lundi, septembre 18, 2006

Money Management 101

"A lot of people just don’t grow up...I mean, 65-year-old men. They just don’t grow up. They don’t understand that money does not grow on a tree and that you’ve got to respect every dollar. Like Rip Van Winkle — the guy who slept — they party, party, party, then they wake up. ‘Oh my God!’ And they do something desperate trying to recapture what they had. And it doesn’t work like that. You must stay awake.”
--- George Foreman

Credit Ratings, investment porfolios, credit cards, 401(k)s --- all of the aforementioned are especially important when solidifying a present and future life without the stresses that "broke-ness", horrid credit, and debt can bring. I for one have been consistently trying to be a better manager of my own money. I've read all the literature from David Bach to Jean Chatsky to Suze Orman. I've taken all the classes and talked to my parents who are quite financially astute. I've requested a copy of my credit report from all three of the primary credit bureaus, found mistakes and am currently in the process of correcting them (*Did you know that 79% of credit reports have at least one mistake -- CHECK YOURS OUT NOW*). Next month, I am happy to say that I will be officially out of my "small debt" -- credit cards and gym meberships. So now I only have the monstrous student loans to tackle. I want to get this money management thing down before I reach my thirties. I recognize that this is the time not only to make mistakes but figure out how to correct them and keep them from happening again because I know that one day I will be wealthy :) and want to adequately manage my funds so that I can not only be comfortable but establish generational wealth like my parents.

With that being said, yesterday the New York Times posted an article called "Why the Rich Go Broke". Do any of you remember when George Foreman went back to boxing in the mid 90s and at 45 defeated his 26 year old opponent? Well, that was largely because the millions that Foreman had made in the 70s and 80s was largely gone and he was dangerously close to filing bankruptcy and being homeless. He made a comeback with his win against Michael Moorer and his extremely lucrative but friendly entrepreneurial gimmick "The George Foreman Grill" (I know, I have one too). This begs me to ask the question, how do the rich, who have all the resources to stay wealthy, suddenly become not only broke, but stuck in the quagmire of monstrously oppressive debt (I'm talking millions of doallars in debt -- can you imagine). The stories of celebrities such as MC Hammer, Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson, and Toni Braxton come to mind (imagine having to give up your Grammies). But don't be fooled into thinking that financially irresponsible behavior is just a Black thing. Notables such as Thomas Jefferson, Jack Abramhoff, Mark Twain, Debbie Reynolds, Dorothy Hamill, and Ulysses S. Grant, not to mention the host of lottery winners that have met the same fate.

Is it simply lack of restraint for the material things in life? Or would it be a series of horrible business deals and/or investments? Or could it be a series of slippery, slimy, greedy family members, managers, personal assistants, and/or a number of other unscrupulous people that you let inside of your intimate circle? I think its a combination of all of the above. (I heard that Oprah informs everyone that if they are writing a check of over $20, they need her approval). Perhaps "Money Management" should be taught in the school system. Should it be a required class that individuals should have to take as part of their college core curriculum? The time to at least acquire financial knowledge is now as, as George Foreman stated above, its imperative to diavow the Rip van Winkle approach. You never know what's in store for you in this life so I say be prepared and make haste!

lapidary -- adjective:1. Of or pertaining to the art of cutting stones or engraving on them.2. Engraved in stone.3. Of or pertaining to the refined or terse style associated with inscriptions on monumental stone. noun 1. One who cuts, polishes, and engraves precious stones.2. A dealer in precious stones.

"The struggles waged by nations are weak only when they lack support in the hearts of their women" --- Jose Marti



Blogger Terrence said...

Great piece. One of my favorite financial people is Michelle Singletary of $ingletary $ays on TV One. Although she comes off like a miser sometimes, she does give good financial and common sense advice.

Also, Foreman lives here in Houston on Lake Houston - in a fairly nice part of Houston. And for years I've heard murmurs about his frivolous spending on cars, etc. I am glad he bounced back.

I have gotten rid of unnecessary credit cards, and the one's I have(3) I rarely use. It's hard to get rid of credit cards completely. I get rid of them then get them back.

I think money management being taught in schools would be excellent; so by the time college rolls around credit card and student loan companies would have fewer students to manipulate.

Money management is sooo important. I think it needs to be stressed in the African-American more and more, and that is why I am happy for shows like Singletary Says.

12:36:00 AM  

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