All Articles Tagged "broke"
I’d be giving that look too if I were you, T.O.
Since it doesn’t look like former football player Terrell Owens will have another high paying, full-time job anytime soon, he’s had to figure out a way to save some of the money he has left. So, he’s sold yet another one of his homes.
Owens already sold his condos in Dallas, Miami and Atlanta for way under the asking price and unfortunately for him, this was no different. According to TMZ, the mansion went on the market in 2010 (T.O. bought it in 2000) at an asking price of $1.5 million but apparently he didn’t get any offers or thought the offers were were too low.
Whomever bought the home got an amazing deal because the mansion sold for less than half the asking price at only (and I use “only” because it really is a great deal) $694,000. At 7,694 square feet, the home has six bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a home theater, a basketball court, gym, rec room, decks and a big swimming pool. Do you now see why the buyer got a great deal?
You’ve got to wonder what made Owens even bought all these places in the first place. What does a person need with, at a minimum, four homes, two in close approximation to each other? Further, where in the world is he staying now?
What a mess. If he has more, he probably needs to sell them too and rent a two or three bedroom apartment (I would say one but he has a gang of children who may come to visit and they need somewhere to stay).
Someone should have called your girl about this sale!
First dates can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences for two conflicting reasons: 1) You don’t know each other well enough to be comfortable just being honest and 2) Even though that autonomy gives you the freedom to just climb out the bathroom window or say something rude if you’re not into him, your desire to be a decent human being stops you. So, if things aren’t going well, you become frozen.
By T. Hall
My Twitter timeline recently exploded over ESPN’s 30 for 30 “Broke” documentary. From what I can gather, the following three things were revealed: a) many athletes have questionable decision making skills when it comes to selecting baby mamas – ratchets always seem to be their first choice, b) many athletes have even questionable-er (is that a word?) investment skills, and c) people on Twitter will clown you like Bozo while watching your pain on national television. And while it’s easy to point to someone who is making big bucks and laugh at their inability to keep from blowing it, it’s a lot harder for us to do the same when it comes to keeping our own duckets in check.
I like to think of myself as a pretty normal person. I get up and go to work every day, I pay my taxes, tags and title like a good citizen, I pay my bills (mostly) on time. No checks blown on bottle service at the club, no $500 Jimmy Choos, no extravagant lacefront upkeep. Sure, there’s some student loan debt out there messing up my debt to income ratio, maybe a parking ticket or two in DC, but other than that when it comes to finances I’m pretty run of the mill. Boring even. But it dawned on me the other day, while gorging on yet another Domino’s pan pizza, that when it comes to money matters I may have a lot more in common with a multi-millionaire athlete than I would care to admit.
Let’s take inventory, shall we? While I’ll never make as much as LeBron James, I still make more than the average family of four in America. That’s all well and good, but I also live in one of the most expensive areas in the nation, northern Virginia, so a good chunk of my money goes toward housing. Then there’s the insatiable beast that is Sallie Mae, which must be fed every month, on time, lest my soul be auctioned off to the devil. All those mandatory costs make me seem a lot like Mike Vick, who has to pay out his most of his $31 million to bill, bills, bills. Still, I recognize that impulse buying is the habit that is laying bare my wallet and the wallets of lots of professional athletes.
My weakness for books means that I will find any way to finance my reading habit, even if it means spending money that could be better used cushioning my nest egg. And if I stopped eating out four to five times a week I might be a little better off. According to Complex , Eddy Curry spent $72,000 A YEAR on a chef. I may not be that bad, but Chipotle is damn sure eating up my pockets.
The sad part is that even though these purchases are made impulsively, in the long term a consistent check isn’t always guaranteed. And so, just like the playboy athlete, I’m playing myself. In this economy my job is not secure. In that way I am not so different from the young basketball player who doesn’t think his checks will ever stop or the aging footballer whose body can’t seem to support another day on the field. After my little come-to-Jesus realization and a some Bible reading I’ve come to understand that it’s not how much you make, but what you do with what you have that makes the difference. Living within and below my means is about to become my new way of life, because I don’t want to end up with my pockets turned out like the Monopoly man. Or as the laughingstock of Twitter.
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The last time I traveled back to my hometown in California, I did the usual of inviting old friends to Friday night dinner. These are friends who I’ve known from either junior high, high school, or college. When I sent out the email request to said friends, I already knew the kind of response I would get from one of them.
Lashawn: Girl, I’m so broke this month. I can’t make dinner but I would love to see you. When are you leaving town?
You’d think from this brief piece of information I’m sharing with you that Lashawn just didn’t care to see me. Well, it’s not so simple. Lashawn is actually one of the most sweetest and encouraging friends in my life. Although we don’t talk all the time, she takes the initiative when reaching out, never misses a birthday, and always checks up on me when she knows I’ve been going through some stuff. We met in junior high and I had always felt proud to have her in my circle of friends…until I realized that she may never grow up.
It’s been ten years since we graduated college and Lashawn’s situation definitely reinforces the meaning behind the saying “you are what you believe you are.” For Lashawn, that belief is that one of being perpetually broke.
Do you have a friend like this? A friend that never seems not to be broke. Who seems to be too comfortable with the idea of not spending a dime more than they have to? Who won’t go out for a drink unless it involves happy hour?
It’s draining to say the least, because it’s not about her personal finances; it’s about the poverty that she believes herself to be in. Lashawn has always worked a decent job, has always lived at home, and has never been stupid with her spending. In other words, I know she is not broke; it’s just that she’s married to the image of her being broke. It’s kept her from so many great things that her friends (even those who have far less) have had the chance to experience, like travel.
Although I questioned Lashawn’s approach to life, she swore to me that she had various random bills that kept her from being financially stable enough to do everything she’s wanted to do. It’s her defense, of course.
During my last trip, I did finally tell her that it was rude of her not to go out to a meal considering that I came to town three times per year. She did go out to dinners once in a while after all. Who knows? Maybe she didn’t want to run the risk of splitting tax and tip with four other people.
I understand people playing the “broke” card in their early twenties but at a certain point in life, one has to manage her finances without crying broke every time a social outing comes up. It’s especially hard when you see someone with so much potential and so full of life shortchange herself with these lame expectations of her life. As long as Lashawn has been talking about taking her dream trip to Paris, it still hasn’t happened. Although buying a plane ticket to Paris is as easy as saving part of two month’s pay, she can’t seem to understand she’s deserving of something so great.
What would it do for her life if she just changed the way she saw herself? It would change immensely. Sadly, she still can’t see that despite all the examples of friends and colleagues exemplifying otherwise.
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Chris Bosh may be a member of a championship basketball team but his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child is dead set on exposing him as somewhat of a deadbeat dad.
The initial battle began earlier in the year when Chris took his ex, Allison Mathis, to court in an attempt to have the courts allow their daughter Trinity to attend the All-Star Weekend festivities with him. Mathis responded by saying that at just three years old, there was no need to be around that environment; a judge agreed with her. Most recently, they were in court again because Bosh wanted to be allowed to take Trinity with him to London during the Summer Olympics to see him play, as he is a member of the U.S. team. Alexis felt that because of the heightened security alert and threats of terrorism, it would not be smart for Trinity to be there. After hearing both sides of the argument, a judge ruled in favor of Allison, citing that there would not be anyone there to really watch her (Bosh actually just pulled out of the Olympics due to a rehab injury).
Now, Allison has taken to digital media. She recently spoke on camera to Rhymes With Snitch about all the trouble she’s been having with Bosh as it pertains to their daughter. She states that since losing her job due to layoffs, she is about to lose her home and has also applied for government assistance. Mathis says she cannot understand why she only receives $2.700 per month in child support when Chris makes $18 million per year as a member of the Miami Heat.
For his part, Bosh’s attorneys have responded to this video in a letter to Mathis’ attorney stating that what she failed to also mention was that Bosh pays for all of Trinity’s medical and dental bills, all preschool expenses as well as developmental and extracurricular activities and finally, he’s set up a college trust fund for their daughter. None of these things were mandated by the court when he was ordered to pay $2,7oo month. Additionally, his lawyers said she failed to mention that he gave her $250,000 in 2010. They go on to say that Bosh will not be intimidated by her campaign to extort him and that his efforts are to provide for his child, not her mother. They requested that she have any videos taken down immediately and are also threatening to sue her for invasion of privacy because in the video she added a personal moment between she and Chris when he learned she was pregnant.
This is messy. On one hand, you can see why Allison feels she should have better in this situation since Chris makes so much money. Oh, I failed to mention that Allison said Chris asked her to have a baby when they were together and the proposal would soon follow. However, on Chris’ side of things, the courts have spoken and he’s paying the amount they ordered him to pay. But when you add in everything else he’s paying for, that racks up to way more than $2,700 a month.
What do you think? Should Chris, as the father, help Allison find proper housing and give more money so that they won’t have to be on public assistance? Should Allison just find a job and be content with what she’s already being given?
Man. I had big plans for my imaginary money.
Every year around this time, since college I would say, I’ve filed taxes, and whether it was an extra $200 to spend on crap, or $1,000 to save…and spend…I’ve always received an income tax return to get giddy about and proudly done the taxes on my own. But this year was a big ‘ol FAIL. Though I had made plans in my head to buy everything from new eyeglasses to a trendy bicycle for the summer with the income tax return I was assuming would come my way after a particularly tough year, that money is going to go the OTHER way on April 15. Come to find out that my year of big moves and switching and ditching jobs has come back to bite me in the butt, and now I owe both the states I live(d) in, and the federal government. Though I was very disappointed by this, I’ve learned a few things that will probably help others too, and make tax season of next year a much more joyous occasion–as it should be (you know, joyous when YOU get your check).
Keep Track of EVERYTHING. Seriously, everything.
In the midst of moving from Chicago to NYC, I gave up piles of clothing to Goodwill, and spent a hefty amount on gas and other moving expenses, but when it was time to start claiming deductions, I had none of the receipts for these things in my possession. FAIL. I’m one of those people who shreds receipts or gets rid of them ASAP, but after watching the chick at H&R Block give me the sad/boo boo face because I couldn’t prove I spent money on a laptop for freelancing purposes, I won’t make that same mistake twice. Everything counts. Keep it and throw it in the face of the government next year, folks.
Be Careful Doing Freelance Work
So I wrote a few stories for a few months for a few people. No big deal, right? Psych. The 1099 I received played a huge part in the fact that I owed the government taxes, because none were taken out for these services. I’m not saying don’t ever freelance, but just be mindful of the fact that this “self-employment” might come back to kick you in the butt, and can even require more complex tax programs and rack on extra charges when you’re trying to navigate Turbo Tax and more.
Get Your Taxes Done Early if You Need Help
I’m not going to lie, the amount of money I paid to get all my taxes done (two states and federal) was way more than I would have liked or even thought it would be. If you know you need to hit up the local H&R Block or other local tax service places, try and get help early so you can take advantage of deals and bargains for early birds. I would also encourage hustling your friends or family members who have tax experience to help you out for the low low if you know your tax situation is a bit more complex than usual.
Get Your W-4 In Order
After being told I owed money instead of being owed money, I was instructed to check with my employer and make sure my W-4 was up-to-date and that my number of dependents was correct. When filling out a 800-page packet the first day at your job, it’s probably overwhelming and you might not even remember what the hell you put for dependents. So to be on the safe side, make sure everything is right and in order so you don’t get a big surprise when you’re finishing up your income tax returns next year. If you know you don’t want much being taken out of your check during the year, then you probably won’t trip when you have to pay folks back, but if you weren’t really trying to duck and dodge your tax responsibilities, then this can be a nightmare-ish mistake.
Hey, In the End, Count Your Blessings
I could be really enraged as I was the minute I saw all those numbers written in red, but it was a Sunday and I had just come from church. In situations such as this one, what made me feel better was knowing that I was still a very lucky and blessed individual. If I really need some money, it will find its way in my account somehow (heeeeeey Mom…), so there was no reason to necessarily go postal. I still have a roof over my head and food in my stomach so hey…the government can have their funky money. For now.
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The hit reality show, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ certainly took its name from the infamous phrase ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. As a large number of women, and some men, aspire to look and act like the three reality stars, it seems as if more people are attempting to ‘belong’ by buying their way into a social class, even if they can’t afford it.
The phrase, which originated in the early 1900’s from a comic strip in newspapers, used the name ‘the Joneses’ as a generic term for neighbors. The phrase simply meant to strive to keep up with your neighbors in both spending and in social standing. And while this phrase was coined years ago, it’s probably more relevant now than ever with the obsession of celebrities and reality stars’ lives; but possessing a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality isn’t limited to your obsession with your favorite Basketball wife. It could be the woman at your job (who clearly earns more money than you), but you somehow feel compelled to outshine her.
This mentality usually leads to living above your means in efforts to buy your way into not just approval but to gain some sort of admiration. While most of us won’t admit that this behavior is a result of the need of approval, it surely isn’t an attitude of the most confident, content person.
So how do you tell if you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses? Here are seven signs that you’re living a life that is way above your means.
Hip-hop moguls continue to infect pop culture and set the pace for what is perceived as wealth; and while the likes of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West are, in fact, among the super-rich, the vast majority of their fans are not. But, it doesn’t stop them from making music that boasts of Hermes shopping sprees and overweight egos. Listen to Rick Ross long enough and most people start feeling a little bossy.
The “if you ain’t doin’ it big, then you ain’t doin’ nothin’” mentality behind hip-hop music and the culture it has created is directly related to hyper-consumerism and a false sense of wealth. Paycheck-to-paycheck living is neither rich nor wealthy. And, during recessions and depressions, the people still standing comfortably are those who are wealthy.
Think you may have fallen victim to a song or two? Here are a few signs the hip-hop effect has a hold on you:
Former Baltimore Ravens defensive player Chris McAlister has joined the ranks of black celebrity ballers who can’t hold on to their money. After playing in the NFL for ten years, and signing a $55 million extension contract in 2004, the Super Bowl-winning athlete now claims to be broke.
In court documents obtained by gossip site TMZ, McAlister claims: “I have been unemployed since 2009. I have no income. I live in my parent’s home. My parents provide me with my basic living expenses as I do not have the funds to do so.”
These statements were made in a filing by McAlister with the goal of reducing his $11,000 monthly child support payments. He was married to his ex-wife, Marlene, for only 13 months.
The pattern of black male athletic superstars spending all their cash is a common one. From Mike Tyson to Antoine Walker, it is very sad to watch them come up from nothing only to squander their earnings. They could have lived comfortably on the interest of their fortunes had they managed their funds correctly. The recurrence of this problem points to a severe lack of financial education among pro athletes that should be part of their physical conditioning.
Let’s hope in this case the rumors are true — that McAlister is merely feigning poverty to get out of an excessive child support obligation. While lying to the courts is reprehensible, it is even more depressing to witness yet another African-American star athlete commit financial suicide through a sheer lack of discipline.
(Madame Noire) — Maybe your beau is struggling to find a job in this terrible economy. Or perhaps he’s on a fixed income due to graduate school or helping out family members or some sort of bad investment. Either way…he’s broke. Can you handle it? If you truly care about him, not just about being wined and dined, then a period of financial struggle shouldn’t be a death knell to your relationship. Now, if you two pay bills together or share an apartment, that’s gonna be a bit more complicated. But if both parties are committed, communicative and responsible, youcan make it work. Check out our tips for dating a man who’s down on his luck.