Are you building for the future?

Being a black woman, one thing I have noticed about many black people is that we love to jump on a trend, whether we can afford it or not.  When I was at uni, every other black girl was rocking Timbs and a Michael Kors bag and every other black guy was rocking those shiny Prada trainers. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having nice things and being on trend, however, within the black community I feel we often have our priorities twisted. At the top of our list is having the nice things so that we can show people, who really don’t care, we have money and at the bottom of our list is planning for not only our future but for our children’s future and our children’s children’s future. Essentially shaping our legacy and building generational wealth comes second place to having the designer shoes and bags now, before we can actually afford them.

As I get older I am very aware of the changing priorities of my peers, so it’s not all doom and gloom, many young black people are now saving towards a house or building businesses etc. but I do feel that a lot of the time we still don’t plan far enough in advance. It is amazing that there is a slight shift in the way that many black people are thinking but let’s not stop at wanting to build wealth for ourselves why not start saving towards your children’s future? Why not accumulate wealth as well as ensuring that wealth is sustainable for future generations? There are so many little things we can start doing today to enable future generations to start off on the right foot.

First and foremost, as a community we need to be more supportive of each other. This can be by supporting and championing a black owned business, it could be by mentoring or even just giving advise to someone you see needs it or simply by turning up on time to events, meetings, gatherings etc. If we foster an air of respect and support for each other there’s no reason why this won’t be passed on to future generations. I know it can be hard sometimes to support fellow black people, particularly businesses, when they behave in an unprofessional manner. So, black business owners I really want to encourage you to be professional, if you make an appointment for a certain time be there on time. If you’re running late, let someone know. If you are unable to meet a deadline, tell someone before the day of the deadline. Start as you mean to go on and just remember word of mouth is a powerful thing.

There are so many different types of savings accounts from Help to Buy ISAs to Instant Savers, there’s pretty much an account for anything if you search hard enough. Anyway, whether you have children or not saving is always a good idea! I know a number of people that do have children who have set up bank accounts for them in which they pay a monthly amount as well as birthday and Christmas money. You could also set up a trust fund for them which is a fantastic way of putting money aside for your children’s future. If you don’t have/ don’t want children saving is still a good idea as you can build up a pot of “rainy day” money in case of emergencies or to invest in something.

The final point I’m going to touch on is investments. Yes, it’s nice to have the latest jacket, bag or shoes but sometimes it’s better to invest in the future. Property is always a good investment in my mind but it’s not the only thing you can invest in. According to Forbes, four things you should invest in this year are stocks, peer to peer lending, real estate and yourself[1]. I can’t express enough how important it is to invest in yourself! Do a course, read books, travel, all these things will help you to become a better version of yourself. The paths we create for ourselves now are the paths the next generation will build off, so let’s not be afraid to break boundaries and open doors that may have seemed impossible to open in the past.

Paula M

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jrose/2018/01/05/best-investments-to-make/#366e74814b72

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