May 30, 2013

By Charlene Muhammad

Sentinel Contributing Writer


When some people utter, “This is why you’re broke,” chances are it’s because they wanted something monetary they couldn’t get from you. So, in retaliation, they scrutinized your in-their-face purchase for not getting it. 

That’s just this writer’s simple theory on why we hear those stinging words. However, for those seeking a more honest, researched, well-rounded and grounded - just the plain ‘ol truth - analysis about why their “deep” pockets are really empty, Jarim Person-Lynn saves the day.

In “This is Why You’re Broke,” a 12 Step Guide to Defeating Your Own Worst Financial Habits, Person-Lynn uses vocabulary, humor, and real straight talk to shake people out of bad debt-forming habits.

“The original plan back in 2010, once I had grown pretty popular for my one-on-one consultations in my home, was to start teaching personal finance classes at the local community center. These classes were to be in conjunction with my father's (historian Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn) Afrikan World Civilization classes,” states Person-Lynn on how he started this venture.

“I researched other successful financial classes/workshops such as Robert Kiyosaki's and Dave Ramsey's and realized that even though those classes weren't catering to the needs of the black community, they were in fact successful because they were each centered around a very popular book or manual,” he shares.

That’s all he was missing, a book or manual.

But, he didn’t jump right into releasing an untested book out of the blue, he explains.  He started first with the blog “” and began testing various sections of the book in progress.  Information gained through his very clever use of social media transformed into the five course guide, “Brass Knuckle Finance.”

That guide and a subsequent five-week course handled topics entitled, “How your Mentality, health and environment affect your Wealth,”  “The art of Budgeting and Spending,” “Getting out of Debt & Staying out of Debt,” “College, Entrepreneurship & Career,” and “Investing & Real Estate.”

“Part of the original premise for the classes were to provide classes to those who were fed up with their financial situations and willing to make a change. In exchange for providing these free classes to anyone who purchased a book, we asked them once they were done with our classes, to pass that book along to the next person in the community and have them attend our classes for free as well,” Person-Lynn explains.

But, he would notice that the 392 page book would be very popular with the first person who obtained it but it was a hard sell for the next friend or family member they would attempt to pass it to.

He formed the idea to simplify the message into a quick, easy to read, easy to pass along book that would become the namesake of the original blog: "This is Why You’re Broke."

So frank, Person-Lynn even labels the book on his website, “A Comprehensive Guide to Your Own Financial Stupidity.”

His ultimate aim:  to help stop others from being their own worst enemy each month and to begin building a better financial future immediately.

Being broke isn’t simply the lack of having money, he offers.  “Broke” means not having the specific amount of money to do things you may want or need to do in life, he explains.

“Broke is one part math and one part mentality,” Person-Lynn writes.

“Remember, there are millionaires who are broke:  billionaires with depreciating assets and ever growing expenses, who are broke,” he continues in his easy-to-read financial planner.

In essence, being broke is more about what’s eating people internally, what society has told them they need, and, what they plan to do to prove it right, he states.

If people master the 12 most dangerous areas of their financial lives, which include rent, cars, debt and food, they would then master their money, according to Person-Lynn.

The author recommends keeping rents at certain monthly percentages to reduce overall debt and struggle.  He also gives guidelines for obtaining home-ownership rather than home-loanership.  And, he breaks down steady steps for obtaining rental property as a source of real income. 

Without careful attention to certain details, the property could become more of a loss than gain, he explains in the guide.

“The person (or couple) who avoids debt, lives on half of their income and learns how to invest the rest, will be wealthier than just about everyone they know ... Remember:  You were NOT born to struggle,” he concludes in his guide.

For more information on the books visit / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Category: Arts & Culture