can’t call your Daddy, then you need Nadine’s 12-Steps to Financial Security and Independence.

Number 12 – Get an education, trade or a skill.

This is where it begins. If you have one of the aforementioned, you will always have a means to support yourself. Many of my trailer park gals are skilled in taking care of other people as nurses, hair dressers or self-employed business gals. If you are a teenager, just ‘knowing everything’ doesn’t count as being educated. You must consider something lucrative like baby-sitting out of your trailer (which has the potential to cover several steps), apprenticing as a tattoo artist or even an auto-mechanics trade school. A girl can make a lot of money in a traditionally male-dominated field! Don’t underestimate it.

Number 11 – Get a job and keep a job…or two.

More than one time, in my young life, I have had multiple jobs. It takes some effort and skill to keep that career/trailer home life balance. But a Trailer Park Momma’s gotta do what a Trailer Park Momma’s gotta do and working two jobs has, on more than occasion, paid the light bill.

Number 10 – Live within your means.

Write down what you owe each month and keep a good close record on income versus outgo. In other words…Color within your financial lines.

Number 9 – Help others when you can.

Food, rides, baby-sitting/Elderly-sitting…whatever. We were put here to help each other. There is nothing better than coming home to a Ho-made Hash brown tater casserole after a long stay at the hospital. Help a sister out.

***A special note on money lending***

I believe we were put in this Trailer Park to help other people when they ask for help. But, if they want to borrow money, and you actually have it to loan, make sure they understand you expect to be paid back and agree on the timing. IF they don’t pay you back, then consider that first time a ‘gift.’ If they come to you again for more, explain the last time was a gift and you don’t loan money to friends/family. And stand on it.

Number 8 – Ask for help when you need it.

Never be afraid to ask for help and honor your intentions to pay back on time.

Number 7 – Give 10% to the church and/or charity of your choice.

This is good for others and good for your spirit. After all, it’s not really your money anyway, you’re just blessed with it. And it’s good luck, karma, juju…whatever you prescribe to.

Number 6 – Save 20% for long term.

Have a fund to save 20% of your income either on your own, or through your employer. Be willing to pay some highly educated financial individual you trust to help you manage that little retirement nest egg.

Number 5 – Save 10% for short term that you can readily get to.

It’s coffee can time my people! This money should be located in a place where you can readily put your hands on it. You might hide it in the cookie jar, under the mattress…or my personal favorite, with ‘the baby’!

Number 4 – Make all of your own gifts/services or buy gifts/services from individuals who are crafty or skilled.

This is truly rewarding and fun! Most people like and appreciate a home-made gift or service. And it meets all the Trailer Park Gifting principles.

***Special note*** Baby-sitting/Elderly-sitting has a dual purpose as ‘gift/service’ and ‘helping others in need.’

Number 3 -Learn a craft or hobby that you can make money at.

This can be quite rewarding personally and can help supplement your income when need be. Most everyone I know covets their home-made Macramé plant hangers that Mawdine and I made many moons ago.

Number 2 – Raise or grow something you can sell.

Tomaters, potaters, peppers, flowers, chickens, chicken’s eggs, goats, kitties, puppies whatever suits you. Just keep it legal in the Trailer Park. And NO!, you cannot sell your kids, no matter how much they get on your nerves.

Number 1- Never settle for a partner who doesn’t have the same goals and ideals you do.

Make sure your husband/boyfriend/lover/baby-Daddy/partner has the same ideals you have about money…or you’re gonna fight about it.

Two things couples fight about/break up over…sex and money. Might as well take at least one of them out of the mix.

Financially yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your very BEST friend in the whole entire world

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