I think it was Wu-Tang that said “Cash rules everything around me” and along with the other real ish they gave us – This remains TRUE as EVER. Its been said often and loudly, and I’m going to repeat it: We as African-Americans and Individuals that live within a capitalistic system need to learn to control our money or we will forever be an underclass – and not because of prejudice or unfair hiring practices [although they play a part] – but because we don’t take control of the money that we do have.
I’ve always been fascinated by the role that money plays in our lives. America is a consumer-crazed culture, with the balance between spending and saving tipped heavily in favor of spending. This trend is even more pronounced in the African-American community. In Black popular culture money is usually portrayed as a commodity to be spent as the mood hits you. For black men – the messages we get about money are as backward as they are unhelpful. We’re told to spend our money on cars, clothes, shoes, and [depending on if you believe the “It aint tricking if you got it” phase in Hip-Hop] on women.
This is not what’s up.
So..Because my aunt sat me down at a young age and asked me if I wanted to be a consumer or a producer. Because I detest the feeling of not having enough. Because I know that with “no money there is no mission”. Because dreams can be slowly strangled because of mismanagement of funds – I’m always searching for easy ways to teach my family/friends/loved ones ways to keep the money they have safe and to help them understand that if they’re not planning for the future then its going to be planned for them – and that the future’s usual plan is to have yo a$$ working at Wal-mart at 66.
Again, Not a good look.
In an effort to make sure that nobody I love is found at Wal-mart with a blue vest on when they get to their golden years: Here’s a list of sites that I use that I think are helpful and make keeping track of your money easy and kinda cool.
WWW.MINT.COM – This site is one of my favorites and one that I recently discovered – @ Mint.com they can connect and route all your financial accounts to one place to give you a bird’s eye view of your current financial status. They have plenty of user-friendly tools that help make making a budget a breeze, as well as directing you to offers that can help you make the most of your money. If you only pick one site to use – I would HIGHLY encourage you use this one.
WWW.ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM – This site does just what it says it does – it allows you to get a Free Annual Credit report from all your lenders. For some of us this can be painful but strong medicine is the first step in getting better [if your credit is sick]. All you do is follow the steps and provide the information needed and they’ll shoot you your credit report. Cool and definitely needed.
WWW.CREDITKARMA.COM – I like this site for a couple reasons as well – as you know (or should) you can get annual credit reports every year. [In Georgia you can get more than one/year] – but these sites often dont let you get an actual credit score..enter credit karma – this site uses estimators that mirror the equations the big 3 credit companies use to give you a ballpark figure of what your actual CREDIT SCORE is ..They also have different offers for you to take advantage of – of which i usually dont. Definitely a useful site.
These sites are a nice starting point. I look forward to getting some feedback about sites you find helpful!
Fly or Fall.