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Can Those At The Bottom Attain Financial Independence (Fi)?

The poet, Maya Angelou, wrote this in one of my favorite poems,

Nobody, but nobody/Can Make it Out Alone

While reflecting on my life, I have found this to be true, especially when I was a child in the ghetto. Limits on beliefs can stunt growth. To reach your full potential, it is important to challenge your limiting beliefs and take action towards your goals.

I will talk about how having an amazing support system helped me overcome my limiting beliefs. I don’t know if I would have reached my potential if my family hadn’t supported me. I will discuss how the principles of financial independence can be used to improve the lives of those who remain in this environment. By creating a plan to budget and save, individuals can use the principles of financial independence to achieve a greater level of stability and security.  

I reached back to help those at the bottom since I was able to escape. I have the opportunity to make something of myself, so I must use it to help others.

Is FI Impossible to Achieve for Those at the Bottom?

For most people living in the ghetto, the idea of financial independence seems impossible. The goal is to escape and never look back. It’s time to plan for the future.

I lived with my mom and siblings from kindergarten to 8th grade. We had a lot of fun together, and I’m thankful for the memories we made. My father has been in my life even after my parents divorced. During difficult times, he has been a constant source of support. He was around a lot.

My mom would purchase a home with my dad’s help in a better neighborhood. We have been living there ever since. You can read it on my website. I hope you enjoy it!

I want to focus on the limiting beliefs I and many others encountered while growing up in a low-income urban community.

Limiting Beliefs of the Ghetto

Common limiting beliefs one may encounter when living in the ghetto are:

  1. The only way out of the ghetto is to become an athlete or rapper
  2. Because of my inferior living conditions, I am inferior to others
  3. My worth comes from owning name-brand clothing

1. Hoop & Rap Dreams Shattered

It is highly unlikely that you will become a professional athlete or rap star. If you want to pursue a career path that is in line with your goals and interests, you should focus on that. Limiting yourself to these two career paths can limit your earning potential

I used to think I should focus on basketball or rap to escape the ghetto. I decided to focus on my education as a way to achieve my goals after realizing that neither of those options were realistic.

I downloaded audio tracks that promised to make me taller when I was a teenager. The audio tracks did not affect my height. I used to go to the basketball court in my neighborhood to practice, instead of doing my homework. I would use my time at the basketball court to improve my skills and become a better player.

I was not selected to play on the basketball team. I continued to practice in the hopes that I could join a team in the future, despite giving up on my basketball ambitions.

I decided to become a gangsta rapper after that. I started writing music and practicing my raps after listening to greats like Biggie Smalls. I started writing violent rhymes in my notebook. The problem with this career choice was that I was not a mobster. I didn’t know how to make it happen. My father destroyed the rhymes when he found them. He didn’t know the sentimental value they would have for me later in life.

2. Myth of Inferiority

I realized that my substandard living environment didn’t make me inferior as a person when I was in the ghetto. I had to learn how to make the most of what I have.

I would become frustrated when riding my bike through wealthier neighborhoods. As I watched children in those neighborhoods play with toys and gadgets, I felt a sense of jealousy. I wondered if my life mattered more to those in bigger houses. I would think about how different my life was from those who seemed to have it all, yet I still had so much to be thankful for.

I wonder why my neighborhood didn’t have a lot of trees. I felt like I was living in a place that lacked charm and beauty.

My parents and teachers would always remind me that I was a person despite not having those things in my environment. I was reminded that I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough. I was challenged to grow. I have been working on my skills ever since I accepted the challenge.

3. My Worth Comes From Owning Name Brand Clothing

People in the ghetto spend money on name-brand items to make themselves happy because we live in a consumer-driven society. Material possessions are seen as a source of pride and status in many communities. There is nothing wrong with this. This is the best course of action for us to take. It becomes a problem when material things are more important than taking care of children. This can lead to a breakdown in the family’s structure and put children at risk.

My frugal father would often challenge my consumerist mindset. I remember coming home one day from school wearing a I felt like I was the cool kid on the block. I felt confident that I was thetrendiest kid around when I wore my Tommy Hilfiger shirt. My dad must have sensed this because he asked,

Why does having someone else’s name on your shirt make you feel good about yourself?

I can’t remember what I said to him. I was racing to think of a response. He was a father who would tell you stories about how his shoes fell apart as he grew up. No matter how difficult it may seem, he would always encourage you to find a passion and pursue it. I would let his words go in one ear and out the other. Even though I wasn’t listening, I would nod along as if I was paying attention. It would take me to another world if I got on the computer. There is a world beyond the ghetto. Everyone has the chance to reach their fullest potential in this world, which is a place of hope and opportunity.

A Digital World

Growing up in the ghetto gave me a lot of help from my parents and teachers. The importance of education was instilled in me by my parents and teachers. My middle school years were spent at home in the digital world.

Does the world where I could build basketball websites still exist? I could reach out to people from all walks of life. It gives me a new perspective on the world around me.

I love the internet because it allows me to connect with other like-minded people. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the internet.

Financial Independence Community

The internet has allowed me to connect with people in the financial independence community. I discovered the group over two years ago through a personal finance site. I have been an active member of the group since then, engaging with like-minded individuals and participating in monthly meetups.

I decided to create my own website after reading some of the content on the website. I wanted to share my journey, as well as the knowledge I gained from reading the stories featured on the website.

The top three things I love about the financial independence community are:

  1. Knowledge is shared freely
  2. People are extremely supportive
  3. Limiting beliefs are constantly challenged

It is easy to see that the online environment is more suited to success than the ghetto I grew up in.

I wondered if some FI principles could be used to improve low-income communities when I passed through the ghetto recently. We might be able to create a more equitable environment for everyone if I could work with the local residents and organizations. I am aware that it would be difficult, but it is not impossible. If it means getting a better outcome, I’m willing to put in the effort.

The degree of difficulty depends on the individual. When trying to manage financial difficulties, it is important to consider all available options.

Financial literacy alone won’t solve every community problem. Financial literacy and other forms of support can help combat a wide range of community issues. I will post financial solutions since this is a personal finance site. I want to give readers helpful advice that will help them better manage their finances. We will focus on what we can control. Let’s start our discussion!

How FI Principles Can Be Used to Improve Low-Income Communities

Education is the great weapon against exploitation

Andrew Hallam

I find it offensive when I drive through the ghetto and see the payday loan stores. The fact that these establishments are taking advantage of vulnerable people is heartbreaking. I wonder how the poor can become richer when they have a compound interest. Finding ways to overcome the challenge of compound interest is necessary for economic advancement. In my mind, these stores represent soulless capitalism that exploits the poor and most vulnerable among us.”

I came across the quote while reading The Millionaire Teacher. No matter what challenges I face, if I stay focused and put in the work, I can achieve great things. Andrew Hallam writes, “Education is the great weapon against exploitation.”

I don’t agree with just any education. Education is a key to life success, but it should be tailored to the individual’s needs and interests. Lower-income communities desperately need financial education. Some of the community problems can be fixed with this. How are you wondering? I’m sure you’re curious to find out the answer, so let’s explore it together. We discussed earlier the limiting beliefs of the ghetto. We can open up a world of possibilities.

Those limiting beliefs of the ghetto are replaced with:

  1. There are multiple paths to financial freedom
  2. I am not inferior to anyone
  3. I am more than my clothes

1. Multiple Paths

The idea that the only way out of the hood is to become a professional athlete was the first limiting belief we talked about. The many other opportunities available to those who are willing to work hard and pursue them are also ignored by this belief. This is an alternative fact in the FI community. We can create a more informed and enlightened society if we choose what we believe.

There are many ways to make money online. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a living. You could learn how to start a business in your own community. You can use the skills you learn to start a project that will benefit the people in your community.

Ten minutes from my house, I have seen someone do that in a lower-income community. Despite their limited resources, everyone in the community came together to make a difference. Mr. Financial workshops are hosted at the coffee shop. Specialty drinks and pastries can be found in the coffee shop. There is a group of people who meet to talk business.

I heard a financial advisor explain to his client how the S&P 500 works. The financial advisor said that the S&P 500 is a great way to reduce risk.

2. You Are Not Inferior

You are not inferior to anyone regardless of your skin color, net worth, or place of birth. Everyone should be treated with respect and equal rights. The FI community has welcomed members from all walks of life with open arms. Sharing their stories, successes, and setbacks with mutual respect has been provided by the FI community.

A perfect example of this would be Jamila, creator of Journey to Launch, who regularly features guests from diverse backgrounds on her podcast.

I think it’s safe to say that the FI community as a whole has a progressive mindset.

3. You Are More Than Your Clothes

Most people in the community wear the same outfit all year long. During the winter months, when the temperature drops, this is especially true. They decided to invest the money instead of calculating the opportunity cost. They decided to put the money into a long-term savings plan.

Most people in the community don’t care about fashion. Many people in the community dress for their everyday lives. People talk about the term “stealth wealth”. It refers to people who accumulate wealth in a low-key way. You can’t tell if a person is wealthy by looking at them. Their wealth is hidden in various accounts. They can secure their financial future by investing in these areas.

There is nothing wrong with buying quality clothing, but tying your worth to a brand is a recipe for financial disaster. Financial success depends on making wise choices with your spending. You won’t be able to fill that emptiness with enough clothing. No matter how much you spend, it won’t replace a sense of connection and belonging.

Marketing campaigns have done a good job of convincing us that name-brand clothes are necessary. You can find both fashionable and comfortable clothes at more affordable prices. Godin told me that marketers are liars. Great marketers tell stories that get people to action. Don’t trust them.

The most important brand in town is better invested in by people in lower-income communities. They can become an example of success for generations to come by investing in themselves.

In Closing

I hope you have realized that having a support network can help you along your journey. I have an amazing support system, both online and in real life. Over the years, I have received love and guidance from my support system. I always think of ways to help those at the bottom. I want to make sure that everyone has an equal chance to succeed.

I encourage you to help other people succeed if you are in a similar situation. If you are willing to listen or give some advice, you can help someone stay motivated. It can be done without giving them money. You can show your support by volunteering or spreading awareness. A word of encouragement can go a long way.

We can accomplish amazing things when we work together. We can create powerful solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges if we unite our diverse perspectives and use our collective strengths. I wish you good fortune on your financial journey. Your future will be filled with financial security and success. Hopefully, you find the peace of mind you are looking for.

“There are some millionaires
With money, they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.”
-Maya Angelou

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