Tag Archives: personal finance

A Mother Of Three, Two Fathers, A Boyfriend, And 20 Dollars: The Harsh Reminder Of African America’s Financial Existence


Poverty is the worst form of violence. – Mahatma Gandhi

 

Warning: This story contains images with offensive language.

If you have not heard by now, there is a text conversation (pictured below) that went viral among #BlackTwitter concerning a (assumed African American) mother of three who asked her boyfriend for twenty dollars so her three kids who were not his could go on a field trip since their fathers supposedly did not have it to give her and she did not have it herself. Needless to say people were appalled from every angle. Many men could not believe she was asking her boyfriend to pay for kids that were not his and many women could not believe the boyfriend would not give his girlfriend the money since it was in many opinions – JUST twenty dollars. The two fathers were largely spared much critique aside, but according to the mother neither had it to give her, which is what made her turn to the boyfriend in a last resort. That four (assumed) African American adults could not come up with twenty dollars seems almost unbelievable, but there is a reality that this may have been exactly the case.

The addage that men lie, women lie, but numbers do not maybe quite fitting here. One in four of all Americans have no money in savings according to a recent study by Bankrate.com. Although the study does not break out race, it is often seen in every statistical category about wealth and income that whatever cold America has, African America tends to have pneumonia. It is fair to say that the likely percentage of African America with no savings is possibly well over 50 percent, but the numbers and story does not end there. A few other economic statistics to note:

  • African American poverty is almost three times the size of the national rate at 22 percent versus 9 percent, respectively.
  • African Americans are still the only racial group making less than they did in 2000.
  • African American median income is $39,490, while America’s median income is $59,039 and Asian America’s median income is $81,431.
  • Average savings account balance for African Americans is $1,000 versus white America’s $7,140 and Hispanics $1,500.

Now, put that last statistic against the average rent in the U.S. as of 2016, which is $1,050 and in essence African Americans exist in a perpetual negative financial existence. That none of those four individuals potentially had twenty dollars to spare is the harsh reality of most African Americans, a situation that becomes even more acute among low-income and working class African Americans whose education and job choices may leave them in a constant state of uncertainty financially. This is to say nothing of the impact that the children’s potential deficit of exposure and beneficial experience the field trip would have provided them, a serious issue worthy of its own exploration when it comes to the development aspect of African American children.

For many of us, the number could change to 50, 100, or 200 dollars and we would find ourselves in a similarly uncomfortable conversation. It also speaks to the lack of support system around this mother and her children from her own family who may also be facing financial angst. There are a lot of layers to this story that much we can be for certain. We can certainly explore the systemic issues and lack of financial aptitude that face our community and the like, but what we should not be is quick to judge any of the individuals in this situation without truly understanding the full breath of our community’s reality.

 

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HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties


A completely revised and updated fourth edition of the New York Times bestseller, designed to guide younger adults through the world of personal finance.

More than ever before, people in their twenties and thirties need help getting their financial lives in order. And who could blame them?

These so-called millennials have come of age in the wake of the worst economic crisis in memory, and are now trying to get by in its aftermath. They owe record levels of student loan debt, face sky-high rents, and struggle to live on a budget in an uncertain economy.

It’s time for them to get a financial life.

For two decades, Beth Kobliner’s bestseller has been the financial bible for people in their twenties and thirties. With her down-to-earth style, she has taught them how to get out of debt, learn to save, and invest for their futures. In this completely revised and updated edition, Kobliner shares brand-new insights and concrete, actionable advice geared to help a new generation of readers form healthy financial habits that will last a lifetime. With fresh material that reflects the changing digital world, Get a Financial Life remains an essential tool for young people learning how to manage their money.

From tackling taxes to boosting credit scores, Get a Financial Life can show those just starting out how to decrease their debt, avoid common money mistakes, and navigate the world of personal finance in today’s ever-changing landscape.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated


TV analysts and money managers would have you believe your finances are enormously complicated, and if you don’t follow their guidance, you’ll end up in the poorhouse.

They’re wrong.

When University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack interviewed Helaine Olen, an award-winning financial journalist and the author of the bestselling Pound Foolish, he made an off­hand suggestion: everything you need to know about managing your money could fit on an index card. To prove his point, he grabbed a 4″ x 6″ card, scribbled down a list of rules, and posted a picture of the card online. The post went viral.

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HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – I Can’t Afford to Marry You


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At 19-years-old, Marilyn was one month away from marrying John, her Prince Charming. Imagine her surprise when one day, out of the blue, he asked to see her finances. After revealing this personal information, she was shocked to hear him exclaim, “I can’t afford to marry you!” This was followed by the news that the wedding was off. What Marilyn did next to save face, temporarily cost her to lose self-esteem, but put her on a path to financial righteousness. This book is a must read for all – women, men, couples, and young people-who want to minimize their mistakes, master their money and secure their financial future.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles


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Bestselling 5 Star Graduation Gift for both College and High School grads! Why do high schools and colleges require students to take courses in English, math and science, yet have absolutely no requirements for students to learn about personal money management? Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Lessons to Live By was initially developed by the author to pass on to his five children as they entered adulthood. As it developed, the author realized that personal money management skills were rarely taught in high schools, colleges and even in MBA programs. Unfortunately, books on the subject tend to be complicated, lengthy reads. The book includes eight important lessons focusing on 99 principles that will quickly and memorably enhance any individual’s money management acumen. Unlike many of the personal money management books out there, this book is a quick, easily digested read that focuses more on the qualitative side than the quantitative side of personal money management. The principles are not from a text book. Rather, they are practical principles learned by the author as he navigated through his financial life. Many are unorthodox in order to be memorable and provoke deeper thought by the reader. Not only an excellent graduation gift for high school and college students but also a great read for any adult! ALSO AVAILABLE IN SPANISH – “POR QUE NO ME ENSENARON ESTO EN LA ESCUELA?”