Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tax Return Ballers

There is a species of people who are scarier than the vampires and werewolves from Twilight. I call them Tax Return Ballers. You have to be very cautious of tax return ballers because they are very deceiving! They camouflage themselves with the wealthy in the months of February through April, and then camouflage themselves with the poor throughout the rest of the year. If you have a decent sized tax return coming to you, I want to give you a few pointers before you treat your crew to Benihanas or hit up the closest outlet mall and ball out-of-control.

1. How much is in your savings??

Savings accounts are your reliable best friends. The best friend that you loan money to, and whenever you need that money back, they have it with interest! I'm going to make you a promise and I've always been told to never make a promise that I knew I couldn't keep. The promise is: NOTHING IS PROMISED! That's a promise that will stand true forever & ever.

Your job isn't promised!
Your car remaining functional isn't promised!
Your health isn't promised!
The tree behind your house standing tall and never falling on your roof isn't promised!

With these promises remaining true, it would be wise to have an emergency fund. Most investors suggest that you have 3 months of living expenses (food, bills, gas, etc.) in your emergency fund. Tax returns are a good time to get a head start on your emergency funds.

If you're savings account is looking decent, you can purchase a few c.d.s. I dont mean Glee's greatest hits. I mean Certificates of Deposits. You give the bank a certain amount of money and they hold it for a specific amount of time (6 months, 1  year, 5 years), and they give you that money back at a specific date (called the maturity date). C.D.'s offer higher interest rates than savings accounts, because you don't have as much access to the money you put in a C.D. as you would in a savings account.

You could also open an IRA, but we'll cross that bridge later on a future blog!

2. Vacations!!!

If you say, "Dreek, I'm already saving!" I would say "Where you going this year?" If you say "Savannah" or "North Georgia" I'm going to slap you in the mouth. The U.S.A. is a great country, but its sad how many people never leave their homes to visit the tons of attractions the country has to offer. This year, I decided to skip the international trips and focus on my homeland, so hopefully I will be going to New Orleans, D.C., Vegas, California, NYC, and Florida. If you work hard, I suggest that you play harder!!

3. Pay Down Debt

Do you have a car in the garage that just loses value every time you go for a ride? Pay the sucker off! That's one less bill every month which means more money to save! Pay a little toward your mortgage or student loan. Make sure you tell your loan holders that you want to apply this extra payment to your principal.

4. Home Improvements

Pay somebody or head to home depot and do some home improvement projects. If you've seen the world and your savings are bursting out of its seams, spend money on improving home base. Landscaping projects? Unfinished basements? Need fencing for your backyard? Want a pool?? I've already told you about my boy Brian at Summit Design & Build http://summitdesignandbuild.net  This guy is your one stop shop for all of your home improvement needs.

 Closing Statement:

The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to spend your tax return dollars on things that will be meaningful and long-lasting. Maybe you won't have a big tax return this year, but you would like one next year. Tell your HR person to change up your W4s. Lets say your married with 2 kids. If you just file Married with 0 deductions, your paycheck will be a little lighter but you'll get a big return next year. If you file single with 0 deductions, your paycheck will be a lot lighter, but your return will be greater! I look at it like a savings account! The Government in this case is the savings account, and you will get your money back next year in the form of a tax return. Plan with your families and spend wisely! & Oh yeah! Stay away from the Tax Return Ballers! & if you have the tendencies of a tax return baller.....CUT IT OUT!

Signing off,


Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One word comes to my mind when I think about Dr. Martin Luther King : Courage!

To not only look adversity in its face but to chop at its knees with peace and love until it toppled over takes courage like no other.

Growing up, I read, heard, watched documentaries, and did book reports on the civil rights era in the South. To have to drink from a different water fountain, to have to be refused service in a restaurant, to have to sit in the back of a bus all because of the color of your skin still baffles me, but it is what it was!

I remember arguing the point that MLK and Gandhi were fools because they turned the other cheek when they were striked by the oppressors. I sided with Malcolm X because of his approach : you strike me, I strike back.

As, I've gotten older and wiser, I realize that I was the fool all along. MLK's kind and caring spirit was a 100 times stronger and more effective than a punch, ammunition, or knives. Who knows where this country would be if it wasn't for MLK's leadership! I thank God for him!

My favorite quote from MLK is "We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now"
How simple but so true! Racism and prejudice still exists. People who believe that it doesnt, really irk me. If you know me, then you know race is 90% of my jokes. I came from a diverse city in Conyers, GA. While some people walked around racial relations like egg shells, I always embraced it and tried to make light of it. I am extremely proud of my black history and the roads that Dr. King and all of the civil right leaders paved for me.

Rest in Peace, Dr. King and thank you so much for your efforts!


Thursday, January 12, 2012



A new year is upon us. 2011 was a tremendous year because I stayed above ground the whole year (Get it?). As this being my first blog of the new year, I want to reflect on 2011, reveal some riveting revelations today, and resolute some resolutions for the new year (don't ask!)

2011, like I said, was a tremendous year. A bunch of firsts took place in 2011 for me. I went on my first cruise to the Western Caribbean

I purchased my 1st dog: Buddy Lee Giles

I started my 1st blog!!

I read my 1st novel in years! "The Hunger Games" trilogy thanks to Leah Peck (future author & current friend)

2011 brought forth some new faces!!!

Alain & Deanna had my Godson Tristan

Alex & John had Riley Rae

On the flipside, I lost someone who was near to my heart. Rest In Peace Carl Lowder aka Papa Lowder!


Today as I type in this blog, I cant help to have a sense of gratitude for everything the Lord has blessed me with. I have a great wife, and a supportive family. I have great friends that keep a smile on my face. I'm lucky to have a job, because I know plenty that are looking for work. I'm lucky to have a vehicle because I remember having to walk to work. Most things that I take for granted, are things that some people pray for! Going on that cruise last year was the first time that I've ever been out of the U.S. and to see the native islanders and how hard they worked and how little they received helped me to put things in perspective.


Which brings me into the new year. 2012. If you listen to the Mayans, this is the season finale. If this is the end, I wouldn't change a thing. I've lived a great life and hope the Lord shows mercy when I meet him. Since, I don't listen to the Mayans, I'm going to go through this year like I have the years before. I'm going to keep Jesus 1st, keep my family 2nd, and keep money 3rd.

I obviously still have to work on this obesity issue. I'm taking it one day at a time. More like one meal at a time. My wife is doing a great job at switching out unhealthy foods for healthier choices, so I thank her for that. My dog keeps me walking and running trying to keep up with him around the neighborhood. I still have my gym membership, that I vow to use more often!

2012, I want to travel the United States. So far, I've planned a trip to Vegas in July and NYC in October. Hopefully things will work out, so I can hook up with my long lost homey, Mike Smith (together we are the pep boys, because we always keep a spare)

To wrap the resolutions up, I want to install hardwood floors all around my house. Buddy has really taken a toll on the carpet in the living room, so without any assistance, I'm going to read up and teach myself how to install hardwood floors, which brings me into another resolution which is attain knowledge. I'm not the brightest star in the sky. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I'm not the nicest car on the lot. Knowledge is power and in 2012, I'm going to become more powerful.

God bless us all as we travel this road called life in 2012. I failed to mention that 2012 is my 10 year high school reunion. I thought I would've had my 1st million by now. Oh well!