Thank you, MediaTakeOut, for posting this.
Jason Kapono (and I hate that I don't know who this man is) needs to educate his peers. I don't drool when I watch MTV Cribs - I CRINGE.
This is an epidemic that affects many Black Americans. Athletes aren't the only ones that are guilty of this; their situations are just more evident.
I try to believe that our materialist ways are a part of our culture. I've even tried to grasp it as "That's just who we are as a culture." But I always come back to the same conclusion: We can be plain stupid when it comes to finances.
I hate to see guys with rims that cost thousands of dollars. I hate to see women with Coach and Dooney & Burke purses with children that do not have decent shoes on their feet. I know that a lot of these designer bags aren't authentic, but why would you want to give the ILLUSION that you paid $500 for a bag? To me, you just look STUPID.
Now I can be very judgemental when I see someone with a designer bag. Many times I base my opinions on who I THINK the person is. And that's just plain wrong. But many times I am right. Many times these people aren't in the situation where they can comfortably pay $500 for a bag.
Before you use a good percentage of your paycheck on a luxury, ask yourself these questions:
Do I have a retirement account? Am I contributing enough right now to retire comfortably? If not, am I working towards that?
What about a savings account? Do I have enough in my savings account to cover an emergency? Do I have enough in there to pay for my living expenses for a few months should I or my spouse lose a job?
Do I have good credit? If not, am I trying to build/rebuild it?
Do I own my home? If not, am I trying to become a homeowner?
Am I saving for my child's education? If not, am I working my way to that point?
I am 25 years old -- pretty young still. I have TWO retirement accounts. My husband and I own our home. (We don't have children, so I'm not yet saving for a child's education.)
But I'M NOT PERFECT. I have a savings account, but it is SO not where it should be. I invest in the stock market a little, but I have no idea what I'm doing! But, all the time, I'm working to better my financial situation.
I didn't grow up in a home where my parents were great with money. In fact, I'd say it's quite the opposite. I cringe when I see my mother's bank account. I cringed when she told me how much money she has saved for retirement. And my daddy works hard, but he's so broke.
I haven't used the excuse that "I've grown up where I wasn't taught how to handle finances." I've used my situation as MOTIVATION. I don't wan't to be struggling like my parents are.
So, yes, I've been all over the place with this post. I just wish that Black Americans take the time to better their financial situations. I remember when I was making $6.50/hour working at a hotel. Don't you know my little broke self went down to the bank and opened an IRA (Individual Retirement Account)? I only had $25 to spare, and could only contribute about $30 a month. Those folks down at the bank probably laughed their butts off at this little poor, black girl. But I was doing that to get in the habit of putting aside a part of my income, no matter how big or small, for my future.
PLEASE, MY FELLOW BLACK AMERICANS, EDUCATE YOURSELVES. IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU'RE MAKING $7/HOUR OR $7 MILLION DOLLARS/YEAR. MONEY DECISIONS WILL FOLLOW YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. MAKE GOOD ONES!