I originally scheduled this post for Financial Awareness month. Still, I thought it would be a great addition to our Immigrant Heritage month rollout since money is such a big part of the immigrant experience that it should be a topic year-round.
Here are 5 ways Immigrants waste money and channels we should all pay attention to:
1. Paying the bare minimum for the most valuable services:
There’s nothing wrong with being as thrifty as possible. Still, surveys prove that immigrants will splurge on subscriptions, fast food, gaming, and concerts but skimp on mechanics, lawyers, and realtors, sometimes even waiting until the last minute.
2. Paying out-of-pocket funeral costs that insurance should be covering.
The death of a loved one will rock even the strongest of us. Coupled with unplanned funeral costs, it would be devastating! In some cases, the deceased has left final wishes that involve transport overseas and expensive cultural rites. Or when a young person suddenly passes away, and the family grapples with payments they shouldn’t have to deal with so early.
We've learned to reject death so hard that we won't make any plans to handle its inevitability. But then it happens. And the onus is on friends and family to help.
Something tells me the dearly departed would rather not have their loved ones struggle so much because of them.
3. Not applying for available Aid/Grants set up for minorities/others:
I don't know if it's just a lifetime of DIY or a fear of rejection, but we don't take advantage of grants/aid set up for minority groups. I can't figure out what it is for the life of me.
4. Ignoring health-related red flags and stigmatizing therapy in our community:
Sadly, demonizing the medical system and ignoring health-related red flags are still common among the immigrant community.
5. Pouring money into badly managed investments and Ponzi schemes:
There's always some new business idea, a trending investment opportunity that someone we know supposedly scored big in recently until it falls apart. But unfortunately, if you’re not hiring a financial advisor or getting expert advice, it’s easy to fall for pyramid schemes designed to look like businesses because entrepreneurship is trending.
With the rise in gas prices, wild fluctuations in the stock market, and uncertainties with national and international security, it is essential to review our financial habits, set better boundaries, and communicate financial plans effectively to our loved ones so we are all on the same page.