Investing in your financial future

You ever come home from school, flip the channel to BET and notice what’s on the TV? Yep, you guessed it, a rap video (or in other words what Kanye West calls it, “crack music”) poisoning our communities. Think about it, when our youth sit down and entertain themselves with this music, what happens? They are programmed to emulate what is “cool.”

The media, videos, and other types of entertainment have some influential power over how we dress, speak, walk and what type of vehicles individuals desire. We are taught to idolize materialistic possessions.

Jason Caldwell, a fourth year political science student from Detroit said, “Many African American students have the drug dealer mentality, live for the moment instead of planning for tomorrow.”

It is time for our generation to take charge of what will become one of the most important aspects of our lives upon graduating from FAMU. Finances!

” Students have not been trained properly, if at all, about financial responsibilities,” said Trevor Bethes, a graduate student from Gadson County. “Look at society today, we have youths raising each other. Until we break the cycle by not allowing our children to be raised and influenced by the television, this impaired cycle will continue to destroy our financial lives,” Bethes said.

It is in your best interest to actively take control of your personal finances. Throughout our journey together, I hope to proactively alter the way you think about spending and investing.

According to Personal Finances for Dummies, Second Edition, by Eric Tyson, the 10 leading causes of overspending are:

* Using credit cards

* “I can afford the minimum monthly payments”

* Bending to peer pressure

* Spending for self satisfaction

* I’m just addicted to spending (impulsive buyers)

* Taking out loans to fulfill wants

* Trying to keep up with the Jones’s

* Ignoring financial goals when buying

* Thinking money can buy happiness

* Trying to put on a facade for others

If you fit into any of the above categories, you have extra cash and you are spending it unwisely. Let us start-off small and attempt to do an exercise together for two weeks. Save all of your change and put it away in a jar.

Instead of using your lose change to make purchases, break that dollar bill and save the change. The outcome will be well worth it in the future.

“The idea of a financial advice or informational column is great. As students, we do not have enough time to attend seminars or a forum,” said Martha Joseph, a fourth year political science student from Fort Lauderdale. “Publishing this type of information makes it more accessible to our daily lives. I sincerely hope that the students and the community use this tool as a guideline to their financially goals and stability,” Joseph said.

Cherline Pierre is a fourth year business student from Fort Lauderdale. She can be reached