Stop irresponsible spending

What would you do with a million dollars? Please, take some time and think this one through before you answer. Most people would probably respond, “I’m going to buy three Bentleys, two Rolls Royces, and a Mercedes Benz to top it all off.”

After that, you are left with a couple hundred thousand dollars with which you would purchase a condominium on the beach in Miami and a winter home in the Pocono Mountains.

When you suddenly realize you need to go shopping in order to look good in those cars of yours, another $50,000 disappears on expensive designer clothing. By the time you’re done spending and splurging, you have just enough money for dinner at Red Lobster.

You’ve gone from having a million dollars to absolutely nothing. All that money was wasted on meaningless possessions that will go out of style and become of no interest to you in a matter of months.

Given that we are now in 2004, it is unfortunate that blacks continue to give into the stereotypes that have haunted us for years. We need to start saving and investing the money that we have to ensure a stable future for our families.

Blacks spend over $520 billion annually. At least half of that figure should be invested into stocks or saved in an interest accruing account.

The truth is that frivolous spending and wasting money on material things has become a reality among blacks. Don’t get me wrong -it’s okay to drive a nice car and wear designer clothing, but when you get home, will your electricity and water be on?

We need to save and invest, and now is the time to start.

So, the next time you’re asked the mind-boggling question, “What would you do with a million dollars,” just think it through. Know what your priorities are and understand that having a savings account, a college fund for your child or your own business will prove to be much more meaningful than any luxury car or five hundred dollar outfit.

Malika Harrison is a freshman newspaper journalism student from Miami. Contact her at