How does one attend college on a full basketball scholarship- everything paid for literally even receiving a stipend each semester, yet still walk away “in-debt”?? Easy, a lack of knowledge and awareness.

If you come from anywhere like I come from then you’ll know, gaining something when you come from nothing is like a jackpot. You don’t have time to think, it’s like you’re making up for lost time and you just want everything you and your family couldn’t afford. It’s less about trying to fit in with your peers and more about having a sense of independence or sense of something actually belonging to you. Although it sounds great, it’s not the smartest idea and this is where I messed up. A lot of things I wish I would have known about money, how it works, how to properly manage it, how to plan, but this is something that we didn’t go over in school and we for sure didn’t go over at home. The most I knew is that a relative received money for caring for my sisters and I and that was sent monthly. Then I started working on my own and had to use that money to get the things I needed which I managed to do… barely.

That’s the mindset I adapted, as long as I can afford it or the monthly fee each month then I was doing okay. That’s how credit card and loan companies got me. They prey on those who are not knowledgeable about how money works. We fall victim because there is always something else we want or trick ourselves into thinking we need it.  I had no thoughts of the future just living in the “Now.” As I look around, we are living in the “Right Now” generation. we want things now as long as we can afford it within our paycheck, we will learn to survive for a week or two until the next paycheck hit; that is why so many of us get caught living paycheck to paycheck. Do you know how much stress we put on ourselves?? We rarely think long-term. If I can pay my rent today, I will think about tomorrow, tomorrow. This is why the people at “GoFundMe” are making a killing because our generation isn’t thinking about the future or about having an emergency fund… because it can’t happen to us right?!.. WRONG!

Why not be prepared? Why wait until it happens to figure it out?

When I think of financial freedom I think of opportunity. Although I don’t come from much, I am very thankful that someone else saw something in me enough to make sure I played AAU and I was able to travel to state to state and be seen by college coaches, because had it been on my family to provide that would have been an opportunity missed. If you grew up in the inner city, what opportunities were at your finger tips? Due to lack of funds, what opportunities did you miss out on? We could be walking along the almost Jay-Z or the could have been Michael Jordan or the almost Steve Jobs… but opportunities were missed because someone before them didn’t 1. Make enough money 2. know how to manage their paycheck. Don’t limit your child(ren) or future by making the same mistake.

Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ and create your own reality… Keep up with yourself first!

Become financially aware. Let’s close the gap.

Financial Freedom our only hope. Let’s get ahead.