Everybody Wins When the Family Succeeds Financially


Everybody Wins When the Family Succeeds Financially

By Briana Elmore

As Black Twenty Somethins, financial freedom can often times be just a term rather than a reality. We are hard wired to thinking that we have to live in a constant state of grind/ hustle mode to make it work financially. Our society supports this mindset of working your entire life to live from paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. However, our generation is working constantly to combat those sentiments, thus, urging us to live better and more fulfilled lifestyles.

At a young age, my family taught me that it is important to have multiple streams of income in order to not feel like I have to struggle financially. They also stressed the importance of having financial stability on my own without the help of others. Since we know faith without works is dead, these seeds of knowing the importance of financial literacy have stayed with me as I have grown in my knowledge of finance.

Although my family worked hard to teach me the proper way to embrace money management, they also showed me things to avoid with money management. I have been fortunate to be raised in a household that my parents had elements of transparency in their struggles and triumphs as functioning Black adults in America. They made sure to instill within me a sense of urgency to not only learn from their mistakes pertaining to finance, but also secure myself in my finances from a young age. As a financially functioning Twenty Somethin, those mistakes have empowered me in times that I have found myself financially disadvantaged. I knew that the struggles I was facing were neither uncommon nor unconquerable. I have also gained the hunger to always seek knowledge to assist me in financial growth.

 My family has instilled in me dos and don’ts that I have always carried with me in my life and financial education. The most financially relevant lessons that I have learned from my family are as follows:

Financial Don’ts

Do not over extend your funds.

It is important to not spend more money than you have coming into your account(s). It is best that you have an accurate understanding of your incoming funds so that you will not spend your money on non-essential or expensive items. For example, if you are eating at Panera on a Top Ramen budget, you should reevaluate your spending habits. Proper tracking and understanding of funds will assist you in governing your funds properly to stay within your budget.

Do not spend frivolously.

Healthy spending habits should be centered on thoughtful interaction as a responsible consumer. If you decrease your amount of spending occurrences, your spending will become less frivolous. For example, when spending, it is important to consider the need for or the availability of the unassigned money in your budget while you incur your expenses.

Do not be afraid to make/ continually shame yourself for your financial mistakes.

If you find yourself in the midst of a financial mishap, it is important to know that your situation can always turn around for the better. You must be open to learn more about your situation and seek professional counsel on how to correct the financial issues experienced. When you find yourself in the midst of the financial disarray, rest assured that you can and will come out of the situation wiser and better financially.

Financial Dos

Change your financial mindset.

The way that you think about your finances plays a major role in the habits that you engage in financially.  If you have a struggle mentality, you will give yourself space to always feel like you are at a financial disadvantage in your life. However, if you embrace your financial space and adopt an optimistic outlook on your finances and your abilities to navigate to your financial aspirations.

Adjust your expenses to accommodate better living conditions.

It is a good practice to always be open to adjusting your budget and expenses to accommodate your standard of living as well as changes in income. Your income may require you to cut back on some expenses or the consumption of expenses to make your budget as functional as possible. For example, you may like brand name things but your budget may only allot for you to get the necessities that are offered in a store brand. These items get the job done for a cheaper price.

Invest your money.

It is important to make your money work for you. Investments can take many different forms. Have fun with the investments that you enter into. It can often be better to put your money into things that peak your interest or are deeply concerned about. Your investments can be beneficial to your community, family, and friends.

These dos and don’ts have served me well in my life’s financial endeavors and education. I have learned a great deal from my family about finances and those lessons have fueled me to seek more financial enlightenment to share with others. Finances can be tough to navigate, but the proper perspective and education can take you very far in your financial journeys.