AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The racial wealth gap in the US is stark. In 2022, for every dollar of wealth held by a white family, a black family has just 25 cents. James Wilkerson is on a mission to help minorities become more financially literate and successful with money.

He’s offering the following tips:

  • Start talking about it: There is very little talk about money in the Black community. It’s time we start the conversation; otherwise, things will never improve. It takes just one person who understands basic financial principles to share the message with family, friends and peers.
  • More than debt: One of the most significant issues I see with the black families I work with is their focus on getting out of debt. Granted, this is important; however, it’s only one piece of the equation. Like building a house, you need a strong foundation and must also focus on other things like having enough for daily expenses, insurance, investments, and savings.
  • Ask these 3 questions: If you want to change your financial situation, you must ask yourself these 3 questions: 1. Where am I with my money right now? 2. Where do I want to be? 3. Most important: What do I have to do to get there?
  • Be prepared because bad things happen to good people: It is one of the things I hear most: “I just wasn’t ready for such and such to happen.” It could be a major home or car repair, medical event, death in the family, or any unforeseen circumstance. People don’t think about these things, but they happen all the time, and you need to be prepared and have money set aside.
  • Get the right mindset: Of all the people I have worked with who suffer financially, I can tell you that the overwhelming majority had a terrible mindset when it came to money. On the other hand, those who are in a better financial place have a much more positive attitude about it. They see money as a force for good and are excited about the possibilities for the future. Mindset isn’t everything, but it plays a huge role when it comes to success.

Wilkerson joined weekend Good Morning Augusta anchor Shawn Cabbagestalk to discuss more.