Financial literacy is a phrase not well known of at all within the greater African American community. Balancing check books, how to use credit, and building wealth are topics many think are “for the white folks” or “for rich people”. The mentality that living “hand to foot” is normal has to change . Poverty is abnormal and not the way to live your life , but sadly for many because of their mentality and lack of exposure to financially independent adults they think it’s ok to live hand to mouth.
First let’s keep it real . You don’t need to be rich or wealthy to live a great life,travel, and have nice things but you do need to be able to budget and take control of your financial situation. Here are a few tips that have worked for me:
1. Home Ownership, if possible is the easiest way to build wealth. Your home’s value adds to your net worth.
2. Keeping your credit score decent is a must.You need to have good credit to gain access to perks like better interest rates.
3. Live below your means. This doesn’t mean live off the grid and hunt for food but it does mean buying a car below what you can afford and renting for less than you can afford to pay this will enable you to save money do more with your money
4. Start an emergency fund. You need six months of bill and rent money saved in case some shit goes down. This sounds like an impossibility, but it can be done with dedication.
5. Take full advantage of any perk or assistance your qualified for. Don’t let social stigma prevent you from utilizing any program that can help you until you can do better.
6. Learn to balance your bank book by hand. You need to know how to balance you ledger so you know for sure what you’ve spent and when.
7. Buy shit on sale. Sounds easy, but you can get designer goods and other luxury items at thrift stores,consignment shops, and places like Ross. and There is no need to do it big on fashion when your bank account doesn’t call for it.
8. Invest in a passport. You’d be surprised how travel can open doors and how many jobs offer better positions overseas.
9. Stay away from ashy men/woman they will bum off of you and stop you from saving.
10. Be happy. Life is a one time deal don’t do or buy anything that you don’t want to buy. It’s ok to say no and wait until YOU can or want to do something. Making decisions out of haste or desperation can really cause issues
Carina Desiree Brooks-King is a Licensed Esthetician ,Nail Technician, personal shopper ,mom,business owner,educator. Her hobbies include raising kids and chihuahuas ,travel ,drinking and fashion giving financial and business advice. You can see her adventures at carinabrooksking.com and she is the owner of : Carina Esthetics carinaesthetics.com Carina’s Fashion Closet carinasfashioncloset.com