I'm A Material Girl, And The Mall Is My Happy Place

I'm A Material Girl, And The Mall Is My Happy Place

The pros and cons of shopping.
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When I was a little girl, my mother would always take me to the mall to do some shopping for clothes or toys or food. For days after school, during vacations, and during holidays, I was mesmerized by clothes and brands and jewelry, without knowing what would work on me. I would go through these halls as doors which opened to a new me. More important for me was how it was a bonding experience with me and whomever I was with—we would talk about what we want and our likes and dislikes.

Going to the mall recently causes me to yawn out of boredom, as we spend too much time in an aisle which renders no relevance. I am left wondering about why my mother would buy so many shoes; or why whenever my relatives come along we always go shopping.

Whenever I have spare time and a bit of money, I go to different places to immerse myself in the material world. I would saunter through different stores and smell the different perfumes, try on varied dresses and enamor myself with teas, and think about what lipsticks look good on me.

Most times, I would leave these stores without buying anything. I’m a college student without a job; the things I desire are beyond my financial bracket, as well as my parents. The things I would buy included books I won’t read for a year, CDs, and outside foods, including candy. I would also buy posh teas—a dimension above the box teas from the grocery store.

Yet, most of these things are on impulse.

That way, when I’m shopping, it’s not merely buying one thing, it’s making a dream come true. I have a vision of what I want, based on the internet and frequent trips strolling through aisles and streets, and I’m going to go get it, no matter what.

Yet compared to my mother, where she would wait for the right deals to come through so she could get a sweater for under ten dollars, I’d pay full price for something, without considering how much money I would have left.

This causes grief for my parents—I had to hide my bank statements multiple times because they would lecture me, again, about how I would never learn about financial responsibility. I recognize that if I lived alone, with no other forms of support other than from myself, this would be unsustainable. And with the clock on familial dependence ticking down as the days in college fade away, it’s something I have to consider.

I may want something, yet I cannot drop everything to get it.

This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t step into a specialty shop again, nor into the loving walls of the mall. This is very much a part of my life—seeing the new clothes, interacting with customer service, and seeing what I like for the future.

When some stores I like are either bankrupt or on the verge of closing, it gets to me inside.

Online shopping is the future, especially with vintage clothing and jewelry manufactured in the past, but it never has the exact same feeling of entering a new world.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Reasons Why Black People Are Still Broke

Change needs to come.
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According to statistics from The State of Working America, African Americans made up about 12 percent of the population in the United States in 2015. They are also among the poorest races, with 27.5 percent of them living in poverty.

What's even more disturbing is that 45.6 percent of black children aged 6 and under live in poverty.

Essentially every other black kindergarten student is living in a home where the income is below what the government sees as necessary to live. Unfortunately, this trend continues for generations of black people and I believe that I know five important reasons as to why this race is so impoverished.

1. Black people spend more money than they make.

African Americans over the age of 18 make up 39 percent of Master Card holders. Of that 39 percent, many spend their limit monthly and seldom have the money to pay the balance in full at the end of the month. Essentially black people are spending money that they don't have and won't have at the end of the month. This trend of building never-ending debt is partially why their poverty numbers are so high.

2. Black people don't support black businesses.

Every race with the exception of black people seems to support the businesses of their own. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most popular ways to make high residual income. Black people buy products from brands such as Jordan, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren at an alarming rate.

The prices of these brands are very expensive, however, those same black people would cringe at the thought of paying $20 for a black-owned clothing product saying, "It's too expensive."

The question here would be is the product too expensive or not "renowned enough?"

3. Black people don't save their money.

As soon as black people get a huge chunk of money or their tax refund it appears that they all flock to the nearest high-end fashion spot to splurge. Seldom do black people save their funds or invest them into things that will last or that could make them more money down the line.

According to The State of Working America, black people spend 4 percent more money annually than any other race despite the fact that they are the least represented race and the race that lives in poverty at the highest rate. There's a clear problem, so read that sentence again and let it marinate.

4. Black people don't know how to invest.

If you ask many black people aged 18-25 it should not come as a surprise that investing in stocks or buying bonds is a foreign concept. Many young black people work and spend their money on items that either decrease in value after being bought or are not sustainable. Cars and sneakers are prime examples of such things.

5. Black people aren't working toward getting out of poverty.

Even after reading this article there are many black people that will not work towards changing their situation. After centuries of slavery, black people must realize that they are behind with regards to having generational wealth.

Black people must fight to create the wealth where they will have trust funds for their children or wealth that can be passed down. Too many black people tend to only worry about themselves and the money that they have in the moment. As a race, black people need to build for the future and get out of that mindset of the now.

Wealth is not everything, however, it has been proven that with it, you get better educational opportunities and a better environment for children to develop and go on to become well-functioning members of society. There are the Jay-Z's and P. Diddy's of the world but they are far and few in comparison with how most black people live.

Change needs to come, black people, this is something we have control over so no more excuses.

Image Credit: Quora

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5 Reasons We Should Appreciate The People That Work In Retail, Food, And Janitorial Services

They deserve appreciation and respect

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Now that it's a new year, it's time for new years resolutions, and I have one that everyone could get on board with. This year and every year after, appreciate the people that work in retail, food, and janitorial services. For me, I worked in both retail and food, and I've seen a lot. And I'm not attacking everyone here, I just want us all to be on the same page. Here are five things to remember coming into the new year.

1. They are human beings

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Behind the uniform, the people in the uniform are only human. They are not perfect, and they will make mistakes. Remember, they are trying to do their best.

2. Some things are out of their control

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They can't control everything. For example, the prices of things and what they offer in the store.

3. They are not stupid and uneducated

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Actually, people that work in these areas are just the opposite. They are not stupid, dumb, or uneducated. So, please stop thinking that they are.

4. They are not lesser than you

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Without retail, food, and janitorial services, there would no one to keep buildings clean and neat. There would be no one to check you out after you are done shopping. When you go out to eat, there would be no one to take your order nor make your food. Just because they work in retail, food, or janitorial services does not mean they are lesser than you. It takes a lot to work in these areas.

5. It does take time to make your food

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The time that it takes to make your food depends on what you order, how much you order, how many workers are working, and how many customers there are at the same time you are there.

It does take a lot to work in retail, food, and janitorial services. This year is a good time to start appreciating and respecting people who work in those areas of employment. They do so much for people, and they do work hard. Most don't have set hours, and a lot of them work weekends. There are a lot of hours and labor that people log in every week. They are people like you and me. They are someone's sibling, child, parent, sister, brother...they have emotions. They like to have fun like you and me and they like to hang out with their family and friends. They like sports, music, art, theater, and so on. They have hobbies. Like everyone else, they deserve appreciation and respect. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

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