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Your Hard Earned Cash
Saving money is hard. Especially for young, single, black men without a savings plan. Not all, but many single guys are not thinking about retirement when the new Jordan’s hit the shoe store or the i-Pad makes its debut. Plus, look around and whether its on TV or the radio, black men are flashing money everywhere and spending it on everything. But it takes discipline and planning to save for a rainy day versus ‘making it rain’ in the club. So here are some ways to help you hold on to your hard earned cash.
Cut back on the things you don’t need. I know, saving on entertainment isn’t exactly what you want to hear about. The iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 just came out, so I’m sure you’ve already made your most ill-advised financial commitment of the year. But the truth is, if you sit down and look at how much money you’re spending on your cell phone, gym membership, magazine subscriptions, Netflix, cable television, and whatever else you’d be shocked to see how much money you could save by cutting some things out.
Don’t let your car get in the way. Making smart decisions on vehicles can save an incredible amount of money. Buying used cars is one of the smartest ways to save, as the 25 to 40 percent depreciation in value and new car insurance rates are handled by the previous owner. But you’d be surprised how much extra gas you burn by driving on low tires. Keeping your air levels up and taking note of your mileage can make a big difference when it comes to saving on gas! Also, be sure to constantly get new insurance quotes. Many people don’t realize they’re overpaying for the insurance they currently have, and they keep renewing their plan just because of who they’re with.
Make it a priority to get out of debt. One of the biggest financial mistakes we make as black men is getting into debt. It’s like running a race but starting 50 meters back from the starting line. But there are some simple things you can do to avoid debt.
First of all, don’t get into any more debt. (Duh, lol.) Assess some of the mistakes that got you in that position – wild credit card spending, post-dated subscriptions, etc. – and simply don’t do it again! Second, make a budget, and stick to it. There is something powerful about seeing the math add up on paper – sort of like the person who’s trying to lose weight and counts calories – those figures will help deter you in the future.
Remember that everything adds up. I didn’t realize how much I was spending on fast food and eating out until I started keeping my receipts. I know this one’s hard because a lot of you guys are in college and can’t cook – shout out to the ones who can – by try to keep this on a minimum. Buying in bulk from places like Sam’s and Costco will really help you see the difference when you make that budget.
These are just some simple ways you can start, but you can always check out sites like savemoneyman.com and bankrate.com for more ideas.
This article submitted by staff writer Ifreke Okpokowuruk, an aspiring musician from Charlotte, North Carolina. You can tweet him at @qcityproduction.