Black folks and money (or lack thereof)
You know what I hate? It’s when Black people who have somewhat of a handle on managing their money don’t pass on that information to other people. We here at Superspade are well aware of all the financial trials that Black people face on a regular. (Like when the only “good” groceries you get are the week after payday but you’re eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the week of payday) But rarely do you see discussions focused on the tools others have used to reach their financial goals. This is where you come in.
If you have made some moves financially, whether it was learning how to budget or buy stocks, or you want to know how others have done it, you need to make your presence known on this post. I’ll go first. I am a recent college graduate and I am currently working my first “real” job. As such, there are several things I learned that have really helped me out. For starters, I realized the difference between needs and wants. For example, I used to buy Reynold’s Wrap just because I saw it on TV. But did I really need name brand aluminum foil? Probably not, so I made the switch. And if you multiply this example many times over, you will get an idea of how I spend my money.
The other thing I learned was balancing a checkbook didn’t help me keep things in perspective. So I started a budget in Excel such that I have three columns for each pay period. The first column shows all the money I have coming in and the second column shows all the bills and expenses I have to pay. The third column is my cash flow that I use to keep track of everything I pay with cash. The advantage I found with this method is that by using addition and subtraction functions within Excel, bills never sneak up on me and I can quickly see where I can cut back and where I am spending too much. Now I still use my checkbook but using Excel helps me see the big picture.
I have also started to take out cash that is strictly used for groceries and gas. For example, on a typical week I may spend anywhere between $30 and $40 on gas so I take out $40 for gas and I keep track of gas spending in my Excel spreadsheet as well. The same thing goes for food. I make a point to shop once a week and I am one of those people who shop with a calculator, notebook, and pen. Because I know it’s hard for me to put something back after the cashier rang up my bill, even if I am over budget. So rather than cross my fingers, I already know how much I am getting before I get in line.
Right now, I am preparing to go to Law school in fall of 2007 but I don’t know how people make the financial transition from working full time to going to school full time. So for all my Superspades who have been there, help a brother out.
For all my shareholders out there, what books/websites were helpful in allowing you to get a handle on investing?
I want everyone reading this post to put a comment that shows something you learned to help you financially and something you would like to know. Because whether you are in high school, a college graduate, or a seasoned investor, we are all in this together and we learn as we go. And while you may think your financial woes will end if you made more money, they won’t unless you learn how to budget, save, and invest. Essentially, I am tired of Black folk getting all riled up over anything political, but get all quiet when someone asks us about our finances. Let’s step our game up because solutions have a weird way of canceling out sorrows.
Stay up fam,