In response to the recent events that have taken place, I decided to do an unscheduled post. The unthinkable tragedies that have recently happened in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, LA and Dallas, TX have awakened the public to almost a mass frenzy. On Facebook and Instagram I see hashtags of Black Lives Matter, I see people walking the streets marching and protesting in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, but my question to you is… what else are we doing? As a full supporter of the Black Lives Matter Movement, I believe protests and hashtags have some potential impact, but there has to be more than just that. We have to take our power back…. And it begins with our money.
Problem #1: Black People Don't Manage Their Money.
I cannot say this for all black people but I can definitely say it for many. How do I know? The numbers are in the statistics, girlfriend! African Americans and Latinos use payday loan establishments more frequently than any other race. This is exactly why payday loan stores and pawn shops are highly concentrated in African American and Latino neighborhoods. Seriously! Do the experiment yourself. Drive through a predominantly black neighborhood and count how many payday loan and pawn shops you see. Then do the same with a predominantly white neighborhood and notice the difference. Why do these establishments set up shop here? Because they know the people will come. And why will the people come? Because they don’t manage their money! Do you see the pattern here?
Problem #2: Black People Don't Save.
Again, not all black people but a good majority do not even have a savings account. How do I know…. Let’s ask around! Do you have a savings account? Do your friends have savings accounts? And if so, how much is actually in that savings account? 3 to 6 months of monthly household expenses? Most likely not. According to Creditdonkey.com, nearly two-thirds of minority households do not have anything set aside for the future. So how can we financially back our communities or support our black-owned businesses if we can’t even save money for our own household needs? Put it on credit? See problem #3.
Problem #3: Black People Are Swimming in Debt.
According to Bankrate.com, African Americans have an average household debt of $18,000 (not including home mortgages and not including the individuals who received financial assistance from the government to go to college). However, this amount is a whopping 50% higher than the average household debt of the general population! Who do we blame for that… the man?! No. We are doing it to ourselves by buying white name brand clothing/accessory items… on credit. Or standing in line to get our kids or our partners the newest Jordan sneakers… on credit. Or spending hundreds of dollars on pampering ourselves (nails, makeup, hair weaves, or whatever your vice is)… on credit. Get my drift? Wake UP Black People! Not only to the fact that our lives are being taken at alarming rates, but also to the fact that we are hindering ourselves by not getting our finances in check NOW! If we are fighting for black lives… let’s change the quality of our black lives by living in financial freedom. The power of the dollar can help us fund and support our own causes, finance our own businesses, and give back to our own communities. Yes, Black Lives Do Matter... and Black Finances Matter Too. Let’s do better… starting right now! #blackfinancesmattertoo Until Next Time, Elle