I read someone’s post on “the black tax” a few days ago and it sparked some deep thought in my head.
In case you don’t know, the black tax is when you are expected, as an upcoming individual within the family, to take care of or contribute to the needs of extended family members.
By upcoming individual, I mean you are a graduate, and /or, you have a source of income; whatever that is, even if it’s income your husband brings in, if you are a “stay home mom for now” like me.
Hmmmm from where do I even begin to unpack this loaded topic?
In fact I cannot even unpack it, it’s too much for my age, lol. I’d just share my own thoughts on the matter.
GIVING IS GODLY
God so loved the world that He gave. My pastor once said “you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving”. His wife recently said “In every income, there is what to give, what to spend and what to save” (Her YouTube video on finances is at the end of this post). I really like that part – there is what to give in every income, no matter how small it may be.
Therefore, if absolutely nothing is coming out of you to other people, besides your immediate family members, ehmmm, try to do better. A portion of your income, should always be kept aside, in case someone else has a need, even if it’s $1. As you grow, it’d grow.
GIVING SHOULD BE PLANNED
God gave His only begotten, but the plan for that gift existed how many years before the gift came? Calculate it yourself. This is where I have a slight issue with the black tax. It is usually a forced, emotionally guilt tripping, kind of giving.
Do not allow anyone emotionally blackmail you to give. One, it’d never stop. Two, there is no spiritual reward that comes from such, as you will not be doing it cheerfully. Plan your financial gifts based on your income, not on the needs brought to your attention. The needs of men are insatiable.
Whether you now “under give” or “over give”, it’s between you and your God. Just plan it. Write out the amount you would give from your income after taking out essentials like food, rent etc”. See sample budget below. Write out yours and adjust as required.
There is no wisdom in you giving and then looking for someone else to meet your own basic needs or cover your debts.Omowonuola Omoghene
BLESS THE GIFT
I learnt this from one of my pastors again. Wise men. Super blessed. In case the level you’re at, you know what you gave to that person cannot fully meet the person’s needs, but that’s all you have to give, bless it, so it can multiply. Pray from your heart that God will send more help to the person. It could come in any form, more money gift, a job, a business breakthrough etc. Just bless the gift, so it can multiply.
PREPARE FOR YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE
As a mom of two young girls, this one came to me personally. My children are not my retirement plan, my financial future is my responsibility! The sacrifices I am making for them today are not forced out of me, so I should never force them or emotionally guilt trip them to repay it. In actual fact, they can never repay it. As I am sacrificing today to raise them to be financially responsible and independent individuals, I must also realize that they can only achieve this goal, if I prepare myself not to be a financial weight on them in the future.
My provost in college of medicine, a woman, has been such an inspiration to me in this regard. I only spent about an hour interviewing her and she said “after she got married, her career took a pause for about 5 years when she was having babies”. For some reason, that statement stayed with me. As at that time, she was the first female provost in Nigeria. She is currently the acting vice chancellor of the University of Lagos. Her name is Professor F.T. Ogunsola.
My circumstances now, are probably quite different from hers then, but it’s comforting to know that this is just a phase, a pause for me. And my sweet husband always kindly reminds me of this. As surely as God lives, I’d still dust off my certificate and be on the move again.
Whatever your situation may be, think about when you are older and can’t hustle as much you are doing now, and invest in something that will begin to pay you then.
PS: I had to include this update because of the outpouring of comments about our parents seeing us as a retirement plan.. This last point I made really was for me, i.e, my own personal decision to do all I can to ensure that while I raise my girls to learn to give, even to me, I will do my best with God’s help to ensure that I don’t need it. Pls do not wait for your parents to begin to emotionally blackmail before you give to them, especially when you know they need it. That’s not godly. Giving to them, in fact, should be a part of your budget, alongside your tithe and offerings to God. Treat them honorably even in your gifts so that you can be blessed. Ephesians 6:1&2.
If you are inspired by this post, leave a blessing for me in the comments, that this writing must pay me oooo, as I’m typing this at 4am, instead of sleeping when my babies are asleep. The inspiration will not let me rest.
DISCLAIMER : I am not a parenting or financial expert. Just sharing my two cents. What’s your thought on this? Please leave it in the comments. I’m soooo interested in hearing your opinion.
PS: My weekly posts on courtship /marriage matters continues next week and I’d be sharing on “some simple tips towards having a happy marriage!” Follow this blog now so you don’t miss it.