I will be the first to admit that I have had my fair share of splurging when I should have been saving. I got my first job when I was 17 and even though I was making minimum wage working four days a week, I thought I was balling. At the time, I was obsessed with Bebe and Juicy Couture, and that's what all of my paychecks went towards. Those were the days. Then of course, I thought it would be cool to get a couple credit cards, you know, just to buy a little something when my paychecks weren't fat enough. Fast forward to now, and I want to go back in time and pimp slap my 17-year-old self for being so frivolous with money.
Having said that, I've been really irked for the past week or so by seeing and hearing black women discuss their spending habits. I know black women aren't the only ones who go "tear up the mall," but I can't really speak for any other race or gender on this topic. Maybe it's just me, but for some reason chicks who are always crying about being "broke" are the same ones toting around Louis Vuitton bags and spending money to get ready for the club every weekend. Being the "baddest" chick in the room seems to have taken precedence over opening a savings account. "Stuntin' on hoes" is preferred over "stuntin'" on that past due rent.
I know a girl that has complained numerous times about the fact that she doesn't have A/C in her car (and anyone who has experienced the St. Louis humidity knows what a problem that is), yet she always comes to work with a fresh weave, false eyelashes, pedicure, etc. Yeah she looks cute, but I find it hard to respect someone who chooses the instant gratification of a new hairstyle over the long-term gratification of ensuring that that weave doesn't get "sweated out" because she's driving around in a hot-ass car. Another boasted about how her whole check was going to be spent at the mall, then told her sob story a few days later that she only had $13 to her name until the next paycheck. I can't wrap my mind around it. I know we all get excited over the idea of having money in our pockets, but once you hit your mid-20s, shouldn't there be some thought about planning for the future? How are you ever going to fix that raggedy car, or move out on your own, if you can't even put $20 aside each week when you get paid?
I probably sound like an old woman chastising these young'ns about how they spend their money, but it's actually sad to me. Finances seem to be one of the many issues that black women struggle with. Every time I look around, there are studies on how black women are the biggest consumers of clothing, makeup, and other luxury items, but the consumerism seems to be taking a hit on other financial areas of our lives, like debt and having little to no savings. As much as black people (and black women in particular) annoy me, I want to see us doing well, and having the ability to finance all the curve balls that life throws, is a part of doing well. When and if I have kids, they're going to have a savings account whether they like it or not.
I love shopping just as much as the next girl. Getting a pedicure is one of my favorite things to do, but until I get these bills under control, all that "balling" I did back in the day will have to wait.
P.S. I wanted to post a pic, but my computer is giving me issues and I'm sleepy as hell. I'll add one tomorrow.