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Editorial

QUIT PLAYIN: You Can’t Afford It!

“The Best thing you can do for the poor is not be one of them!”
– Rev. Ik

Condition Your Mind For MoneyThe July stats from the U.S. Commerce Department would be a warning if you got good sense. But, on the other hand, if you’re just “a little bit throwed off ” (hip-hop lingo), it probably rolled right past you.

“Personal income increased $47.0 billion, or 0.2 percent monthly, while consumer spending increased $23.7 billion, or 0.1 percent, in July. The increase in personal income primarily reflected an increase in compensation. The personal saving rate (that is, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income) was 5.0 percent in July, the same rate as in June.”

If you can, amid this inflationary period, 10% savings should be the bare minimum.

I don’t give a damn what Reverend Creflo (Gotcha) Dollar says. You can live comfortably if you tithe or give your God 10%, save 10%, and budget the other 80% wisely. The 80-10-10 life-style.

So here are a few tips on how to get there.

“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. Bottled water costs two bucks or more if you’re “fashionably bourgeoisie.”

There’s fresh drinking water running in your pipes and in most public places. There’s $50 -75 per month and some fluoride for your children’s dental health.

And these days, the residents of Jackson, MS and Detroit, MI, would die to have clean water.

Today we have up to 400 choices 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?

And by the way, FM radio is on its way out, so you too will start paying for streaming radio and music services. They don’t even sell cars with CD players standard anymore.

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 that 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 and credit unions make upwards of 30% of their profit on fees. The warning signs for “hot” check writers are gone. Bankers these days are much more demure and much more dastardly.

Financial institutions provide over-draft 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.

Check your monthly statements. Debit cards are convenient, but like credit cards, make money easier to part with than cold hard cash. Looking at your checking account balance daily will reveal how good or bad your spending habits are.

What about your bad habits? Cigarettes are $9 a pack or $300 per month. Coffee, soda and “energy drinks” could cost $200 per month per household member. Booze and drugs are expensive too.

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; 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 that you bought or were blessed to grow on your own.

Times are more complicated than you think. This is hardly the time for wastefulness and spending sprees. You need two journals, one for your prayers and the other for your pelf!

You are already 400 years behind everyone else. You can’t afford to let it get worse.

Reverend Ike was right!

Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.

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Written By

Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and award-winning columnist.

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