Hood Rich

A Conspicuous Consumer In Recovery

Featured, In My Opinion, Investments

As I write this article I acknowledge that I’m talking to me first. I have a birthday looming, and in talking to my husband about gifts I heard the words “Louis Vuitton” go flying out of my mouth without thinking twice. He looked at me, gave a few blinks and moved on, which for me was a silent reply of “keep dreaming” when it comes to the bag I have in mind. After all, we have a mortgage and tuition for our son’s school every month. Could he squeeze a Louis bag in there one month for wifey? Of course he could – but why would he when that same money could go towards a romantic trip out of town, an iPad, or a third of it used towards bolstering our savings and fixing up our house? Furthermore, why would I even expect it?

Because I, like so many of us, am a conspicuous consumer. I buy because I want things no matter the cost.  I also know certain high-priced items will get noticed – and I’m looking forward to receiving your compliment.

Don’t get me wrong: if one has the disposable income and the accoutrement of wealth-building, such as retirement accounts, solid investments, and a home and that $1000 is just a drop in the bucket then by all means, shop on. But for many of us this isn’t the case. We push $75,000 cars, wear $800 shoes, rock $1500 handbags – all of which finds itself housed in an apartment where we hand over checks monthly to enrich the bank account of somebody other than us. Rent plus what we’ve spent on these material goods equal not only a down payment, but a few mortgage payments as well. Those of us who do own homes want to continue to live the way we did before our monthly home expenses tripled, but doing so might get you one step closer to foreclosure.

Now I’m not saying everybody needs to run out and start rocking Kente cloth – but the next time you go to swipe your credit card on that purchase or establish new credit to buy something that is a bit outside of your spending limit, ask yourselves the following questions:

Why am I buying this?

Is it truly something I can afford?

If it’s stolen or lost will that break me?

Do I need it or can I live without it?

How much money is in my savings account?

What other options exist for me to put this money to better use?

We never know when a rainy day might come, and that Louis bag won’t fill our empty bank accounts.

3 Comments on "Hood Rich"

  1. JCB3 Mar 8, 2011 · 7:47 am


  2. Nika Apr 23, 2011 · 8:41 am

    I think people should have enough savings for basic living expenses. I think ideas of having tons investments are flawed. People need to understand the investments have risk. Everybody is not going win! Add to the list of questions- what happens when the risks materialize in all these exulted investments such as a home, stock, bogus equity and hoop la? When the risk materialize you lose!! Point blank. Put 15,000 down on a home, a year later lose a job, cant make payments- how much worth is the investment?

    Understand my position.

    Yeah home ownership is nice, I do believe it is a doable goal. Just rethink ideas about how to get those things. Look at the market, as it is today? Can you save 100,000 and buy a house out right? Do you want to rent in order to keep yourself mobile in order to maintain a certain salary? I think most people should. Jobs, income, status, and friends/marriage(unfortunately) change over time. WE all gain-lose in theses areas of life at different points in time.

    Bottom line. Take one day at a time and do what makes YOU happy. If that bag boost you– buy it. These investments (stock, house) aint for everybody. For me i like to shop, i personally cant give the dealership my money for a new car. It would cut into clothes spending at my current salary. And i just want to repeat what i said earlier, have enough money saved for living expenses and do as you please with the rest. Dont do what others think you should have.

  3. kclehman Jan 20, 2012 · 7:28 am

    I’m only a little less than a year late with this reply.

    The only real risky investment is in the stock market. Since it constantly fluctuates, if you don’t do your homework or are looking for a quick turnover, you could lose. Investing in real estate (when you can really afford it) is never a bad deal. You put a roof over your head and you pay you every month on that mortgage payment. Our current generation can’t afford to bank on social security and retirement to take care of them in the end and if all your money is tied up in handbags and shoes, good luck making ends meet should you live to see retirement age.

    I’m not saying don’t treat yourself to items you desire that you have earned, but if you saving money for a handbag that cost more than your living expenses, then my question becomes what is your value system? If that bag gets snatched or lost, then what? This might be a way of thinking for someone who only has themselves to think about, but if you have a family, I would consider this being irresponsible with finances.

    We are, of course, free to spend our money the way we see fit, but in these current economic times, can you really afford to? Louis Vuitton and Gucci have no concerns about their financial future – the tax bracket they have attained secures them. But what financial security do you have in place for yourself?

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