Are you fiscally responsible? Prepared for rainy days or a lay-off? Are your financial habits sound? We’ll find out the important questions to ask, and the perspective to keep related to your day-to-day money management … on the edition of Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY W/ TAMIKO OVERTON PARKS, ESQ., MIKO’S MONEY MATTERS
Guests: Tamiko Overton Parks
Date: February 8, 2016
Frank: Are you fiscally responsible? Prepared for rainy days or a lay-off? Are your financial habits sound? We’ll find out the important questions to ask, and the perspective to keep related to your day-to-day money management … on the edition of Frank Relationships.
As you all know, those are my babies. Thanks for getting daddy’s daughter today.
Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid, fresh and frank look in the relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com. You can also find me on ABC’s Good morning Washington most Friday mornings during the 9 o’ clock hour.
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Greetings to my co-host, Nancy Goldring. She is—what are you Nancy—?
Nancy: A consummate.
Frank: A consummate generalist. She is about the business of—
Frank: —just check it out, what’s going on seeing what’s out there.
Frank: What is that? Say something about that.
Nancy: Say something about that? I just am curious. Im curious Georgia.
Nancy: I want to know a little bit about—I would like to know everything about everything but you can’t know everything. So I take some comfort in the idea that I can’t know everything so I explore as much as I can.
Frank: Got it. And we’ve got Kweku, the soft-hearted big man. You would never know it, look at this guy. But he is a soft-heart and you know, he’s a big guy. But what you got to say for yourself?
Kweku: Well first of all, greetings family. Soft heart—what does that mean?
Frank: You just—
Kweku: Soft like failing heart?
Nancy: Oh no, no.
Frank: You’re just kind of a sweetheart.
Kweku: Oh no.
Nancy: He’s just had an [unclear].
Kweku: If we had a video, you all will see how tough I look. So…
Frank: You ask… I wasn’t going to say that.
Nancy: Stand down, Kweku. Stand down.
Frank: I wanted you—
Kweku: Aww, you called me soft.
Frank: A good guy.
Kweku: I’ll take that.
Frank: Good heart. See, you cornered me and made me say, I was going to leave it to you for you to say who you are so go on… Who are you?
Kweku: I’m a soft-hearted big guy.
Kweku: Makes every attempt to enjoy life to the fullest.
Frank: Very nice. Very nice.
Okay! This week in the news… There was a—a few days ago, there was a woman and her two year old daughter was shot and killed. Allegedly, the assailant was the child’s father. It happened at 7am in the morning in a parking lot while—I think she was getting ready to go to work. She’s a teacher at the local school system. It’s pretty crazy.
Frank: And I was thinking… The situation is absolutely horrible. AND I happen to not believe in child support—oh, oh. So the father was found to be the father via a DNA test—atleast this is the little bit that I know about it or I’m hearing about it.
Frank: Father was thought to be found to be the father through a DNA test and was ordered to pay $600 in child support each month. My thoughts on child support are is that it’s—I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in it and I have, as you all know, five children and I feel as though when we have a child, we have a child with the complete understanding that we may have to take/share this child on our own.
So when I hear people talk about “we didn’t make this baby together, we didn’t make this baby on our own”—I kind of, I understand but I don’t really agree. I feel as though when we have sex, we do so with the complete understanding that we can have a child so each one of us is making a decision to have sex and potentially have a child 100% independently of the other. It’s not like 50-50. You have to say Yes and the other person has to say Yes. There’s no real—there’s nothing else.
Nancy: Half of our listeners have just turned the radio off.
Frank: I completely [unclear].
Kweku: That’s like some wart conditioning.
Nancy: Wart conditioning to pay or not to pay?
Kweku: No, just the fact that you would—that we’ve gotten to a point. We were going to a situation like that would that [unclear / men] how. I may or most likely would have to do this a 100% by myself. Isn’t that supposed to be that way?
Frank: I don’t know how it’s supposed to be. I just deal—
Nancy: Well, I don’t know about that Kweku. I was thinking, there was a time when the village really did raise the child and men went off and hunted. Women stayed back and took care of the home and hearth AND it was quite possible that if you went out to slay the tiger, you got slayed.
Kweku: Nah, that’s—
Nancy: In a community pitched in and helped and took care, and gave care. Now I understand in this situation, he has not been slain but then some might say, psychologically, he has been slain because essentially if somebody is saying you’re going to pay $600 a month to take care of this child, you may. Most people are only agreeing at the level of sex to the act itself. They’re not agreeing to what it creates and I’m submitting to you that every act of sex creates something. The question is—what is it?
In this case, it was a child. So—
Kweku: Atleast a child.
Nancy: —atleast a child, yes. So this guy is saying “No, I’m not going to do that.” Really, I also suggest that his actions however horrific they may have been was an act of attempting to take back his power.
Kweku: Well I tend to agree about the child support situation but there’s so many different—like—
Kweku: —there’s so many Spence and then you have some wonderful, potential fathers and fathers who are putting these situations out of spite.
Kweku: And I know that to be true but let’s be real. There are so many “broken homes” because men punk out for the most part and place in situation… I men, they punk out. They don’t want to deal with the mom. And so—
Nancy: They might not want to deal with the responsibility. You can pay child support and never deal with the mom.
Kweku: That’s right. So the thing is, we talking about something that CAN be avoided. You do not have to make a child.
Nancy: No you don’t. That’s accurate.
Kweku: So and I don’t have to pay child support, put my business out there a little bit but as at the same time, I’m always been in my children’s life. ALWAYS. Like I don’t know anything other than been in their life.
Frank: And you’ve already given permission to interject that your biological father WAS NOT IN YOUR LIFE?
Frank: But you were raised by a father.
Frank: And… It’s interesting that the differences in our perspective because I was raised by my father and did not have another father—no stepfather or anything like that. However, I definitely had other men in my life, other strong uncles. One of them being the man who helped raise you. Well who raised you.
So we got a little—we’re touched in different ways by the issue. It’s interesting. It’s interesting stuff and I committed not so much harping on child support. However, I’m looking at it from a perspective of kind of what you said, Nancy—the death side. If your partner dies, what would you do?
Frank: You raise the child.
Frank: And you wouldn’t complain—I mean, you COULDN’T complain that you don’t have a partner. Well, you can take that same perspective into raising a child if your partner just—or your partner at one point, your sexual partner decided they just didn’t want to have anything to do with the child. And despite peace, there is a peace that exist between man and women where child support is a way to smash you…
Kweku: Oh absolutely.
Frank: To hit you over the head and cause you to be my victim, or to get you back, or to make you angry, or to have you be my slave—slave ain’t the word I want to use—
Frank: But it starts with a B and it ends with an H.
Frank: So I just—it’s a fascinating…
Nancy: Yeah, the child becomes upon to even—
Nancy: —in situations where the money is not an issue, then what do you call it? Custody becomes an issue. My grandfather was actually a stronger presence in my life than my father and my mother certainly did not receive child support ever. We didn’t miss a meal, we didn’t any other of the latest toys at Christmas—we missed nothing. So and yet, my mother found it imperative to distinguish her relationship with our father versus our relationship with our father. She always stressed that “He’s your father and you are entitled to your own relationship with your father.” As a result of that, I feel very strongly did I grew up to be a much more balanced person about that situation and came to have a very rich relationship with my biological father.
Frank: That’s great.
Nancy: Now, I have a father. Let me tell you, and he is phenomenal. My mother married again to a fantastic man who—
Frank: How old were you?
Nancy: When my mother married again?
Nancy: I was grown.
Nancy: Yeah, I was grown and yet I was grown—
Frank: How does people say “grown,” so many different things.
Frank: Some people think 16 is grown.
Nancy: Oh no, I was—was I 30?
Nancy: I was maybe—no, I was 30 when they connected. I was 40, I think…
Nancy: When they married—I think. So but I said that to say that if I were to design a father? He would have been him. He would be the father I would have design and yet the father I have is his own peculiar match to my particular idiosyncrasies. So I have a wonderful balance but that came as a director’s order of having a mother that said, “This is not going to define who you are, the fact that your father and I are not together is not going to define who you are.”
Nancy: So I can understand a woman deciding, you know—it becomes war, really. You’re not going to get me, you’re not going to nail my foot to the ground—
Kweku: Exactly what it is.
Nancy: —with this kid and—
Frank: That is?
Nancy: —I’m going to make you “pay.” That’s a real conversation and it’s out there.
Frank: Big time. And this guy apparently saw it as war too and he fought back in his own crazy—in my opinion—way.
Nancy: And trust me, he is not alone. This happens.
Frank: It happens.
Nancy: And let me say this to you, anyone who is considering a date between the set and he’s home soon. Even if that kid was not his, let’s say he’s been providing care for the child and then he found out the child wasn’t his, the court could very likely decide on the behalf of the child that he should continue to pay child support for a child he did not father. So trust me, slow your roll.
Frank: When is it worth it? I mean when is it NOT worth it? If you—Kweku, you’ve got a daughter, I’ve got a daughter, they’re roughly the same age. When—what conversation do you have with them if they have a child with a guy who disappears or who does not want to be in the child’s life and they are taking the attitude, they want to go get them for child support?
Kweku: Well, it’s nice you mentioned the really scenario and I think I would have to focus on that—I mean, I’ve had friends, sister friends, who had children and I suggested to them like “You don’t need the whole child support thing because if this guy is not invested, that child support will shackle you two together and the child and create just a—
Kweku: Yes… And that’s not worth it when you have support. It’s not what you want or intended to do but you have that support, you have men in your life and you have women in your life who can surround the child with love and that kind of thing. You can get the help so I don’t believe it’s worth it at all but at the same time, I’m not in that situation, I’ve never had to pay child support. No, that would be on the other end of needing their financial support to raise a child myself. So I can’t speak on something but in practice, it just creates such a convoluted and just—you know what can happen.
In this situation, it’s extreme as it is and I can’t relate to it at all but I do understand like they are some very fragments of people out there who you don’t even know if something wrong with them until something like this has them and they’re just not built to deal with a situation like that. The first thing they—I got to take some money out.
Frank: So we’re moving the blac and white. Kweku, child support think thumbs up, thumbs down.
Nancy: I have to say down.
Frank: You know I’m down. I’m going to ask our guest once she chimes in. Jeff?
Nancy: Forced child support on them. I think—
Frank: Forced child support gets a thumbs down.
Nancy: —that a child should be supported. Yes.
Frank: Nice, nice distinction.
Frank: Incredibly nice distinction.
Jeff: I don’t think it’s a yes or no answer. It’s definitely situational. I agree children should be supported, I think it should be a mutual responsibility of the parents and I’m from the school of don’t become a parent unless you’re ready, willing and able to make the sacrifices and undertake the responsibilities that COULD crop up.
Jeff: Yes, raising a child. It takes a system and a community but again, I understand why laws are in place because not everyone has those self-imposed disciplines.
Jeff: And so it is important for those to be in place and unfortunately sometimes the judge has to make the decisions.
Frank: So Jeff’s answer doesn’t really count because I did frame the conversation and said no gray. Thumbs up or down.
Jeff: For the record, down.
Jeff: Because it should be self-instilled.
Kweku: Yeah, exactly.
Frank: Ah alright, okay. I didn’t hear that in when she said. That’s—okay, okay.
Alright! In the next segment, today’s guest—
Jeff: Now you know why I’m not part of the show.
Kweku: It was great though.
Nancy: Brilliant, brilliant.
Frank: Today’s guest is of bankruptcy attorney turned financial coach. She believes that it is never too late to rescue your financial future. She also provides financial coaching for individuals and couples through her company, Miko’s Money Matters.
So, if you want to know what hit and spending is, how our early experiences with money affect us today, and how to forgive a financial betrayal, then stay tuned as your Frank Relationships team talks financial stability with Atty. Tamiko Overton Parks.
Welcome to the show, counsellor.
Tamiko: Thank you for having me. Greetings all.
Frank: Alright! My question that is becoming pretty standard to break the ice for everybody… First question, what advice can you give to a 25 year old couple that has a baby due in two months about financial responsibility?
Tamiko: Well, the first thing I would really want the couple to think about since they have a child now and it’s not just about the two of them, what financial legacy do you want to leave for your child?
Frank: What’s that?
Tamiko: Well, the financial legacy isn’t necessarily an inheritance. What’s more important is a perspective about money. Like a lot of people say—certain people that’s [unclear] will make a million dollars, they’ll lose a million dollars, they’ll make it again because they have that resilience.
Tamiko: They have that fortitude and they have that perspective that they’re a winner and they can manage their money properly to build. So when I think about a financial legacy and someone leaving that for their child, I think about basically they’re empowering their child with money management skills, a money management mindset that’s going to be productive and also one of the biggest things is for them to be able to instill in their child—like for me with my son, don’t worry about what everybody else has. What do success look like to you? Because you’ll go crazy comparing yourself to the Jones’ or the Smiths or the Rockefellers.
Frank: Does that mean you don’t allow him to buy Jordans—
Frank: —or he can buy Jordans if he wants Jordans but not his friend who has Jordans?
Tamiko: Right. If he feels that but my son jokes “Ma, you’re so cheap. You’re so frugal. Who takes coupons to the thrift store?” But I am.
Kweku: Damn. Double-double.
Tamiko: I call myself fabulously frugal—
Nancy: Do they take coupons at the thrift store?
Tamiko: They have—excuse me, they have like Starbucks, they have a royal—a loyalty, kind of a reward system and you stamp it and then if you get a certain amount of stamps, you get 30% off.
Nancy: Okay, cool.
Tamiko: But my son thinks it’s hilarious. However, he did become—he came onboard once the song came out… What’s the song?
Frank: I know you’re not asking me that.
Tamiko: Oh no, no, you know the song because it’s so popular. It’s—
Nancy: I got my money on my money?
Tamiko: I’m going to—I’m going to pull some tags, I got $20 in my pocket. It’s about a thrift store.
Kweku: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nancy: Oh come on, Colby Kweku. Sing the verse.
Kweku: I know exactly what it is… I forgot. I know this, it came out a couple years ago.
Nancy: Oh okay.
Tamiko: Right. So then it was okay to be at the thrift store.
Tamiko: Right. But again, back to the couple… That’s what I want people to instill, your own value set because we live in a society where you’re being inundated about what you should look like, what you should buy, what type of job you should have, what type of profession you should have… You want to instill our security in your child and that’s the financial legacy. That they feel comfortable in their own skin and make their own decisions, determined on your own personal needs.
Tamiko: Not based on the social mirror.
Tamiko: Because the social mirror will get you in trouble.
Nancy: All the time.
Frank: You mentioned the thrift store. I don’t want to take that road for a quick second. I’m going to tell everybody, tell the world that the jeans I have on right now, I bought at the thrift store.
Kweku: I got next on the thrift store, go ahead.
Tamiko: Okay, I would get up and spin but I’d be away from the mic. Everything I have on, thrift store except the boots.
Tamiko: Every day I go into work, they’re like “Oh it’s Miko, that’s fabulous.” And I’m thinking, my outfit costs less than $15.
Nancy: And the boots are Jimmy Choo.
Tamiko: No, the boots are not Jimmy Choo. No, the boots are on sale.
Tamiko: Just like I’ve said, I’m fabulously frugal.
Tamiko: So the boots are on sale and they’re not Jimmy Choo. They’re Via Spiga.
Tamiko: But I got it for like 60% off. So—
Nancy: Oh, okay.
Tamiko: I also shop off season.
Frank: Got the purple dat.
Tamiko: That’s right! They got the purple pad DSW.
Frank: Right. I don’t know what a Jimmy Choo is. That sound like—
Kweku: It’s not food.
Kweku: My mother took us to the thrift store, like we found good stuff in there and like—
Frank: Were you okay with it?
Kweku: That’s all I knew. But it was cool because my mother always kept the shop at daylight.
Frank: I knew you when you were a kid, you [unclear].
Kweku: Listen… Look, we didn’t have disposable income like you guys did.
Kweku: So we always go in and get a couple outfits and for some reason, come out with some type of toy or tennis ball that we stole. So it worked out for us.
Tamiko: He’s trying to say he didn’t have more floods and he didn’t have one right?
Kweku: We were good.
Tamiko: Right and no holes? That’s right. That’s what you’re trying to say. He was fly.
Kweku: And my daughter like going to the thrift store now. It was so wonderful for me… they sold outfits.
Frank: Yeah, and my wife is a perp—I mean, she goes to the thrift store ALL the time and she brings home so much stuff that—I mean, we don’t even have the space. Babe, you got to get rid of something if you’re going to bring all this—so you mentioned not just the thrift store but getting a deal at the thrift store.
Frank: That’s doubled.
Tamiko: Yes, that’s 30% off. That’s right.
Nancy: That’s deep.
Kweku: 30% off then nothing is wonderful.
Frank: Are they giving you money back?
Tamiko: And the thrift store I go to, they have a 7-day exchange policy. You can’t get a refund but you can exchange it and they have fitting rooms. What?
Tamiko: That’s right. And it actually—I bought a J Crew bathing suit from there, it was brand new. So even though certain things you would not want to buy because stores donate to thrift stores.
Frank: You have brand new stuff?
Nancy: Stores donate…
Kweku: I would donate this there. I was [unclear] this stuff nice.
Nancy: Tags still on it, I never wore it. my grandmother’s been donating to thrift stores all my life and yet, I didn’t actually shop for myself in the thrift store until this past—he’s crazy. This past spring. I went into a thrift store as a result of a conversation with a friend and said, let me go Nancy see what’s going on and I was flabbergasted to find what the ovely things that are in there. I purchased—I found… Oh my goodness, a bag to match a dress that I haven’t been able to wear because I haven’t been able to find the right thing and it was—I found a scarf that I get compliment after compliment on. So I was really—I really appreciated the experience and now would definitely do it again and I have friends who shop in thrift stores unapologetically.
Frank: Yeah, yeah. That’s my wife, and that’s clearly Miko.
Tamiko: That is me because one of the things also diversity of the clothing. I mean you go into express, you’re going to see certain clothes. If you go into—you know you have more of a—
Tamiko: —a variety of spectrum and Macy’s and things like that. but you go there, I mean also if you like vintage clothes, I mean they have a little it of everything. Things that may not be necessarily in style right now but it’s classic style. So you just have so many different fashion to choose from. They even have ethnic clothes in some areas and everything. I’ve gotten Halloween costumes, especially Halloween costumes.
Kweku: That’s true.
Tamiko: My son goes to like 4 different Halloween parties and of course he doesn’t want to be the same character each one.
Frank: I have that same issue.
Tamiko: So I buy like 4 different and it’s fine.
Tamiko: I just buy him a piece and see him sometimes for a dress up because boys do like to dress up. So sometimes he’s a ninja.
Nancy: That’s another show.
Frank: What’s your headline or your basic message to our listeners, about the thrift store, money and relationships?
Tamiko: Honesty and forgiveness.
Frank: Well that’s—
Tamiko: That is broad but I’m going to bring it in. So honesty is that spend what you have. Do not live above your means. Do not try to match the social mirror, do not try to look like your neighbour or your co-worker who can’t afford Jimmy Choos and maybe you can’t or if you get them, they’re going to be at the thrift store. Be comfortable in that, be comfortable in your own skin. Be comfortable in your—and I don’t mean be complacent. I mean be realistic with yourself because I want somebody to achieve more and to get more. But money… it’s just paper. We give it the purpose and we give it the life and we get the power how we choose to spend it.
Frank: We’re talking with bankruptcy attorney turned financial coach, Tamiko Overton Shine. She believes that it’s never too late to rescue your financial future and provide some financial coaching for individuals and couples through her company Miko’s Money Matters.
Miko, please tell our listeners how they can find you and your services.
Tamiko: Well I have a Facebook page so you can connect to me on there, “Miko’s Money Matters” and I also have a website mikosmoneymatters.com. I have a number, 202-695-2404.
Frank: Tell me about your services. What can someone who needs some financial coaching expect if they would’ve reached out to you?
Tamiko: Well I run the gamut in the sense, because I also do financial literacy and I’m bringing that into the schools now because this is needed very much. So one of the things I do is individuals, I can do one-on-one individuals, I do couples. That’s what other things we’re going to talk about today, creating financial intimacy, the pleasure principle. And I also deal with groups as far as it can be a power tee when we’re talking about money with ladies. I also deal with my husband comes in in this part talking money in the man cave. So he deals that aspect because sometimes—
Frank: So he’s good with money?
Tamiko: He’s better with money. One of the great things about doing this is that I pulled him in and he doesn’t notice but he’s going to listen and find out that one of the things—beauties are pulling him in with the business is that now he has really taken a hold of it and board in and will say to me, “Oh did you say this to your client?” or “You definitely need to instill that while we’re talking about money.
So it’s a bitter sweet because he keep—
Frank: Oh so he’s throwing it back at you?
Tamiko: Yes, he’s throwing it back at me and keeping me on my toes.
Nancy: That’s great.
Frank: The lessons we teach, we will receive.
Tamiko: Right. Absolutely, you got to be careful.
Frank: You mentioned financial intimacy, what is it?
Tamiko: Well, financial intimacy is when a couple—
Frank: Is not having sex on the bed, with money on the bed?
Frank: Okya, alright.
Tamiko: But if that does it for you…
Frank: Okay, just checking.
Jeff: It’s not paying for sex.
Nancy: No, no. It’s not paying for sex.
Frank: Yeah, yeah. Come on.
Kweku: I thought we’re like yes staying [unclear].
Frank: Alright, alright. Somebody get that mic from Jeff.
Tamiko: That was great.
Frank: Okay, Miko. What were you saying? You were saying something important and we just killed it.
Tamiko: No, it’s great because I really want a discussion on money to be like and to be fun and for us to even poke fun in ourselves.
Kweku: Yeah, because it’s stressful.
Tamiko: It is extremely stressful. So laughter, joy, poking at yourself, whatever it takes for you to get in to that conversation. Works for me so thank you, Jeff.
So financial intimacy is when a couple feels safe and secure enough in their relationship to discuss money, spending habits whether the good or bad without blame, without blaming each other and have a sincere, willingness to forgive each other and to work really hard to resolve any of their money choice differences, like how they view money differently.
Frank: Yeah, you got a story about money choice differences and a couple?
Frank: Alright, I’m listening.
Tamiko: Absolutely. I can go back to—my poor ex-husband [unclear] boyfriend…
Nancy: My poor ex-husband?
Tamiko: He won’t mind because I keep using him as an example—
Tamiko: —with their friends so he understands. One of the things that I would say is that, for me personally, the purpose I believe money was to defy stability because I grew up struggling. My mother’s a single parent, grew up struggling. I was actually polar opposites. And then there was my father—
Frank: Where’d you grow up?
Tamiko: I grew up in New York, Long Island, Roosevelt. So when my mother has issue about lights being on and bills weren’t paid on time and things were cut off. So whenever I see—I make sure my bill are tied because all I remember and that trigger for me is that… Okay, if I don’t pay this, this is going to be cut off. I don’t care about the grace period, that stuff is not important to me. I just want my lights on and I want to have hot water because I grew up a bit without having that.
Frank: So the stuff that, there are stuff that have happened to you as a child definitely has an imprint to you as an adult?
Tamiko: Absolutely. That’s the word—imprint. And I call them “early imprints” because it really does leave an imprint on your perspective, your financial and money perspective which you carry with you and a lot of times, you don’t even realize it does.
Frank: And you carry it with you into a relationship with someone else who has an imprint?
Tamiko: Absolutely. And some of their behaviors can trigger. They will trigger behaviors that you felt as a child that made you feel unhappy or insecure. You’re getting upset with them, you may not even know why. Because for me, when my ex-husband want to spend money on this, wants to spend—all I was thinking that, I can’t believe he wants to do this. I didn’t realize until later on deep down, he’s trying to take away my stability. He’s trying to take away my security.
So it wasn’t just about—oh he wants to buy this jacket, it was way bigger than that and this is not in a budget—because that’s what I use. I don’t say “I can’t afford something,” I say “It’s not in the budget.”
Tamiko: Because a lot of things we can afford to buy that we shouldn’t buy.
Tamiko: And we don’t need to buy.
Nancy: Yeah, yeah.
Kweku: Absolutely. You mentioned “comfortable in your skin.” The problem is, I am comfortable with stuff that I probably can’t afford. So it’s like—well, most people when you say like people are comfortable when they acquire these things that they probably shouldn’t have. I don’t have too many vices. I like shoes. So I won’t kill myself to get it but I have a lot of them. But the older you get, the more you sort of have to prioritize certain things. But when you mentioned “comfortable in your skin,” I thnk the problem is most of us are comfortable with things we’re really not supposed to have. That’s—so can you kind of like stress that out for me?
Tamiko: Well when I mean “comfortable in your skin” is—like you said, you like shoes right? So if the thrift had big and tall, you might get all your other stuff from the [unclear] your clothes, your jeans or whatever because your thing is shoes. So there may be some offset. You might buy some $3 pants or $2 shirts so you can go out and buy $100 shoes. What I mean about “comfortable in your skin” is just having a budget, having a financial plan on how much you want to spend.
Kweku: Okay, so “comfortable in your own skin” is a mentality?
Tamiko: It’s absolutely is a mentality and I mean comfortable in your skin” is—
Kweku: [Unclear] willing to be changed?
Tamiko: It may be. It’s just being really— if it is not working.
Kweku: Most people don’t know it’s not working.
Tamiko: Well, most people do.
Nancy: No, no, they notice that…
Tamiko: I was going to say most people do know it’s not working—
Tamiko: —and instead, we just have more of—some people have the [unclear] effect. Let’s stick my head in the sand and act like we’re not going to deal with it.
Nancy: Well their pain tolerance is a little high.
Kweku: That’s exactly—
Tamiko: Well avoidance.
Frank: Ongoing debt, ongoing debt. I’m sorry, what did you say? Ongoing debt could be a sign that it is not working. A credit card bill—
Nancy: Late credit cards.
Kweku: Yeah, absolutely. These are just—
Frank: If you don’t know it’s not working, you can just ask.
Jeff: We generally think that’s a normal thing though.
Tamiko: But that’s what I’m saying. That is not normal society that we live in the whole idea of overspending. That’s what we saw with the house crises and boring beyond your means. You know, I work with my clients—if you’re looking to buy a house, I tell my clients straight up that’s one of the thing I did in the past. I used to flip houses. I tell them straight up, I said, “Look, you know you may get a proof for $300,000 but that’s not your budget.”
Tamiko: You need to look at the $200,000 house.
Tamiko: And one of the major things that happened with me, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Lupus about 4 years ago. So I file bankruptcy myself. So what I tell my clients is that, ”Look, is there for a reason I believe in the law and I’ve—“ and clients have always felt shameful of talki—a lot of people are ashamed about the overdraft, ashamed about the credit card and so they don’t talk about it. a non-discussion, that creates [unclear]. They know they have the [unclear] they’re just keeping it hidden.
Tamiko: They know th problem is there.
Frank: What do—okay, you know you have the problem because you’re having these overdrafts, you got a credit card bill you cannot pay off and that maybe it’s even increasing… What do you do?
Tamiko: One of the things you do is you sit down and you write where you are. You have to figure out where you are at this hour where you’re going to go.
Frank: What’s that look like? I write down “I’m in debt.”?
Tamiko: Nope, that looks like getting all your information together. For instance, I owe Macy’s $250, so you’re going to put down every debt that you owe so that you can really look at it—
Frank: $250? That is—there are people who owe Macy’s $250,000.
Tamiko: I’m using small figures or I owe Sax for that $5,000.
Tamiko: Whatever it is, whatever your bills are because it runs the game. Because depending on your income, right? Depending your income and your income flow, $250 at Macy’s, $700 at Target and we’re talking about altogether cumulative. If you work and you have [unclear], that’s too much money for you.
Frank: That’s way [unclear].
Tamiko: It’s in perspective. So I’m talking about when I work with people, and again, Ihad coaching clients who make $5,000 a year. Did they have money left over? No.
Tamiko: So It’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you keep.
Frank: So the net versus gross matters?
Frank: And what is the net? What is net?
Tamiko: Net is everything—net is for—are we talking about your paycheck or what you bring in to the house?
Frank: Your net at the end of—
Nancy: End of the bill.
Tamiko: Okay. In banks, they usually call that “disposable income.”
Tamiko: So after you pay all your bills…
Kweku: I knew that was…
Tamiko: What you left over is disposable income like if you’re going to file a chapter seven bankruptcy, if you have too much disposable income left over, you can’t qualify for it. so, we’ll just call it disposable income and that’s what you have left.
Frank: What’s Chapter 7 and what’s Chapter—is it 13?
Frank: Alright. You grossed it?
Tamiko: Well I do bring it up because I do counsel some of my clients if that is an avenue for them then I say, the Lord’s there for a reason. Don’t be ashamed. I did it and I bounced back on a home in D.C., that’s double in value. I moved on. So it’s there for a reason.
Nancy: But it’s not as easy to do anymore, is it?
Tamiko: It’s not as—I wouldn’t say that’s true.
Tamiko: They did change the law but I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily nice. You can’t file as often. So you can’t be a serial filer. But most people who are serial filers and I’m really looking for resolution, just looking for a quick stop and—
Frank: [Unclear] go to that again.
Tamiko: Absolutely. And I do post bankruptcy financial coaching too because it’s a mind set.
Kweku: Do a lot of celebrities do that? The bankruptcy thing like—
Kweku: —I’m initially when Donald Trump did it I—
Tamiko: Oh he does it all the time with his business.
Kweku: He wasn’t broke.
Tamiko: Right and I think 50cent was talking about doing it. Right, right.
Kweku: 50cent, yeah he did do it…
Tamiko: And I know La Toya Jackson did because when I was clerking for the judge, she was right there. So that was one of his cases. When I was in law school, La toya Jackson was right there and I was interning and I said, “I can’t believe La Toya Jackson was here.”
Frank: You went up and got her autograph?
Tamiko: I did not. No, no, no.
Kweku: That would be worth nothing.
Frank: Tall him to sign one of his checks. Say I want them bad checks, let me have—
Tamiko: Well, my mother came near and [unclear].
Tamiko: And I can say that because the bank was still preceding. It’s a public record. Right.
Nancy: Distinguish planning from coaching.
Tamiko: Okay, I—typically financial plan is what they do as they tell you to buy this product, buy that product and tell you exactly where to put your money. I don’t do that. I’m more like a financial fitness. If you have specific goals or if you want to keep a budget or if you want to keep in line whatever goes, you come up where I am there to champing you on and keep you in line.
It’s kind of like you go to the gym which your personal coach and say “Okay, you’re not doing that. your form is off.”
Nancy: Got it, got it.
Tamiko: You need to do 10 more, I believe in you. Now come on, come on, come on you can do more. It’s that sort of thing.
Kweku: A way for the show to be always like a talk to you.
Tamiko: So with that is, I don’t have any products and I’m selling you.
Nancy: I see.
Tamiko: And I want everybody to be their own financial expert. You’re not just handing me your check and say, “Figure it out here, Miko. What to do with this?” No. We’re getting in here together, getting dirty, okay? And go in through the numbers and facing the ugly, figuring out okay how are we going to solve this? How are we going to go at this and however long it takes and m clients have to be [unclear]—I don’t know how many clients cry because it’s just so stressful. They cry and they feel hopeless and they feel overwhelmed… But I say how do you eat an elephant—and I’m not saying that because—
Nancy: One bite at a time.
Tamiko: One bite at a time.
Kweku: I’m out of tears. I can’t wait.
Nancy: He’s out of tears oh my goodness.
Frank: You mentioned bankruptcy but we didn’t really get into this. So what’s the difference between 7 and 13—chapter 13?
Tamiko: Chapter 7 is what they call a straight bankruptcy. What it does and that’s what I filed. I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy because I had no assets. What I did is it basically discharges the majority of debt.
Frank: What doesn’t it discharge?
Tamiko: Typically, it doesn’t discharge taxes, depending on the taxes. It doesn’t discharge student loans but it depends because when I was actually practicing as attorney, there was a physician who got into a very bad car accident and he could no longer—
Nancy: Practice medicine.
Tamiko: —practice medicine. So since he can no longer practice medicine, they allowed his to discharge his student loans.
Frank: They meaning the judge?
Tamiko: The bankruptcy court, excuse me. The bankruptcy court.
Kweku: Who just like half a million.
Tamiko: Which is the judge. Right. Absolutely.
Frank: Student loans can be ridiculously burdensome.
Frank: Hundreds of thousands of dollars and so many of us take those on and just figure—that’s just something we pay for the rest of our lives.
Frank: Especially if you refinance or what is it?
Frank: Consolidate. Yeah, because the term can start all over again.
Frank: It can be—wow. Okay, chapter 13.
Tamiko: Chapter 13 is similar what you see with a lot of companies, they do chapter 11’s is reorganization. So usually you have regular income and you have assets. Typically people who do a chapter 13 are people who have homes. Let’s say you’re behind on your mortgage and now you’re looking to—your behind, let’s say several months and then you filed bankruptcy? And as you filed bankruptcy, what it does, it allows you to put all the arrears into a plan. So you start paying those arrears at the same time you pay your regular payments but its spread out over 3 to 5 years.
Frank: And does life get easier for most people, simpler? Or do they find themselves back in the same situation?
Tamiko: I really think it depends on the person because I’ve had clients who basically depends on why they filed. And it depends on if they’ve had that—as Oprah says “an aha moment” and say “Okay, I have to do things differently out of epiphany.” So for one client I had, she had about—when you talk about debt, she had about $100,000 for just American Express. I was amazed. This is when I practiced the bankruptcy attorney. I was amazed I just kept giving her credit.
Kweku: Good god [unclear].
Tamiko: Right. Now but she had a home. The home was under water so she could file chapter 7 but she was current. So a lot of people believe that when you file chapter 7, you have to get rid of your home. Not necessarily it should, depends on the circumstance.
Her situation, this is in New York, she filed chapter 7 bankruptcy, she was able to keep her home, keep her condo but got rid of the $100,000 in debt. Her situation was she had worked two jobs. Her mother got sick, she was a care taker for her mother so she couldn’t work two jobs.
Nancy: Got it. Yeah, wow.
Kweku: I use your service is set up? Is it like you reach a goal and that’s it or you know… The contract is for a certain amount of time or certain like—whatever your solution is you come up with?
Tamiko: I would have to say I’m pretty flexible with that. sometimes I start what I call “jumpstart.” Like I’ve had clients who come to me referred from other clients where it’s like “Okay, I’ve got this inheritance. I have this $50,000, I don’t want it just blow it, how could I spend it?”
Tamiko: Everything else is fine in their life and we just focus on that so we might have a 90 minute coaching session just about how they’ll handle their inheritance.
Tamiko: Also, what I typically do with my—some clients I’ll do okay atleast a minimum, or we can do it until you have a specific goal.
Tamiko: I have one client right now where I’m just doing kind of monthly. We’re just going to go by the month because she have several things that she’s working on at one time. She needs to get a new car, she wants to—
Frank: New cars! Well—
Tamiko: What I mean, new to her because I’m not letting her…
Nancy: Oh okay. I was ready to say wow.
Tamiko: New to her and that’s where my husband’s experience come in because that’s what he does. He was a finance manager at a dealership.
Frank: He’s a shyster?
Nancy: Oh so he knows the scam?
Tamiko: No, no.
Kweku: Oh he’s the worse.
Tamiko; Right, he knows the deal.
Kweku: He’s horrible.
Nancy: He knows…
Tamiko: No, no and what he does one of the things he offers in the coaching is kind of car concierge where he’ll negotiate it, part of the—right. Because he knows the numbers, he knows what you can get from the bank, he knows it. So that’s the skill set that he brings in.
Tamiko: Extremely helpful.
Tamiko: So I was saying about this client, she also wants to get her credit score and to buy a home. So she has several things—
Nancy: To buy another home?
Tamiko: Well, no. This is a new client.
Nancy: Oh okay, okay.
Tamiko: Yeah. And this is a coaching client, the other one’s when I was practicing bankruptcy.
Nancy: I see.
Tamiko: So she wants to buy a home. So we’re doing month to month and we’re probably going to do atleast 6 months and see where we are then.
Kweku: Okay, cool.
Frank: Would you talk a bit about hidden spending? What is it? what does it say about that individual or how it might affect a couple?
Tamiko: Okay. Again, I’ll use a person who remain nameless. I don’t want any libel lawsuit or slander lawsuits. So for instance, you may have a couple who are together and one person kind of dominates the financial decisions. The other one may—let’s say for instance, let’s use Macy’s, they buy a coat from Macy’s. They don’t let the bill come to the house. They use the address of a relative. So that bill goes to the address of a relative and the coat goes to the address of the relative. However, that person’s not on top of things financially. So what happens is, they forget to pay the bill. So now they have a late fee or over the limit fee and several things. So that coat that they were sneaking to buy because they felt they had to have it costs three times more.
Tamiko: But on the other end of that, whenever you have a spouse or a partner who is hiding, spending, I always tell the person nobody usually wants to hear it, “Look at yourself. What part are you playing at?”
Frank: Not, not… You’re not talking to the person who made the purchase, you’re talking to their partner?
Tamiko: Talking to the—absolutely.
Nancy: Yes, yes.
Tamiko: Who might be angry, look at that because I know for a fact, in that relationship, the person who didn’t do the secretive shopping and hidden spending was very dominate and they did not want to hear if the other person want to buy anything—it’s just not, it’s not in the budget, I’m not interested. So the other person felt deprived and typically that’s what happens.
So when you were talking about before, Kweku—is it Kweku? Kweku, what you’re talking about before—
Kweku: You can ask me.
Tamiko: Not everyone know who we’re talking to.
Kweku: No, you got it.
Tamiko: What you were talking about before about being comfortable in your own skin, what I work with my clients I want to make sure you’re not feeling deprived. Because once you feel deprived, forget it. You’re going to just say “You know, this is not working. This is kind of like somebody—
Nancy: It’s just a form of infidelity.
Tamiko: Right. Oh, definitely.
Nancy: So now the form of infidelity.
Tamiko: Absolutely. Financial betrayal is a form of infidelity, and actually it’s more intense.
Nancy: Than sexual infidelity?
Tamiko: Absolutely and it’s harder for a couples to overcome.
Tamiko: Studies show… Yes, that money—arguments about money last longer and more intense—
Kweku: I believe that.
Tamiko: Okay, even more intense than sex. Arguments about sex, about children—
Nancy: Okay, okay.
Tamiko: —even about infidelity.
Frank: And so, what do you do?
Tamiko: So what you do is, you sit your partner down. First of all, like anything if you have a problem, the best way to come to somebody and say you have a problem is having a solution already. So if I go to my husband Barry and say okay, I did buy those Jimmy Choo shoes or the Prada bag or anything of that sort before I go to him, I might want to say or might have set up the solution. So I go to him, and you got to face it. You got to sit down and be honest when you’re putting your big girl panties or if you’re a man, you man up, put your chest out, and you sit your partner down, the conversation may go something like this… “Barry, can you sit down please? I need to talk to you about something. I’m not happy about the way that I acted. I need to be honest with you. I love you and I really want to change my behaviour with money. I hope you can forgive me because I want to do anything in my power to regain your trust.”
Nancy: But this is AFTER you bought the bag and the shoes.
Tamiko: Absolutely. And then you’re going to move forward. What’s going to happen is you’re going to move forward with your spouse to come up with a collective plan. Because a reason why the person is being secretive, is because they feel deprived or they’re feeling they can’t talk to you. They feel like their voice is not being hear.
Nancy: Got it.
Tamiko: And that might be something that has nothing to even do with you guys. It could be—your relationship—
Nancy: Their imprinting.
Tamiko: —their own imprinting from early childhood. Where they had an issue that their parents always shopped at a thrift store and made them feel less because kids may have made fun of them.
Frank: You mentioned its important for the partner to look at themselves if they’re angry with their partner’s spending habits. What conversation might I have if I find out—what conversation might I have with myself and even how would I even have that conversation with my wife if I found out that she was spending money on fur coats and whatever and a boat that we can’t afford—where do I start?
Tamiko: You sit down with them and you have a conversation and you say to them, “Look,”—let’s say in your situation, you have five children and you’re honest with her and I hate to say you pulled the child card and you say, “Look, what type of financial legacy are we trying to leave for our children? Where are our goals?” one of the main things people just think “Oh we’re married” or “We’re together, we’re in love.” No. Marriage, a committed relationship is like a partnership. You need to run it like a business, like a partnership.
To that stance for instance, if you run a business, you have meetings. So if you have regular meetings, there’s a time and place for everything. So you have a regular meeting every Tuesday, you sit down and maybe from 8 to 9, you discuss money. Because a lot of men feel like “Oh, she wants to talk about money all the time, she wants money…” What the other’s partner may feel that way. But if you have a specific time then everybody has the mindset we’re talking about money right now. So we have the mindset. It’s not just random I ran away out the door or when the kid is babies crying. So you’re focused on it.
Frank: We’re talking with bankruptcy attorney turned financial coach, Tamiko Overton Shine. She believes that it’s never too late—
Tamiko: I was like—where does “Shine” come from? I thought you used to say “I shine.”
Frank: Woah. Thank you. Tamiko Overton Parks.
Tamiko: I’m newly married.
Frank: Ah, okay. Alright.
Tamiko: That’s right.
Frank: She believes that it’s never too late to rescue your financial future and provides financial coaching for individuals and couples through her company Miko’s Money Matters. Miko, please tell our listeners how they can find you and your services once again.
Tamiko: You can reach me at mikosmoneymatters.com or email@example.com, 202-695-2404. One of the things I want to say real quick if I have time—
Frank: Hit it.
Tamiko: —is when we were talking about couples running it as a business, you need to have clear goals as a couple. Businesses have predictions and forecasts and then they look at it and review it every quarter, every month to see if you’re hitting target. Also, the other part, as you took your marriage vows or you took your commitment to become committed to this person, you need to make financial [unclear / covenance] with your partner.
Kweku: Financial covenance.
Tamiko: Absolutely. One of the things I said—my husband and I like I told you are newly married, my second marriage. We just made a year. We came up with a couple of our own and again, you want to do it together so that everybody has a voice and everybody can buy in and adhere to the new financial plan, right?
So one of the things that we came up with was we make all payments on time to the best of our ability. We will notify our spouse, our partner if the payment will be late because it happens and then lastly, one of the other ones we came up with which I think is most crucial, we understand that any debt that we incur is joint debt even if it’s only a one-person’s name.
Frank: Why is that an important distinction?
Tamiko: That is very important especially if you’re married because now you’re talking about the legal aspect because marriage is a contract.
Tamiko: You go sign a paper, you have a marriage license. It’s important because it’s hard to come up with a financial plan and goals together if one person is constantly spending… It’s a moving target.
Nancy: Do you work with people who you would consider to be fundamentally financially incompatible?
Tamiko: Yes I do. I do. What I mean by that is it’s not a bad thing if that’s what you—if you—it happens, right? So if you want to be married, it’s kind of like training day. Do you want to get—Denzel says, “Do you want to go home or you want to go to jail?” so it’s like you can be angry or bitter about what the person’s doing, do you want to be happily married or do you want to be right? Which one do you want?
So what happens is—I would have to say my husband and I are probably like that.
Nancy: You’re incompatible financially?
Tamiko: I don’t know if it’s totally incompatible but I think he—I move to be more flexible because I’m very tight with the dollar and I think he’s moved to be a bit more tighter with the dollar, more strain and more conservative with spending.
Nancy: Okay. So you’ve integrated one another’s?
Tamiko: I think we integrated.
Tamiko: And I think it’s important because what happens is—are you willing to do it? What are you willing to do? Because that really is the issue. You can be incompatible but what are you willing to do to get to get to the middle? That’s the most important thing.
Nancy: And I think that the other thing I’m hearing is that your perspective is grounded in two people who are committed to a particular type of partnership when a lot of marriages are quite frankly based on lifestyle.
Nancy: And so if I’m not married to you. I’m married to the lifestyle and if the lifestyle goes up I smoke, hola.
Tamiko: That’s very true and has to do with again, our early imprints. Because some people believe that the best way to use money is for financial status. Some people like myself feel the best way to use money is for stability. Like one of the things I’ve said, if I had a ton of money, I’ll be a philanthropist.
Tamiko: To help other people have the stability that I did not have as a child.
Nancy: Right. Got it.
Frank: We’re talking with bankruptcy attorney turned financial coach, Tamiko Overton Parks. She believes that it’s never too late to rescue your financial future and provide some financial coaching for individuals and couples through her company Miko’s Money Matters. Miko, last time please tell our listeners how they can find you and your services.
Tamiko: You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my Facebook page mikosmoneymatters.com or call me at 202-695-2404.
Frank: One of the things that we almost forgot to talk about was the education in the schools piece. You were saying that you teach financial literacy with children was it?
Frank: Okay, tell me about that.
Tamiko: That’s from K to 12 because most states, what I found is most states don’t even have a financial literacy requirement for graduation. If they do, it’s when in their high school. That’s too late. Because unfortunately, our parents—I’m not talking—most of us, our parents are not talking to us about money, we’re not talking to our children about money and the studies show.
Nancy: First of all, Miko, why would this state have a requirement to teach financial literacy in schools when America is built on—
Nancy: —a consumer-economy?
Nancy: The more that you know about money, the less you might be will to be out there consuming. So if it’s a 67%, 67% of the economy is based on quite frankly, people spending money period. And all the tax benefits go to the people that employ the people that spend the money.
Frank: What do you say? I mean partner—
Tamiko: No, I’m not surprised by it but I’m trying to have what I call a “money movement”—
Nancy: Yes. A revolution.
Tamiko: Absolutely. A money revolution where people are just more in-tuned with this and more conscious because really it’s conscious taking a step back and thinking about what you’re doing.
Tamiko: And that’s what I eman about being comfortable with your own skin. Realizing is this the best thing for me, is this the best thing for my family?
Tamiko: Because the thing about a new car is great. But the fact is as soon as you roll it off the life depreciated.
Kweku: I really like a year later it’s like it’s just a car.
Tamiko: Absolutely. When you start getting—
Nancy: [unclear] puts a ding in the hood at the side of it.
Kweku: Yeah, after the windser or whatever. That’s true.
Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed financial infidelity, bankruptcy and financial intimacy. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had learning about financial responsibility with Tamiko Overton Parks.
Tamiko: Who is shining. Yes. Bling bling.
Frank: As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that I hope you create a relation that’s as loving and accepting as possible.
Let us know what you think of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. If you’re listening via Blog Talk Radio, make sure you like us there and if via iTunes, make sure you subscribe so that you can receive each week’s show.
This is Frank love.
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