Thoughts on generational wealth for our families
The African-American family is currently at one of the lowest points in recent history. Critics, media and community publicists all weigh-in trying to allocate blame to the cause of our societal and cultural demise. I agree that the liberated black woman movement has influenced a shift in how the family structure was traditionally built, but also recognize the desire for a woman to better herself should be seen as an asset and not a liability. After all it is not her fault that a number of black men have lost motivation to better themselves.
Despite the issues our black women possess today, you can often identify one of us (black men) as the source behind many of their troubles. Whether it’s abandonment by a father or mental/physical abuse in relationships…we are generally behind these unfortunate experiences, but I digress.
Let’s explore a couple questions that need to be asked regarding black men’s complacency and its associated financial impact.
1. Why are so many of us not finishing high school and opting to simply underachieve? It is not okay for this trend to continue, especially in a society that is demanding higher qualifications for some of the most basic employment opportunities. There is definitely a specific group of men that are better served pursuing alternative learning and skill development training (trade schools), but this should be the exception and not the norm. In health, we identify cancer as a disease that eats away at the various areas of a person’s body.
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It’s time to wisen up with your funds
I had the opportunity to hangout with a group of young professionals men after a recent speaking engagement. It was very interesting to hear their take on landing a job, dating and developing relationships. One of their dating perspectives actually mirrored a sentiment shared by some older men.
One young man expressed frustration about dating being a very expensive experience and wondered if anyone else actually had a similar perspective. Listening to this group of young men actually caused me to reflect on a conversation that took place at a cookout between some older men. With the economic uncertainty still prevalent, a number of men have had to endure layoffs and/or settle for employment making less money.
Despite having to deal with various professional adjustments, men still want the ability to go out on dates with women they have a desire in learning more about. However, dating can be very costly. A traditional date can range from $60-150 depending if you opt for a restaurant, movie, concert, etc. How can you date economically without needing a 2nd job?
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How much do you know about your romantic interest’s credit?
There have been a lot of discussions recently across different mediums about relationships, credit and what they mean in relation to one another. Despite the many comments shared by extremists on both ends of the spectrum, I’d like to offer another quick perspective on why it’s very important to review/assess the credit reports of someone you are entertaining as a lifemate.
Credit Reports Provide a Track Record – Just like a person’s high school transcript provides colleges with information about a student’s academic performance, credit reports provide historical information about a person’s financial responsibility. As a potential mate you are able to see what pattern of financial responsibility a person has maintained over the course of their recorded history. Have they grown from past challenges? Are they open to learning how to be more responsible financially? Were negative patterns due to a life event like illness, job loss or divorce? This is something that should realistically be discussed with someone you plan on merging your life with.
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By Augustine St. Claire
I was living in Los Angeles. Had a great job at 40 and was not putting one penny away in savings. I was spending money faster than I was making it, living the single life. I knew every bar and restaurant along Hollywood Boulevard, and bartenders and waitresses knew me by name.
Now I’m living a comfortable retirement. What turned me around?
Reality. I noticed my co-workers and friends moving on with their lives. While I was stuck in a small apartment, they were getting married, buying homes and establishing a life beyond the nightclub. I knew I had to get serious and start saving.
I tore up all of my 13 credit cards
At the time I owed over $30,000 in credit card bills and my interest was over 19% on each card. Each card had a limit of $10,000. I cut them all up and started using a debit card.
I got on a budget
I created a budget. I paid off several cards in two years and reduced my expenses and saved over $900 a month.
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