Being Money Smart vs. Hood Rich
Posted 4/15/2013 11:33:00 AM

 

It’s tax time!

 

I see the fancy cars with the temp tags. The rims. The shopping sprees. You should treat yourself but what about when treating yourself is causing more harm than good in the long run? Money isn’t everything but it is an asset that at minimum is needed in moderation and can be used as a great resource for your, your family, the community and future generations.

 

The authors of “Happy Money” say what you make isn’t as important as how you use your money, citing research that shows once you get to 75k a year a bigger paycheck has no impact on happiness. The best way to enjoy your scrilla? Leisure….spending on experiences that create memories or changes your life makes you happier than on tangible things. Interesting. But some say, “Show me the money” beliving money alone will change their lives. There are two sides to having money. When you don’t have it, there can be a danger, but excess doesn’t always mean contentment or peace. Look at how many stars got the money and issues to go with it! Even the bible says, “First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.” Proverbs 30:8. However, even having enough to meet needs is a problem for a lot of people – disproportionately in black America.

 

The National Urban League released its annual State of Black America report on April 10. Overall the report shows minimal improvement in black America, particularly in education and employment.

  • More blacks are finishing high school. The completion gap has closed by 57 percentage points.

  • There are more than triple the number of Blacks enrolled in college compared to 1963.

  • Fewer blacks are living in poverty. This number declined by 23 points.

However, there is still a wealth gap between blacks and whites:

  • The Black-White income gap has only closed by 7 points. It is now at 60 percent.

  • The unemployment gap is still at 52 percent, which is only a 6 point decline.

  • No improvement has been made in the unemployment ratio. It is still two-to-one, as it was in 1963.

Though there was some improvement, the National Urban League will continue to push for policies that support job growth now and for the next generation—such as the Urban Jobs Act and the Project Ready STEM Act. That is a good thing. But we must take personal responsibility for creating our own level of wealth – small, moderate or large- in our personal lives to better impact our communities.

 

While I am no financial expert, I do believe education, community/personal entrepreneurship and good financial management are keys to help us combat poverty. Having a “hood rich” mentality – where it’s about cars, clothes and shoes versus creating methods of savings and growth stunt people’s lives - which impacts the community overall. I remember seeing a post where a girl I knew, living with her mama, struggling to get money for her babies but yet bought them several pairs of Jordans! I was in awe as she was proudly– posting pics next to her air mattress! That $400 could have been put in a savings fund or even a Missouri MOST plan to prepare for her kids college! She's not the first or last to being a victim of “hood rich”.

Signs of being hood rich includes: not investing in what matters; spending a lot on what appears to be “ballin’” by association; looking good head-to-toe but your actual living conditions are a health hazard; being more concerned about trends than having cash for tomorrow; using your tax return for rims when you know you have a debt to pay; focused on “gimme” versus looking at ways to make long lasting income through education and career….

Get the picture?

No, I am not judging anyone but it hurts me when I see reports that show our wealth as a people is decreasing. Perhaps to close the gap, use that tax return to pay for classes that may help you build job skills. Pay off a debt and start getting your credit score up. Maybe simply put it in a savings program for a rainy day. Be proactive about your cash. The future depends on it. Let’s break cycles of generational “hood richness” or poverty. We may not all be filthy rich, but we can reap results when we are smart with our money and focus on excelling in education.





 

Posted By: Julee Jonez  

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