*UPDATED EVERY WEEK!*

Thursday, July 27, 2006

*TO SHINE, OR NOT TO SHINE


This is what I Gotta Know....
Why must we all sit on chrome to make us feel good about ourselves? As much as it is a very bad investment, why is our car one of our most prized possessions? It is one of our biggest status symbols. Either we’re sitting up high on monster truck tires, or were sittin’ low on big rims and low-profile tires, leaning so far back you’d think we were driving from the back seat.

Maybe it’s because I’m broke, but I’ve taken time to reevaluate my financial situation, and I truly believe that breaking my neck to buy/rent-to-own the latest and greatest automobile is a BIG mistake. Maybe it’s just a mistake for me, but I think that I’d rather take that $6,000 I’ve scrapped so hard to save, and buy a quality used car outright (from an old lady that only used it for grocery store runs) (you can find them out there, you just have to take the time to research) instead of make high payments for 6-years on top of the down payment.

You go to the dealership, pick out the car and color of your dreams, negotiate a bad deal (you always loose) and sign you life away. To make things worse, your interest rate is super high, and they allow you 45-days before your first payment is due. Is that time given to you to prepare for the years of hurting that you’re about to endure? I have lots of friends that have the newest whips on the road, and they’re happy, but think about it...when that car is new, you’re sitting on top of the world, and it doesn’t matter if the payments are $1,000. You got what you want…period! But wait until that one-year mark rolls around when rent, food, electric, cell phone, gas, insurance and that payment start to creep up on you. $600 a month in nothing when you’re focused on getting what you want, and no one can tell you anything different, but after a while, the month’s start getting shorter, and that $600+ starts to hurt!

I’ll be damned if I’m going to work my butt off to TRY to save enough money to give to someone as a down payment, so they’ll let me give them more money for another 5-6 years! How does that work!? I’m cool on paying you, to allow me to pay you some more. Are they really car dealers, or loan sharks? A car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot! There’s no refinancing like houses. You can do it…probably, but you’re not getting any money out of it, and God forbid you try to trade it in. You’re gonna get served! Yes, I see the Blue Book value for your car is $8,000, but we’re willing to offer you $4,500……or even worse, they’ll tell you that you’ll get the full $8K for your car, but when you look at your contract, and break out into tears, you’ll see that they’ve tacked it onto the back of your payments. So, instead of paying $30K for that dream car, you’ll be paying $38K+financing…just like a sucker. Not the kid! I’m living and learning everyday, and I hope this can inspire you to do the same.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing better than having a ‘new car’ to call your own. No problems…it doesn’t smell like smoke(for those of us who don’t smoke)…and you can take care of it the way you’ve always wanted to. Don’t forget, you’ve GOT TO put some rims on it! Rims bring a car to life. They add that special quality that not many cars possess…the personal touch. Those rims mean this car is yours! Your choice, your design, your car…until it gets stolen, or your rims start to fade…and if you get a scratch on them….forget about it. That’s a real bad investment. You’re just throwing your money away. To all my personal friends reading this, I know what you’re thinking. I’m a hypocrite. I’ve ALWAYS had rims on my cars…until now. I’d rather take my money and invest it (www.msnmoney.com) (note: I’ve found that you can start an investment portfolio at www.sharebuilder.com for as little as $4). I’m tired of being broke.
How many times have we been in bad financial situations where we’ve said something like “I wish I didn’t spend that money on those rims” or anything unnecessary for that matter? We (black people) as a whole have to start putting our money to better use, instead of wasting it on material things that don’t really matter to the person you’re trying to impress in the first place. Mostly, they draw a lot of negative attention to you. You either get jacked or beat up for them, or your car gets stolen, and more importantly, the woman who you really want to/need to be involved with(pay attention men)doesn’t really care about rims anyway.

Trust me family, I know how much we like to shine, but is living check-to-check to save up for rims really worth it? Is being broke, but riding in the tightest car really worth it? Why not take that hard earned money, and turn it into something else…like more money? Let it work for you (www.msnmoney.com), instead of breaking your back, working hard to save that money, just to give it away to shine for someone who really doesn’t care whether you shine or not.


Am I wrong here? Am I the only one who’s broke here? Am I the only one thinking of saving my money for my future? Please let me know, and as always….

*WHO HAS AN ANSWER FOR THE QUESTION MAN?*
(This article was inspired by J.Curtis. www.fastlifeonline.com)

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off since i was the inspiration for this article, i wanna be the first to comment on it. I honestly think if you look at the situation of our people today, you will see why we STILL arent getting anywhere. Anyone of my friends will tell you I value what most people think is garbage. There is absolutely NO POINT in going to the dealership and buying a brand new car unless you have majority of the money or better yet, all of it. Johnny Honda and Jimmy Toyota will laugh all the way to the bank with the interest and fees they will slap you with. The way motors and cars are built, if they are quality, they are abouth the same at 40-50 thousand miles as when you first bought them, considering the person who had it before you took care of it. Does it really make sense to pay an extra 15-20 thousand to get that new car scent? Ive seen that air-freshener sold at 7-11 for .69 cents.
And im sure all you 20-30 somethings will agree with me, the cars they produced in the 90's were WAY better cars then the garbage they spit out of the factories now. Who remembers the Acura Legend of the 90's ( i have one, and ive had numerous people ask if they can buy it from me). Who used to drive the Nissan 300ZX, that body style is timeless. I personally think you cannot beat the bodystyle of the late 90's GS400. The 1992 Acura NSX V-6 looks something like a spaceship, and it made the Porsche, Ferrari, and other high-end sports cars of that day completely obsolete. I can go on and on about the jewels out there you can but for a fourth the cost of these new cars, but you catch my drift.
Now lets be honest, if you look at the upper crust of society, do you really think they are paying more than half their paycheck to pay for their car? I think not....and believe me player, shorty DOES NOT care about your Lexani's on Nitto tires, or your Alpine TV screens in the sun visor. Im an old 25, and I KNOW if you can quote Confucious or any old wise man in an everyday conversation, it's worth way more to a woman than what's spinning on your wheels. So thats my 5 cents, i think its worth way more than 2.

j.Curtis

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree both with the blog entry and the commenter. There are better things that we need to be spending our money on. And honestly, there are other places to go (such as CarMax) to get quality cars for less than you would pay at a Ford or Cadillac dealership, for example. And as you said about the rims, it's ridiculous. I've even seen people with cars that were made in the 80s outfitted with spinning rims that cost more than the car itself. I think the answer to this question really goes back to the entry you posted about being ghetto - ghetto fabulous.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely and totally with the the article and the comments. Personally i'm in the market for a ride at the moment, and i would like to get the car of my dreams or close to that, but i'm just going to be real, I DON"T want a CAR PAYMENT! I just got off a car payment that took me 4 years to pay, (believe me, the next car i get i'm paying "STRAIGHT CASH HOMIE") and the only reason i getting another car is because some dumb ass hit me and totalled my car. I look at all the money i pour into paying on that car and think "what a waste".
When i could've been investing or using that money I paid for the car ($24,000) as an down payment for an house where my money could actually work for me.
Don't get me wrong, if people want to throw ther money away on that type of stuff, I say go head, it's your life, but for myself it bigger things out their for me that i want, and it's not the tightest whip or sittin' on FO - FOURS!
Scoop

9:10 PM  
Blogger A.Roberson said...

Ok folks, let's not take what I said the wrong way, cause if I ever show up to a party scene or something in a new ride, I don't want you all to egg me;). If you've got the dough, by all means, spend it. After all, money is made to be spent. Yeah, you can use it to make you more money, but if you got it, use it. Even if you can afford to buy a car with all cash, I still believe it's a bad investment, but at least buying a car cash (new or used) won't hurt as bad as financing a car. Perfect example, look at the BMW 745Li. That is my DREAM CAR, but for $80K, screw that! Just imagine if I financed that car...I'd be paying nearly $100K. I had a friend tell me that he went to the BMW dealer (just for fun) to inquire about a 745. He said they told him that it would be something like $10K down, and $1,400 a month for like 5 years....and that was with good credit! I'm not a mathematician or anything, but my calculations show $94K+. Wouldn't you rather buy a condo in Cali, or 3-houses down south with that money? See what I mean family...there are much better things that we can do with our money rather than make a bad investment just to shine. Believe me,if I hit the lottery or something, I'll have my Black 745, but until then, it's smart investments and wise spending for me, and hopefully for y'all too.
Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate the support.
**QUESTION MAN**

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:45 PM  
Anonymous M. SHAW said...

YO, THIS BLOG HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. HOWEVER, IT ONLY REPRESENTS ONE PIECE TO THE PUZZLE....CARS. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO IT. THINK ABOUT IT; CLOTHES, SHOES APT/HOUSES, LIQUOR, WHATEVER. IT SEEMS THAT EVERY CONSUMER PRODUCT THAT IS VALUED IN THE POOR (BLACK) COMMUNITY IS ATTACHED TO STATUS. THERE IS A HUGE PICTURE HERE THAT YOUNG BLACK FOLKS JUST DON'T SEE, MY SELF INCLUDED. WHAT WE ALL NEED TO DO IS QUEST FOR THE ANSWERS. THE MAIN QUESTION SHOULD BE HOW DO WE MAKE OUR MONEY WORK FOR US INSTEAD OF THE OPPOSITE? THE RICH GET RICHER BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE ANSWER, AND FURTHERMORE THEY DAMN SURE WON'T TELL YOU THEIR HEAVILY GUARDED SECRET BECAUSE THEY WANT TO KEEP THE BALANCE; THE POOR KEEP GETTING POORER. BASICALLY, WHAT I'M SAYING IS, WE NEED TO RE-EVALUATE WHAT STATUS SIGNIFIES TO US. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SHOOTING FOR THE FAT RIDE, THE TIGHT CLOSE, OR WHATEVER. STATUS FOR ME IS NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT OWING SOMEONE MONEY AND KNOWING MY CHILDREN DON'T HAVE TO WORRY AND THAT THEY KNOW THE SECRETS OF THE RICH THAT I PLAN TO UNCOVER.

5:04 PM  
Blogger A.Roberson said...

That is an excellent point. It is true, I did only focus on one piece of the puzzle, cause that's what I've been wasting my money on for the past 3 years...rims and cars. If I would have taken the money that I wasted on those depreciating material items, and invested it, I wouldn't be in the financial situation that I sometimes find myself in. My brother told me so much, when he first entered the military, about ways to make our credit better, and our finacial state more secure, but I was young, and ready to shine, so I didn't really listen. Once again I say, look at me now. It is true, however, you do live and learn. I have learned, and like I said before....www.sharebuilder.com.

Thank you for your comments. You do have a voice..filter through the QUESTION MAN.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:10 PM  

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