Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Anchored by the message from Jay-Z's 4:44 album and using quotes from other notable hip-hop artists - this article explores the reasons why people find themselves struggling to appropriately manage their financial situations.
My favorite approach to a taboo topic comes with a 'frankly speaking' attitude. I believe I speak for all of us – the 99% – when I declare: We the People, have the same rights to create wealth as they do – the elite 1%.
What do they have that we don’t? A wealth conscious mindset.
"I'm about to change the focus from the richest to the brokest. I wrote this opus, to reverse the hypnosis." - Lauryn Hill
A wealth mentality is proactive in a way that it anticipates and plans for future financial obligations. More importantly, a wealth mentality includes the understanding that every single dollar can start the process of building wealth – no matter what income bracket.
A poverty mentality is reactive. It leads us to react to events and emergencies as they happen – instead of having financial control of the situation. The idea of working to earn an income just to pay the bills is a major factor in this poverty mindset. To put off saving until you ‘have more money’ is another tragic concept.
Legend has it that even if you suddenly come into a large sum of money – whether it be lottery, inheritance or whatever – a wealth mentality is still necessary to manage your newfound riches. Exhibit A: MC Hammer.
"And Hammer went broke so you know I'm more focused." - Jay Z
It’s no wonder why these seemingly secret laws of wealth are not as common as they should be. I won't dig too deep into my handy dandy bag of ‘conspiracy theories’ but I will say - "The Man" doesn't want us to win...
Not once in my K-12 education was I introduced to any curriculum that covered money or personal finance topics. Economics, maybe. Even so, the economics was more about the macro or societal view of ‘how money works’ – rather than the impact on the individual.
Either way that class was still questionable. If your Government/Economics class was anything like mine, it was taught by that coach who conducted class with the lights off, overhead projector on, and screen ready for whatever movie was on the agenda for the day.
I know all schools, districts, cities and states aren’t the same. Maybe your teacher-coach had time to squeeze in personal finance topics between commercial breaks. But mine never got around to it.
"We’re all screwed cause we never had the tools." - Jay Z
The reasons why we haven’t been exposed to this information doesn’t matter because ultimately, it’s our own responsibility to find the answers and put ourselves in a position to succeed. We all know the information is out there – but why haven’t we been more progressive in our approach to obtain freedom and accumulate wealth?
"Let’s free the people from deception. If you’re lookin’ for the answers then you gotta ask the questions." - Lauryn Hill
I know that’s some pretty heavy stuff, but like I said – I like to be frank. I approach it this way because I’ve been there. Okay let me not front, I’m still there. Still working to radically shift my mindset from poverty to wealth mentality.
I’m thankful for the environment I grew up in that perpetuated this poverty mentality. Because without it I wouldn’t have been SO motivated to break the cycle and liberate myself and my people from these warped views about money.
"Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back. I’ve been broke as hell, cashed a check and bounced back." - Big Sean
Granted, our parents did the best they could have given the information they had. But the simple fact is, they didn’t know what they didn’t know. The habits and lessons they learned were probably passed down from their parents-parents who likely grew up in the depression era. Regardless of what your financial situation now looks like, we ALL have the power to start making better decisions to counter the inevitable results from the lack of information.
"Generational wealth, that's the key. My parents ain't have sh*t, so that shift started with me." - Jay Z
All this fundamental information about the rules of wealth is out there and easily accessible. Living in the Age of Information and the internet leaves few excuses. What’s stopping us from enforcing these rules?
'Fear' seems to be one of the common blocks that stop us from going after any and everything we want in life. 'Fear' in this case is a false belief that budgeting takes away our ability to enjoy our hard-earned money. Or fearful that following a budget will require us to downgrade our current lifestyle. These are two of the best excuses that support the poverty mentality.
This paralyzing ‘fear’ we have is truly irrational. Yes, it will demand an honest effort to conquer it... but what could be SO BAD that scares us to the point that we block ourselves from attaining what we truly desire in life? Just think, what’s the worst that can happen?
Once we’re able to overcome this ‘fear’ and transmute this energy into FOCUS, the game changes – our mentality shifts.
"No one man should have all that POWER." - Kanye West
By developing a well-conceived financial road map, we can decide on our destination and identify the routes to get there. Otherwise, we’re just wandering and living paycheck to paycheck. Not necessarily having to be short on money between checks but, if we have no plan or overall goal for our monies then it just flows in and out – paycheck after paycheck. When does building wealth come into play? This paradigm shift is essential to REdiscover our core financial desires.
Budget Action shows us how to make the shift and start making decisions from this new wealth mentality. “The only platform that provides a Debt Freedom Date instantly.” The word ‘budget’ typically has a negative connotation – almost like financial handcuffs. That’s why Budget Action is ideal, because it offers a practical approach to show us that it doesn’t have to be all bad. We can even put a positive spin on the connotation.
Think of 'budget' as a means to achieve our highest financial desires. Budget Action is about creating a custom strategy for building wealth without having to overwhelmingly slash expenses as other programs may suggest. It’s more about understanding your financial lifestyle and setting an indisputable standard to live by.
If you're not already wealthy, how do you plan to get there? To achieve a level of wealth that you haven’t already, it will require you to make choices and take actions that are different from the ones you currently make. Regardless of level of income, budget is how to make YOUR money work FOR YOU – instead of just letting it flow.
In order to secure financial freedom and accumulate wealth - we must take control. To create a budget that sounds and looks good on paper is a great start, but to execute is where we struggle. This is where the shift in mentality is crucial.
By creating this financial foundation we can stop the anxiety we might feel each month when it comes time to pay bills because we already know exactly how we plan to use our money.
We the people typically fear the unknown but if we take the time to get to know our finances, it could all be so simple. I believe learning to conquer this fear is the most important benefit in this process because of the positive side effects spill over to other areas of our life too.
The Budget Action tool provides a debt free date instantly and after signing up to subscribe to the service, the accelerated debt payoff schedule and savings plan are generated to show the big long term picture. Having this glimpse of light at the end of the financial freedom tunnel is an accomplished feeling in its own right.
"Financial freedom my only hope. F*ck living rich and dying broke." - Jay Z
Drop a comment if you feel so inclined, I'd love to read your thoughts.
We don't have to go at it alone, let's build together!