If we aren't careful, our children will come down with 'affluenza,' a disease that causes them to confuse wants and needs. We need to teach our children what my grandmother taught me: Think twice about spending money you don't have on things you don't need to impress people you don't like anyway.

— Michelle Singletary

The most beautiful Michelle Singletary quotes that will add value to your life

A foreclosure does not define you financially.

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Money may not be able to buy you love, but conflicts about it can certainly bankrupt your relationship.

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I'm driving my old car until I'm on a first name basis with the low tow truck drivers!

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My first piece of career advice is find your gifting.

Find the thing that you are skilled at and figure out if you can make a living doing it.

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You are rich if you have enough to meet your most basic needs.

You are rich if you have access to clean water, food, shelter, love, a roof over your head.You have to count your blessings to see that you are richer than you think.

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You know me and I have a pension. It provides some comfort but only some. It's still not enough to live off completely but it sure will help. But I'll say this. I try to forget about it and save like a maniac because I want the assurance of having other pots of money.

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My kids have to maintain good grades.

They have to be involved in activities. They have to report to me how thing are going. I watch for any activity that would steer them wrong - drinking, drugs, etc. So their skin in the game is knowing the money won't be there if they don't do their part.

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Having kids doesn't mean they would have taken care o you.

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The schools can't cover all the values that go along with how you handle your money. For example, a financial literacy class might not teach me to hate debt the way my grandmother, Big Mama did.

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Not all Trump supporters are bigots. They believe he had something to offer. I may disagree. You may disagree but we need to be civil to each other. Use the facts to make your point. I had read that the clothes made by some of the brands use sweatshops. Facts folks not feelings. We all have to live with each other and our choices.

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Save what you can toward the emergency and life happens fund.

But don't worry yourself sick at the slow growth. The point is it's growing even it's just one dollar at at time.

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Kids can and are a blessing. But plenty of people without kids live and die just as happy.

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About Michelle Singletary

Quotes 80 sayings
Profession Columnist
Birthday July 24, 1982

I write for people who are good money managers and want to know how to be even better stewards over their money.

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I love teaching people how to handle their money and I've built a brand on that skill.

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I will just say, no matter where you buy the car, do your homework.

When I purchase a car I come in with a folder an inch thick. In fact, one time the auto sales person asked if he could copy my research!

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Having fun time is a good use of your money.

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You made a decision given your life circumstances and you have to be ok with that. Regrets that can't be change is just torturing yourself.

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I also admire my pastor, John K. Jenkins Sr. (First Baptist Church of Glenarden). My pastor taught me the importance of tithing and giving back, that it has to be at the top of my budget. And he is one of the most generous folks I know.

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To get started, track your expenses for a couple of months.

Then you should be able to start filling in your estimated debits and deposits for the next few months. Once you get it rolling for a while, you will be able to see your budget for the upcoming months reflected in the estimated totals. You can even notice year-to-year trends, like bonuses, tax bills, etc. that come up routinely and it will help you budget accordingly.

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Having a separate fund for the things in life that happen, helps keep the emergency fund in tact in case you lose your job or income.

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The number of those 19 to 25 with private insurance increased from 51 to 55.

8 percent, and the percentage of uninsured fell from 33.9 percent in 2010 to 28.8 percent during the first half of 2011.

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I use my financial values to set my limitations.

I have three children I want to put through college debt free. So that means I can't spend wildly or with disregard.

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There's nothing wrong with having a 9-to-5 job, but figure out a way to have another stream of income.

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I just don't like people taking debt into retirement.

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Once you finish paying for college you could reduce your life insurance.

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We all fall - even me.

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I'm not a fan of debt consolidation. In my experience, many people "clear" credit cards and other debt to get the one payment and never change what they need to change to prevent getting into debt again.

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Remember life insurance is intended as income replacement to help dependents and or/spouse pay for things that your income would have covered. When you get to the point that you're dependents (Your kids mostly) aren't dependent on your income, you could reduce the amount of life insurance you are carrying.

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I knew I had found my life's passion after writing my first column for The Washington Post. The response was like nothing we had seen in the business section. Everyday people were writing that finally someone was speaking to them in a way that was understandable. I think we were all shocked at how many readers wrote in to say that they too had a Big Mama who taught them about money.

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My grandmother's grandparents were slaves.

My grandmother Big Mama would tell me about the stories she heard as a child growing up in the shadows of a North Carolina plantation. It's only been in my lifetime that blacks have had the right to vote, live in certain areas or hold certain jobs. It is with this black history that I write about the financial challenges African-Americans still have.

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[My grandmother] managed her money better than some financial professionals I know. I give credit always to her because she is the reason I have my column and national recognition.

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You don't need to waste money on a fancy program or app to do a basic budget.

I've been using a simple Excel spreadsheet since 2005 to track my monthly budget.

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My writing is definitely influenced by and speaks to African-Americans because that is who I am. I'm black. I'm a black woman. I'm a black mother, wife, churchgoer, etc. I am the legacy of slavery.

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No matter who is in the White House, I just keep doing what my grandmother taught me. Hate debt. Save. The best any of us can do really.

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My rule is when in doubt hire a professional.

You could do it just this year and then you have direction to resume doing it yourself after the consultation. What you don't want is to do it wrong and be hit by a huge tax bill. Remember the old saying, "Don't be pennywise and pound foolish."

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My experience may be different than theirs, readers can identify with trying to save for retirement or their own kid's college fund. In truth, the name of the column, "The Color of Money," has less to do with my race than the fact that the color of money is green and it's green we all need to live a good life.

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The key to making sure your credit stays good is paying the bill on time.

If you are paying the balance off even if there is something on the card in recent purchases, you are good.

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I've found that when you can quickly knock out debt you get motivated because you see progress. Then you attack the other debt so fast that even if it's at a higher interest rate, you don't end up paying much more because you've gotten rid of it.

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Don't let people scare you from a career that may not net you a six figure salary. If you want to be a teacher, teach. But knowing that your salary may only reach a certain level, do all that you can to become the best money manager you can be.

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The rich are depressed because they realize their money can't buy them out of their issues.

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I'm keenly aware of how important it is to set a good example.

You may not think that your kids are paying attention to you, especially with something like money, but they probably are.

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There are some dark days when I do receive some racist mail or emails.

But overall the response to me has been very positive. Readers relate to me not just as an African-American, but as an American trying to make sense of her personal finance, just like them.

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We have to protect ourselves by doing our own homework.

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You need to know everything. You both need to be comfortable with sharing everything. If you can't you are NOT ready to get married.

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If you haven't saved, your child may have to work.

But do what you can to NEVER take out student or parent loans.

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Light has a way of keeping people honest.

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If we don't want the companies to cheat on us, we shouldn't be cheating on them.

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I understand why many are still poor or struggling to make just a middle-income lifestyle. I'm a fiscal conservative, but I also have compassion for people who make financial mistakes.

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I think you can save and spend to live for however long you live.

You just have to be flexible if things don't go as plan.

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