America Ranked Near the Bottom — Again — In Wealth Inequality

The stark earnings gap between Black and white Americans also is a growing problem in the US, with the disparities widening year by year. A study from theInstitute of Women’s Policy Research in 2016 showed that Black Americans and Latinos (both male and female) lagged behind in weekly wage earnings compared to their counterparts. For instance, Black and Hispanic workers had their weekly wages decrease in 2015, while workers of other races saw their weekly earnings nearly double.

When comparing Black and white economic wealth, study after study has shown that Black Americans fall behind in this area as well because they simply don’t earn as much. In 2016, researchersfrom the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Institute for Policy Studies examined the growing racial wealth gap and found that it would take the average Black family a lengthy 228 years just to accrue the wealth of today’s average white family. That’s because, over the past 30 years, the wealth of white families ballooned 84 percent — three times the rate of economic growth for Black households.

Institutional racism has played a role in the widening disparity, as researchers highlighted the wealth-building policies that have consistently given white families financial advantages over Black ones. Such policies have exacerbated America’s poor distribution of wealth and have further slowed the upward mobility of African-Americans on the economic ladder.

“If the past 30 years were to repeat, the next three decades would see the average wealth of White households increase by over $18,000 per year, while Latino and Black households would see their respective wealth increase by about $2,250 and $750 per year,” the study read.

Study: Hattiesburg residents best at managing debt

A recent financial study shows Hattiesburg residents are the best in Mississippi at keeping their debt in check.

The study, conducted by SmartAsset — a New York financial tech company — shows Hattiesburg has the highest debt-savvy index in the state at 37.64. The Hub City is followed in the study by Columbus (37.61), Biloxi (33.99), Meridian (24.78), Jackson (10.59) and Greenwood (9.27).

SmartAsset is a financial tech company, offering automated advice on a range of big personal finance decisions from home buying to retirement, said Steve Sabato, senior public relations associate at SmartAsset. We aim to provide the best financial advice on the web through data and technology.

Recognising our limiting beliefs

This weekend I played my first game of Monopoly. I realise this may be met with the same incredulity as when I admitted I only recently learnt how to ride a bike!

I did not have a deprived childhood, just poor co-ordination. My aversion to Monopoly, however …

I remember it vividly, although I could only have been about five. My sister and her friends, all ten-year-olds, were playing the board game on the living room floor. I wanted in.

I’m not sure if they tried explaining the rules or just said it was too complicated for me, that I wouldn’t understand: it was about money, wealth and mortgages. Grown-up stuff and I was too little.

My mature response to this was to stomp all over the board, sending the little red and green buildings and silver trinkets flying. And, I haven’t played since, firmly believing the game boring and beyond me.

Until now.

My nine-year old asked me to play. My response: “No way, that’s a really hard game! I don’t even know how.”

I got an odd look. “I’ve played it before, mom. It’s really fun … I can teach you.”

Not wanting to be outdone by a fourth-grader, we set it up; apportioned the cash. I was the Top Hat. I poured over the directions trying to figure it all out: buying lots, charging rent, mortgaging.

Just reading the game rules I noticed the same anxiety building as when my bank statements arrive, which often remain unopened. The truth is, I find dealing with money matters a little bit scary. There’s a nagging sense that I do not understand money, it’s too complex, so I’d just rather not engage.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind author, T. Harv Eker, suggests there are four different Money Personalities: The Hoarder, The Spender, The Avoider, The Money Monk, and that we are all either one or a mixture of these. (https://www.srpl.net/there-are-4-money-personalities-whats-yours/) Guess which one I am?

His book theorises that we each have an inner financial blueprint, a “preset programme or way of being in relation to money”. Our blueprint is based on the messages we received as a child, from parents, teachers, media, siblings: the verbal messages, by modelling what we saw, and from experiencing specific incidents.

Children are impressionable little sponges soaking up all the information around them. How they process it and the meanings they make from it, however, can often be other than intended. Skewed meanings can become fixed and form the belief system by which that person continues to view themselves and the world around them, for life.

Could it be I created my relationship with money based on a board game and a tantrum? I laughed to see so many of my real-life “patterns” at play in the game: fear of not having enough, using “hope” as a strategy, “getting by” rather than proactively wealth-building, looking forward to Passing Go and Payday.

Consciously, I know managing finances is not that hard. Plenty of people do it. Self-sabotage, however, comes when deeply rooted feelings rear up and we act on them: especially fear. Fear that I am not grown up enough to handle money and I will not understand it.

Recognising our limiting beliefs is like a “get out of jail free” card. It’s the first step in addressing them and creating new and empowering beliefs that are truer and more useful for us now. What do you believe about yourself that might be holding you back? Why not get some coaching to better set yourself up for success.

o Julia Pitt is a trained Success Coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on (441)705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com.lt;;/igt;