Black folks and financial illiteracy.

Yesterday, I was at the T Mobile store trying to exchange my malfunctioned phone when I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation some of the employees and people in the store were having. First of all, they all either had a Samsung 8 or an IPhone7 that they were discussing like it was some kind of world event, but their focus was the brand new IPhone X that’s about to drop. I couldn’t understand why a phone dominated the topic of conversation, when there’s so much going on in the world. I’m not privy to the salaries of T Mobile employees, but I’m almost certain they don’t earn a thousand a week at the location where I was. To make a phone that costs a thousand dollars a priority was beyond belief. I’m not saying that black people shouldn’t splurge every now and then, but being a consumer will force you to forever remain in the position of consumption.
Too often, we’re willing to stand in line for long hours to spend our own money on things that are worthless in monetary value. For some reason, it makes sense to some people to be the first to have something, as if waiting a week later to get it when it’s available to everybody might make a big difference. People stand in line to buy old ass Jordans that came out years ago, and re-released for Nike’s financial gains. People will stand in long lines for the IPhone X and other bullshit on a list that is too long to write about. Sometimes I wonder how it must feel for someone to live in an apartment that costs around $600.00, while carrying a phone that may cost up to a thousand? Even more baffling to me, are those women who carry thousand-dollar purses, while they can barely afford to put a hundred dollars in that purse. We are so backward financially, it’s unbelievable. I wonder if we’ll ever get long lines of volunteers to help clean up the hood, so that we don’t get mad when white people push us out, gentrify the hood, and clean it up for themselves?
Once people develop the mindset of a consumer and have grown accustomed to being a consumer, the only thing they’ll be able to do is consume. Most consumers hardly own anything of value. Consumers tend to purchase items that depreciate in value, such as cars, purses, shoes, clothing, gaudy jewelry, and expensive weaves. Guess what? Your suppliers bet on the fact that you are addicted to retail. They release brand new items every year, because as a consumer, your mind fools you into believing a phone that you might have purchased last year is played out, even though it is still functional. Black people’s financial illiteracy is also their downfall in society. We tend to spend more money than we earn, and we want to complain about our economic situation, and being of the mindset that nobody is looking out for us in capitalist society. Somebody’s looking out for you alright, that’s why you have so many payday loan companies, pawn shops, Rent-A-Centers, and every loan shark companies willing to make you pay 25% or more interest on everything you borrow in the hood. Predatory lending companies cannot exist without borrowers. Black folks are willing to pay 10 times the amount for a 60-inch screen television from Rent A Center, instead of paying cash for a 30-inch television they can afford. We would rather pay 25% interest on a loan for an old ass BMW or Mercedes Benz, instead of buying a brand new Hyundai that will last much longer. Furthermore, most black people don’t factor in the high maintenance cost of a BMW or a Benz, which essentially puts them at risk of repossession.
The system is able to manipulate some of us, because they have their behaviorists surveying our habits and bad behavior. They continue to feed those bad habits and behavior, which creates a cycle of poverty. Will we ever be bright-eyed enough to understand paying a thousand dollars at a club or lounge for a bottle of liquor that costs about $50-75.00 is stupid? I’m not sure that’s going to happen in my lifetime. We took financial illiteracy to the dumbest level when some dumb ass came up with the idea of “making it rain.” Some nincompoop who came into some new money was in his rented mansion and figured out throwing money away for no damn reason was a good idea. Now, we have dumb asses who rent single rooms in other people’s basement emulating that behavior. It just seems like some black people wake up everyday thinking about better ways to ensure the longevity of poverty cycle in the hood. Then again, maybe all these things are being suggested by those people who benefit from our poverty? Who knows?
Every year, I see and hear people make up new year’s financial resolution they don’t even bother following up with after January. I started my own saving group to see if I could motivate black people to save, but they all lost interest halfway through March. I gave up. I already know how to save, and I know how to make my money work for me, so it’s difficult to try to convince people to save money, something that is good for them. Oh, and the excuses! The question remains, will black folks ever smarten up enough to the point where they will stop living paycheck to paycheck, and start establishing legacies for their children? I’m tired of black kids dropping out of college after the first semester, because their parents didn’t think that far ahead in their future to save for their college tuition. I’m tired of seeing black kids with entrepreneurial dreams that can’t manifest, because their parents created no financial springboard for them. I’m tired of black kids being forced to take care of their parents financially, because the parents weren’t responsible enough to establish their own financial security. If I were to list all the things that I’m tired of seeing, this blog would be endless.
At the end of the day, we just need to do better!

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