New Year’s Day 2016 came around just a little under three months ago, and with it, yours truly had, yet again, created a set of seemingly attainable goals for the subsequent 365 days in a feeble attempt to become a fully actualized adult.
Some of the list has been fairly simple to execute—for example, I’ve committed to putting more effort into my daily appearance, and so far there have been far fewer Mondays of me rolling into the office looking like the woman who lived in a shoe.
Other items went out the window as soon as I breathed them into existence—I swear a loaf of French bread and some hot wings appeared in my respective left and right hands as soon as I tried to commit to a carb-free lifestyle (speaking of which, I want my money back for purchasing The Secret; these repeated attempts to affirm my new diet are as effective as those waist shapers on Instagram).
Relatively superficial goals aside, one thing I really wanted to commit to for the upcoming year was increased financial solvency. While I was doing fine on a day-to-day basis, I wanted to be prepared for the moment the folks at my office collectively looked up and realized that they were tired of paying me semimonthly just so I could afford the data charges I was receiving for tracking Serge on my Instagram notifications.
Study after study shows that most Americans don’t have enough in savings to accommodate even relatively minor emergencies, and I didn’t want to be caught out here without a roof over my head just because the checks stopped coming for a month or two. Plus, a few relatively frivolous purchases—I definitely needed a new laptop, but I didn’t necessarily have to shell out for the MacBook Pro with all the bells and whistles—after my last raise left me with a bit more credit card debt than I care to have for an extended period of time. So I put my best adult foot forward and started trying to cut expenses and save more—starting by downloading the Mint app.
Y’all, I say this with all intended respect … f—k Mint.
Mint is truly that judging-ass auntie who doesn’t let you have any fun. You tell the damn thing that you want to put aside a couple hundred bucks every month, and it hates on every nonessential decision you make by sending petty emails.
You go out to happy hour one night and have a couple of cocktails because you are an adult who likes nice things, like bourbon on the rocks, and first thing in the morning, you get an email from Mint, player-hater supreme: “Girl, you bought damn near the whole bar last night. You OK, boo?” It was only four or five drinks! OK, maybe six or seven. Mint makes me feel worse about my alcohol consumption than the raggedy form I have to fill out on my drinking habits at the doctor’s office.
Other consistent questions I get the morning after:
“I thought you weren’t spending money on fast food anymore … was this 2 a.m. order at Popeyes from you or nah?”
“How did you spend almost $500 on restaurants this month when you still have damn near $15K of student loans to pay off?”
“All this debt and you think you deserve an appetizer, entree and dessert? That’s might interesting.”
I swear, if I wanted all this judgment at 7 in the morning, I would not have moved out of my mom’s house. At least then I’d be actively slashing the eternal albatross of paying monthly rent in New York City.
The austere overlords of Intuit (Mint’s parent company) don’t just send judgment on the Lord’s day, either. The second any major direct deposit hits my account, here comes hating-ass Mint: “I’m really happy for you. I’ll let you finish, but you got a car payment in three days, so don’t think you caking like that.” Damn, Mint, back at it again with the party pooping.
Almost anything that I consider to be a necessary expense stays being questioned by this godforsaken app. “Did you really need to spend $100 at Sephora the other day?” YES, Mint. YES I DID. For one, anyone who’s ever been to Sephora knows that I really only like four things. For two, please refer to the earlier resolution to stop looking like what the cat dragged in at the office. Unfortunately, I am not Beyoncé and I do not wake up flawless; I am a mascara, BB cream, bronzer and eyeliner away from juuuust hitting presentable.
Mint is basically the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag in application form, and I am tired. I feel more judged than the time I told people I had never seen the Diana Ross and Michael Jackson version of The Wiz.*
I thought that being an adult, living on my own, meant I only had to answer to myself, but nosy lames that calculate the algorithms are hell-bent on reducing my life into a downtrodden, meal-planning, sober existence. If this is what being fiscally responsible feels like for the indeterminate future, I want out. I’ll just marry rich or something.
* This has since been rectified, so you can put down the pitchforks.
Shamira Ibrahim is a 20-something New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her as she waxes poetic about chicken, Cam’ron and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at Very Smart Brothas.