Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No Shiggity: Pimpin' without Paper


For those not in the know, pimpin' without paper is living flagrantly beyond one's means. 

Why do we do it? Goodness knows I used to be guilty of this back in the day but I'm too old for nonsense now. As a matter of fact, I try like hell to pay cash for as much as I can. My "if I can't pay for it outright, I don't need it" philosophy took me ten years to fully embrace and sometimes it's still not easy but knowing at the end of the day that everything under my roof is owned by me and not a bank... priceless. I spend way more on books, music, clothes and shoes than I should. I gave away eight bags of clothes and shoes in the last six weeks and my closets (yes, plural) are still full. But I own it all, bless my heart. So today's peeve is: why do folks always try to be glossy and flossy with zero bank to back it up? 

Folks wanna drive an Escalade on Escort dollars. Want Champagne on a beer budget? Wanna live Malibu when your bank account screams MLK Blvd? Rocking designer labels when you're dining on peanut butter and last week's tuna casserole? This is pimpin' without paper, blingin' without bank, cheesin' with no cheddar, mackin' with no mayo, swagga with no scrilla... Do I need to go further in the ebonics dictionary? No? Okay you get my point. 

It's just not cute, ya'll. My girl, Yvonne Bynoe, offers services to help folks step their financial game up no matter how limited your income. Please check her out, so you don't have to be this guy:

A few months ago, I was chilling in the Starbuck's as I tend to do. I was reading the Wall Street Journal which I actually don't do that often anymore. Suddenly into the relative peace of the morning, rolls a huge shiny "Pimp My Ride"-style Hummer. Black, chromed out, giant tires, just all sparkly and whatnot. Bass bumpin' to the point that I had to move my purse off of the table and onto the chair to keep it from falling over.  Out jumps Doing Too Much Dude. Designer jeans fastened with huge belt buckle, shirt a little tight tucked in only in the front so ev'body can see the designer name on the buckle. Rocking iced-out over-sized watch, iPhone clutched in one hand like a lifeline and sunglasses on even though it's cloudy as hell outside.

He pimp walks in and stands in the doorway waiting for people to look at him. I glance up, refrain from rolling my eyes and look back down. He walks straight to me like he knows me, "What you up to, sister?" I tilt my head towards the paper and say, "Reading." He takes the paper out of my hand, looks at what I'm reading and says, "Oh you follow stocks and stuff?" Me, "A little bit." He nods, "One of those 401(k) sisters, I see you. Siddity and don't need a man." My eyes narrow to slits... all of that, bruh? But I smiled and said, "You have a blessed day, brother."

He shrugs. "Whatever." He walks over to the counter and orders some sort of venti latte half something, I don't know. The woman told him it was $5.29 and he handed over some plastic. It was declined. Dude had three dollars and a dime in his pocket which he handed over and had her put the remaining $2.19 on his card. It was declined. He started talking loudly about how somebody must have been messing with his money and she could just make it a tall. He paid his $2.74 and walked out muttering under his breath.

Now let me say this. I wasn't laughing at old boy. I've been broke before and may well be again. There's no shame in not having money in the bank. It happens. There's no shame in living modestly. But why you pushing a luxury automobile, designer everything and a brand new iPhone and mad about me reading the finance section? You may want to get a peek yourself if you can't rustle up $5.00 for coffee. 

As a matter of fact, why are you buying $5.00 coffee if ya broke? BougieMom and I invested in a Cuisinart Grind-n-Brew and the Starbuck's beans from the wholesale warehouse when we realized our coffee budget was out of control.  Throw some International Delight creamer up in there and it's golden... just saying. Doesn't mean we never go to Starbuck's, it just means we did the math: if both of us get coffee at $4.00 each every day; we were spending $56.00/week to get a sip of mocha on. There are 52 weeks in a year, that equaled $2912 to Starbuck's in a year... no sir. Can't do it. Not condemning those who do, mind you. Just thinking about disposable income and priorities.

So to folks who have a $50,000 car parked in front of a shack, have four flat-screens but haven't paid child support in six months, spend more on red-soled shoes than you put in your IRA/401(k), carry six kinds of plastic (at 22% interest?) and zero cash, put your entire bonus check into rims and sub-woofers, worry more about hair care than healthcare... you are On. My. List.

What's with the pimpin' with no paper? Stories of pimpin' paupers to share? Thoughts, comments, insights? Do share...

36 comments:

[flahy] [blak] [chik] said...

Living in the DC area, you see this all the time! People living above & beyond their means. Priorities have shifted and ppl spend more time competing with the Joneses.

maureen palmer said...

I just had this converstation with a friend over the weekend. I had a family member borrow money after she took a vacation and her rent is due Le sigh!. This kind of behavior should be a no no after the age of 25. They need to teach money management in high school

sunt97 said...

Yeah I had to cut my Starbucks budget, thank goodness people know how much I like it and pass me cards when they get them. Thank goodness I have no interest in labels (not that much) and name brands. I will happily hit up the thrift store and Save a Lot without worries so that I can have the big things that I want and still be able to pay the bills.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

Natashaw said...

I love Save A lot, espceially since I read that thy buy their produce from local farmers!

Al said...

I think this is spot on commentary. More conversations like this need to happen across America.
Before I had the good job, I had the not so good job and was one of these people living check to check...

Folks want to have status, but on a borrowed dollar with interest.

One of my fav places to shop is Target and I try to buy Levi jeans usually because they look good and aren't going to kill my pockets. I will splurge on shoes though because ladies pay attention to that.

rozb said...

Someone trying to be big pimpin' with no paper? It's called panhandling. Even with a shiny car, flashy clothes and blinging jewels, if someone has to buy you a Happy Meal or help you with your bills, you are panhandling, not being grown and taking care of your own (Ha! That rhymes!) Smaller, econimic vehicles get better mileagee and cost less, costume jewelry can be just as fabulous, and if you haven't shopped at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, then you are getting robbed in the designer duds department. Just sayin'...

MidWestDominicana said...

Chuuuuuch!!! Amen, amen, amen! The super crazy thing is that if we as a people realized, I mean really realized how much spending power we have (somewhere in the neighborhood of $6B annually) and how to make our money work for us, we could have these things without the worry of losing it all because we can't pay for it later.
Furthermore, generally the very wealthy take care of and recycle and generally live below their means...that's how they have so much money. (Pay no attention to all those desperate basketball housewives of NewSouthJerseyMiamiBeach).
Wu-Tang said it kinda well...C.R.E.A.M...CASH....dolla bills, ya'll, not credit cards and debt!

Andrea M said...

Alright there now! I know I can overspend but as a single woman with no kids, husband, or current other responsibilities - I'm the only one that suffers when I do. So I lecture myself and pull it together. But I have no patience for folks (I'm talking STRAIGHT AT MY COUSIN) who have kids and can't keep the light on, food in the fridge or a dime in their pocket but are pushing brand new Chevy Tahoe and the kids got on new Jordans - PRIORITIES people. How good do the kids feel about those Jordans in the dark?

derek love said...

Here was my logic - ladies like nice cars, I like nice ladies therefore I need nice car. But I could not afford nice car and roof over head, food in stomach. So I got decent car. And that worked just fine. Lesson learned? Car should not be bait. I don't want a woman who only wants me for my car. How about you let Derek impress with his Derekness and that way when I can afford to upgrade the car, that's just a bonus?
I'm random today. Good post.

BB Waite said...

The other thing that people may not know about you Chele is that you can maximize a dollar to death. I have been shopping with Chele and somehow she finds a full outfit with shoes and earrings that looks amazing for $100 dollars. I would have spent $500 to get the same look. She's like the darn Bargain Whisperer. She knows exactly where to go to find the best deal on everything.

Grace said...

It's epidemic - pandemic even. Folks need to not give a shiggity about the Joneses and handle their own.

Liselle said...

pimpin' without paper, blingin' without bank, cheesin' with no cheddar, mackin' with no mayo, swagga with no scrilla DEAD!!!

Paul on Ice said...

Here's the real deal. Three women walk in all in black dresses and black pumps. I don't care who's in Prada and who's in Payless. If she's looking right and acting nice, that's my pick.

And men are just stupid about car audio. Period.I refuse to put in a system that costs more than my car. I got school loans to pay back. I'll gloss/floss when the balance is zero.

Eye Candy said...

*mutters under breath* Let me go look at your girl's website. I am currently swimming in both debt and denial. Damn Bougieland don't pull no punches. When is Relationship Week? LOL

Jason P said...

At some point you have to decide who are you trying to impress/fool. A woman who'll be with you when you have five dollars will surely stick around for five thousand.

Jason P said...

Chele - Old boy in the Hummer was an epic fail. EPIC. You were kind not to laugh or run behind him offering the WSJ.

Aishao said...

Sounds like the chick i talked about yesterday, her daughter will only wear Jordans uummm excuse me she can't buy them then she will wear whateva the hell i buy her, if she doesn't nip it in the bud now her daughter is going to be just like her broke and always owing (is that how its spelled?) someone money

Sweet N Tart said...

Don't get me started on how some folks are raising their kids. "She won't eat that" - Excuse me? If she's hungry, she'll eat what you put in front of her. "He wants Jordans" - Bet he'll wear those no names and be happy about it... shoot. Hate when parents let their kids run the show. That's part of the debt problem anyway. Quit having kids you have no way to pay for!!!!

Anna N. said...

Now see, I was with you until you started talkin bout them no name shoes. I was a victim - my mother literally bought me some shoes with a lower case "n" on them. And they were black when all the kids had white tennis shoes (cuz the black shoes will last!) Can you say clowned out of town? LOL - my mom had to go out and buy me new shoes that same week cuz I would come home crying from all the teasing. Still scarred!

ConvertingMe said...

As someone who lives in the DC area, I know plenty of people pushing the baby Lexus truck and paying a pretty penny (over $600 a month) for the privilege. One also lives in her parent's basement with the kids and the 'real' grownups (her parents) upstairs. I can't hang. I may not like my car but it is bought and paid for with cash. No note.

MochaMuffin said...

What is Derekness? Never mind, just let me imagine it ;-)

J B said...

There's a rap song right there!

maureen palmer said...

Just like my mama used to say, until you start making money around here, you can't make decisions on what you will or will not wear.

maureen palmer said...

Yap, I was at Tyson II mall a while back and this chic ran her card for transaction over $3,000 and on the phone having conversation how she will be rocking at the BET awards. I said to myself, I hope she making some serious cash, b/c it would be ashame if she is operating on the red & burning cash for BET awards

J B said...

Now, imagine Mr Pimp Playah rolling up to Starbucks with a date that day....

Would he have claimed sharing was more "romantic"? A dude did that to me once....

OneChele said...

Sharing a cup of coffee?! Let's just skip it. It's not that crucial. Wow...

lawsoncomp said...

Amen and Amen Again.

Penny said...

I was watching one of the HGTV home buyer shows (this one was featured first time home buyers) and there was a Black woman from the Dallas area who was going to be buying her first home. She was a radio dee jay (I have no idea how much they make, but I am assuming she was not a millionaire.) She appeared to be in 40's and was approved for $155,000 to buy a house and qualified for 100% financing. Now, I have no idea what her financial life was prior to trying to buy the house, but clearly, if she was getting 100% financing, she did not have any money put aside for a down payment. Not a crime, but later in the show, she mentioned that she was paying $800 (I only wish I could put the $800 in bold) a month for her car. What????? You have no house, and clearly don't have a big bank account, and you are paying $800 for a car???? Why do we do this?

YardieChicie said...

And yet they never seem to realise that the Jones' became the Jones' through not spending like a damn fool.

agdm said...

I may have seen that one. I agree that is ludicrous...

Hidi said...

I have a relative just like that. Always complaining she does not have food but can afford a outfit, shoes, makeup and a new hairstyle every week. LOL and SMH

Hidi said...

What's with the pimpin' with no paper? They know what they are doing. Trust me they are fully aware that they are broke. Their in denial.

Many enjoy living modestly and everyone does not want to "keep up with the Jones". Who are they anyway??? LOL

Evansaw said...

In the hospital cafeteria yesterday, listening to two hospital workers talking about what their kids won't wear:
1st worker: "I don't shop at Payless, you will never see me buying shoes out of there"....
2nd worker: "Pro wings are dead, no way I would buy those for my kids...."
Older 3rd worker: "You both crazy, shoes are meant to keep your feet dry, if they do the job, why you want to front? I know you ain't making that much! That's why you both have kids still at home at 22 and 25, you done spoiled them to the point they not worth a quarter! You should have taught them the value of a dollar, cause they are gonna be living on you the rest of their lives....Cheap shoes could keep a roof over your head. You both better wake up....
Me: LMAO (inside) tell 'em, old school mom! We all need to tighten our belts right now, no matter how much we make. There is nothing sexier to me than a man that knows how to find a bargain.....

Evansaw said...

It should be a requirement in every High School in the country. Co-sign on that.......

akilah said...

I used to get upset seeing some of my childhood friends roll in a nice ride, live in a nice house, fridge always full until I got the real up close and personal picture of how they lived. Section 8, child support, under the table jobs\balling boyfriends. I'll pass on being flashy and opt for me and my "good job", paid for car, and 3 years shy of being paid for house chilling when retirement comes. I also realized that the nice shiny cars are equivalent to maybe a franchise or commercial building or another home and decided I'd forgo a new car to invest along those lines.

akilah

nubianqueenbeez said...

I think that people who try to be conspicuous consumers are have bought into the notion that they can live like the hip hop/gangsta artists, celebrity and sports stars they admire. The money, the houses, the cars, the clothes, the parties, the swarms of beautiful women, the hot, chocolatey men at your beck and call. Who wouldn't want that? But they fail to realize that sometimes the glamour is staged publicity and it's just not real everyday life. To save money I shop at WalMart and get the off-brand food. Yes, I buy my (4) kids shoes at PayLess. I sometimes shop at JCPenney, but I buy off season when the clothes are 80% off. I do most of my shopping at Goodwill, and I have really found nice clothes there. I think it's all about knowing where you are in life, knowing what you can comfortably afford, living it and being content in your current situation, all the while striving for something better.

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