Don't tell me where your priorities are.

Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are.

-James W. Frick

Plan YOUR work! Work YOUR Plan!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sneakers and the American Dream

Each year Jordan Brand schedules releases of past sneakers, they call them retro, and every year these releases cause mass hysteria. Case in point, the December 23rd, 2011 release of the Concord XI's. We all know how that turned out.  Everyone from the "average Joe" to the sneakerhead rushed out to buy this overpriced, replica of a shoe that had been released previously. Imagine Black Friday, but everyone is after the same thing. Seems pretty silly, but these releases have become an eye opening look at the way Americans view material items. This overhyped need for a pair of shoes has lead to injuries, theft, and even killings...over a shoe. And, this happens almost any time a Jordan Brand sneaker is re-released, or some other shoe that has been made to be the next Holy Grail for sneaker collectors and those who simply want to keep up with the "Jordan’s'".
All for some shoes!

Take a step back. Look at the way society has financially risen and fallen, all in the name of material items and keeping up with the Joneses (Jordan’s'). We all want a piece of that American Dream we have been sold and have bought into. We want the next best thing and we want it before everyone else. Even if we cannot afford to keep up the appearance, we try. The housing and automobile industries were first, then the banking industry, then went the jobs (and the houses and cars and money), next, possibly, student loans. All because we want to give the illusion that we are living the American Dream when our dream has turned into the American Nightmare.

The American Dream, few ever truly reach it, most fake it well, and the rest of us - we get caught up in the hype and overextend our finances on material items with the promise that if we play the part people will believe we actually live the part. We forget our priorities and choose to spend on our wants leaving little money for our needs.

Our generation and generations following us, just like generations before, have bought into another form of the American Dream, without knowing how to responsibly reach it. The dream of the dream is possible. Take something like the Jordan Concord XI's for example; these shoes (and others) have always been a status symbol for urban youth. Our shoes are our houses, cars, retirement funds...literally. We spend our rent, grocery, and gas money on shoes in order to keep up with what our friends and celebrities. We place shoes at the top of our priorities because we do not always see our family, neighbors, and people we associate with placing their priorities in order of importance of their needs, not their wants. This is fine if you are content to live that life, but if you want more out of life you must change your priorities and how you reach them.

Shoes but no gas...smh

If I said with some planning, we can have everything we want in life. Jordan Brand always sets release dates months ahead of the actual release. Enough time to SAVE for the shoes. Saving lets you get the shoes AND make sure your priorities are met. Let's say you need $300 for the shoes, and a new outfit to rock with them, of course. You find out about the release four months in advance, more than doable. You would only have to save $75 a month to have the $300 by the time the shoes are released. You can even reserve the shoes with your favorite sneaker store since you have been saving and do not have to deal with the craziness of the release, unless you want too.

The same is true for big, more important items like a car, house, or vacation. The key is to set your priorities and stick to them. Get a jar. Plan for what you need, save for what you want.

When the next shoe is released will you be among those who can easily buy them with a clear conscious or will you be taking for your needs to fund your wants?

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