2017 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 3

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

H  ere’s another reason to love Kendrick Lamar: he’s just given all first generation college grads and “good job” getters permission to stop wasting money on crap that keeps folks poor—like fancy cars and other depreciating assets.

The most recent evidence of the “Humble” star’s true mastery of the finance game is his decision not to stunt for his kid sister’s for graduation. He bought her a practical new car— a Toyota Camry.

Let’s face it— most people don’t get a new car for graduation. And many celebs don’t gift family and friends anything. Still, folks found reason to criticize K. dot’s buy, calling it “cheap,”  baiting an egotistical response from the rap star and even taunting his sister as she proudly showed off her new ride on social media.

Luckily, neither fell for the trap.

 

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. A disproportionate number of brown folks have the honor of being the “first” in their family (insert a round of applause). But that also means there is no one to mentor them on navigating a $75k or $750k salary.

What’s really scary is that “showing your money” continues to be the mantra of poor and poverty-minded individuals despite countless celebrity rags-to riches-to-rags stories. Kendrick’s financial astuteness should be lauded. More new money folks must learn from his example of how to shine at the top—and stay there. Why? Because a lot of folks are the “Kendrick” of their families—the one who made it and is tasked with helping others— and if you waste your cash on crap that has no true value, your family will remain in the same fame financial standing for generations to come. You can’t really afford everything you can pay for, particularly if you’re financing it.

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. A disproportionate number of brown folks have the honor of being the “first” in their family (insert a round of applause). But that also means there is no one to mentor them on navigating a $75k or $750k salary.

It’s a lot of pressure. And we’re losing. Studies show that Blacks continue to have less savings, less life insurance and over index on using the term “boss”—okay, maybe not the latter but really, stop it. The reality is everyone is not going to be wealthy, but everyone can have assets, and help their loved ones acquire them as well. The first step is making the commitment yourself.

Not stuntin’ is hard but if Kendrick Lamar—a rapper who’s had another stellar year with another top-selling album—can resist the urge, so can you. Here are some things to consider.

1 Your stance on depreciating assets.

Cars, jewelry and clothes are items that are literally worthless (read: worth-less) immediately after you purchase them. If you are spending a disproportionate amount of your income on them, think about the real reason why. How do these things make you feel? Are you different or less without them? And do you have any appreciating assets?

2 Your big picture goals for yourself.

Think about how you want to feel and what you want to be proud of in the next 5, 10, 15 and 50 years. Are you investing your dollars where your priorities lie? If financial stability and growth is your dream and you’re not putting yourself in a position to secure a residence, financial portfolio, or savings, you’re not winning—IG be damned.

3 Your big picture goals for your family.

Many people who’ve made it are forced to help their loved ones… the question is, what do you really want to give them? It’s cool to give your niece a pricey bag, your parents a fancy vacation, or assist your sister with her rent, but does that really help change their situation? And what can you really afford? Think about how you can craft your assistance to be most beneficial for real upgrades.

4 What are you willing to change to get there?

Believe that you can live your best life and manage your #assetgrab, but understand you will have to make some choices. You’ll have to say no, a lot—and mostly to yourself. You may have to radically change how you show love to others—less buying love, more actual love. You’ll absolutely have to do a little inventory of who you have around you. Add a “get money crew” to your circle? Trust, it will be worth it.

By the way, where’s #KendrickLamarToyotaDeal?

 

 

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