Monday, October 19, 2009

ghetto fabulous...

While researching the origins of modern urban vernacular, I was taken back by a common denominator in many popular slang words: money. Almost everything had to do with getting money ('cause it's all about the Benjamin's), spending money ('cause it's the dolla dolla bills y'all), or finding someone with money ('cause she ain't nothing but a gold digger). Our society exalts those who live opulent lifestyles, drive the fanciest cars, and spend money like it's going out of style. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against money or extravagant spending--if you have it. But I see so many people my age living above their means. Maybe it's stupidity. Maybe it's entitlement. Whatever the case may be, it's financial death by plastic cards.

According to UrbanDictionary.com there is a word for these people: ghetto fabulous. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've labeled myself ghetto fabulous in the past, but now that I've been enlightened to the terminology, I don't think it's cool to be equated with inappropriate spending on depreciating items instead of items that build wealth. Word picture: The girl who lives in section 8 housing, but has an iPhone she carries around with her food stamps in her Gucci purse. It's incongruous.

We are told we cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24), but that's exactly what we do when we lay down Visa and Mastercard at the feet of our idols. As people who trust in a Being to provide our every need, what does it say that the financial debt of Christians is at par with the national average? Because every need doesn't include our every want. 83% of credit card debt is not from purchases made for existence, but opulence. This is the exact usury spoken about in Nehemiah 5:10--and it's wrong.

As a recovering ghetto fabulous diva extraordinaire, I'm standing on my proverbial soap-box and warning Scenesters, Gold Diggers, Players, Rock Stars, and the Wannabe's that the cost of debt is not fabulous, but fabuLESS. In the famous words of Nancy Reagan, Just Say No!

17 comments:

Becky said...

AMEN! :) I love that you posted this. I am trying really hard to get out of debt, it's a small amount but there is little freedom while I still have it lingering about. I love this statement you made "Maybe it's stupidity. Maybe it's entitlement. Whatever the case may be, it's financial death by plastic cards." I see it all around me. I would rather pay cash for something than put it on my credit card and if that means I can't go shopping at the mall and spend money then that is okay! I want the freedom to give even more than I already do! I am seeing how my finances have improved since I decided to let God control them instead of my impulse of wanting more stuff control my finances.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME, AWESOME post!!!! Matt Chandler gives a great study on "getting out of debt"... being free to truly serve God and His people without the stress and worry of money! This post is going down as one of my favs!!

-j

Ioncewaslost said...

Great topic.....I think it is stupidity that makes us believe that we are entitled to anything. I too have learned the hard way and have ruined my credit. Not because I thought I should have extravagant things, but I tried to survive on credit cards. Spent money and did not have the means to pay the credit cards back. My family and I have gone thru some rought patches during our lives and have tried to understand what we were doing wrong. The only way to understand was to come to Jesus. He has shone a light so bright that we get it now. We needed to learn to respect money and credit cards. Neither comes easily and both are not to be feared if you use them in the correct manner in which they are given. Jesus came into my life at the right time. When everything was in shambles and didnt have anywhere to go, he was there to lift me up and take me to new places that I have only dreamed of. My credit has improved and I do have credit cards, however, my mind has been transformed and I will not abuse them the way I have in the past. We have been BLESSED beyond our imagination! Great reminder from Becky to pay with cash.
Thank you for these awesome topics.

Anonymous said...

Cool post B, i once was told i was sooo ghetto cuz i purchased my cloth at target by someo "high maintenance chick". oh well at least i keep it real dude, get what i can afford and not what i cannot.. Neima Markus i know it is so cool and so expensive so i don't even dare to go there.

Marcus Murphy said...

Well said, giving God your finances is totally hard! However, like so many other people I find that I couldn't do it without Him. It's totally funny, I go in and out of high schools and I speak to young people about going to college! They always find a way to make me feel old with the terminology. I am from the generation where "bad" really meant "good" and slap braclets were cool (until people got hurt opps). Now I find the "gwop" means money and "swagger" means confidents. Oh goodness. Truly though it is His money in the end. I was also once at a place of "Ghetto FabuLESSness", but now have realized that what's even better than the new iphone/range rover/black card/etc. is God's tremendous grace in allowing me to realize my "Ghetto Fabness" and move away from it. Keep it up, your blog is great.

Daniel said...

Being in debt sucks bad! About 5 1/2 yrs ago as I was going through a divorce I was left with all and any debt that was accrued - alot of times to uncessary spending and mind you at the time I was a sooo walking in the world and not walking with the Lord. I could not in anyway pay for all the debt and the constant phone calls to my home phone, cell and EVEN MY JOB caused me to no longer answer calls and just let everything go to voicemail....I became frightened to answer my cell. Sometimes I had $10 in my account to get me through 2 weeks until payday came to pay me a visit. When this prodigal had enough and came back to his Father - the True Living God - only then did He make a way for all the debt to slowly get taken care of. Today my once horrible credit is back to perfect, I only have 2 credit cards which I rarely use and He has even opened the doors and has provided for my daughter to attend a private Baptist school (which I went to as a kid lol) and he provides just enough for what her and I need! I don't need anymore nor do I want anything more than what He gives.

When our eyes are focused on the Lord - our eyes see how we should manage the money that the God gives us through our jobs. If our eyes are focused on the World we will go after every material thing out there.

Bianca this topic was great - brought back alot of old memories and things that I had to go through to be where I am today with the Lord! Im grateful I actually went through it...He needed to get my attention somehow.

Bridget said...

We got married young and were very ghetto fabulous ha. I even drove a Hummer around when I couldn't pay my mobil gas card bill. Now that's ghetto faboulous!! ha! It's taken us 10 yrs and a lot of self disipline and prayer to become debt free. Romans 13:8 is what we try to live by. I may not have the nicest clothes or the fancy purses but I am a lot less stressed and am ablt to stay at home with my kids so I don't have to work to pay for "things" I thank God for that!

Bianca said...

Whew! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been in this spot.

It's totally true and totally sad, but I hope we can be a generation who has learned from our errors.

Ugh! I don't even want to mention what I charged to my credit cards. SO. STUPID. Vanity to the nth degree :( But I'm almost done paying it off. ThankYouSweetBabayJesus!

Jenn said...

Totally convicted on this one. But I'm learning. Thanks for the reminder.

renay. said...

LOVE THIS! Thanks for keepin' it real, B! AND Thank you Jesus for helpin' me out of the hole! Again, great post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bi for your example and teaching others what you have learned. :)

Kayla said...

I watched my mom juggle things in very difficult situations and be very ashamed that she had to get food stamps and welfare. She cleaned houses and sat with old ladies and generally did anything to make enough money to not have to rely on welfare even though we totally still qualified when we went off of it. The hard part is that she never did anything special for herself, and it makes me sad to see that. I'm trying to find an appropriate balance. I really admire the way that she has perfect credit and never ever had a utility or even a luxury like cable or cell phones or internet turned off because she couldn't pay the bill, but I hate that she doesn't have a lot of self confidence and won't spoil herself even once.

Lydia said...

We were just talking about this yesterday when someone remarked that this recession has hit both the wealthy and less than wealthy. It's a reminder not to put our trust in money and not to spend above our means--so important to remember!

Lydia said...

And on top of that, being financially sound allows us to bless those around us. It's wonderful to be able to give freely to those in need without having to worry about making our credit card payments!

Quirky Christa said...

The past couple of years I've been really trying to focus on a "simple" life where I only buy true necessities.
I still have moments where I just have to buy that item because its on sale but it's a work in progress.
Thanks for this post, it's great!

Tish said...

GREAT post! And so true! I love how, even though you may be frugal, God continues to show you areas of indulgence. As I was leaving Hobby Lobby with some big sacks of holiday decor (they WERE all 30-50% off!!), I was excited to celebrate the birth of our Savior....but then I thought, "how would he prefer me to celebrate...by spending money to decorate my home with luxuries or to share that money with others for their necessities?" It made me think of how we often get people gifts that we want them to have rather than what they truly want!

Michelle said...

Fabulous! As a Dave Ramsey graduate my eyes have been opened.

We all value different things and will spend more on what we value. But being able to differentiate want from need is surely step one.

A little personal anecdote: I *can* afford to buy pricier clothes. But last week I found the most AMAZING shirt at Target. On the Clearance rack. For $9!!! And wore it to my husband's Christmas party. And felt AWESOME!! :)

There's something freeing about not being a slave to labels or overspending. On some things.

Cameras are another story. ;)

Google

Blog Widget by LinkWithin