Written by Ben Carter
Last night the 2014 BET Awards came on television. I joined the masses in watching some interesting award acceptance speeches as well as several passionate performances from the likes of Robin “Paula, Please Baby Please” Thicke, Usher and Nicki “No Shade” Minaj.
I rather enjoyed the show and was pleasantly surprised with many of the performances.
This isn’t a piece reviewing the awards show or making any commentary about some of the outfits worn by stars that would be appropriate photographic companions to Webster’s Dictionary definition of “douchebaggery”. This piece is about the most important thing said in the whole three and a half hours of the show.
America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon and a very tall 17-year-old I’ve never seen before presented the award for Best Gospel Artist last night. In the “have playful banter” section of the award presentation, the tall 17-year-old asked Nick Cannon for advice on how to have a long career in the entertainment industry. Nick Cannon, though dressed in what could qualify as an outfit worn by douchebags (seen above), enlightened us with the most valuable life advice I’ve ever heard on any awards show.
“Save your money, save your money, save your money… And marry well,” said Nick Cannon.
This was Mr. Cannon’s advice to the young person he was presenting the award with. I saw it more as gospel sent from the personal finance gods.
Mr. Cannon was obviously referring to his own, possibly obsessive desire to stash away the cash he earns in his profession. However, I imagine if Mr. Cannon were a security guard at the mall or an insurance agent instead of a well known entertainer, his desire to save money wouldn’t change much. Usually, an obsession with saving has little to do with how much you make but more a preference to keep as much as you can for a “rainy day”.
But Nick Cannon also mentioned marriage. He immediately made light of the comment, waving to the camera and saying hello to his incredibly successful wife and legnedary R&B singer, Mariah Carey. Mr. Cannon has indeed, married well.
Though often viewed as the proverbial end of one’s youth, marriage always has been and still is a means by which to consolidate, grow or maintain wealth. You can go back ages in history and see that arranged marriages were often used by wealthy or royal families as a means to streamline wealth and orders of inheritance.
But this principle of “wealth consolidation” rings true even for couples who are not wealthy, royal or famous. Let’s take Nick Cannon’s profession in an alternate universe as a security guard at the mall. Let’s assume Mr. Cannon is earning $32,000 per year after taxes. That’s a liveable wage, but he certainly would not be able to save as much when accounting for housing, food and other bills that come with maintaining a steady job in America. Now let’s say Mr. Cannon gets married to a secretary who makes a bit more than himself. She makes $38,000 per year after taxes. The family pot has increased to $80,000 a year, a number capable of raising a family, paying bills and hopefully saving a bit more money each month.
This isn’t a line-by-line analysis of what married couples can do with their money, nor am I suggesting you should get married purely for the financial benefits. I am saying there is an advantage to marriage that gets very little play in the discussions we have about getting hitched. I’d like to thank Nick Cannon for giving us the opportunity to talk about this… And for the masterpiece of a movie that is “Drumline”.
Does having a dual-income household make marriage or domestic partnership more appealing to you?