The average household spent $7,923 last year on food, or roughly, $660 each month. Buying Black must be a lifestyle for Black consumers but of all months, February should be especially motivating. The degree to which Black people truly value the culture and history isn’t measured by social media posts: there are receipts. As we close out the formal celebration of Black History Month, it’s time to pull those receipts and add it all up. If you spent over $600 just on food, surely you spent at least $500 with Black owned businesses, right?
Where did you go this month and what did you do? How many times did you swipe your credit or debit cards and where did you swipe them? Unless you literally hide your money under a mattress, those answers can be found with a few clicks. Take a moment to go through each transaction this month and when you find one at a Black owned business, put it in the calculator. Find the next one, the next one and the next one, until you get to the end of the month. Add each transaction up and you’ll get a total. How much did you spend with Black owned companies?
Food is but one line item in any family’s budget. We spend money on our hair, nails, clothing, gas, electronics, entertainment and a host of subscriptions– half of which we never utilize. As you go through your monthly transactions you will not only see how well you’ve done spending with Black owned companies but also, get a sense of where you can improve. Perhaps the $150 you blew at Target, you could find an alternative. Maybe that Amazon purchase for a common household item could be rerouted next month to a Black owned business. There are an abundance of growth opportunities, the question is whether you are willing to pursue them.
Black History Month is coming to a close but the pursuit to buy Black never ends. This month does, however, provide a natural opportunity to assess our habits and commitments. This month gives us a chance to evaluate how much we truly value the culture and our love for it. It’s time to get out the receipts and put up a number.