Black Women, Money Matters
I raised my children to appreciate the value of hard work. I told them that persistence and dedication in their chosen field would provide all the essentials they needed to maintain a sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their families.
Somewhere along the way, I forgot to teach them the value of money and the respect that they should have for the almighty dollar. I neglected to teach them that how you view money will either make your life better or keep you feeling bitter. Unfortunately, my adult children had to learn the value of money for themselves, by themselves, through trial and error.
Recently, I sat listening to a well known financial guru who was speaking before a live television audience. This expert on money matters related that 90% of women don’t know how to handle their own money; a mind boggling statistic for sure. It behooves every adult to know something about their money. Money is the currency that moves the economy, and yet, women, for the most part, are still hesitant when it comes to investing their hard earned cash.
How are you handling your finances? Are you just saving for the proverbial “rainy” days ahead or have you learned how to make your hard earned dollars work for you? It doesn’t matter if you have an IRA, E* trade stock market account or a 401k plan; you have to understand how money works to ensure the best return on your investment (ROI).
In doing research for this piece, I spoke to a single mom in her 30s, who held a part-time job, while going to school to complete a degree in Physical Therapy. Katy (not her real name) also has two teenage daughters that she provides for. I wanted to hear from Katy how she felt about money and what she wished she knew then that she knows now.
“Well, my mom and dad never taught me about the importance of money. I wish I’d known, growing up, what I know now. I think it would have made a big difference in how I manage my money.” Katy also told me that most all of her friends felt the way she did, as they seem to fall short when it comes to saving for their families’ future.
It’s true that in most Black households, parents tend to teach their children about “Stranger Danger” and “Say No to Drugs”, but we somehow overlook the importance of having the money talk. We fail to realize that our children are going to become adults, and therefore, need to know the ins and outs of good money management.
A Pew Research Study on a household’s median wealth, based its findings on governmental data that was made available in 2009, as it related to the people demographic most affected by the recession. The study indicates that African American women median wealth falls way below that of their white counterparts. It also noted that Black women contribute to the huge wealth divide, because we spend more and make less than white women. This, in my opinion, is problematic.
What will it take for Black women to get a handle on good money management? How are we to trim down their college and credit card debts, pay their rent/mortgage/household bills, and keep food and clothes on their children backs? Black women are witnessing a grave disadvantage, in nearly every aspect of their lives, including, being taken seriously in Corporate America and finding a decent job that supports their families.
We tend to work twice as hard as our white counterparts, but hardly get any of the credit for a job well done. We have to fight for fair wages and raises that unfair employers tend to somehow overlook. Is it any wonder then, that the Black woman could feel disenfranchised when it comes to how money is represented in our lives?
Deena Marie Carr, author of The Carr Guide to Personal Financial Wealth, advises us to examine our attitudes about money. According to Ms. Carr, if you love money so much that you can’t let it go, you will lose it. The author is saying we shouldn’t place our faith in money. We all view money differently, but what’s important to remember is that money in and of itself, is not the root of all evil; it’s how we use money in our lives that will determine our financial outcome.
Women of color who find themselves under financial duress must become proactive in taking advantage of resources that are readily available and oftentimes free. Consider online tutorials, universities offering 8-10 week introductory classes on money matters and financial experts speaking to an eager audience of home viewers through the television set.
Money management tips to consider:
- Save those loose dollar bills and annoying coins in one place– you’d be surprised how quickly it adds up!
- Live within your means.
- Spend money in a way that is not selfish, frivolous or sinful.
- Do not be intimidated by money.
- Change your mindset in how you view money and act accordingly.
More facts about money:
- 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
- More than half of Americans have more credit card debt than savings.
Talents and skills are true gifts that God has given to us. When you find yourself in a money crunch, don’t bemoan your fate. Use your talents to ensure your prosperity. Don’t be foolish with your money. Work hard; play gently. Invest wisely and seek out wise counsel to get you started on the road to good money management. Remember to pay it forward by sowing seeds of generosity and give thanks for the positive role money plays in your life…
Clara Freeman is a freelance writer, motivational author and lifestyle strategist. A former nurse who is certified in leadership and coaching, Clara parlayed a longtime nursing career into a business brand for a women empowerment platform. She recently collaborated with a fellow writer on The Essence of Romance, a relationship guide for today’s male/female relationships.
Her popular eBook, My Life Toward Authenticity-My Authentic Woman Story, is available on Amazon.
Learn more about Clara and her endeavors by connecting with her online:
Blog – http://wisewoman2.wordpress.com
Twitter – http://twitter.com/c50something
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/pub/clara-freema/21/528/0