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In debt? 6 Ways to Trim the Fat from Your Budget

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As the financial crisis takes its toll. More and more Black families are feeling the financial squeez. A little over half of Black families have credit card debt that they don’t pay on time.  Time to reasses the finances to pull your family out of debt.

It seems like right now it doesn’t matter if you are making $40,000 a year or $80,000, everybody is living paycheck to paycheck.  This may have come as a shock to white middle class America when the recession hit, but this has been an aspect of Black family lives that was never just secluded to those just above the poverty line and below.  By the way the poverty line begins at $30,000.  And let’s face it; black people are big on spending but not necessarily on saving!  In 2008 alone, our spending power exceeded $920 billion, while our average net wealth was a merely $15,500. 

  • One of every three African-American families is at risk of falling out of the middle class due to job loss, overspending, unexpected financial crises or other issues.
  • Over 90 percent of African-American families earning between $10,000 and $24,999 had credit card debt.
  • 26 percent of Americans said that they do not pay all of their bills on time. Among African-Americans, this number is 51 percent.
  • African Americans lead in every negative economic indicator – including unemployment figures, foreclosure rates, income, debt and other categories

On Thursday at 8 PM CNN will be airing a documentary “Almighty Debt” following a student and two black families struggling to get a hold of their debt and push forward through the recession.

Although the media doesn’t paint us as the most financially savvy people, black women have been holding their families down with a lot less for centuries.  But know it is time to make sure that our families are not just surviving but thriving.  And if you’re not on the brink of financial ruin, it is still pertinent to always reassess your finances, especially in these fiscally hard times.  And if you are one of the many who just can’t seem to make it out of the rough times use these simple tips and seriously think about consulting a financial advisor.

  1. Make a concise list of income expenditures (The Cash Flow Analysis)
  2. Write down all fixed bills: mortgage, insurance, student loans, car note
  3. Pull out old receipts and bank statements and items other places your money is going (entertainment, restaurants, coffee)
  4. Then write down how much you earn every month
  5. If the amount you spend exceeds what you make… Girl, it’s time to scale some things back.  Don’t beat yourself up; realistically look at what you can do without for a while.
  6. Pay yourself first! This will free up money you didn’t realize you had that you can now begin to reinvest in your future stability while you get a handle on your bills.

If you are an expecting mom looking to baby proof your budget check out chapter 12 of the Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy; “Mocha Money:  The Nine Month Guide to Fabulous Finances”

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