True story. When I was 30 years old, all I wanted to be was a six-figure “Nicca.” I know the N-word bothers you, but “Que es lo que es!” (It is what it is!) And that’s exactly what I wanted to be. But nowadays, $100,000 ain’t enough to keep up with the “Joneses.”
Listen up if you’re 20 to 39 and think you’re a real “Henry” (high earnernot rich yet). Let me spit some real game. In 2022 you will have to get smarter. Frugalness is in vogue. It’s all the rage!
“Don’t break a dollar to spend a dime” is what mama always quoted as a caveat of caution; think before you part with your hard-earned money. She also warned, “Always look for a bargain and remember that a bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you can use.”
Unfortunately, we spend money on conveniences that we can’t afford. For example, bottled water costs a buck, more if you’re “fashionably bourgeoisie.” On the other hand, fresh drinking water runs in your pipes and most public places. There’s $50 – 75 dollars per month and some fluoride for your children’s dental health.
In the late ’60s in Big D, I recall how excited we were when UHF stations were added to our choices of channels 4, 5, 8, and 11. Today we have up to 400 options via cable, satellite, and video over the internet. We traded a free commodity for one that costs $200 per month. Most of us could slash half of that expense. Do you use even 10% of the channels you pay for?
Savvy shoppers realize that it’s not a hobby; it’s a skill. Don’t buy anything that’s not on sale and not at least 50% less than the original price. Those enticing signs read “BOGO” or “buy one get one half off,” only save 25%. “Buy two get one free” is 33% off and only qualifies as a bargain if you can use three.
Banks, credit unions, and credit card intermediaries make upwards of 30% of their profit these days on fees. So they took down those signs warning “hot” check writer they could be prosecuted. As a result, bankers these days are much more demure and much more dastardly.
Financial institutions provide overdraft protection on your checking and credit card accounts at an average of $25 per occurrence. So a day in jail may have been cheaper, and it may have taught you some patience.
Automatic bill pay shouldn’t preclude you from checking your monthly statements. Debit cards are convenient, but like credit cards, they make us spend more than we would part with if we shelled out cold hard cash.
What’s, do you pay for your cell service? Is your family on a plan designed to get the providers rich quickly? A Smartphone ain’t smart when you’re dumb and broke.
What about your bad habits? Cigarettes are $10 a pack or $300 per month. Coffee or “energy drinks” could cost $200 per month per household member. Booze at home is cheaper than at the bar. I know because the billboard says that a DWI costs $17,000!
We spend money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. We burn gas like we have stock in oil companies. We Supersize combo meals and eat ourselves into obesity, oblivion, and outpatient clinics.
After you tithe—lol– there’s laundry, groceries, tuition, medical bills, utilities, prescriptions, entertainment, toll roads, and the list goes on and on. Not to mention your manicured nails and feet and the maintenance on that head of hair you bought or were blessed to grow independently.
Times are hard, and inflation ain’t no joke. Even rich people tone it down during these kinds of economic swings. Sacrifice and think before every purchase. Wastefulness and spending sprees are no longer stylish.
Log what you spend each day and what you spend it on. Then, just like the original calorie counting system, you will come to understand what you can cut without losing what you need.
Think before you spend. Don’t break a dollar to spend a dime. Every bargain ain’t a bargain! You may not read it in the trendy magazines, but frugal is the latest fashion buzz!
Read this book by Reverend DeForest B. Soaries! #dfree #jointhemovement
Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.