Last week’s episode of blackish was so very real. Black people don’t know money. We don't talk about money. We spend money very well though. Yes this is a mass generalization, but it’s real. We got the finance memo wayyyyyy late in the game and we are playing catch up. That is a fact!
When I speak to some of my white friends, they just seem to know what to do with their money; or they know someone who they trust who knows money really well. I almost fell out of my chair when a friend share with me a legal tactic her dad used to get rid of $125,000 in student loan debt. It’s no wonder the racial wealth gap is widening. We got the memo late and have yet to create sustainable generational wealth like our white counterparts. Then it made me think a bit deeper.
Growing up there was no discussion of money in my house. All I knew was “the Lord was gonna make a way.” If I had not grown up in the church, I would have assumed the Lord was a damn banker. That was my grandmother’s response to any request of need and/or want. I just knew that my family was not rich.
The older generation taught us what they knew – which for some was very little. I know my grandmother and mother wanted what was best for me, but the key to financial success has changed for us millennials. My two biggest regrets in life are buying a house and financing a master’s degree. All advice I took from the older generation. However looking back I think they were the dumbest financial moves I have made.
As an adult I feel like I struggle between being responsible and buying the things and experiences I want because on paper financially I am good. I wish I had done a better job of balancing the advice of my older family members and seeking out a better financial path. I know they wanted what was best for me, however the world we live in is completely different and we didn’t have to take the same safe path to be financially successful.
My grandmother was not worried about a 401K and building a retirement because she had a good pension. So her primary concern was keeping her family clothed, feed, and with shelter. She did that and she did it well. Whenever I had a want, she would always say, “Put your wants in one hand and shit in the other and see which one gets filled the fastest.” LOL!
But in today’s world some times it feels a bit overwhelming: save for retirement, create a stock portfolio, buy a house, create an emergency fund, pay student loans, and don’t swipe your credit card. Am I the only having a hard time trying to balance all your financial priorities? Have you found a system that works for you? Ok people talk to me about your money!