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Monday, March 14, 2011

{Money Monday} Dave Ramsey is the smartest (money) man alive.

So, back in the day, I was a Process Server. For those of you unfamiliar with the legal system (thank your lucky stars), a Process Server delivers subpoenas and court summons to people who are being sued for myriad reasons. Most court summons are for civil suits; people who haven't paid a bill, are getting divorced, etc. Most Process Servers work a lot of nights and weekends since that's when most of Americans are at home.
Many of the nights that I spent delivering bad news, I searched the radio for quality programming and stumbled upon Dave Ramsey; a Christian financial expert who teaches how to build wealth and be debt free.
Listening to his show and all of the people who called in daily to tell Dave how they had used his program over the course of many months or several years to become debt free was inspiring.
I bought the book The Total Money Makeover and zipped through it. It was simple, practical and easy to follow. But it took a level of discipline that, up until that time, I hadn't achieved. Then came my quarter life crisis. On the verge of 30, I began to evaluate my life and the way I was living it. Things weren't going bad, just not the way I thought they would have gone by the time I was 30. The most noticeable of them was where I stood financially. I wasn't in debt per se, but I wasn't debt free. I didn't have any savings at all and had no concrete plan as to how I would start saving.
One of the things that I don't think we as Black people talk about enough is the importance of saving, college funds for our children and home ownership. It really does amaze me at how many people are completely happy being hood rich. Not familiar with the term hood rich? Let's allow the Big Tymers to enlighten us.

"Gator boots with the pimped out Gucci suits.
Ain't got no job, but I stay Sharp...
Can't pay my rent, cause all my money spent. 
But that's ok, cause I'm still fly...
Gotta a quarter tank of gas, in my new E-class
But that's alright, cause I'm gone ride...
Got everything, in my Mama name. 
But I'm hood rich...
Watching this video, and so many others like it, makes it clear to me why generation Z is predicted to be the first generation of Black folk to be less successful than their parents. We're being indoctrinated and propagandized into believing that it's more important to be fly than it is to be smart, educated or successful. How have we forgotten that education is the key to success?

Success for themselves and their descendants is paramount in every other culture except ours! How many times have you seen Black folk riding around on rims that are worth more than the vehicle they've put them on? Nine times out of ten, those same people don't even own a home. Our wealth is in our clothes, shoes, cars and HAIR!

I know I'm up on a soapbox but I can't help it. Somewhere along the way; we missed it, dropped it or left it behind. It's frightening to think where we are headed. Or is it just me?
I haven't always been the most financially astute. Truthfully, I was never taught how to budget or save for a rainy day. All I ever saw was bill shuffling, robbing Peter to pay Paul and living paycheck to paycheck. I've made a decision that I want to do something that I've never done so that I can get a different result. It's irresponsible to continue to pray for more money if I haven't displayed the ability to master and control what I've been given. 

Luke 16:10 says that He who is faithful with little shall be faithful with much. And if I'm going to train up (my) child in the way (s)he should go, I have to be the example of what I want her to be. 

For instance, (per Dave Ramsey's philosophy) I do not give my daughter an allowance (As far as I'm concerned, I allow her to live in my house. I allow her to eat my food. I allow her to breathe my air #Boondocks). My daughter, just like I do, works on commission. Every Saturday, she is given the charge of cleaning her room. If she does it successfully, she gets $5. Of that $5, She has to give $1 to God, $2 to savings, and she gets to spend the other $2. Even at 4 years old, she's getting the core concepts of what it means to earn money. 

I'm not anywhere close to finishing the Total Money Makeover but I'm well on my way. And the lessons I'm taking from what I'm learning I am passing on to my daughter. It's worth checking out because, please believe, anything is better than this flim flam these dudes are talking about. 
True that!
Big Tymers "Still Fly"

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