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...