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“According to the Federal Reserve (2023), 60% of black adults do not have at least 3 months of emergency savings.”


Financial Security and the Black Community

According to the Federal Reserve (2023), 60% of black adults do not have at least 3 months of emergency savings. That’s about 21 million people without enough money saved for emergencies, and there are only around 34 million of us here! So, more than half of us in the U.S. are 1 to 2 mistakes or accidents away from ruin. Based on these numbers, if we’re getting help from family, we’re basically robbing Peter to pay Paul because, most likely, our family is struggling as well. White adults’ numbers are flipped opposite ours, with 60% of their population having at least 3 months of emergency savings.

Adults who have 3 months of emergency savings by race/ethnicity

Systemic Factors

There are many systemic factors at work, from our school systems being underfunded and understaffed, the mass incarceration of our people, and the pay disparities between us and our white counterparts, regardless of position. Not to mention, our wealth has been stolen for generations, and we’re still denied opportunities that others enjoy. It’s safe to say being black in America comes with its own set of challenges. In our struggles to make it, we constantly have to navigate hostile environments, wondering if our only fault is being the wrong color for the job. 

The Benefits of Having Emergency Savings

Being financially stable and having emergency savings can give us the breathing room we need to effectively overcome the blatant racism and discrimination baked into the system. Having 3-6 months of emergency savings can take away the stress and frustration that comes with struggling to make ends meet. Once you have that financial security blanket, you can relax, take chances, and experience life. You can start bettering yourself and investing without the fear of knowing your one missed payment or paycheck from your life being upended. Being financially stable is a very liberating feeling, and as a community, we need it to escape the survival mode so many of us have been trapped in. We can’t reach our full potential as a people unless we are safe mentally, physically, and spiritually. Having an emergency savings account is one of the most important things we can do, not just for us but for the people we are responsible for. Life has its ups and downs, and if we are not prepared for the downs, one event can start to unravel our lives. An emergency savings serves as our war chest to survive when the battle comes to our front door. If we’re not prepared as a group, there will continue to be countless and unnecessary casualties in our community.

Part of the Majority

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t blame yourself because you are part of the majority. However, just because you are there doesn’t mean you have to stay there. It just means you have to be more strategic and tactical with your money. You must prioritize saving and be ruthless with your spending habits until you can build up at least 3 months of cash. Once there, you can start to relax a little, and then you can begin to spread your wings. You can truly experience what life has to offer while building wealth for you and your family.

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Welcome to Citizen Onyx! I’m so happy you are here because we have work to do! If you have family and friends who need to hear this, please reach out and share this message! Cause in a world built for us to fail, who got us but us?


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