by Dr. Boyce Watkins
America wants to be a big time consumer. Black people are among the worst, since many of us are not raised to appreciate the idea of holding onto the money that we make. Instead, many of us turn right around and hand that money back to our oppressor.
A spendaholic is a person who wants to move forward financially, but always ends up with empty pockets. It’s like an addiction, where money burns a hole in your wallet and you find yourself going through the tragic ups and downs that come with never having enough money to do anything you want to do.
It’s all in fun, but here are a few ways to know that you MIGHT be a spendaholic:
1) Do you wake up at the end of a week long shopping binge wondering “Where did my money go?” – Not keeping track of how you spend is an easy to way to end up broke. When it comes to your money, it’s always important to know where it’s going and where it went. Budgeting is a good place to start.
2) Do you usually end up eating beanie-weenies and Ramen noodles the week before you get paid? Most Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, which can be stressful, since losing your job could make you homeless overnight. Find a way to scrape 10% off of your income every time you get paid into an automatic savings account that will protect you during the dry times. You might think you can’t save, but that’s typically because you haven’t learned the difference between wants and needs. There are people who live on less than you do.
3) Every time you spend up your paycheck, you swear you are not going to go through that again, but you repeat the same cycle: The psychology of money is one that can cause us to go from feast, to famine, back to feast again. A good way to avoid this kind of chaos in your life is to try not to spend right after you get paid and to refrain from using credit cards. By forcing yourself to remain on a cash budget, you can more closely track what you’re spending.
4) Do you pay enough money in overdraft fees to fund the Pentagon? Overdraft fees are an easy way to end up financially busted. Banks are experts at using your bad habits against you, charging massive fees for even the tiniest overdrafts.
5) Does spending money make you feel better? If you’re bored, do you respond to your boredom by pulling out your wallet? In this case, spending money might be a coping mechanism with deep emotional ramifications. Pay attention to how your mood changes when you spend money or when you’re broke; it might give you insights into your personality.
6) When you get a large sum of money, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think about how you can invest and turn that money into more money, or do you think about some kind of material possession that you can purchase? If you’re the kind of person who sprints to the mall when you get your tax refund, you might be a spendaholic.
Knowledge of self is the first step toward conquering the world. Don’t let the power of money control you; you should be controlling your money instead.