As struggling black millennials, JuGatti and I are taking steps to living our best life day by day. Lately, we’ve been focused on how to become financially free as we’ve found ourselves frustrated with working jobs we don’t like, overwhelming credit card debt, and moaning and groaning through paying bills. We decided to turn to Personal Finance Expert, Ash Cash, and his book, “The Wake Up Call: Financial Inspiration Learned from 4:44 + A Step by Step Guide on How to Implement Each Financial Principle,” a book on finance where resourceful meets rap references.
We were laid out a blueprint for bridging the wealth gap for African-Americans inspired by Jay-Z’s latest album, 4:44, as the author gave tons of tips while tying in Jay-Z lyrics. The Wake Up Call made a way to explain how to manage your money effectively, along with offering credit advice, helpful hints for buying homes, and other principles to help you prosper without pinching pennies. The author even shared pointers related to self-care and spirituality that help you keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind. After all, mental health is wealth too. CHA-CHING!
Get your mind right, as well as your money, and take a look at what we took from this book and more with our Q&A below!
1. Name one finance fact you found in this book that you will use to become financially free.
JuGatti: It wasn’t a financial tip per-say but he touched on the idea of spirituality and it resonated with me. I’m trying to get into the habit of more positive thinking and self talk. I’m also trying to limit my time on social media usage because that shit will rot your brain. All the negativity and horrible opinions are too much at times. So now I try to read articles or books before I go to sleep and when I wake up. Oh yeah, I also try to dabble in meditation and such from time to time.
Manito: I found out I do not pay myself first, meaning I don’t put money aside to save for me to invest in my future and I need to start. I waste too much time worrying about making sure my bills are paid to benefit other companies and neglect to make myself and my brand a priority. I’m priceless, I didn’t need a book to tell me that, but it definitely reminded me that self-worth is going to be a major factor into becoming financially free FIRST. I’m DEFINITELY going to open a savings account with another bank too so I won’t be too tempted to transfer money to my checking if it’s with the same one.
2. This book was inspired by Jay-Z’s 13th studio album, 4:44, which touched on principles to being better off financially. Are there any other Jay-Z songs that have inspired your need for financial freedom?
JuGatti: Recently it’s been ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle.’ When Jay said “I’m making short term goals when the weather folds,” I felt that lmao. I’ve been damn near a recluse all winter working on getting this damn credit card balance down. Now that the weather is FINALLY starting to break and I’ve worked the amount down I’m ready to come out of hiding. Later on in the song he goes on to say “all us blacks got is sports and entertainment until we even.” I feel in today’s world with this millennial renaissance, blacks are closing the gap as far as creating businesses. Although it’ll take lifetimes to become equal (read our Jim Crow review if you want to know why), we have been making substantial progress and I soon hope to be apart of it.
Manito: With Jay being the mogul that he his, there are countless songs or bars that come to mind that inspire me to be financially free. In fact, you can refer to $1,000,000 Worth of Game for $9.99 for that. But lately a line from “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” stuck out to me recently: “I’m overcharging niggas for what they did to the Cold Crush / Pay us like you owe us for all the years that you hoed us.”
I’m sick and tired of white men getting paid off the expense of black people, especially creatives and entertainers. But yet here, I’m inspired hearing that Hov has been preaching ownership to us from the beginning and how important it is to black culture and our community in general. I’ll try my best not to get on my soapbox but white men are privileged as it is. It seems like running a rat race trying to catch up to what white men have established since forever. “Generational wealth that’s the key” and it starts with owners, and not just celebrities either, just saying. We should take a piece of what’s owed to us and focus on the concept of sole proprietorship.
3. What are some of your unhealthy financial habits you plan on changing after reading this book?
JuGatti: I’m working on budgeting and accounting for every dollar spent. I often would just swipe my card with reckless abandonment, then I’m confused checking my account balance. The other thing is paying myself first. I have to get in a consistent habit of putting something off to the side for me since I’m my most important investment. Most times I’m paying all my bills off first and leaving myself with the scraps. So that is def one thing I’m trying to get a grip on.
Manito: I don’t stick to my budget, or follow my initial savings plan. However, the author provided resources on his website to use to help you with the financial steps mentioned in his book, I hope to use these in the future. I plan on saving more, spending less, especially on clothes that are too trendy and won’t last long. I wish I gave buying my last car more thought too, because there’s essentially no value in them years later. When I chose to finance my car, I was looking to raise my credit score but in the end, it’s probably the dumbest thing I did because the value depreciates significantly.
4. If your bank account could talk, what would it say to you?
JuGatti: “DO YOU HAVE MCDONALDS MONEY??” Figuratively since I don’t eat McDonald’s anymore though I do miss those goddamn fries. But yeah I’m always eating out and that puts a dent in my account on the regular like the podcast. (HA!) You literally save so much money eating at home or cheffin up in the kitchen like wtf is a sammich? I’m sure my bank account would cuss me out if it could talk.
Manito: “Damn bitch, do you EVER cook?” I really have to stop eating out but I work on my feet all day as a merchandiser and the last thing I wanna do is stand up some more and cook. Plus food is my comfort when I’m having a rough day, and I have a lot of those. Sometimes I want to splurge on something that’ll make me dance when I eat but it all adds up.
5. Is there anything else you want to learn on your journey to financial literacy?
JuGatti: I’m interested in real estate. I’ve always been intrigued with the idea I just never put anything in motion for it. It just seems so difficult to understand, but I’m sure if I buckle down I can handle it. I also want to learn about stocks so that can be a nice way to make money while doing nothing.
Manito: I’m ready to learn more about intellectual property that’ll have me make money in my sleep, like writing a book, and other aspects on entrepreneurship. This book also gave you a walk through on what goes into buying a home but I’m curious to know the additional ins and outs of being a homeowner. I’m also in the business of tying to find a way for my student loans to just entirely disappear, that might be the biggest bump on my road to riches aside from white men being 10 steps ahead of me.
Make sure you stay subscribed if you’re not already, the two of us have more dope reads in store this year and don’t forget to get better aquatinted with my entrepre-negro, JuGatti.