Attention Women: Understand Why You Are Still Broke

By Robert Stitt

You work harder, you work longer, you try to save, you’ve tried to watch what you spend, but you are still broke. Across the board, black women have been increasing their educational levels, they have more resources, and are earning higher salaries than ever before. What’s going on?

While each person has specific challenges in their life, there are a number of common reasons you are likely still struggling with your finances.

Boundaries. The most common reason for ending up short at the end of the month is a lack of firm financial boundaries. We’re not just talking about the extra clothes and nail appointments. It’s also co-signing for loans and giving into friends whose consistent leeching drains your resources. You need to make specific policies about what clothes you buy and when, how often you can afford to visit the salon, and learn to simply say “no” to those who want your money.

Values. Many black women do not spend their money on what they believe in. You have passions, loves, desires, but that is not where your money is going. You buy what you see your friends buying or what the media has convinced you that you want. By the time you get around to what you are really fanatical about, all the money has been spent on clothes, entertainment, homes, dining, etc.

Before you spend another cent, take the time to ask yourself what you really want and then see how much of your money is currently spent on those passions. If you find that you simply want a large closet full of designer clothes and that is where you are spending your money, congratulations. However, if you realize that you would be just as happy in Walmart jeans as Armani then you just saved yourself a ton of money that you can put toward your true desires.

The two most common places money is “wasted” is on accommodations and transportation. Are you footing a large mortgage or rent note to keep up appearances when you really don’t care that much about it? Are you driving a car that is beyond what you really need? Better to find accommodations and a vehicle that fits you and spend the money on your true goal: savings, traveling the world, etc.

Emotions. According to the Huffington Post, many black women shop when they are bored, happy, lonely…in other words, shopping has become a sort of therapy. When emotions are high, you shop. Instead of shopping, find an alternative therapy source that doesn’t cost anything. Try dancing in front of the mirror, having a friend over, or treating yourself to a hot bath.

You may have noticed that all of these solutions have to do with empowerment. By taking control of your spending, you not only free yourself from debt, but you bring back the things that truly bring you joy. Happiness and money… now that is something worth your time.

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