When was the last time you were able to zero out your credit card balance and put money into your savings with the same paycheck? If that sounds too good to be true, you’re not alone.
On the whole, Black Americans are struggling to stay afloat financially and we were hit hardest by the recession and housing crisis. Pew Research analysis of government data found that the median net worth of Black households fell by over 50% between 2004 and 2009, largely due to plummeting home values leading to underwater mortgages. That same study found that the median net worth of white householders in 2009 was twenty times that of black households.
That doesn’t take into account the debt that many middle class blacks are racking up by using credit cards to make ends meet. A report from the NAACP and Demos, a public policy research organization, reported that 79 percent of middle class black households carry credit card debt.
To earn a “living wage” or simply stay afloat every month, a household of one adult and one child in DeKalb County requires an income of $39,527, according to the MIT living wage calculator. That means earning almost $19 an hour, working 40 per week. With a minimum wage of only $7.25 and many low-wage employers unwilling to let workers reach 40 hours per week, let alone overtime, that the numbers just don’t add up to financial stability let alone financial freedom.
As a community, we are chasing money and it simply isn’t working. The key to success is to start attracting money and start building financial security for yourself and your family.
There is money out there to be earned, if you know where to look for it and you’re ready to take action to secure your future. You can be in business for yourself, if you’re in the right business. The NAACP and Demos report mentioned earlier also found that of moderate-income black households who had charged business expenses in the past three years (from startup or running the business), 99 percent still carry that expense on their credit card bills.
Dropping everything to take on debt and start a brick-and-mortar business is risky. According to the Small Business Administration, only half of new businesses will last more than five years. Considering the investment you’d have to make to get your business off the ground, those aren’t great odds.
I believe as a community we must begin to move beyond the belief that a secure job will allow of to create wealth. In this new economy we are going to be required to look for solutions beyond the traditional business model and find ways for us to collectively create wealth.
I would like to introduce the F!T Is The New $eXy Movement. We are black men and women who have drawn a line in the sand and have chosen to reclaim our health, co-create generational wealth and become a beacon of Physical and Financial fitness in the black community.
Our vision is to free families to live an extraordinary life of physical and financial fitness.
Physical fitness focuses on health from the inside out. True fitness is not a result of a fad diet. It results from a daily journey of healthy eating and exercise as well as spiritual and emotional development.
Financial fitness is more than hustling to break even at the end of the month. It’s learning how to attract wealth and make money work FOR us, instead of us working to chase money. Our focus is on community cooperation, reinvestment, and having our dollar go to work within our families and communities to create generational wealth.
Sexy is an energy that comes from the inside out. True sexiness cannot be put on like a tight dress, or a pair of pants. It cannot be found in the perfect weave, manicure or hair cut.
So why is F!T the new $eXy? Because when you feel healthy and energetic, you reclaim an internal power and confidence. Sexy is the energy we each put into the world when we are confident in our ability to produce results and secure our own financial foundation.
We invite you to lock arms with us. Commit to your Health. Commit to your opportunity to create generational Wealth.
Suzan Hart is a master trainer, author and coach with over a decade of experience in counseling. She has worked extensively in women’s services and child welfare and specializes in crisis and mediation. Personally, she’s found that optimal health has lead the way to financial health and is passionate about sharing life-changing options and opportunities with those who need them most.