Let's talk financial freedom

Financial freedom is something that we should all be aiming for, unless you wanna be broke for the rest of your life.

Logically, you’d assume, “Who would want to live life broke, and struggling?’ yes I agree, but ya’ll actions show otherwise.

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This is our reality in the black community. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with buying and having nice things, BUT there is a time and place for it all. If you’re spending thousands of dollars per year on designer clothes, handbags etc and you don’t even have your own place to live, a car or any savings,

WHY ARE YOU BUYING THESE THINGS.

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The only reason you’re spending your last bit of money on these things you technically cannot afford is because you think it “increases” your social value. Yes, to folks that are broke and spend all their time on social media it might. But realistically, what are those likes doing for you right now? It’s not increasing your cash flow or net worth so it serves you no purpose other than feeding your ego temporarily.

That goes for buying the latest iPhones also, buying iWatches, earpods, ipads etc. You don’t need it you WANT IT. There’s a big difference, even a bigger difference when you can’t afford to buy it so you finance it…

I have the 7 and I’m not getting a new one until this one BREAKS, I’m not going to keep spending money on gadgets because it’s the latest trend. I’ll make use of what I have until further notice.

I care about what I wear etc, but I’m not jumping through hoops to buy designer brands then be left with nothing until my next check. There are a couple of designer pieces that I want but I’ll wait for it because it’s not URGENT. I don’t dress to impress others, as long as its matching with no holes etc I’m GOOD. I’ve continued to wear the only 2 pairs of sneakers I own for the last 2-3 years. Again, not urgent. What is though is my living arrangements.

I put myself in a luxury building because I PRIORITIZED what was necessary.

Let’s go over the necessities of life just for the sake of it…

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  1. You have a home

  2. You have food/water

  3. You have clean/ fitting clothes to wear

  4. Your bills are paid

  5. You have money to commute to work

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Supporting your alcohol/ drug habit, buying designer clothes, getting tattoos, going on trips etc ARE NOT OF A NECESSITY, SO IF YOU ENGAGE IN THESE THINGS, THEN ARE BROKE AFTER YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

I stopped putting my wants before my needs a while ago and what’s happening is, I’m paving the road for financial freedom. It’s hard to invest in your dreams when you’re broke right?

RIGHT.

So, what I did was, I took control of my bad habits so that I could get ahead of the game. I secured a bag that now enables me to save thousands per month even after the home is taken care of. The size of the bag is important, but not if you don’t know how to manage your funds properly. Cool, you went from making $2,000 a month to $5,000 a month, does that now mean you blow it all because it’s simply available?

NO.

It’s all tempting because you’ve been broke all your life, I know, but guess what?

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YOU’LL CONTINUE TO BE BROKE IF YOU DON’T GET A GRIP ON THE VALUE OF A DOLLAR.

Working in the finance industry taught me alot, into addition what I’ve already learned just by adulting.

Start focusing on these things now to have a healthy financial lifestyle.

CREDIT UTILIZATION-

So this is extremely important. Having high usage on your credit cards impacts your score negatively. It’s important to keep utilization below 30%. Sometimes the cards are used for a lack of cash that’s available, and that’s fine, but when the payment date comes up, make it your business to pay it off or most of it. Only take/ use what you know is reasonable for you to pay back. NEVER MAX OUT YOUR CARDS.

KEEP A MINIMUM OF 2 CARDS OPEN-

More cards more debt. Don’t take all the offers you are given. Take what provides you the most benefits. Cash back options, rewards, low APR% etc. Having more cards makes it harder to manage and be debt free in the future.

DOUBLE, IF NOT TRIPLE UP YOUR PAYMENTS WHEN YOU CAN-

Avoid your payments just going to the interest by doubling or paying 3x the minimum requirement. NEVER PAY JUST THE MINIMUM. Majority of the minimum payment goes to the interest rather than the principle.

PURCHASE A “BUDGET BOOK”-

I have one and it helps me manage my monthly expenses and anything that “pops up” so I know what to expect is coming out of my paycheck and what I can expect to save. Keeps things organized and keeps you focused.

CUT BACK ON EXPENSES-

Cut cable, and try Sling Tv, use Netflix, Hulu etc. Try using prepaid internet. I know Xfinity offers it at around $45.00 per month. If one month comes around where you can’t afford it for the time being it’s fine, because it’s pay as you go.” Same thing with Sling Tv. It’s prepaid live Tv. It works for people on a budget that need to do it on an “as needed basis.”

STOP SHOPPING AT LOCAL SUPERMARKETS-

Even though I live alone I still shop at BJ’s because it saves me money + time. I buy everything bulk, deodorant, tissue, paper towels, soap, meat, rice, pasta, etc. I purchased 25lbs of rice back in October and I’m still at 15 pounds! I went a FULL shopping and spent $200.00 That’s only $50.00 more than when I used to shop at walmart.

Use the local supermarkets for things you forgot or need quick.

BAD CREDIT, NO PROBLEM-

If you have bad credit, or NO credit and you realize that you can’t get lines of credit, loans etc apply for a secured mastercard. A secured mastercard is a credit card but it works differently than your traditional credit card. Go to your bank and inquire. How you obtain one is by providing them with a deposit, whatever you decided to give them is what your limit will be. Give them $500, your limit will be $500. Once the card matures, (mines matured in 2 years) you get the deposit back plus any interest that accrued on it. Then they move you onto a regular mastercard. This card is designed to help you build your credit so use it!

DO NOT MOVE INTO AN APARTMENT IF YOUR RENT IS NOT 3X OR MORE OF YOUR SALARY-

If you make $2,200 a month why are you signing a lease for $975?

(If you have no other MAJOR expenses fine.)

Let’s examine, $975 x 2= $1,950

As you can see this persons rent was multiplied by 2 and they only have $250 left over. Which means if you have other expenses like a car note, car insurance, gas or toll. Then still have to pay utilities like water, gas, electric etc then you are at your MAX. We still aren’t including food, if you have any kids, any other expenses like paying your phone bill, credit card bills, miscellaneous, I MEAN SHIT IS GETTING TIGHT.

Make 3X the rent or more period.

You wanna make room for some savings or everything goes to shit and you stay in debt and you stay BROKE.

SAVE FOR INVESTMENTS-

Don’t just save for the satisfaction of “saving” so you can see commas in your account.

SAVE WITH INTENTION.

Before saving, have the goal in mind of what your saving for. A home? A car? Pay off your debt? Open shop? Save your money so that it makes you more money.

Currently I’m saving for a vacation because i’m muhfuckn TIAD.

But i’m also saving and mapping out a blueprint for a few things. Like my brand, investment properties etc. I need my money to make me MORE MONEY, not just stay dormant in my account. INVEST, INVEST, INVEST!

BANK AND BUY YOUR CAR THROUGH A CREDIT UNION-

I wish I would have known this before….

Better service, more personalized options for your banking financial needs.

Credit unions typically offer better deals on loans etc. I initially signed my vehicle for 7-9% APR but I could have gotten it much lower with a credit union. Although, I was able to get my car payment lower as well as my APR% by just REFINANCING.

Refinancing is when you decrease your monthly payments by extending your auto loan. You can do the same when you purchase a home.

I was able to get my car loan from $409 to $359 then to $290 all in a 2 year span. It was affordable for the time being, but if i would have kept the high payments the car would be paid off by now.

Recap

The goal is simple. Spend less to get more. Always spend your money wisely. BE FRUGAL. Make sure when you spend your money your getting some kind of value out of the purchase. Will it last? How long will it last? Do you need it RIGHT NOW? How much money will you have after it? Does it add to your net worth? Does it make you MORE MONEY?