What Martin Luther King Jr. Taught Us About Our Finances

Let Dr. King's legacy guide you on your financial journey.

The importance of financial awareness was constantly discussed in my household growing up — even if I didn’t completely understand the nature of what my parents were trying to convey. Their frequently repeated phrases still hold up today. “Put some money away for a rainy day” is now known as building an emergency fund, and “don’t spend more than you earn” can be translated into living below your means.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was of the same generation. Known for his advocacy during the civil rights movement and his views on equality, he similarly didn’t leave any topic off of the table — money included. Even in his absence his legacy continues to teach us all how imperative it is to develop a personal relationship with finance.

Financial Freedom Takes Practice and Discipline

Dr. King supported the “Freedom Budget,” a book published by the A. Philip Randolph Institute in 1966 to specifically eradicate poverty within America by implementing a 10-year action plan. While this ideal didn’t come to fruition, the premise is that Dr. King believed financial freedom should be an attainable goal, no matter your economic status.

Personal Finance Goals Require Accountability

Nothing can be accomplished without the council and community of others — a concept Dr. King understood all too well. It’s imperative to share your financial goals with those closest to you. Imagine if Dr. King never recited one speech or ignored the calling for him to use his influence. So many people with similar thoughts and ideals would think they were alone. Your finance goals are no different; it takes support to drive long-lasting change.

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Paying It Forward Always Wins

Dr. King was the Nobel Prize winner in 1964, for which he received over $50,000. While many people would have begun paying off debt or planning a much-needed vacation, Dr. King donated all of his earnings to the civil rights movement. I’m not suggesting this level of stewardship; however, it does no harm to support a cause that’s dear to you by sacrificing a little time or money. Dr. King recognized that to capture the attention of others you must first be a great example.

Money first begins with a positive mindset, a tenacious desire to follow through and the willingness to support others by sharing knowledge in your personal journey. Dr. King taught us that sharing our knowledge regarding the importance of financial literacy is deeply rooted in equality for all and a lot less about dollars and cents.

Click through to read more about money mantras to live your life by.

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